Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sorry... That's Not Vintage!!!

It's been 4 years since I was introduced into the underground world of toys. Along the way I have learned that there are different values in toys depending of the age, the quantity that was produced, and the condition the toy is in.

With so many people dealing in toys these days you see many people using the word vintage very loosely. I mean I’ve seen people referred to Transformers from just 10 years ago as vintage. I’m still learning this stuff and I look at them funny when the say something 10 years old (released in the 2000’s) as vintage. So I’m going to talk about some the language I have learned from my husband and other collectors to safely determine or to refer to the age of a toy/collectible.

  M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Figure
Prototype or Test Shot: This is where a figure truly comes to life from a concept on paper to a physical figure. These figures are used for testing the fans reaction, and to create marketing hype at comic convention or at toy fairs. Because these figures are meant to create hype for the figure they normally present better, have cleaner sculpts, and have better paint apps than the massively produce figures you would see in the shelves later.

 Pre Ordered: This is a collectible that has not been release but it’s guarantees that when it's released you will have one for your own collections. Now depending on the situation, a toy pre orders can be used in two ways: 1) To guarantee sales of a product that is going to be mass produced in the long run or 2) it can be used to release a toy that has limited funding and it needs to reach a specific sales goal in order to be able to mass produce the product at smaller profit to the company/recipient creating the figure. Many art toys use sites like KickStarter in order to raise funds for a limited release of a unique toy.

Released or New Figures: Fresh out of the production line. Depending on the type of figure this means it was just realized in major retail stores as a normal product, store exclusives, online exclusive, convention exclusive, or comic book store exclusive. For most average collectors this is when they picked up the figures for their personal collections.

In stock / On Shelf:  This suggests that the figure has been out for purchase for some time. This could be anywhere from a few months to a few years.

Out of print / Out of Rotation / No Longer In Stock: Sadly at this point the figure/collectible has been out for some time and it’s no longer easily found in stores. These are the figures most people purchase in the secondary market like EBay, Flea Markets, Local Collectible Shop or purchase/trade with another collector.
Classic : A figure/collectibles that are old but is not quite vintage. These mainly refer to figures between the ages of 10-25 years. A good example are 1990's X-Men Figures. They had a specific look to them, and articulation that really dates them to that time period. Same thing goes with the first generation Spawn figures.
Vintage: these are figures that are around 30 years of age. So since I'm in my early 30's the toys I grew up with such as TMNT, MOTU, Jem, Original Star Wars line, MEGO dolls, and Secret Wars Marvel Figures are now becoming vintage figures. These figures are mainly found in secondary markets. Antique: These collectibles are around 50 years of age and older. Good example of this are some of the first Barbies that came out. Since the first release of Barbie was back in 1959 the Diva is officially 55 years old qualifying some of the first releases as Antiques.

Artifact : Simple.   Something that is so old it probably should be I'm a museum. If it looks like something a little cave girl/boy played with chances are is an artifact. LOL I hope you like this blog.

Remember I’m always learning so don't be shy to leave some constructive feedback on the matter.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Godzilla For Dummies

So there's a new Godzilla movie coming out and you know your have that one acquaintance, friend or family member that is just gaga over that big green rubber suite lizard. In my house , my husband Tom has many happy childhood memory attached to the giant green monsters. He got his first Godzilla's from his grandmother for being a good boy while attending a doll conventions as a kid with his grandmother and mother. He has loved the King of Monsters ever since. As for me I have seen some Godzilla stuff growing up but never quite got the story line. I always found it corny but I did like watching the monsters fight. Too much fun. Now that I'm married to a collector who knows about Godzilla he has been explaining things for me here and there and some of it makes more sense now.... Sort off. Lol
My husband Tom Khayos showing off his Giant Godzilla Collection.
Check out my husbands growing Godzilla collection at .

Basic stuff to know:

