Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen » 2001 » June
Eternal and Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen: random japanese toy collecting nonsense

June 30, 2001

Everybody MOVE

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 8:17 pm

hen Day-Old Antiques pulled out, I cut my last emotional tether to Cambridge. 4.5 miles south to the heart of Boston proper, it’s my new groovy pad. Not too far to move your ass, but an epic story of human triumph when you fathom moving…the Shelf! For a entire week I do nothing but “visualize” this debacle. After a quick statistical crunch I realize that odds are much higher I’ll fuck something up by trying to repack it in its original box than if I come up with some alternative scheme.

So I come up with an alternative scheme.

100 yards [yes — 100 YARDS] of bubble-wrap and 36 large cardboard boxes later, I’ve bulletproofed with an overlapping layer scheme for weaving in and out of the precious. Around Day 4, I’m still being cute and trying to stratify the boys by “historical era.” By Day 7, I’m numb and fiddling with Nike-like sweatshop efficiency. The sound of packing tape ripping along its plastic wheel kicks in my gag reflex. Three weeks later I have the cubic area of 6 refrigerators. The box boxes show off my savant aptitude for Tetris. The toy boxes are Arks of the Covenant swollen with metal from top to base. Have you ever tried to properly answer a perfectly normal civilian — say, the dispatch operator from the moving company — when asked if you “have anything fragile that requires special handling?” We’ll skip the part where I watch the boxes loaded onto the truck and angina kicks in.

* * *

So I’m just around 4 weeks in the new pad and have only gotten three boxes unpacked. In many ways, the move is cleansing: I’m leaving the pieces that don’t call out to me for a rainy day. The stuff I love I’m dusting off for display on the temporary ToyboxDX Abridged Shelf.

One little bummer: no DSL and no Cablemodem in my area. I’m connecting to you live on a blazing-fast 33.6k, courtesy of Big Science. So here’s the accumulated Ramble spool I could upload overnight…

God bless Yamato for sending us some gratis VF-11s! It’s summer, so I’m on a Macross kick anyway, and polishing valks. Matt requests some shots with the Takatoku 1:55 scales to compare heights. Fanboys, get yer rulers. Luckily, my VF-11 seems to transform perfectly and easily with no brittleness in the joints. I should mention however that the VF-11 has kind of disturbingly small hands.

Last week, I visit Josh Fraser, Our Saint of the Immaculate C-10.

No pictures yet of his three-case, pore-sealed museum-quality exhibit. I have never, in my life, seen such a saturated density of Gaiking perfection. Josh’s shucking and foot-shuffling about “his small collection” is charming, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to bop him on the head and grab his C-10 Popy DX Daikyumaryu. Instead, I dope his Ovaltine and grab some of his C-9.9 castoffs, including this SOC Daikyu and an [extra!] Uni-Five Gaiking JM.

(Okay — enough has been written about this, but I really have to fire one more shot. I’d like to take the Bandai “engineer” who came up with this pathetic mini-Gaiking scheme and cram this poor excuse for a figure limb by floppy limb straight into his tiny misshapen-ear so that he can feel sharp, aggravated piercing sensations applied directly to the brain EXACTLY the way I feel every time I try to make this godforsaken Jenga-bot stand up. On the otherhand, I, um, really adore the baby vinyls!)

When I grow up and start de-collecting, I want to distill a collection like Josh’s.

I owe Outer Limits in Clifton NJ a huge public thanks. For a year I’ve toyed with grabbing their Nomura Cosmo Fighter from the back of the Yamato case. Mike Giansanti greets me with grace and hospitality and makes it easy for me to take home.

What is it about these Nomura diecasts? There’s something so austere and refined about them. Distinctly toy-like, but austere, as if the makers took the idea of making Yamato objects seriously.

The landing gear is spring loaded, and the arsenal of launchers is satisfying. Of course, it’s solid metal. There’s a soul in these pieces. My love of this line just grows with time.

Here’s a shameless plug from a fan: go visit GundamShop.com and help these guys out.

Nanonekosaur!!! Stereolithography and a new Duncan Hsu/Chris Taylor 3d-model generate this stunning plastic Kubrick-scale Nekosaur. I’m genuinely surprised: metal has always fascinated me, but seeing mathematically-perfect non-biodegradable output of my baby gives me the tingles. With the prototype in hand, it’s a short hop to…

…an Army of Nekosaurs! Making things has been fun. Making a butt-load of the same thing is shockingly more fun. It seems there’s interest in these dangerous little objects, so I’ll be doing my best to push these out the door for those who want them shortly… Best,