Saturday, October 18, 2014

Portrait Of Collectors: Jose Ucles

Hey guys, what's up! I'm glad to make the third Portrait Of Collectors today, and this one is very special, for the simple reason: our guy has got the most complete Portrait Of Pirates figures collection ever! HE'S GOT 200 P.O.P FIGURES! Huge, don't you think? Let's hear more from Jose Ucles about his passion!

Hi everyone! My name is Jose Ucles. I’m 31 years old and live in Dressrosa (Spain xD) with my girlfriend named Beatriz. I’m working in a customs agency in the port of Almeria and my great hobby is traveling. I love visiting other countries, learn about different cultures, their histories and their people. I've been twice in Japan and want to go again in a couple of years because I really love this country and everything around it.

How I discovered One Piece and how did this turned into collecting figures...

I started the collection in Japan! On my first trip in August 2010. However, I had already seen some Portrait of Pirates before, but it seemed crazy to spend more than 50€ on one figure. I only had seen a few episodes of One Piece but I loved P.O.P. In fact, Crocodile was the first P.O.P I bought (in Akihabara) and didn't knew the character. I just loved the figure. Days later, I bought 6 more figures in Akihabara, Nakano, Shibuya and Yokohama: Strong Edition Sanji, Nico Robin, Chopper, Zoro, Luffy and Bartholomew Kuma Neo DX. I returned to Spain with the feeling that I had started a collection and wouldn't stop until complete.

Then, on my second trip to Japan in 2012, I bought some P.O.P that had recently released as Arlong Neo DX, Sailing Again BrookChopper Kyupin Ver.Chopper DX, and others limited as Strong Edition Chopper Ver.2 BEAMS T Ver. and Mr.2 Bon Kure Dome Tour Limitation Ver. Neo EX.

You have 191 figures, but… why are you collecting exclusively One Piece figures, and
more precisely only P.O.P?

Now I've got 198 200 P.O.P (and will be 200 with Nico Robin P.O.P CB-EX Dereshi 10th Ver. & Chopper P.O.P Sailing Again Military Ver., that are coming He's got them!!!), with 4 repeated: Nami CB-2 (to expose with Nojiko & Bellemere in cabinet), Bartholomew Kuma (as Pacifista in cabinet), Benn Beckman Neo DX (different boxes/young-old in cabinet) and Sogeking Neo (different boxes/Usopp-Sogeking in cabinet). Before the Portrait of Pirates, I used to collect HG & DG Dragon Ball gashapon of Bandai. I have also some other things that I brought from my trips to Japan ^^. Why only P.O.P? Because of the quality of materials and the level of details. In my opinion, they are the best figures in the world of One Piece. There are very talented people working on this collection.

Seeing your great POPs, are you trying to complete all the sets of the collection?

I really love the Portrait of Pirates collection and I think when I start with a collection, I have to finish it completely. So I want all P.O.P, even all the Choppermen. Also, I think that the different colors of them look great when they are all together ^^. Today I “only” miss Chopperman Returns Neo EX, Navy Blue Coat For Aokiji, and Portgas D. Ace Metallic Ver.

How do you manage to get the rarest figures?

There are many different ways! I love to start with the process of searching for the figures, especially if the item is difficult to get. Megahouse tests us sometimes… but it's funny! In the last year, they've released one Chopperman exclusively in Taiwan and one Chopper (very limited) in Hong Kong. I have to talk much with other collectors and sellers. Make friends in other countries is very important too. Also I have to thank to Kazuki Sugiyama and Nick Chen (Omocha House) for their patience with me :)

Does these Limited editions (like the chopper man figures set) cost a lot?

Yes! So it’s funny to look for again and again and get the best price possible. Moreover, also has a great influence how long you can wait to get the item. Chopperman aren't excessively expensive now. What happens is there are too many!

What figure was the harder to get, and which one is the most expensive you paid?

The hardest figure to get I haven’t got yet: Portgas D. Ace Metallic Ver.! I know where to find it but it's terribly expensive. If someone is reading me and wants to sell it at a good price, I'll be happy to hear. I had three figures difficult to get a good price: Tony Tony Chopper BEAMS T Ver., Bellemere Original Series and Carue P.O.P Neo EX (that was a present from my girlfriend ^^). Finally I got them but I had to look hard.

You have a great cabinet, can you tell if you bought it or constructed it, also, how do
you store all your figure boxes?

Thank you! Cabinets are Billys from Ikea but glass doors are measure-made by a professional, because Billy’s glass doors have very wide borders and that spoiled the overall view of the collection. Then, my girlfriend and I installed LED lights in all shelves.

About figure boxes, I have a storage room where I keep all. I only miss box of Nico Robin Dereshi Ver. CB-EX because I bought her without box, but I hope to get soon.

What will you do when your cabinet will get full?

It’s already full. I'm preparing the new setup that will be exactly like the other one and will be directly opposite. So, for a while I can’t keep opening new figures >.<. When I have the new ready I’ll have space for another 200 more P.O.P!

What is your favorite P.O.P figure you have! And if you have the choice, which figure
you would like to get POPd very soon, and which sculptor artist you want him to
make it?

My favourite P.O.P is my first P.O.P: Crocodile Neo DX. I think quality of the figure is still very high more than four years after release. I bought the figure before knowing the character because was an awesome work of Yuuki-sama.

As I said before, I’ll continue buying all P.O.Ps that Megahouse releases but, sure! there are many characters that I’d like to have. Nami or Trafalgar Law will always going to be sold but they should risk a little because there are many collectors who want others characters.
However, I think this is changing a bit because, in the last year, they have presented Bellamy, Bartolomeo, Cavendish, Momonosuke, Kaku, Rebecca, Thunder Soldier, Fujitora, Viola, Sugar and Lao G. Megahouse has changed of direction and now chooses to do more masculine and new characters. Almost all of them are from actual arc but, after all, are new characters. This is important

I love it because Dressrosa is transcendental and long. I think if Megahouse continues in this direction, we will have a magnificent exposition of this arc. However, I'd like they made characters very important in One Piece like Buggy, Ivankov and Magellan, but also they complete the CP9 line with Jabra, Fukuro, Kumadori or Blueno and Supernova line with X-Drake, Hawkins, Apoo… I also think that Smoker and Tashigi deserve a Sailing Again version. Not forgetting to  name Dragon, Kinemon, Daz Bones or Jozu. Finally, it would be great that Megahouse begin with a line of the past of the Mugiwara crew with Dadan, Hiluluk, Tom, Kuina, ZeffBellemere was very successful in sales and I think this line would have it too.

What do you think about our blog?

It’s the best site that Portrait of Pirates collectors can have! I visit it every day and I love that everything is so updated. There is a lot of hard work and love everything in this blog. It’s made with a DON! Thank you, Aladdin for this awesome site. I liked Yanick and Nancy P.O.C a lot and I was really excited when Aladdin proposed me to have my own interview. It has been a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed all questions!