Friday, February 20, 2015

Hot Toys Collector or Hot Toys Box Collector? Age-old question: To open / not to open the toy!

I've been collecting toys since 1994 and Hot Toys figures since 2000 but the age-old question still remains: "To Open or Not To Open the Toy!"

I've grown to respect and appreciate each and every individual's way of collecting toys, be it to keep the toy mint in the sealed box or to open the box and display the toy or put the toy back in the box after playing due to constraints of space of even rotate the display of the toys for the same reason (for lack of space) but I've been cautioning people for years to remove batteries from the toys if they choose to keep the toy in the box or there will be irreparable damage to said toy when the batteries leak and damage the electronic components. See my toy blog post from September 2011 titled "Hot Toy Collecting Tip #1: Remove ALL Batteries!" for the full article.

What I don't get is people who proudly post pictures of their Hot Toys box collection (I decided to post one picture here as an example LOL) on multiple facebook pages without ever displaying the figures inside and then get offended when people from the same group ask why he buys so many of the same figures and why he doesn't display any of them. See below for some of the comments. It sure makes for some fun reading :)

This is a conversation on facebook about a collector who buys and buys multiples of the same figure but keeps them all MISB (Mint In Sealed Box) with no intention of ever taking them out and displaying them. Names have been omitted to protect their identities.

Q: "Do you plan on displaying them once you have the room to display them all? Or keep them in the box? I found myself not even unboxing nowadays because I don't have the room to display them."

A: "No intention of displaying them"

Q: "Not going to display them??? I wouldn't call that collecting at all. I call that wasting money. "Hey guys, look at all my boxes", that even sounds dumb. lmao. Take some pride in your overpriced collectibles, i know i do..... And why would you buy 2 and 3 of the same figures, an even bigger waste of money since your not a retailer either. My mind is blown right now."

A: "My way different from anyone else & why can't I purchase more than one of the similar figure?? Any rules say so?? & ANY laws say one person buys a figure MUST display?? Who say so??"

Q: "Yah, alright bud lmao. Its just, you spend so much money on these figures it really seems like a waste. You never even get to see the great detail on the back sides of these figures! But on a serious note, nice box collection!!"

R: "No laws, but I'm curious. Why do you buy so many and not do anything with them?"

Q: "Exactly. Thats what i say, its nuts. And buying 2 and 3 of each???? Wtf? This is a simple case of more money than smarts. I could see buying 2 if you want 1 in package and 1 for display but 3 unopened identical figures??????"

A: "FYI I bought them preorder price.. Any issues??? I don't need to know how great their articulations.. I been collecting them this for 9 yrs.. & I like the particular figure.. Can't I buy more than one?? So buying more than one means I break the laws??? Come on.. Pls prove me wrong that I shouldn't buy more than one.."

Q: "No one said your breaking any laws lol!! It just seems redundant"

A: "So?? What are u trying to guide a 9 yrs hot toys collectors??? Must I listen to u??? Your comments unacceptable & rude"

R: "Haha! Nobody is saying anything rude. We all just asked what the purpose of buying multiples is, and not even opening any. And you got really defensive and upset. This is getting really funny."

S: "I bought a new TV recently. It's really nice. I think I'll buy 4 more and keep them all in the boxes."

T: "Once again, it seems A is getting some flak for how he collects. No, you're not breaking any laws, and yes, it's your right, and your money.

I think what bothers most other collectors is we collect these figures for their aesthetic (or even artistic) value. We display them, pose them, customise them, put dioramas, etc, all in the effort to re-create a little piece of a world we love. If you buy a painting, a sculpture, or any other work of art, you'll want to look at it, because it makes you happy, and maybe because it "really pulls the room together". Looking at pretty things (or people...) generally makes people happy.

And there's also the appreciation for the technology and workmanship that goes into making these figures.

All of that is invisible if the figures stay in boxes.

There are good reasons to keep figures boxed: re-selling further down the line, and keeping an extra in case you damage the first one. Also lack of space, and / or having a rotating collection.

What you are doing here, I'm not sure what to call. It could be hoarding, like you would see these figures as great treasures to be kept from all possible harm. From other comments you've made, that would be my best guess. The fact that you have multiple boxed figures would also prove that point.

If that is indeed the case, then, I'm sorry, this may be rude, but I find it sad. Not in the insulting way, just really, truly sad. Because you're so afraid to let anything happen to these prized possession, you're not even letting yourself enjoy the sight of them. Yes, they will fade and alter over time, because they're made of things that simply don't last forever, and that's ok. Nothing lasts forever. These figures will probably outlive us anyway. They're expensive, but that doesn't mean they should be stored in a vault, just because we're terrified something may happen to them. Something might, and so what? Life happens. 'A', you can do whatever you want, but maybe try to live a little.

Maybe I'm completely wrong, maybe you're not afraid of the ravages of time and unfortunate accidents, maybe there's a reason other than fear that makes you collect the way you do. I don't know. But that's exactly what it looks like.

Take care, man."

U: "Nice collection 'A'. There is nothing wrong with wat u post and I do admit I am impressed with ur collection. But bro...FB is a place where pple air their views and we have to accept them as they come. One can be offensive but the other need not be too defensive."

