Toy-Joy In A Box


There is something very joyous about discovering a box of toys. And by discovery, I mean randomly finding a box filled with goodies, as opposed to the other overt joy of collecting: receiving a box filled with toys from the postman (to wit). And while there IS a difference between receiving a paid load of toys, as opposed to a box of freebies - the absolute silent smile that comes with randomly discovering a box of toys, is pretty much priceless, IMHO.

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For most of my adult life (or rather, the past 5 years), I have been surrounded by carton boxes of toys - a good amount of which were from my earlier whirlwind purchases (in those oh-so-heady years of wanton-excess), and an even selection of goodness from folks who had supported my blog (aka "free-toys" - don't be hating). The irony of which was, I had nil display shelves to which to showcase my favorite figurines.

The only way I could enjoy my toys, were to de-box them, take pictures of them and upload them online for all to see. I actually had a "Toy-Pix-A-Day" daily project on the blog in the early days (but never actually lasted a full year - unfortunately, the pass five years of toy-photos are no longer with me, besides being online). Then tis back to the box the toys go, and back into a mark-less carton box, stacked high ceiling-up amongst other mark-less cartons.

For sure I had envied everyone else who had display space, especially folks who have converted their entire rooms into a museum of plastic joy! But that is the world I am living in, and all I could was imagine that one day, when I am able to have a display arena of my very own … (I just need to find a possible wife who will be able to take my drivel and all-consuming toy-hobby, innit? And yes, money - money would be nice indeed, make no mistake).

I do not think I had ever been a responsible toy collector, or even toy-blogger. For sure, I enjoy my toys and toy-time, but I never seem to spend enough time on toys - on playing them, or even admiring them, in the later years (beyond needing to do so for a toy review on the blog). And as a sole person who blogs about toys, I reckon my actions were even deplorable! Sure there were basic reviews to cater to my readers, which were a simple "thank you" to the folks who spend the time and money to send me their goods … but the irony of which was, I still had a slew of toy-photography projects in development stage, that never really saw the light of cyber-day. And with all these unpromised anticipation (I like surprises, to receive and to give), no doubt had left loads of folks feeling burnt and disappointed. No one to blame but my own ambition and dreams, and unfortunately, something that may not be completed, for a while from now. I had only a pair of hands, and sadly now, not as effective a pair of legs …

In late-October in 2010, I suffered a "mild" Stroke. (Yes, I have blogged about it before, and will continue to, simply because I am still living the result of the condition). And in the two months that I had spent lying in hospital bed, the Heng Family underwent a massive change at home. Stacks of my carton boxes were moved, as were the furniture at home - with the very simple notion of preparing more space for me to be freely mobile in, when I returned home "eventually". And by "mobile", I meant with a 4-legged assisted "Walker", which took up a wider space than an average person. I had opted to not go on wheelchair at home, because that would have been ultimately devastating (and thank gods I needn't, considering the state I ended up being in, when I moved home on Christmas Eve 2010).


The basic re-boxing of all my possessions, was part of the planned move, in this instance. With this exercise, my former bedroom had become the new store-room for all said-possessions (above). The smaller space that was my sister's former bedroom had been cleared out and became my "new" bedroom to live in, when I stepped home (the entrance of which, is shown "guarded" below by Mao the cat, not). All this is fine and required, but the reality is, most of my toys had been repacked by then, and since made unavailable in the grotto of my former bedroom, the closest image of it, is aptly shown partially in a trading card image from The Art Hustle 2; a twilight of blogging-days past...


What is currently available to me, ironically were spill-overs in the storage, that made it's willful way to my new bedroom. A box of goodies from NYCC 2010, an unopened Underverse-box of Popbots, a selection of packages of freebies sent to me while I was hospitalized, and a sole shelf of random figures, including a WWR Bertie, A CNY Tomorrow Queen (still boxed), a 400% BE@RBRICK, armless vinyls and retro action figures. Sally from Nightmare Before Xmas lies alone in her baggie, and Gozilla stands alone with a silent scream, and that's about it folks. (And yes, let's not forget the small but swell selection of recent STGCC toys-bounty).


That's just the way it has become, and that's just the way it will be for a while, before I can regain my balance, and back on my feets, and actually de-pack the mountain of boxes filled with toys, DVDs, comics, trading cards and books, in my former-bedroom-turned-storeroom.

And as I mentioned earlier, there is something very joyous about discovering a box of toys - which was the image posted on the very top of this post. Sitting between boxes filled with medical items (from my stay in Changi General Hospital and St, Andrews) was a random box I had not recognized earlier, but not ripped into.

Yesterday I finally hobbled my way to the box, and opened it to discover the figurines contained within - the bounty from my week-long shopping (and only time) I had ventured to Hong Kong, in 2004! What I found inside were three boxes of Michaal Lau GARDENER vinyls (from my visit to SIX Gallery - no I did not manage to meet ML), two boxes of FIREDRAKE HIGHSCHOOL 1/6-figures, and a Heineken x Eric Knot 1/6 fashion figure. There was also a lone Kaneda action figure from McFarlane (that left me thinking - "Wah?") bought at a Taka-sale, also yonks ago.

That was such a joyous find though! In a barely barren accessible collection, the contents of this box was a real boon and delicious find - which had left me with a saddened smile, that this was one box of a few I had left, after all these yearsof collecting and being online (and yes, of course after the Stroke).

Someday soon we will be able to see more of the toys in that box, as would the other few in my current collection (which is not a whole lot, but gimme some time, yeh?). The plans of yesteryears remain a dream still for now, but will eventually be materialized, when I am able to. I don't really give up on my dreams, regardless of the situation, actually LOL.

Meanwhile, I casually glance back at collections of my past online, and make an effort to spend some time actually "playing" with my toys, and still snap pics of them to share, of course!

When was the last time you (re)discovered a box of toys?



plasticfetish said…
I've moved 2 times in the past few years, and have yet to build any kind of "display" area for 20+ years worth of toy and video game collecting nonsense. Every now and then I'll dive into the mountain of boxes to see what's still there, and each time I find something that I'd forgotten about. It's sort of fun actually.
Gimbat said…
Awesome post Andy, enjoyed it a lot.

Might sound cruel, but really happy that among toys which surround you (actually around you) right now are lots of 3A toys: Popbot pack, CNY TQ and Bertie (not technically 3A, but still).

Get well sooner!
Anonymous said…
My first thought: Finding a mate who is at least OK with the toy thing can, like me (my guy is into tabletop games)lead to the production of a child, which takes away from hobbies in completely unimaginable ways, at least for the first few years. That's not meant as a statement of comfort...more...that life is always changing in ways you don't expect. As you so very well know... Building future plans on thoughts of "once this happens, then I can do that" has never worked for me; "hey, that happened, now I can do this" has proven much more productive. But I'm a sadist who enjoys the challenge of hobby-based adversity, apparently.

And I'm still smitten with your Tomorrow Queen, so I'm glad to see she's one of the (randomly) chosen few.

Cheers! --Andrea/an42/Dolls Ahoy