Part Tres in our “3 Aisles tour!” (get it?…yeah that was bad)
And for our Macross based Finale, Anthony and team invited me and Xstoys over to one of the extra warehouses they have storing all the kits. They consolidated some of the smaller ones into this larger one, and then Anthony’s personal garage. I could not get 5 feet into this warehouse back in March. Victor reported he made a small path and posted some pics in the GTC threadintheMWforums(click here to see)
But on this cold rainy day, there was no path..it was just case chaos, and it was awesome.
Boom-here we go!
They storage door was rolled up and we are greeted with a Tomahawk shipping case, Then Regult shipping, then the 1/72 Glaug case, and so many others we can’t even see yet. Anthony climbed up onto the boxes and grabbed a couple random boxes so we could have an impromptu discovery session . Oh here is an entire sealed case of 1/144 Imai VF-1J 4-types…and some 1/160 Monsters..and some 1/72 Glaugs…and 150 Nichimo Defenders and SDF-1 kits, and 1/100 Regult Scouts. Remember in March the update was ‘Approx 30% of the inventory has been inventoried’…I think that is about right! I can’t wait to see what else is uncovered in the upcoming months, but the Wise Guys need you to buy some of this inventory so they can clear off the shelves you’ve see so far with all this new inventory.
If you know any local hobby shops, or sellers are conventions, or want to start up your own model kit reselling business, please reach out to Anthony and strike up a conversation! Please spread the word!!
The next update will be everything ELSE in the warehouse…Votoms, Dougram, L-Gaim, Gundam, Star Trek, Yamato etc etc etc
Here is the standard contact boilerplate! See you soon for the next update.
Please visit the Wise Guys Hobbies Ebay store below.
Yes, I flew 6 hours from CA to NY, got a rental car, hotel, drove to the middle of New York state, met the Wise Guys Team, toured the Warehouses, and then did a rewind of all those steps in just 3 days time, all to look at a bunch of model kits from the 80s.
Yes, it was crazy.
And Yes, it was totally worth it.
Day #1 – The arrival
When the plane landed, I noticed this strange Nuclear Fallout in the air… Oh..that is SNOW. Just great. I just left 75 degree weather in So Cal.
I made the trip with fellow MacrossWorld member XSToys, he was as curious as I was, even though he is the “Toy” Guy. But he appreciates a lifetime collection as Ron had, so we met up at JFK. Leaving our respective houses at 3am. then all day flights with layovers + losing 3 hours due to the time zone meant it was a crazy snow and rain and slushfilled evening finding the rental car (JFK is HUGE), driving to the middle of New York State to the hotel, with just had enough time for a late dinner. We would engage Wise Guys first thing in the morning!
Day #2 – The Visit
Early up, grab some quick breakfast on the way, and arrive at a very non-descript location in an industrial business park. Am I at the right location? XSToys spots an empty folded TCI box in the front in a recycling pile…bingo!
A minute later Anthony pulled up and introduced me to the other members of the Wise Guys Staff, Victor (WiseGuyVic in the forums) and Joe. Insanely nice and extremely accommodating, with New York accents in full power. We couldn’t meet a more welcoming group of people.
We entered the building into the front office, and I saw a peek of the warehouse out the back door. We introduced ourselves and started talking about some of our collecting history, then XSToys started with his insane toy collecting legacy. I was ‘Yeah XS..this is all really great stuff (I’ve heard his history report a few times)…but uhmm, I gotta go into this warehouse right now or I’m gonna die. A group chuckle ensued and I was GONE.
I enter and hang a sharp left. This is Victor’s workspace. Victor does the translations of the never ending boxes for the ebay store and for the inventory worksheet. Most of the Macross kits have convenient english text somewhere on the boxes. Many series though are 100% Japanese text, and it was very difficult to inventory these until Victor joined. I joked to Anthony “I knew the day Victor started because I saw the immediate jump in inventory text accuracy in the inventory workbook!” : )
To the right of Victor’s workstation there was a nice display setup of some kits…and HEY! Those are my Imai GU-11 Gunpods I’ll be reselling at the SDCon this year to pay for our server costs! Sweet!
I noticed the sprue piles below the tables. Some of the kits outer boxes just didn’t make it from Ron’s house (in the attic there were a couple leaks), so these get shucked and thown into the Sprue boxes.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our first update since the trip, sorry its taken so long to get uploaded.
PLEASE feel free to reach out to Anthony with if you want any larger purchases, the Wise Guys will make you a deal! Ron was sitting on so much leftover inventory it still make my head spin.
Please visit the Wise Guys Hobbies Ebay store below.
Here we have another update on the seemingly never ending task of unboxing Ron’s Incredible GTC Inventory. Anthony estimates he is now about 30% unpacked, but the shelves are 3/4 full! Additional shelving is on order. I’m not exactly sure how this unboxing to shelving ration is going to end, but one helpful solution we can do is to spread the word to other sites to check out all the crazy vintage NOS inventory, so those purchases can open up shelf space for new entries!
