Your collection: changes through the years. Evolve or Horde?

Started by Anton Phibes, March 08, 2016, 09:42:43 PM

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Anton Phibes

An interesting question was presented me from a friend of mine who collects primarily Master of the Universe. He buys everything. Electric toothbrush, coloring and activity book, old figures, new figures. His motto is: sell nothing. Only collect. if you run otu of space; box some stuff up and put it in storage.

Now...I do have the majority of the things I have always had. But my collection has evolved to some degree over time. Some thigns stay...some leave.

For instance: when Sideshow started doing 1/6 monsters: I sold my Kenner/Hasbro 1/6's. The logic being: Sideshow would do superior versions. Which they did, except for Son of Dracula and Kharis. I have sold my collection off entirely. Yes: **choke**gasp** bare walls. Fortunately it was to folks who sold and (or gave) it all back to me when I came to my senses.

So-- do you ever get rid of anything. if so, have you regretted it? If not, why? Do you find yourself pining for things that you stumble across you have sold off in the past and thought: "You know what--I should get those back."

Does your collection evolve or does it just grow continuously?? Just curious if anyone else has the "Always buy--never sell" motto they engage in with regards to their collections.

This could be an interesting thread if there are enough willing contributors. At the very least it will sate my curiosity on the topic. Until I forget I wrote this thread in a couple years and do it again,lol. :angel:


Although I have never done a purge, per se', where I got rid of my collection. I have definitely altered and refined it many times over the years.

Before I collected monsters, or even toys for that matter, I collected art. Paintings mostly, but some etchings and prints, as well as art pottery and sculpture. Now, almost by necessity, such a collection must be turned over, because one runs out of space rather quickly, and tastes change. Modern Museum theory posits that collections are like living entities, and need to be refined and turned over to remain vibrant.

So, naturally, without thinking abut it, I carried that into my collecting. Initially, since it was the 90s, I only collected action figures. Then vintage action figures. Then vintage superhero action figures, and got rid of everything else.

Then I transitioned to monster figures.

Then non-figural monster toys.

Then I got rid of all the superheroes.

Then it was monster movie memorabilia.

Then pulp memorabilia, and got rid of the monster movie memorabilia (paper).

And at all stages of the collecting, I made custom versions of every genre I collected. Its intriguing to me that when I reached a certain number of customs in each realm of collecting, I stopped collecting it as avidly. Almost as though making a fantasy toy was like putting a capstone on the project. 

Now if I was to try and describe what my collection was like today, it basically is my evocation of what going to the shops as a child was like for me. I want an explosion of wonder with strange and curious juxtapositions. It is well-displayed, IMO, but not well-organized. I refuse to categorize and pin the butterfly, so to speak.

One day, hopefully soon, I will take pics of my collection and post them. But there's always another custom to make.

For those who are wondering, the first piece of art I collected was a posthumous impression of a Rembrandt etching called "The Woman with the Arrow." The impression was a non-lifetime edition from the early 1700s. I was 22, and working after college. I bought it from an art dealer in Libertyville, IL on layaway. It took me 6 months to pay it off. Here is the image in question (not the actual one from my collection)

A few years later, I learned in a documentary that the first piece of art Vincent Price collected was a Rembrandt etching. He also bought it on layaway. I have always found that coincidence delightful.

"I don't want to live in the past. I just don't want to lose it."
     -The Two Jakes


My collection is in storage, and it's been there for over 3 years now. I was forced to store it, after moving in with my 85 year-old Dad. He needs me, and he doesn't have room for my collection. When I first moved in with him, I stopped collecting, but very gradually started up again. I do not do Ebay anymore at all though. I buy new stuff from whatever stores I can find it in, and I do antique stores for the old stuff. I only buy what I really, really want now. If I'm not sure or hesitant, then I don't buy it at all.

My collection always grows. I never get rid of stuff, unless it's something that has zero sentimental value, and then I might give it away as a gift. I've given away a number of toys over the years, but haven't recently. As far as storage, when my toys were in my possession, I kept filling the toy room up...I had boxes climbing the walls to the ceiling, LOL. I literally have a toy store worth of things right now.

Perhaps, an even more interesting question is: Who are you going to leave your collection with should something happen to you? Who do you trust to give your collection to? Who will take care of it and cherish it the way you do? I have no kids, so I have no idea who to leave my toy collection to. I have alot of toys that have some value and the average Joe would have no clue, and sell my stuff at a yard sale to make a buck. I have a huge collection and really don't know who would be worthy of it other than me.


