Monday, August 25, 2014

I Want To Collect And Save Money


As of late, I've had to make a few tough decisions regarding my collection. As most collectors, I always want to add more goodies to my collection. I want to buy as much as I can. But, I recently had to come to the realization that I don't have the money I had a year ago. My new job doesn't pay me the same salary and after paying bills, my disposable income for my collecting habits has shrunk. So, I had a conversation with myself (Who doesn't have lengthy conversations with themselves?) and realized a few things.

I Can't Collect Everything

I never really considered myself to be a completest. I don't have to collect every figure in a particular line. But ever since I watched a couple of collection videos on YouTube, I've been trying to grab everything. If there was a Batman figure I wasn't crazy about, I grabbed it anyway. If I saw a small Spider-Man figure, I'd still pick it up, even though I'm not a fan of 3 1/4 figures. I was trying to get a collection as large as some of the collections I saw. That's no way to collect. I wasn't collecting. I was acquiring. I realized that no matter what, I'm not going to be able to get everything. I love the Hot Toys figures and I have been dying to pick up some, especially the Spider-Man, Batman and soon to be released Marty McFly figure. I can't afford them, so I am going to have to find a way to have an awesome collection without them.

Plus, I'm not really digging a lot of the stuff that has been released. I think for the price we are forced to pay for these figures at Toys R Us you would think they would be of better quality. Better likenesses. But as long as us collectors continue to buy these figures, the toy companies won't make the necessary adjustments us toy collectors deserve.

All I really want now is the 34 inch Spider-Man, the Marvel Mashers Spider-Man figures and the Spider-Man Titan figures. And the Luke Skywalker Bespin Star Wars Black Series 3 figure. That's it. The stuff I really want (statues, high price point figures) are too expensive for my wallet right now.

Good Bye Comic Books, Hello Trades

I love to read comic books. I have been doing so since I could read and never really stopped. Unfortunately, The time to stop buying comics has come. Why? I'm not really interested in some of the titles that have been released lately. Plus, some of the stories has been less than stellar.

So, for now, the only titles I will buy on a monthly basis will be the Spider-Man titles and Batman books. The rest I will pick up on trade. There a lot of stories I miss out on or want to re-read without paying the premium prices for the actual books.

Another reason is room. I hate boxes and I would rather buy a bookcase for the trade books I will be picking up and minimize the long and short boxes in my space. I still want to try and collect a run of Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Parker books. But that's it. Everything else, trade.

Save And Sacrifice

Like I had mentioned earlier, I would love, love, love to add a couple of Hot Toys to my collection. But really, I don't have $200.00 plus to shell out for one. I could live without them. I have no problem with having a collection sans Hot Toys. I could pick up a couple of Batman DC Direct 12 inch figures for the price of one Hot Toy . But if I really want a Hot Toy, then I will have to do what I did as a kid when I wanted a Star Wars action figure or CD.

Save for it.

Instead of buying that $30.00 Spider-Man Ipod case, put that money away. Instead of buying a 6 pack of Blue Moon, put that money away. In a couple of months, I could have the money for an Amazing Spider-Man Hot Toy or a Spidey statue. Or maybe save that money for a comic con and see if I can get a deal on some of the pricey stuff I covet.

Focus On What I Really Want To Collect

For the longest time, I was picking up whatever I liked. It didn't have to fit into my collection. If I thought it was cool, I was buying it. Now, I can't afford to do that anymore. If I want to be able to add new stuff to the House Of Swag, it's going to be something related to what I collect. As of late, I have been focusing on nothing but Spider-Man and I don't see that changing for a while. Everything I want is Spider-Man related, so it's going to be nothing but Spider-Man for a while.

It's not like I need anything new to review. I am woefully behind on my reviews and I need to start catching up. Here's a sneak peek at just some of the figures I will be reviewing soon.


I have been chomping at the bit to open up these and other figures I have been wanting to review for a while. I hope to have at least one review up this week.

After seriously considering all avenues and options, I think these are the best ways for me to still have a great collection and save a little bit of money in the process. It will be rough. There will be times when my instincts will be to grab that cheaply made figure for 20.00. But if I keep my eyes on the goals, then I will be able to add what I want in no time and still have a full pocket.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Most Prized Possession


I have been a fan of Marvel Comics for as long as I could read. I remember getting a copy of Origins Of Marvel Comics and Here Comes The Bad Guys as a birthday gift. I remember reading the origins of The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Doom, The Green Goblin and Doctor Strange. Heck, I still have that copy of Bring On The Bad Guys, all beat up as it is. But inside Origins Of Marvel Comics, I read a story that cemented my love of comics for the rest of my life and that was the origin story of the Amazing Spider-Man.

I loved the fact the Peter Parker was not much older than I was (Actually, since I was probably 6 at the time, he would have been a lot older than I was). I like the fact that he had such cool powers and dressed in a weird costume. Instantly after reading the story, Spider-Man became my favorite super hero. I read as many Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Team Ups as I could get my hands on. Sure, I still loved watching Batman and Super Friends on TV, but Spider-Man was the man to me. I owe a huge thank you the man who helped create this wonderful character. Stan Lee.

Now, I know half that thank you would also go to Steve Ditko, who was just as instrumental to bringing Spider-Man to the heights of popularity that he enjoyed, plus he is now credited as a co-creator of the character. But since Mr. Ditko has now since become a recluse, I can only express my gratitude here to Mr. Ditko.

 Now Stan Lee on the other hand is still touring the country at the ripe young age of 91 years old. This man should be celebrated for without him, there is no Fantastic Four. There is no X-Men. There is no Avengers. There are no movies to spend our hard earned bucks on or cartoons on TV or merchandise to pick up. Without Stan Lee, life would have been all DC Comics. Not that it's a bad thing. But last I checked, Spidey was shooting webs at Marvel.


One of my dreams is to meet Stan Lee. Unfortunately, I have not as of yet the closest I have yet to come to meeting him was at last year's Comikaze. The line though was way too long and I didn't want to put my girlfriend and her daughter through that. Not that they would have minded. They are so awesome that they would have waited and had fun doing so. Maybe another time.

My most prized possession is a Stan Lee item. See, a few years back, Stan was still signing his mail (He's long stopped doing so) and I wanted to send something Spider-Man related for him to sign. Now, I wasn't going to send a comic or a DVD cover of Spider-Man to him. Mo, I wanted to send something meaningful to me for him to sign. One day, as I was reading a Spider-Man comic, the idea came to me. I went out and bought a poster of Amazing Fantasy #15. The very first story I remember reading of Spider-Man. So, I packed it up and sent it to his POW Entertainment offices along with return postage.

A couple of months later, this came back to me:


Sorry about the bad picture. I took this with one of my old cell phones which had a crappy camera on it.


But this doesn't look too bad though.

This poster is my most prized possession. To have, essentially, the father of Spider-Man sign my poster is just amazing (No pun intended) to me and I will cherish it for as long as I live. My plan is to be able to have it professionally framed and hung on my wall in the very near future. For now, I have it guarded by 4 ravenous pit bulls and it's also booby trapped. No one is getting this poster if I can help it.

I may never get an opportunity to meet the man who is responsible for hours of enjoyment as a kid, teenager and adult. I can only hope that many of the people who get to meet him express to him just how much happier he made their lives with his creations and fantastic books. Hopefully, one day, I will have that chance. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to walk up to him, knees shaking, extend my hand out and simply say Thank you. Thank you for all the wonderful stories and characters you created. That, my fellow geeks, would mean a lot to me. Just as it has, I'm sure, to all those who already had the good luck to shake the hand of Spider-Man's dad.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

As Doctor Emmit Brown Would Say, Great Scott!


If you know anything about me, either from personally knowing me or by reading this blog, you would know what a Back To The Future fan I am. It's in my top 2 favorite movies of all time. I have watched all three movies countless times, I have a small Back To The Future Collection, have a few of the cartoon episodes and have been praying we would get a BTTF animated movie so that Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd can reprise their roles and not have them recast.

Then last night, my buddy tagged me on a post on Facebook and what I saw sent me into a frenzy.


I must have looked like Doc Brown when the model of the DeLorean caught on fire and raced into the garbage.


Are you freaking kidding me?? I had no idea Hot Toys had a Back To The Future license. and look at how good this figure looks.








This will be a part of Hot Toys's Movie Masterpiece Series and will be released in the first part of 2015 to coincide with the film's 30th anniversary. The figure has an authentic and detailed likeness to Michael J. Fox, including movie accurate facial expressions with detailed wrinkles and skin texture.

Not only am I a huge Back To The Future fan, but I am a huge Michael J. Fox fan as well. I've watched him on TV on Family Ties, Poison Ivy, Spin City and The Michael J. Fox Show (I can't believe that show got cancelled. I LOVED that show) as well as movies like Secret Of My Success, Casualties Of War, The Hard Way, Doc Hollywood, Greedy, The American President and The Frighteners. Heck, I even liked Bright Lights, Big City. This figure will be a must have for me.


I shouldn't be shocked at how good this figure looks. I mean, it's Hot Toys. We all know how good they make their figures.

I have been wanting to start buying Hot Toys figures. I'm not too crazy about the figures I see at Toys R Us or Target anymore. We are paying too much for crappy figures. If I'm going to spend my money on figures I want good stuff. So, I figure (no pun intended) that instead of spending 12-20 bucks for a six inch figure, I should save that money and put it towards Hot Toys. I've been wanting to pick up the Amazing Spider-Man and the Adam West Batman first and gradually build my collection from there. Now, I may have to pick up this Marty McFly Hot Toys right after those two. There hasn't been a price announced just yet, but I'm guessing it will be around $200.00.

Knowing that Back To The Future will be 30 years old next year makes me feel really ancient. But having this figure come out will soften that blow. I'm just waiting for a Hovercraft, flying DeLorean, A Flux Capacitor, A Mr. Fusion and my self tying power laces pair of Nike's. Oh, and abolish all lawyers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Add Another To My Must Have List


Just when I thought I had made my Batman pick up list for the year, I get thrown a curve.

As we know, this year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of our favorite Caped Crusader, The Batman. So far, we got a great issue of Detective Comics #27 earlier this year to commemorate the event and we got the 1968 Filmation Batman on DVD. Later this year, we will be getting some nice Batman goodies like the 1966 Batman TV Series on Blu Ray and DVD in November, Herocross is releasing an awesome Hybrid Metal Figuration of the 1966 Batman in October, which you can see down below:


You can preorder this from Big Bad Toy Store for $89.99. But earlier this week, I got my first look at the newest Kotobukyia Art-FX statue and it's a must have for me and for probably every Batman fan out there.


We are getting a First Appearance Batman by Bob Kane Limited Edition Statue and I think this looks sick.




I think this is a San Diego Comic Con Exclusive, but kotous.com has a pre-sale going on for this for a cool $39.99. They wouldn't be shipped out until a week or two after SDCC, but that's a small price to pay to get something this cool. Seriously, when I first saw these images I thought this would be a $75-100.00 statue. At $39.99, I will be jumping on this.

And to this all I wanted from SDCC initially was the Spider-Man/Iron Man NECA Scalers dual pack.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Spider-Sense Tingles At The Latest Hake's Auction


Thanks to Brian at Cool And Collected for tipping us bloggers off to the newest Hake's Auction. I always look forward to Brian's challenge to "shop" at a Hake's Auction. Hake's always has some of the most drool worthy items to bid on and as usual, Hake's did not disappoint in their latest auction.

I drooled over their Beatles listings, made weird, unmanly noises over their vintage Batman and Superman goodies and I even went koo koo for the Yankee Stadium seats, but as soon as I saw this challenge, I knew just exactly what I would be looking at. If you don't know, then you haven't been paying attention to my last few months of blog posts.

Spider-Man goodies. Check that, vintage Spider-Man.


Ever since I started focusing on my Spider-Man collection, I have been dreaming of vintage Spidey items I'd love to add to it. When I started browsing Hake's, I found a few items that would fit very nicely in my Spider-Man collection. All the images from here on are used with permission from Hake's Auction.

One of the parts of my collection I want to expand on is my Spider-Man comics collection. There is hardly any vintage in it and I found some beautiful books that I would love to add.