If there was one common word about future sales, it is ‘Bulk!’. Anthony will make you great deals if you buy BULK!
Happy New everyone! Hope everyone had pleasant Holidays! I feel December always goes way to fast, I wish there was a way to slow it down. But now that we are beginning the new year, another update is in order, and Anthony has delivered.
Uncasing/Unboxing the seemingly never-ending inventory is still progressing. The first truck (of 3) was unpacked and loaded into the warehouse during the last update, and the boxes from that haul have finally been processed (they were ceiling level). Anthony’s rough estimate is that 20% of the inventory has been shelved. That means 80% is still in boxes in the other warehouses!
Those boxes will now being their trek over to the main warehouse for the continued unboxing.
Please remember, if you are looking to add kits for your personal collection please visit their eBay store at the link below.
That’s about all for the commentary on this round, there are still many special kits if you look closely. Remember this is just 20% of the stash, there is so much left to uncover. I’m sure we are all excited following this crazy project, and will see you on the next update! Thanks again to Anthony and team and Wise Guys Hobbies!
Anthony sends out Happy Holiday wishes to everyone who has been watching this project unfold. There is good news on the unboxing status as Anthony added a new Wise Guys team member, Joe, whos is very knowledgeable on vintage kit identification and is helping speed up all the processing and inventory updates.
I got a sneak peak at project inventory list, and wow! They have just now hit the major goal of bringing into the processing warehouse all the boxes and cases from just ONE of the THREE 30 foot trucks they used to transport the kits. They still have to unbox everything you see in the video from that first truck load. There is a long long way to go. Try to wrap your head around that, because I cannot.
We’ve got a lot of Macross, Mospeada, and Orguss kit knowledge here in the forums, but I’d really like to enagage with some fandoms from other series like Gundam or Yamato or Ideon. I’d love to know more about those other vintage kits as I’m sure they’ll share the same excitement we are.
If you are looking to add kits for your personal collection please visit their eBay store here.
For anyone interested in bulk orders, please contact Anthony below
Here is the Holiday video update!
After looking at the inventory list, I saw some crazy numbers and I wanted to come up with a way to make the sheer volume sink in a bit better, so I mocked up some pics to show just a small handful of kits and the current inventory numbers, which are sure to increase as more boxes are emptied.
That’s all for this Holiday update, more updates as the unboxing continues.
After hearing all the ‘Wows’ and ‘Woahs’ and ‘Amazings’ online in the forums, from those who contacted him directly, or through his eBay Store, Anthony from Wise Guys Hobbies made an ‘Introduction to the Warehouse’ video. I’m one of the worst offenders in asking him for this, and I’m sure he was tired of hearing me request it over and over, so this is probably to quiet me down.
In this video you can see one of their 4 locations full of kits. This is where they empty the cases, group the kits together, count inventory, then take pictures for the eBay storefront. The kits then get their new home on a labeled shelf.
I know, I know…enough talking Shawn, get to the video already. Here you go.
I wanted to repeat that Anthony is open for Bulk Dealer Inquiries. If you want to start up your own vintage model shop, feel free to contact him directly at the email on the card below if you see something in the video that catches your eye, or in the boxes from the first article here.
Or if you are like me, and you want to pick up a few NOS kits for your private collection, hit that eBay link!
As many of you will do, I went frame by frame into the video checking out all the inventory that was unboxed. I did a Macross-themed model kit breakdown below if you want to see some highlights! I was reminded that this was just a fraction of a fraction of the kits so far.
What if you had the chance to take a time machine back to the mid 80’s? Where would you go? I know where I could be found, and that would be in Overland Park, Kansas. Why you ask? One answer…GTC.
The old-timers around here have probably heard about GTC. It stands for “Galactic Trade Commission” and was a mail order modeling shop from the 1980’s through the 2000’s. It was founded by Ron Downing. Ron would advertise in places like Starlog and other Hobby or Sci-Fi magazines, but I heard about him via word-of-mouth via the old internet newsgroups, like alt.fan.macross (really showing my age here)
Back in those old days kids, you would write a letter to someone with your name and mailing address, include some actual dollar bills, stamp it, then drop it off at the post office. You then WAITED. There was no 2-day amazon shipping, shipping confirmation texts, heck you didn’t even know if your letter stuffed with cash actually made it to the addressee (you would always include an extra piece of paper to hide the money in the envelope if held up to a light…we were smart). We survived on Hope. But then about a month later, right when you start thinking it was lost, you’d get a large manilla envelope in the mailbox. You’d rip it open and you now saw your Nirvana. The GTC Catalog!
