Well, according to wiki: It has been speculated that the widespread appeal of collecting (in general) is connected to the hunting and gathering that was once necessary for human survival. For some people, collecting things may be a symbolic way of asserting power over them.
The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. The scope of collecting is unlimited: "If something exists, somebody somewhere collects them." That is true even for toys as they come in all forms, shapes and sizes.
Some collectors are generalists with very broad criteria for inclusion, while others focus on a subtopic within their area of interest. Some collectors accumulate arbitrarily many objects that meet the thematic and quality requirements of their collection, others — called completists — aim to acquire all items in a well-defined set that can in principle be completed, and others seek a limited number of items per category (e.g. one representative item per year of manufacture or place of purchase). The monetary value of objects is important to some collectors but irrelevant to others. Some collectors maintain objects in pristine condition, while others use the items they collect, and still others collect items that once belonged to famous people.
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Collecting is for some people a childhood hobby, but for others a lifelong pursuit or one that begins in adulthood. Collectors who begin early in life often modify their aims when they get older. Some novice collectors start purchasing items that appeal to them then slowly work at learning how to build a collection, while others prefer to develop some background in the field before starting to buy items.
In his June 18 post titled "Why Adults Are Into Toy Collecting? by Steve Grayson" (full article HERE), Steve did a very comprehensive coverage on why adults (both males and females) collect toys. It makes for a most interesting read, so much so that I decided to share some of Steve's points here on my toy blog as well.
In the post, he lists down nine possible reasons why adults collect toys based on people he talked to:
1. They did not have too much toys when they were growing up.
2. They miss their childhood.
3. They are huge fans of a movie, comics, cartoon or video game.
4. A way to avoid bad habits or spending money on useless things.
5. They feel younger.
6. They admire arts particularly sculptures.
7. They enjoy articulation.
8. They enjoy taking pictures of toys.
9. For fun.
I can certainly identify with a lot of the reasons listed. As to why I myself collect toys, you can read my answers posted HERE
Steve also goes on to promote the benefits of toy collecting:
1. It develops your resourcefulness.
2. You learn to be patient when it comes to budgeting.
3. An easier way to reward yourself.
4. It brings life to your movie or game imaginations.
5. It develops your judgment when it comes to sculpting and articulations.
6. You meet new friends of the same passion.
7. You can relate well with younger people like your children.
8. Not bad for your health unless you chew them.
9. It can boost your mood level when you look at your toy shelves.
10. You develop your sense of organizing and how to utilize small room spaces.
11. You can teach your children to cherish their toys at early age.
According to wiki: Maintaining a collection can be a relaxing activity that counteracts the stress of life, while providing a purposeful pursuit which prevents boredom. The hobby can lead to social connections between people with similar interests.
Steve reminds us that Toy collecting has also its weak points and it’s important that we keep this in mind to balance our hobbies with our relationship and priorities in life. While the hobby can lead to social interactions, on the other hand, collecting can also be a means of withdrawing from the world and avoiding human contact. Collecting for most people is a choice, but for some it can be a compulsion, sharing characteristics with obsessive hoarding. When collecting is passed between generations, it might sometimes be that children have inherited symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I believe one should always remember to have FUN and ENJOY collecting. Once it's no longer fun but a chore, then perhaps it's time to move on. What to do with the toys collected? Pass them on to someone who can appreciate them - me! I've been collecting since 1994 and although I have slowed down quite a bit, I certainly haven't stopped. Space is a BIG constraint for me because I've run out of space to display my toys and I am one of those who want to open the toy from its plastic prison cage and display the figure, as you can see from the pictures I've posted here: just a small sampling of the toys that I've amassed over the 20 years of collecting.
Over the years, I've moved from basic carded toys and smaller sized action figures to 1:6 scale collectible figures, also known as 12-inch figures. When I first started collecting toys, the term "collectible figure" was non-existent. Collectibles were basically toys from times past that became rare and demanded by adults who wanted another chance to own a toy they had during their childhood e.g. G.I. Joe and Action Man. A collectible was originally a toy.
Now however, there's a market of manufactured collectables. A "manufactured" collectable (often referred to as a contemporary collectable) is an item made specifically for people to collect. The terms special edition, limited edition and variants such as deluxe edition, collector's edition and others, fall under the category of manufactured collectable. Another important field of collecting that is also big business is memorabilia and movie-related merchandise! That is how Hot Toys has become the company it is today, from movie merchandising.
Collectables are items of limited supply that are sought for a variety of reasons including a possible increase in value. In a financial sense, collectables can be viewed as a hedge against inflation. Over time, their value can also increase as they become more rare due to loss, damage or destruction. One drawback to investing in collectables is the potential lack of liquidity, particularly for very obscure items.
I haven't sold any of my stuff yet but I think over time I will. The new place I'll be moving to is smaller and that means even less space to display all the figures. As it is, there are already figures still in boxes because I haven't found the time to open them all. There are figures that date back to 1994 when I started my toy collecting journey and even earlier (like the 1970s and 1980s), and there are the current figures that are constantly being released these days. The market for toys and collectables certainly has grown in a huge way. There were fewer toy stores back then compared to the ones sprouting up in the malls here. These are the specialty toy stores, not Toys R Us which most adult collectors don't go to these days as it doesn't stock the "collectible" figures.
We used to go to the Sunday Flea Market to look for old vintage toys. Now, all you see most of the time are the new and improved toys which can also be found in the toy shops. "Old and Gold" is no longer true for most people as they hunt down the latest toys and figures which they might have missed out on because they failed to pre-order earlier. Pre-ordering is a new thing as well where collectors "tell" the manufacturers by pre-ordering which figures they want and the company goes and produce the quantities pre-ordered so that the numbers are limited to the orders made so as not to flood the market with unwanted toys and de-value the figure. Part of the fun in the past was impulse buying where we buy what we like when we see it but nowadays, if you don't pre-order first, you probably can't buy that toy / figure because it's already been reserved. Plus you usually end up paying more for figures that you failed to pre-order earlier.
Japanese movie and TV-related figures were a big part of my childhood and I'm one of those who enjoy collecting these as a way of recapturing and remembering my growing up years. Ultraman and the Kamen Riders / Masked Riders were some of my favorites, so were the TV heroes like The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet (and Kato), and Batman (and Robin).
I'm a big fan of Batman, be it Batman from the comics, the animated series or the movie versions. Love them all (except for the George Clooney version). So Batman action figures is a MUST!
Let's not forget the many different versions of the Batmobiles as well. Certainly looking forward to see the toy version of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Batmobile (pictures posted HERE)
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Besides the anime and manga heroes, there are also the Marvel superheroes, all part of my childhood when I was growing up, digesting all the beautiful visuals and contents found in the comic books that I bought and read and read over again.
As the toy industry grew, manufacturers were more daring to venture and we get such figures as Dam Toys' Gangsters Kingdom series, Original Effects' gals with their own background stories and Foxbox Studios God Complex series of figures.
Last but not least: Keep on collecting and remember to share pictures of your collection!
February 21, 2011 – Why I collect toys posted in my toy blog HERE
April 22, 2011 – I collect Action Figures! And here are some of them (posted HERE)
March 15, 2013 – Humble Beginnings: We all have to start somewhere :) and this is my early start (pictures HERE)
July 28, 2013 – Happy to report that my Batman Collection photo got published in Discovery Channel Magazine (check out my post HERE)
An ode to collectors posted on November 26, 2010.
My interview with MS magazine - A sight to behold posted on October 9, 2009.
November 27, 2010 – Just some things @ my work station posted HERE