I've found that the future of my collecting is actually now. A few weeks ago, I purchased my 4th and final piggy from the new wave. I knew that I wanted 2 for Jabba's Throneroom, 1 for the droid torture room, and 1 to be eaten by the Rancor. I was happy to find him, but after I opened him a really big moment happened for me.
I typically clip elements of the packaging when I open the figures so that I can later identify the sources of my loose figures. As I hunted around for some scissors, I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming sense of frustration. Not because I couldn't find the scissors, but because I realized that all of the 'things' that I had to do to maintain my collection had become tedious and unwelcome. I went down to my basement where I store my collection and looked around with growing disgust and despair. I own WAY too much stuff.
Over the years (I've been actively collecting since the line re-started in '95) the act and process of collecting took on more of a life than the collection itself. I opened a few boxes and realized how many things I own that have NEVER once been displayed. So many things have been displayed briefly and never seen again...
I closed the door to my collection room and decided to spend a day mulling over how and why I collect and see what I came up with. It actually took me about 20 minutes to realize that in some ways I hated my collection and what it had become. At some point in the past it moved far beyond buying what I wanted and became a job.
I forced myself to look at what things about Star Wars that really attracted me on a truly personal level to determine how I would handle my collecting moving forward.
I am a diorama builder. I really like to recreate the scenes from the movies that resonated with me, it makes me happy to walk through the room and see a great recreation of the battle of Endor, or Jabba's Palace. I prefer that over simply standing figures in a line on a shelf. To me, a diorama is a work of art. It requires some thought- composition, construction, content... it allows creativity within the act of collecting. Toys on a shelf are just that... toys on a shelf. You are required to open the package, stand them up, and try not to bump them and knock them over.
I asked myself what scenes I found iconic, what things that I wanted to invest the time and creativity to construct. It turned out that list was pretty small. I love Hoth. To me, Hoth is the perfect realization of the struggles between the rebels and empire, and has some of the greatest designs of the saga in it. The Cantina and Jabba's palace are awesome because of the alien angle. Endor, again, shows that the little guy can actually succeed against the evil empire....
That was about it. I have gathered hundreds of figures, vehicles, playsets and stuff to re-create dozens of "scenes" that don't actually mean much to me.
In the course of about an hour, I took a hobby that has been a part of my life for the past 15 years, looked at what it honestly means to me and my attitudes and dedication to it and changed my entire outlook on it!
I currently have about 200 auctions on ebay, and will have hundreds more before the end of the year. I'm done with the Clone Wars, I'm mostly done with the prequels, and I'm really only looking to buy new things that complement the dio's that I want to make. I know a lot of you already have that attitude, but I just found it, and can honestly say that I'm happier about my collection and collecting in general than I've been in a decade.