It’s a new dawn . It’s a new day. It’s a new life. For me, and I’m feeling good
Ah yes, Nina Simmone- the soothing song of my misspent youth…
That’s the theme of my new year really – all is new and filled with promise.
Interestingly enough, I haven’t read or heard any proclamations about how 2017 is going to be anyone’s year. I attribute that to the fact that 2016 kicked us all in our proverbial lady parts/boy parts and cut us down to size.
Still, everyone is motivated and is still keeping to their resolutions, being jolly and dapper and above all else filled with enthusiasm for what everyone hopes is a better year after the shit storm that will forever be known as 2016.
In keeping with the theme of “turning over a new leaf” and “Resolutions” I have compiled a list of things I hope to do with collecting this year.
1. Take advantage of Pre-orders!
We see them every so often – stores opening up pre-orders.
You know how it goes: “Order before this coming Friday and get this figure at the reduced pre-order price of only XYZ!”
I have always believed that if one waits long enough, the price of an item will come down and you can get the thing at a nice discounted rate.
I learnt how horribly misguided that approach is last year.
So as anyone knows I am a die hard Batman fan. Therefore, the Batman V Superman Hot Toys figures were a must buy for me.
I had a look at the pre-order price and the mock up promo images and decided that I would instead wait for the figure to be released.
I mean surely there would be some surplus stock right?
The pre-orders sold out months in advance and I was left high and dry.
I was fortunate that I was able to get one through some creative string pulling by our friends at Project Mayhem.
I suffered for my hubris though as I paid a bit extra than I would have had I just pre-ordered the damn thing.
Don’t get me wrong, no regrets with buying the figure as it was worth every cent. Though if I had taken it on pre-order I could have paced myself with a convenient payment plan over the course of the year.
This would have been preferable to dropping a whole lot of dough in one go in December.
Still with the exception of my taste in women, I never make the same mistake twice so this year I will be pre-ordering at the first chance!
2. Find a collection direction and Stick to it – AKA staying in my lane.
I am not even gonna lie, I am a bitch for a sale.
Historically I have found myself impulse buying stuff on sale.
Then I get stuck with figures / comics etc that I have no space for nor an interest in displaying.
A little way down the road, an item I really want becomes available. Then I am left trying to sell stuff at dirt cheap levels to raise cash for the thing I really want.
If you want to collect something – go for it.
It’s really your prerogative. However, don’t fall into the trap of buying random crap you don’t really like because it’s being sold cheap.
You can just as easily buy stuff you do actually like with the same money if you are patient.
As I keep saying – it makes more sense to spend R 120 for a R100 item you really want or need versus spending R20 each on five items you have never really wanted or will never really need. Read that again slowly – it will make sense I promise.
“Stay in your lane – odds are the stores will have a sale again” is the new motto.
3. Going once, Going Twice , Gone to an Auction
Ebay – though art indeed a heartless bitch.
I have dropped quite a bit of money on Ebay and other auction sites/ pages over the years. I love this stuff simply because I have gotten some serious lucks there over the years.
Alas, once again moderation is necessary.
I will give you an example – I bid on and bought a bulk lot of Heroclix a few years back. Paid about R 500 for the lot of about 40 of them. That worked out to about R 40 each!
I think that is cheap. I will never really be certain though because I don’t have a clue on how to play Heroclix and there is absolutely nowhere for me to play with them.
Someone referred me to a place that has tournaments – but apparently these ones are slightly older ones with a different point scheme and it can’t be entered into a competition.
To be honest, I think they just didn’t want me to play with them – the Bastiches went all mean girls on me.
Still – instead of supporting some random poozer (green lantern reference) on Ebay out there, I would have rather supported a local dealer and would have been happier for it.
Support local guys. How is this community and subculture going to grow and work if we each find ways to loot and plunder the market?
4. Read more Comic Books
I am ashamed to admit that I have become complacent in reading comic books.
I guess we have all gotten so used to waiting for graphic novels that not many of us are actually keeping abreast with these universes. Or maybe it’s just me.
