Whether you were born in early 90s or quite before the era, you guys are still considered the best generation of Otaku because first, you did survive watching a single episode per day of a series on a small TV screen; second, anime served as your inspiration to study harder because your parents always strictly told you ” Do your homework first”, because there were lots of good anime after school hours, around 4pm-6pm. If you happen to be a Filipino as I am, you can easily relate to the event and you know what particular series aired at those hectic hours; and third reason, being a ninety’s kid means you did enjoy playing outdoor games from playing tex and pog to the time you owned a family computer as a gift from your parents.
As one of the proudly presented ninety’s warriors, I was not dominated by the internet, and that’s given. Excitement to watch different series on our local TV network was always at its peak as I desperately wished they could come out in marathon. Apart from obsessively watching anime, my childhood life revolved around playing anime-related hobbies. Before the invasion of online games, social networking sites and smartphones, I used to have fun playing games in the neighborhood. When Nendoroids, Pop figures and other action figures were too far to exist until nowadays, a cheap package of Dragon Ball figures as purchased along the sidewalks was enough to feed my satisfaction. Those were just my simple happiness yet created the best spice of memories throughout my childhood.
There are certain hobbies that brought a big impact on me when I was young, when I was in grade school to be particular. These hobbies are mostly applicable in the Philippine setting and I know fellow Filipino anime fans can relate to these nostalgic events.
Do you still remember Retsu and Go, better known as Jet and Joey respectively for us Filipino fans? They are the main leads from the series Bakusō Kyōdai Let’s & Go!!, an old anime/manga series based on Mini 4WD which was broadcast on GMA network. I was dying to own this miniature model but my savings wasn’t enough and fortunately, I still remember how my father gave me one which he bought somewhere in Manila. Those were the crazy old days I called myself “Auto Mechanics” because I possessed the widest knowledge how to troubleshoot my little toy cars, I learned gradually how to handle those screw drivers skillfully and without fail, I would always carry my tool box whatever 4WD event I would attend. These were the days I got highly stressed from deciding what engine to use whether it would be Tamiya or Auldey, and what chassis to utilize from being particular with the front bumper and rear bumper, and what tires and wheels to bring into play for a more enhanced outcome. Did you experience the same struggle?
I called it “The upgraded Top” when I was a kid. This was our popular spinning top toy which launched worldwide and there were lots of highly dedicated fans of the series. This was more popular during school hours because you had to compete an opponent in class to strike each other, and the most exciting point was when you make the ripping action smoothly using the ‘launcher’, bringing the spinning speed to clash the opponent. We secretly do this in class, because our toys might get confiscated by our teacher. Just like mini 4WD, I also had fun upgrading this little top toy to rule over a mini battle among my playmates. It’s okay to laugh at my crazy moment when I used to believe the decorative Bit Chip over the Beyblade itself with a mythical creature icon on it could enhance the performance of its spinning as also demonstrated in the series.
“Go Garuda Eagle!” was your popular shoutout towards your crazy delusion to become the greatest Gear Fighter and include your special set-up position before the actual match. Unless you didn’t have the chance to watch Kouya Marino and his teammates of the Tobita Club, you can actually relate what I am talking about. In the Philippine setting, Crush Gear toys became popular in the year 2002 and following then, the series was broadcast in various TV networks and I was able to watch the whole episodes. I got interested to have at least one gear, and that was the time I decided to buy Kyosuke Jin’s Dino Spartan out from my small savings.
Collecting mecha items was quite the hardest thing for a toy collector because they were quite the expensive type of toys and as for me when I was a little girl, I had to be dependent on my parents’ support as being a grade school kid who didn’t have big savings in my piggybank. The good thing, my big brother used to be a fond of robots as collecting transformers, gundams and other mecha related stuffs and fortunately allowed me to play with them. I’m sure everyone who enjoyed building and customizing model kit-based toys also came across with Zoids.
Have you missed these awesome little things from your childhood? If ever they would once again be recognized in my country and worldwide in the modern Otaku generation, these toys will surely become a big hit.