This issue of Amazing Spider-Man #50 would be a great addition to any Spider-Man collection. In this issue, Peter Parker decides he's had enough with getting no respect from the people he saves and from the New York City Police so he gives up being Spider-Man and throws the suit in the trash. A kid finds the suit and gives it to J. Jonah Jameson. This issue also marks the first appearance of the Kingpin. The cover is one of the more iconic covers in comic book history and was one of the basis of Spider-Man 2.


No Spider-Man comic collection can be considered complete without two of the most powerful issues in the history of Spider-Man. Issue 121 is the issue that shocked readers and changed the life of the Web Head, the ramifications which is still being felt to this day. If you don't know why this issue is so special, it's the issue where Gwen Stacey dies. Still to this day, it's not known if she was dead already when Spidey found her or did he accidentally kill her when he caught her with his web, causing her neck to snap back. One of the most heartbreaking panels in all of comic book history is when Spider-Man realizes that despite his best efforts, he did not save Gwen and he is holding her in his arms.

Issue 122 is just as poignant to me because even though Spider-Man vowed to kill the Green Goblin and cam within a blow of finishing him off, Peter turns his back on the Goblin because he realizes that even though the love of his life is gone, he is no killer and refuses to cross that line. The Goblin, however, tries to use his glider to kill Spider-Man, but misses and impales himself, supposedly killing himself. Of course, The Goblin would be back many, many times over the years to torment Peter Parker, but these two issues were the stories that changed the life of Spider-Man forever. Also, Gwen is one of the few characters that has stayed dead and never came back to life.


One of my other hobbies is collecting cards. I usually collect sports cards, but when I saw this listing for a set of 1966 Donruss Marvel Super Heroes cards, I knew it would an awesome way to satisfy my Spider-Man and vintage card craving in one swoop. Plus, the display box it's self would look great on a shelf with the rest of the vintage Spider-Man goodies in my collection.


These cards are fantastic and would look so cool in a binder. I could flip through those pages filled with this beautiful artwork over and over again.


I love buttons and have always wanted to start a collection of vintage buttons. This lot would be a great way to start that collection. The only way to get these button were to order them from the 1969 Marvelmania catalog. These button all look to have been drawn by Jack Kirby which make these the more beautiful. Even if he didn't draw these, they look close enough for me and I'd want them. Especially that Spider-Man button.

Last, but not least, I wanted something I could frame and hang up on my wall and after looking through various lots, I think I found the perfect item.


This 1966 Aurora Model Kits retailer sign is perfect because not only does it feature Spider-Man on it, but there are also a few other characters that make the Sexy Geek go all ga ga for like Batman and Robin, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Superman, The Hulk and Captain America. This piece would be framed and proudly be displayed in the House Of Swag because Lord knows I cannot put together a model kit to save my life.

There was so many other items I would love to pick up, but the ones I displayed here are the ones I would place bids on if I could afford to. It saddens me that I won't be able to place a bid as these are some of the more expensive items in the auction. Maybe one day when I hit lotto or my rich uncle leaves...wait a second, I don't have a rich uncle. OK, scratch that one out. My point was that even though I won't be able to afford any of these anytime soon, I can dream that one day they will belong to me. Until then, I will continue to live vicariously through those who can afford them.

If you want to try your hand at writing for the League Of Extraordinary Bloggers, visit this link and join the club: http://coolandcollected.com/this-weeks-assignment-from-the-league-hakes-auction/

While your there, check out the blogs of my fellow League members:

http://calvinscanadiancaveofcool.blogspot.com/2013/04/hakes-did-me-right.html

http://fortuneandglorydays.blogspot.com/2014/06/loeb-hakes-auction.html

http://aeiouwhy.blogspot.com/2014/07/league-post-hakes-auction-212.html

http://coolandcollected.com/hakes-auction-212-is-loaded-with-pop-culture-goodness/

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day From The House Of Swag!


OK, so this image is from a calendar that is 33 years old, but it's the closest I can find that celebrates our nation's birthday, geeky style.

Of course, when I think of patriotic superhero images, this is the image that always comes to mind.


The cover of Superman #14 from January 1942. This is one of those images that even if your not a Superman fan, your going to want this in your collection is someway shape or fashion. For me, I want the DC Direct statue from 2002.

