View Full Version : Is Collecting Figures an Addiction?

03-17-2003, 11:00 AM
I'm bring up this question because I was budgeting out my expences for action figures for the next year- getting an idea about how much was was going to spend. I'm collecting several toy lines at the moment including Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, 007, The Muppets, Star Trek and occasional McFarlane. I quit collecting The Simpsons cold turky because that more than anything became too big a bother and hassle.

Anyways, I'm always on the hunt for new figures. I love finding out about new, cool stuff on the way. Most of the time I go out and find nothing, but am overjoyed when I do find something. And that I guess makes it all worthwhile. There is my happiness in my hobby.

With all the various lines I collect, I figure at some point there's going to be an end. The 007 line will run out of characters. The Lord of the Rings movies will finish and so will the figures. Star Trek will eventually make all the characters I want.

I was talking about all this with a friend who brings up a good point, and I'm wondering about this.... Is it the chase I enjoy the most or is it the find? Does it really matter what it is I'm looking for as long as it's something? Is there always going to be something? Is it ever going to end?

Something to think about. I'd love to hear oppinions...

James Boba Fettfield
03-17-2003, 11:03 AM
The chase has always been better than the catch for me. Once you have that toy you've been pursuing for so long, yeah there's some happiness, but the thrill is gone. The thrill is gone....ok, I'm done.

I think there will always be something to collect with toys. I mean, there's so many things that can be produced, excluding Star Wars even. If you're just a straight Star Wars collector though, well that might be bad then. I figure it'll last for as long as I am collecting toys. Time will only tell.

03-17-2003, 11:33 AM
Yes, collecting is an addiction.

I like to compare it to being a crack addict. Each new figure is like a new rock. If you don't believe me just try going for an extended period of time without buying any new figures.

D@@@ you Hasbro, don't you realize how many careers and marriages have ended from your little plastic toys!:crazed:

03-17-2003, 11:34 AM
It's called "random reward" and was studied by a behavioural psycholgist using rats as subjects. When we don't know when our work will be rewarded, we work more diligently for longer periods. The experiment done with rats had them learning to pull levers for food. The rats would pull longest and most furiously when the didn't know when the lever would release the food. We never know when we'll find figures, so we work like dogs looking.
See? So, whether it's a physical addiction or not is up to you to decide. I personally wouldn't get sick if I quit collecting, but I would definitely feel some stress.

Collecting anything is very habit forming, no doubts there!

Dr Zoltar
03-17-2003, 12:23 PM
jjreason ,

You are dead on with that. And my maze are the isles of all the local toy stores. At least my wife in an enabler and helps me with my addiction.

Don't know if I could quit now even if I wanted to.

03-17-2003, 09:54 PM
Oh, that's good - and lucky for you. My "support network" makes a gesture that looks like a finger flipping through a peg of figures at me, instead of holding the "L" up to her forehead!!!!!

All in good fun, of course. She just called - she bought me a Marvel Legends Captain America on her trip. :happy:

03-17-2003, 11:30 PM
Yes, definitely an addiction. If you're like me there will always be something new. I can skip many lines, but once I get caught up with the stuff I do buy, I'll start adding new lines.

kool-aid killer
03-18-2003, 07:05 AM
I think it is a addiction. Once you have one of something, its hard not to get others. Like i originally said i would only get the four turtles, but now i plan on getting most of them (minus new versions of the turtles) Ive got another question and i apologize if it is a bit too personal, but what would you guys spend your money on if you didnt collect toys? I think i would probably by many more clothes. Im 20 so im still at that age when you think you need new shoes every month, those $80 Lucky jeans, and whatnot so thats what i would get. Back to the original question i tried to tone down my collecting but i felt very bummed out so i quickly resumed it.

James Boba Fettfield
03-18-2003, 11:25 AM
I would spend my money on more dvd's, which I kind of been doing more and more lately, as the new Star Wars figures are getting hard to find lately.

