Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Japan Zippo Station & Robert's Anime Corner Store

A classic Zippo lighter, Otaku-style. There's nothing like an eye-popping Zippo to grab the attention. It almost makes you want to take up smoking. That's humor. Remember kids, in the 1960s the Surgeon General warned: SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. Can you imagine? Yes kids I think it definitely might be. The great irony here for smokers is that this Zippo is adorned with one healthy set of lungs.
When I was a young boy, I used to hang with my father every Sunday. We'd hit all the bars and a delicious Italian restaurant that was our regular restaurant of choice. Since we rarely deviated from that route of travel, those same bars and the restaurant, I was unfortunately subjected to my father's smoking habit. My brother and I were young. We didn't have a say. We were rank with smoke when we returned home. We didn't much care for the bars or my father's smoking habit, but we always enjoyed being with him and hitting him up for quarters for the table top Donkey Kong or Pac-Man video games.
This is a beautiful set of Neon Genesis Evangelion lighters now out of print featuring popular characters Rei and Asuka. These are hard to find.
I remember he had a really cool metallic Zippo lighter. Smoking aside, that lighter was fun to play with. The spin of sparks and whiff of butane fuel or lighter fluid from the rolling flint wheel and striker filled the air with an unforgettable, fleeting aroma. Apart from absolutely loving that little Zippo lighter I positively hated the nasty smell of cigarettes.
The Zippo Manufacturing Company was founded in 1932 in Bradford, PA. The collectible status of the lighter has continued to grow significantly through the years. In China, Japan Zippo Station has taken the art of the Zippo to new creative heights making an assortment of all kinds of nifty, colorful, anime-related Zippo lighter collectibles as only Otaku makers can make. Science fiction and anime are popular genres that grace the surfaces of the Zippo and there's no shortage of ways to sell it from the East.
Two classic Star Trek: The Next Generation Zippos! Perfect for setting ST:TNG Season One ablaze.
Years ago, I discovered Robert's Anime Corner Store. The owner of the company to this day remains a gentleman dedicated to the business of anime. Not only has Robert's Anime Corner Store provided an outstanding service to customers over the years, but Robert has made every effort to ensure the genre's lasting viability here in the United States by advocating and vehemently supporting the purchase of official product NOT bootlegs. Robert ensures all items are officially licensed product. This is an important distinction. The same simply can't be said for many other on-line anime sellers. This is critical when it comes to anime's survival, because it is an industry under fire [no pun intended] from all sorts of angles. Free downloading sights, poor industry management, bootlegging, you name it and anime is fighting for its life to a degree. For whatever reason people simply don't respect the business and take care of it to ensure it endures. Robert and the folks at Robert's Anime Corner Store are all about these honorable qualities and it is reflected in how they care for their consumers. This is my personal plug for checking RACS out for all of your personal anime and Otaku needs.
A Gatchaman classic [better known in the U.S.A. as Battle Of The Planets]. The fiery Phoenix!
Like the Zippo lighter, one with a long history of quality and authenticity [China's Japan Zippo Station items are licensed officially I suspect], RACS is also steeped in a tradition of licensed business excellence.
A selection of gems from the classic Starblazers or Space Battleship Yamato and that vessel known as the Argo.
I had been doing some writing for RACS for a time and Robert and I had gotten to know each other quite well. He surprised me with a gift once by mail. A small box was enclosed with an order of anime goodies. I have the gift to this day.
My one and only Zippo, a classic featuring the purple beauty that is EVA-01. I believe an EVA-02 exists out there, maybe even an EVA-00, but again these are RARE! A treasure from Bob at Robert's Anime Corner Store and the note that promises the dream of living North and not South!
To the Fancave... Most know of my love of all things Neon Genesis Evangelion and though I have no real reason or need to have a lighter since I swore off the idea of smoking upon my earliest introduction to it with my father, I was given something very special from RACS, a Neon Genesis Evangelion Eva-01 Zippo. It's a beauty as you can see and while it is a very nice item as anime collectibles go I also treasure it because it was a gift from a friend. In a nice way, too, and Robert never knew this, it reminds me of my father as well. That simple gift, that simple gesture of kindness meant so much more really. Robert certainly never knew that part of it, but in a way, it rekindled memories of my father's old Zippo and those days on the softball field or out for dinner. I certainly hold all of it dear to this day. Thank you again.
Fans of Patlabor can't go wrong with these beauties.
So for all of your anime needs be sure to check out Robert's Anime Corner for three BIG reasons. 1. Officially licensed product. They do NOT sell bootlegs and thus don't harm a badly flagging anime industry. 2. The staff is comprised of incredibly hard working, decent people like you and me who look out for you and me and take pride in their work. That's very Japanese by the way. 3. Their product is meticulously handled and their customer service is superior to almost any business on the Internet far exceeding the likes of Amazon because Robert's Anime Corner Store is their livelihood. Robert's business model is exceptional. You can't go wrong and their pricing is very competitive. Do yourself a favor and give Robert and his team a chance if you're looking for quality product and exceptional service. Be sure to check out Robert's entertaining anime side blog as well.
This is a sleek blue Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex dandy.
As for my Zippo, what's a non-smoker to do, but adore its sweet beauty amidst the horde of Eva figures that populate the Fancave.
Here's a terrific sample of some of what Japan Zippo Station has to offer or offered once upon a time including Evangelion, Princess Mononoke, Godzilla and more. Note they are made in Bradford, PA and Made In The U.S.A..


le0pard13 said...

My gosh! Those are beautiful. I tried smoking in high school (join the club), but to my lasting benefit it never took. However, the coolness of the classic Zippo lighter is... [wait for it...] matchless! To have one (authentic) is to own a piece of Americana art, IMO. Notice that Jack Foley in OUT OF SIGHT doesn't smoke, but he definitely has a Zippo (which marks his coolness throughout the Steven Soderbergh film). And these you've displayed in the post are gorgeous. I. Want. One. Thanks for this, my friend.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks L13. I thought so as well.

Good to know someone out there has one and is using it for something other than smoking, even if it is in a film. : )

Actually, I imagine many folks own a Zippo [as you put it so beautifully] - a "piece of Americana" and don't smoke.

I know I so want more. : ) They are gorgeous. Whenever I'm in a mall or wherever and I see one of those twirling spirals of Zippo lighters I always stop to look and see what they have because there are so many fascinating designs with pop culture art.

Cheers my friend.