Collecting woes

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by LizardbotHero, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. LizardbotHero

    LizardbotHero I am a warrior

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    I would like to start out by apologizing for creating this thread. I see similar ones pop up every now and then and never understood why people feel the need to create them. Well, now I am one of those people. I'm not even sure what I'm looking for. Maybe some advice? Validation? Encouragement? Not sure. I guess I'm starting it with zero expectations and we'll just see where it goes.

    With that out of the way, here's my deal. I love collecting toys. I've been collecting toys my whole life, even before I realized that collecting toys was a thing. I collect toys beyond just Transformers, such as Lego, Star Wars, Gundam, and Power Rangers. I went through a period (primarily during my high school and early college years) where I wondered if something was wrong with me for still collecting toys even into adulthood, but then I discovered online communities like this that made me realize I'm not alone. My best friend since elementary school still collects toys as well, although we don't get together anymore due to geographical separation. I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt, opening a new package, playing with a figure for the first time, displaying them, etc. I still love it all. The problem is I'm at a point in my life where I have no time to enjoy it. 95% of new toys I buy don't make it out of their packaging and go straight into storage. They are piling up in my basement collecting dust. I keep telling myself that someday I'll get to take them all out. I'll get to build all those Lego sets, transform and pose all those Transformers, display my collection proudly where I can admire it the way I really want to. But I don't see it happening any time soon. I work a full time job, and on top of that have a house I've been fixing up for over a year now. I have a 2 year old and another one on the way, and my wife works part time whenever I'm not working, so literally all my time is divided between my job, watching my son, and working on my house. I keep telling myself that I'll get to share it all with my children when they're old enough, but then I wonder, what if they're not into toys when they're older? Am I going to be the creepy man-child dad who tries to force my childhood on my my kids?
    Sometimes I think I'd be happier if I just got rid of them all. It's starting to feel more like a burden than a hobby. I'm probably (hopefully) going to find a better job in the near future and will have to pack up and move (my career field is one that requires me to move if I want to advance), and I dread the thought of having to move my entire collection. Let's just say I could easily fill a 14-foot moving truck with just my toys. It's insane when I actually think about it. I should also add that for as many toys as I have, my collection is actually very focused. I don't just buy every new thing that comes out. Sometimes I change or alter my focus, but for the most part it remains true.
    So that's the gist of it. Is there anyone who is or has been in a similar situation? What did you ultimately, if anything, do about it? Again, I'm not sure what I'm expecting, but if you have some advice or input I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. rodimusconvoy

    rodimusconvoy Well-Known Member

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    I am. And by reading your post, Im not even as loaded on figures as you are. I feel like "yeah, I have a lot of these collectibles, but they are inside these big bins, because I cant display them because of space" I even tried to focus my collecting but still. I think I reached the point where Im about to only keep what I can display.
     
  3. TFDAD

    TFDAD Well-Known Member

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    I feel you on this one. I'll be 40 in December, I have two kids, a house, and my wife and I both work. I didn't have anywhere close to your collection, but I finally hit the wall a couple of weeks ago for a couple of reasons. First, my grandpa died and my grandma had to go to a home. They had SO MUCH STUFF. Stuff that was never opened, used, etc. They just bought everything. And in the end, it was worth a whole lot of "jack squat" when my dad and uncle started to liquidate the estate. I kept thinking to myself "what a waste" the entire time we were organizing their home. And then I went home and looked in the damn mirror. The second reason for me is that vintage Star wars stuff has hit peak prices, so it was time for me to sell. Those babies went super fast and for prices I could not imagine 5-10 years ago. Thank you, Disney!

    In the end, it's just stuff. Yes, there is enjoyment to be had, but I think you can have more enjoyment with experiences. Hanging with your family, playing sports, exercising, going on trips, etc.

    I did keep some favorites and I'm down to two billy bookcases full of vintage star wars figures, BS6 Star Wars figures and MP-scaled TFs mixed in with some books and Cubs memorabilia. That's it. I still wonder if I should just fully cut and run though. Will TFs always be this popular? Will my new FT Jetfire be worth holding onto or should I just take that $40 loss and call it a day?

    Tough decisions for sure. Best of luck to you in whatever road you choose to go down. I will say it's a bit liberating to get rid of everything, but it's also a bit sad, and the packing and shipping sucks balls.
     
  4. AMG

    AMG Old School

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    That day could very well come if you have patience. We all have times in our lives where priorities shift.

    You could always find a middle ground and downsize your collection. Only keep the most important things to you and sell off the rest.

    Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck.
     
