If you ever wondered if pursuing your passion could result in a career, here is living proof. Cesar Lozano of Collector’s Choice has been a collector of all things popular ever since he could remember. His collection of sports cards, action-figures, toys, and all other trending child accessories began at an early age, eventually carrying over into his adult life. Nowadays, Cesar owns his own business, a place where he sells his own collectibles to those who share the same passion he does. This distribution goldmine is known as Collector’s Choice.
As a young adult, Cesar’s days were spent going to school and attending a training program in the field of engineering. Upon completing high school, he had already spent ample time on the final assembly line, building F-18 Jets for the Navy. Eventually graduating from Northrup University in Inglewood, Cesar began thinking about his future since the company he worked for was known for hiring younger prospects and letting the older people go. “I figured that’s me in the future, so I said, ‘You know what? I love toys. I love what I’m doing. I’m gonna start selling my stuff. Just in Hot Wheels itself, I’ve got over 80,000 in my own personal collection.'”
Dating back to 1993, Cesar began pursuing his dream nearly 21 years ago with only $500 at an outside swap meet in Santa Fe Springs, California. It was there that he truly mastered the art of supply and demand. Adapting to what items were hot at the time, Cesar’s business began to grow tremendously. Popular items he sold throughout the years included Pogs, Yo-Yos, Razor Scooters, RC cars, Homies toys, and Pokemon cards. However, according to Cesar, his first big sellers were the Power Ranger action figures, specifically the pink one. Using his own family to help out with finding the rarest popular items, Cesar would often drop his nephews off at different retail stores just as the doors were opening. There he asked his helpers to find the hottest items and hold onto them until he returned to buy them. “I used to go in and find the pink Power Rangers. You’d buy it in the store for $20, but you could sell it that same weekend at the swap meet for $50 because you couldn’t find it at the stores, so people would pay you that extra money for that figure.”
Actively pursuing these rare collectibles, Cesar recalls that his biggest “come-up” took place in the early ’90s at a thrift shop in South Gate, California. As he walked inside the shop, he noticed a tray of toy cars sitting on top of the counter being sold for 50 cents each. Upon further inspection, he noticed the cars were all part of Hot Wheel’s Redline series, making them more valuable. Long story short, he spent about $20 for $7,000 worth of collectibles! Another turning point in Cesar’s pursuit to build an empire was when he met a man who began selling him collectibles at wholesale price. It was then that the idea for Collector’s Choice really started to become a reality. Soon enough, the business constantly began upgrading to bigger warehouses in order to hold all of his products.
Nowadays, Cesar’s business has finally reached the point where he no longer has to attend a show or swap meet every weekend to make money. Collector’s Choice has now grown into a huge toy distribution warehouse, hosting customers worldwide from local distributors to clients in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and the U.S. Throughout the years, Collector’s Choice has also become a key source for some of today’s biggest companies including Mattel, Revell, Jada, Maisto, Funko, NECA, McFarlane, NKOK, and other major brands. With his continued success, Cesar’s focus has now shifted from working virtually every show he could attend to only presenting his products at lowrider shows and well-known events like the ever-growing Comic Con.
For Cesar, this enthusiasm for his craft still continues to pick up steam and blossom into new ideas. Today we bring to you his latest creation … the Lowrider Golo Man 9-inch vinyl figure. Staying consistent with how he has always approached his projects, Cesar remains focused on producing collectible figures that will remain in constant demand throughout the test of time. Having been in the toy industry for over 20 years, Cesar saw that vinyl has become a big trend within the last five years. Naturally, he jumped on the opportunity to come out with his own urban vinyl figure representing the Hispanic community. This exclusive toy was designed with the help of longtime partner, creator of the “Homies” series and co-owner of DGA clothing, David Gonzales, as well as Sid Richlin, owner of Super Rad Toys. “When I approached Dave to design the toy, he was excited to do it. He always felt he had a history with LOWRIDER magazine since he used to do the comic strips in ’79 and the early ’80s,” says Cesar. Anthony Gonzales also contributed to the 3D digital scalping of the Golo Man.
So far, only two versions of the Lowrider Golo Man vinyl figures have been made. The detailed figures stand about 9 inches tall and feature one point of articulation. Available in two different colors, the original is seen wearing yellow, while the other wears gray and has been dubbed the 2013 Lowrider Super Show limited edition. The exclusive gray figure is a rare collectible that has only 1,250 figures made so make sure to get yours while you can at www.goloman.com!
This story goes to show that if you stay persistent and passionate about your hobbies, everything will eventually fall into place. Self-taught Cesar Lozano has become a master at capitalizing on supply and demand, making him more successful than he could ever imagine! We would like to thank Cesar and the rest of the crew at Collector’s Choice for their continued support of LRM and the lowrider lifestyle!