Backstory: Recently I learned that my mum gave away my Dragon Ball and Pokemon figures that I've been keeping since I was a kid. I got so upset that I couldn't sleep for two days. So I told my therapist that I've been seeing for quite a while about this incident. He told me what I was experience was basically grief, and it doesn't just happen when you lose someone you love. It can also happen when you lose something you love, even if it's an inanimate object. And he suggested to me that I write a letter about the memories I have with my figures as a way to cope with my grief. I thought that was a good idea and so here I am.
My journey of collecting Pokemon and Dragon Ball figures
I’ve always liked Pokemon ever since I was a kid. I would occasionally buy Pokemon trading cards to satisfy my Pokemon cravings. Then one day, my childhood best friend (let’s call him Peng), who is also my neighbor, told me that the grocery store nearby had a gacha machine that dispensed Pokemon capsule toys, and that he had started collecting them. As a huge Pokemon fan, of course I started visiting the store frequently. It was 50 cents per capsule at that time, so I’d save up my school lunch money just to buy Pokemon capsule toys from the gacha machine. I remember having to constantly starve myself at school. It was crazy thinking back, but the moment when I got a new toy, I felt that the sacrifice was worth it.
One of my most memorable moment was when Peng his one and only rare translucent Charmeleon figure because he knew how much I liked it. And it’s still my favorite Pokemon figure out of all of them to this day. I took it for granted back then, but thinking back now, only do I realize that he had been an extremely good friend to me. I can’t thank him enough for how well he treated me.
I’d always play with my Pokemon figures by myself at home. I’d imagine myself as a Pokemon trainer like Ash from the Pokemon anime battling other trainers. When I wasn’t playing with them, I’d keep them in a small bucket and put it underneath my bed for easy access; whenever I felt like playing with them, I could reach my hand under my bed and take them out. Even when I wasn’t playing with the figures, I’d still take them out occasionally and clean them with a moist towel while appreciating them at the same time.
Then probably around Standard 6, Peng told me that he started collecting Dragon Ball figures. I got curious as I didn’t know what Dragon Ball was at that time. He then showed me his figures and introduced me to the anime. So I started watching it and got hooked immediately. And just like that, I began my journey of collecting Dragon Ball figures. Just like my Pokemon figures, I’d constantly play with my Dragon Ball figures and relive the epic moments from the anime. The battle against Vegeta, Frieza, etc. I’d also create my own story and imaginary battles between characters in my mind.
I remember getting so addicted to Dragon Ball figures that one time, I bought a new figure, and my mother got so angry that so decided not to buy me a new Play Station 2 which she promised to buy as a reward for my excellent grades in my exam (She ended up buying it anyway). And there was also once where I asked Peng to help me buy a new figure but I got too impatient that I bought one myself and ended up having two of the same figure. To be honest, I was more obsessed with my Dragon Ball figures that the Pokemon ones.
When I wasn’t playing with them, I’d store them in a box due to their larger size and keep it under my bed along with my bucket of Pokemon figures. Similarly, I’d take them out once in a while to either appreciate or play with them.
What have I learned from this hobby, and how will I move on from now?
I’ve learned to appreciate the value of toy figures and the joy they bring to their owner. To me, these figures are more than just a bunch of plastic dolls. Each figure is unique in their own way. The different poses, expressions and features of different figures bring out different meanings. And because of my prior experience of collecting figures as a kid, I’ve learned to appreciate the Marvel Legends action figures that I’m currently collecting even more. Nonetheless, even though they’re gone, the Pokemon and Dragon Ball figures will always have a special place in my heart. They represent my childhood and is one of the few good memories I have as a kid.
Initially, I wanted to find the images of all the Dragon Ball figures that I've collected. But since it's been more than 10 years, I couldn't find all of them, but here are some the ones that I could get.
If you've read till the end, I really appreciate your time, since this is just something I wrote for myself. But I'd still hope that I can inspire my fellow collectors here to cherish your figures even more!