View Full Version : Collecting....dust?
09-24-2002, 12:46 AM
I just had an interesting conversation with a co-worker in the past week regarding collecting. He's a bit older and when I told him that I collect Star Wars Toys he got a rather thoughtful look on his face.
Perhaps it was his age that led him to his opinion, but it actually made a bit of sense. He said that he never really collected anything, at least to the extent that I am with the toys, however there was one or two items in his past that he "just had to have." One of them was a rather rare type of television. I won't go into the details, suffice it to say that he said that in all the time he had it, he turned it on only twice...the day he bought it and the day he sold it. The thrill, it seems, was not in the owning of it, rather in the desire to have it. He took that as a lesson to himself that perhaps collecting for him just didn't make a whole lot of sense. Ultimately, what's the point?
So, as far as Star Wars toys go, I got to wondering about my own collection. I've noticed two things lately. The first is that I've been caught up in the trappings of life. Work, the kids, other things. There just isn't time to "enjoy" the "collection." It sits silently, day after day, in the closet. Which brings me to the second observation. I have a lot of stuff. My first Star Wars item was the novelization. I remember sitting under the Christmas Tree back in 1977 and opening that gift up. I still have it. It sits in a drawer...in the closet...along with several thousand dollars worth of other toys and collectables. For the moment, it has to remain there. My current dwelling won't accomodate display, much less more storage. I'm running out of space and quick. I look forward to the Gunship arriving from KEBco, but really have no place to put it.
I like the toys. It's neat seeing tiny little versions of the things we see on the big screen. It's almost creepy actually if you think about it in the wrong way. But what are they for? They sit silently in the closet for most of the year. On occasion, my son and I will pull some of them out and play with them. Even his interests pull his attention away so his playtime with them is self-limited. If I had the room for diorama's, that would be cool too. But for how long? Is there a statutue of limitations on when to take apart a carefully set up display? When you get tired of dusting perhaps? Then what? Set up another one?
I used to actively really enjoy this hobby of collecting, but lately I've been wondering why? I look at my stuff, and it is cool. I've got some really neat stuff! I'm glad I have it. But aside from playing around with it for a few minutes when I get it, then looking at some of it every now and again, I ask myself, what is the point? What will I do when I have the room for display? Create a mini museum? Throw them in a box for the kids and grandkids to play with?
So, my question to you is, what is the point for you? Why do you do it? What will you do with your stuff later in life? All those "mint" "variations" and such...will they mean that much to your grandchildren? Will you die of a heartattack when your grandson rips open the bubble on that .001 FF Weequay or the hard to find Jorg Sacul? What is the point for you?
09-24-2002, 01:05 AM
I collect loose figures and have only recently started. Relative to most of you guys who I assume have been collecting since the vintage days (or at least 1997 when the line restarted for the special editions). I've been a fan all my life (i'm 30) but didn't really start buying the toys seriously until 1999 when E1 came out. My collection is small, but I really do enjoy having the stuff, even if it just sits on the shelf for months or inthe fisshing tackle boxes I use for storage.
The point for me is reliving that little piece of my childhood that found escape in the wonderful world that George and Co. created. I really love what George Lucas has done with teh prequels. They are not perfect mind you, but they are awesome.
When I come home from a long day at work and crash out on my bed, it's nice to see my little Battle Droid army staring at me helping to alleviate the sense of tedium that sets in occasionally.
Maybe i am digging inot this too deep. Collecting for me is just a fun diversion, although one that I still have never mentioned to my coworkers.
I prefer to keep my collection small though, so I am very picky and selective about what I buy.
Is that the kind of answer you were looking for?
09-24-2002, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by roger roger
Is that the kind of answer you were looking for?
That was perfect, Roger Roger. Thank you. :)
I'm an opener, I always have been. My personal intersts in collecting is to be able to display and of course play with my toys. Lately of course i've been playing with the Gunship (which is my latest awsome toy!) I don't have a huge amount of time to play with them of course, because real life obligations usually get in the way. But when energy permits, I will often play with my collection. I have my main display items out on some shelves. I actually dust all these items regularly (about once every 1 to 2 weeks). And the rest of my collection I keep in storage in different areas. But I recently bought a plastic cabinet type thing so I can keep some of my older collection in an easily accesable area.
I really do enjoy not only displaying and looking at my collection each day, but I love playing with all the figures and vehicles as well. It really makes me feel like a kid again, and helps me to remeber the good old days of the classic trilogy and the original figures and toys.
I do hope to pass my collection on to my kids some day. Currently I am married, but I don't have kids. But my wife and I plan to have kids of our own in the future. I can imagine that if I have a son, we will be able to enjoy the collection together. And perhaps if his interests are the same as mine I'll pass the collection on to him.
I don't really have to think to much about what the point to collecting star wars is. It's really simple. Like the Star Wars movies, it makes me feel like a child at heart, and personally thats something I enjoy. :)
09-24-2002, 01:21 AM
Here's something I posted in a different thread when a similar issue popped up:
As some wise man or woman once said: "To each, his own." For you, collecting SW stuff may be some sort of re-living of your childhood in that you get to play with cool toys that you didn't have access to back then. Or, perhaps, it's just that playing with toys never stopped amazing you and, therefore, you still do it. Or, maybe you're a diorama builder and like the way they look all "action posed".
In all honesty, I do not understand any of those, save the latter. There are tons of figures/ships that I have opened for the sake of opening or for the sake of placing them in my office in an all "action posed" scene. And, that's cool.