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  5. alldarker

    alldarker M.A.S.K. Crusader

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    This definitely hits a nerve. It's a very recognizable story. I also love collecting toys, and I collect several lines besides Transformers including Lego, Macross, M.A.S.K.. And I too find I am lacking time and space to really be able to enjoy what I have. We have a pretty large house, but even so I still rent an external storage for the 'overflow'. I also have a son, in my case he's 14 months old, and I certainly hope he'll enjoy my toys once he's old enough. But there's no guarantee that he will like the same stuff that I like. I've got huge unopened Lego sets (like the Ghostbusters HQ, Helms Deep and the Technic Bucket Excavator) waiting for him to hit the right age, and it would be a shame if by that time he's totally into something else. And even if he isn't, it'll probably be way too much to give it to him all in a few short years.
    And with Macross, it's another problem: I love the looks of the figures, but they are so detailed and often so delicate that I often don't even dare take them out of the box for fear of breaking them. Transforming just one Valkyrie takes time and patience, and with my current situation, both are hard to find commodities.
    I feel I need to downsize, by selling stuff, but even the time and energy needed to properly catalogue everything, including photographs and research into decent pricing, is hard to find.
    I'm sorry, I guess none of this can be considered as helpful tips, but I certainly sympathize with your situation. I think scaling down to having only what you can display is already good advice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  6. funkmonkey007

    funkmonkey007 Bah weep gragnah

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    Well, the way I see it, either one day that house will be totally fixed up and you'll have some spare time then (then I again I don't know if you're planning on selling the house as soon as the work is done), or you could always sell the toys and buy them back later. The Internet make that really easy. If nothing else, you'll still have sites like this to feel like part of the community, because you still will be. It's good to hear you're putting your family first man, best luck to you whatever you choose.
     
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  7. Diend Prime

    Diend Prime Well-Known Member

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    Boy are you and I similar.

    I'm 27 and have been collecting seriously for close to 10 years. I'm very similar to you in that I collect Power Rangers, Transformers, Wrestling toys, Kamen Rider, and a whole lot of Lego. I also collect vinyl, video games, comics, books, DVDs, knives, and all sorts of shit that I've always liked. Oh, and I have a 5-month-old daughter too. This past year I also got into minimalism and trying to cut down the clutter in my life and focus only on things that bring me joy and that i actually have time for. I used to have my basement fully converted into my "man cave" with 10 full-sized bookcases jammed full toys and collectibles, not to mention all of the stuff I had stashed away in bins and boxes. Oh and the records and record player. And the vintage video game systems hooked up to boxy CRT TVs. Just so. much. stuff.

    I realized that not only do I never have time to actually enjoy my collection, but I spend a lot of time every month cleaning it, a lot of room storing it, and a lot of money acquiring it. So, i started selling stuff. A good windfall of stuff. i've sold off hundreds of pieces since January and I love it. I've minimized my space down to 1 room with a lego-building station and 3 bookcases full of the stuff I've kept. Now I have less stuff, which gives me the ability to really focus on the shit i like and photograph it, play with it, or let it go if I feel like I no longer get joy out of it. My basement is also now available for my daughter to have some nice play space when she's a little older.

    It sounds odd, but it is nice to declutter and get away from the mentality of "i gotta have it all" or "i need to keep it all", when in reality I never got to enjoy any of it.
     
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  8. Kotori Sonoda

    Kotori Sonoda Yohane's Little Demon

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    I kind of feel you. My room is small and recently I had ot dispose of some boxes and store several of my Gunpla to make space. My small figma/figuarts collection is permanently in box since I don't have glass cab to display them in.
    It irks me because I want to display all of my collections but I have no space ot do so.
     
  9. Drake915

    Drake915 Autobot Scout

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    I'm in a similar boat and I'm just downsizing my collection to the pieces that are the most important to me. The space feels good to have and I have more room if I do see something that is a must have. I plan on moving out of my current state in the next year or two, so I'll need the space and money as well. I also have a family and plan on having more children, so the space and money are a must for me.
     
  10. DocSeth81

    DocSeth81 Well-Known Member

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    I JUST collect transformers. I used to collect JLU figures and I made about 1000 customs but I justdont have the room for all of it. I'm in the process of making a few displays in my room and keeping the rest in storage.
     
  11. elburrito

    elburrito Cpt. Marvelous

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    be patient. times will change and you will eventually have some time. those toys will come in handy then.
     
  12. Dachande

    Dachande Pleasure Toast Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    The moment a hobby goes from fun to burden, it's time to step away.

    Also, you have a two year old and one on the way. Maybe save what you have unopened as a future play time investment and enjoy the unboxing of fresh figures with the little ones. Shared excitement makes for good bonding
     
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  13. atomD21

    atomD21 Not made of sterner stuff...

