The Auckland Hobbies Fair took place over the weekend where toy enthusiasts could buy and sell a range of collectables, across the ages. Meet two young-at-heart Māori men who have a passion for collecting and selling exclusive toys. Mike Kaiwai descends from Ngāti Porou lineage, and Mike Howell says he's of 'mixed blood' but calls Te Arawa rohe home. Both Mikes described their love for toys and how the 'hobby' is 'more than meets the eye'.
Howell says his favourite piece has to be the Ultimate Lego Batmobile. "The thing I like about it breaks into four different vehicles so you know it is not just the thing you keep together. Little things break off and you can use it for different superheroes you know."
Spotting a bargain:
Howell also has a keen eye for a good sale, holding back to purchase items as cheap as possible but says the wait can have its drawbacks. "I wait for sales to get like 20% off, just to make it a bit cheaper. I do buy some stuff second hand off TradeMe too it's always a little bit cheaper but you play the risk of getting a set that is not quite complete," he says. Mike Kaiwai says buying and selling collectables is a passion he now shares with his son. "Wiremu and I just got to the point that we've got so many collectables. We started coming to one of these sales; we've been coming for the last three or four years. We buy stuff from all around the world. Bring it in and sell it here at the sale - that's our thing."
Across the ages:
One collectable the dad and son duo bought but are yet to sell-off was a large rotary gun (toy). "It was one of these big rotary guns which shot little pellets out. You'd hold it up and then it shot about a thousand bullets a second," he says. At the fair, son Wiremu acquired a second-hand electronic Star Wars podracing track set which both he and dad can play with together. It seems the enjoyment had with such collectables can connect generations and last a lifetime.