Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Time for the purge

It's time for a collecting state of the union.

In 2007, I found that I wasn't keeping on top of the latest releases in the Star Wars world anymore. I posted a few of the reasons in this blog, but for the most part...I just slowed down a lot from my record setting collecting the year before. By 2008, I had intentionally begun cutting back on all things Hasbro, partly because I was running out of room in my collection room. The white shelf in the center of the image is really the only shelf in this entire room that isn't totally full of figures right now. The other shelves are bursting to the point where if a door were to be slammed, a few might fall off.

The other reason I stopped picking up every single toy Hasbro was churning out for the last few years was because a lot of it was based on the Clone Wars. Frankly...I didn't like the movie and I haven't really watched the TV show. For me, these toys are equivalent to the vintage "Droids" figures that are now highly prized, but back in the day...were part of a stupid cartoon that I didn't watch. I was already feeling like slowing down on collecting, and these figures were a great help, because I didn't want them anyway.

For awhile, I missed the classic Saga stuff, or even the prequel figures. From time to time...I'd go to the store, see a "Classics" figure....get excited about it, but for whatever reason...I didn't buy it. I just left it there. In 2009, I actually made a New Years resolution to see if I could go an entire year without buying any Hasbro toys. I was successful.

Here we are in 2010. I have not quit collecting, but I have slowed about 95% down. I buy the occasional piece from Sideshow or Gentle Giant, but Hasbro toys no longer interest me. For better or worse, I seem to have fallen out of love with the 3.5" figures that started it all for me. They sit in my collection room, lined up in rows...and occasionally when someone who hasn't been to my house comes over, I walk them down and find out whether they think my collection is awesome or insane. The TV show "Hoarders" hasn't helped my own perception of it very much. :-)

For the past several years, I've thought about trimming the collection down a bit. I wasn't actually thinking about selling things that are currently on display. Instead, I was thinking I'd start by selling all my "spare" stuff. I have two rooms devoted to my collection right now, both filled with display cabinets...and then there's the closet. The closet is filled floor to ceiling with "extra" stuff I have no intention of ever displaying. Here's the best picture I could capture of it, because you can't really step inside.

Inside these boxes lies endless "doubles" of figures I already have opened and on display. Some boxes are filled with convention exclusives, or other figures I wanted to keep carded for one reason or another. In the back of the closet, there are stacks of vehicles that I didn't have room to open and put together. There are easily several hundred, (and probably closer to a few thousand) different items in this closet.

Today, I thought I'd grab a random box, open it up and take some pictures of whatever I found inside. I thought maybe I'd even put them up for sale on Rebelscum. What follows are a few of the pictures I took today:

Here are a couple of packs of Attack of the Clones cards. I think these are trading cards, or possibly part of a card game. I never opened them, so I'm not sure...and now I don't care to anymore.

Here are two full bags full of identical Mace Windu figures. I actually remember what these were from. They were part of a two pack you could get at Target and unfortunately, there was only so much room on my display shelves for Mace Windu figures. Eventually, I had to start putting them in baggies like these two.

The other figure in the two-pack was an awesome purple clone. Now you can understand why I bought all those extra Mace Windu figures. Maybe.

From that same box, I pulled another sandwich baggie out, with two figures in it this time. These two guys were also packed in with clones at Target I think.

I do like clones:

Here's a blast from the past. This was the first modern Star Wars vehicle I ever bought, right before my first X-wing and Tie-Fighter. Then, for some reason, I bought an extra one and left it in the box.

The rest of the space in the box I opened up was most filled with these things:

Any idea what they are? Unless you're a hardcore fan...you probably have no idea, and that's ok. These are imperial senate pods. The were packed in a set with two red clone commanders, one Yoda and one Emperor. I have two bags full of the Yodas and Emperors and six of these things. When you stick some figures in them, they look pretty cool. Observe:

Anyway...these were just some of the contents of one small box out of more than 100 crammed into that closet. I've only posted half of the pictures I took. There were about 20 other figures that I didn't think were interesting enough to use as examples. It took me about 30 minutes to photograph and catalog everything that was in the one box I opened, and another half hour to upload the names and descriptions of everything I cataloged.

Before I can even THINK about selling any of the stuff in the closet, I have to do this for each and every single thing I decide to part with. When all that is done, what will I actually have to show for it? Well, if you combine the values of everything I pictured above (not counting the clones, which I'm keeping)....the sale prices probably won't exceed 50 bucks without counting shipping. Actually, that might be a generous estimate on my part.

This is the dilemma of the modern collector. I have a lot of plastic I wouldn't mind exchanging for some paper, but the amount of paper I'm going to get for it doesn't really make the effort of the exchange worthwhile to me.

Stay tuned for more. Hopefully soon. I'm planning on figuring out what I'm going to do with all of this extra stuff. Perhaps in my next post, I'll show off a little of my Simpsons collection, which I've never posted pictures of yet. I'm thinking about getting rid of that as well, not just because I've moved on from collecting Simpsons figures, but because it takes up an entirely different closet in our house. Spring cleaning has begun. :-)