However, I, personally, do not collect SW for any reason other than I am a fan of the movies, comics, and universe. I do not have to open anything; as evidenced by the over 400 unopened figures/ships that I have. Not a huge collection, but it's mine.
And, if I do open something, I buy another to keep unopened. I am happy just possessing the given figure/ship and surrounding myself with my goodies. I enjoy arranging my office space at home to suit my particular preference and style of collecting. As, I'm sure, is why you openers open yours.
I am happy with the Republic Gunship sitting in its box on a top shelf with Jango's Slave I on top of it and next to AT-T with Vader's TIE on top of it. (Just as I'm content with the TIE Bomber I just got yesterday being on the shelf underneath it with other vehicles next to it.)
I've previously posted pics of my little nerd area at home. I think it looks very cool and, and this is the kicker, it pleases me - regardless of what anyone else thinks.
We each collect for our own purposes. I admit that in '95, I opened everything and enjoyed laying my hands on the figures. There was just something about that "feeling". However, that "feeling" is gone for me as a collector and I'm content the way it is. Perhaps that will change; perhaps it won't. Perhaps some of you openers will find the day come to where you say to yourself: "Hmmmm. Those unopened 16 background figures would look sweet on a shelf together." Perhaps you won't. Enjoy your hobby and I'll enjoy mine.
I, for one, could care less as to if these things are worth millions or worthless in the future. After all, I collect for ME and the odds of me selling these things to, well, ME are rather slim.
09-24-2002, 02:13 AM
I want to set up a "museum of sorts" with my Star Wars toys all in permanent dioramas.
I'm in my mid-20's and unmarried. Barring a change in plans with a special girl I wish would come along in my life, I plan to buy my own moderately large house (for a single guy living by himself) and set up every room with a "light touch" of Star Wars. Spread out, I can appreciate my dioramas better, than if they were all crammed together. To me, it can be sensory overload. The only problem: there's too many cool scenes I want to set up.
I like opening and playing with the new toys as much as I can. I can't "act out adventures with them" as I could when I was a kid. However, I do like shooting the missles and examining the cool action features - most recently 12" Electronic Obi-Wan's lightsaber effects and fighting actions, etc. I can imagine how much more fun I'd have had as a kid, spending all that time playing with these. However, I too have to work to afford this house for my collection. A catch-22 almost.
But I love opening them and stand amazed at some of the creativity and thoght that went into some toys' action features!
That being said, I too also very much understand what ROGER ROGER said. I like looking into my dioramas and imagining I was in there - and that it was real. I could be a hero and make decisions to win the situation. Or I could be a villain and strategize to gain absolute power! As I add characters to the diorama, what does each one want? How would they try and get at it? How come?
Thinking about this is a great distraction. There's an escapist element in it for me. I work in politics and economic redevelopment. Every move results in others in my community making counter-moves, all for different reasons and motives. Some in support, some in opposition. How do they view right and wrong? What is worth fighting for? How far do you take it? Do you pick up a lightsaber or a Death Star? What could I accomplish in the real world with absolute power? Since it's a fantasy question, what could I accomplish in a fictional world like Star Wars'?
I look into my dioramas and decide who I'd recruit and who I'd kill off, depending upon their occupations and motivations that George or the Expanded Universe gave to them.
My stuff is not going to be valuable. Nor do I care. It means a lot to me. Perhaps that when I leave this world, my diorama museum I'd lived in would be so impressive and well done, that somebody somewhere will want to fund it becoming a permanent exhibit in some appropriate, and non-residential location. I'm not going to worry about it. When I'm passed on, it's not going to be the most important thing I think of that I'm leaving behind. At least I hope...
09-24-2002, 06:11 AM
Well yes, the collecting part is a puzzler. Why collect so much stuff that actually has no real purpose other than to exist and gather dust? The thrill of hunting and finding is a part of the draw for me. Especially getting hold of the exclusives. I like the smalness of the figures, always have had a thing for anything miniature, ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper.
I wonder sometimes at my motives in collecting, is it just to have something that perhaps others don't? Is it just to have something I couldn't have when i was a boy due to financial reasons? Is it just to have something up close and personal in úD rather than simply gaze at pictures in a book?
Can't really answer those. I haven't come up with a solid reason why i do collect exept to know that I still do and still enjoy it for the most part.
I open everything I purchase and put it on shelves and also play with everything in my own fashion. I usually have a couple of toys with me when i sit at the PC and talk to you guys here, While waiting for pages to load I'll sit and play. I spend quiet times sitting in my room gazing at the stuff and figuring out ways to show it off better. I sit and scrutinise the sculpts and turn the things over and over in my hands marvelling at the work that went into the original sculpt that gave rise to the plastic incarnation.
My family think I'm nuts and mostly refuse point blank to buy me plastic 'junk' preferring to buy me clothing for birthdays and so on. Yet clothing is just something to put on to keep me dry and warm but star wars toys have kept me amused and creative for 25 years. Perhaps that's why I keep reaching into my wallet - the reason is that nothing has captured my imagination in quite the same way as these little figures and vehicles. I certainly can't imagine ever getting rid of them. There may come a time when i can no longer afford to collect new items but I will still have these toys I own now at this point in time to keep me entertained in my own way.
It's a difficult subject to rationalise really. The very nature of collecting is such a personal thing, what draws us to buy anything other than either greed, a love of aesthetics or a tactile experience. Other than that the only reason is necessity and there's certainly no necessity in buying toys so the other reasons must apply.
