One look at Alex Teo’s home reveals his passion for 1:6 scale action figures. So
large is his collection that his home has taken on the vibe of a small museum.
What turns a mild-mannered graphic designer into an action figure aficionado?
Let’s ask him. Alex took some time to discuss just what’s behind his
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a father of two teenage boys living in sunny Singapore and a graphic
designer by profession. I run my own company and devote some of that time to
blogging about my passion. Blogging about toys has opened up a whole new world
to me, connecting me with many like-minded people across the globe and I've
made many friends from blogging.
There are times in life when you can only find the solution to a problem by playing with a yo-yo. I've been a writer for a long time and early in my career worked at a fairly progressive ad agency. I was thrilled that when faced with a creative problem I was able to step outside of my office and do a few yo-yo tricks to get my brain working in the right direction. Some say that Napoleon, too, was a yo-yo enthusiast and would often relieve stress by throwing a yo-yo. Setting aside speculation, the yo-yo was first uncovered in history in 500 B.C. Greece.
The ancient form of yo-yos were produced using wood, metal or painted terra cotta discs simply referred to as discs. An example is on display in the National Museum of Athens in Greece along with a vase depicting a young boy playing with a yo-yo. The toy's history moves through Egypt, China, Britain and France among other nations. The toy was very popular in the early twentieth century in the Philippines and helped the yo-yo gain ground in the U.S.
The 16th year of Fan Expo Canada saw over 60,000 people crowd into the north building of the Toronto Convention Centre over three days (August 27th to the 29th). This event combines five conventions into one: Comics, Horror, Sci Fi, Gaming and Anime. Fans got a chance to meet their favourite celebrities and pop culture heroes, rub elbows with well known comic book artists and writers, sample upcoming video games, attend workshops and panels, and spend, spend, spend in the retail area that was 600 vendors strong.
How often do you find yourself standing in the die cast aisle, arms laden with gorgeous looking cars, lamenting that you can only have one? Do you find yourself staring at your computer screen filled with beautiful images of amazing diecasts and mentally negotiate with yourself over buying just one more car? I can put it on the credit card and if I skip lunch for a few days I'm good. Wait, if I skip lunch for a whole month I can score a garage full of new diecast cars.
Diecast collecting is a fantastic hobby enjoyed by people all over the world thanks to magazines like Diecast Magazine and sites like Toy Collector. And, with burgeoning technologies it's become an incredibly social hobby, as well. Therein may lie the ultimate solution to collecting within your means. But, there are a few key questions to consider before we turn onto that road.
Still my hero - and attainable
I've come across a few fanatical collectors of Spider-man memorabilia and I'll confess that I'm nowhere on their radar, hell, not even in the same hemisphere. Yet, I still feel like a crazed collector even though I've spent maybe a few hundred dollars on my collection, where others have spent tens of thousands. That sounds more like a small gathering of items rather than a collection, but I disagree. I would wager that my little group of Spidey collectibles has the same effect on me as another person's large collection would have on them; it makes me happy, is a very pleasing thing to look at and it has meaning to me.
I stood in one of the many toy aisles of my local big box store and was glad to see and hear a few kids looking over and discussing what was pegged on the Hot Wheels display. I couldn't help thinking back to when I was ten and clambering to see what was hanging on the pegs at the Woolworth's. I couldn't wait to get those gleaming, fresh, pristine cars home and rip them from the package to see just how fast I could get them to zoom down the orange track clamped at the corner of my bed. Or, I'd take popsicle sticks and break them to the width of the road I needed, dragging them through whatever dried patch of dirt I could find to create a whole city of roads.
"I think this one will be worth the most," said the tallest of the two boys. He was a typical kid with his shirt half-tucked into oversized khaki shorts. He had a few healing scrapes that couldn't yet be considered scabs.
"No way," said the smaller, more pristine looking kid. "This one will be worth a mint."