I recently picked up the He-Man/ Thunder Cats mini-series and was completely blown away by the tale.
Drama, intrigue, 80s/90s nostalgia and some serious violence. Good times!
I read a spoiler for the story on line a day or two afterwards, but it didn’t phase me too much since I was already up to date.
Funny thing was, the spoiler spoilt the punch line in the story but not accurately. He spoilt the ending but his explanation of how that state of affairs came to pass was absolutely wrong.
In other words that douche monkey needs to go back to those New Age Reading readers we had in grade school – remember Meg the Hen? Sam the Fox? Jip the Cat? Deb the Rat and yes, Fat Pig (who needed no other name apparently).
I digress – because of spoilers many of us figure it isn’t worth reading anything as it is released since we can get the gist later from Wikipedia or other sites similar to the Geek Node.
I assure you that you are being misled.
You cannot substitute the awesomeness of reading a comic book.
Let me break this down to you.
Imagine the comic to be an ice cold can of Coca Cola on a hot and humid day.
Reading the reviews, a synopsis or summaries online is like having diet Coke at a crowded McDonalds where the lady fills three quarters of a cup of ice and adds a dash of the “Coke” after you specifically told her “No Ice”.
Do you want diet Coke flavoured ice?
nNo. You dont. It’s Not fun.
Therefore – read more comic books.
Last but certainly Not least.
5. Avoid Accidental Grailing of items
I hate the term “grail” in respect of collecting.
Not because I have an issue with the term itself but because it is so frequently used incorrectly that it has become bastardised.
For purposes of Edification, “Grail” in this context refers to “a thing which is eagerly pursued or sought after.”
What irks me is when guys claim that an item that has just been opened for pre-order is a personal grail. Dude, how could you have been eagerly pursuing or searching for something that is currently readily available to you if you would commit to an easy payment plan and a 10% deposit?
The other scenario is where someone sees something that he likes and then decides, “Nope, this is it boys and girls I have been searching for this my whole life, except that I didn’t know it” – no bru, this isn’t your search for the g-spot, a bride or religion.
This is you seeing a toy offered on sale in a Facebook group. Calm down.
That being said, I must confess that that 2016 made a hypocrite out of me when I found myself also accidentally raising random items to grail status.
Late last year there was a guy who was selling some Batman items (go figure) and I lost my proverbial shit when I saw some stuff. While I knew that they wouldn’t necessarily fit into my collection I convinced myself that they were in fact grail items for other guys and so they would be tops for me to buy.
In addition, I convinced myself that had I known about them before the items were placed on sale I would have definitely wanted them as well. Don’t get me wrong –if you have the money, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying whatever the hell you ant. Sure I had the money. However, I had an item pop up the following week which actually was something I had wanted for a while and I was hard pressed to sell one of the “should-be – though-was-not” a grail to get the money to buy the item I really wanted.
This is the thing…
Collecting is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The fun and sense of pride doesn’t come from being a hoer in heat at an AKA live appearance. No, collecting is about being selective, refined and level headed about what it is that you do want.
For that reason above all else, I genuinely hope that other collectors apply their minds and are a little more careful this year.
Collecting can be affordable if you take advantage of pre-orders and enter into payment plans etc.
But nooooo. Some chaps just go and buy random stuff because it is supposedly a grail. Then they have to sell that item at a loss because they need to fix a car, buy groceries etc.
Sure, life happens, but there are few things sadder than seeing a fellow collector having to get rid of a bona fide grail item because you have watched her/him over the last few weeks buying random crap in sales, on auctions and on a whim. Now he/ she is completely broke with nothing to show for it.
Resist the urge to accidentally grant “grail” status to random crap.
Ah well, the preaching session is over for now.
Happy New Year folks! Here’s hoping it’s an amazing one filled with joy and polystone/PVC goodness!
How about you? Have you learnt any hard lessons over the last year that you are going to change this year?
Do you have any “collectors resolutions” you have set for yourself?
Drop us a line and tell us all about it!