“Toys are for kids”, so the oft-used dismissal of collecting colourful plastic figurines as mere child’s play to discourage or humiliate anyone past childhood who still collects them.
Not for the likes of Simon Sim (@00simons00), who has dedicated an entire room in his 4-room HDB apartment to put up his various plastic figures of iconic pop culture characters from Japanese animation and TV.
The 49-year-old professional photographer has been collecting since he was 26, and shows no signs of stopping. The crème de la crème of his collection is the authentic kaiju sofubi (soft vinyl) figures by Hirota Saigansho. His collectibles are by no means a simple walk to the store to purchase them. For most of these items, he’s had to either order them online, or duke it out with other potential buyers via an auction.
Bids on these items, especially the Hirota Saigansho ones, can range from US$200 to easily over US$1,000. And there are dozens of these on his shelf, so you can imagine just how much he’s had to shell out to amass such a collection.
For Sim, though, it’s not so much about the toys, but the art that goes into this craft. What separates Hirota Saigansho’s figures from imitations is that these ones are made entirely in vinyl, which degrades much, much slower than regular plastic or rubber. It makes them easy to clean as well, as Sim only needs to do so twice every year.
These vinyl figures are also made in very limited batches of about 20 – 40, which is another reason why they are really quite valued and hotly contested among collectors across the globe.
For Simon Sim, if he were to ever stop collecting, his kaiju collection certainly is one to marvel at, looking back.
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Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.