Monday, October 6, 2014

Too Groovy Toy Show

A new toy collectors event emerged in Pittsburgh this past weekend. The Too Groovy Toy Show.

The idea was to recreate the halcyon days of the late 80's, when smaller cons offered a more relaxed atmosphere. Admission wouldn't break the bank and a handful of dealers would cater to a dizzying array of interests. It was to be a quick shot instead of a binge weekend. A fun and productive afternoon doing something we love, with plenty of time leftover for whatever else. I'm happy to report that by most accounts the Too Groovy Toy Show was successful in accomplishing this.

MZ spread at Too Groovy Toy Show.

 Organized by several local collectors (including yours truly) the Too Groovy Toy Show was thrown together over the course of four months with a minimal budget. Only 25 tables, they all sold out and the offerings heaped on display rivaled any event I've attended. So much great stuff was crammed into such a small venue that it took some time to absorb. The buyer turnout was also substantial, with people lined up outside the door. It was great to see such a response to what we feel is something new and cool for the hobby in Pittsburgh. Jokingly referred to as the "Beta" Too Groovy Toy Show, this event was the first in a planned series that looks to be continued.

 D & E Collectibles brought some great vintage SW stuff. 
This was nearer to the end of the day, so it's somewhat picked over.

 A personal highlight was when Glenn (not Big Glenn, although he is always a highlight) started talking to me about the ARK Black King in the MZ spread. He was amazed and explained that he had one too, as well as several others and never new how to start researching them. I got to enjoy a fun conversation about obscure robot toys and maybe even help him out a little. But it gets better. Since he was local, he ran home and brought out some of the finest examples of Marukai Trading UFO robot toys I'll likely ever see. The most minor paint wear and everything 100% complete and fully functioning. Amazing stuff that wouldn't happen if Glenn were zipping past my table because there's "so much to see."

It's a great show when gems like these are discovered.

Please, somebody time machine me back to 1978.

 Another highlight of any proper toy show is the presence of a grail or two. In my case, some very nice Yamakatsu Godzilla, some Kenner Raiders figures, and the '82 Bandai Godzilla. I held off on all of it because I wanted patrons to get first crack, so whoever it is playing with Indiana Jones and Cairo Swordsman right now owes me one. I did score the gojis, which still made for the best day I've had at any show in quite a while. That stuff is always overpriced online and you never really know what you're getting, so it's great to get to examine it in person. Finding all three at the rinky-dink show we put together for kicks is a karma thing, I am certain.

 ... for one cannot live on vinyl kaiju alone.

Being involved in this type of event is logical for Materialist Zen. I am proud of what we have accomplished and grateful for the tremendous response. Patrick Senatro and Bob Novotny are gentlemen and a credit to the local scene, with Bobby in particular deserving of praise for his efforts in both the show and his store, Too Groovy Pop Culture Toys. There is no question this guy contributes so much to the Pittsburgh toy collecting community. He's friendly, too, so stop by after show season ends if you're itching for something retro-cool and fun.

And don't forget to keep an eye out for the Return of Too Groovy Toy Show.