So I would like to wish you all a Happy Independence Day. I hope you spend it with your families, eat a lot of BBQ, down a few adult beverages and kick back and relax with your favorite comics.

Excelsior!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Must...Resist...Urge...To...Spend!


Every time I hit a Target or Toys R Us or even a comic shop, I always find something I want to pick up. It never fails. I'm at Midtown Comics, I see a statue that I want. I'm at Toys R Us, I see a figure. Even at the supermarket I see a box of Amazing Spider-Man 2 fruit snacks that I want to add to my Spider-Man collection. Being a compulsive buyer can be a pain sometimes.

Because I have a bad habit of buying and the fact that I have little room, I had to have a discussion with myself. I had to be honest and really think about what I really want to have in my collection right now. Maybe go quality over quantity. This approach helped me make my decision to put back the 2 DC Multiverse 1989 Batman and unmasked Batman figures easier. I may still own them at some point, but initially I wasn't impressed with the size or likeness.

Since I decided to go this route, I have been keeping an eye on some upcoming releases that I would love to own when they come out:

Ever since Figures Inc. released photos of it's 1966 Batman line, I have been wanting to add this Batman to my 1966 Batman collection. I have always wanted a Mego-like Batman figure and now that this is available, I will do what I can to have one to display with my NECA Batman and my custom 12 inch Batman.


Sticking with the 1966 Batman theme, this bank is definitely going to be added to the 1966 Batman collection. This awesome piece won't be released until November, so I will be eagerly awaiting for this to be released. This may be released around the same time as the release of the 1966 Batman TV series on Blu-Ray. November is shaping up to be a awesome month if your a Batman fan.


About a month ago, my buddy George and I went into a Disney Store in NJ. I saw a really nice Rebellion fleet t-shirt that I was thinking of picking up when I saw a 12 inch talking Han Solo figure, which I thought was pretty cool. I told George if they ever came out with a Luke I would buy it. As Biff Tannen famously said, Well looky what we have here. A 12 inch talking Luke Skywalker. I cannot wait to get my mitts on this. The cool thing about the Han Solo figure was it had phrases from the movie. It wasn't a lame actor reading lines. It was the voice of Harrison Ford. I can only assume this one will have actual dialogue of Mark Hamill from the movies as well. This makes it a must have for me.


Ever since I first saw this gigantic 31 inch Spider-Man figure at Toys R Us I have been conspiring to get one. Each time I see it however, I am low on funds. I will be picking up this behemoth at some point real soon. Yeah, I know I complained about lack of room. I don't care. I want it, I want it.


When I saw this picture I shrieked like a 10 year old. I cannot wait until October comes around. This is a must have for my Spider-Man collection. I will probably hit up Dr. Mego for two bodies so I can have all three displayed at the same time. I love the old school Spidey outfit with the webbing under his arms. Very John Romita-ish. This will look great on display.


Unlike many of you, I actually enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man 2. I went to see it multiple times in the theaters. Although it made a lot of money, word of mouth about this movie wasn't the greatest, but whatever. I think it's the best Spider-Man movie made, edging out Spider-Man 2 for that honor, in my opinion. I haven't bought a lot of Spider-Man 2 merchandise just yet. This bust is something I do want to have at some point. It comes out in October and if I can, I will pick it up. I'd like to build a Spider-Man statue collection and this is one I'd like to add to the small collection I have so far.


Finally, and most expensive of the bunch, I really want this Hot Toys Amazing Spider-Man 2 figure. I do not own a Hot Toys figure. I would love to make this one the first I pick up and then try to add the other Spider-Man Hot Toys figures as I go along. At $200.00 a pop, that will be difficult for me to pull off, but that also won't stop me from trying. If I have to sacrifice a few figures and comic books to make this happen, then I will do it.

With all the cool stuff coming out, I had to make a list of the goodies that I really wanted above all else. It was hard to do, in the end, I think I did a good job targeting the really nice items that I think would look great in my collection. Like I mentioned earlier, quality over quantity will be the mantra for a while as I have other personal things I need to take care of. But, if I can stick to the plan, then I can take care of everything I need to and still pick these up. Once I do, you can be sure to look here for reviews.

Oh, and I do accept donations.