Now if you are related or acquainted with a Godzilla fan here are few facts to know before you speak about the King: 1) Godzilla is a Giant Kaiju (Monster) 2) First appearance was in 1954 which makes Godzilla 60 years old as of 2014. 3) He was created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, and Eiji Tsubaraya, and appeared for the first time in Ishiro Honda’s movie title “Godzilla” back in 1954. He was designed by Akira Watanabe and Teizo Toshimitsu. 4) Godzilla is also known for his other title as “King of the Monsters”, but he also goes by other names as Gojira, Gigantis, Monster of Justice, Big G, G Man, God of Destruction, Big Gray Gecko, Kaiju Alpha, Goji, and Nautilus. 5) Godzilla's origins are a little different depending what story line you are currently watching but there are a few facts that always remain the same. He’s a giant sea monsters that rises from the deep waters, he’s big, violent, kind of looks like a giant dinosaur lost in time, and is powered by nuclear radiation. 6) Godzilla's size has increased through the years. His height has gone from around 50 meters back in the 1950’s (around 165 feet) to most recent 100 to 150 meters (around 500 feet tall). 7) Since 1954 he’s been in 28 films by Toho Co. LTd. and as best of my knowledge these movies are:
  • 1954 - Godzilla King of the Monsters
  • 1955 - Godzilla Raids Again
  • 1962 - King King vs. Godzilla
  • 1964 - Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster
  • 1965 - Invasion of Astro-Monster (Godzilla vs. Monster Zero)
  • 1966 - Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster)
  • 1967 - Son of Godzilla
  • 1968 - Destroy All Monsters
  • 1969 - All Monsters Attack (Godzilla’s Revege)
  • 1971 - Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla vs Smog Monster)
  • 1972 - Godzilla vs. Gigan
  • 1973 - Godzilla vs. Megalon
  • 1974 - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  • 1975 - Terror of Mechagodzilla
  • 1984 - The Return of Godzilla
  • 1989 - Godzilla vs.Biollante
  • 1991 - Godzilla vs.King Ghidorah
  • 1992 - Godzilla vs.Mothra (Godzilla and Mothra : The Battle for Earth)
  • 1993 - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2
  • 1994 - Godzilla vs.Space Godzilla
  • 1995 - Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
  • 1999 - 2000: Millenium (Godzilla 2000)
  • 2000 - Godzilla vs.Megaguirus
  • 2001 - Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monster All-Out Attack
  • 2002 - Against Mechagodzilla
  • 2003 - Tokyo S.O.S
  • 2004 - Final Wars
  • 2007 - Always : Sunset on Third Street 2

8) WARNING: Whatever you do, DO NOT compare the original Godzilla with the 1998 American version of Godzilla, also been referred as the large Iguana. Hard cored Godzilla lovers will deny the existence of this movie, give you a nasty glares and chances are they will be horribly offended that you compared that horrible abomination to the one and only true King of the Monsters.

9) The King has been seen not only in movies but also in video games, animated series, comic books, and television series.

10) Godzilla is such a popular icon is one of the most recognizable icons in Japanese culture and here in the US was granted a MTV Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and in 2004 was awarded a Star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

11) Unlike the Godzilla animated series released by Warner Brothers in the 1990’s the regular Godzilla doesn't really care much for humans. He will fight along side some humans when there’s a threat but he doesn't go out of his way to protect human’s property or their lives. In fact in a few occasions he has actually turn against his allies in a second. He doesn't eat people, but he does sustain himself on radiation and destroys everything on his path. Since he’s a monster he doesn't go by human values of good and evil. He’s just doing his own thing. 

About the Toys

Now it seems more and more common that with each movie there seem to be a giant frenzy of people buying toys related to that movie thinking they are going to be worth a fortune and Godzilla is no exception. So here are few thing I have picked up from my husband when it comes to his Godzilla Collection.

1) Godzilla toys use to mainly come in vinyls or as vinyl model kit (assembly required). These figures vary in size from a few inches to a few feet. I seen godzilla toys as small as around one inch to about 3 feet tall and six feet tall which is the Kaiyodo 3 foot by 6 foot Vinyl Model Kit (1/80th scale). INSANE!!! In recent years new Godzilla figures are starting to get more action figure type articulation.

This is the Kaiyodo 1/80th scale Godzilla and it's worth several thousands of dollars. 

2) Beware of bootlegs. If you are a Godzilla purist beware of buying bootlegs Godzillas and paying a steep price like a licensed product. This is very common since there’s such as fandome for the Big G for 60 years now. Unless you are into bootleg figures then go nuts. The easy way to find out if the big guy is genuine is the check out for markings. Almost all licensed Godzilla figures have markings that let you know about the figure and a year.

3) There are figures released in the US and there are the once released in Japan. If you are buying for a hard core collector they will be able to tell which one is which by the markings, materials and colors they have use on the figure. Yes believe it or not there is noticeable difference between them. So if you are looking for a Godzilla gift chances are you are better off asking them which one they want or even easier just give them cash.

4) Well sought out Godzilla figures are not cheap. They range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. So if you are a picky upscale collector I hope you have the deep pockets to satisfy your appetite. If not you can go the local toy store and pick up a pretty decent 6 inch to 8 inch figure for about $15 -$20 dollars.

I hope this helps out some new Godzilla fans, and family, friends or confused spouses. LOL Cheers. 