Most people's tastes change over time. That's why so many relationships eventually fail.

I was a Marvel Zombie when I started collecting comics in 1975. I accumulated a complete run of Avengers and near complete runs of Amazing Spider-Man, X Men, FF, and most of the Marvel titles. That changed a few years ago when I decided to focus on Monsters and Dinosaurs, which have always been my favorite genres since childhood. I sold a few of my Marvel Silver Age superhero comics, but still have most and I'm selling them off slowly on eBay. I'm keeping a few of my favorites, like the FF Silver Surfer appearances, SS 1-18, Marvel Monster appearances, Dr. Strange books, and a few others. Eventually I'll get rid of the vast majority of my superhero comics, books, action figures, trading cards, etc. I just don't want them anymore. Too many reimaginings and character reboots just killed the superhero genre for me.

Around 17 years ago I got seriously into monster mags, and for 5-6 years I worked on those. I was able to complete nearly all of the main monster mag titles including complete runs of the Warren titles (except for the Saha book, Eerie #1, the westerns, and a couple of Screen Thrills Illustrated). And, no, I don't have every variant of FM #6, but I do have a nice FM #6, so, within reason, I have a complete run of Warren's FM. Also have most of the '50s/'60s monster mags, complete CoF, complete FMOTF, complete Monster Times, complete Skywald titles, etc. I'm hanging onto my monster mag collection because I could never replace it, and I love it.

As mentioned I focus on Monsters and Dinosaurs, including playsets and other toys, magazines, comics, books, trading cards, DVD/BDs etc. I've loved monsters and dinos all my life so I'll never sell that stuff. The superhero interest came and went.

That stated, I don't slavishly hoard anything. Some things just don't appeal to me because of aesthetics so I pass on those even if they are monster oriented.

I've sold a few things I wish I hadn't, but my collection grows in general. Since space is becoming an issue I've started being really picky about collecting large items. In the past few years I've focused on monster and dino toys I can display on my shelves, or easily box up, or hang on the walls.

I've never done the dreaded purge, and have enough sense now to avoid that in future.

Everyone's collection evolves over time. The question is how much?


I hate selling things. It makes me ill. I usually do regret the things I relinquish. I think back to some of the stuff I had 20 years ago and sigh. Oh well.

When I do sell something, it's usually because I have an immediate financial need. For instance, right now I need a new computer. So I am going to list a couple toys on ebay. I hate to let them go, but there are a lot of things I want to do in the coming months, and I need a new computer in order to accomplish them.

Raymond Castile


My collection has evolved, along with my taste. I began collecting Doctor Who, then shifted into Super Heroes. I the early 90s, I was a Mego collector. Using my paltry paycheck from a part-time job at Target, I amassed quite a wonderful Mego collection. Then I expanded into general toys. I collected everything—Barbies, TMNT, M.A.S.H., Star Trek, Pee Wee, Golden Girls, Captain Action, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. If it was a toy, I wanted it. Every month, I would buy stuff out of Toyshop magazine. I would go to Children's Palace and buy everything in the clearance aisle. There was a chain called BEST that went out of business. I bought all the clearance toys they had.

Then I decided to focus on monsters. I purged my collection of anything that wasn't a monster. It all went out the door. What didn't sell, I donated to Toys for Tots. I wanted it all out of the house. From then on, it was monsters, monsters, monsters.

This continued through the 1990s and into the early 2000s. Then I became interested in movie paper. I started buying too many posters from Heritage and e-movieposter. I spent a lot of money and racked up debt on my credit cards (which was nothing new). I don't know what precipitated it, but one day I just stopped buying posters. I was tired of it. I didn't display the posters. They sat folded up in boxes, or rolled up in tubes. I couldn't leisurely examine them like I could toys. They were too fragile to handle. So I had this expensive collection that I couldn't look at. That was the end of my serious poster collecting. I still buy the occasional poster, especially if it's related to Bigfoot or Coffin Joe. But now I might buy one every six months, instead of every week.

For awhile, I was heavily collecting Ben Cooper and Collegeville boxed Halloween costumes. After filling several large storage boxes, I decided to cut down. I still collect boxed costumes, but with much less intensity.

