I registered just to reply here.
First off, I’d like to thank Shawn for taking the time to write an amazing article about the “old days” with GTC as well as Anthony for taking the time to make videos about the acquisition of the kits. This was a surreal trip down (perfect) memory lane that I’m sure many can relate to.
I was amazed at how my experience with GTC was like Shawn’s. This hit hard and brought back a lot of fond memories. Again – thanks guys for taking the time to write that article and post those videos.
If you’ll indulge me, dear internet reader, I’ll share my story with falling for Japanese animation, discovering GTC, etc.
I would guess it started in the late 70’s, early 80’s. I absolutely loved Star Blazers/Yamato, Battle of the Planets/Gatchaman, Speed Racer/MGGG, etc. Back then, there was not much choice. I only had what was on American broadcast TV. (This was before video rental, internet, etc.) Around 1985, 1986 along came Robotech. (Yes, I know the controversies around the associated company and the franchise.) I fell in further in love with Japanese animation.
After reading in magazines and the Art 1 book – I learned much more about the original, independent Japanese series SDF Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada. I especially loved Macross. I couldn’t believe there was this huge merchandising machine in Japan cranking out toys, music albums, model kits, detailed books etc. for the original series Macross. I discovered there was even a feature length film! (Yes, DYRL!)
Around this time a friend of a friend of a friend brought an interesting artifact to school. It ended up being the small advertising insert (almost a mini catalog) from an Imai model kit. It was mostly, if not all in Japanese. (I think the story was, this friend had just come back from visiting family in Japan.) The insert was the one listed under the Imai model kit extras here on MW:
This would have been 1986 based on my memory of the school/grade I was in.
I could not believe, somewhere there was a model kit of Mirya’s/Millia’s power armor/Queadluun Rau battle suit! The Scout Battle pod/Regult! You could actually buy a model of those things! (I think, as it turned out, even though it was depicted in the Imai kit insert, the Scout Type Regult ended up only being made by Arii back in the day. Not sure about options now.)
Within a year or so of that, I was at a local hobby shop and happened to notice that they were selling a few anime related model kits. I believe they had a few Yamato kits and perhaps a few Arii Macross kits. (If memory serves, maybe the Arii Vrlitwai/Breetai’s command battle ship? The box art was amazing!) I was looking at the kits when a guy walked up to me and we started talking about the kits, Japanese animation, etc.
This guy ended up telling me all about the sci fi/animation convention circuit (as limited as it was in the mid 80’s) and that there were a few mail order shops where you could get amazing Japanese model kits, books, toys, etc. Later, I ended up photocopying this guy’s GTC catalog until I sent off for my own GTC catalog.
This guy from the model shop also had a bootleg VHS tape of the 1984 Macross Movie DYRL. I must have pestered the guy for a month to make a copy for me. He finally did. It was worth the wait. Even with the bad English dub at the time, it still blew my mind. I fell further down the rabbit hole.
Other mail order shops I recall: Books Nippon and Pony Toy Go Round. Both were in California. (I got Macross Perfect Memory from Books Nippon and the Bandai Hi Metal VT-1 Super Ostrich “toy” from Pony Toy Go Round. I sold the VT1 Super Ostrich in the early 2000’s. It made my house payment for a couple of months, LOL. I tried to get the Elint seeker originally, but they were sold out.)
So, sometime in 86-87 timeframe I finally got my GTC catalog (I think Ron called them the “Long List 6”, or “Long List 7” depending on the last digit of the year.)
I recall finally being able to order the Queadluun Rau Battle suit Imai model kit.
Yes, just as Shawn described, the process was: Call Ron and have him hold your stuff, get a money order, type up your order, and mail it out to Overland Park Kansas. Wait. In a few weeks the shipment would arrive.
I still have that Queadluun Rau suit Imai kit in a box in the attic along with some other items.
I remember getting the absolutely gigantic Arii Destroid Monster kit. (or was it Imai?) HUGE box.
I wish I had my original GTC lists, but they are gone. The one posted by Shawn is very close to the ones I remember from 86-88 time frame.
I would like to express to Ron, if possible, many thanks for many fond memories.
No idea if it is even possible – but is there any way an interview with Ron could be put together? I’d love to know more about his story. I have no idea if he is willing and/or able for such a thing.
In any event, thanks to Macross World for this wonderful trip down memory lane.
I’m counting my pennies and hoping to place an order with Wise Guys at some point. I'd love a few mint Imai Queadluun Rau suits...LOL.