I can't add anything more, I think I just answered the question for myself at least to be happy to carry on collecting. tactile experience, aesthetics, greed, Those are my resons for collecting.
Greed is bad in one sense but if you look at it as hunger rather than avarice then it isn't so bad is it? :)
09-24-2002, 10:27 AM
I used to get that question all the time from my ex g/f and my friends and stuff and the answer i only gave them was, "I enjoy collecting them. What do you care?" The Star Wars saga are by far my favorite assortment of film, ever. I've loved them ever since i was a little tyke and since i missed the vintage figures, so, i feel like this is my second chance to collect figures. The action and lessons of the saga have always been in my head (C'mon, anybody who says that they haven't quoted Yoda is a liar!). Someday I'll buy a house and i plan to have a room dedicated to my collection (i have alot of SW stuff and alot of Simpsons). I think downright, i just enjoy it. Some of the most fun evenings i had were out buying toys with my friends. In fact, this past onsale (4/23 as I refer to it) was a downright blast. C'mon, what could possibly be more fun than being first in line for SW Toys, steak n' shake and then a lightsaber fight in the courtyard at my apartment complex at 4 am, getting up at 9 am just to find the toys you couldn't find the night before??? Not many things, mind you. :D
09-24-2002, 10:38 AM
When I was younger (like 10 or 11), I played with all kinds of action figures. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, WWF, Matchbox, I wasn't very picky.
After I got into High School though, I strayed away from the figures. It was all video games for me. I have had mostly every major system ever made. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, Playstation, PS2, XBox, Gameboy, GameGear (Remember that one?) and I plan on buying a Gamecube soon.
While I was into those, my brother (whose is 13 now) "inherited" all of my action figures, which he still plays with today. But not too long ago, maybe 9 months, I got into action figures again. Star Wars. I was totally psyched about Clones, because it sounded like it would be a 100 times better than Episode 1. I was looking up all kinds of info on it, when I came across some pictures of the toys. Wow, is all I could say. I thought they would be just like the old POTF toys, and even the newer Episode 1, just a stationary figure with no pose, who most of the time doesn't even look that good. But these were totally differant. They actually looked cool. Very cool. Right there I knew I had to have them. So the day the were released, I was down at Walmart with like 70 bucks, and I went crazy. Between my brother and I (whose also wanted them) we got all the first day releases with the exception of the hard to find ones (Yoda Dooku etc.), and Jar Jar (Sorry, he just didn't appeal to us :)) We took them all home and ripped them all open, setting up scenes we thought might be in the movie.
After having all of those, the desire to get the rare ones grew. And it still grows today. As of now, I have every figure (minus some of the deluxe) and every vehicle in line up until the Han wave. I can't find TA Anakin for the life of me, although I do have the Gunship.
My parents think Im crazy for spending the kind of money I do on these things, and some of my friends think its Immature, but whatever. I love going out all the time "hunting" for toys. Its a great feeling when you finally aquire the rare one. I don't play with them much. But they are always set up in some kind of Diorama in my room. Right now all the vehicles are hanging from my ceiling in an all-out AirFight, and the figures are going at it in the Arena battle.
So I guess for me, its the thrill of the hunt, and satisfaction of seeing what you have. And of course, making a scene with the figures is pretty fun too.
09-24-2002, 11:30 AM
I have also wondered these same things. I myself, am reaching a turning poin t in my collecting. I have run out of space, and I may be going away to college soon. I have successfully collected Star Wars since '95 when The Power of the Force line came out. And aside from everything that has come out since then, I have also collected a very nice collection of Vintage Star Wars and other very cool looking collectibles.
However, I'm at a difficult crossroad. I have begun buying up plastic storage bins to store my collection. Much of it is in the box as is open. I'm going w/ plastic that way they can store safely w/out the fear of getting damaged by water, weather, etc. I enjoy my collection very much, and I find great joy and pride at looking throught it. I plan as of now is to store it until I can someday give it a room of its own where it can once again be displayed.
Somday down the road, I plan to minimize my collection. Sell off parts of it here and there. Its also my plan to leave instructions on what to do with my collection. Will my son or daughter appreciate it as much as I did? Maybe? Maybe not? I'm only 21 now, and still have lots of life and Star Wars ahead of me. After Episode III and Hasbro has exausted the Star Wars line, and the amount of merchindise has come to a slow, I think I'll be happy with what I have.
09-24-2002, 11:40 AM
well for me, I do it mainly for the thrill of the hunt. Whenever I find something new, or something that I've been looking for for a loooooooooooong time, it's like this sudden rush of concentrated and pure excitement just RUSHES over me.
Then of course with that being said, every single figure has it's story, and since I'm an opener I have them displayed around my computer (the newer ones at least). Like say Deluxe Yoda- I got to target at JUST the right time, JUST as they were opening the new deluxe cases; and I haven't seen another one since. Or Chewbacca, who I spent a month hunting down, and finally found him at the most unlikely place at the most unlikely time (he's a pegwarmer now, but still :p). Or Strider from Lord of the Rings; I managed to get him through being at KB right after they had just put out an old box of LOTR figures.
