Design & Architecture
Sometime in late 2002, Erik Ando-yeap realized that his collection of Japanese robots had completely run amok through his house; and that the need to aquire more had consumed his every waking thought. That feverishly obsessive-compulsive behavior had to end. Inspiration came from the simple fact that collating data required no physical space. Nor a great chunk of income. Zinc Panic is Erik's methadone.
Engineering & Resource Management
I have kept hidden in the instep arch of an old cedar at the waterside a broken drinking goblet like the Grail, under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it, so can't get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn't. (I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion. (With apologies to Frost.)
Prototyping & Content
There is a bigger story to Japanese toys and our fascination with them. No toy exists in isolation from its ancestors, and no feverish addiction worth indulging exists without primal origins. We may never find answers to our questions here, but every good inquiry begins with documentation -- every study an unfocused map of the soul.
Rick Alvarado left Japan in 1980. The toys, the shows, the books, the foods, the sounds... all were beyond his reach for many, many years. Now, Rick makes up for lost time. He plays, watches, reads, eats, and listens to the things that he missed out on since he left Japan. Rick is filling the gaps of the past, day by day, while keeping up with the present.
Originally from the not so fair country of England, Ollie Barder opted to live in
Japan for over two years. Whilst there he nurtured his already fervent enthusiasm for all things mecha. Upon his return to Blighty, Ollie acquired
an original Virtual On arcade cabinet and continued various professional freelance journalistic pursuits. Lending some credibility to this motley crew, Ollie's been published in several magazines and national newspapers, not to mention having been interviewed on BBC Radio 4.
Made in Taiwan. Henry spent his first six years exposed to toys made by evil companies from a certain neighboring island nation. Some 20 years later, his interest has become an unreasonable obsession with anything diecast and robot.
John Kane is 30 years old and has only recently gotten back into Japanese robot toys after a 17 year hiatus. Long dormant feelings were stirred during the 'Gundam Xmas of 2000,' and what started with a couple of 'cool gifts' has spiraled completely and utterly out of control. After dabbling in Gunpla, John was drawn ever deeper by the cold steeliness of gokin, and the heady scent of polyvinylchloride. He is also an incredibly cheap bastard, spending hours mining E-Bay and Yahoo!Japan auctions in search of his next fix.
Benjamin Klein's parents believed in financial restraint and responsibility, and did not buy him expensive GoDaiKin or Robotech toys. The lessons of youth are easily forgotten.
A few years ago, while Kris Petersen was wandering through an Asian grocery, danger struck. The store had toys. Cheap robot toys. A two-eyed bug robot was picked up and happily purchased. Exiting the store, Kris had no idea what would lead from this small, fateful decision. Today, he now lends his youthful energy to archiving those overlooked untouchables and to championing their legitimacy within the Japanese toy pantheon.