Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 Instructions

Here’s the first museum post in a few days, an instruction sheet for a mini-4WD model kit from Marui, the Turbo Optima Hyper Jr. Racer. The model kit was probably available from the mid to late 80s.

I don’t recall ever owning the Turbo Optima. Even the photo from Google doesn’t ring any bells. The only Marui 4WD that I remember having was the Alien Mid 4, which I kept until 2010. Perhaps this instruction sheet was a gift from a friend. It was folded into quarters and fit perfectly in the instructions slot of one of my Sega games, Hang On. In the past I’ve mentioned never letting go of my Sega games, but this has finally changed, hence the removal of the instructions from the game.

As a result, there may be more Sega museum posts in the coming days. For now, please enjoy this one.

Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 - Instruction Sheet - Mid to Late 1980s

Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 - Instruction Sheet - Mid to Late 1980s

Alien Mid 4 - September 12, 2010
Alien Mid 4 before disposal – September 12, 2010

Life-Like Basics for Beginners – A Guide to Model Railroading (7th ed.)

Life-Like Basics for Beginners - A Guide to Model Railroading (7th ed.)

As mentioned in this previous post, I’ve scanned a few other model-train materials in these past few months – this guide to model railroading that came with my first train set is one of them.

I was already fascinated with model trains themselves, and this guide just added to it. For a time it was my preferred bedtime reading, dreaming about all the possibilities before I even fell asleep. As can be seen in the PDF, I checked off the items I owned. In that regard, it’s kind of a nice historical record.

Since there’s no date in the guide that I can see, I can only surmise that it was published in the late 80s or early 90s.

Life-Like Basics for Beginners – A Guide to Model Railroading, 7th edition (PDF, 27.4 MB)

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Like many kids growing up, I was fascinated with trains, and owned a train set. My first and only train set, bought some time between 1989 and 1990, was manufactured by Life-Like. Later, I would buy extra tracks, cars, and a Bachmann locomotive, but I never got another train set. Still, while I had it I enjoyed it to the max, creating a little town with a railroad crossing and even an airport (with those old foam WWII warplanes from Chinatown).

As I recall, I read about true hobbyists nailing their tracks down on a piece of plywood and wanted to try the same thing, except I didn’t have any plywood, nor did I have the space. I was just a little kid in a little tiny apartment with my train set taking up a quarter of the kitchen. So, I nailed my tracks down on the deck outside the bedroom, which worked fine until it started raining. My train phase ended after that.

In these past months of throwing out old things I’ve actually scanned a couple of other train-related items, so perhaps I’ll post them here at a later date. For now, here’s the registration card from my first and only train set.

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Devastator, 6 Years Later

Constructicon Devastator
Devastator – May 15, 2017

Six years ago, I wondered if I would disassemble Devastator and photograph the individual Constructicons. Tonight, I finally do so.

The Constructicons in vehicle mode: Hook, Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Mixmaster, Scrapper, and Long Haul
The Constructicons in vehicle mode: Hook, Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Mixmaster, Scrapper, and Long Haul

It’s been many months since I’ve started the process of ridding myself of possessions that I no longer use. From the floppy disks of my old Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games, to the teddy bear that my parents gave me when I was a baby, and more recently to my video game magazines from the late 80s and early 90s, I am slowly alleviating the burden of past objects in my present life. These are things that had somehow stuck around despite my hardly ever touching, looking, or interacting with them, things that I treasured from childhood, that I think I still do in adulthood. Devastator is no different.

Constructicon Hook
Hook – vehicle mode
Constructicon Scavenger
Scavenger – vehicle mode
Constructicon Bonecrusher
Bonecrusher – vehicle mode
Constructicon Mixmaster
Mixmaster – vehicle mode
Constructicon Scrapper
Scrapper – vehicle mode
Constructicon Long Haul
Long Haul – vehicle mode

A part of me did not want to get rid of those things, but another part knew that even if I did, I would be fine and continue to live my life, and possibly be better for it. And yes, time has proved that I am better for it, because I still maintain the memory, while my physical space is freed up. And if and when we finally decide to rejoin the real world, we will have less things to worry about and be responsible for.