This is me holding the new 2014 US released Godzilla movie Giant figure.  If you can find it retails for $50 at the stores.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

LWATC: Fear of Vacuuming Small Toy Guns

Recently I was riding with my husbands in his car and in the door handle I saw a small toy accessory gun. This reminded me of my why I have a fear of vacuuming around the house.  This sound silly but when you are living with a toy collector, more than likely there will have some toys that will not be in the package either because it fell apart from age, or because the collector himself opened it.  All these loose figures leads to tiny toy accessories such as guns, knives, grenades, bullets, belts, shoes, plastic flames and other pieces that can be easily be misplaced somewhere on the floor of your home.

RNG Shogun Warrior Collection
Losing an accessory here and there it’s not too bad on newer figures but imagine losing accessory to something really old or rare.  Now you are talking $20 - $50 to replace the accessory.  You would have to go online to look for someone who might have an extra piece or is willing to part their figure for money.  Great example of this is my husband Shogun Warrior Collection. To me these robots look cool, but I would never in a million years would have though they are worth a small fortune, especially since the plastic they are made from have the consistency of a shampoo bottle.  If one of these robots loses something as little as a missile you are have to go hunting online stores or forums and after shipping you are looking at  paying close to $20 at the least.  Lord forbids if I accidentally vacuumed something rare like a phaser gun to a vintage 1970's  Star Trek Mego Doll.

RNG Shogun Warrior Collection

So you can imagine why I’m afraid of vacuuming in our house. Since we have been together I have passed that task to my husband.  Even when he vacuums, he sorts through the vacuum dust tray to make sure he didn't accidentally sucked something up himself. As long as he vacuums I’m cool with dishes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

LWATC - Gumball Machine Toys Sold at a Premium

**Thank you RNG ( for lending the use of the Pony Pics for this article. 

Is the weekend after Thanksgiving and is now officially flea market season in Florida. During the winter season we get a massive influx of "snow birds" (people that live in the northern states that migrate to Florida during the coldest parts of the year) who migrate to our state. This massive migrations mostly brings a lot retired people to our state but it also brings down vendors that can't setup up north due to the harsh cold weather.

My Little Pony Blind BagsThis new influx of fresh vendors bring new stuff down to the state and it makes the flea market a very interesting fun place to explore. Along with fresh vendors you also get a large influx of garage sales , church garage sales and estate sales raising money for the holidays. Here you can find all kinds of stuff from grandma’s old wedding dress to her sons old toys from their childhood.

On our way towards the flea market, we stopped at one of these church garage sale.  They mainly had a lot of donated products from local stores such as medical gauze, old vitamin bottles, and some toys. To our amazement among all the stuff that we found there was an entire tote full of mini blind bags. This had main brands such as My Little Pony, Halo, Marvel Comics just to name a few. When we asked the church member how much she wanted for each bag she said .25 cents each. At that price we grabbed what we wanted and went on our way with 25 blind bags as gifts for our friends. In the end we got a better deal. Because we grabbed so many they sold us  $6.25 worth of toys for $5 (around .20 cents a pop).

While is always great to find a great bargain, this really made us think about what we just bought. I will be the first person to tell you that I have a pretty good understanding of why things cost what they do, but is the markup that blows my mind away.  Recently I did a video called “Why are toys so expensive” ( where I talk about how companies calculate the cost of these toys you see on the shelves. For a company, mark ups are necessary from whole sale prices in order to make profit to be able to continue business operations such as paying for employee wages and maybe benefits, real estate or location space, utilities, so on and so forth. However the mark ups seem a little excessive at times.

Take the My Little Pony blind bags.  These are recently being sold at stores a whopping prices of around $4 per bag.  The sets series comes with 21 different characters plus 3 bonus special edition figurines to collect.  At the current price of $4 x 24 ponies you are looking at spending a minimum of $96 plus tax.  Lets not forget these are blind bags, so you will have some repeats in order for you to get a full set.  So I say the average hard core collectors of these pony blind bags will spend around $150 to $200 for a full set buying a blind bag at a time. Normally I would say go to EBay and buy the full set since it might be cheaper, but these things are so popular that is about the same price, plus shipping and in some states plus taxes with online purchases.

For more pictures of these ponies figures check out RNG's flickr at

My Little Pony Blind Bags Lets take a closer look at these little figures. For what I could gather from the pile of ponies we got they have 4 basic molds with minor alterations such as added horn and wings with different paint apps.  So automatically, Hasbro is saving a bundle by simply generating 24 variations of ponies out of 4 main different molds. Add to the fact that they are producing these by the millions with machines and is literally costing them around maybe at the most .10 - .20 cents per packet including figure, printed materials and packaging. So when you think about it at $4 a pop retail stores are selling these at a significant markups.

