Maintaining your passion for collecting...

Marvel Legends nostalgia

I’ve been inspired to write this piece as a response to the article written by a blogger buddy of mine, Brian on his blog

He mentioned that money, space and passion are the deciding factors in determining whether one should continue his/her collection of any particular toy line or series of pop-culture items. I thought that this is a great topic for discussion especially for those who have been collecting religiously for years. The topic couldn’t have come at a more timely manner as I had recently taken a good look at my whole collection and re-assessed whether I should let some of them go to better homes or someone who’d appreciate them more than I do.

In order to response to the various issues raised by Brian, I have systematically broken down the questions at the end of his article so that I’d be able to address them accordingly:

I’m curious to know how you feel about the current state of your collection.
Well, firstly to put things into perspective, I am starting to feel that I do sometimes have too many lines going on at the same time. Having said that I’ve actually shaved off a couple of lines at one go (no kidding) in the past several months. I’m kinda OCD in a way that I can’t stand to see a ‘stray/loose’ figure standing on my shelf when the rest of his buddies have been sold off on eBay or through the flea market. I do have lone figures in my collection but those are the ‘one-off’ purchases which I feel can stand alone and look good on their own anyway. Oh by the way, I am very lucky indeed as my better half shares the same passion in collecting, so technically what I have now is a combination of what the both of us had amassed for the past 15 years or so.

Back to the question on the state of our collection, I’m quite happy with the limited range of our collection now as opposed to what my wife and I had when we first started out serious collection way back in the late 90s. Back then we collected almost anything and soon after, the 3 deciding factors mentioned by Brian above began to kick in.

We have more or less stream-lined what we really want to collect and we are no longer those trigger-happy collectors who buy everything that we see at retail. Our collection is pretty much skewing towards the nostalgia factor i.e. the good times we had growing up as kids in the 80s hence explaining our diverse 80s-themed collection ranging from properties from Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, Marvel, Star Wars, TMNT, Transformers as well as a number of other genres like Lord of The Rings and various movie-related characters.

Space wise
I guess I agree whole-heartedly with the notion started by The Toy Box, that we have some sort of a ‘virtual display’ going on through our flickr account. Space IS a constraint currently and this could only be resolved once we’d move out to a place that allows us to devote more space to display our beloved collectibles. But make no mistake, lack of space isn’t a reason for us to slow down!

Do you still enjoy it? Passion?
Hell yeah! I don’t see any of us slowing down nor stopping anytime soon. Everybody needs a good hobby to wind down from the various stress of life.

I had my hiccup some years ago due to unemployment (sold off some high-end collectibles too during the ‘dark times’ to make ends meet, God bless those items!) but we are now back on track. Of course there are always important things to consider before splurging on items like the need to eat, fuel for the car, schooling expenses for our boy etc.

Now that we’ve successfully trained our young padawan to embrace geekdom, it warms our hearts to know that the next generation is ready to take over the management of our toy-vault when the both of us retire.

Has it ever become a financial or emotional burden on you?
We all had our moments. Apart from the unemployment episode of my life some years ago, I had a phase where I went crazy into collecting 1/6 figures and I mean crazy! It was all 12-inchers for me and regrettably I missed a whole bunch of other scales at the time. This was a time when I’d usually run short of moolah by the middle of the month as I’ve committed to purchase those pricey 1/6 figures on a monthly basis (sometimes as many as 2 per month).

But all of that is in the past now. I’ve successfully reverted back into collecting action figures in my favourite scale i.e. 6”. Action-figure Anonymous (AA) confession: my last 1/6 purchase was over 6 months ago....and I’m proud of that!!!

I think if you get too carried away with your hobby, whatever that may be, you’d soon find that you’ll be over your budget in no time. And when the finances crumble, that’s when the emotion will start to crumble too. So in a way these two factors go hand-in-hand. Take care of your budget guys and know what’s really important to you first before you nose-dive into your passion. Prioritize!

Have you ever lost interest/passion in your collecting pursuits? How did you handle that?
Not yet thus far. Maybe we had a tinge of regret every now and then after making large purchases but they soon dissolve afterwards when we get to hold the items in our grubby hands!

So that’s it. I would love to hear what others have to say to the questions posed above too. Till next time.....

The Rebel


Brian (Cool and Collected) said...

Great article! Thanks for posting this, because it's comforting to hear that others have had similar thoughts about their collections.

This was particularly good: "...when the finances crumble, that’s when the emotion will start to crumble too." Unfortunately, collecting comes with a cost -- and it's not all monetary. Collecting within one's means is not always easy, but it certainly makes the home life happier! ;)

Stunt Zombie said...

It's funny, but I'm working on a response to Brian's post as well.

It's almost like an unofficial League of Extraordinary Bloggers post!