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Collectible toys are more than a pastime for big boys. They have investment value, Toy Wiz owners tell SAM CHEONG.
THE Choe brothers began collecting high quality toys and then ventured into retailing their collectibles from their shop at Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya. The shop has been doing good business for more than three years.
Siblings David, 30 and Steven, 28, started collecting 10 years ago and with encouragement from their peers, the brothers founded Toy Wiz in 2004.
Steven, a former telecommunications company executive, said initially, he and David were selling off their entire collection of branded toys from the Star Wars and Transformers cartoon series and Hotwheels scaled diecast cars.
“We amassed a collection. Selling them off supplemented our income and as our business picked up, we quit our jobs to go into this full-time,” Steven explained.
David, who is the older sibling, said many are not aware of the value in these toys and among the reasons he decided to retail such products was to educate first-time collectors as well as establish a community of purveyors of fine toys around the neighbourhood.
Today, both siblings have established themselves and with the age of the Internet, David and Steven serve customers from all over the country through their website. “I was amazed to find that there were so many serious collectors who were into the Star Wars collectibles. When the last movie came out, we sold many exclusive toys. These were retailed only in the United States and Japan,” elaborated David.
Demand soared as the Star Wars trilogy reached its climax, and with movies such as Transformers hitting the big screen, a new wave of interest has come about.
Steven said the quality of the toys has improved and many of the established characters in the Transformers genre are now highly sought after.
“We have exclusive toys that are incorporated with an electronic MP-3 audio player which was sold only in Japan and limited-edition Transformers toys that got hardcore fans queuing up when it was released overseas.”
Most of the toys, added Steven, are not available off the shelves and imported directly from the US and Japan. “Prices average at RM49.90-RM499 a piece. The more elaborate and exclusive it is, the higher the price.”
Apart from retailing toys, the shop is also a gathering place for the serious collector. The brothers can are always entertaining their regular customers who spend large sums of money acquiring their collectible toys.
“These guys are actually living their dreams and since most of them are working adults, they can afford the toys which they have craved since young. Many of these toys, especially the limited-edition ones can appreciate in value as time goes by,” explained David.
Business, said Steven, peaks in the evenings where customers and collectors flock to check out new arrivals and releases at the shop.
“Many of our customers have kept track of the toy scene abroad through the internet, specialty trade magazines and on-line web boards that specialise in collecting toys. These serious collectors are really fun to interact with because they know so much about the different genres of movies and television series that have created a line of toys,” said Steven.
Toy Wiz opens its doors from 2pm-9pm daily and can be accessed online at www.toywizard.net
, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
. The shop is located on the third floor of Amcorp Mall.