I saw my first Tamiya around 1984, a Subaru Brat in an Argos/Littlewoods catalogue.
It wasn't until approx 1986 that my cousin got a Boomerang for his birthday that opened my eyes to how superior a hobby grade kit was.
My first kit was a Hornet which eventually got trashed but now because of Tamiyaclub and auction sites, I have a bit more cash to collect kits (and look after them more!)
Members that I have had successful trades/sales etc. with are
huffmeister, quincey, manuspain, addicted2blue, neo, mattc, bloodclod, tamiyabigstuff, slayer (aka tammy girl), wldnas, scollins, joelvardy, super gripper, devilsome, Rusty-Tamiya, Crash Cramer, moosey, netsmith, morpheus , Ferretti, nigeninja, Biggus Ditchus, The Buggy Man, Fruzzmeister, tylerdurden, nokemaster, scalamon, stickerbod, vanpeebles, Mad Ax, Biscuit, tamiyamad, 53HRA, ryanboard, wrecked, jonny retro, mad maz, pat*1, Carrera, jeffy, zulu69, Kingpin, tamiya_runner, gr2fltp, wandy, markwhittaker, Zakspeed, Cossie P100, Madinventor, JWeston, trismagic, TamiyaWizard, Hornetracer1971, Mad Ax, Leethal Driver, Sunnyjai, regressing!, Mad maz, Spice and others...
My user name is taken from the PC game,
Thief: the dark project