31 March 2011

Why do you collect?

Image from an earlier post (and no those are not my stuff)

"Why do you collect this sort of stuff?"

Assuming one is into anime-, manga-, or game-related media, it is likely that s/he buys and collects items related to them too, be it figures, models, cards, CDs/DVDs/BDs, or many other things. Some may have just collected a small handful of them, while others may have the majority of their rooms filled with such hobby items.

So someone or even yourself may ask you, "Why do you collect them?". What would you say?

The things we collect, aka collectibles or collectables, are (as Wikipedia defines it) any objects regarded as being of value or interest to a collector.

What we may feel interested towards something can be anything like "we like the character from XYZ", or even simply "I like the appearance".

As for value, this can be quite subjective too depending on what type of "value" one is perceiving on the object of interest. This can be play value (fun?), quality/finish, or perhaps even monetary value that one may consider investing so that he can resell for a profit in the future.

So we all have all sorts of reasons to collect.

But then there are people who would question their existance. There are increasing number of voices saying that hobby has more and more been regarded as business driven, where it is sometimes viewed that collectibles have been manufactured for the sake of being collected driven by other media, with demands artificially created like bottled water. Or more seriously, wherever there is new stuff and is popular, people will follow without thinking for themselves. While this is not exactly the subject of talk in this post, it is something worth thinking about too.

Image from Radiant Dreamer

In fact, this post has somewhat been inspired by two other posts: Why Do You Buy ???? from Radiant, and Should I Open My Toy? from LEon. While what I am saying here may not seem as deep as what the others have written (I do get easily intimidated I must admit, and at the same time I do humbly recommend reading these two posts), but I want to put it in a positive way and look back on what we enjoy doing.

So you may ask, why do I collect?

Well, everyone has his own story. Mine is nothing glamourous, but here it is:

This may surprise a few who are not familiar with me, but I am actually a small enthusiast for German WWII tanks, or many other things WWII-related. It's still one of my earliest and most passionate hobby, but it's not something I talk about very often on my blog or even on my twitter page (only not to confuse people too much). To me, these miniatures do represent the vehicles in real life and history, and each of them have their own stories to tell: why they are made, how they performed, and how they made an impact. It's a bit like going through history and relic museums but miniaturised while you link the little puzzle pieces together to make a bigger image in your head. This picture comes from one of my early posts on my 1/144 tank collection. This also brings in my interest to building 1/144 scale Gunpla (Gundam models) and also collecting some N Scale miniatures (for diorama purposes).

While I did get myself briefly into Gundam very partially during childhood, it was only a few years ago some friends brought me back into anime, as well as Gundam, so this got me back into Gunpla as well. Speaking of anime, I probably will consider taking part in Nopy's "My History With Anime" project, but it will take some time. While I have been a fan of some Gundam units, given my enthusiasm for military stuff I tend to have a big tendancy to lean for the grunt units (and get multiple units to make teams of them), even though most are depicted as cannon fodders in various series... ^^;

... And I have made notorious examples before, like these Balls ^^;

And last but not least, being the latest kind of hobby I've delved into, bishoujo figures. The motivations behind getting them is quite shadllow I'd admit - I simply like the character in the series I have watched or if some unusual cases, I just like the appearance of the figure. While I personally prefer articulated ones so I can pose them however I like (and I do like having interactions with toys rather than a static piece), it is not one that will take firm, solid grounds compared to my other hobbies I'd say.

But I might have started to digress. To put it simply, I enjoy what I collect. It's that simple.

I do want to become more open-minded, but this does mean I am slowly becoming a bit too open to temptations from new stuff... ^^; Space and money are always the restrictive factors no matter how much you like something, or like collecting something.

And of course there's also a possibility that you may collect so much stuff but you don't get to enjoy them all, or feel that you don't seem to enjoy them as much as you used to.

Funny enough I am one of the guys who are really quite reluctant to let go off my stuff. While it doesn't happen all the time, I do take a lot of decisions whether I really want this particular something or not, and whether I will continue to appreciate it or not. It's not exactly easy to do with so much new stuff coming at you nowadays.

Image from Ngee Khiong Ex

But bottom of the line, a hobby is meant to be enjoyed, so while we may have different interests or ways to collect them, we should (IMHO) simply enjoy what we buy. This reminds me of a phrase that Ngee Khiong has mentioned in his Ex blog shortly after he stops his main blog: "買得開心, 玩得開心" (Buy Happily, Play Happily). Certainly a phrase I would like to go by.