03-18-2003, 12:14 PM

In fact, I stayed away from SSG for a good 4 or 5 months while being unemployed because I couldn't buy figs and stuff and it was HARD, SO very, very hard to even look at the new things that were coming out, but finally, a good friend from here (Caesar! :)) talked some sense into me!

I'm so addicted, I can't even imagine what it was like when there was that long gap from 1985 to 1995 :( And I can't NOT buy a figure if it's one I don't have and I see it on the pegs. It's a darn good thing I don't drink, smoke or do drugs! Star Wars has sucked all my addictiveness up into it's own UBERaddiction!

ahhhhh! Feels GOOD! :crazed:

03-18-2003, 01:32 PM
So badly addicted that:

I cannot pass a store that I know sells action figures if I'm on my way to, say, Tulsa to visit a friend, or Memphis for business. I will stop at every crummy, stinky little Wal-Mart on the way. Hell, I've even been known to stop at flea markets.

If I'm going to Wal-Mart for any other reason, to pick up pictures, paint supplies, anything, I do not begin looking for what I came for until I check the toy aisle.

If I find out a store in Memphis or Fayetteville, (both about 150 mi. away) has what I'm looking for, I will refuse to wait for it to show up here, I will get in the car and go get it, after making the store swear to hold it.

I am currently in the process of trying to ruin a local business run by an unscrupulous scalper who buys armloads of toys at Target and Wal-Mart and resells them on his website, K&C Collectibles.com. I hope to accomplish this by pointing out to authorities that he has no license to do so and pays no taxes.
Nobody charges me a 10 dollar mark up for a Tatooine Skiff!

03-18-2003, 01:36 PM
Oh yeah,
I'm sure most of here are pretty addicted or we wouldn't be spending our time here ;)

I've been hooked from about 1992. It all started with X-Men figures & went downhill from there. What's funny is how a lot of us acutally get pretty sick of our figures. Man, if I still had all the toys I've bought over the years I wouldn't have any room for furniture. Instant gratification I suppose:crazed:!

JJ, my lady is like yours. She gives me the "your crazy" talk, but is still cool enough to look for figs when she goes shopping! That works just fine by me :D !! (she's the crazy one :crazed: )

Darth Cruel
03-18-2003, 02:54 PM
Realistically, by the dictionary definition it is not an addiction for me. I have no trouble not buying some of the garbage that Hasbro comes out with.

It is a lot of fun and brings a sense of nostalgia to me. And I would very much like to continue to buy the figures (Star Wars in particular), but I am not even remotely enslaved by it.

03-18-2003, 02:59 PM
I'd vote sickness/addiction...

I walk the obsessive line daily and when I get into something...watch out. I have one of those addictive personalities...booze, candy, sea food - extreme excess then I back off for a while.

My folks bought me all the vintage line when I was a kid, and when I got allowance it all went for star wars.

Once the line died out, I was fine, I got heavy into baseball cards, and then my interest faded and then I started getting into comics and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...in college it was books and still sort of is, but not as strong...and now its back to star wars and woodworking tools.

I had to set boundaries for myself. I told myself once Ep III leave the theaters and the line dies, I HAVE to unload half of my collection. All my carded figures have to go at that point. The other rule was only ships, and 3-3/4" figs. NO 12". Well I broke some of my rules and spent way too much cash at one point and now I'm reigned back in, and I'm glad its semi-slow and I'm caught up for now.

I get a little anxious for the new stuff, but once I get it, it gets boxed up shortly after and I quest for the new stuff.

Since its been slow I've been feeding my old 80's arcade game addictions. I've been hunting down all the old classics to play them and just to find them again. But I know once star wars toys pick back up in quantity the 80's games will fall to the way side.

