HUBBALLI: When he sees a rare toy car or a toy figure of a Super Hero, his eyes light up. He invests money, time and effort in possessing these treasures. Ayush Nalavade (22), pursuing engineering in Computer Science from BVB College, has been buying exotic and rare toys of cars and Super Heroes, their paintings drawn by artists and DC comics books since the last 12 years--- all from his pocket money. The only time he persuaded his father was to get him a showcase to display his possessions. This showcase at his house is now a big attraction.
Some of his collections include toy figures of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, war machines, transformers, dragon ball of Manga series, cartoons, action figures, Hot Wheel cars, Ferrari cars and remote control cars. He also has the Super Heroes limited edition toys and statues.He also has paintings of Super Heroes, sketched and signed by the artists. Canadian comic book artist Jason Fabok’s art pieces and signed by him, another painting by David Finch, comic artist, are among his proud possessions.
Ayush began his hobby when he was a child with collecting cars during his school days. Now he is more interested in statues of Super Heroes and their books. He says he would spend all his pocket money on these collections. On special occasions like birthday, he asks his parents to give him cash instead of gifts so that he can spend it on buying more cars or books. When his collection became huge, he got a showcase.“I buy comic books including Watchmen, Sandman, Saga, Hellboy, These Savage Shores, Maus, Deluxe books, Berserk and Manga from online platforms. I also approach other collectors to get some rare and limited edition statues like ¼ scale DC comics premium format Batman, which is only 7,000 pieces across the globe,” he says.
“Many toy collectors from various parts of the country have come on social media and have built a community where they discuss the latest toys and its reviews. They have also created a YouTube channel to share their reviews of the toys and statues. I have joined the group,” he explains.“We help each other get limited edition toys available on various online platforms and sales. The community with limited members from New Delhi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and other cities also meets once in a year or two,” he says.
“Maintenance is not easy though cleaning toys is very important. Otherwise the toys gather dust or their colours fade away. I spend one day every three months to clean toys,” says Ayush. Sunil Nalavade, his father, who works in a leading private firm, is very proud of his son as he uses his pocket money on a ‘good hobby’. “Many students spend their pocket money on parties, movies and entertainment. But not my son --- he spends his pocket money on his unique hobby. Nor has he asked me to buy toys. In the beginning, I didn’t think much of his hobby. But today after seeing his collection, I am happy.” After seeing Ayush’s collection, his relatives, friends and his classmates appreciate his hobby and support him in his endeavour.