View Full Version : My Waning Interest in Collecting (warning: Lengthy)

06-07-2002, 10:09 AM
It occurs to me that, in all likelihood, my most enjoyable figure collecting days are behind me.

When I first started collecting SW again back in the summer of '96, it was the beginning of an addiction for me that has lasted up to the present day. It was a blast collecting the "remakes" of the original figures that I had enjoyed so much as a child. At that point, we were still on red cards, the SE OT had yet to be released, and though there were many collectors, the line hadn't yet reached the peak of it's popularity. Distribution was pretty good too. I was able to find any figure I really wanted at retail (even Leia and Lando, who were difficult at first). Probably the most fun I had, however, was the ANTICIPATION of upcoming figures - figures that I had loved as a kid, and couldn't wait to have updated in the new line. The main characters (Luke and Han) of course were the versions I looked forward to the most - specifically Luke Jedi and Bespin.

Then near the tail end of POTF2 things started to change. Most of the main characters had been created in all of their 'important' versions. Hasbro/Kenner was starting with their first resculpts, the line was losing popularity, distribution started to peter out, and the fun started to go out of the hobby for me. I was still enjoying collecting, but at that point, it started to seem like an obligation rather than something I did because I really wanted to. It was about this time that things started to go on clearance in an attempt to clear space for Episode I product in the coming months.

At the start of Episode I, my fervor was renewed for a couple months, but quickly waned near the end of the summer of '99. I really didn't get back into POTJ until early 2001. Slowly, but surely, I was starting to really get into the line again, but things had definitely changed. It was hard for me to get as excited about the upcoming figures. Granted, POTJ had the best sculpts of any line thus far, but as i alluded to earlier, i have always been a "main character" guy. SO it wasn't easy for me to get charged up about Ellors Madak, as it would have been for, say, a new Luke Jedi, or Snowtrooper. The line had some main characters, to be sure, but IMO, it was peppered with many more ancilliary characters.

That brings us up to the present day. I was more than charged up for the saga line. Despite some negative reviews I had read on this (and other) messageboard(s), I thought I was really going to like the upcoming figures. After all, it was going to feature "main characters'" once again, and was going to have a nice mix of OT and PT figs. On opening day, I went and dropped around $350.00 on merchandise. Since April, I have probably spent $1200 all told on both replicas and Saga merchandise.
I have had time to reflect on this merchandise. I love the vehicles and 12'"ers, but the heart of the line - the 3.75"ers, really leave a bitttersweet taste in my mouth. I really HATE the action features and overposed molds. Collection 2 is far better than Collection 1 in the first regard, but it doesn't feature too many of the "main characters" that really drive me to collect. I honestly have to say that the saga line has been a disappointment to me, by and large.

Maybe things will improve in the future, but I have a feeling that I will never again be as passionate about collecting SW as I was for POTF2. Maybe it didn't have the best sculpts, but I had the most fun collecting back then by far despite this fact. Hopefully Episode III (or maybe even in between now and then) will see a line of figures that will once again accentuate the good qualities of the POTF2 line that I valued so much. Here's hoping.

Sorry for dragging readers through this manifesto-like essay. It was just my long-winded attempt to explain my waning passion for collecting the Hasbro line, and a nostalgic recount of my college days of POTF2.

06-07-2002, 10:19 AM
I understand your complaints, I've begun to realize that not even my vintage collecting days were as fun as those first couple of years of POTF. However, once the SEs were released and SW hit mainstream consciousness again, I began to lose interest when more and more non-fans began picking up figures for simple investment potential than anything else. It got worse with Ep1, when one guy even approached me and asked me if the figures on the pegs where the ones that Entertainment Weekly said would be worth thousand of dollars in a few years.:rolleyes: POTJ was nice but not enough main characters for me. The Saga line would have been much better if Hasbro didn't try to reinvent the wheel. Sure the non-gimmick figures are coming later; but what good is it when the gimmick-laden figures are clogging the shelves so much that stores won't stock the new stuff?

I'm sticking it out until Ephant Mon is released, if I don't see some serious improvement in Hasbro's offerings by then, then I guess I will have to move on to another hobby.:(

06-07-2002, 10:23 AM
Couldn't really agree with you more, sideswipe.

06-07-2002, 10:24 AM
Some interesting thoughts there, barada. I too will give the line some more time - probably into next year to see if Hasbro makes some changes during the "non-movie-year-lull", as they did with POTJ. But, like you alluded to, if nothing changes, I might focus my attention more closely on my Transformers and Macross hobbies.

06-07-2002, 11:53 AM
You are not alone.
As unintentional plug,these petitions are really my last push.After 25 years I can't walk away with out some kind of fight for it.
If they should fail,I think I'll back way way off.They have hammered us with a large collection since 95.But over the last couple years alot of us have major holes in our collections because of Scalpers,exclusives and poor distribution.
And there is no help from them in sight.
I hope I can continue but if to many more of us walk away it'll be over anyway.
You are not alone.The fun and enjoyment is still there for me.But I can see multiple things coming that will do it more and more damage.

06-07-2002, 12:39 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys. I had a strong suspicion I wasn't alone in this regard. As a matter of fact, my best friend feels the same way as I do. Unfortunately, he has basically given up collecting - at least temporarily - due to disinterest with the current state of affairs. One of the things I miss most about the hobby is sharing the fun with him. Back in college ( we both graduated in '97) we would both blow wads of cash on this stuff - and enjoy every second of it. We would dedicate entire days to figure shopping. See, we lived about an hour away from the malls and major shopping districts. We would spend the day driving to them, shopping, stopping for a bite to eat and some beers at one of the 'Hooters', then continue on. He lives in California now, and I in NY. We see each other around twice a year, and spend each time doing one of these "mall runs", as we dubbed them. Having him leave the hobby just makes it that much harder to keep interested (when compounded with all of the other factors).

06-07-2002, 12:56 PM
My brother and I used to have "Star Wars Days" also. When I came back from Bosnia, I went home on leave and we went to El Paso (which is about an hour and a half away from where my family lived) and spent the entire day shopping for Star Wars stuff. This was in 1997 when there was a lot of really diverse stuff to buy. We went again in 1999 after Ep1's premiere and again I scored a lot of cool stuff. When I came home from Korea in early 2001, we had the same kind of Star Wars Day, but this time there was almost nothing to buy. I remember being extremely disappointed that my first time back to the states in over a year and all I could get from an entire day of shopping was a Jek Porkins figure. Now we go to stores and everyone has the exact same product, there is no variety. Wal-Mart in Alamogordo has the exact same stuff as the Kay-Bee in Las Cruces and the TRU in El Paso. The toys are being discounted already and the movie hasn't even been out for a month yet, store displays are continually shrinking, and the movie itself is dropping in ticket sales at the box office at a record pace (faster than TPM here in the states, almost twice as fast overseas). I try not to be so negative, but all the signs are there. This hobby is dying right before our eyes. If things keep up like this, then it is only a matter of time before the retailers pull their support and the toys vanish for good.

If Hasbro and Lucas want to keep SW alive then they will need us, the lifelong fans, more than ever.

06-07-2002, 03:27 PM
Either they released too much (hmm, sounds like that bell's been rung a few times) or the lower prices just didn't come in time.

Or kids favored the 30 points of articulation Spider-Man figures over the "staying alive" Padme. :rolleyes: Plus scalping isn't helping either, if kids could get what they wanted, then after they play with those they'll get "bored" and want more figures to interact with the first ones they got, but without those first figures that they wanted, they could lose interest pretty fast.