... Or am I just trying to be a bit too optimistic against the dark clouds of what is ahead of me?
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26 March 2011

Toru Furuya in 2011 C3 in Hong Kong

Throughout the 2011 C3 in Hong Kong event there were various people invited to give talks on the main stage of the venue. On the third and last day, Toru Furuya (Furuya Tohru, 古谷 徹), well known for his role as Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam, started the programme by rocking the entire hall with his well known line: "Amuro, ikimasu!". As soon as this was heard, crowds of people were swarming towards the main stage even from the other side of the hall, myself included while I was still watching gameplay of Gundam Vs Extreme. It was just too good to pass up!

The whole talk lasts for about 30 minutes. Furuya firsts addresses his words of condolence for those who are suffering from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, before he talks about his seiyuu career.

When asked about what he likes about Hong Kong, Furuya answers food, massage, and cute Hong Kong girls (whether the last one is an obligatory answer or not, it's funny how we often say foreign girls are cuter than those near us ^^;).

The talk mostly involves his roles as Amuro Ray in the Gundam series. Furuya talks about how Amuro's voice changes from the first Gundam series to Char's Counterattack as the character grows up in age. In Mobile Suit Gundam, Amuro is a 15 years old boy who has shown much youth and energy, so Furuya described how he 'let himself go' while doing voice acting then. During the time of Zeta Gundam, Furuya has given Amuro hints of restrain in his voice to show the character's hesitation in the series. By the time of Char's Counterattack, Amuro is 29 years old already, and Furuya has given Amuro more of a 'manly', mature voice.

I do not record or upload any of the videos shown below, as they are found on YouTube and are uploaded by cekehechu. Many thanks for his effort and others who have kindly uploaded their videos to share this experience with us!

Furuya voicing as Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Gundam (age 15), Zeta Gundam (age 23), and Char's Counterattack (age 29), showing slight differences in his voice as Amuro grows up in age. This was followed by the host mentioning Furuya also takes the role of narration in Gundam 00, and soon crowds were chanting "Ribbons, Ribbons" in the background (as Furuya did do voice acting for another character under a pseudonym).

Furuya voicing as Ribbons Almark from Gundam 00. As he cannot voice as another character other than Amuro Ray or narration in another Gundam related media, he has to take a pseudonym of Noboru Sougetsu (Sougetsu Noboru, 蒼月 昇). Furuya expressed an eagerness to take part in voice acting for a "good looking guy" for Gundam 00, and among the "good looking guys" he chose Ribbons XD

Furuya voicing as Pegasus Seiya from Saint Seiya

Furuya voicing as Yamcha from Dragon Ball. He commented that he thought Yamcha seems like a powerful guy at first, but slowly became weaker and a joke character throughout the series to his surprise ^^;

Furuya voicing as Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon (I seriously didn't know he did Tuxedo Mask as well lol)

Toru Furuya is also going to voice a character called Shuren in recent Bleach movie Jigoku-hen (Hell Chapter). Furuya commented his voice acting for this role (powerful, charismatic, and... Sexy lol), and that he was actually a bit nervous while doing this role compared to other series he has done before. A brief clip from the movie was shown as well with Shuren introducing himself to protagonist Ichigo before they start dueling.

Clip of Shuren in Bleach Jigoku-hen

And here's one lucky purchase: One of the 100 clear files personally signed by Toru Furuya himself.

It was a really nice experience to see Toru Furuya on stage and watch him reenact the anime characters, as well as him giving comments on the roles he has voiced on. It's still amazing for me to hear him reenacting the characters so well, especially all 3 ages of Amuro Ray, after the original series have been aired (32 years ago!). Given that he is still active on voice acting, he sure has been labelled as a "veteran seiyuu" for a good reason. I do hope we get to see more of such events and guests in the future, and that this year's C3 event will encourage more Japanese hobby companies and artists to come to Hong Kong again for future years!
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20 March 2011

2011 C3 in Hong Kong Coverage Part 2

Continued from previous post, here comes the second part of 2011 C3 in Hong Kong coverage.

Will add captions later!


HGUC 1/144 Gunpla lineup for Gundam UC (Unicorn) series

Diorama of HG 1/144 Gunpla from Gunpla Builders miniseries

The 2 metre Unicorn Gundam in Destroy Mode. Seeing this guy several times before (e.g. ACGHK & Gundam Expo) makes it seem like seeing an old friend again XD

1/100 MG lineup for Gundam Wing series

Huge poster for the new Gundam Wing manga: Glory of the Defeated (敗者の栄光)

A prototype of MG 1/100 Shenlong Gundam (or "Shenron Gundam" as suggested on the tag there ^^;). Note the missing dragon hand on the right arm.

