Sunday, December 12, 2010

Collecting Achievements and Goals: 2010 Edition

(I've shamelessly stolen this idea from a Star Wars forum called Rebel Scum. Go check it out!)

With the end of 2010 fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to reflect on our collecting achievements over the last year, while also establishing some goals for 2011. When next year comes to a close, we can drag out this post and see how we did.

I'll list mine here, and you guys can list yours in your own blogs. Please post a link to your lists in the comments below! Then visit each other's blogs and leave your links in those comments sections, too. (If you don't have your own blog, just put your entry in my comments section.)

Ready? Then here we go!

Collecting Achievements for 2010
2010 was a great year for me as a collector. The Smith House and Morphy auctions were great fun, and Botstock was, as always, a blast. I met a bunch of collectors across a variety of hobbies, and made a whole bunch of new friends. A number of my robots and ray guns were used as models by an amazing painter named Steven Skollar, and I was asked to participate in a TV show about collecting (though we'll see if my segment ever airs). And, of course, I also scored lots of new goodies, including some that have been on my want-list for a long time. Some highlights:

Vintage Tin Robots
The Yonezawa Prototype TV Robot • Cragstan Ranger Robot • Horikawa Mr. Zerox • Yonezawa Moon Robot • Mr. Atom Robot 

Vintage Star Wars
Early Bird Set with Double Telescoping Lightsaber Luke • DT Lightsaber Prototype • Full run of Takara R2-D2s and C-3POs • Full run of Kenner R2s

Hamilton Electric Pacer watch • 1939 World's Fair die-cast tram and squished penny • Alphabot Robot • Science Fiction paintings by Morris Scott Dolens and Donald Simpson

Collecting Goals for 2011
For 2011, I'd like to continue meeting other collectors -- that's always one of the most fun parts of any hobby. I'd also like to make it back out to Robot Hut if possible, and continue to visit the collections of different Star Wars collectors. I've also got my sights set on some specific toys that I'd love to add sometime next year, including:

Lantern Robot • Blue Polka Dotted R-7 • Mr. Atomic • SY Mechanical Walking Robot • Nando Robot • Rex Mars Sparking Ray Gun • Hiller Atomic Jet Gun • Vinyl Cape Jawa • Vintage "The Force" Lightsaber • Takara Transforming X-Wing • Takara die-cast Darth Vader

Will they happen? Who knows... We'll see how 2011 unfolds. At the end of the year, when we return to this list, I'm looking forward to seeing how many goals I'll be able to reclassify as achievements.

So... Who's next?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DIA Space Gun (Unknown / late 1950s? / Japan / 3 x 4 inches)

The very best tin lithographed space guns were the ones that used the toy's body as canvases for miniature works of science fiction art. I've always thought that this double-barreled holdout pistol was one of the coolest.

There's not a whole lot known about this little guy. It's a cap gun, and it was made by DIA an unknown company in Japan sometime around the late 1950s. The toy has embossed features, brightly colored and imaginative lithography, and, well, that's pretty much it.

But hey, how much more do you need?

The mechanism's fairly simple: The small latch on the left side of the toy releases the barrel, which flips forward. A roll of caps is inserted and the gun's ready to blast the enemy. It uses a standard roll of paper caps.

This is a pretty rare gun, especially in decent condition. And while mine has a few scratches and rough patches, I'm just happy to own one at all. There's no special story behind how I got it -- eBay provides, you know? I definitely felt good adding it to my shelf, though.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Blog!

It's official: My new toy blog is up and running. So if you're interested in seeing all the stuff in my collection that's not 50-plus years old, head on over to what I hope is the appropriately named Galactic Awesome! at

As I said, it'll showcase things like vintage Star Wars toys, old Japanese die-cast robots and space ships, vinyl kaiju, Star Trek and Lost in Space ephemera, monster toys, and pretty much anything else I can think of. Should be fun!

Have no fear, the Attic of Astounding Artifacts isn't going anywhere. But sometimes I'll post here, and sometimes I'll post in Galactic Awesome!, and sometimes I'll post in both of them. And, of course, often times I'll simply not post at all. Because sometimes it's more fun to play with toys than to write about them. (Duh!)

(That said, expect a neat ray gun update later this week!)

By the way, thanks to everyone who suggested names for the new blog. Some of them were... um... awfully creative. In the end, though, I decided to just go with one of my own. Love it, hate it, it is what it is. Personally, I think Galactic Awesome! is kind of weird and syntactically challenged, but also charmingly in tune with all those great toys. (And yes, the exclamation point is part of the official name. I could get annoyed by it, though, so I reserve the right to change my mind.)

Anyway, I'm reasonably certain that Galactic Awesome! will appeal to a number of the Attic's readers. But I'm also sure that a number of you will look at it and think, "Meh." But if you're interested in seeing what grew out of all the toys featured here, I hope you'll take a gander at the toys I feature there. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a whole bunch of new ways to blow your hard earned cash!