The Constructicons in robot mode: Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Scrapper, Mixmaster, and Hook
The Constructicons in robot mode: Long Haul, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Scrapper, Mixmaster, and Hook

Because the Constructicons had remained in Devastator form for so long, there was physically some difficulty with transforming them into their individual forms, with some parts “sticking” and hard to move around. It’s kind of the same for me with throwing things out: I’ve had them for so long and it’s difficult (read: painful) to part with them. With Devastator, it’s even harder because as I said in that 2011 post, it was a long process to finally collect all six Constructicons.

But if it’s taken me six years to finally transform them into robot mode, why is it so hard to part with them? In these past six years, I have gone from being on top of my little domain at my old job, to quitting and going on Adventure 2012, to moving to Hong Kong and living there for two years, and now to almost being back in the USA for two years. For a lot of that time, Devastator wasn’t even in my possession, or even in my thoughts. That should be enough proof that it’s not that important to me, right?

Constructicon Long Haul
Long Haul – robot mode
Constructicon Bonecrusher
Bonecrusher – robot mode
Constructicon Scavenger
Scavenger – robot mode
Constructicon Scrapper
Scrapper – robot mode
Constructicon Mixmaster
Mixmaster – robot mode
Constructicon Hook
Hook – robot mode

Sometimes, proof isn’t enough to make someone change their mind. That is human nature, and that is life. We would just as soon follow our hearts as we would behave rationally and logically. I have found that this is how I’ve been behaving these past months: the truth is right in front of me and all I have to do is act, but I’m afraid to do so. I’d rather stay stuck in the past, in what’s comfortable. As much as I thought I’d learned the lesson already, it would seem that it’s easy to regress. Will it be possible to move forward in the future, to jump back into the cold water of that swimming pool? I hope so, and we will see. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

Skywarp & Thundercracker

JC surprised me with this Transformers Encore set in the summer of 2011.

Transformers Encore Skywarp & Thundercracker
Box front

It had been over 20 years since someone had given me a G1 Transformers set. I built most of my collection when I was still a little kid in Hong Kong, bringing to the United States only part of it when my family moved there. The only Transformer I bought in the U.S. was a G2 Vortex after I destroyed my original G1 one in a childish fit of rage.

Transformers Encore Skywarp & Thundercracker
Box back, love that graphic

When I saw the artwork on the back of the box, a long latent memory of looking at Transformers boxes at Watsons resurfaced. Back then, Watsons also sold toys, and whenever we went I’d look at the Transformers while my sister would look at the Barbies. There were plenty of boxes with the picture above, but instead of a white box with Japanese text, there was a box with a graph behind a red pattern. Inside the box was a piece of red cellophane that you looked through to view the graph. I would spend hours studying the graph and looking at the drawing.

It’s so much fun opening the box, taking out the pieces, and then putting on the stickers. Since I had two, I saved the other one for later on. I was kind of stressing at work at that time (I would resign 4 months later) so I definitely needed it.

Transformers Encore Skywarp & Thundercracker
Transformers Encore Skywarp & Thundercracker
Inserts and stickers

Something interesting I noticed was how the years and manufacture-location printed on the robots differed. On my original Thrust that I brought from Hong Kong, the years are 1980 and 1983, and the manufacture-location is Japan (of course). On the new ones, the dates are 2002 and 2004, and (of course again) the manufacture-location is China, a definite reminder of how times have changed.

Thrust, Circa 1980, 1983
1980, 1983, Japan
Thundercracker, circa 2002, 2004
2002, 2004, China

In the end, it only took me a couple of weeks between receiving the present and transforming both jets. Here is the result:

Thrust, Thundercracker, and Skywarp
Thrust, Thundercracker, and Skywarp

You gotta admit, it’s super cool seeing the two “generations” of jets together. I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post!

Gran Turismo 5 GT-R Spec V (2009)

When I first bought Gran Turismo 5, I went for the Collector’s Edition so that I could get the book that comes with it. At that time, I was well into the hands-on aspect of owning a car, and I wanted to learn as much as I could about them. In addition to the book, the game came with this scale model of a Nissan GT-R.

