Friday, October 20, 2017

Love What You Collect, Or Just Let It Go. (Imaginext Transformers LEGO)

Hasbro Transformers トランスフォーマー タカラ トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズ
I'm not sure which issue came about first a lack of money, lack of space or my lack of or waning interest in a particular toy line. Or was it like my immense and pretty sustained interest and promoting of Imaginext, killed by the very company that puts it out. More on that in a bit. Maybe in my 40's now, my view as a collector is just drastically different than when I was in my early 20's. Suppose I can't count out a mix of all of the reasons above.
LEGO mini figures blind bags super heroes action figures Batman movie バットマンLEGO mini figures Wonder Woman blind bags super heroes action figures Batman movie バットマン
LEGO mini figures blind bags Star Wars action figures movie
I've noticed that lately a lot of things I buy go unopened. I'm happy to have them, but that spark of excitement to run home and rip them out of their plastic or cardboard prisons just isn't there. For every 5 toys I buy, maybe 1 gets opened right away. In terms of something like LEGO, I'd never have been this way in the past. Loved splitting open the packages and building whatever I got, a full set or just a mystery pack MiniFigures. I still have Batman Lego Movie mini figures in a  box from early Spring I haven't opened up yet. That's a bit sad. I had picked up a few LEGO Dimensions sets early on and loved them. Built them as soon as I got home, and I don't even have the game systems they work with. Later on when I found Wonder Woman, and got the A-Team B.A. sets they sat in boxes and remain unopened. I did come about to a realization in July that if I'm not opening these up, maybe I shouldn't buy them. I was able to stick to this with the larger sets and pass on them (like the Star Wars Bounty Hunters set I got for my brother above), but continued to buy MiniFigures Series toys.
Hasbro Transformers Hot Rod Targetmaster Gnaw トランスフォーマー タカラ トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズHasbro Transformers Gnaw Sharktron トランスフォーマー タカラ トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズ
Hasbro Transformers wave 4 5 Orion Pax トランスフォーマー タカラ トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズ
Right now the bulk of my hobby funds go to Transformers Titans Return and Transformers legends toys. But my current habits of smothering love or total neglect linger here as well. There's no rhyme or reason to what gets opened or left closed. I opened my latest Transformers Legends Target Master toys immediately. Wave 4 Titans Return Titan Masters barely made it home without being popped out of the package, but I've left the much more expensive Titans Return Siege on Cybertron set boxed up so far. The Tribute Orion Pax got opened right away, was supper happy to have him. But my Hasbrotoyshop Arcee and Grotesque have both sat, even though I feel about the same for them excitement-wise. A bit bewildering.
Imaginext Batman Harley Quinn super heroes バットマン action figures Imaginext Power Rangers Sentai super heroes action figures
Ah...Imaginext. This is where my loss of excitement and interest is more clear. And where I can see a direct link to that loss comes from. While I am excited about some of the future releases that might come out in the Imaginext line I haven't been quick to promote them. I actually haven't promoted them at all. Fisher-Price has been back to their old games of listings things as coming, cancelling them, and then re-packing them in other ways. This is not what got me down about collecting Imaginext. What killed it for me was a month long issue with Fisher-Price's customer service department after an order with them went really bad quick. After praising FP's customer service about an issue last year, I found myself just really despising them during this ordeal. And after a month of fighting with various people in the CS department I finally got sick of it. The fun and excitement of the toy line was soured by the very folks who put it out. I recently bought a few of the new blind bag toys and just ended up selling them off instead of keeping them.
Imaginext Batman Power Rangers He-Man super heroes バットマン action figures
I think the damage is done. I don't like people dicking me around and Fisher-Price was seriously in the wrong and wouldn't accept fault. A few weeks ago I sorted out my entire Imaginext collection and set aside about 25% as stuff I might keep, and the other 75% destined for sale. Before this a handful of things had already been put up on auction, but that was just extras and duplicates. Now I'm selling my core collection items, and it may be hard.
Imaginext Micronauts タカラ ミクロマン Microman action figuresImaginext Micronauts タカラ ミクロマン Microman action figures
Imaginext Micronauts タカラ ミクロマン Microman action figures
I know in some respects it should be all or nothing. I don't know that I can do that right now. For instance the Imaginext Power Rangers series has recently done the whole hero team in translucent plastics. Love the look of them, very Microman and Micronauts feeling. So keep the few I have, but the others and sell all the older stuff? Or just drop the whole lot, and be happy with the actual Microman Imaginext customs I made myself. That's what I'll be thinking about this weekend as I start to take pics of all this stuff to sell and trade off. Because if it doesn't make me happy or brings about ill feelings just from the sight of it I can't have it around right now.
So as a collector talking to other collectors all I can say is you gotta buy what makes you happy. Not what you think you need, or have to get just to have a complete set. I've gotten more joy out of this Care Bears set of figures that cost me just $2.49 then about $100 worth of Imaginext purchased earlier in the year that I thought "I had to have in my collection" and now know I don't. Collecting is an ever evolving process of determining what is and what is not vital to not only your collection but your life in general.

