Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where I Was 10 Years Ago: Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks.

So I'm sitting here coming up with what to write while I'm listening to Depeche Mode. Because Depeche Mode is great Summer music to me. I don't know why exactly, but they just always sounds better in the Summer. I write the text in my blog posts based around the pictures I post here. I write in a very "stream of consciousness" style, or in other words I ramble on. A lot. So far this Summer is just flying by, I'm already seeing leaves fall from tress and the nights are getting cooler. I've also fallen into much deeper thought episodes over the last few months. Passing periods of thought about collecting now and the way it was have extended into hours of mulling over the thought of it. A lot of thinking seems to focus on changes in my life back around 2005.

Why dwell on things from 10 years ago? By 2005 I had really become disenchanted with collecting, selling and interacting with toys and toy collectors as a whole. I was trying to get back into producing art, and just getting my life back in order overall. The year before had been the first year since 1995 that I missed a Transformers convention, and the first year since 1998 I didn't visit Japan at least once. So in 2005 I at least made my way overseas, and for a toy show. Maybe you have heard of it, maybe not, but the Jissen Toy Show* in 2005 was a celebration of G.I.Joe, Gobots and Dino Riders. Strange combination yes? But surely 3 properties that wouldn't require their own individual collectors events in Japan.

The Jissen show was put on by the same team who operated the BotCon Japan shows. And I have to say it was a great little show. I also have to admit I didn't go there to buy, but rather to set up as a dealer and try to unload a lot of the stuff I still had left. A good deal of G.I.Joe stuff, Gobots and some rare to Japan Transformers. And I almost totally sold out of things. And sure, try as hard as I could to not buy, I did snag some rare items for myself at crazy cheap prices. Dealer room aside, there was a cool showroom featuring toys, prototypes and memorabilia from the 3 toy properties.
2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー
Like I said about going to to the show to sell and not to buy, that went for the trip as a whole. This was my first trip to Japan that I spent as a tourist more than a toy buyer. I probably bought less than $200 worth of toys on the trip. I spent the better part of the trip taking photos and just enjoying my surroundings.
Coming back from Japan I tried to sell some things, and I tried to care about toys, but it was a lot of work. And I was tiring of it. I was finding my way back into music and checking out new bands and new sounds. Music is a part of my daily life, but I think somewhere around 2000-2003 I really didn't look out for new stuff so much. I started spending more time and money on searching out new music in 2005 than I did new toys. And that said, I didn't abandon my past music loves.
My interest in taking photos also developed more than just being about the subject of toys. I began to take a lot of photos of Japan snack foods and candies. Mush of the items either limited editions or for the most part stuff  really liked to eat. My other new fun photo subjects were pop bottles. For a few years indie and limited brands were starting to gain steam and I was all about trying them out. But now without a few photos first. I was beginning to enjoy product photography far more than toy photography.
Japan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese SnacksJapan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks
Japan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese SnacksJapan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks
My dis-interest in toys would continue for some time. I would kind of enter and exit the toy world for brief moments until 2007's debut of the Hasbro 25th Anniversary G.I.Joe line. By this time I had sold almost all of my original G.I.Joe collection, and I was really hooked on this new line. But G.I.Joe wasn't the only toy line I sold, my Gobots/Machine Robo collection was gone, my Transformers collection decimated and any lingering sign of Microman and Diaclone in my house was hard to spot. I slowly fell back in love with toys, and even began to re-build some of my past collections. Here 10 years later I'm still trying to re-build a once great collection, but I can't say I'm not starting to falter just a bit. Some signs of a waning interest in collecting are beginning to appear here and there.


2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー
* For more on the Jissen Toy Show, you can view Alex Bickmore's video that shows a bit of the show here:

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