Lyli is another friend and toy collector I met online. This nice young lady is quite popular in the blogging community and a lot of people enjoy her posts and beautiful pictures at lylibellule.biz. She also has some awesome posts featuring other bloggers with the same interest as hers.
In this interview, we’ll get to know a bit more about Lyli as she tells her story about figure collecting and her other activities.
ToyPusher.com: Hello Lyli. Can you tell us more about yourself and how did you get into figure collecting?
Lyli: My real name is Lysiane, I live in Belgium and I got hooked with the manga world for about 2 and a half years. I started by collecting hundreds of wallpapers on my computer which led me to reading more manga, watching animes and finally, what became my main activity, collecting figures and taking photos of them.
To achieve buying all of what I want to have, I work in the cleaning business. It’s physical work and my schedule is not always easy to handle (half during the night and what’s left of my hours are spread during the day). I often have a decrease of energy because of that. But it’s also a job where you can make a living and it’s a great motivation, right… :D
Lately I tried cosplaying but i don’t think it’ll become a regular activity because I’m way too shy and uncommunicative.
Aside from manga, I like gardening when the weather lets me. I like flowers, trees, nature in general. Working with land and transforming my garden into a small paradise make me happy. Unfortunately I admit that a day of 24 hours is clearly not enough to conciliate all my activities. And I have a lot of troubles to organize everything. ^^
ToyPusher.com: Wow, you seem to have a lot of interesting activities. It’s nice to know that you’re really motivated with what you do. I guess all your hard work paid off since I saw that you have a wonderful collection of figures from your posts. How do you choose the toys that you collect?
Lyli: I don’t have a well defined kind of figures. I can like as much kawaii than sexy. My choice are mostly by coup de coeur separated in 2 categories :
Immediate love and there is no way I can change my mind whatever happens.
And those where I still have a small doubt… in this case I pre-order it on HLJ (Hobby Link Japan) and i wait its release on HS (Hobby Stock) who always offer photos of the finished product before anyone else. If the figure is not of good quality then I cancel it.
Sometimes I also have to make a choice, like everyone else to when my monthly budget is exceeded. In this case, I obviously keep figures that I know will be harder to find later and others are placed on my wishlist.
ToyPusher.com: Coup de coeur, yeah I guess there are figures that you instantly like and a must-get. ^^ I know how you feel about the wishlist. My list is way too long. Lol.
How do you keep yourself updated with the toys in the market and where do you usually get your stuff?
Lyli: Each morning I visit Wcloudx, Tokyo Hunter, pre-order page of HS and AmiAmi. Those are the major websites that keep me updated of release dates and eventually figure editions and delays.
My main provider is Nihonju where I get almost all the exclusives. After there’s HLJ and E2046 (only for gathering). Recently, I added to my list Otacute and AmiAmi. To have a clearer picture, I regularly print the summary page of my pre-order on each of those sites and I try to have a monthly expense balance for each month.
ToyPusher.com: It’s nice to be organized with your pre-orders especially if you have a lot. That’s a good way to keep your budget in check. With all those beautiful toys that you have, which is the first significant toy that you bought?
Lyli: My favorite figure and I wanted above all is Clare from Claymore produced by MegaHouse. But why Clare? Well, because Claymore is the first anime I watched in Vostfr (Version Originale – Sous-Titre Français – my primary language is French) and I really loved this gore atmosphere that shined from it. Clare became a charismatic character to me and when i saw a figure of her existed, it was mandatory for me to get it. I remember at that time, she was sold out. It took me weeks to find a copy at a reasonable price. I obtained her due to a friend who helped me on my searches. That time, I was the happiest in the world.
Few months later, Megahouse announced a re-edition of this figure… ^^ If only you could know everything in advance…
ToyPusher.com: It sure feels good when you get to buy something that you really wanted. ^^ I can see that you collect a lot of QB figures. Is Queen’s Blade also your favorite? Do you have a particular anime/manga character set that you’d like to complete?
Lyli: Indeed, QB figures have an important place in my collection. I started to gather them before I even watched the anime.
My first 2 QB figures were young Alice and Mellona, that made me enjoy MH (Megahouse) work and eventually became my favorite manufacturer. Then I decided to invest on this show’s characters. After that, obviously, I took the time to watch this anime to be more knowledgeable about those amazingly hot girls. Despite this, I only buy the figures I like. I’m not the kind to buy a figure I don’t like just to complete my collection.
ToyPusher.com: Young Alice (Queen’s Gate) is one figure that’s on my wishlist. I still have to find a reasonably priced Alice though ^^;
I noticed that you have very nice backgrounds for your photo shoots. Can you give other toy collectors suggestions on how to make pictures of their collection more interesting?
Lyli: Doing photos of my figures for me is a true passion. I give it all my heart. But i don’t want to simply do photos like the ones you see everywhere for reviews with a plain background. I wanted to create backdrops and give life to figures. I put a point of honor to this. It’s not always easy and it often happens that I have an imagination jam. LooooL.
To do my photos I use an Alpha 300 coupled with macro lens. I do all my photos on my small homemade studio with my own means and advice I could gather from the Internet. I’m far from being a professional in this domain and even if I’m doing well, it happens often that I have to spend some time to find some settings.
My advice for readers: it’s not the hardware and the camera which make great photos (they contribute for quality of course) but the love you put in it. Of course, I stay available if you wish some technical advice. It’s always possible to contact me using the Contact me page on my website. I’ll answer to all with pleasure. But once again, I’m not a pro and I’m far from knowing the world of photography.
ToyPusher.com: What do you like most about figure collecting and what’s the most challenging aspect of it?
Lyli: What I love in my collection is being surrounded with my figures and watch them each passing day. It appeases me and gives me a huge joy. The most difficult is money. It’s a very expensive collection and prices never stop to rise up… to satisfy my needs, I have to deprive myself from many other things. Sometimes it happens that I eat less to be sure I don’t miss a figure. LooooL
ToyPusher.com: Yeah, figure collecting is indeed a very expensive hobby. But it really makes me happy too when I see my collection.
Aside from toys, are there other things that you collect?
Lyli: Before collecting figures, I had a Swarovski period (small crystal figures, but I got bored with it very quickly) and Holland Studio Craft Royal Brand branch who made characters and fantastic creatures. Unfortunately they stopped producing them which ended my collection.
ToyPusher.com: Any advice you can give to aspiring toy collectors?
Lyli: For those who already started collecting, there are no more tips to give… I think they quickly realized that they are screwed! LoooL
For those who haven’t started yet, abstain yourself if you don’t want to see your bank account empty itself very quickly :)
ToyPusher.com: Thank you for this interview, Lyli. You’re doing a wonderful job with your website by inspiring your fellow collectors and bloggers.
You may view more pictures of Lyli’s collection here.
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