Idol Collections

It's a strange topic. Kurisu from Mexican idol blog Hello!Wota once said that "Americans are not wota. Americans are collectors." Is that true? I'm not here to debate the distinction or the true nature of being a wota. At least not now. I've done that in the past, and I'm sure it'll crop up time and time again, but today I'm focusing on the "collector".

After all, short of seeing them in concert, nothing makes you feel closer to your Idol than when that knock at the door comes and the courier delivers your H!P goods, right? 

And why shouldn't it? That drive we have to buy our Idol's merchandise is, after all, the thing that enables them to continue releasing more of it.

But that's not really the end of the story, is it? I've noticed that different people can take very different attitudes towards their collections. Starting with the moment it arrives.

I'm sure many of us have that new goods ritual. The first thing we do when that package is in our hands. My friend and co-subber in KIDS, Wolfy, informed me that he planned to record an unpacking video when his first photobook arrived. It's not really something I had ever considered doing myself - but, sure enough, if you look hard enough, you'll find plenty of people who do this for every new item they get.

My 'ritual' came about mostly by chance. Those of you who have added me on facebook might know what it is. When I get a new package, I open it, and then arrange all the new items so that they are resting on my happi and take a photo of them. Simple, I know. But it originally came about because I didn't have anywhere to put them to take a photo.

The carpet was far from clean, and I was too lazy to go correct this just to take a photo, so I put down something on top of it, which I could safely rest my new CDs on. That just happened to be my happi. 

I'd repeat this same process every time I got new stuff, until eventually it just kind of became a tradition for me to do this. It's a bit like putting a signature in a photo. As much as I've become so inseparably associated with my avatar (oft called "the Church of Maasa symbol thingy"), my Idol merch pics have become associated with that happi and it wouldn't feel right now if I was to stop using it.

But what of the ever-prevailing question of keeping them unopened? A collector's penchant for that all-important "mint condition" is well known. But does it apply to Hello!Project?

I don't think it does. They're not necessarily wrong, of course. They're entitled to do whatever they wish with their stuff. What I mean to say is that I don't subscribe to their belief that items must remain sealed and in mint condition. I don't even mind if they're not like that when I buy them (though if I pay for a brand new copy, I do expect to get one that's in good condition - I'm looking at you, YesAsia.)

I buy H!P merch firstly to support my Idol, and secondly because I want to. I've bought plenty of items second-hand from Yahoo JP auctions or from Hello! Online trading threads. The first argument doesn't apply to that, because I'm not actually giving any money to UFA when I buy those second-hand goods. But I do buy them because I want them. 

On a similar note, there are also some incredible eccentrics out there. Himalia once told me of his most prized collection pieces. A signed copy of Morning Musume's demo single Ai no Tane... with a number indicating that it was the very first one sold. That's the kind of item that most collectors drool over. But then there's the other piece. An airtight jar, which was sealed at the Elder Club graduation concert the moment when his Idol, Nakazawa Yuko, graduated from Hello!Project. That's a pretty curious collection piece. Worthless to most, but priceless to him. 

We all knew that Himalia was a crazy collector of assorted H!P goods. But that shows just how crazy - but I'll be damned if it doesn't make a good anecdote. 

So, have you guys got any curiosities yourself?


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger