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View Full Version : Why do you buy Star Wars products? What is it with you?



Tycho
07-26-2005, 02:58 PM
This thread will attempt to get to the psychological root of what the heck is going on with us. Invididual responses may very.

I'll start with some reasons.


1) When I was a kid, I enjoyed countless hours playing with these toys in mud, outdoors, making "bases" and set-ups for them to battle in. Writing my own "movies" with their continuing adventures.

Most of the things I like to do that give me this much distraction and satisfaction now are much more expensive or challenging:

ie - jet skiing requires it be daylight, the weather and traffic conditions within my taste and tolerance, food and drink preparation (or expenses), gas prices (yeah...), and I have to leave home and prepare for being away a long while.

by comparison - I can sort through my Star Wars collection or test-set dioramas without any preparation, and in any conditions.

I've attempted to recapture this satisfaction. Some circumstances are different though - the first time through I wasn't old enough to drive or buy a SeaDoo. I didn't have the opportunity to go most places without a parent driving me or giving me permission, and I didn't have the kind of money to sustain myself if I did take off. Now with more choices, it could be said that Star Wars is a less than completely perfect substitution for other things I can do with my time and money. The other choices did not exist for me when I was younger. Again though, the situation is that Star Wars is still satisfying, is very simple, and requires little planning or preparation to enjoy.


2) When I was younger, I did not have the room to create large standing "permanent" dioramas. I didn't have the funds for 100 troopers, nor the permission to set them up literally everywhere. I am single, live by myself, have no children, and for this part of my life, can finally do whatever I want within my own living space. This includes purchasing a large family home, and using it all for myself before one day when I may have a family. This is about "finally getting to do whatever I want." I'm able to be selfish living at home as I do not have to "get along with others and share my space." As an only child, and a quiet person, sort of artisitic or deeply thoughtful by nature, this is an ideal environment to express myself at peace.

3) Ironically, I like to express myself with control over chaotic battle sequences. I like my independence and I am medically unable to serve in the armed forces. Nevertheless, if there was a mission - like the hunt for Bin Laden, that I had the resources and control over undertaking, that'd be great. In the military, they might tell me to clean radio parts so that the people who were really hunting Bin Laden could call for backup - or just as likely, pizza. That is being part of the team, (the pizza team I suppose) but it is not the same as being Jango Fett in the Afghanistan wild country. Meanwhile, I do not have the resources to outfit a paramilitary organization at the present time, but $400 will buy you a lot of Clones so you can miniaturize your own adventure (hunting Grievous instead of Bin Laden). The fantasy seems simpler than reality. In reality, if my unit caught Bin Laden, our mission would be over and we'd have no more purpose. If we were killed, then we wouldn't have to worry about that. A soldier can generally stick to fighting, but finding something to do with oneself that one likes during peacetime might be far more difficult. Leaving the military to become a pizza chef for example, leaves you with stress (over getting orders out in 30 minutes or whatever), while you feel you are doing something far less important - perhaps even if you OWN the pizza franchise and make some good bucks doing it (and of course it's worse if you're just an employee).
But even if you are only setting up dioramas, you are the Supreme Chancellor over your own Star Wars universe. If you say the Wookiees should shred the Gungans to pieces, than so be it. You get to play God for something like $400.

4) The universe seems to have it's own improved rules. Right now, if you had the resources, I suppose you could move to Taiwan, and work for the mob (like the Hutt crimelords) and get false ID docs to enter the United States and do contract kills and then leave, living in high fashion like Jango Fett. Many of us might like our toys to fantasize about doing that, whereas we have too much to give up in our real lives to actually do it. You may have friends and family who will miss you if you disappear like that. You have an action figure collection you can't easily transport with you (or would want to) from country to country as you lived abroad so as to not be captured and tried for your crimes. If you are a killer, there's no gaurantee that your employers will pay you, since you can't take your contract to court and sue them. You might have to spend considerable resources to kill your employer's target, then only have revenge to get back from your employer. You need living satisfied customers in the Las Vegas underworld or wherever to help your reputation grow and command the fees that characters like Boba Fett did. By reverse, if you go vigilante and try to aide the police like a Jedi Knight would, you'll never get paid. You could be a legal bounty hunter - that's true. But you'll work paid on delivery. If you don't go to that trouble, you'll just be a vigilante like Batman - except that Bruce Wayne was independently wealthy. All in all, for $400 for a clone army or whatever you're buying from Star Wars, you can be anything you want, and command things to be however you desire. If you want Taun We to accept a contract hit on R4-G9 (for whatever reason) you can have her travel to Coruscant and sneak into the Jedi Temple to blow the droid to bits - or follow Obi-Wan to the moons of Bogdan to get a shot at his droid there. However ridiculous it may seem, it seems better than being arrested by the F.B.I. because you went into some Vegas gambling den and asked for wet work.

