Monday, March 13, 2017

Joelanta/Toylanta Show Report

Hanging with the Batmobile
Met up with Isidro Alba (who makes some awesome Shogun Warrior stickers) at Joelanta/Toylanta 2017 at the Marriott Century Center (several shows such as Treklanta and the Wes Tillander quarterly Comic Book show are held here). The annual Toylanta show started as a small GI Joe show but has expanded over the years to include many other toy lines - most prominently Transformers but you can find pretty much anything here. Because of this the show has morphed into the more generic Toylanta brand to broaden the scope.

This show is really packed with the hotel parking overflowing to the lot across the street. It occupies a series of rooms, some interconnected and some not, in the back of the hotel. I think the show has really gotten too big for this venue as there are several choke-points where it's difficult to get through the crowds - there are also vendors displaying goods in some of the hallways. There's a wide hall where the guests share table space with several sellers - the GI Joe highlight this year was comics legend Larry Hama who designed many of the characters for the Real American Heroes comic and animated TV series.

I ran into quite a few friends and toy dealers I've known for as long as 20 years - it's hard to get it out of your blood, it seems. My old buddy George Felix (spideegf) was setup with long-time Major Matt Mason collector Rick Porter (framer4u) - they had most of the vintage toys that were non-GI Joe on hand including quite a few Matt Mason rarities as would be expected. There were several booths of interesting items - it was a bit too crowded to take many photos so I deferred - I did get this show of a Barbie Dream House for the mid-mod interior:

Mid-Mod Barbie Dream Home

As for Shogun Warriors and Japanese toys, I only saw three booths of note: On one table was a first-issue Mattel Mazinga with both swords, otherwise missing the Condor and missiles. The missile banks on the legs were also busted up, which is fairly common as these bits become brittle with age. Seller wanted $125 for the figure which seemed a bit high to me but it may be on target for a beginning/asking price. The guy had no idea that it was a first issue and really didn't care unless it impacted the price.

A second guy who had a mix of vintage and new toys had a really ratty Raydeen on the top shelf - missing the shooting arm - the left arm was missing the shield spike - seems that's fairly common - it was so blackened by dirt or ash that it was difficult to tell what condition it was in otherwise. I spotted someone walking out with it and asked what he paid - $15 which I thought was fair but wouldn't want to go through having to clean it up.

The third guy I spotted had most of the Bandai Creations Power Rangers jumbos on a top shelf with boxes. I asked to see a couple and ended up buying both - they were complete and in decent shape with original inserts, bags and instructions. I paid $30 for the Delta Max and $90 for the Dino Stegazord. It seems the recent sales of Jumbo Megazords have been trending upward with this figure in demand (for some reason). Since these figures were retailed for $50 (with a discounted price of around $30 at Walmart) when new, I thought it was a fair price. There does appear to be some paint touch ups on the Delta Max but that may be from the factory.

Jumbo Delta Max Megazord

Jumbo Dino Stegazord
The only other thing I purchased at the con was a Flash Gorden on the Seas of Mongo hardcover - this classic Alex Raymond color hardcover was something missing from my collection. This edition included a King Feature's letter and was probably issued as an advance-reading copy. I paid $15 for it which was the publishers price. There were several sellers with other Robotech style toys, a Godzilla seller and lots of Transformers (mostly new stuff). Of course the highlight is all the 1/6th scale GI Joe and related toys - more here than just about anywhere else you might visit. This has indeed become an awesome toy show.

Me and Dennis Widner

The thrill of course is hanging out with friends and talking about collecting - and one highlight was running into Dennis Widner, The Toy Surgeon (thetoysurgeon) - this guy was THE GUY to go to for an accurate and seamless restoration of the Major Matt Mason and Colorforms Alien figures (he would rewire and repaint to new). He disappeared many years ago and it was fantastic hanging out with him. Quite the talented guy.

Isidro checking out the Batmobile
In any case, I had a blast hanging with Isidro Alba, Rick Porter, George Felix, Dennis Widner, Shannon Stewart, Jeff List, Dale Culpepper, Anthony Taylor, Buddy Finethy and all my other friends.

-- John

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