The other part I love about it is the figures themselves! I love being able to look up on top of my moniter and seeing Vader Unleashed there, beckoning me to join the dark side, looking to the left and seeing Spawn sitting in a throan made of carcasses and skeletons, looking thoughtfully into the eyes of a skull, and to the right of the moniter a Stikfa; one hand holding a lightsaber, the other a gun, and leaning back standing on only one leg wearing a darth maul cloak. It livens up this area- MY area, and makes life just a little more interesting. It's a reminder of many great stories told and many more to come.
that and I have no life ;)
09-24-2002, 11:47 AM
I used to actively really enjoy this hobby of collecting, but lately I've been wondering why? I look at my stuff, and it is cool. I've got some really neat stuff! I'm glad I have it. But aside from playing around with it for a few minutes when I get it, then looking at some of it every now and again, I ask myself, what is the point? What will I do when I have the room for display? Create a mini museum? Throw them in a box for the kids and grandkids to play with?
What a great thread. The same questions have been going through my head for months. While the 'thrill of the hunt' is always great, as much as I hate to admit it, there are just higher priorities in life then star wars collecting. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to quit anytime soon.
Back in the day I used to love to go to the store and get action figures. It did lend a hand in making me more creative, working out scenarios, and just having fun. I didn't have a whole lot tho growing up, but many of my friends did, so, now...in my late 20's, I am trying to recapture some of that youth, but I'm not an opener. I collect, catalog, and store. I don't worry about getting everything, nor do I plan to sell it all off and try to make a profit. That's just not me.
So will I go senile and play with them at the old folks home? I don't have kids myself just yet, so what's a collector to do..
Here's my answer....
Star Wars has been around for 30 years, but in the way that Lucas has done the pics (last movies first, first movies last) he's really spread it out, but had the tech been there I'm betting we would have had all 6 movies a long time ago and we'd be lucky to find even one figure on the shelf now.
The future? After Episode III dies down the focus on finding new figures and all these sites dedicated to star wars collecting are going to find a hard time finding interest...
More people tho are going to see the completed 6 part saga and be interested in the figs so there will always be a market.
I plan to continue collecting and in the future leave them to any kids or grandkids...
While the figures may or may not have any value is no concern, but I keep thinking how cool it would have been if someone had given me something like that when I was a kid...A whole collection of vintage toys still in the boxes...wow...
There are also many figures in my collection that are graded, signed, and sealed for eternity. Those I would keep to trade for figs I didn't have, or leave them for my grandkids to fight over after I'm long gone.
So many options are given to the collector and few know the real power or joy they could bring in the future.
My advice...keep all the figures loose and carded that you have, and while they may collect dust, tell your wife or girlfriend they're there for a higher purpose...your kids..
Not only will you get some nookie, but she may just help you collect more in the future. haha..
09-24-2002, 01:38 PM
Why do I collect? I collect because it is a way of life for me. This is extreme I know but I shall explain:
I was a very lucky little boy - my parents spoiled me with Star Wars and numerous other toys and collections. I had such a support from my family I never went through an ackward phase in Jr High where kids loose their toys to Goodwill or a pack of firecrackers. So in otherwords I have never stopped collecting toys and although I am only 26 years old that means that I've been collecting and completing collections for 2 decades now. And I believe anyone who has been in a profession for over 20 years and was asked why they were still in thier field, would reply that it was a way of life for them.
My passion for collecting Star Wars is not solely based or bound on obiligation as it is my way of life, but to the important fact that it is my chosen way of life. Now in saying that collecting Star Wars in my way of life does not mean that I sleep, eat, breath and live Star Wars. If I did, I wouldnt have my wonderful wife, a BA from a Univeristy, my decent job or be a devout Lutheran. What I'm saying is that Star Wars is not the center of my life but a welcomed portion supported by those I love.
In conclusion, I collect because I finacially can, I love the hunt, I love the products, I enjoy the friendship with other collectors, I enjoy these websites, I am eteranally amazed with the movies, I enjoy the fiction and because its my way of life.
09-24-2002, 02:38 PM
First, I am very impressed with the eloquent responses this thread has generated, and I hope that others won't use this as an opportunity to be mean.
That said, I'm in my mid-30's, am married (11 yrs), and have two small children - boy (almost 5) and girl (2 1/2). I "regret" not having saved the action figures I bought when the first three movies came out, but when TPM came out I became interested in the figures. At that time, I had the financial means to buy whatever I wanted, but I knew I didn't want to let my collecting get out of hand. For this reason, I limited myself to only basic figures with a few exceptions. I also took a break after the EP1 line and have now resumed with the Saga line, again trying to limit what I pick up.
All I can say is it's great to have a small child to share the movies and toys with now. My son was old enough to see AOTC on the big screen and we went out right after the movie to pick up some figures for us to play with. We even made the drive to C2 and stood in line for hours before the doors opened.
I have my own collection that is unopened and in plastic storage tubs that he doesn't know about. My son has a shoebox full of random figures that we play with. He also has one of the $7 lightsabres he wears on his belt EVERYWHERE he goes.
I plan on continuing my personal collection, safely hidden away from children too young to understand the concept of "collecting" and I plan on continuing to purchase others that we can play with. Some day, my kids will be old enough to appreciate the collection I've built and we can proudly display them more appropriately.