To me these blind bags markups are like equivalent markup on popcorn and soda a at a movie theater or restaurant.  While these may be popular now, I wonder if these little bind bags with meet the fate of other popular collectibles such as beanie babies leaving people feeling cheated out something they thought will retain their value. I personally can’t see myself buying these little plastic figurines at $4 when they look like the toys I could get a gumball machine as a kid.  Just seems like a big waste of money.  So bottom line is, if you collect these make sure you really like them because chances are you will never get that money back if you are ever in a jam.

Love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

LWATC - He bought me a "Ring" and I bought him 2 "Industrial shelves" for his toys.

Living With a Toy Collector - He bought me a "Ring" and I bought him 2 "Industrial shelves" for his toys.

Now It's no secret at this point that my husband Tom Khayos is a toy collector and we recently moved. Well it's been two months and we have come to the realization that my husbands full collection can easily fill a 4 bedroom 2000 sq foot home on it's own.  While normally I would not have any problems with this, we are currently squished into a 1,100 2 bedroom apartment. So there's stuff everywhere.

Now for the first time in 3 years, both my husband and I are off on Thanksgiving day.  Since we don't have a lot of family where we live we simply decided to just stay home and work on tackling his collection room.  Sounds simple enough ... right???

Well earlier Wednesday morning we took Tom's mom out to eat.  As we continued to spend time out with her for a Pre Thanksgiving day, we roamed stores such as Toys R Us, Ross, and even went to the mall. Yeap you read that right...the mall.  Normally Tom and I don't go to the mall but it was a special treat for his mom.  The last time we came to the mall there was this really nice ring I saw at one of the jewelry stores.  Now Tom will tell you that I'm normally not much for shopping, or spending money like it grew on trees.  However he knew that I really like this ring and he was hoping to get it for me as an early Christmas gift. Well he did.  I loved it.

After we dropped his mom off and stopped by to say hi to our friends at Heroes Haven, we went home and started tackling the massive task of sorting his room.  It took some time to move stuff out of the room. Tote after tote we removed toys from his collection room in order to unclutter it so we can work on it. As a result we ended up re cluttering the kitchen, what will someday hope will be our dining room area, and our living room/common area. After moving quite a bit of stuff out  we noticed he didn't have enough shelves. So I quickly went to the Walmart site and started looking for industrial shelves. Keep in mind it is Thanksgiving eve around 7 pm. Not a lot of places open that has that kind of stuff, so we had to brave it out with the rest of the crazies buying last minute Thanksgiving stuff.

We were very lucky and we found 2 out of 3 much needed industrial 5 tier shelving for his toys. (** I will warn you that if you get industrial shelving it is very heavy so bring a friend that can help you lift it into the car and out of the car.)   We made a our way home fighting the stinging Florida freezing breeze and started figuring out a strategy to start setting up these shelves along with the two display cases he had from the move.

So far we have done very well and have all the furniture in the room, but now I helped as much as I can with this collection room.  Is all up to him.  We've had fun this holiday weekend.  He got me a very nice ring and I got him shelves for his toys. We are happy people.  Let's see how things go from here. LOL

My man has graduated form book shelves to industrial shelves. Tom Khayos Room in Progress

Sunday, November 3, 2013

LWATC - Me, My stuff and My Wife

Ok  ok.. so the title of the blog is a rip off of “You, My self & Dupree” but there’s a great reason for this.  I've been married to my husband Tom Khayos (who is a 4th generation toy collector) for 3 years now and I have been learning about his toy bobby.  Apparently, there are many women or partners who are not willing to endure being involved with someone who collects extravagant amounts things. To be quite honest it took me a while to adjust to it, but even as accepting as I am of his hobby a times the clutter does get on my nerves.

Why does this happen?
For what I have encountered there are two main reasons why women or partners get upset at the collector in their lives.  #1 lack of space and #2 finances.

#1 Lack of space

Previously I wrote a blog called "Moving with a Toy Collector" ( ) in which I talked about the difficulties of moving with a collector and the options many people face when they are looking for a new home. However I haven’t had the chance to talk about the space issue on a daily life that your lady, partner and even family will face. In order to this discuss this we need to first talk about what in my opinion are the 3 levels of collectors.

a) The casual collector - These collectors on average only collects what they really like and are not compelled to be completest (definition page link).  They are normally limited to a very small section of their living space such as a shelf, a wall or a bookcase at the most and are not constantly looking into expanding their collection.

b)The Average collector - These are collectors that buy things they really enjoy but also are willing to pick up other pieces because they are looking into expanding their collection, they think is cool and it starts giving them bragging rights. These collectors are the ones that are given designated room in the house, often have stuff on shelves, and in bags, boxes and totes.

c)The Elite Collector - These are the guys and gals that most average folk like to label as toy hoarders due to the incredibly large size of their collections.  Many of these collectors have been long time collectors and are very passionate about their hobby .  Many of them also take great care of their collections but sadly encountered space problems that can appear to be overwhelming to someone who doesn't knows anything or does not care about collecting. Just like the average collectors, they  will have stuff protected in bags, boxes, totes, and on shelves. However, they will also start having display cases, several rooms full of stuff, several closets, storage units and yes at time even an entire separate house just for their collection.  Yes you read that last part right.

