When I was younger, I had the choice to either go to church or stay at home and on Sundays, Star Trek was playing in the mornings. Most Polynesian families are forced to go to church, even if you don't like going. But I had the option of staying home and watching Star Trek, so I've been a Trekkie since I was young. And a Star Wars fan. I'm just a science fiction kinda dude.
But when I was young, we had no money and we couldn't afford toys. I had to play with my palangi mates' toys. So when I started making money, I started buying toys.
Most hip hoppers I know collect something. Most rappers, most DJs, they all collect records, toys, sneakers, or something. I used to collect vinyl, when I travelled around the world, I used to check out all the record stores, but now I've got 35 crates of records here, so I stopped on the vinyl buzz, but I still actively go looking for toys.
Creatives like to look at different things and be inspired by different things. There are some people that will look at these and go, Dude, that's just plastic. But I like to be able to think outside of the square, think about space. I'm an atheist also, so I probably believe in aliens. If someone says there are no other living things in the universe, I say 'Get the fuck out of here!'. But that's what religion teaches you and I'm not a religious man.
I was a little bit reckless when I started I'm a big Star Wars fan, so the first thing was probably Star Wars. But I think I went a bit too overboard at the start and wasn't really picky about what bought. But now if I buy something it's got to be super, super amazing.
We don’t keep most of them in boxes. We got some bad information one day. Some dude said you should take them out and play with them, so we just took them out and played with them. What's the use of having toys if you're not going to play with them? I'm not the type of dude that's just going to look at it in the box and think 'Wow, it'd be cool if I could take it out of the box!'. I'm not that hardcore. Most people keep them in the box to resell, but I don't buy to resell. We used to crack a joke to our kids: 'You know what? We're going to bury our toys with us.' They were like, 'You've got to give us your toys!'. 'Nah!'
The toys now, like in the Warehouse, the level of production has gone down. There's no use buying something that's real ugly. You've got to look at how it's been made and molded and if it's shit, I'm not going to buy it. I don't want to go sub-par.
Yagyū Retsudō, Lone Wolf & Cub
He's the baddy of the Japanese comic series Lone Wolf & Cub. I love the book and when I found this I was like, 'Oh my god!'. The whole series is about a dude who was the shogun's executioner and he was framed by Retsudō and he ended up going on a killing spree and killing everyone. When I found this one in Canada, I was shocked. I had found the goodie in Japan.
Ogami Ittō and Ogami Daigorō, Lone Wolf & Cub
I was doing some work in Japan with [MMA fighter] Mark Hunt, who was using my song 'Screems from da Old Plantation' to walk out to. And on the very last day I was there, I walked into a store and was like, 'Oh my gosh, there's my favourite character!’ The funny thing was, I couldn't speak Japanese and the dude couldn't speak English. So I rung up my wife and said, 'Babe, I just found my favourite toy in the world.'
She said, 'How much is it?'
I said, 'I don't know and the guy can't tell me.
So it could have been $3,000 but I thought 'Fuck it! It's my favourite Japanese character, I'm going to buy it' and I just handed over the credit card.
Optimus Prime Masterpiece, Transformers
I'm a big Optimus Prime fan. I really dug the Autobots when I was growing up. And there's the mini version, the normal version, but this is the 20" version with the trailer. So, for a person who's a full-on Optimus Prime fan, you need the truck and the trailer. Masterpiece versions are metal, not plastic. So they're quite hefty. They're made for the Japanese market.
I was over in Singapore – they've got some awesome toy shops over there – and when I was coming back they weighed all my luggage and they were going to charge me $2,500. I was like, 'Shit! That's more than the toys cost!' So I had a stroke of genius, I said 'Hey, have you got the Air New Zealand magazine? Open it up!' And I was in there. So I said, 'Look, I'm in your magazine' and luckily they waived the fee.
Brobot by Martin Horspool
This is a toy based on me. My clothing label is called Overstayer and he put the word on the Brobot. It's a one-off. And he made a poster of it for an art exhibition as well. He knew I was into toys so made me one. Everyone's trying to look for something that no-one else has got, so this is one of the one-offs that we've got that no-one else has.
Māori Iron Man by Neil Jensen
I saw this guy made these on the internet and I said ‘That’s fucking amazing’. He asked me if I wanted a Samoan one, so I asked if he could draw the Samoan flag on it but then he ended up giving me that one. He was such a good heart. We organise community events and he came up with his wife and gave away eight of them to the kids. Just out of the kindness of his heart.