09-24-2002, 03:37 PM
I have always been facinated with Star Wars -- ever since I was a little boy; running around the neighborhood shoting bad guys with my "3-position stormtrooper rifle". I also enjoyed building cardboard box and lego forts to use with my figures. This is where I spent my childhood -- in STARWARS LAND... I was not very good at playing sports and was considered somewhat of a geek. Star Wars was my escape. I would sit alone and play with my figures for hours on end. As I got older, right alone the time the ROTJ and POTF figures came along -- I got interested in something else -- girls. (Should have stayed with the Star Wars Toys) My last figures were Luke Stormtrooper and Han in Carbonite (still have them). Then along in 1995, when the new figures started comming out -- I decided to get the first of the few that were out -- Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy -- ect. Then, they came out with Gran Moff Tarkin-- "WOW, I have never had this figure -- he would have been so cook when I was growing up" Ever since then -- I started collecting all of these figures and putting them aroung my room. EPI came out and I had to start packing them away in boxes. NOW, I have the EPII collection hanging in my office and many people come to see my collection. I am known as the TOY STORE on the 5th floor.
Maybe one day, I will sell my collection for some money to help pay for books for my children in college -- but I do not expect to make a million off my collection. I guess I collect so I can remember my childhood -- when things were so much more peaceful and slower paced. With the world flying by now -- its nice to ave a neat piece of history around to look at.
09-24-2002, 03:42 PM
Basically, I collect because it makes me happy!
I'm not sure I quite understand exactly why. First, I thought it was a nostalgic thing, bringing back fond memories of childhood when the family cat had to substitute for a Bantha (A Tusken Raiders legs would get wedged between kitty's neck and flea collar.) When the POTF2 figures came out, I thought I was too old to be buying toys, but when I saw Obi-Wan I just had to have him. Okay, that's it, stop there. A few weeks later, "Well, let me just get the first few main characters and then I'll stop." Here I am today, still buying.
've tried keeping the figs on the cards and ships in box, but it just wasn't as much fun as ripping everything open and handling it. Hence, everything is open now. I've tried to stop, but it keeps haunting me. I don't play with them, don't create dioramas, or really display them all that much (Just a few small items). So why collect? Well, it's kind of escapism. I have a wife, new baby boy, house, stressful job, etc. I'm an adult, but when I see some cool star wars toy in the shop it takes me back and when I open the thing and just move the features and appreciate the detail, I forget about the everyday stresses for a little bit and just have fun. It's worth it to me. Due to limited storage space and also the fact that I don't want too much out when company comes over (Try explaining why you collect to people who have absolutely no interest in SW) most of the stuff ends up in plastic Rubbermaid containers in the basement. When my son gets older, if he takes an interest in SW, I look forward to playing with the toys with him. I'm not concerned about this stuff being worth anything monetarily, to me most of the value is sentimental, so I won't worry if he beats the stuff up, just as long as he gets as much joy out of it as I did with my SW toys when I was young.
Also, I like shopping for Star Wars. It makes going to Wal-Mart for mundane items like motor oil much more fun knowing I can swing by the toy aisle and treat myself. I also like when I can't find everything. It gives me a reason to keep looking. As long as I find it eventually, I'm happy. If I found everything at once, going to the stores would be boring knowing I have nothing to look forward to.
Well, I'm glad there's others out there who enjoy this as much as I do. We still have at least a few more years of collecting, so have fun everyone.
09-24-2002, 04:18 PM
My bad vice is my toy collection -- SW and GI Joes. I don't smoke or do drugs. The most alcohol I get on a regular basis is the communion wine at church. I do spend too much money on my toys. I'd say 75 percent of my credit card purchases are toy-related.
But I tell people, it keeps me happy but broke. And it's a good conversation piece.
I have a ranch house with a finished basement. If I every do meet the woman of my dreams, she can have upstairs. The basement is mine, and 90 percent of it is decorated in Star Wars: toys, posters, dioramas.
09-24-2002, 05:42 PM
I collect now because of the enjoyment it brings my son and I, mostly me though as he is only four years old. I would have to say I was hooked way back in 77 when S.W. first appeared on screen, ever since then I've been collecting here and there. Now as my son has gotten older it's a lot more fun going to the toy stores and picking out action figures and what not. I collect more now because of him, picking up things that I may not want, but he thinks are cool. It feels like I've spent a million plus dollars with all the toys I've bought over the years, but it's worth it to me. I don't expect any of these toys to be worth money in the future so I decided a couple of months ago to free a lot of them from their plastic prisons. I still however have some doubles and some vintage safely tucked away in a corner of the universe that he does not know exists. Back in the late 80's I took a break from collecting until about 95 when the new line started up again, the reason behind this break was that I got into model building (the ones with fibre optics and such) and it took up a lot of my time, so collecting took a back seat to my new hobby. Well one day while surfing the net I found a site about customizing action figures and bam a new hobby started, so I started collecting the new line of S.W. action figures and bought some doubles to customize for fun. While searching the net I found SirSteves and I've been visiting ever since, so in case you haven't noticed I love collecting S.W. action figures, it's a good clean hobby that doesn't harm anyone but your wallet. When it's all said and done, I'll complete all my dioramas, bid everyone a found farewell and carry on with my family and S.W. in private.:D
09-24-2002, 06:48 PM
It's good to know that there are other people having the same thoughts and feelings I'm having. Forlobster is right, try explaining the 400 plus items in your collection to the people at work or other friends who might have no idea you collect star wars items. That is the reason I started to question my reasons for collecting. Is it immaturity? Are we in some kind of way not right in the head? Look at the thousands of dollars we all spend on these things. I am 27 years old now and I started to collect in 1995. My family first thought that I was buying to make a profit, but when they saw that my collection just kept growing they started asking questions. My answer to them was and still is "because it brings me joy" I enjoy everything about it. From looking for them to playing or just looking at them. So I collect because it's fun. The figures may not get too much battle action, but when they do it's great and I feel great. I sit for countless hours (when I have time that is) just looking at the detail and all the cool poses I can put the figures in. My newest toy is the R2 unit with voice recognition. This thing is the greatest. I bought it and took it out of the box just two days ago and it's worth every penny. My girlfriend doesn't quite understand, but at the same time she doesn't judge me for it. So I'll keep on collecting until I don't find it fun anymore and decide to give my collection away either to my kids or someone who will enjoy it more than I. This is a nice thread and I've enjoyed reading everyone's response.
