"Why I collect toys" - This short write-up on the reasons why I collect toys used to be on the side bar of my toy blog but I decided to include it as a post so that fellow bloggers and collectors can share their views and inputs :)
What is a toy? A toy is any object that can be used for play. Some toys which attract large numbers of enthusiasts eventually become collectibles. Other toys are marketed to adults as collectibles. A collectable or collectible is typically a manufactured item designed for people to collect. [source: wiki]
Here are some snap shots of the toys I've collected and blogged about (a total of 1,523 posts up till now). These images appeared when I googled "toyhaven". It was easier to screen grab these than to go through my albums to choose which picture to post.
Every collector probably has his or her own reasons for collecting toys and I realized that mine is simply because toys are 3-D forms of art to me. I always enjoyed the visual arts and grew up reading comics rather than books or novels because comics were visually appealing to me and I was drawn to them. Heck, I'm still drawn to them and now my 17-year-old son has joined me on this journey of discovery :) That makes me a Happy Happy Dad!
So when your comic book hero becomes a 3-D rendition that you can hold and scrutinize from every angle, it's a must-have. What is even better is when the same comic book heroes get made into television series, movies and movie merchandise. Now you can have miniature versions of your favorite characters dressed in their costumes and carrying their accessories - one MUST appreciate the art that goes into making them.
I started with the carded figures i.e. 3 to 5-inch figures but was one day exposed to the world of 1:6 scale figures (at that time, they were vintage Action Man 12-inch figures) and that changed everything for me because at 1:6 scale, manufacturers could replicate almost every detail of the outfits / costumes / uniforms including accessories / gear / weapons. At 1:6 scale, they are big enough to be appreciated and examined up close yet small enough to be displayed en masse.
At the time when I got hooked on 1:6 figures, they were mostly military themed figures (Action Man and G.I. Joe) and that's how I got into collecting them. The other reason for collecting military-themed figures is because of their history, uniforms, weapons and paraphernalia that goes with them. Almost every boy growing up would have played cops and robbers (OR "police and thief" as we say it over here), soldiers and the like because it's just so cool to play with guns, throw grenades and take cover!!
Collecting soldiers from different eras and different countries make you appreciate the discipline these soldiers have, the training they have undergone and the sacrifices they made to be able to put on the uniform. We also get to see the advancements made in weaponry and technology over time from when the first warriors carried but a spear and a shield into battle to the laser guided warriors of today.
Another reason for collecting toys besides them being 3-D works of art to be appreciated and marveled at is because they are FUN! FUN! FUN! Why do anything at all if they are not fun and enjoyable? A lot of us have to do things because we just have to (they are called jobs and we get paid for doing them); while some of us are blessed with doing things we enjoy and getting paid to do them, most of us have not much of a choice - mouths to feed, bills to pay etc. So let's have FUN and enjoy LIFE!
Blogging about toys has opened a whole new world to me and connected me to a LOT of like-minded collectors around the globe and I've made many GREAT friends through my blog. I've always enjoyed taking pictures of my toys. It's a way of cataloging my collection. Back then, I'd to use a camera loaded with a roll of photographic film which you had to send for processing before you could view the pictures you'd taken. That's how ancient I am haha. With the advent of the internet and digital cameras, everything is now so quick and easy, and my toy blog has become a new passion as I share my interests with the worldwide web and visitors to my blog.
Related posts: An ode to collectors posted on November 26, 2010.
My interview with MS magazine - A sight to behold posted on October 9, 2009.
My interview with Wicket Toy & Collectible Photography posted on July 19, 2010 (thanks again, Jon).
Collecting on a BIG scale posted by Ian O'Neill from "Toy Collector", March 5, 2011.
I was also approached by G.I. Joe Collections and they did a coverage on me, which was NICE of them.