If you collect Godzilla toys, there's a good chance you may have dealed with Jim Chapin. Known as "Bushnell" on eBay, along with his wife Lea, live in Bushnell, Florida. A military man who has made several trips to Japan and is known to have one of the largest Godzilla collections in America.
If you are wondering why I'm writing this, I learned that Jim has been diagnosed with cancer. It's always sad to learn when anyone has this condition and it's worse when its someone you know. I personally have won a few auctions Jim has had on eBay and was able to buy near mint and rare Bullmarks from Jims collection that will have even a more special meaning to me now. I was fortunate enough to meet Jim and his wife Lea at G-Fest and found them extremely nice and remakable.
I wanted to offer a special look at Jim and I remember he and his wife were interviewed in an issue of San Diego's Comic Com Update magazine which Jim and his wife attended in 2004. The picture above is taken from the magazine as well as the transcript below.
San Diego Comic Con International Update issue 3, 2004
Stats: James and Lea Chapin from Bushnell, Florida, First Comic Con
Collects: Vinyl Godzilla Toys
Most Prized Toy: A Bullmark Hawaiian Megalon from Godzilla
Stayed at: The new Omni Hotel by Petco Park
Why'd You Come?
Lea: He's 76-years old and always wanted to experience it. We [also] went down to Seaport Village and tomorrow we'll go to Old Town. We just go back and forth. San Diego's a beautiful city. This is our first time here.
What's Your Favorite Godzilla Film?
Lea: Believe it or not he has not seen one Godzilla movie. (they laugh.)
Okay, Explain This To Me.
James: We used to sell old tin toys and then we saw people selling the vinyl. I got a Godzilla and I thought, well, this is a great! It's a beautiful toy and a beautiful discovery . but I don't watch the movies.
Lea: he falls asleep. But the collecting of anything is fabulous for anybody. I think parents should encourage their children to collect [whatever interests them.] Collecting gives you a zest and an interest in life. Collectors are fantastic.
So Are You Coming Back To Next Year's Con?
James: We don't buy and green bananas at our age.
Lea: That means you don't plan too far ahead. I mean, we're 76. But it has been a lot of fun.
Myself and Bonnie offer our support and best wishes to Jim, Lea, and the entire Chapin family. You are Fantastic.