To outsiders, collecting toys and figurines looks like child’s play but to a collector, it is an expensive hobby that requires serious long-term commitment.
Whatever their reasons, many collectors seem to think of themselves as ‘saviours’ of their own collections – if it weren’t for their sharp eye and deep knowledge, these items would be forever lost in some landfill. They are guardians bound to protect artefacts of pop culture, and in return, they get to relive some good ol’ memories if only vicariously through these objects.
Like many other Malaysians who grew up in the late ’80s, Muhammad Asyraf Rosli is a big fan of Kamen Rider, the bike-riding, insect-superhero from Japan. He thinks the costumes and weapons from the popular kid’s action-series are cool and all, but what he likes most are the belts.
The 31-year-old, who works as a lecturer said as of now, he has 57 Kamen Rider belts obtained from the year 2000 til today. He said that he had spent up to RM5,000 on one belt just to fulfil his dream of putting it on display.
“Actually, I’ve been a fan of the superhero since I was seven years old but I started collecting as soon as I entered high school. After I started to work, most of the belts are purchased online directly from Japan.
There’s just a satisfaction when I received the package, even though it’s expensive. But for the sake of joy, I am willing to spend,” he told Harian Metro.
According to Asyraf, he has spent almost RM40,000 so far on his Kamen Rider collection alone. He said he is more interested in getting them online because it is cheaper than buying them in-person in Malaysia.
“Besides Kamen Rider, I also collect Power Rangers and Digimon but not as much as the Kamen Rider. So far I am satisfied with the collections that I have put in three cupboards, that amounts to RM55,000,” the father of three said.
Being with a collector is pretty weird, so it’s only right that Asyraf thanked his wife, 31-year-old Nurulia Natasha Jamal who supports and accepts his hobby.
Social media is a good place to find people who share a common interest in your hobbies, and that’s where Asyraf goes to talk to his online friends about all things superhero.
Find out more about Asyraf and his collections in the video below:
Psst… if you’re a collector, you might want to check out this market in Bangi which sells everything from pre-WWII newspapers to vintage hot wheels and more.
Looking for more things to collect? Try this Yamaha Ultraman motorbike that’s only available in Malaysia.