Thursday, September 22, 2011

Testing the Waters

You may have noticed, if you've been to the Past Generation Toys eBay store, an influx of Japanese toys and action figures. Here at Past Generation Toys we are always willing to broaden our horizons. If that brings us to the land of the horizon's starting point, Japan, so be it. I, for one, couldn't be more excited. Japanese action figures remind me of why I love collecting toys. I can't believe some of these figures come with 6 extra hands or use 5 different paint colors on one eyeball! Can you believe that you can still go into a Toys R Us and get a Transformer off the shelf with die cast parts?! It's true!

I don't want to get into a quality war with American toys because I feel it's unfair. There is definitely a collectors niche in Japan that has enough buying power to warrant high end figures. Here in America action figures, like cartoons, are still seen as kid stuff and adults can't escape the negative stigma attached to those of us who watch or collect cartoon figures. Thankfully, this fog of distortion is starting to lift. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park are slowly pulling the American people out of their live action funk.

Japan, on the other hand, has been reading manga (comics) and watching anime (cartoons) forever. I don't mean just the kids, mind you, I'm talking the whole country! And why not? There are stories on pretty much every job or interest out there. You can pop your bike tire, bring it into a bike repair shop, and read a manga about bike mechanics while you wait. I lived in Japan for 6 years and this actually happened. Strange as it may seem, this saturation of manga and anime has primed the pump for an flood of collectibles that are gobbled up by all age groups.

I don't know if toy collecting in America will ever be accepted on the same level as Japan. There are plenty of cartoons and movies with interesting characters, but the targeted audience is still children. This cycle is a self-fulfilling prophecy. American toy companies aren't building high end collectibles figures because people aren't buying high end collectibles from them. What the toy companies don't understand is that collectors have money. Well, we don't, but collectors will SPEND money on quality products. Just ask Hong Kong based Hot Toys. The Joker MMS DX 01 with the PERS feature is nearing a grand on the secondary market. Can you believe that?! Of course you can that is the best Joker figure ever made. A quality product based on a quality form of entertainment and a targeted audience above the PG-13 rating.

If you build them, we will buy.

R. Ticulation

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