Monday, July 25, 2011

A Toy Collector's Dilemma

Here's a test for you. You go into a store planning on buying lunch and you see the new (fill in the blank) action figure. You only have 10 dollars in your pocket. What do you do? Do you leave that store with a fast food combo? Good for you, but there's the door, and thanks for stopping by. If you choose to exit the store with figure in hand and a stick of gum for lunch, you passed the test and may enter. Let's be honest, if you are even reading this, welcome to the club.

Man, I love toys. I really don't know why. Is it nostalgia? Do I want to go back to my childhood? I remember playing with my toys on the kitchen floor one Christmas. I think I was telling my Mom how much I liked my new Super Powers toys or something. She told me that I'd grow out of them someday. She said I would like cars, clothes, and girls when I got older. At the time, I was baffled at the concept. She was right about most of those things. But, as my plate of interests filled up, somehow I still had room for dessert. Now, she jokingly calls me Peter Pan.

How many of the same figure do you buy? Are 2 enough? I prefer 3 myself. That's one to open, one for safe keeping, and the last one for "just in case". That is, just in case I want to sell it in the future. Sometimes I'll even go for 5, but this move is reserved for only the best versions of my favorite figures. Marvel Universe's Cable with baby Hope, I want 3. ARC Trooper Commander from the 2011 Star Wars Vintage Collection, I want 5. You seen that figure?! It's like two figures in one!

Is it unhealthy how much I enjoy these things? I'm not a smoker and rarely drink. This is money I would have spent on those vices. Can justify my collecting that way? I tell myself the toys I buy are an investment, but really, I just like them. I like posing them in ways that look better than the showcase on the back of the card. I like displaying them in dioramas on my shelves. I guess it's like owning models, but these models are a little less fragile and a little more flexible. I collect new toys from new shows, old toys from old shows, and new toys from old shows, but not old toys from new shows because that's impossible. Wait a minute, have they ever created a new show from an old toy? They kind of did that with He-man, but then they created new toys for that series. Hmm. That's one to grow on. Pretty much, if it's cool, I'll collect it.

Some people dismiss toys as kid stuff. It's true the targeted audience for toys, and the shows that promote these toys, are kids. But, take a look around you. This stuff isn't just for kids anymore. The movies on the big screen, the comics on the racks, the products in stores, the games on your console, and even the cartoons on the television. The stories are, dare I say, deeper and more complicated than 10 years ago -- Scratch that, even 5 years ago! Toys are caught in the same current. The paint jobs are getting better, the plastic is a higher quality, and the points of articulation are increasing. Sure, kids get these toys for Christmas and Birthdays, but adults design them and collectors appreciate the advances in craftsmanship and planning. With toys like the newest Snake Eyes (version 8), cartoons like Young Justice, movies like X-Men: First Class, video games like Arkham Asylum, and products like the Han Solo in Carbonite ice cube trays, it's a great time to be a collector. And the promises of the future, (The Avengers, Thundercats, Arkham City), make my wallet flinch, and my mouth water.

R. Ticulation

1 comment:

Katie Parker said...

Man, you really love toys 100%! and I guess we're on the same track. I've been collecting toys for years now and I love what I'm doing. And yeah, collecting is much better than spending your money on vices. You can make money out f it too in case you want to sell it. Keep up with your passion!