Every year, for about 3 years now, I work for Tetsu-san during the Anime Expo held in Los Angeles at the Convention Center. Despite my lack of knowledge in any manga, anime, movie and overall Asian culture involved in the whole interest (except Bleach and Trigun!), he likes my friendly attitude, (OCD) organizational skills- it can get quite messy and busy in a booth- and the fact that I can admit I don’t know jack about what I’m working with, and have no shame in asking for help; I also remember what I learn and don’t have to ask the same question twice.
So, being a good worker for him has earned me a bit of affection, and that was gifted to me when it came to the release of the Linkin Park Nendoroid Petit by Good Smile.
For a couple of months, all we had were photos and description that needed to be translated by Google to read from the Japanese sites. Many times, such collectibles aren’t available for public or individual purchasing, so I casually mentioned it to Tetsu-san and asked to let me know any information he hears about- he has one of the most famous collectible shops here in Little Tokyo and Japan, so if anyone knows, it would be him.
Next thing I knew, when pre-orders became available (which would rack up to over $100!), I found out that Tetsu-san put in an order of the Linkin Nendoroids for his shop! Even better- he knew I had friends in love with the band as much as me, so he made sure to order as many as possible- 14 total.
How lucky can I be, to have a boss and friend like him?
They arrived late October, and I have a bit of a fond memory connected to them; at the time, I had already been talking to LPU members on Facebook that would be at the South African Summit in Cape Town November 7th. Someone posted the link to them and the comments exploded with how adorable they were. However, their cost, shipping and the customs fee could not be ignored. That’s when I mentioned that I had some at my boss’ store, and that I wouldn’t mind bringing it with me in my luggage.
good great friend Jason immediately asked to buy one. Crammed into my luggage with clothes and Almond Roca for my host, a second Nendoroid in my carry-on, Jason’s Nendoroids made it to South Africa after a small white lie to customs (“Are you selling this here?” “No, I brought it to get signed by the band I came to see…!”). The same night I met a handful of these awesome strangers from online, I gave Jason his Linkin Nendoroids at Primi- his reaction over how cute they were was priceless.
I myself didn’t get to opening and putting together my own Linkin Nendoroids until February 2nd! It was even interrupted by the opening of Giant Robot’s “Year of the Snake” show, which could have easily resulted in my disinterest and putting them away in my closet. But I resisted and was determined to win the battle against them- their support stands were made by the devil himself. They were 90% of the reason I struggled; because as cute as they were, they were hard to put “together.”
In the beginning, it was getting the protective plastic film off of them. Ripping at it sometimes felt like it was going to make their legs or head come off and I wasn’t so sure if they should. Anyways, I started with Joe- the only problem with him, was his ponytail. It kept popping off while I tried putting in the stand. Seeing as I should just go ahead and build Stage Rad first, I continued with BBB- ohhhhmahgawd. Brad’s Nendoroid was the one that was nearly beheaded. Though I figured how to put on their guitars/bass without taking off their heads, Brad’s big head due to his hair made it hard to have a good hold of him while putting in the stand. My finger right under his ‘neck’ almost popped off his head before I popped in the stand, ha!
Mike had a minor issue with putting on the guitar strap under his arm, but it wasn’t so bad, and Rob was the most cooperative, but awkward, since I had to connect his stool to his butt; but Chester and Phoenix almost made me cry with frustration. I believe I even called them difficult assholes on Instagram.
With Chester, his arms refused to stay on while I had to hold him and try to put in the microphone. Then moving his arm up so that it looks like he’s singing into it, would also make it fall. Then, of course, the stand. It’s always the damn stand. I eventually got him up next to Mike with the Linkin Park under his foot, moved on to Phoenix- the hardest of them all.
With Phoenix, I had trouble with the strap on his bass. I couldn’t figure out which end was supposed to come off because both refused, so I had to force one open and hope I didn’t ruin it. Then, maybe because of his jacket, I couldn’t position the bass without it coming up too high and the strap was hard to fix along his shoulder; then there’s the fact that his left arm would come off as I tried. When it came time for the stand to be put in, his arm continued to come off and I almost chucked him across the room.
But, in the end I got them all up. They were adorable. Their stage had a giant LP symbol and Joe’s records actually spun and Rob had tiny drumsticks- and Chester with his cute, angry little face- I loved them, and cleared out a shelf for them.
Their background slides into a groove behind the stage and has Linkin Park printed across it- I went a step more, though, and put up the small, beaded South African flag my other great friend Rob(blet) gave me. Let’s my little guys be unique to me. And I have to say, these Nendoroids sum up Linkin pretty well- they may be ‘rockstars,’ but they are adorable guys whether they like it or not, haha.