Mr.H/ Collector (2)

Mr. H was born as the eldest son into a down-to-earth family in 1967. The family had not a trace of an enthusiast’s feel, but he tended to be attracted to the world of the cheap candy shop by nature. In 1972, this little child was faced with a great problem in his life for the first time.

   

1972 was a terrible year.

The first great problem came.At the end of the previous year, the Kamen Rider cards were released.The year that was the opening of the cheap candy store war for children, Mr. H was regretfully just 5 years old.  The world was ruled by the rule of the jungle.Elder children bought the cards steadily.Mr. H, a young child, bought bit by bit.

 

A great problem happened again.

Popinica. 

In 1974, the first Superalloy “Mazinger Z” was released.

 

Kamen Rider cards, Superalloys, Popinica. The situation was beyond a little 5-year-old child’s capacity.

 

Here, his grandmother showed power. She was indulgent toward her grandson and bought an expensive superalloy if he begged her.

Mr. H triumphantly displayed a toy, which she bought him, on a shelf.

“My father found it and was angry, asking why I had such a thing. Then my grandmother started to hesitate in buying.”

 

The same situation occurred with Kamen Rider cards. Mr. H begged his grandmother and at last bought a long-cherished Kamen Rider V3 card box but was discovered by his father as usual.

“When I had the cards in a bundle, my father found it and was angry.”  

He threw grandma into the fight and was scolded by his father. Although a child, he had a mountainous pile of problems. Mr. H’s problematic life started here.

 

Mr.H/ Collector(3)

Mr. H, who already had great problems in preschool, grew up to be an elementary school child who dropped by three toy stores on his way home.

 

When he found something big, he threw his grandma into the picture.

His grandma was generous with this grandchild as ever, but she became fed up with the repeated releases of superalloys. “She finally got angry when ROBOKON was released,” recalls this bad grandson.

 

In 1980, when Mr. H was a second grader in junior high school, a Gundam-boom swept across Japan.

As was usual, Mr. H also fell prey to this boom.

He bought “How to build Gundam” (Hobby Japan) and exerted himself in making Gun-pla every day.

With this as a trigger, he subscribed to “Monthly Hobby Japan” and was attracted by the charm of old plastic models.

A pla-model shop keeper who was Mr. H’s acquaintance taught him that old pla-models were on sale at Billiken firm in Aoyama.

Mr. H began going to Aoyama. It was when he was a third grader in high school.

 

 

Mr.H/ Collector (4)

In those days, the late 1980s, the mecca of toy shops was Shimokitazawa. “Nezumi-Kozo” in Takadanobaba moved to Shimokitazawa and changed its name to “Heroes”.“Scharaka-Shokai (Om-Rice)”, “Omocha-Tengoku Nichome-Sanbanchi”, “Natsukashi-Ya” etc.   

 

After having gone to Billiken-Shokai in Aoyama, Mr. H went to Shimokitazawa and hunted for old plastic models. The first purchase in his memory was V3 for 2000 yen at “Nichohme Sanbanchi”.

 

Some plastic-models which Mr. H had been familiar with from childhood were Bullmark and Imai. But a certain serialization in “Monthly Hobby Japan” gave  had him a big shock.“Antique Kits Selection” was the popular series by Masahiro Oda in “Monthly Hobby Japan” from1983 to 85.

The January 1984 issue,”Antique Kits Selection” 13th had a special feature on an electric monster by Marusan/Maruzan.

Under the full supervision of Mr. Yuji Nishimura, a famous collector in Fukushima, many vivid electric monsters appeared on the color pages one after another.

The unknown world called Marusan spread out here.

 “What is this? Shock waves passed through me. I had not looked at such a thing. Is there a thing like this?” said Mr.H.

Mr.H was possessed by the great problem called “Marusan electric monster”.But an electric monster was too expensive for a boy to buy even in those days.

“Go search yourself, and they will come out”. It was Billiken Shokai that advised him so, Mr.H recollected.Following this advice, he began to go around local toy stores thoroughly.

 

Mr.H/Collector(5)

He collected information by an old phone-book and searched around shops. A local toy store, a stationary shop, a wholesale dealer. When he entered technical school and got a motorcycle license, his field of activities spread out remarkably.

Even if he found a notable shop, it took him 1-2 months to enter the shop and be shown the storage. Mr. H brought liquor or a box of cake or cosmetics for the shopkeeper’s wife.

 

“It is naive to think that you can enter inside from the beginning,” said Mr.H.

This present strategy that he thought was a bit cunning himself was actually disliked by some shopkeepers, he said. But others were pleased.

In the late 80s, people had not yet realized fully the value of an old toy.But some hunters had already started their activities, and their name cards were left there before Mr. H went.Once he could enter, he paid frequent visits to the shop. In the warehouse, old things which had been driven to a nook were packed together with daily articles and jumbles.Mr.H looked carefully in order not to damage them. Besides, he helped shopkeepers with the cleaning of their warehouses.

 “I must be careful not to be hated by a shopkeeper. If he hates me, the next person cannot enter. If a former person does an unpleasant thing, nobody can enter anymore.”  

 The electric monster which he was looking for did not readily come out. But sometimes he found a brilliant thing and had the shopkeeper sell it to him cheaply. This was owing to the relationships between Mr.H and the shopkeeper that he had built carefully, rather than the lack of knowledge of the shopkeeper,I suppose.Mr. H was a sensitive person to the feelings of others by nature.

He sold those things in Shimokitazawa and made capital and continued looking for plastic models again.