I’ve been on holiday, visiting mum and dad in Germany over Christmas & New Year’s in 2015. While there, we pulled out a box full of old Masters figures from the attic. They had been stored there for the last 15-20 years. This was part of a clean out action, where my parents thought they can finally clear out some space and get me to rid them of some of my old belongings. Well hello!! I didn’t mind the other boxes of stuff being gone, yet this particular box still contained my childhood heart, packed up for safekeeping, and now I finally re-discovered it!
This was the very beginning of what was going to keep me busy in my free time for the next few months, inspire this website and left me looking for where all the coin out of my bank account went, trying to buy all of the missing items in the original set.
While most of the figures in the picture were still complete and in excellent condition, some had weapons missing, Bashasaurus’ boulder arm was broken off and most noticeably, Fright Zone’s dragon puppet had completely disintegrated (lying sadly in the background in pieces). There was a lot of work to do, to fix, get replacement parts and buy missing figures.
After I came home from holiday, I started looking around to find Masters to buy. Since I live in New Zealand, there is only a very, very small market available. There is one local second hand trading site called TradeMe, which has a few items. Yet to my disappointment, even after monitoring over a long time, offers for decent figures in complete and functional condition were very rare. Those Kiwi kids must have been very rough with the toys too, looking at the condition of most of them for sale here. This, and the fact that New Zealand has a very small population, hence very little Masters figures are here, means that you will never be able to collect the set.
So I turned to eBay straight away, but then of course faced the enormous freight costs per item bought, as international shipping costs apply. This was a very inefficient way of collecting, as the per item amount spent was going to be lower than the freight cost paid per item. I would loose half my money just to get the items here! Have you ever had a look on the world map where New Zealand lies? So, this put me off and I almost threw the idea and put my head in the sand to cry like a baby: “I can never complete my collection here, I have to move countries!”
Luckily, I am well connected in other parts of the world and have relatives in Germany, the US and friends in Australia. This opened up opportunities and a much larger market place, as it enabled me to have items sent to their houses first at relatively low cost and then, once there was a decent amount of items bought, they could send one larger box over to me, having to pay international shipping only once.
I trusted that this would work and I’d be able to collect all the Masters this way. It would take a while of course, and the goal is to complete my collection within 2 years. So I started purchasing and soon enough I had items sent to Germany and the US. The US lot grew much quicker and it was the first box to arrive to my house and add a significant amount of figures and vehicles to my collection. I had to buy a new bookcase unit to display them all properly.
The sad part about it was that I would have to be very thorough with procuring the items, as the delay between purchase and getting to me was roughly 3 months. Almost too much time to allow for any refunds or seller feedbacks in case anything wasn’t as described or broken during freight, and so on. So I developed a detailed buying plan to keep track of my purchases and where in the world they currently are, and also so I could remember what I already bought and what was still missing. But I will write another blog around this topic at a later stage.
The second lot that arrived is the reason why I am writing this article here. Finally my original childhood collection and some additional purchases from Germany have arrived in one big mother of a box! Wohoo!!
Some key items were in here, Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain, as I never owned them in my life before and they are a substantial part of any collection. So I began unpacking, and this is what came out.
And this is what my current collection looks like. Still need to find a better place for the castles of course and get a better display going, but that is to come.
Soon there is more to come! Stay tuned!