Happy Friday! As we mentioned last week--each Friday, TLS BLOG will be featuring a TLS Collector and Retailer offering a glimpse into the passionate minds that support the brand. This week we're pleased to highlight Dennis Morales, aka collector and father extraordinare! Everyone in the TLS community knows and loves the man. A true and loyal MVP. Here's what he had to share...
- What was the greatest Birthday on memory?
DENNIS: The greatest birthday/ most memorable that I have celebrated so far is the first time I had my first born child celebrate it with me. I had a great time with family and friends celebrating all day having food and drinks at home. My lovely daughter Nathalia was just about two months old at the time and so much fun to have around that night as she was taking in all the sights and sounds of the celebration in between cat naps. Well I did not pay enough attention to her in my arms and did notice that she christened me with her birthday gift. I only found out what had happened when I went to put her in her bassinet that she had a large bowel movement on me! Everyone at my house erupted in laughter at me but all I could do was laugh and clean up because it was just another memory that I will always share with her!
- What was your greatest Christmas moment?
DENNIS: I have two fond memories of Christmas that I rank equal. The first would be the Christmas that I received my favorite stuffed animal Abu from Aladdin. That Christmas I had baked the traditional Christmas cookies for Santa and asked my parents if me and my brother could leave extra cookies out for Santa to make sure he would leave us something wonderful under the tree! They happily allowed us to do so and for extra measures me and my older brother left our MMPR action figures out by the tree and cookies to make sure they were well guarded through the night. The next morning, I woke up to a stocking full of gifts and a mountain of presents underneath our tree. The MMPR figures were sitting on top of boxes of new toys and I was not even mad at them falling asleep on duty because next to them on top of die cast dump truck was my ABU to which I still have today. The second yet equally important Christmas was when I found out the truth about Santa. My parents felt extra guilty about lying to me and my brothers so they allowed us to stay up till midnight and open up one gift they had already wrapped. The gift that I received was a Dragon ball z action figure of Super Saiyan Gohan! Now at this time in third grade and my whole life revolved around Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z and I was exceedingly delighted to have received him as a gift. Even though my parents did not let me open another gift until the morning I do not think that I played with another toy as much as Gohan that day.
- What would you risk Life and Limb to Rescue?
DENNIS: After my family and cell phone I would have to rescue my stuffed animal Abu. That monkey has been with me through 23 years of friendships, relationships, hardships, and all around good times. I have taken him to every state that I have moved to and I plan on retiring him to my son or grandson if I ever have one someday.
- How did you get into collecting?
DENNIS: I got into collecting when I met my wife. She has a very nice collection of DVDs and Cds that she has acquired over the years one way or another. We were shopping at Moviestop when I came across a wall of Funko Pops. I am a huge fan of Batman and Robin mostly because of the better half of the Dynamic Duo Robin. I found his pop and a nightwing sitting on the shelf and well I just had to have them. Soon enough I caught the bug and went back to the store (two years later) to buy some more. I then found out about Facebook groups and a whole world of collecting opened up to me.
- What is the single most coveted piece in your personal collection?
DENNIS: My TLS Gamestop exclusive Michelangelo! The reason being he was my first exclusive Tmnt Figure that I was able to hunt down as well as my Favorite Turtle of all time. My First Favorite love was Robin then TMNT and followed closely by the Power Rangers. So Naturally when I saw This Mini Mikey I had to have him. I love him the most out of all the Current Mikey Variants because he is from The Turtles in Time NES Game that I spent countless hours trying to beat.
- What do you love about the community?
DENNIS: What I love Most about the collector’s community is meeting new people. I have met some of the most amazing, generous, caring, and thoughtful individuals online and real life shortly after starting to collect. I also love the opportunities that open up to you when dealing with cool companies such as helping out TLS at the 2016 NY Toy Fair. I have also participated in a Christmas in July Swap orchestrated by admins within a collector’s community online. I think what I love most about the community is that sometimes people are willing to help you look out for an exclusive or do not mind scoring one to trade or sell at cost back to you just to help another’s collection out. This community is full of surprises and people willing to come together regardless of your age or background because of our common love of toys!
- Who is your favorite retailer? What do you love about them? How often do you visit? What shelf or section do you visit first?
DENNIS: My favorite retailer has to be Hot Topic. I love that they get tons of exclusives that are usually pretty cool items that I would collect. I try to go to the at least to one of the two stores closest to me once a week to check in and see what they have in stock. I always go for their collectibles table/ shelf to see if there are any new blind box figures that I collect. Then I’ll check their clothing racks to pick up a decent shirt or two.
- Lastly – who, what, where and how did you find TLS? What is your favorite feature on a TLS item? Which TLS collectible is your “Hope Diamond” of the TLS cannon?
DENNIS: I found out about The Loyal Subjects when the MMPR line dropped. I was online looking at some Funko pops when I came across a blog post on the power ranger action vinyl’s. I loved that they brought back some fond memories and decided to hunt down a case. Once I got them in hand I loved them at first sight and had a blast opening the full case at home. I decided to go online and check out what other items they have and found out about their TMNT line and the exclusives they displayed at NYCC. I cannot narrow down my favorite feature since they have so many good ones like the insane amount of articulation for a miniature to the finely detailed accessories they come with. If I had to choose it is the Accessories because they add fun and flare to already stellar toys. Most collectible miniatures usually are small statues that do not have removable accessories that you can swap out for the heck of it. My hope diamond of the TLS Cannon would have to be the Wave 2 TMNT Michelangelo because of his accessories. Not only does it look like Joe Allard has captured the iconic party nature of Mikey but his skateboard looks amazing and I cannot wait to get my hands on this fellow. I wouldn’t even mind seeing an 8 inch variant of this Michelangelo.
- What do you like about The Loyal Subjects? Our beautifully quaffed hair? Our pearly smiles? Power Rangers? Removable helmets? What did/do we do to deserve your attention?
DENNIS: Hmm what do I like most about The Loyal Subjects? There are so many great qualities about this company it’s hard to narrow down! I love that they are approachable and active within the toy collecting community. I admired the hard work and dedication the team puts into these action vinyl’s’. If I had to choose a winning quality, I would have to say the fact they have and are recreating some of the best lines of adult collector’s childhood. The amount of nostalgia I feel every time I look at my collection is immense. I love the TMNT line and MMPR is a close second, but I cannot stop with those two I find myself really looking forward to future releases like GI Joe and even Street Fighters. The fact that they play with my heart strings whenever they announce a new line goes to show they listen and actively search out what everyone in the toy community has been wanting. I know heaps of collectors that cannot wait for the Masters of The Universe line to drop and the same with the My Little Ponies who both have hardcore followers. The amount of time that The Loyal Subjects puts into this work bringing back childhood memories and the fact that I can now build new ones with my kids because of these toys is just outstanding.
If you would like to share your story, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org