I don't collect carded figures and it doesn't interest me to have every single one, each variation, etc. When I see guys that do, I say "gee that's impressive. It's a curiosity. Let's see what that looks like. And I admire Hasbro's work on their products. And I think this guy had some persistance or luck in tracking it all down." No rare items really escape my grasp if I want them, but my thrill at getting them is marginal. I'm not really surprised by my obtaining rare or hard to get items. I have a strategy I've employed for years to do just that and I'd be more surprised if it didn't work. So I won't be impressed with your Toy Fair Vader / Anakin packet or whatever. I could obtain one if I wanted one -even if it meant e-Bay. I don't have that piece, so sure I'd come over to look at it as a curiosity. But I'm more interested in seeing what guys like NiubNiub do in their dioramas.

Now why do you think YOU buy Star Wars toys?

Captain Spoon
07-26-2005, 03:51 PM
I like them 'cause they are SHINY!!! lol

Now seriously, I think it is because Star Wars was a big part of growing up for me so when I look back on my collection it's like having tiny 3 3/4" flashbacks. Also My collection is something that I be rpoud of. I sucked a** in soccer and t-ball when I was a kid so to me it's kind of like my trophy room

Slicker
07-26-2005, 04:07 PM
I'll be honest, I buy them because it's something to do. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love SW and the collecting is fun but now I'm too far in to stop. It's not as fun as was about 5 or 6 years ago but it's still a rush to go into a store and see new toys sitting on the shelves. I feel like a 23 year old kid.

X13VADER
07-26-2005, 06:11 PM
I Started When I Was 10 And Have Been Collecting Ever Since.that's Way Back In '78. All Our Friends Would Get Together And We Would Swap Figures And Each Of Us Would Have A Different Faction.i Was Always The Empire Because I Had The Most Imperials. And We Would Play Out Our Own Stories And Wars.i Think I Still Collect Because I Miss Those Days Of Base Building And Ruling The Universe How I Saw Fit.

bobafrett
07-26-2005, 07:04 PM
I honestly can not say why I collect the stuff I do. Like Tyco, I was too young to make my way around to the stores, and definitely did not have the funds to buy everything I wanted. Star Wars has been the one consistant love in my life, though I must admit it waned (sp?) slightly when the figures and toys started to dry up, and I started hitting my early 20's. When the toys started coming out again, and the Star Wars special Editions came out, I had a job, had my own place, had a car to get around in, and I had no one to tell me that I could or couldn't buy or collect Star Wars and it's related merchandise. I get a "high" when I find new toys, and I only regret buying a very small amount of my collection (ie. the $25 limited edition PEZ dispensers, or the bootleg Kubrick figures). I have considered selling off my 3 3/4 inch figures, and focusing my collecting on GG busts, and more mature SW collectible pieces, but I just can't bring myself to do so. I often wonder if my father had not been so against me buying Star Wars toys when I was younger, and instead supported my habit, would I still find pleasure in collecting it?

wedge1968
07-26-2005, 07:39 PM
It is a disease. I CAN'T stop. I have every figure released in the States since '77, and I know I couldn't sleep at night knowing that I don't have them all.

It is a sickness.

Clonetrooper630
07-26-2005, 09:06 PM
I collect action figures mainly because now that I'm an adult I can afford to buy whatever I want and I guess I'm making up for a poor childhood:ermm:

JimJamBonds
07-27-2005, 12:26 AM
I don't buy much, but when I do its a figure of a character that I really like (Obi-Wan for example). Or it is something that I consider really neat and more of a 'piece of art' ie. Unleashed figs.

kool-aid killer
07-27-2005, 01:06 AM
Mines more to make up for not having the figures when i was a child. I was born in 83 so it was way too late for me to get in the game. I loved the movies and wanted to recreate and/or design my own adventures, but had very few figures to do so. I used to pretend my lone stormtrooper was a gang of twenty guys. Most of my figures were found at garage sales and the goodwill toy section. The only Star Wars figure i ever bought at a store was Crix Madine, found at a now long gone KB toystore. Aside from my love of Star Wars, the lack of the toys when i was a young boy is another reason why im such an avid collector. Now i can make up for it.

