Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen » 2000 » July
Eternal and Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen: random japanese toy collecting nonsense

July 23, 2000

DOA: DOA — The Death of Day Old Antiques

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 12:11 pm

7/21/00: 5:45 PM. The City of Cambridge mis-stickers street cleaning. The rat bastards tow my ride to the dead fringes of Somerville, forcing me to walk South. I head towards Harvard in a heavy mood. Day-Old Antiques “the place” is dead, killed by the net…

6:12 PM. I’m late. Passing under the shade of the Mass Ave Starbucks, I pick out Josh Fraser. He looks down, camped out in front of the Montrose Spa. Not our usual chipper meeting. As we shake, the legendary Warren Schwartz trots over. Introductions are made and gifts exchanged. Mike Z comes out to greet us. We shuffle past an ominous “last call” sign — straight into the mess.

6:28 PM: Liquidation. Some heavy-hitter is Up the Ladder taking down Dorvack toys for inspection. Mike is on the phone, looking flustered, closing a deal.

Warren and Josh sift through the weirdness: Robocon on a bike. Chintzy Baxinger.
Giant vinyl Sausuraiger. All the fringe elements crawling out from under the basement.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about Chokinzoku and my own agenda: to close two loops. For four years, I have passed paying top-dollar for this piece, bearing the scorn and ridicule of numerous “serious” collectors. Tonight, I’m committed. I will close out Day-Old with a sweet moment. I will pay for the symmetry of the deal.

6:55 PM. Josh is screwing around with Mike’s inflatable T 28 strung from the rafters. I am a little worried about his enthusiasm, but am too busy demonstrating Zendagorilla’s nipple-firing mechanism to Warren. The heavy-hitter turns out to be Gerry Bunker of Robozone fame, who I’ve spoken to on numerous occasions, but never met. His pile is looking fine: about the cleanest Combattra I’ve ever seen, and a bunch of Diakron.

I start shooting stuff from the ladder. It comes out that Josh is STILL carrying around that damn GA-51 in the temperature-controlled custom styrofoam container. All four of us are immediately startled by an anomalous missile hiding in a Dynaman DX set. It strikes
me that all of us seem fairly normal. It’s clear that we are NOT.

7:45. Josh has…gulp…cut down Baywatch T28.

Meanwhile, Warren has gathered a pile of vinyl hoohah. I myself have been trying to “form Chokinzoku.” My fingers are clumsy from inexperience and fear.

We transact. Goodbyes are hurried: Mike’s still half-open till the 30th. This is the last time I’ll be here with friends.

That night, after a jam-session of post-retail sushi, I can’t sleep.

I began my collection at Day-Old four years ago. Without the store triggering embedded memories of my past, there is no ToyboxDX. Day-Old itself continues as a website — but the analog experience is dead.