Now you are probably saying “SO” at this point but let’s put it from your lady’s or partner’s point of view.  You come home and just had a very long day at work, or dealing with the family.  Now instead of coming home where you are at least trying to wind down, all you see is clutter and simply can’t relax.  That takes a toll on you on a daily basis.  Some people can function regardless of the environment but there are many that can’t live with a lot of clutter.  Think about, while there are many people that don’t have a home that looks like the cover of Better Homes and Garden, many of them have created layouts that is functional for everyday life without claustrophobic or dangerous circumstances where you can trip and fall over something.

Believe it or not there has been many articles released linking excessive clutter to depression. While Chronic Disorganization is not a recognized medical diagnosis nor do they have solid evidence that is linked directly to depression, many people do link clutter to their depression.   Do any of these symptoms sound familiar when it comes to your partner?

  • Issues with concentration, hard time remembering things, and hard time making decision. These can affect how a person prioritize, organizes and sorts through things.
  • Severe exhaustion, and energy drain.
  • Feeling of self-esteem, worthlessness, helplessness, and guilt.
  • Trouble sleeping, waking up very early, or excessive sleeping.
  • Irritation and restlessness.
  • Grossly over eating or losing appetite.
  • Chronic pains, headaches, digestive problems persisting with treatment, and cramps.
  • Constant anxiety, empty feeling, and sadness.

Bullet points reference from article “Clutter and Depression” (

I’m not stating that all collector’s spouses or partners suffer from depression, but I do want to state that when dealing with large amounts of stuff you have to considered how that is effecting other members of your household.  You would not feel very comfortable if every surface of your home is covered in shoes, clothing, and purses especially if this stuff don’t interest you.  Then why would you think that your partner would be interested to see your collection they are not that into all over the place? If you are one of the lucky once who has a partner than collects as well, I hope you are very very rich and can afford a mansion to put your collections into.

#2 Finances

Weather or not you are involved with a collector of any kind, finances has been known for being the number one cause of stress among relationships and families.  That’s not just something that have been determined several times in many professional articles but  I have experienced it myself in my first marriage which is the reason why I’m in my second marriage.

This is not rocket science. Keep in mind that to your partner your collection is just more stuff cluttering in their living space because many of them simply don't know, don't care or understand what you are collecting. Example: A spouse will be more willing to spend $1000 on a diamond or a ring because in their mind they understand that is valuable versus spending a $1000 on a mega rare toy that to them they see as just a hunk of plastic/junk.

The main reason why Tom and I can function is that I've been taking the time to understand and learn about what he is collecting and the value of his pieces. However we also have a very clear agreement that I have stated In my blogs before " As long as you pay you portion of bills, necessities and put a specific amount into savings , the rest of the money is yours to spend however the pieces must be quality pieces not junk."  By quality pieces I mean something he can quickly turn around just in case of a drastic emergency.  This agreement has really helped him really take a closer look at what he is buying and creating a much nicer and higher quality collection.

Now Tom and I are very lucky that we at times have the spare income to spend on his collection but it's because we plan ahead by incrementally saving paycheck to paycheck. However if you are in a position where you can't barely scrape by every month is understandable why your spouse/partner would be very upset if you spend income you don't have on a hobby. Hobbies are not a necessity. Shelter and food are number  one (especially if there are small children) followed by necessary clothing (not a shopping spree), other such as transportation cost should be next.  In this bad situation both parties in the relationship must agree to not spend on unnecessary stuff.  Also, credit cards are not an option for extra income. In fact that makes the financial stress worst and with high interest you will end up overpaying and adding more bills you can't afford on the table. Avoid them at all cost unless is an extreme emergency like broken glasses or a chipped tooth.

All in all when it comes to living with a collector there has to be a balance between partners needs, education and understanding among parties otherwise is just a ticking bomb waiting to happen.

Thank you for joining me on this blog.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In the middle of moving.

Hey guys it's been pure madness to say the least. Once this all done ill posting again. Be back in a week.