Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fuji asks, I answer

We all know Fuji, right?  No no, not the old 35mm film - Fuji of The Chronicles of Fuji!  While going down my reading list I saw that Fuji had phrased the question:

Outside of the sports memorabilia genre, is there anything else you collect?

Oh boy is this any easy topic for me!  Question is where do I start?!  The first part of the main question is what is the collection and how long have I collected.

If you didn't already know my other hobby is collecting Transformers - toys, cards, Happy Meal boxes/bags, games...anything really that has Transformers stamped on it.  I even started another blog to showcase my Transformers collection (and other toys).  I grew up with Transformers when they first hit the U.S. retail stores in 1984.  I wouldn't say I collected them though as I was still young.  I did amass more TFs than any other toy (save Hot Wheels), but I didn't start collecting until perhaps 1994 when I caught the tell end of the Generation 2 series at retail.  Since then I've been collecting strong...although I'm starting to re-prioritize some of my collecting habits, but that is a story all it's own and for later.

As for my favorite piece in my collection?  Oh boy is that a tough one.  For starters I'll say Sunstreaker from the original line.

Sunstreaker was the first "deluxe" Transformer I had growing up.  I was never a car lover or gear head, but what kid didn't think a Lamborghini wasn't cool?  Sadly I don't still have my original Sunstreaker toy, but when I delved back into collecting he was one of the first Autobots I sought out.

Flipping over to the Japanese series of G1 Transformers I'll say my favorite is Metalhawk.

I loved the Pretender concept so when I found out that Japan had released a Pretender that was exclusive to their country I freaked.  I've actually owned this toy twice now.  The first time I bought him before knowing of his existence.  I paid $50 for him complete in his original box via an old toy newsgroup.  There wasn't a picture so I didn't know what I was buying other than the fact that it was a Transformers Pretender figure that I didn't already have.  The 2nd time I bought him I was equally lucky.  I purchased the toy complete in the inner tray, but without the box for $50.  A few short weeks later I found a seller selling just the box that I grabbed for a song and a dance.  Today this figure can easily sell for over $350+ on the secondary market.

Above is an image from my IKEA display case w/ some of my Japanese TFs including Metalhawk.

While my collection of Transformers was starting to grow so was my collection of video games.  I'm not sure I ever made a conscience effort to really collect games/consoles, but the more I learned of older systems the more and more I ended up with.  Like my Transformers collection I've bought and sold a lot of different things.  At one point I had 14 different consoles hooked up to two televisions in my living room.  This of course was before I was married and had kids!  Today I own a fraction of what I used to and that is OK with me.  As much as I enjoy gaming I find it harder and harder to play.  In fact I was set to pop in the most recent Castlevania game this evening before I got sucked in by this blog topic!

As you can tell from this picture of the rack that sits behind my computer desk, I'm into both vintage and modern gaming.  I've got a decent NES collection, but what really has captivated me recently is building my 8-bit Famicom collection of games.  I sought out a new Famicom A/V console and the disk drive add-on in the last few years.  I'm also a big fan of NEC's PC Engine.  I don't even want to begin to tell you how many different PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16 consoles I've owned!  Now I just have the grey PC Engine w/ the Super CD-ROM 2 add-on.  My collection of games is mostly shooters at this point in time.

Growing up I was a Nintendo fan boy so I snubbed Sega and everything they did.  Boy what an idiot I was. I missed out on some great consoles and games.  I only recently discovered this in the past 5 years or so.  I now own a model 1 Genesis w/ Power Base Converter for all those great Master System games.  The Saturn is probably my favorite Sega system thanks in part to all the great games released in Japan.  I love import gaming on the Saturn.  I also have the black Sports edition Dreamcast...not because I like sports games (I actually loathe sports video games), but for the reason the black console blends in better.

I was late to joining the Sony Playstation party too so I don't have near as many Playstation games that some may have, but what I ended up keeping are pretty good.  I still haven't taken the plunge and bought a PS3 so for now I just have the original model PS2.  My recent Playstation purchase however was the PS Vita during it's launch weekend.  Great little system - just needs MORE games!

Getting back to Nintendo I had to buy the 2nd model SNES because I found it easy to alter to allow Super Famicom games.  I also camped out in front of a local Target on the night before the Wii's launch.  Only now it collects dust as I prefer the Xbox 360 as my modern gaming platform of sorts.

As for my game collection I'd say my favorite console is the PC Engine.  I'm a huge fan of the old school shooters (or shmp) and they reigned supreme on the PC Engine platform.

So there you go.  Now you know a little more of my collecting habits outside of sports cards...especially if you've never visited my other blog!


  1. Holy smokes... can we be best friends? Great post. Thanks for jumping in on the contest. Essentially... you leave responses on my blog or create blog posts to gain points. At the end of the contest (next week)... for every 5 points you have, your name gets entered into one time for one of my prize packages.

    You earned 4 points for this post... but I'll give you 1 extra credit. It's simple... you had me at Transformers.