action figures batman hasbro imaginext LEGO super heroes Transformers トランスフォーマー バットマン タカラ ミクロマン Microman

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Collect Toys, My Toys Collect Dust. (Transformers Star Wars Music Movies)

Transformers Titans Return Fortress Maximus Japanese Robots action figures anime manga トランスフォーマー
I've reached a point in my life as a collector where I actually feel guilty about how much stuff I have. Not because of how much I've spent, or how long I've searched for things, just the absolute mass of things I have crammed in every inch of space in my home. We're not talking guilt from my wife about my toys either, she's just as bad with her collectibles and hobbies. Okay, not "just as bad", but she does have some stuff out too. But it's mostly mine, and it's mostly going untouched for months and even years at a time. The boxes and packages the toys are in, or even the totes they are stored away in are collecting dust.
Star Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマーTransformers Titans Return Fortress Maximus Japanese Robots action figures anime manga トランスフォーマー
I don't display my collection like I used to 20 years ago. Not even how I did 10 years ago. Now at best my newest acquisitions get 1-3 weeks "desk" time as an item to fiddle with as I search auctions for other future fiddly bits. A couple larger and clumsy toys may see a bit of an extended stay out of storage because they are just hard to store. They stand motionless, untouched for months. And they collect a good layer of dust. I look at these things and find more self questioning my actions more and more. Why do I buy all these toys?
Star Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマーStar Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマー
And I don't want to just pick on toys, I have loads of other things. I have racks full of VHS tapes doing nothing but looking pretty. I don't even have a VCR setup to play anything. I think it's packed away in a box somewhere. Most of the VHS tapes I have are things I have yet to buy in DVD format, or shows and movies yet to be released in a modern form. I guess a few just hold a bit of nostalgia too. The problem with these things are they are a bit on the heavy side the more you have. I moved a lot of these many times over, it's not something I look forward to doing again. And I have a short amount of time to decide on that.
Star Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマーStar Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマー
My wife and I are no longer happy with the place we live at. It's been one issue after another for about 3 years now. We're sick of it, and just keep kicking the can down the road in regards to how to fix things. Come mid-winter of 2018 we'll have to decide where to go next, because we can't stay here. I started boxing things up last year. My entire CD collection is packed, a good chunk of art supplies, clothes, and most of my toy collection. It's been in this time that my guilty feelings of ownership have hit hardest. To do something about it I broke open a bunch of totes and really set out to evaluate what I could get rid of from my collection.
Megaforce Tron Barry Bostwick mecha Disney Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robotsMegaforce Tron Barry Bostwick mecha Disney Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots
Megaforce Tron Barry Bostwick mecha Disney Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots
 Sure I've found some things to sell or trade away, but what happens a lot to collectors when you start out rummaging around in your collections struck me quickly, the re-discovery of what you own. Whether you forgot about an item, or just hadn't check it out in a long time, it's grabs you and carries you away. Now you get totally side-tracked and what would have been a 2 hour job is running into 2 days, then 2 weeks. You also start to recall why you bought these things, the joy have having them comes back, and it comes back hard. You are now re-thinking what you're doing, and maybe you've even started grabbing a few of the "sell" items back out of the pile and place them into your collection totes again. I have an immense amount of respect for any collector who can up and sell off their entire collection. I honestly don't know that I could do it right now.
sci-fi art Microman Transformers Japanese Robots action figures スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマーsci-fi art Microman Transformers Japanese Robots action figures スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマー
sci-fi art Microman Transformers Japanese Robots action figures スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマーsci-fi art Microman Transformers Japanese Robots action figures スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマー
 So now, as I write this, I'm back at wondering what to do next. I have a strong urge to get rid of a lot of stuff, but a weak desire to really change my habits. If I sell this stuff I'll just buy other things. I'm not at that point where my mindset if set to "move on", just not ready. So my compromise is to focus my attention, maybe just 2-3 toy lines and cut out spending on all else. Maybe continue to weed things out slowly. And maybe a year from now, living in a hopefully better place I will have a clearer understanding of what "next" is.

And maybe the place will be less dusty as well.

