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.