Sunday, 30th of April 2023
We are strong believers in the fact that people are meant to enjoy material possessions, especially when they’re passionate about them. There’s a special feeling of joy that comes from being able to buy the things you love, even when those things end up being only for display. Collecting is a prime example of fully dedicating yourself to material things, whether that be in the form of toys, band merch, or even Starbucks tumblers from around the world.
Maliki Andrizal Syarif is one such collector who has over the years amassed about 12 years worth of toys and even more in stories. Ageless Galaxy had the unique opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Maliki after he took us on a tour of his extensive collection.
Maliki is infamous for his toy and sneaker collection. Beginning in 2009 with a Ghostbusters Lego toy, he had slowly started to search and build his Lego collection. Currently, his collection includes toys of all shapes and sizes, modern and vintage alike. With the help of his mother, Maliki had even archived his collection of childhood toys, keeping them in excellent condition even after all these years. Because of this, he has earned a reputation for himself in the community by sharing his enthusiasm for his collection through his YouTube channel.
Tamish: This is all very impressive, Can you tell us how and when did you start collecting these toys?
Maliki: So the first time I started collecting toys, maybe to start is the Legos. It started in the year 2009 or 2010 when I had my own income and became an adult. With my income being enough, I decided to buy Legos one by one. Now it’s been 12 or 13 years and that’s basically how I started and that turned into the Lego Dioramas.
T: So that was the toy that started your collection, but I wanted to ask, do you still have any toys from your Childhood?
M: Actually yeah, My first toys are from my family, my parents and grandparents bought me toys when I was little and my mother decided to keep them. I’m grateful that she did and even today they’re still in that toy room!
T: That’s awesome, I love that! Can you share with us the story of how the Toy Room started? How did you have a whole room special just for your collection?
M: Actually this is my Grandmother’s house, but my mother and I decided to move here because my grandmother was alone and we wanted to keep her company. When we moved, we decided to renovate the house and that’s when I had ideas to make this room, that room and so on. With the Toy Room, I decided to have one floor designated for all my ideas. I told you before that in 2009 I started collecting Legos, that’s when I got the plan to have a big table and put all the Legos into a diorama. Also, I think a very important aspect of creating Lego Dioramas is to be very-very detailed and it has to have color transitions to make it Interesting. That’s pretty much how it started and what it came to be, so I had to think really really hard. In the end, I chose Legos for various reasons and from my Point-of-view it’s very fun, it helps us to be more creative and imaginative, plus anyone of all ages could play with them.
T: What was the first collection you started?
M: The first ever Lego I bought was Ghostbusters, which was the first that opened the doors to what it is today. As time passed, I kept buying Legos one-by-one, because It’s not easy to buy Legos and they are a bit expensive so I had to save money and started buying them one by one.
With that, I collected Legos and some are very interesting. One of them is Ole Kirk’s House, The Founder of Lego. It's a red house and made to be exactly/similar to Ole Kirk’s real house. It’s one of the pieces that I collect because it's interesting and not because of the aspect of money or rarity or whatever. For me, because of its History, this Lego is an interesting one. I get to see Ole Kirk’s and just take in how grateful he made Legos and all of this happened because of him.
The one that is rare or hard to find is definitely Ole Kirk’s house and the Statue of Liberty. Correct me If I’m wrong but, I think this Lego is only available in New York, United State of America. It was released back then that’s why it’s hard to find, and the price is very-very crazy but I was lucky enough to get it.
T: I’ve also noticed you’re a bit of a sneakerhead, do you also collect sneakers?
M: So, other than toys I also collect shoes. I wouldn’t really call myself a sneakerhead but I love sneakers so much! I don’t know why, but I love it. A lot of people have asked me why do you buy this sneaker or that one, while for me I bought it simply because I like it. There are many people who buy sneakers because of their history, their culture or because it was worn by who and how the material is. For me, I buy something because of what I like, how it is, how it’s shaped and if it’s cool, then I’ll buy it.
Actually, you can say that I have liked sneakers since I was little because I really love the NBA, I saw Charles Barkley using the Air Max and It’s so cool, Chris Webber with the straps on the sneakers is also very cool and even the Jordan was cool and I remember that since I was in elementary school.
I’ve always liked sneakers and I started collecting them in High School, around 1996 or 1997. At that time Onitsuka Tiger was the hype of it all. But of course, we were still kids in school with no income to collect, we gotta save and find more income to buy.
T: What made you want to collect more?
M: Firstly I have to admit I’m the type of person that has a lot of wants in Bahasa Indonesia “BM - Banyak Mau”, so I have to admit and acknowledge I’m that type of person. If any toys catch my eye, I like them, not just toys, sometimes it’s clothes and shoes. As you told me there were Stussy Pool Balls, I’m interested. So I’m acknowledging that I am the way that I am and I have to provide for my wants and learn how to make money to buy the stuff I want. Because I feel like it’s not possible to buy something on the expensive side and ask family members to buy them, they will be like “What? If you want it, go buy it on your own.” It is just a moral that has been taught since I was little, that If you want something you gotta find a way to do it on your own. From there I started working on many projects to buy all of this.
T: Why did you start showing off your collection on Youtube?
M: At first, My Happy Place was not something I wanted to publish and upload, I made that room for my own pleasure. From early on when I first started this room, every time I come back from work, especially when there are problems and even during covid, Working was very stressful. So every time after work I would go to the Toy Room and say “Wow this is my happy place.” I can spend all day long here, with friends, nieces and nephews, and cousins and even my aunts and uncles can enjoy and play together here. For me that’s really priceless, to be able to play with them, so that's why I call it My Happy Place.
As time went on, a lot of my friends who are content creators saw my Instagram Stories and asked if they could come to my house and make content out of it and well, be my guest. I called it My Happy Place so I can share the happiness with people and that’s the vision of the channel.
Now that we’re making Youtube Videos and it’s getting serious and active, plus with my main job, I feel a sense of responsibility that’s increasing. I definitely feel I have to find an idea on how to maintain My Happy Place, especially towards its cleanliness and even building those Legos take time, that’s why I have my team to help me. Shout out to Mas Abi, Mas Faris, Mas Andri and everyone from Cah 82 that has helped. And obviously, the amount of support from my mom and grandmother who has given me a room and for that I am utterly grateful.
As of right now, I try to hire them to clean and do everything within their working time, which is office hours because I feel that it’s so important for us to take care and maintain the stuff we have, especially collector’s items. Why? Because when we collect something, we have to take care of it properly, when we can’t do so, I think we can try to hire someone to care for it properly because it has to be kept nicely because their value is high. Not just the money aspect but even the history behind it, like if I got it from my mom and to me that’s very priceless. I’m very very grateful that they want to help.
T: What keeps you motivated to collect?
M: For me, the number one motivation to do it is, as Men we have the responsibility to work, but behind that we have our hobbies like collecting, so we have to work hard to do and buy our hobbies. That is my number one motivation because if we like or enjoy something, we would do anything to get it.
T: Any words of wisdom?
M: My advice to everyone who wants to start collecting, especially the ones with Kids, Nieces or Nephews, is to do one thing, do not throw toys away, keep them nicely, because we never know in 10 to 20 years what the value of it is, not just the monetary value but the history and the moments behind it too. Because when we grow up and then we see the toys we had when we were little, it feels different. You suddenly remember those priceless moments when you maybe got them as a birthday present, a gift from your grandfather, so my advice is to please never throw it away and keep it nicely because as time goes on, the culture of toys is getting bigger, so that’s my advice.
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