Back in the day (even before my day), coins and stamps were the go to in things to collect. These types of collections were mentioned in televison shows, movies, and there were even events, dare I say convention like events, where people can trade, purchase, and revel in each other’s collections. Fast forward to this day and age, coins and stamps have been replaced by statues, figurines, buttons, Lego minifigures, and so many more things that will take up the rest of this post. Whatever you may be into and whatever your fandom is, there is an item you could start collecting! Isn’t that great? I think it is!
I started collecting comic book cards at a young age visiting my comic book / card store of choice called Comics and Cards nestled in between a Montgomery Wards and a grocery store. I only frequented it maybe twice a month when my mom needed something from Montgomery Ward. I would buy a pack of Marvel X-Men cards with my allowance or birthday money or begged my mom for some money. It was fun since my twin brother would do the same and we hoped we could finish the full series of that card series. But, you can imagine how many “doubles” or multiple copies of one card we would get. Yet, we persisted and collected multiple binders full!
I didn’t realize that buying packs of unknown cards was going to set me up for another collecting item as I got older. With the help of fellow Nerd (Col)laborator, Jay, I got into 3 inch blind box figures from Kid Robot and Titans Merchandise exclusively. I got the green light from my wife to purchase a whole box of the Doctor Who Series 2 vinly figures with 4 chase figures at one San Diego Comic-Con and suprisingly we were only missing a few chase or variant figures which I was able to track down all but one Hot Topic exclusive! Why did I want to collect those figures? For one, I am a fan of Doctor Who. Two, my favorite Doctor is the 10th Doctor played by David Tennant. I got a nice clear display case to house my figures and since that SDCC, I’ve gotten a few more con exclusive Doctor Who figures just to have but I have not delved into collecting another series. There are some Funko Ducktales figures or a variant “kawaii” version Doctor Who series coming out soon that I might have to check out!
Jer’s collection snippet:
My passion for collecting is a bit all over the place but typically, I’m keeping an eye out for Star Wars figures especially those exclusives from various cons. These Black Series figures are really cool and worth the hunt because of the exclusive con packaging. I’ve been lucky to get these figures and now that I’ve gotten a few, it’s tough not to continue adding to my collection.
Another thing I collect are figure statues and my collection is heavily favoring J Scott Campbell’s art, including Mary Jane Watson and Black Cat. These Sideshow Collectibles are often times pricier than most but are really great works of art. I hope to continue this collection but are far and few in purchases due to the price.
The last thing I collect, which wouldn’t be fair to me if I didn’t mention, is pins! I have at least 10 pins on my backpack and I’ve sawed off many pins to add magents to the back for my son (and me) to wear without making holes in our shirts. I typically look out for creative pop culture pins and if they are Star Wars related in some way, then let me just hand you my money now. I see it as a fasion accessory as well with a hint of casual cosplay. Plus these small artifacts don’t have too much space like the figures and statues that I keep an eye out for. The only first world problem is which pin to wear today??
Jason’s collection snippet:
Unbeknownst to me, my collecting days started back in 1984/85 with Transformers. Every birthday, Christmas, or when I got good grades in elementary school, my mom would get me a new Transformer. I love those old toys, now referred to as Generation One, as they had the right amount of complexity to the transformation coupled with great designs and lots of accessories. I haven’t bought a Transformers toy in years now. I find the engineering not as compelling nor the aesthetic of the modern toys appealing (the modern era topped out with the Animated series, in my opinion). I do however still have every single toy from my childhood, though they may not be in the best of conditions – they were played with after all – but they’re mine and I wouldn’t ever trade them away for a pristine one.
Lego was also a big part of my childhood. The old space sets were my favorite. I would spend hours taking the bricks, all mixed up from the various sets I had, building forts, castles, weapons, or as crazy as it sounds, spaceships for my Lego minifigures and my Transformers. My Lego collecting still goes on to this day. I buy sets that contain my favorite Marvel, DC or Star Wars characters, sets that look like they have fun to build or sets thave revolve around NASA’s spaceships. (I can’t wiat to put together the Saturn V rocket sets!)
The bulk of my collection is my video games. It all started with a gift from my grandmother – a Nintendo Entertainment System. I would spend hours playing the Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt games that came packaged with the console. I’d borrow games from friends to see what was worth buying. Remember when Target gave out rain-checks? My mom abused the heck out of them, modifying the numbers to get to get discounts upward of 75%. I got a good amount of games on the cheap because of that. I’d eventually get a GameBoy, a Super Nintendo, a Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and a Sega Saturn. All great consoles each with memorable games that I spent countless hours playing. When my family moved from Daly City to San Jose, we had to downside our stuff. For whatever reason, I kept every single game I owned except the NEW games. I sold about 50 of them – all complete in box and in near mint condition – to a local video game shop for about $1 to $2 each. Some of those games I own are worth about $100 if I were to buy them off eBay today. Yea, it hurts, but I hope they eventually went to a good home and that a fellow collector of vintage video games is enjoying them as much as I did.
Out of all the collecting I’e done over the years, I’ve had the most enjoyment out of video game collecting. I’ve been able to watch the industry grow from the humble 8-bit era to the giant beast is it today. 1985 me would have never imagined how amazing the tech would have grown or how realistic or fantastic games would look and play. I still look back to collecting old games though, partially because of nostalgia but mainly because of the intrigue I have for the history behind each game.
I think it really doesn’t matter what you collect, but if you have a passion for it, then awesome! I remember opening each blind box vinyl figure with my wife and getting excited for each of the figures that we got! I have a few of my 3 inch vinyl toys in my opertory at work and will probably bring in more to display. Having a collection is a fun way to express the things you are interested in with the added enjoyment of the ‘hunt.’ It can definitely be frustrating if you are looking for that one figure/statue/pin/button to complete the set you are collecting, but once you happen to find it either online or at a convention, it is that much sweeter to know you have just completed the collection you started!
So, keep on collecting and expressing your passions and fandoms.