i, collector

i've had this said to my face before: "you're a poser!"

this was actually mentioned a whiles' back, in regards to "toy collecting". apparently i was deemed a "poser" becoz altho i'd talk passionately about toys, i do not seem to be spending a lot of money on procuring them in the first place.

so who/what/how would you define as an authentic "toy collector"?

someone who spends an inordinate amount of money on toys? a well-to-do who swipes credit-cards at a drop of an eyelash at the toy shop? a struggling worker-dude who puts aside his hard-earned salary for a little joy of vinyl? someone who thrawls online auctions patiently to procure his plastic-treasures? or maybe he/she is all of that?

aren't they but the "act"? what about the "intention"? or is everything defined by the quantity of his/her collection? so when does "intention" lapse into a failed bid to secure collectordom status? the sheer amount of amassed toy-boxes? the number of chase and variant colorways proudly displayed at home and online? that uber-exclusive $$$ that you proudly own?

what about the blissed vinyl-lurver who has but that one single OOAK customed-vinyl? or the happily-contented with the row of bearbricks on the shelf and could only but wish to buy more? a personal value assigned to the item in question, is measured by the original cost?

i've actually had a post all written out a whiles back, about the different "grades" of toy collectors, but have since given up on the notion (for now anyways :p), becoz really, why would there be a need to judge or even pigeonhole? who am i to quantify the value of toys another person buys? or even stop them from achieving superstar-collector status?

the look-down from a big-spender, is equal distance toy-bigotry, as the look up from a "casual hobbyist", IMHO

for sure i've been guilty of that in the past, perhaps. the days of yore when i had a weekend flea market stall, hawking my toys and plastic-wares (no, not tupperware, mind), where i'd get queries from folks from all walks of life - and you can differentiate between the folks who know what they are looking for and/or buying, and the "curious" - what i used to deem "toy tourists" - ie: newbies who had no clue what they want but "like the purdy-colors" ... and who most times (local context anyways) deride the prices offered as "too expensive for a piece of plastic!" or "this *insert-mass-retailstore-name* has the same thing but cheaper what?!"

and i'd write them off. or not even bother explaining further.

thinking back, mayhap all they needed was a little bit more information? (if they were genuinely interested, that is) maybe all they needed was to understand the hobby further than just "purdy colors in plastic" ... in the end (for the hobby to flourish positively), maybe it is about "vinyl education" (for both designer/art toys and 1/6th), for who are we/they to deny anyone's pleasure of the hobby, current or future, innit? LOL


i've mentioned before that i had zero display-space for my toys. that is partially untrue. i realized that i actually had a sliver of legitimate open shelf space (30cm deep x 60 cm wide x 40cm height) - last used to hold my Michael Lau Crazy Children and Eric So's 12"-er Due-Gs [seen here] ... but all they did was gather dust and grime, with only a passing glance once in a while from my lurvin'-eyes ... the irony being, becoz it was dusty, i didn't remove them from their display boxes! no wonder there was nothing to look at and admire! LOL

since last weekend, they had found a new "home": middle-top shelf inside my cupboard.


in my current room-packing frenzy plan, i'd rather they remain out of the elements and "safe" in an enclosed environment instead. (or until such time space allows for an actual enclosed display shelf) and as i lovingly (*ahem*) wipe them clean and gently place them in their new abode, memories of glory days flood home - of the countless hours of online ebay-hunts ("sniping" only works if the server can sustain multiple browser-windows LOL), of scouring toyshops across singapore and endless hours of eventual research, in the "whos" and "whats" and "how much is too much"? LOL

years on, after overdrawn credit(s) and personal financial-dramas, i still hold these dear figures (okay, fine: "figures-in-boxes" :p) in my hands and they are mine to treasure and reminisce over (don't we all have a "toy-story" for each figure?) ... tho nowadays, any further expenditure is thought over carefully ("try") and any urge or impulse denied ... and as much as i want everything (at least the stuff i post on this blog!!!) - those heady "collectordom" days are indeed over (for now) ...


so mayhap in reality, i AM a poser "now", and a passionate one at that, mind! and this blog is but a self-massage of thy intangible ego, while stroking the toy-id and in the end, whatever anyone says will not diminish my love for toys, except for maybe myself, innit? *heh* :)



None said…
i think a poseur would be one who spend a bomb buying truckloads of toys and then discussing about them. lol

u already had most of them in the first place...no harm talking about your collection right? I would too...if i had the time...lol. Imagine the horrors of me describing my each and every star wars figure i have...

Anonymous said…
I don't think that you can use what one spends on toys as a benchmark to determine what a poser is.

A poser would be one who speaks about something without actual knowledge of said subject hoping to impress upon someone else.

You're no poser, your blog proves that.
demort said…
First of all, nice post man. There are people out there that feel the need to question the validity of the lives of others, and even more so when it comes to areas where so many different cultures and subcultures come together.

That being said, bigapplefan hit it on the head with

"A poser would be one who speaks about something without actual knowledge of said subject hoping to impress upon someone else."

The nature of your blog entries and the forethought you place into discussing collectibles certainly does not give off a "hey, I know more than you because I got the scoop on X" feeling, but more of a "hey, check this out!".

Like you (and everyone I'm assuming) I love toys, but as you have said, the cooler they get the more expensive they become. There is definite "formula" when it comes to pricing, but some folks don't understand why, for example, a blank Munny would cost 30 US bucks but a custom one by X would cost 250 US. I'm not even going to try and go into the justifications, but I'm also one to not buy every toy that piques my interest.

Your blog not only shows that you know what you are talking about, but it is a great hub of information about toys, especially for people like me who grew up in the 80's when entertainment wasn't Playstations and PCs, but GI Joes and He-Man and Transformers and the rest of them.

I could go on and on.
As they say, "Just keep pushing your raft past those rapids."
toysrevil said…
*paddling frantically, with a brow fulla sweat and a big ol' smile on my face*

tis funny, coz sometimes folks might be weighed down by a "label" and forget what it was which got them started in the first place, IMHO. but if push comes to shove, we are but "Toy Lovers" after all, irregardless of whatever toy-genre we may be pursing LOL

in the end, to each his own = what you can afford and want to buy: get it! ... and if you can't? admire it - to your own degree of satisfaction, IMHO

cheers, Hai :)