Only 2 weeks ago I found out about an Auckland collectables and toy fair, and I was determined from the word go to turn up there and display my stuff. So I looked into it, registered a table and started preparing for the big day. By then I had been collecting for about 6 months and my MOTU collection was around 70% finished. So I thought it was time to show it off to some fellow toy collectors and network a bit.
The entire Saturday was spent unboxing a few more figures that had just arrived from the US and another large package with stuff I bought here in New Zealand. Washing the dirty ones, inventory them all and packing them all up ready to go the next morning.
At 6am the next day I hit the road in the deepest fog I have ever been in, and drove nearly 2 hours to the venue. It was pretty exhausting driving in this condition and I am not an early bird in the first place, but I made it. Next to set up table and get ready for the visitors, who arrived sooner than I had even placed all the figures on the table.
The morning rush began and quickly I found myself chatting to fellow stall holders, other collectors and visitors of the fair. I was right in my element explaining the figures, raising nostalgic memories in many a person, mesmerising kids by letting my Spydor walk for them and demonstrating the various action features of the figures to people who weren’t familiar.
I had a few duplicates and leftover spare parts for sale at the end of my table, but ultimately the display of my own collection is where most people stopped to take a look. I received many compliments of the quality and sheer amount of figures. It certainly stood out compared to most other tables, as they had mainly other toys for sale. Anything ranging from Star Wars, batman, GI Joe, comics, random little nic nacs and other things. I think my table was basically the only one that was just a display and not a trade table.
I enjoyed getting to know a fellow toy collector crowd, received a lot of tips on collecting and other markets to go to, and it opened my eyes to other toy lines that are also very popular to certain collectors. I told everyone I was specialising in original series MOTU only for now and until I have the entire series complete I won’t be starting other collections.
I have to say I am intrigued though in the MOTU Classics line, they just look so much gruntier than the originals. I think this will be my next line to collect.
The fair was small but cool and I really appreciate the opportunity to get amongst and thank the organisers for running this. It gave me appetite for more, except next time I will go as a visitor, so I can take it all in and have time to wander around and discover other stuff too.
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.
Today I discovered this blog by a fellow Masters of the Universe lover called ‘Battle Ram’. I read his interview he had with Mark Taylor, the designer behind many figures of the original He-Man line. I have to say, I just loved it, and it was great to see that people like this share their lifetime experiences with simple fans and bloggers, while they sill can.
A fantastic effort made by ‘Battle Ram’, I hope he can get a hold of more artists or other people who were involved in the making of the Masters line. I also like the fact that he has gathered some interesting artwork and images dotted throughout his post. It is rare to find such images, and I wonder what the source was, but no matter what: Good stuff and I hope to see more of this kind of content!