The model sat on my bookshelf for a year-and-a-half before we moved out in May of 2012. I never knew what to do with it, and ended up donating it to the Salvation Army.

Tamiya Hotshot Junior

Hotshot Jr Box Front

Here’s another moving museum post. At the time I was snapping photos of everything that I wasn’t planning on keeping, planning to someday post them as museum posts. Well, almost two years later, here is the box of my Hotshot Junior mini 4WD model car.

These were one of many toys that I grew up playing with (though I doubt serious enthusiasts would agree that they are toys). In primary school, we would race our mini 4WDs in our school’s drainage gutter, sprinting along with the cars. After I grew up, I almost always bought one if I ever encountered one. I think I bought this one when I was in Hong Kong in early 2010.

The last photo shows a couple of the cars from childhood, as well as a more recent acquisition. Also, here is Tamiya’s Online Catalog, a treasure trove of photos and information. Enjoy!

Making Out Like a Bandit


We stopped by Akihabara today. The first thing I saw coming out of the metro was a Sega amusement center. I’m a long-time Sega fan so I was giddy, of course. We played one of the crane games and won a little toy, as seen above. Other goods that I made off with:

  • A mini wifi hotspot that will allow me to use my phone with the hotel’s wired internet (the wifi in the hotel has a weak signal).
  • A bigger wireless mouse to replace my tiny and overly-sensitive Logitech. Unfortunately, this new mouse has a feature called “Touch & Go” which turns off the mouse automatically after 3 seconds if you don’t touch its right side. It’s supposed to save power, but I have found that it doesn’t always respond properly. Before I found out more online, I thought that the mouse was defective. I’ll have to train myself to touch the right side of the mouse before I use it. It would have been a great mouse if not for this issue.
  • HDMI cable for connecting my laptop to the hotel’s LCD.
  • Extension cord so I can use and charge my phone at the same time when I’m in bed. If I use the phone at night without charging it, then I’ll have less than 100% battery to start the day, and that’s not something you want to do with a Galaxy Nexus.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog wet-nap for cleaning your hands after playing crane games!

In addition to a shopping haul I also spent some time in an arcade to play some Super Street Fighter II Turbo. It’s an older game so I pretty much played against the computer. Once I got to Akuma, however, someone decided to challenge me with his/her Chun Li (I didn’t see who was on the other side of the cabinet, but probably a he). I lost quickly just because it’s been so long since I’ve played against a real person and the adrenaline rush was a bit overwhelming. I got him on the run-back, and then again when he picked O. Ken. So, I can now say I played Street Fighter in Japan, and even beat a local player!

Since arriving in Tokyo I’ve been hacking my lungs out and having problems sleeping. That’s such a shame because I’m really liking Tokyo and there’s so much to see and do. I’ll just have to savor the few hours per day that I have when I’m not super tired, like today with Akihabara. I got to walk around the electronic stores and check out the women dressed in maid outfits, nice!

I suppose the one benefit of being unwell is my appetite. I’ve been eating like a pig. I think I need to eat more to replenish all of that energy lost to coughing and tossing and turning in bed. Below is today’s highlight, ramen that makes me salivate just looking at it:


Finally, a sunset that you just can’t get anywhere else:


I can’t wait to get better.

Transformers Decepticon Combiner – Devastator

Devastator, the Decepticon combiner formed by the six Constructicons, is one of the few toys that I brought with me from Hong Kong. It is a toy that is now over 20 years old, and I’d say it’s held up pretty well over the years. Other than the fact that it is 20+ years old, another reason that it is valuable to me is that I had to collect each Constructicon one at a time. Not all stores had all Constructicons, with some being more common than others. Before I collected them all, I remember combing through the displays at the stores to see if I could “build” out Devastator (not that my parents would let me buy all six at once). Most of the time, I was unable to find them all. It was definitely awesome to finally find the last one and complete the set.

Below you will find some photos that were taken earlier this year (2011). I don’t know if I will disassemble Devastator to photograph the individual Constructicons. For now, enjoy Devastator!