09-24-2002, 07:15 PM
Well to put it plain and simple, I collect because I wish I was a kid again. I don't like being an adult, I hate what I do for a living and I really don't want any responsibilities.
09-24-2002, 07:23 PM
I collect primarily because I love the subject matter of what I buy (whether it be Star Wars, X-Files, Batman or GI Joe), and as a child (back in the 70's and early 80's) I never had enough money to buy very many toys. And unfortunately many of the things I did have were sadly sold at family garage sales in the mid to late 1980's, never to be seen or enjoyed again. :(
But now I have money and I can have my toy collection again. I open almost everything, I display it, and I customize it. I don't buy things for their monetary value.... I buy them because I like them. :)
I don't know what will become of my toy collection in the distant future and I don't care... I enjoy it now, and it is a pleasure looking at it every day. I don't enjoy "hunting" for things in the store, but once I have them it's fantastic.
For me it's just a fun hobby... that's all.
My advice to those who think their collection is just sitting and "collecting dust"? I say don't worry about it unless it is a real storage problem. Let it sit... and perhaps one day circumstances will change and you will get more enjoyment out of it. If not, it's no big deal. But if you decide now to get rid of your collection, you may end up kicking yourself later, when you decide you really want it again. I say hold onto it and don't worry about it.
Lowly Bantha Cleaner
09-24-2002, 11:07 PM
I too have contemplated this very same question at many times. What is the point to collecting these figures when fully 55-60% of my collection is going to be relegated to some cardboard box in the basement? What is the point of buying figures if I don't bother to open them? I could never give a real satisfying answer.
I will say this though. I love going on hunts to all the stores and malls where I can check out the toy stores/aisles for the latest figures, etc. I love discovering an item I thought I'd never see. Bargain hunting is another passion of mine--I found a lot of my stuff through sales and clearances. I love discussing these treks and other bits of wisdom (and sometimes lack thereof) on SirSteves. I love how my room is infested with all sorts of Star Wars toys, buckets, posters and other goodies. Who doesn't like rearranging their figures in order to get that perfect scene or display? For those who have to get them all, can anything beat the feeling of completing a line of merchandise?
Plus, I know this is down the road, but when (or if?) I have children, what better feeling is there than the sharing of your collection with them? Also, if I do get my own house and such, maybe I'll dedicate a whole room for my Star Wars collection, a room where almost every inch of space is covered with Star Wars stuff. These are the things I look forward to.
Like I said before, it is hard to rationalize an answer to this question when I commit some major collecting boo-boos (like keep my stuff carded) but I know the benefits of collecting vastly outweigh the bad so far.
09-25-2002, 12:52 AM
Soon after I started collection/buying the 3.75" Saga figures I questioned my collecting habits. I had never bought the smaller figures before and I decided to keep these in their cardboard/plastic tombs because I love the styling of the Saga packaging. So after running around to different stores looking for the first couple waves of figures I sat back to look at my spoils. There they were just sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Well, after a few weeks of that I rounded them all up and packed them away into one large box. Most likely they will never be seen again and end up being closet filler. I'll probably never buy a SW 3.75" figure again.
So what happened? Well, I realize that my interest in collecting is definately very specific. 90% of my collection is 12" SW figures and WOS Simpsons figures/playsets. As soon as I drift outside of those 2 lines I find myself quickly uninterested. I've dabbled in several new toy lines I come across only to never purchase more than 1, maybe 2, figures. I find this to be very comforting. I know that my collecting is limited to 2 lines that will end at some point. Anything that expands my current collection scope just brings a financial drain rather than enjoyment.
I never collected prior to starting my 12" collection in '96 and when it draws to a close it'll end my SW purchases. The same can be said for my WOS Simpsons figures. I only bought my first 12" figure because of childhood memories of a neighborhood kid having these amazing "tall" SW figures. Finding them again in the store in '96 captured my imagination. I'd seen other SW products that even though I thought they were interesting I never would care to purchase them. The WOS Simpsons is something unique for me that just will soon run its course and I'll stop collecting.
So as I see it, I'm not a true collector at heart. What I've accumulated up to this point is a result of a passing interest sparked by some non-toy influences. Will I ever pack up my collection? Heck no! I love what I have and hope to have a more permenant home for them all at some point. As soon as these lines run their course I'll move on to other pasttimes whether they're toy related or not (most likely not).
I'm a big anti-vice person. I don't want to be a slave to anything. ie. coffee, smoking, alcohol ..And if I were to ever think that I purchased something for my collection out of a sense of habit rather than interest than I know it's time to move on to other things.
09-25-2002, 10:14 AM
I've stated this before when someone laughs at my hobby: I don't view my toy collection any different than you and that $50,000 fishing boat you have parked in your yard.
09-25-2002, 11:31 AM
This is a great thread.