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    I'm coming to a similar place. I'm finding that my space is more limited than I first realized, so all but my MPs and the most important stuff is going to go. I have a small Star Wars Black Series collection that I'm debating selling, as well as pitching some other stuff. I think that if it is feeling like a burden, you should look to downsize a bit and see how it feels. Then go from there.
     
  14. Tresob

    Tresob Well-Known Member

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    I am right there with you.

    I was flipping through radio stations one day and heard a televangelist say something to the effect of:

    "You have raised a dragon, and now it is time for you to slay it."

    I immediately thought of how big my collection has gotten. Speak it, preacher man.
     
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  15. Ramberk Magnus

    Ramberk Magnus Well-Known Member

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    You just have to make decisions that best suit your life. Because of my life circumstances I am cutting down my collection to eight leader-class figures, four voyagers and one titan-class figure. That's it! I used to collect MPs and 3P combiners but I'm slowly selling those.

    For me it's all about space and enjoying a really small collection. I'm a lot happier with a super tiny collection. I also keep a small collection of BT/Alts in a box and will keep those as long as I can.
     
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  16. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    The true focus of your collecting should be having fun. If it feels like a burden, downsize it. Get rid of the stuff you don't REALLY want.
     
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  17. FanboyX

    FanboyX is a real boy

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    I recently got my collection out of storage. I decided to keep a few key pieces to build future purchases around and sell the rest. I've settled on a handful of displays I want (an Optimus shelf or three, a Wreckers shelf, an '86 movie shelf, and a general CHUG bots/cons display). I only do CHUG, MP, and 3P now (with the exception of a reissue G1 God Ginrai).

    Anyway i'm basically working backwards from you. I know what's coming regarding kids and home, and i'm trying to plan my new collecting habits around that.

    I would say sell what you care about least to start, dwindle down to what you can display, and just consider yourself a casual. I hope you're able to continue to enjoy aspects of the hobby without feeling overburdened in the future!
     
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  18. Tenebre

    Tenebre Sharkticon

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    Collect what you love and you're passionate about, and the rest will fall into place.

    I've been re-evaluating my collection lately, but it's not necessarily about space (though I'm running out of that too), but more about money. If you're not careful with this hobby, you can start throwing down hundreds of dollars a month on this stuff. And the constant chase after that latest, gotta-have-it item can be wearying. Just have to take it slow and realize you can't have everything. So, prioritize.

    You say you're into lots of other lines beyond TFs. My suggestion would be to whittle down to one or two favorite lines (like TFs and Lego, for instance), then set some limits. With TFs, do you want to collect just one line, or a little from everything? Maybe nothing above a certain size class, maybe concentrate on favorite characters.

    Once you've figured that out, what do you do with the stuff you already have that you're not going to keep? You could always sell it on eBay or the TFW Junkion Exchange, but that can be a hassle. If you don't want to go that route, I'd donate anything that wouldn't fetch a decent price to Goodwill or some equivalent second-hand shop (or Toys for Tots, if it's still packaged). Not a lot of hassle, and it'll make you feel good to boot. :)  That's what I've been doing with some of my unwanted stuff. I just don't have the time or patience to make pennies on the dollar by selling them.
     
  19. Ampere

    Ampere Isn't the sharpest crayon

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    Can't say I'm quite in the same boat as you, but if the stuff you have now seems overwhelming I suggest taking a break from bringing anything else new into the house. It's basically what I've done and just putting a halt on how much and of what I buy has really helped. I haven't taken a break from collecting altogether since my lifestyle still allows for it, but cutting back and cutting out has helped. On top of that I've been pretty heartless about what I do and don't want to keep. I'm trying to streamline and really focus on what I want to collect and display before I have the same problems and suffer the same kind of burnout.
     
  20. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong.

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    Worryingly... this thread subject hits close to home. And it's not an issue (I think) that's been addressed before. Not like this anyway.

    Right, I was/am experienceing this problem too. Wife, two kids, lack of space etc. Now last year I had built a new summer house in the garden in place of the crumbling shed and garage for a new workshop and office. I planned this thing for years and that office was always meant to be my mancave and I was always supposed to stick all my (non TF) stuff on display in there.

    So it's built and my stuff has gone in... or more accurately around 20% of my stuff went in. Uh oh. I have a lot more stuff... that will never be displayed. So I started selling some stuff. And in fact I need to get rid of a load more. I'll keep my TF collection even though the vast majority of it is in storage, but I think everything else should go... because there really is a lot of it.