As mentioned in the previous entry I am very proud to introduce Mr. Ikraam Ali aka Marvel Masters. Marvel Masters gives off quite a feeling of authority and importance and this is very much true as Action Figure collects of Trinidad & Tobago owe it to this guy for starting the first and only figure collecting community online.
Marvel Masters as brought together collectors both young and old, boy and girls, men and women and created a family of collectors who were once hidden in the shadows of an alienated cultural phenomenon. We all have been able to help each other by buying, selling, trade and exchanging tips, ideas and info all because of Mr. Masters enthusiasm to grow what he loves.
So lets get into it shall we.
ABOUT MARVEL MASTERS.
Mr. Ali is currently in his 30s and married with children. He grew up like any other child fond of heroes. Both comics, cartoons and toys became a part of his life at a young age and grew with him over time. He is very much proud to mention that his son of 6 years has already taken up the hobby. ” Go young generation”
Interview with Marvel Masters.
1) How did Action Figure Collecting start for you?
It all started in my early childhood. Getting my first action figures from my parents, He-man and Skeletor. I treasured them so much, played with them all the time. Carried them wherever I went. I still have them to this day.
Awesome name, where did it come from? I love and grew up on old school comics of the 80’s. Hence the name marvel. Then ultimate favorite of all time is the Masters of the Universe. Hence the name masters.
2) What motivates you to continue collecting Action Figures?
My love for the craft continued to grow over the years. Seeing your favorite comic book and cartoon characters come to life in a well presented package. Seeing that is just a work of art. Also as technology improved over time, giving us better products of our favorites.
3) What features do you look for when you collect?
I personally collect for the the sculpt and paint work of the figure. I don’t really open my stuff. Most of them I love to keep sealed. Appreciating the package and all. The ones I would like to open and pose off.. well I would definitely get two.
4) How is action figure collecting perceived in Trinidad and Tobago’s society being not part of culture as in foreign?
This hobby does exist here in Trinidad but it not as it is in the United States or the UK etc. The folks that do collect locally do so privately. Mainly because the Trinidadians look at them as simply toys. The culture is very different but I have noticed over the years the appreciation for the craft has been growing. Slowly but growing still.
5) What are some negative comments/ labels you get being associated with action figure collecting?
I have gotten comments such as ”Toys?” ”You still play with toys?” haha.
6) What are some of the challenges collecting action figures in Trinidad and Tobago?
Mainly Trinidad does not have any store that supply the collector’s wants. Here simply has toy stores. Collectors will have to actually order them online themselves or get someone to do that for them.
7) Why did you start the Collectors Group?
This is my favorite question. I started this group with the main intention of finding all the collectors from Trinidad and Tobago of this wonderful hobby. So that our community will grow and the appreciation will grow. Also to get people to acknowledge and to put us Trinis on the map. You can feel free and proud to show off your collection to other members. Help each other out, buy, trade, sell, socialize. I am very happy to see the group reach where it is today. Such a wonderful bunch of people.
8) Your hopes and dreams for Action Figure Collecting in Trinidad and Tobago?
That it continues to grow. That it expands to alot more activities such as local promotions. where people can come see displays, buy, etc. One of the happiest and safest hobbies out there. Encourage the young people to get involved instead of falling into the wrong company, doing the wrong things etc. Put your interests here if that’s your thing, you never know.
9) What advice would you give collectors/ persons interested in starting the hobby in Trinidad and Tobago?
Collect what you like guys. Plain and simple. Don’t collect just to impress or to show off or just to complete a set etc. When you collect it should not only be for a rare, expensive item or for competition. Collect simply because you love that piece. When you look at your stuff years after each piece must tell a story. When you see it, you must remember how you got it, the excitement you had, the great deal you got or the time you took to save for it and then the joy of finally getting it. You look back and feel happy, that is golden. When you appreciate it others will.
10) In what ways do see the hobby growing in Trinidad and Tobago?
I see this group being a part of that. Bringing and finding all collectors across the country, forming that local society where you can get your stuff as well.
In closing I would like to thank Marvel Masters for sharing this information and anyone interested in acquiring those figures they always wanted even back as a child and contact Marvel Masters via the information below.
This is only one of a series of locals to be featured. Awesome people are inline to share their stories including a beautiful young lady who has brought her passion for photography and toys together as well as a collaboration with another photographer to really bring comic stories to life through Action Figure Collecting in Trinidad and Tobago. See you soon.