With me is some what of a sickness. I've got all my figures on a spread sheet and some days it makes me sick to see the 10,000 spent on star wars toys. I kick myself from time to time about the audi TT I could have, a new house, more stocks...or a nice vacation with that cash...but right now it feels like money well spent to curb some twisted demand for plastic action figures:)

Good thing SSG is my support group:)

03-18-2003, 11:57 PM
I'm also 20, and I never reached the stage of wanting clothes really. For christmas, I'd still rather have toys than clothes. Just this past christmas, a relative told me a story, that when I was a little kid, I woke up before my parents, went to the presents and opened them up. I threw all the clothes in the trash and kept the toys. Only difference now is that I appreciate the clothes and do like them, but still prefer the toys.

If it wasn't for action figures, I'd hopefully be spending that money on modifying my Integra GS-R.

Fulit, I'm the same way with stores. Any Target, WM, K-Mart, any such store, I go straight to the action figures before anything else. The other day me & my mom were going to LA, and on the way up saw a K-Mart in Blythe, I spent all weekend thinking about stopping at that K-Mart on the way back. And when we were coming back, we passed a Wal-Mart that's about 50 miles from our house and I mentioned I had been there. My mom asked me if there was a Wal-Mart I hadn't been to, I remembered that there is one that I always forget about. But if I know about it, I'm going there. A couple years ago we took a trip to Portland/Seattle. I bought so many toys at Targets & Kay-Bees on that trip that we had to borrow a friend's big suitcase just for my toys. I'm still mad at myself though for that, cause one Target had a bunch of EU Grand Admiral Thrawns for $1.14 & I only bought the one. Stupid, stupid, stupid me.

03-19-2003, 12:19 AM
Yes, I'm addicted. I find when I can't get my Star Wars figure "fix" I get depressed, maybe get withdrawal symptoms, sometimes hitting 6 or more stores in a day to try to satisfy my appetite for a new "toy".

I tell my friends that they'll probably find me dead someday in a gutter with a Luke Skywalker action figure sticking out of my arm!
But I'd rather have a Star Wars high over any other type of a high!

03-19-2003, 12:40 PM
Yes, collecting is an addiction. I am in my final semester of college and will graduating with a degree in psychology. Some of the requirements for something to be considered an addiction include:
1. Do you spend a great deal of time talking about the desired "drug". (We post here don't we?)
2. Do you spend alot of time trying to obtain the desired "drug". (We are always out on the hunt for new figures)
3. Do you acquire the drug even though it may not be good for us? (I know i have bought stuff when i can't afford it)
4. Is it difficult to stop, and do withdrawl symptoms follow? (I know when i can't find anything for a while i start going crazy, hoping that something new will come out, that is withdrawal in my book)

So, YES, it is an addiciton.

03-23-2003, 03:34 PM
Definitely an addiction, definitely. I collect SW,lotr,marvel,dc,MOTU, and anything superhero. I need my fix every month lol.

03-24-2003, 02:00 AM
I can say i'm pretty addicted, partly caused by:
-actively posting on SSG,
-24/7 on ebay standby,
-routinely walking into my Walmart on a daily basis during work,
-routinely driving to TRU after going to the comic store every Wednesday,
-staring at my shelf of SW figures for prolonged periods of time,
-refuse to stop or cut down on collecting despite girlfriend, friends and family disapproving,
-all this, plus the fact that I'm in Canada, so no new figures ever show up, making the addiction feel 10 times worse.

This is only the "toy" addiction. Others include: Comics, Cars, Leafs, DVDs, and Smoking, none of which I can quit anytime soon.

Somebody help meeeeeeeeee! :crazed: :D

03-24-2003, 02:07 PM
Yeah I'm addicted. I am always scanning toy depts in stores, even if I don't have to go over there. I even check CVS's toys section when I am there, actually scored a Maul Sith training there. Only place I ever seen one. I could be there in the morning and go back a couple hours later and I am looking again. I am constantly looking for stuff on E-Bay also. Pretty much every thing on Jerjerrods list is a check for me but the last one.