About seven years ago, I started collecting Topstone rubber masks. That became, and still is, my primary collecting focus. I now have at least 200 Topstone masks, plus boxes full of Topstone novelties, makeup, candles, vinyl figures, and company catalogs. One quarter of the basement is just Topstone storage. I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on Topstone. I expect Topstone will remain my focus for the next year or two. There are still several important pieces that elude me.

Four years ago, I started collecting Monster High. That continued until last year, when I realized the Monster High collection had devoured the basement. Half my collecting dollars were going to Monster High. I had to quit. I still collect the occasional MH doll, but I don't feel like I have to buy every single new piece that hits the shelves.

I think Distinctive Dummies has commandeered my Monster High funds. The money that was going to Abby Bominable and Spectra Vondergeist is now going to Martin. But even with DD, I'm cutting back. I'm really trying to stick to the Hammer figures and resist everything else. Sometimes I'll give in and buy non-Hammer, but I'm trying to discipline myself.

I think the lesson I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning is that it is destructive to be a completest in any collecting genre. This is why collections get out of hand, credit cards get maxed, and people burn out. But I have that OCD gene that makes me want to "collect 'em all."

Lately, I've been yearning to get into vintage synthesizers. I am contemplating selling toys to pay for old keyboards. But the old synths I want are crazy expensive. And they take up a lot of space. But I really want them. So who knows. This time next year, I might be buying old keyboards instead of toys. We will see!
Raymond Castile


Well said Ray... And please by all means.. Let me know when and what you decide to sell if anything! By any chance will anything Ahi be in the mix? If you ever wanna sell direct please let me know, thanks.


Ive turned over many collections over the years... But all have been monster and or toy related. I just don't have the space or funds to keep it all! I wish I did though. Like Ray said... I miss everything I have sold through the years but am now very happy with my current collection! Full size monsters and masks just took up too much of my available space to display them the way I enjoy... And for me... Displaying them is most of the fun.


Gone from comics to cards to kits to figures etc... At this point Horror figures and baseball bobble heads make up most of collection... Seems like more goes out than comes in lately


Quote from: jimm on March 09, 2016, 04:34:50 AMGone from comics to cards to kits to figures etc... At this point Horror figures and baseball bobble heads make up most of collection... Seems like more goes out than comes in lately.

Hopefully you've not gotten rid of a your marvelous car model kits.


Collecting! It's what I do!


Collecting evolves over time.  At age 12, started collecting coins, amassing many rarities through my late teens into my early thirties, then a shift to my earlier childhood, models and monsters.  At one time had over 6000 unbuilt vintage kits of all subject matters.  Then came monster toys, always tried to stay with vintage stuff,  as well as all the monster magazines, then to original art.   I know all too well racking up credit card debt,  countless times I've done this, and many times had to sell to pay certain bills. Regrets are many, true horror stories of selling things I've once owned.  I have a nice collection now, had a much better one years ago.  But, looking at things in perspective, I'm lucky to have what I still have.


Quote from: Hepcat on March 09, 2016, 05:03:29 AM
Hopefully you've not gotten rid of a your marvelous car model kits.

No... Just haven't added much lately ☺


Great story, Matt - thanks for sharing it.

I think it's always a healthy, productive thing to regularly "thin your herds." (Or, "prune your trees.")

People's interests DO change over time. And if something meant the world to you then, but now when you come across it, you realize you hadn't even remembered that you had it anymore, that's a good sign that you should pass it on to someone whose life it will light up now.

Once in a great while, I have had slight regret that I lost, or parted with, something; but in the vast majority of cases, that's easily remedied!

These kinds of threads are always useful.



Quote from: skully on March 09, 2016, 07:49:34 AM...then a shift to my earlier childhood, models and monsters.

What year did you start collecting the models and monsters?

Quote from: skully on March 09, 2016, 07:49:34 AMAt one time had over 6000 unbuilt vintage kits of all subject matters.

Wow! Where/how did you find so many in the days before the internet? Were you buying out the remaining stock from mom-and-pop hobby shops when they were retiring/closing? Where/how did you store them all? Did you have the rarest Revell "Big Daddy" Roth kits and the T-Shirt Iron-Ons? Do you still have most of your model kits?

Collecting! It's what I do!


I've refined & lightened my load over the years, & I only keep what I really love. On rare occasions I'll buy something new, usually replacing something else. These days I'm largely content chatting on the boards & reading Scary Monsters.
"Well friends, that's all there is to life: just a little laugh, a little tear." - Prof. Echo (Lon Chaney, Sr.)