Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Whatever happened to my toy robots collection? PArt One: I was a ten year old Pirhana boy

So I was looking at ebay and found a seller who's auctioning off a really nice collection of G1 boxed and sealed figures. Looking at their completed auctions is breathtaking. It's some really nice stuff in fantastic shape. I can tell this person was highly ocused and motivated and had well defined collecting goals. It's an impressive collection. Hell, for all I know this is probably their extra crap they don't want and their main collection is even more breathtaking. I wonder who this collector was. I've also been looking at the collections of other people in the fandom and I'm amazed at how well organized they are. Then I look at my stuff and it's this huge disorganized Fortress Messimus warzone of robots and Star Wars crap from the last 20 years with no focus or organization. This must be what Teletraan-1 felt like when it got reawakened and it looked around and there's an assload of Transformers all over the floor. My robot room looks like the inside of the Autobot's spaceship the Ark after they crashed into the volcano in 1984, except instead of the volcano they crashed into a Toys R Us inside the Death Star.

I'm too old to be jealous of other robot nerds but not too mature to get mad at myself. It got me really pissed off after seeing the other collector's toy robots because after all these years and all the money I've spent I should have something remotely resembling a well organized, focused collection that normal people would find disturbing (my goal). So I decided I'm going to take all that anger and get my crap together. I have no excuse to not put some time aside and work on defining and organizing my Transformers. Why even bother collecting if all I'm going to do is keep it all in random scattered piles on the floor or in boxes in the garage? So this past weekend I decided I'd really get down to it and I started pulling crap out from the garage and rearranging my laundry room, which is expansive enough to proudly display my crap but secluded enough that people who visit our house don't know it's there. It's like the Batcave of toy robots and I'm like a Bruce Wayne of robot collecting, except I'm not rich or good at it so there's really nothing impressive down there. It's like if Batman showed you the Batcave and you're looking around and the Bat Phone looks pretty cool but it's all pretty much built from stuff Batman got at Home Depot and you were kind of dissapointed. Plus there are lots of robots buried under my dirty pants.

One thing about confronting my mess of robots is that I have to go through all my stuff and look at all the dumb dumb things I've bought and all the even dumber things I've done with it. I've got tons of broken, maimed and molested toy robots, some because I was a 10 year old whirlwhind of toy destruction and others because I was a twenty-something whirlwind of shitty robot customizing. Rummaging through all the carnage has been at times demoralizing. Even if I wanted to sell my extra loose robots, they've been so devastated that the remains are barely recognizeable as the figures they used to be. Hell, they're barely recognizeable as toys. What was I doing to that Cliffjumper so that the largest remaining piece of him is his face? Imagine if you were a crash scene investigator when the ROswell UFO crashed into Voltron and you're looking at all these itty bitty robot pieces trying to figure out what the hell happened to make them get all exploded.

As I look over the remains of what I used to have when I was a kid, I get confused because some really stupid stuff is in immaculate shape and other stuff that would have been nice to preserve is all pwned. Studying my collecting habits as a ten year old makes me want to go back to 1984 and commit myself to a mental institution. There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern of what toys got preserved in their packages and which ones got opened and molested. So I've got a Seaspray still sealed on the card but other toys which would be nice to have like that are all smashed, dissected, or (I'm not kidding) partially melted. I really need to do a series on the remains of my childhood toys. I'm thinking my Constructicons that are held together with clay could give Moai Ou's World's Most Beat Up Devastator a run for its money. THEY'RE HELD TOGETHER WITH CLAY.

What really boggles my mind is what I used to do to the packages. Instead of just cutting out the tech specs and throwing the rest away, sometime around 1985 I started cutting out the boxarts of the robots from the front of the boxes. It was like having cardboard stand ins, virtual figures of a sort, but I don't understand why I would do this because if I had the box art I must have also had the figure in the first place. The only exception to this was Jazz, whose boxart I cut out of the Cookie Crisp box when they were doing their Transformers mail away and lenticular stickers promotion. I don't expect myself as a child to keep every last little bit of packaging, but at least keep the outer shells of the boxes. Why did I save just the pictures of the robots I already had? It makes no sense! Yeah, it would have been nice to have those cards and boxes intact instead of these painful reminders of mutilated packaging. Having all these boxart robots really makes me just want to go back in a time machine and feed my little boy self to some pit bulls.

In the end I guess I'm glad that I never had every Transformer as a kid, seeing how I would have just atomicly butt raped them into extinction and shred up the boxes anyways. And seeing how I can't even keep track of where a lot of my Transformers are, maybe I didn't deserve anything as nice as Trypticon when I was 12. I barely deserved anything as nice as Cosmos. But from here on out I need to grab up the survivors of my childhood along with everything else I bought in the ensuing 20 years and I need to organize and make some sense out of it. Because one other thing I picked up from looking at all those other people's collections was that having a Fortress Maximus in your pants doesn't count unless you show it to somebody.


Heavyarms said...

Oh my gosh. That collection of box art is absolutely the coolest thing I've ever seen.

Weasel said...

Because one other thing I picked up from looking at all those other people's collections was that having a Fortress Maximus in your pants doesn't count unless you show it to somebody.

And with that sentence, you win the internets. For all eternity.


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