Star Wars Transformers Japanese Robots action figures anime manga Movies music robots スターウォーズ ウルトラマン トランスフォーマー

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Once More With Feeling...Or Whatever Comes Close! [GS News Diaclone Football]

So GanguStars is renewed for another year. I really wasn't sure it would happen, I waited til the very last hour before the domain expired to decide whether I was going to continue or not. As it stands so far, 2017 has been my least productive year since I started the blog. I think it's a mix of things, but I can't go for months at a time with no updates and hope readership to expand. Things are kind of stagnant, in the numbers of people visiting the blog, as well as the subject matter and content. If I am going to let GanguStars end in a year, I may as well get crazy. Well, in a sense.
Henshin Cyborg Takara タカラ 変身サイボーグ Detroit Lions
It's that time of year now where my Sundays are filled with football, and not much else. I will also be spending each Saturday until about the 3rd week of December watching over my parents place. So weekends will be filled with cutting grass, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and sitting on my ass drinking pop or later on, cider. With as much time as was spent on setting up the GanguStars Swap site to see it utterly fail made me re-think things. There's so much content online already, I don't see my view of things really making any difference being here or not. And seriously, blogs have been dying out anyway. I've really wondered if I should move to video chats, or a YouTube channel instead of the blog format.
Transformers Titans Return Titan Masters Sawback Lione リオーネ サイバトロンマスター戦士 トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズ Hasbro TakaraTransformers Titans Return wave 5 トランスフォーマー レジェンズ ヘッドマスターズ Hasbro Takara
Part of the general focus of the blog the last year has been the Transformers Titan Returns line, and it's very sadly coming to it's end. There's still a few months of Takara's Legends releases scheduled, but I can't be sure I'll get them all, and even if I do there's no point in blogging about it. I've also decided to stop collecting Imaginext as a whole, and only do specific bits, but I'll get into that later. With the two largest sources of material on this blog dropping, I'll see if other avenues are still open.
Starriors prototypes GanguStars Projects Japanese Robots Tomy RATSDiaclone prototypes GanguStars Projects Japanese Robots タカラ ダイアクロン
They say "Go Out With A Bang!" and that's maybe just what I'll do. My next project is coming along slowly. It'll be Diaclone based. A follow up Diaclone project will likely be scrapped due to poor quality source materials. I just don't have the collection I had 10-15 years ago. So I'll probably fall back on something related to Starriors, Machine Robo G.I.Joe or Robolinks. I have also tossed around th idea of compilation works, it's something I can handle in chunks and won't get stressed about large projects. No matter what, there's at least one major thing to come from GanguStars. Everything else is still undecided.
Popy Mattel Shogun Warriors Mazinger ポピー マジンガー ジャンボーマシンダー
There's also the question of what to do with large parts of my collection, space is so much a factor right now, and getting worse and worse. I'm actually feeling boxed in by my own collection and I don't like it. Stuff has to go, and go quicker than it has been. Time will tell, and time is slipping away.

Diaclone GanguStars Projects Japanese Robots Henshin Cyborg prototypes Takara タカラ ダイアクロン 変身サイボーグ

Sunday, May 28, 2017

An Unintended But Very Welcome Hiatus. And Buying Transformers Titans Returns.

So it's been a few months since my last posting here. I didn't do this on purpose, no thought about going on hiatus. Well, that's not entirely true, I talk about ending collecting and walking away from internet fandom all the time. But in this just happened. I got busy with other things, I didn't feel a need to really say anything here, and I feel like there was far fewer people stopping by to read the posts anyway.

Folks always say you need to blog for yourself, and yeah that sounds great and all, but everybody wants others to come find you. I don't get paid to blog. I don't make any money from ad revenue. Nobody is sending me free toys to review. I do this to get another viewpoint on toys out there. Maybe one that isn't biased towards a certain item because it's been gifted them. Or maybe a viewpoint not completely biased towards any one brand of producer. Or maybe you're poor like me and like to know that you're not the only one who can't afford $6000 Diaclone Car Robot toys. But maybe what I say or share isn't doing it. A few weeks after posting a mini photo review of the TakaraTomy Legends Leo Prime it carried an absolutely craptacular views rating:
Not gonna lie, that was a real downer. I got the review up just days after release. I felt I was pretty optimistic on the toy, and the pics weren't too bad. But it didn't take. Even after posting pics and links around the net I pulled in only the normal group of folks I would expect, my net friends. I have had minor mentions of preschool aged toys like Octonuats put this viewing rating to absolute shame. Any motivation to continue my blogging was dying. I still posted a few more things and then it just didn't go on. And that's where it is now. Or was before this posting.
Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミーAir Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー
Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー
During the blog hiatus I was still very much active in and around the Transformers and Imaginext fandom, and buying stuff. Missing and passing on much more however. I would even take pics of my hauls in case I needed material for blogs. I just never did much more than maybe post a pic or two to social media outlets. I've really been more active in Transformers collecting than I have in years. It's all thanks to Transformers Titans Return and TF Legends. I have been trying my best to keep up with new releases, but cash is not my friend right now. Neither is brick and motor. I am having the worst time locating all of Titans wave 4, and now wave 5 is starting to trickle in. It may very well be time I move on from retail store and go ahead and order online. Ultimately it will cost me more, but be a much smaller hassle.
Aside from buying toys and avoiding my blog I have been working on new GanguStars project ideas. I bounced around a few themes, and solicited some feedback from friends. I think I have a general idea of what I would like to do next. What I have already started on is a multi-toy line toy guide, and a new trade site.
Tomy Starriors RATS Zoids Hasbro Air Raiders 1987 Mini Spies Transformers
I hope to have the first "Pocket Guide" out by Fall. I still need a few toys to fill it out, so that requires extra cash that I don't have just yet. That could delay the project. Money seems to delay all my projects. That and just an overall procrastination I seem to maintain for everything. The second thing 'm working right now is "GanguStars Swap", a site where I will offer my toys for trade. And at times for sale or auction. More on that later.

