12 February 2008

The Road to Victory part 02 - The Aquisition

Previous chapter: The Victory Battle

The event dates back 8 years to 2000. The event is my acquisition of the C-328: Victory Saber giftset.

I was on a Hong Kong and Bangkok holiday. Of note, I remember acquiring C-325: Greatshots for SGD$90 in Hong Kong. What was more memorable was what happened in Bangkok.

I went to Maboonkong shopping centre near Siam Square. To my surprise, level 8 was dedicated entirely to collectibles, which would be considered a luxury good in most societies. Imagine this: an entire level dedicated to collectibles that can easily cost more than a month's wages to the average Thai.

It is shocking that such a place could exist, and thrive. I saw the Takara 01: Convoy reissue going for the equivalent of SGD$100.00. It's insane, for this place, but its happening.

At one particular shop, I chanced upon a Takatoku VF-1S with GBP Armor giftset. This was a time before the BanDai (and later Yamato) deluge of Macross reissues and releases so I quickly figured that this would be something of high value. Of the Valkyrie giftsets, the GBP Armor ones are so much rarer than Super Valkyrie ones, which are themselves already very rare.

VF-1S with GBP Armor giftset [this is not my set; image courtesy of Kevin Lam from Macrossworld]

Toys in their styrofoam insert trays [this is not my set; image courtesy of Kevin Lam from Macrossworld]

I quickly asked the seller how much he wanted for the giftset. '$23,000 baht' was his reply. That works out to be roughly SGD$1000. At that time, GBP Armor giftsets command thousands on eBay (in US currency) and a thousand US dollars is roughly SGD$1700 at that time.

I quickly worked this out in my mind and figured that I could make at least SGD$700 by buying and reselling this. I then did the most courageously stupid thing by drawing 23,000baht from a teller machine in the middle of semi-dangerous territory to buy the set.

I bought the set and ran.

Fast forward to Singapore. Sunday. Flea markets at Clarke Quay.

I brought the GBP giftset to sell fully intending to list it on eBay the following Monday if there were no takers. Afterall, my main interest is in Transformers. An acquaintance, LR, was extremely interested in the set but not my asking price of SGD$1,500.

He tried to corner me into a deal: he'll give me an MISB Victory Saber giftset and SGD$400 in exchange for the GBP Armor giftset.

I was skeptical at first but on laying eyes on the Victory Saber giftset, all resistance evaporated. It is a truly MISB specimen except for the cut tape which is unavoidable because the contents must be inspected. The box is easily a C9 to 9.5 without tears, creases or rips, rare for a box that large; the toys are pristine C10, untouched and never transformed; all the paperworks and sticker sheets were still sealed in their individual bags.

It is breathtaking, it is irresistible to any serious Transformer collector much less me because Star Saber used to be one of my favourite characters when young.

The deal was done and that was how I walked off with one of the most well preserved Victory Saber giftsets I've even come across and I venture to say, probably one of the most well preserved sets that can be found in any part of the world today (though I stand ready to be proved wrong).

My Victory Saber giftset

Next: The Photos

Read all The Road to Victory chapters:
Chapter 01- The Victory Battle
Chapter 02- The Acquisition
Chapter 03- The Photos

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