Here is what my dog-eared catalog looks like (1994 edition)
You’d open it up and read about each item, amazed how how many kits you never even knew existed. How much money do I have? Then the prioritization would start as you begin ranking the kits you HAD to have first. Then you flip through all the pages of the box art at the end in amazement (Takani and Suzuki and many others)
Now its time for action. You would then head over to the phone, mentally figuring out what to tell your Mom when she saw the phone bill with the upcoming hour-length long-distance call (yes you had to pay extra for those types of calls), and dial up Ron.
Most times the phone was busy. Always busy. You would just try and try again, sometimes for days.
Then he would answer! “Hello this is GTC, Ron speaking“
He would ask which version of the catalog you had, and what you were interested in. He’d then live update you on his stock inventory and any price adjustments. You’d dutifully and manually adjust and mark up your catalog for your order with him in real-time on the phone. He would then confirm what you wanted, temporarily set it aside for you, and you would promise to send him a money order or personal check for the kits and shipping.
Then another month would go by (more WAITING) but then you’d get a big box of model kits! Rinse and Repeat.
Now lets skip ahead to the the present day, December 2022, and the call-back to my opening Time-Machine question.
Ron’s GTC’s inventory had been stored away like a time-capsule in Overland Park KS, but it has now been re-discovered and is coming available for public sale for modeling fans like us again. Due to some unfortunate health issues, Ron has had to find a buyer for his incredible inventory. Now Ron wasn’t just sitting on a few hundred kits he would need to unload, he had…wait for it…over 100,000 kits stored away. 100,000 kits. Just think about that. All NOS (new original stock), many in their original shipping cases and boxes!!
Now I’m going to introduce Anthony Marafino into the picture, from Wise Guys Hobbies, LLC, based out of New York. Anthony arranged to buy the entire 100k model kit inventory from Ron in late 2022, and now has that entire inventory spread across his multiple 1000sqft warehouses.
Anthony said it took 3 (three) 30 foot semi-truck trailers to move all the kits from GTC headquarters.
Anthony took a couple of documentary videos when his team was clearing the inventory from the Ron’s house (Anthony noted that these were taken AFTER he already filled up one entire truck).
Anthony introducing himself and taking a quick stroll through 3 rooms and a hallway filled with kits
Did you see catch all those cases with the Macross logos on them? Those are the original shipping cases from Imai and Arii and Nichimo straight out of 1982-1984! Woah.
I actually have a couple of those case sides which Ron sent to me as gifts in the 90’s with my large orders of kits. They are some of the most treasured Macross items in my entire collection, thank you again Ron!!
In an old Hobby Magazine’s furoku (furoku meaning a Japanese Magazine extra supplement), the magazine actually did a picture tour of the Imai factory at the time (83), showing the entire process from design to shipping for the 1/72 Zentradi Regult kit. The final page of the supplement shows cases of the kits stacked up and ready for delivery to the local hobby stores via Imai’s own delivery truck.
Anthony and his Wise Guys team members are currently sorting through all the cases of kits and documenting the inventory spread across multiple Wise Guys warehouses. They sent me a few pictures showing just a fraction of what they have to go through during this very manual and lengthy process. You can identify Macross cases from Imai and Nichimo and Arii, along with Testor’s R.O.B.O.T. Series (reboxed Nichimo), and Revell Robotech Changers (reboxed Imai/Arii). It is fun challenge to cross reference the numbers on the cases to the numbers in the GTC catalog.
For the sharp-eyed people, you saw many cases from TCI…Twentieth Century Imports. They were the go-to distributor for all the 80’s Japanese Sci-Fi and Anime kits. They literally shipped to everyone-Ron included. Look in your personal Macross collections and you’ll frequently see the TCI sticker on the side.
Here is peek into the TCI dealers catalog from 1985.
Anthony is going to begin sales in earnest of the all these kits starting in February 2023, so start saving up! And also please start spreading the word…if you are interested in NOS Macross, Orguss, Mospeada, Yamato, SF3D, Ideon, Gundam, Robotech, Star Blazers, Dougram, or Crusher-Joe model kits from Imai, Arii, Nichimo, Bandai, Nitto, Takara, Aoshima and more, then this is your ONE-TIME-ONLY ticket to the past.
For individual orders he is putting up many loose kits on his ebay storefront right now, link here:
Very special thanks to Anthony for this amazing behind the scenes sneak peek. Anthony is considering taking additional videos and pictures for documenting the entire bulk collection as he opens each case and gets an accurate inventory, so please let him know what you think in the forums! It takes a lot of time to do that, so I wanted to show him support is definitely there for a detailed excursion into these boxes.
Shoji Kawamori appeared at Otakon 2018, which took place on August 10th through August 12th. On Otakon’s first day, Kawamorio gave a panel presentation on mecha designs and original concepts. On the second day, Kawamori gave another panel presentation on the history of Macross. Below is a transcription of Kawamori’s first panel, with the second panel’s transcription to appear at later date here on Macross World. Here’s a special thanks to Kawamori for taking the time out of his busy schedule to appear at Otakon and to the Otakon staff for hosting him!