Monday, February 17, 2014

Portrait Of Collectors: Yanick Lombarts

Hey guys, our community is really awesome and we, -proud collectors- want to talk about ourselves and share our passion with everyone. Today, we will hear Yanick Lombarts talking about himself and about one of the most valuable things for him; his P.O.P figure collection!

Hi everyone, my name is Yanick Lombarts. I’m a 23 year old guy who lives with his parents in the Netherlands (West-Europe). I have an awesome and beautiful girlfriend (of Chinese/Malaysian origin) called Joyce and we hope to find ourselves a house soon. I went to a sports academy and since almost three years, I work full-time as a sports/fitness instructor at an International fitness/wellness company. Of course I also work out a little myself and my work is definitely one of my hobbies. Besides that, I love playing video-games (especially fighting games), playing street-soccer with my friends and I watch a lot of anime. Personally I’m not really into reading/collecting manga’s, cause I don’t really feel like buying all of them. I prefer anime because I feel it makes the story come to life more. Furthermore, there is this hobby called collecting…

How did you discovered One Piece and how did this turned into collecting figures?

Before I started watching One Piece, I watched Naruto and Bleach. Those were my first 2 anime series (aside of Dragonball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh but those were back in the days). Alexander, a very close friend told me about One Piece and how good it was. One day I gave it a shot and after a couple episodes I totally fell in love with Luffy as a character. He was so hilarious and especially his willpower and determination was something that got my attention. Also, the subject about pirates sailing the world looking for that same "One Piece" felt unique and it made me feel happy even though that might sound stupid. Another thing I love in One Piece is the background music. All of these things together made me search for One Piece merchandise across the internet. At first I bought a couple cheap figures, which I liked but there was this one awesome thing that kept showing up. Portrait of Pirates here, P.O.P there, Megahouse blabla... I needed those! The only thing I didn't like at first was the price tag of those figures. I didn't quite understood why a figure would be so expensive. Until I got my first one and it all made sense.

Portrait Of Pirates, the beginning...

It all started with someone on the internet on a local website. This particular person was selling some of those P.O.P’s I read about. I wanted to buy them but that price tag... 9 figures in total so if you do the calculating you would know how I felt back then. I was kind of hesitant at first because I heard a lot about bootlegs. The pictures looked pretty legit though and the person seemed genuine. I kept checking on this advertisement each and every day to make sure they weren't sold yet. After a certain number of clicks I just couldn't resist any longer and wrote him an e-mail telling him I was interested. After a bit of negotiating we made a deal. My money was going to help him and his girlfriend take care of their upcoming wedding so it even felt right. While I was going to receive 9 of those P.O.P’s. When the package came in, I was shocked about the size of this huge box containing all 9 figures. The first one I opened was Neo Series Brook and I loved it. After a while of unboxing there was my first set of figures. The entire Neo Series Straw Hat crew! Since that day, every time I get a new P.O.P in the mail I get so excited and they keep blowing my mind! I open my packages and P.O.P’s boxes with a kunai (lol) and I’m always extremely careful with the boxes to make sure not to damage anything. At the time of writing this I own 32 P.O.P figures. Among my favorites are Mihawk Ver.2, Sir Crocodile, Neo Series Franky, Kizaru, Blackbeard Ver.1.5 but my absolute favorite P.O.P has to be Donquixote Doflamingo. He’s also my favorite character in the anime and I love everything about that maniac. His overall appearance, personality, Devil Fruit power and even his voice actor. He’s just awesome! I’m also a huge Coby fan and I sure hope he gets a P.O.P anytime soon...

Me, myself and my figures...

Well, pictures do that justice so be sure to check them all out! I keep all of my figures in my room as well as the boxes (I never get rid of boxes). I display my figures as sets so for example, notice the entire Neo Series Straw Hat crew on my shelf is displayed with Luffy's Jolly Roger above them. The Marines are displayed on another shelf with a giant flag of the marines under them. I also keep all of the Shichibukai together behind glass. Love them as a set. Of course Doflamingo has a shelf for himself with his wanted poster behind him. I even brainwashed one of my friends Xander and made him start collecting too. If anyone gets near my figures I get nervous and keep that person locked in my sight. Especially since one time my dear friend dropped my Sailing Again Nami (thanks Kevin). She was still alive though and unharmed.

Maintaining the collection...

Usually I get rid of all the dust on my figures once a week. It’s a valuable collection and thus I take good care of it. I use a very soft little brush to dust them and reach tricky areas. All the empty boxes ha-ha, they’re becoming somewhat of a problem. The majority of the boxes is well hidden behind the bed. For some other boxes I even sacrificed some of my wardrobe space so I keep those in my closet. The ones I really like are displayed in plain sight (Doflamingo for example).

The best way to deal with broken figures is to make sure not to break them! However, nearly every collector will break something one day. In my case it was the very first figure I ever took out of the box; the Neo Series Brook I was telling about earlier. I was carefully messing around with his stick/ sword and tried to switch the blade part in. The peg got stuck and broke.. I could cry really, I felt terrible. I still found a way to display him with the stick and you wouldn’t really notice it’s broken. Still, if you own this Brook figure please do not switch the fragile blade in Ha-ha!

Why do you have double figures in boxes?

Ha-ha good question. I have this bad habit where I believe it’s necessary to buy certain figures twice. For example take a look at my picture of Luffy, Zoro and Franky together. Yeah... I know it’s silly... I feel like the only way a figure can maintain it’s perfect condition is by keeping it in the box. That’s why I got some double figures allowing me to display one of them while keeping my other one safe and sound in the box. Bad and expensive habit… However if I keep the twins next to each-other, I can see slight differences in color which makes me feel a bit better about it. I guess exposing them to the outside world and sunlight do cause minor changes to figures so that’s why I have doubles.

What are the characters that you want to see get P.O.P'd in the future?

Now that’s a great question. I believe every collector has a different opinion regarding this subject. Though, I do think I speak for the majority of P.O.P fans if I say we need a Buggy P.O.P! We've waited long enough and this character would make such an awesome P.O.P figure. So please Megahouse, give us this red nosed piece of awesomeness! For me personally besides Buggy I would love to finally see a Coby P.O.P. I've been waiting for it since I started and I’m kind of sad there isn't even a P.O.P of him in the past yet with the silly glasses etc. His more grown up form is awesome too. Coby, you better become an Admiral quickly and turn into a figure! Some other choices I would really want to see are I’d say… Fujitora, Jozu, Magellan, Sabo, Mister 1, updated Smoker and Tashigi and perhaps an updated Kuma and Jinbei. Also under the P.O.P MAS line a Buddha form Sengoku and Monster Chopper would be great!

That’s about everything I can tell you about my collection right now. Of course I can keep rambling on for hours but that would make this a huge story. I don’t plan on stopping to buy figures anytime soon. My girlfriend isn't too happy with this hobby ha-ha but she’s trying. She even gave me an Enel P.O.P on my b-day! Well, that’s it for now. Thank you for these great questions! Enjoy the pictures and feel free to ask any questions. Also, all of my figures will be reviewed in videos. There’s already a bunch of them uploaded and still a lot more to come! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and stay informed about P.O.P world! Also there is my MFC account, feel free to add me! Arrigatou!