Ever felt overwhelmed by it all?
I once was a dedicated Star Wars figures collector with my sights set to collect the original 92. This dedication was declared around 1987 during the GI Joe heyday. Star Wars had all but vanished and asking other kids for their forgotten figures, lying around unwanted at home, increased my collection big time! I even gave up my beloved GI Joe vehicles (VAMP, Cobra Copter, Snow mobile & Tomahawk) for swaps with glorious Star Wars vehicles such as the AT AT and Y Wing. After this GI Joe loss, I released my protective grip on all figures but Star Wars and allowed them to partake in the brutal Guy Fawkes Battles from 1989 – 1991.
The final Star Wars I figures required to complete the set were the Death Squad & At At Commander. The Death Squad (always referred to as Star Destroyer Commander) was finally found in 1991. The kid at school who had one didn’t like me very much and was happy to gently extort the figure for a ruthless $20. What choice did I have? Then years later I found the At At Commander. There he was! The figure I had only seen on the back of the cards. Strangely, I did feel underwhelmed at finally achieving the childhood dream.
Bang! 1995! New Star Wars toys at last! My god the figures were atrocious! All the more reason to praise the originals. But look at those vehicles using the original molds! I never had a Tie Fighter and I can overlook that you have made it blue just to have one! This was sooo exciting I tell ya! I grabbed a Falcon, an X Wing and almost a Scout Walker, but settled on my original. All this commotion increased the local availability of more original figures. Here my next goal was defined. To build up as many imperials as possible for what childhood would have deemed to be the ultimate game.
1999 and The Phantom Menace. I went crazy for those figures. It was at this time I had the first, of what became, two defining moments. The toy shop had the new Rancor reissue and the Bantha. I was blown away! I wanted both! In fact, I needed both because I could not decide between only one as my finances dictated. I was there for over 10 minutes gazing at the these treasures and finally left the shop dismayed. New, unprecedented thoughts about how there was too much to get now and I could not keep up.
The final blow came when the online auction avenue opened up for figures. I found the At At reissue there as I could not find it locally. I had an original walker but it was missing it’s guns. More than enough reason for a replacement. Including shipping, it went up to $250 NZD. When it arrived in it’s huge box, I gazed at it and thought this is ridiculous. Not that I didn’t enjoy the beauty of this thing, but I knew it was over.
I have not purchased any Star Wars figures since 2001.
Since Star Wars was all I collected in the end, collecting other figures did not occur to me. I had not delved into other figures since the 1980s. But there would be random moments over the years since 2001. I saw a beautiful rendering of Doctor Doom and lost control. Instant purchase, but afterwards I was telling myself what did you do that for? Where was that non regret of my old self with buying figures?
Thoughts of the destruction of my GI Joes started to plague me, as was my WWF figures that I had given away. I was tempted to get some back. But the prices were too high. When I say high, we’re talking about what a now non collector calls high. Slowly I crept back… only one or two figures here and there and any kind of figure. There was no discrimination goin’ down. From a Playmobil to a Buzz Lightyear, in 3.75 scale of course.
I touched on my feelings towards the more recent Star Wars toy lines and 6″
phenomenon in my Phantom Menace post, but regardless of how I feel about owning them, I do enjoy these figures through the joy of the other fans. I have so many 3.75 figures anyway and very much do love what I have. Though it got results, I guess I just was too dedicated to Star Wars collecting and put up a blast shield. I could no longer see other types of figures. But now my blast shield has been removed and my eyes are wide open. I am picking up random toy lines at my leisure without that obsessive dedication to one line and the “I can’t risk missing out” mentality.
Behold… For I am now a filtered collector