So You Want to Start A Kaiju Collection
A Beginner’s Guide to Kaiju Collecting
John Rocco Roberto
(Originally published in The Kaiju Review Issue # 4 Winter 1993)
Kaiju collecting can quickly become a very expensive as well as addicting hobby. It is also a very satisfying one, thanks mostly to the popularity of the current series of films, as well as the mass production of “Garage” kits and figures, the kaiju enthusiast has more choices to choose from than just a few years ago. The problem, as far as the beginner is concerned, is trying to decide which aspect of the hobby to concentrate on. We all wish we could acquire every piece that is out there, but it is beyond most collector’s financial means. The question then becomes; should one concentrate on collecting the various vinyl figures, as released by Bandai, Yamakatus, Yotaka and others, or the various model kits, as released by Billiken, Kaiyodo, Paradise and Max Factory, to name a few? Or, should one try to collect a sample from each (not to mention other collectibles, like toys, playing cards, ice cube trays, etc.)? Each area offers advantages as well as disadvantages to the collector, but the most important aspect of any collector to consider, and one that is easily overlooked, is space. Display space.
There is no point in starting a kaiju collection if you cannot display your collection or show it off to others. Part of the joy in any collection is the ability to show your prized possessions to others, and there is no way of doing that if your figures and models are sitting in a box at the back of your closet. So first, make display considerations before choosing your field of interest. Where would the collection look best, will the items be displayed on wall shelves or table tops; if on wall shelves, where do you have empty wall space! Will display cases be used, or book cases; will you place the figures individually standing, or clustered together (like a family photo)!
We all wish we had unlimited space to display our pieces, and there is nothing worse than acquiring a sought-after piece only to discover you have no room to display it. There are also many factors to consider when making display arrangements:
Whichever style you choose, the important thing is that you are comfortable with it. Remember, others will look at your collection, you have to live with it. Once display considerations have been made, then the items to add to your collection can be made. You may wish to pick up items as they interest you, not concentrating on any one aspect of the hobby, having selections representing toys, models, and figures, or you may wish to limit your choices solely on one aspect, such as modeling. Whichever you choose, the choice should be a personal one. There are, however, a few things to consider when choosing a field:
With a little patience and forethought, kaiju collecting can be a very satisfying hobby. Enjoy!
Editor’s NoteSince the article was first written 10 years ago, several company’s products have become harder and harder to find. This has caused an increase in the price of several items. However, with the release of each new Godzilla film Bandai has issued several new vinyl figures related to the new film, as well as a few based on the old Showa series (the most recent releases being Titanosaurus and MechaGodzilla II). Bandai has also released an American version of their popular vinyl figures, and these can easily be found through ebay, as well as several on line specialty stores. It is still recommended that the serious collector seek outHobby Japanfor the latest releases and yen prices. Although written 10 years ago, the “rule of thumb” of anything 30 – 40 % marked up is still a rip off.
Article © 1993, 2003 John Rocco Roberto/Visagraph Films International.