I just like putting them on my wall and looking at them every day. You people got to get them out of your boxes and enjoy their fantastic detail. Otherwise you are no different then a warehouse. I just collect the figures that I like, so I'm not a completist by any means. Buy I really like all those obscure figures, you know the actors who have about a 3 second appearence in the movie. For example Bo Shek, Wuher etc, I can't beleive they made figs of these guys, that is the coolest! When someone comes over a non-collector but a fan of star wars can't beleive either they made a figure of these guys. That is what is so awesome about the entire SW line, that the companies are producing some great characters, I can't wait to get Ephont Mon and Lama Su!
09-25-2002, 03:25 PM
Interesting question, and one that I ask myself periodically.
A big part of it has to do with my dissatisfaction at the end of the Kenner line in 1986. I still felt that there were a lot of figures that needed to be made before the line could be considered complete (removable helmet Vader primarily). So I saw the 1995 reboot as a sort of second chance to get the figures I wanted as a kid.
So, fulfillment of a childhood dream would be a big part of it. Since I was never able to get many of the figures I wanted as a kid, due mainly to lack of funds.
However, I think that was just what got me started. Once I started collecting in 1995, I got bit with the collector's bug and pretty soon I realized that I couldn't stop, I had to have everything. Thankfully, Ep1 cured that. Not the movie, but the toy line and it's constant resculpts.
Now, I just have ideas for small dioramas in my head and I simply buy a few figures to set those up. I would like to see figures made that I would want to play with as a kid, but who am I kidding? I don't play with this stuff nearly enough to justify any of it. Most of it goes on display, and much of it ends up in storage boxes, taking up space.
So, the question of why I collect is one that I really have no answer to yet.
09-25-2002, 03:44 PM
I am in my now late twenties and I get the question all the time, why? The answer is simple for me, it has been there my whole life. I still remember (much to my mothers amazement) seeing Star Wars at the drive-in when I was 4. From that moment on I collected the vintage line. But somewhere along the way I got older and the Star Wars toys made way for GI Joe, Masters of the Universe, and Transformers. Then I reached the age where it all got sent to yard sales and goodwill with my blessings. All was forgotten...
I got hooked again when someone gave me a copy of Heir to the Empire. Just as soon as I realized how much I missed my old star wars toys, kenner announced the POTF2 line. Since I was out of high school and had a job, the money was availible to collect and recapture that part of my childhood that was sleeping.
I have most of what hasblow has put out since '95 and I have pieced together a mostly complete vintage collection. Although due to lack of space in our apartment, I have had to sell off my micro machines (sob, sob, sob...)
What makes collecting star wars toys worthwhile now is my 3 year old son. The boy is already a star wars nut (not surprising since he is surrounded by it). Just the look in his eyes when I buy him somethig or when I get some of the boxes out of the closet to look through, is worth what I have spent. Seeing the same wonder and exceitment in his eyes that I'm sure I had has made collecting that much more fullfilling.
09-25-2002, 05:18 PM
The Star Wars figures are like works of art. The detailing now, the attention to characters never made before, all evoke some kind of emotion in us, as art should. It means some thing more to us because our upbringing, our defininig of good and evil, passion and loyalty was all influenced by Star Wars.
We appreciate it even as casual consumers, because we buy a sculpture of something like we would patronize art.
On a larger level, we buy products that let us express ourselves with our own art - we buy characters that belong together.
A Jawa, Royal Guard, Kaminoan, and Orm Free Taa have nothing to do with each other. However, if you like the Jawa, you might accent it with a lot of droid figures, and hopefully a Sandcrawler with more Jawas. Something about their look, their lifestyle (junk collecting) etc. might hold some fascination for you.
On a tangent, to experience what it's like to BE a Jawa, steal a shopping cart, and try dumpster diving for cans to recycle. Get really dirty in the process, then cash your cans in and go buy some Star Tours droid figures or that interactive R2D2 for $100.00. There are things we can find to compare to these characters in the real world.
The Royal Guard: join the secret service. Protect George W. Bush. We need him to start something in Iraq that will remind you of the Battle of Endor.
The Kaminoan: In the absence of a chance to go to Havard Medical and then join a cloning research team in California (where stem cell research is legally protected now), you can become a 'genetic donor.' Go and do this on rainy days, and enjoy the videos :D Use your money for more Star Wars figures. In a few years, you'll not only have variations of them, but you might see variations of YOU!
Orm Free Taa: Become a politician. Take campaign donations from Enron and drug lords. Vote yourself a raise, then spend the money on action figures. They'll keep you out of trouble you could get into with your interns ( who sadly will NOT be expecting to dance for you!)
09-27-2002, 10:43 PM
Hang in there Stillakid, if you stop collecting you will be sorry, because after a month or 2 you will start up again and be behind;) Don't listen to your wife, I don't LOL. Hey, thanks alot for picking up the deluxe and Star Tour figures for me. Talk to you later.
09-27-2002, 11:49 PM
I've been asking myself the exact same question as I was packing away most of my SW items(We're moving soon,and its going to take awhile to pack everything).
I collect because I love Starwars!I feel,for some reason,that If I was just a fan and didnt collect something SW related,I would be missing out on a entire universe of Starwars.
Second,I love talking to you guys!