Diorama display for HGUC Gunpla lineup for Gundam UC (Unicorn)

C3 event exclusive Gunpla on display

HGUC 1/144 Unicorn Gundam Destroy Mode Platinum Finish version, to be released soon.

Event exclusive 1/144 HG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G Inspection Type + Special Action Base

Event exclusive 1/144 1.5 Gundam type Dark + Special Action Base

Event exclusive 1/144 White Sazabi as seen in Gunpla Builders miniseries

Event exclusive HGUC 1/144 OVA limited Sinanju "Red Comet Spark" ver

RG (Real Grade) 1/144 Gunpla on display

Prototype of RG 1/144 Aile Strike Gundam on display. Looks pretty good I have to say.

PG 1/60 Gunpla on display

PG 1/60 Astray Red Frame

PG 1/60 Aile Strike Gundam

PG 1/60 Strike Freedom Gundam

PG 1/60 00 Raiser (well here it's just 00 Gundam with GN Sword III without the O Raiser)

Upcoming MG 1/100 00 Raiser on display

HGUC 1/144 Dreissen on display

SD Sangokuden Gunpla on display

Bandai's event shop at the back of the exhibition. Event exclusive stuff are sold here as well.

A small corner of Bandai's exhibition features an art collaboration from Austrailium illurtrator Ashley Wood

Some of the works by Ashley Wood displayed on the Ashley Wood x Bandai corner

Ashley Wood's impression of the Zaku II

Zeon bikes in one of the shop. Only one each are available for buying, but it appears that no one was willing to buy it even on the third (and last) day.

A poor image, but people are playing on Gundam Extreme Vs arcade machines. The Gundam Vs series is pretty popular in Hong Kong, and since the Extreme Vs is not available in Hong Kong (at least not yet), not surprisingly there is a mass queue of gamers eager to try it out, while another mass crowd surrounds the area watching live and past matches. I stood there and watched for whole half an hour too ^^

SHF Kamen Rider W action figures on display

One Piece figures on display. Some are fixed statues while others are action figures.

SHF Kamen Rider Faiz action figures

SHF Dragon Ball Z action figures

GFFN (1/144 scale) ReZEL and Full Armor Unicorn Gundam

GFFMC (1/100 scale) Unicorn Gundam. The one on the left is pearl coat version, while the one of the right is the normal version.

Very similar to the one seen in the Gunpla section, but here is the Robot Damashii lineup for the Gundam UC (Unicorn) action figures



Upcoming Metal Build 00 Gundam Seven Sword

Upcoming Composite Ka Exbein

Event exclusive GFFMC RX-78-2 Gundam Roll Out Color on display


Square-Enix booth

A banner showing all sorts of merchandise available for purchase. One of the most expensive one to buy was Serah Farron's necklace (from FFXIII).

Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Solid Snake Piece Walker action figures

Final Fantasy trading figures

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children posters

Play Arts Kai Ezio Auditore da Fironze action figure from Assassin's Creed II

More Play Arts Kai action figures from Final Fantasy series

Play Arts Lightning action figure holding Odin's blades

Play Arts Kai Dante and Nero action figures from Devil May Cry

Play Arts Kai Halo action figures

A customised Anaheim Electronics desktop tower

Various Macross Frontier merchandise

Action figures on dispay from Medicom Toys

Distributor EliteToys showcasing figures from ALTER, Good Smile Company, and Max Factory

ALTER Nanoha series figures

ALTER K-On! figures

Other ALTER figures

Black Rock Shooter merchandise

Nendoroids and figures from Good Smile Company

Nendoroid Puchis and actsta 1/8 Nanoha from Good Smile Company

figma action figures from Max Factory

More figma action figures from Max Factory

Crowd of people shopping at EliteToys' shop area


Thoughts? Well this is the 2nd time C3 has happened in Hong Kong, and it's the first time being held in HKCEC. Compared to annual ACGHK events, there surely aren't as many people going around in C3, which on the good side means it's much easier to cruise around from one booth to another. I have a feeling that the C3 event isn't as heavily promoted as ACGHK, so not as many people have become aware of the event as expected.

I am not exactly sure how successful this event has turned out to be in the Japanese's eyes. There sure could have been more people, but sales seem to have gone pretty well, with many event exclusive items got sold out by the end of the 2nd day. But I won't be certain whether this is what the big firms and exhibitors think. Well, should we see C3 coming back to Hong Kong for the 3rd time next year, then we know that this year has been a success, and the Japanese firms sure would like to continue to share the hobby outside their own market.

Full set:
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