V: "No one is right or wrong, but IMO if 'A' like to share this kind of picture (and he shares a lot in many discussion groups etc), i think that's the kind of reaction he wants people to have. What kind of reaction do you expect when you see this? It's like buying 10 ps4, keeping them in box, posting a picture in every playstation discussion group and saying "i will never open / play with them, and i don't sell". Of course some people will get upset. He's free to do whatever he wants , but to me it's not collecting, it's just showing off. We all got love for toys, extremely detailed action figures. And all i see here is love for owning expensive and rare stuff..."

W: "Respect? I think you need to respect people's opinions about you too when you keep doing this in every single group out there and get upset when people say things that aren't in your favour."

X: "When someone posts something controversial on the internet (public views), be prepared to get different views or don't post it at all.

On the internet and in public forums, it's not a matter of right or wrong, but a matter of public opinion. By posting it publicly, that someone allows the public and fellow members to share their opinions about it.

Isn't that the whole point of sharing in the first place..?

I highly recommend printing out a picture and bringing it to a zoo and show it to the monkeys otherwise. They wouldn't have anything bad to say! I think."


HeDoN666 said...

Interesting article Alex, I myself am a very hardcore collector and have sadly have 100% of my collection boxed and even still in their shipping boxes, I even rent a storage unit to store a majority of my figures. HOWEVER, I don't do this from from preference but necessity. i rent a two bedroom townhouse and simply have no space to display any of the figures but nor do I wish to miss out on collecting them. If you have the space do yourself a favor and display them, remind yourself why you collect. :.::

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts HeDoN666. To each his own as we cannot force our preferences over someone else's and everyone is free to do with their toys the way they see fit but just like you, I prefer to display my figures as much as I can and I feel your pain for not being able to enjoy your figures as much as you would like :) I really hope one day you can take them out and display them the way you always wanted.

Traveller28 said...

I do keep mine mint and sealed but I guess I do not like dusting and it's simpler to store them in boxes. Also, they are kind of an investment too as I do intend to sell one day (to fund my wife and myself later on in life as the financial situation in the UK is a bit precarious). I guess also that the people who missed out on getting these will be happy to have a shot at purchasing them later?

humanbeingill said...

Like you Alex I IMMEDIATELY open and display everything i buy, they're EVERYWHERE! I'm about 2-3 dozen figures pass my capacity, but i just seem to always find space Lol. My dream is to have enough room one day to display my figures and their boxes, which are ART in their on right.

HeDoN666 said...

On the subject of collecting Alex, can you consider doing an article on some of the announced figures you're most excited about this year? For me I'm hanging for the (no doubt ridiculously expensive) Hulkbuster, my Titanfall Atlas,the ThreeZero Transformers...

0730patrick said...

it really is sad that someone can have the money to get all these things, and not even be free enough to enjoy them. it's like if i bought boxes of baseball cards when i was younger and never opened them. it's like the logic is faulty but it's not something you can teach someone

Bill Kern said...

I hate to mention this but I take apart some of my toys. I want to see the engineering and mechanisms underneath the shine so that I can learn to make them myself. I try not to break things too much but injection-molded joints makes for sloppy deconstruction.

andrewk said...

Kinda feel sad for "A" if it is indeed hoarding. But to each his own I suppose...

As for me, my collection is for pure joy. I don't even think of it as an investment... cost for me. Unfortunately, I have space for one detolf for now, so most of my collection are still in their boxes. Long for the day I can gloriously display each and every one!

Happy collecting and Gong Xi Fa Cai to Alex and your readers! My goto blog everyday... keep up the good work!

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@Traveller28, I do like to purchase MISB toys as I know they'll be in factory sealed condition ;p

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@humanbeingill, I know what you mean. It's such a pain to have to throw the boxes away after opening the toys / figures, I just couldn't do it. Unlike the old days when the boxes were just there to hold the figures, these days a lot of the boxes are ART in itself.

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@HeDoN666, I doubt I'll be posting about figures I'm excited about this year as I post my hauls which are figures I end up buying instead. Cheers :)

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@0730patrick, that's what many collectors feel and they tried to tell "A" what he's missing out on but he's as stubborn as a mule haha just like what somebody said "Common Sense is a Rare Commodity"

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@Bill, you are a rebel and I applaud you for it :) truly speaks of a creative person who isn't afraid to innovate. Two thumbs up!

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

@andrewk, so glad you stand with the majority of us when it comes to our toys / action figures. Thanks for the well wishes, support and encouraging words. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too!

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

Yeah, I gotta crack 'em... what I have time to at any rate, and if it's a 1:6, it definitely gets opened! :)

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

That's the way we roll, Super-D

Anonymous said...

well if you want to buy a grail 500$ +- 9 yo toys in the closed box (MISB) for example HT leonidas, Godfather without knowing their condition is crazy man.

@lex Gen X 1:6 Hardcore said...

We hear you :) and we agree!

ChristopherJames said...

I know of people who buy toys and keep them in their boxes in a storage unit somewhere for a LONG time. Sometimes they get forgotten, but often times, they get taken out and sold for a HUGE profit!