Being a frequently flyer and collector of many things from records to vintage toys, fresh kicks and more, overweight baggage fees get to be on the expensive side when flying internationally and shipping goods home via FedEx or DHL sometimes isn’t a viable option. Some days you need to dump your clothes some place and fill you carry on’s with hunted treasures which was the case on a recent trip to Korea. While there, I got to link up with a few people to get some digs in, including my homegirl Aeri who took me to the record spots and my Seoul brothers Cronenborg and Haczony who sorted me out in the vintage Japanese / Korean toy, book and collectibles department. While in town I got to catch up with one of the best collectors in the business, Hyeon Tae-Jun who has an incredible collection and a store / museum to house everything in. Catching up with Hyeon Tae-Jun was great as we got to talk all things vintage Japanese and the Korean variants and bootlegs that have become highly collectible and often times more rare than originals.
Hyeon Tae-Jun in the toy world is the equivalent of my brother Aki (Cosmos Records) in the record world who always drops jewels on me in letting me know what are essential pieces or when I’m on the hunt for something rare, the go to’s for the assist in acquiring them. After spending about 2 hours in the shop, grabbing a few toys, a stack of vintage Korean variant books and manga items, it was time to peel back the Korean Won and pay for what I had to figure out how to get back home (but I’ll deal with that later). Sometimes leaving things and saying “you’ll get it next time” just isn’t an option for a collector and in my case being very otaku, it’s now or never.
Collecting is definitely a serious habit and one that drives most of us crazy with trying to figure out how to obtain that next piece, but that’s what separates the diehards from the occasional.