Third,after all the Starwars movies are over with,the toy lines are through,and we go back into the "Dark times" I'll have something to play with and keep me insane.Then,when I have insane little children,they can enjoy Starwars too:D
Bottom Line:I collect because I like Starwars and the toy line:)
09-29-2002, 02:52 AM
For the majority of the time that I wanted Star Wars toys they were not available. I started collecting around 1986 or 1987 as everything was being clearanced. The first time I saw Star Wars was on television around 1986. I was in denial pretty bad as I kept looking for Star Wars toys (unsuccessfully) at retail until about 1989. The employees by that time had no idea what Star Wars was and kept taking me to those Galoob Star Trek figures. Then I'd explain that Star Wars is different than Star Trek but they had no freaking clue what I was talking about. (By the way, does anyone else remember how in the late 80s/early 90s a lot of people had no idea what Star Wars was?) I kept looking at the back of the package of 92 back POTF AT-ST Driver and I wondered why they didn't sell Star Wars toys anymore. I also found it odd that I had none of the figures on the bottom line (Now I know why!). Anyway, I fixated on the back of the packages and on pictures in the ROTJ catalogs like a moth fixates on a light. Luckily some of my older friends and cousins had Star Wars that they didn't play with anymore so they gave them to me. I was so obsessed with Star Wars toys, even through early Jr. High (1993), but then I got into comics. When POTF2 came along in 1995 I bought the first wave but just kind of threw it in my closet and forgot about it. I was too wrapped up in high school, girls (or lack thereof), etc. Then Ep. 1 came out after my freshman year of college and I bought the first wave of those but also threw them in my closet and forgot about them. That time I was too wrapped up in college, girls (still lack thereof), etc. Then last summer I started buying vintage like there was no tomorrow and ever since then I have been creating dioramas. Now I consider myself in the hobby for the long haul. I collect POTJ and Saga but only the figures that I can use in my dioramas or that I think look interesting. Over winter break my sister and I traded some furniture so I have a nice 3-shelf bookcase with my favorite dioramas (Cantina, Battle of Hoth, Jabba's Palace). AND ALL OF THIS IS WHY I COLLECT. I was around for some of the late vintage stuff but not enough to get everything I wanted. Now I love being able to recreate scenes from my favorite movies of all time by mixing my childhood figures with figures I've acquired as a teen and recently as a 21 year old recent college graduate. It's kind of a bridge that connects my life. It shows that as I go through different stages in my life, some things change while some things stay the same. It's kind of like my family. Lots of people pass through my life but my family always seems to be there. Sometimes I forget that because I'm so comfortable with them. And that's what Star Wars toys are too. COMFORT!
Also, to go back to the first post in this thread. I bought an NES R.O.B. robot about a year ago that I still haven't used. It's all about just owning it, showing it off, and not really about ever using it. I had it on display in my room for about a year before I recently packed it away to make space for a jawa diorama. R.O.B. always got lots of comments from visitors. Mostly stuff like "Whoa, dude, I almost forgot about that thing!" or "Why the heck did you buy that thing? Gyromite sucks!" or "That thing's funny. It looks like Short Circuit!"
This trip down memory lane's been real!
P.S. I dust my collection about every 2 weeks. I am hoping to preserve my collection well so that I can pass it along as the family heirlooms to any children that I may have in the future. If they don't want them I'll donate them to a museum or if I'm wealthy enough I'll hire a trust company to administer a Star Wars toy museum in my memory on my estate for eternity.
09-29-2002, 03:31 AM
I sure remember a time when folks didn't know that SW existed. Hell, there are folks at my law office, and I don't mean one or two, who have NEVER SEEN ANY STAR WARS MOVIE!!
My associate's secretary told me that she has not seen any of them and I almost blew a gasket! After, jokingly, questioning her lineage and asking her what rock she lived under, about 3 other secretaries chimed in that THEY had never seen any of them either! I just shook my head and walked away.
The movies and characters which so permeate the American culture are actually unknown to some "Americans" still today!
Cheers to vigilante mobs for those! :)
09-29-2002, 05:02 AM
Stillakid i have those exact same thoughts bumping around in my head.It is most definately a "thrill of the chase"issue for me in most cases.I want a certain figure or a ship so badly,then i get it...i open it,mess around with it and then it goes on a shelf or in a box.Ocassionally it gets looked at or if my neice comes over it gets played with, but for the most part ..it sits. I'm not sure what it is about collecting Star Wars stuff but one thing i think it might be...iv'e moved around alot since i was maybe ..17(?) lived different places with different people.Alot of times i would move back into my parents home.I was living in the family home when they sold it in 2000.Now here i sit in my new pad of 2 years and surrounded by my playsets and figures and assorted SW crap iv'e picked up..i feel like im at home.
I know it's kinda *** but it's like wherever i move my SW junk i feel like it's my place.I think i have an attachment to this crap and im doomed to be stuck with it:)
09-29-2002, 05:04 AM
I guess you can't [EDITED]. It was all ***** 'd out.
Hmm that's.........pretty weird.
I guess you can't SAY [EDITED] i ment to write there.
(it's 5:30 am here so..)
Mod Note: No you can't say that word here. SirSteve has put it on the AUTOCENSOR. And re-spelling it to get around the auto censor is a big NO-NO. Also, try not to post back to back. There is an edit button at the bottom right of your post. use that to edit your posts, or add to them.
Ive been really collecting since 1995 and Ive got some opened stuff, but most is in packages. Probably 75-80% is in packages. I just love doing this. Its so much fun to find that new toy at TRU or Wally World, its such a thrill to go hunting around for toys, and then you actually find the one your looking for, its like being Indiana Jones and finding the Ark! But then after the find, its still fun, cause then I get to rearrange some stuff, and thats fun to do. I just really have a lot of fun and it keeps that child inside of me alive.
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