Kidhuman
07-27-2005, 01:20 AM
I buy, therefore I am. Has alot to do with the childhood collecting, plus I have a disease that makes me buy more and more stuff. No cure in sight.

figrin bran
07-27-2005, 01:59 AM
ummm...because i love waking early in the morning to go to stores before they open? because i love racing the scalpers to the aisles?

no, i think i collect because both the star wars films and figures and other merchandise have been a huge part of my life since childhood. i collect a lot of other things as well...lotr figures, sports cards but i haven't the history of experiences with those two that i do with sw figures. i remember playing with my ESB fett so much that the limbs became very very loose and the figure couldn't even stand any longer. i remember my stormtrooper getting caught in a fold out sofa and one of its legs broke in half.

anyhow i think for many of us, it's this combination of the shared universal experiences of going to see the films plus our own individual experiences with recreating movie scenes with our figures or even creating our own EU, so to speak! my version was a SW/GI Joe/Transformers crossover universe. i had my snowspeeder attacking my cobra hiss tank. i had optimus prime as a 2nd in command to Admiral Ackbar.

childhood nostalgia aside, the sculpts, articulation, paint apps have gotten so good (even when we don't think they are, compare them to older figures) that there doesn't seem to be any way to stop collecting. ooooooh resculpted wedge? gotta have it! repainted clones??? gotta have them! :D

Tycho
07-27-2005, 01:34 PM
11 people have responded so far.

The responses were as follows:

1 said Convenience hobby that still brings satisfaction.

4 said Doing whatever a person wants, whenever, as a solitary reward of independence. (long awaited parental defiance)

3 said Control, dominance over armed forces, arm-chair general, and affordability and safety over the real thing.

1 said Trophies more easily come by than from playing sports.

5 said Addiction to toys.

9 said Trying to recapture youth.

2 said Appreciation of the art going into modern figures - their improvements.

It would appear that those addicted to toys might also be in the group trying to recapture their youth.

It would seem illogical for one to become younger by buying toys.

Childhood had two components:

- Things you liked about being a kid - toys, play time, being irresponsible

- Things you did not like about being a kid - rules, age limitations, financial constrictions.


This appears to be a quest by people obssessed with perfecting their youth - eliminating all the negatives about being a child (things you did not like) and keeping all the positives.

To be sure, things you do not like about being an adult come into play (bills, responsibilities). But you offset these things with stuff you are free to know without limits - the stuff you liked about being a child.

That leaves the question: is there anything you like about being an adult?

One might answer sex, to be smart - but that comes with trade-offs, compromises, and can lead to more responsibilities and the same restrictions you had as a child - almost - as you try and set an example of how to be a good parent, spouse, etc.

Certainly work could be something you like as an adult - if you like your job.

Other hobbies you might take up as an adult, such as learning to pilot a plane, motorcycle racing, or auto restoration and repair of classics, etc. - all have INCONVENIENCES to their hobbies (mostly) compared to Star Wars. A case I made as to why I like sorting my collection when I can't go jet skiing. I suppose one could body-build, repair a classic or custom car in one's own garage, and do some other hobbies like painting without much inconveniences. I actually like all those sorts of things and do them too. Star Wars is still simpler - you won't waste paint if you don't put all your action figures away. You can still drive if your engine isn't disassembled in your garage. That sort of thing.

So Star Wars is a lazy way to enjoy a convenience hobby that recaptures some of youth's better days to offset some of adulthood's worse compromises?

Droid
07-27-2005, 02:31 PM
That leaves the question: is there anything you like about being an adult?


I really like no longer having to ask for permission to go to the bathroom.

Slicker
07-27-2005, 06:50 PM
That leaves the question: is there anything you like about being an adult?

I can drink beer.

bobafrett
07-27-2005, 10:02 PM
That leaves the question: is there anything you like about being an adult?

[/B]

I can tell the world to &%@$ off, and not get sent to my room for using bad language, even if it is restricted here. :kiss:

Kidhuman
07-28-2005, 12:08 AM
What I like about being an adult:


Drink, Drive(not at the same time) spend my money on what I want after I earn it.

CaptainSolo1138
07-28-2005, 08:48 AM
I collect Star wars stuff for the chicks.



:p

scruffziller
07-31-2005, 12:07 PM
Cuz I luv Star Wars!!!!!!!!

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
07-31-2005, 11:10 PM
I do it for a couple of reasons. One is that I was a fan of the movies growing up, and my older brothers had figures they let me play with it from the original trilogy. I enjoyed the mock battles we created and I especially was enthralled by the Ewok Village playset that they had.

In 1994 when Galoob released some Micro Machines Star Wars related items, it was actually my brother who bought the first toy--The Hoth playset I believe. I was 14, too old to play with them, but I thought they made awesome display sets. I saw the other sets and I knew that we needed all of them (I am semi-OCD, that explains my completist tendencies). I then carried the torch in Star Wars collecting continously buying the Micro Machines up until their demise. It wasn't until Episode I when I branched out with getting figures.

