Sunday, June 10, 2007

PURGING THE GRAPES or: I really don't want to tell you about this because you'll know my ebay ID and see my history of buying Japanese tentacle porns

So I was talking to a twentysomething guy in the toy aisle at Wal Mart yesterday and as we were looking at the movie Transformers he said, "You know, if you really think about it, this movie is actually based on the toyline from 20 years ago and that sucks." And I thought, No, what sucks is that my LIFE is based on the toyline from 20 years ago and yet I keep buying new stuff. The biggest problem with my collection is that it's got so much recently released robots-that is, robots you could get at Wal Mart over the past 10 years. Although I consider myself the most casual collector in the universe and a hardcore G1 fan, occasionally I do dumb stuff like buy whole cases of whatever the current Transformers toyline is. Screw that! I am tired of having a collection that appeals to 13 year old nerds. I want a collection that appeals to 33 year old nerds.

I don't hate my robots. I wouldn't have bought them if I hated them. I don't hate new stuff just because it's new. There's lots of new stuff coming out that I want like the MP3 Soundwave and the clear Binaltech Mirage. But there comes a point when space becomes an issue and looking at my collection I have to figure out just what exactly it is I'm trying to accomplish here. There are just a lot of toys I have that don't fit into my overall collecting vision, which I'm not clear on myself but I know I don't really want or need five Mega Octanes and three Beast Wars Silverbolts that I never opened. Somewhere along the way I kept buying crap just because it said Transformers and I forgot to have fun with it. Without getting into the psychology behind why a grown man buys toy robots, I think in a nutshell my problem is that I regret opening my toys when I was little but now that I'm older I don't open them and I wish I did.

What makes it all insane is how quickly some of this stuff appreciates on the secondary market. So if I don't get around to opening my Botcon 2006 convention exclusives, in a few months people start selling them for insane prices on eBay and I get paralyzed thinking about how I'm blowing $300 if I open my Darksyde Megatron. So I'm stuck wanting to get rid of it to exorcise the guilt of opening it if I should ever choose to. Mark over at the Transforming Seminarian made a great point when he wrote that If you're into collecting expecting to make money off of this stuff, you're not really much of a collector. A "speculator," perhaps, but that really is a different thing. I think there's room for a third classification of person to describe me. I'm not a speculator, I'm a collector who's weighed down by the burden of owning toy robots with ridiculous secondary market value. It's like if the fox in the sour grapes fable got the grapes but then couldn't eat them because he'd feel guilty about eating them. I am the fox who loved the grapes too much! I wish I never saw some of these grapes!

Consequently I'm trimming down my collection a bit and getting rid of some stuff I'd feel guilty for opening and other stuff I feel guilty for opening already. In the end the buyers are doing me a bigger favor than I am doing them. I'm not selling this stuff because I want others to have it, I'm getting rid of something I can't stand owning anymore and taking their money in the process.


Rob said...

Evil King, when I sold some of my G1 Transformers on eBay a few years ago, part of me was upset that I was getting rid of things I had kept with me for 17 years. The toys were like a time machine; there were few things I still owned that my seven-year-old hands touched.

Another part of me realized that all of my Transformers sit in a box in my closet. Sometimes a friend comes over who is excited by G1 Transformers and I take them out for a few minutes, but how often does that happen? Maybe once a year?

Every once in a while, I miss some of the Transformers I've sold, not because I played with them, but because they helped shape who I am today: someone who enjoys art, animation, music, voice acting, logic puzzles/games, and technology.

Steve Mills said...

Looks like your moving some good stuff. I'm only getting more interested in Transformers now that I'm reaching 30. When they were around I was more of a Masters of the Universe collector.

Good luck with the sale

Heavyarms said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heavyarms said...

I think I'm sort of in the same boat. My obsession is based on the stuff that's 20 years old, but the majority of my collection is Beast Wars and newer stuff. And most of the stuff I have from Cybertron, Energon, Armada, etc. I bought because they were homages to G1 characters, not because I dug the characters on the new series. I didn't buy the Target Exclusive Universe Devastator because I thought they were great figures (all though I do like Bonecrusher), but because G1 Devastator rocked and I never got all six figures as a kid.

I guess that's all they are, really; surrogate, stand-ins for the original figures I either lost, sold, or never got.

Heavyarms said...

Great, now you've made me become introspective. Thanks a lot.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Rob, your point about taking your stuff out only once in a while struck a chord. I couldn't figure out who it is I'm trying to impress with all these new things I've bought over the last ten years. Nobody comes over to my house!

And Heavyarms, I really feel I should have focused on the older stuff and I would have been a lot more happy with my robot room. Since I'm the only one that goes there I should have tried to please me first. I guess I was put off by the high prices of the vintage stuff on the secondary market. But if I'd have focused exclusively on saving money for older Transformers instead of blowing five bucks here and ten bucks there on the current lines, I could have had one hell of a G1 collection by now.

Rob said...

Evil King, according to Sigmund Freud, collectors are stuck in the anal stage of psychosexual development. Keep in mind, he saw nothing wrong with using cocaine to treat his patients.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

No wonder I think my collection is total ass! I have anal fixations!


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.