Monday, February 21, 2011

How To Be A Toy Collector: Part 1 (Why I Collect and What)

We have phases in life that we have to go through. If you don't date enough girls, you wind up having a midlife crisis. LOL.

Most collectors collect now because they either had a collection and mom gave it away. Or they gave it up to chase girls in their teens. Or they haven't out grown it. I told my co-worker Ellie that I wouldn't be collecting when I'm in my 50's.

Why Do I Collect?

There is nothing wrong with collecting things. Old people usually build model kits. Some people collect stamps. Others collect movies, some collect video games, sports memorabilia, you name it.

I didn't get into collecting toys until 1998 when I came back to the states. In the Dominican Republic people around the comic shop they would talk about Spawn toys, but I didn't find the appeal. It wasn't until I bought some bootleg X-Men toys ( Toybiz Cable and Beast) that I found some appeal in toys.

But everyone has there own motives for collecting what they do. But it's usually for fun. Even though I've always had profit in the back of my mind.

For example:

  • I was into comic books and I wanted to own my own comic shop and my own comic publishing house.
  • But the comic boom of the 90's killed that dream. I never saw a comic store owner that was willing to buy my collection. Because it was modern stuff. Even stuff from the 70's isn't that valuable.
  • For a short while when I got my PlayStation, I believed that the games were a good investment.
  • But the way game stores ran their business, I ended up loosing money for trading my games. Even great ones like Xenogears!
  • I had a decent DVD and VHS collection. But when I started taking them to a store called "Book Off" to sell them but I would only get 0.50 cents for tapes and 1.00 for DVD!
With action figures I've been able to turn a profit on Ebay. I started off on, but it wasn't as profitable as Ebay. I started selling off Marvel Legends to my co-workers. And then moved to Ebay to lighten my load.

I later found Ebay to be a great source to trade up my figures. When I got into Cybertron, I started selling my MOC (mint on card) Mobile Suit Gundam action figures from Bandai. And then when I started collecting G.I. Joe Sigma 6, I started selling my Marvel Legends.

So despite the negativity that Ebay gets from a lot of people. I think it's a good tool if you use it right.
 And combined with YouTube you got your very own QVC channel!

I just wanna ask ya'll, why do you collect?

Me? I collect because, when I was 14, I moved to the Dominican Republic, but toys were only affordable to the wealthy, or those who could afford it. I didn't stop liking cartoons, but I believe the transition was so abrupt that it turned me into Michael Jackson. Enjoying toys now because I couldn't enjoy them back then.

That's the answer I would give if I was on a shrink's couch.

But that's not the only reason!

I really got into Gundam Wing action figures, not because of the hype. But because of the design and the engineering.
I still own all the figures that I bought back then and because of them I started doing the buy 3 figures habit. Those figures are amazing! Bandai is a great Japanese company but to borrow a phrase from Iok of  That Figures they're kind of schizophrenic. Just look at the Dragonball movie figures.

Another reason!
As an artist it's important to have reference when drawing something. What better reference than an action figure! (OK, that's not a good reason!)

What Do I Collect? 

I know that a lot of my readers collect Marvel Universe figures and Halo figures.
What else do You guys collect? I hope it's not ugly. LOL

I'm attracted to design and articulation and engineering. Incredibly enough even though most people don't consider this I'm also attracted to packaging! I just now realize this.

Ok so the Gundam packaging was bland. But If you think about the uniqueness of the Transformers Cybertron packaging, with it's long blister. Or Sigma 6's incredible packaging that let you use the top and bottom of the box for storing your weapons! The look of Marvel Legends with it's all transparent bubble and an awesome comic cover beaming into your eyeballs from behind!

I got into the 25th anniversary G.I. Joe figures just for that. I would not pick up the ones with the inaccurate card are like Serpentor or Zartan. Eventually I sold them by the bin load. And currently I'm not buying Joes. I liked some of the designs of  the ROC Joes like Flash and Helix. But I'm not interested in the stuff shown at Toy fair or the current Pursuit Of Cobra line. Anyone interested in anything but the Starscream/Cobra Commander combo?

And finally Marvel Universe. I wasn't impressed with the line when it started. It wasn't until I saw Colossus, Juggernaut and Team X Wolverine. It seemed like the design team took it up a notch! Especially the faces.


For years Hasbro has struggled with the faces of Star Wars figures. And it's gotten to the point where they look like decent human beings (alien beings?) But the Marvel line is just starting to improve on that.

So in conclusion.

Why I collect? To get a little satisfaction out of working long hours at work.
What I collect? Marvel Universe, but as soon as I have almost all of the figures I'm sure I will move onto something else. It's my nature.

3 lines would not have made this post worth it.
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