Now I enjoy the aesthetics of my collection-setting up displays, organizing my toy shelves to show-off the variety of my collection. I am no longer a completist, and I only collect stuff that is unique and cool-looking. I also enjoy the pursuit of getting those harder-to-find figures and venturing into the stores to hunt down the missing pieces of my collection. Yes, I know there are more important things to do with my time and my money, but this is my chosen hobby and I enjoy it! :)

Bel-Cam Jos
08-01-2005, 11:10 AM
Much of my youth identity came out of SW, and the toys were a connection to my friends. It was an experience that could be shared. The toys were fun, and our imaginations allowed us to make up and recreate whatever we could dream up.

At one point, I was a selective completist (meaning, I wanted everything of certain categories I chose like 3 3/4" figures, trading cards, music, books [not comics]), movies, etc.. I had the finances I did not have previously, so this was "easy," provided I could locate the items desired.

Now, I have become less of a collector. I still have kept up on fiction books [still not really the comics, except the occasional trade paperback of a series], movies, and music, but I am letting many of the figures go unpurchased. I have to LIKE the quality of the item, instead of just it being a SW item. I continue to collect because it is still fun, just less than before.

InsaneJediGirl
08-01-2005, 02:59 PM
I'm with Bel-Cam. I buy what I like,which has turned out to be mainly books/comics and weird little promo posters/vinyl banners.If something looks really awesome and has a great quality,count me in :)

Why do I collect?I like Star Wars...do you really need a reason?Why do people collect thimbles?Thats what you should be asking :crazed:

Turbowars
08-01-2005, 07:11 PM
I collect SW because I have endless amounts of money to blow.

CaptainSolo1138
08-02-2005, 01:42 PM
Why do people collect thimbles?Thats what you should be asking :crazed:
I happen to love my thimble collection, thank you very much! :p It's rivaled only by my collection of decorative spoons.

Turbowars
08-02-2005, 06:39 PM
I happen to love my thimble collection, thank you very much! :p It's rivaled only by my collection of decorative spoons.Hey don't be a smart @ss.;)

CaptainSolo1138
08-02-2005, 06:47 PM
Hey don't be a smart @ss.;)
I collect those, too.



:p

Kidhuman
08-03-2005, 12:52 AM
Hey don't be a smart @ss.;)

You of all people :beard:

Turbowars
08-03-2005, 08:16 PM
What?:confused: Me?:confused: :evil:

Val Da Car
08-08-2005, 12:23 AM
That leaves the question: is there anything you like about being an adult?

[/B]
Adult answer:

Bonfires in my sideyard at my house just chillin' out.

Toy Collection answer
I wanted to have more figures that I did not get as a kid, to have scenes like the Emperors arrival scene in ROTJ, because Daris next door (as a kid) got an AT AT and left it out in the rain because he did not care!

and Finally to share all of my OPEN toys with my four younger and two older nephews, since I have no children of my own (my neice is only 8 months old so I have not started her with figures out yet but there are some GH figures I have stashed for her).

I have a 3.5 foot wide 12 long wood table for my younger nephews to enjoy the figures and they are great with them asking is it okay to touch or even get close to the scenes I have setup in the past for them to play with.

Devo
08-08-2005, 06:30 PM
Sometimes I think I buy toys to stave off adulthood and responsibility (managing to do a good job of that at age 23). Sure there were things I didn't like about being a child, limitations on what I was allowed do etc but there was nothing I liked better than playing with my figures and I consciously dreaded the day when I'd have to pack it all in (because of how it would look to my peers and immediate family). Turns out all I packed in was actually 'playing' with them, enacting battles etc at about 14. Obviously though I continued to buy them (a fact not lost on peers and immediate family).

I was what many would have considered a spoilt child. I was never short of figures and vehicles. In my early years it was He-man, Thundercats, Transformers, Action-Force and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles - I missed the vintage Star Wars line and was completely taken by surprise in 1995 when I went into a toy shop and saw the Millenium Falcon and X-wing. I jumped right on the bandwagon.

My collection now is rather huge - if I could take a picture of it all and send it back through time to myself in 1995 I would possibly no longer exist because I'd have had a heart attack.

Is it addiction? Undoubtedly. Does a smoker 'love' a cigarette or begrudgingly smoke them? I suppose that varies from smoker to smoker. I do 'love' my toys and toy hunting. I call it an addiction because if someone told me outright that I had to stop I'd be extremely distraught - "I can't stop now - I don't have 500th figure Darth Vader yet etc" - and I'm still not in a position to disobey because I live under my parents roof and share my room with a brother who hasn't complained up to present. And I'm sure anyone reading that will be able to see the vicious cycle I've got myself in. As long as I'm collecting these things - will I ever be able to move out? Its for this reason that the prospect of the Star Wars line dying off isn't such a bad thing to my mind. If I had to stop collecting because they weren't being made anymore (rather than being commanded to stop) i'd have no problem.