I'll try to get the next post up before another couple months go by, maybe even shoot one off later in the week. Or maybe I won't. :)

Air Raiders, GanguStars Books, GanguStars Projects, Japanese Robots, robots, RATS, Starriors, Transformers, Titans Return, トランスフォーマー, タカラ, トミー

Monday, March 20, 2017

February...March...2014...2015...2016...Cleaning Is Hard! I'll Do It In 2017.

This is how February started for me. It was cold, it was snowy. This particular day we actually had some sun, which was the case for most of the days leading up to and following it. Aside from work and grabbing food, I didn't want to go out. I barely even toy shopped, instead I checked store counts online. It was the perfect chance to get back to organizing my stuff. Something I have been working on quite literally for years now. So of course, this happened and that happened and I spent hours watching this show, and those movies. I discovered new treats...
..and then February was gone. I wasted a whole month, and one that I usually don't work a lot of hours at my job. February, March and even half of January are great for me getting projects done because I have more free time. But so many other odd things sprang up like helping my parents, birthdays, power outages, net outages, cleaning up my collection just got pushed to the side. So we move onto March.
This is how March started for me. It was cold, it was snowy. So again, I'm not going outside unless I have to. Unlike last month where I blew off my collection, I actually jumped into doing some clean up. It's been super, s-u-p-e-r slow going, because I tend to linger on boxes of stuff I haven't had out of storage in awhile. Then I want to take pics, or pose things, display them a few days. Collector stuff. But I see this as good, I'm at least getting something done. Part of the big "needs to get done" list is deciding what I can let go of. I keep saying it here, in social media posts, on forums...I'm running out of space!
Machine Robo マシンロボ Popy Bandai 1984 1982 Gobots Japanese Robots Starriors Tomy R.A.T.S. Japanese
タカラ Transformers  Mini-Spies トランスフォーマー
Machine Robo, Starriors and Mini-Spies. Got a lot, used to have a lot more. For Starriors I am already trying to let loose some of my extras, but nobody seems to want them at the prices I paid. I won't sell at a loss, so for now I will just wait it out. I trimmed my Machine Robo and Gobots collection down to bare bones 10 years ago, so that's pretty much set. I wouldn't expect to get rid of any more of those in the near future. But my Transformers Mini-Spies and Takara versions could stand to be thinned out a little. Having every color, faction and wheel spoke variant doesn't seem as important now. At least not like it did 20 years ago.
Euro Tiger Force MOSC G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figuresCobra Commander G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figures
G.I.ジョー G.I.joe Takara タカラ 1984 action figures
G.I.Joe reduced to a mere pile. Aside from my Terror Drome, Kre-O collection and another couple small boxes of Cobra Commander stuff, this pic above is what's left of my G.I.Joe collection. My 25th/ME set almost completely sold away, Tiger Force rarities auctioned off, and various bits picked up by other collectors in the last 5 years. I wont get into the why of selling it all off, but things just became less fun around 2011. It still isn't fun, so I'll be dropping some more stuff soon.
Imaginext Batman バットマン DC ComicsImaginext Batman バットマン DC ComicsImaginext Batman バットマン DC Comics
Imaginext is taking over. In a big way. I keep telling myself I need to stop being a MIB and loose collector for this line. I can't keep a set of boxed things and also pick up another set to open. Imaginext takes up half my toy storage space right now,a nd it will only grow with more and more new releases coming. I can cut space usage by at least 25-35% by throwing out all the boxes. But that isn't easy to come to grip with. For right now I have to think about getting rid of all the doubles and triples you see in the pic directly above. Keeping all these extras is hurting my ability to add new unique items.

 So that's about where I'm at. Nowhere near the finish line, but a hell of a lot closer than I have been in the last few years. Going forward I have to do a much, much better job at keeping things organized and inventoried. It's sad when you open a box and see a toy you just bought because you forgot you already owned it.

1984 action figures G.I.ジョー g.i.joe Gobots imaginext Japanese Robots Machine Robo Starriors batman Transformers トランスフォーマー バットマン マシンロボ タカラ