Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Royston Chia, Toy Collector.

Royston is a long-time friend of mine eversince Primary 1! On the 27th of June, the 816th of Friday's NewsWeekly(Xing Qi Wu Zhou Bao), he was featured for his incredible toy collections. I've known Royston to be an avid toy collector, but it wasn't quite as much as what I'd expected. His collections were massive! He even have 2 glass cabinet for them! (I need to get a closet for my books and artbooks too!)

I was thrilled when I found out that Royston even have one of Dragonball's concept vehicle, Future Trunks' Capsule Time machine! It've been quite a while since we've caught up with each other. Both of us were busy with whatever we're busy with.. ^^ So I couldn't miss this opportunity to probe more about his collections. We head down to Starbucks located at Orchard Road and begin this interview to find out more of his facinating obsession. Haha..

Joshua: When did you start collecting?
Royston: I started 4 years ago with different generes, like anime characters and Gashapon(or capsule toy). Then I began to get interested in Marvel Universe characters.

J: Did your parents object to it?
R: My parents were just wondering why I was spending so much money on toys, since I'm already all grown up. In the beginning, they questioned me on whether I was planning to play with them like masak-masak. xD I told them that the toys was meant for display only and they seemed somewhat relieved. They thought I was having a childhood regression or something. But that didn't stop them from entering my room from time to time to look and at my collections. Nowadays, they seem to be supporting me, reminding me that it is time for me to get more storage space for my newer toys. In the words of my dad "Buy so many, must find place to display what~"

J: What makes you start wanting to collect toys?
R: I always felt it would be nice to have your favorite characters coming to life. Also having been reading comics since young, you can't help but starts to generate a strong interest in some specific characters, example Marvel Universe's Wolverine. Nowadays, the toys are manufactured almost exactly as those in comics, so its really cool to have your favorite characters immortalized.

J: I think I can relate to that. Eversince I started reading American Comics, I have been a fan of Spidernan. Personally, I've quite a number of Spidies myself... Where did you normally get all your toys?
R: I'll normally get them through online auctions like eBay or Yahoo! Auctions. Alternatively, I'll head down to China Square Central, where there are located several toys shops. There is also a weekly Bazaar fair been held at ground level of China Square Central, you will never know what precious things you can find in that fair. At times, I also visited Far East Plaza.

J: Is there any purchase which is your most prized?
R: I think my most prized collections would be my Dragonball toys, some of them are very rare collections which you can hardly find in the market these days. They are very few in quantities and you would most probably find them in the 90s.

J: Which toy was your most lavished purchase to date? and How much?
R: My favorite and most lavished toy is the Dragonball Oozaru (Huge Saiyan Monkey) figure that I bought at $125. It's a game prize item back in Japan and is biggie in my DBZ collection, standing at more than 12".

J: Would you ever stop collecting toys? Where will you go from here?
R: I think I wouldn't stop collecting toys anytime soon, but there are some collections I would definitely want to continue collecting, like Marvel Universe characters. There is news that one of the Marvel heroes, Ronin is coming out soon and I'm waiting to get that. Also I would like to complete my Dragon ball series.

J: Is there any word of advice/encouragement for avid toy collectors out there?
R: Go forth with your passion and start small. It's good to know and reflect on what genre/type of toys you like and go for it. You can buy toys online, or visit specialty toy shops. Remember to bargain and be aware of competing prices. Try to get the best deal always. Do more researching on the prices. You may also need to identify your preferences. Some collectors are a M.I.B (Mint in box)/M.O.S.C (Mint on sealed card) kind of collector and some others are those who will remove the toys from their packaging for display.

Also, remember that it is important to have storage space for your toys, simply because, presentation is very important for a toy-collector. Next, which I personally feel is very important to take note of... that is buy only what you really like, and you'll enjoy the experience. Lastly, do remember to spend wisely, overspending is the "Achilles heel" to us collectors. Learn to control your budget lah. =P Happy Toy Hunting!

So there you have it guys!


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