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TOYS

To many people, they see it as an obsession, an addiction, maybe even a mental disorder. But to people like me who are into it, we call it love--the love for collecting toys. Maybe some people are surprised that I collect toys because I also practice jiujitsu, and it seems contrasting to what one would expect from someone who does.

My story starts like most everyone else’s, I got my toys as gifts from my parents, aunts, uncles, you get the picture. I was like any other kid who played, lost, or broke his toys. That changed when I got older and started to appreciate the shows I was watching at the time.

I grew up at the peak of cartoons, toys, and Sci-Fi movies during the ‘80s. We had everything from G.I. Joe, the Transformers, He-Man, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Thundercats. It was the height of Saturday morning cartoons and toy commercials galore where I lived. Everytime I was done watching an adventure, I wanted to take a part of it with me to continue in my bedroom or with my friends at the playground in school.

Nowadays things have changed a bit. I no longer yearn to open them. I still get a high when I find a toy, but this time it's to go back to a simpler time of my youth, memories of a favorite show, the times I did well in school and got a surprise, or the times I devised a plan that sometimes worked, playing in the room with my siblings, or playing 'soldier' outside with friends.

My dad traveled a lot for work when I was a kid, so at times I would get figures, vehicles, and even play sets as gifts from him when he would come home. I'd also get a toy as an incentive for getting high grades. This applied to my siblings as well, and the weekends were always fun for us. We watched our favorite shows and got new toys if we did well in school.

I would look at a toy as a piece of art. I would adore the sculpts, the paint, and how I could move it and pose it around. I also compared how it looked on the show to how it looked on hand. I was hooked. I would ask my brother and sister to ask for figures of the same line--I would get He-Man, my brother would get Battle Armor He-Man, and Teela for my sister. This strategy worked well--we would complete the line and all I had to do was wait for them to get tired of it, then I would keep it for them, haha. Well, it worked in theory until we fought and they wanted their toys back.

Back then it was the excitement of finding the toy I wanted and opening and smelling the plastic for the first time. Ooh-la la! It was heaven lining it up on the shelf with all your other trophies. Nowadays, things have changed a bit. I no longer yearn to open them. I still get a high when I find a toy, but this time it's to go back to a simpler time of my youth, nostalgic of a favorite show, the times I did well in school and got a surprise, or the times I devised a plan that sometimes worked, playing in the room with my siblings, or playing 'soldier' outside with friends.

I would ask my brother and sister to ask for figures of the same line--I would get He-Man, my brother would get Battle Armor He-Man, and Teela for my sister. This strategy worked well, we would complete the line and all I had to do was wait for them to get tired of it, then I would keep it for them, haha. Well it worked in theory until we fought and they wanted their toys back.

Every package is a memory, every piece is a moment. I collect for the fun the times they brought me, and the happiness they still give. I keep them sealed to make them last longer, and pristine so that I can pass them on. It's up to my sons and the next generation to decide what to do with them.

Story of Pichon Garcia, father of 2 boys and husband to Athena

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