The Measure Of A Collector

“How did you get your start as a collector?”

I remember back when I was a very, VERY young kid, and my grandfather gave me my first comic books. I still have it. It is two issues of Brave and the Bold from DC comics with Batman, one with him fighting Metamorpho, and the other featuring Dr. Fate. I also remember around that time sitting in front of a black and white TV (this was the early 80’s people, color TV was still kinda expensive I think) and watching Adam West and Burt Ward fight crime as Batman and Robin on Saturday mornings. I think it’s safe to say that thanks to those early years, I became a lifelong Batman fan.

“But, what about Star Wars? Aren’t you a huge Star Wars fan too?”

Sure am. Around the same time as the early Batman exposure I can remember going up to my grandparents house on Christmas day and looking in awe at the most awesomest toys ever: The AT-AT and the Millenium Falcon. However, there was one character in Star Wars that grabbed my attention more than anyone, and that was Boba Fett. You see, Empire was my first Star Wars film, since I was way too young to see the first one in theaters. I finally got to see the first one a year or so after seeing Empire thanks to my uncle who had the most advanced bit of tech available in the early 80’s, a BetaMax player.

“So you probably got tons of stuff from Batman and Star Wars I imagine.”

Not really. Matter of fact the only remnants from my childhood are those two issues of Brave and the Bold. Don’t get me wrong, I had tons when I was a kid. Star Wars, Batman, Transformers, G.I. Joe. I even had the USS Flagg aircraft carrier, and for being a kid from a family without a lot of money, that was something of a status symbol for me. Sadly though, all of those toys were lost, sold, broken, and in some cases simply forgotten due to time and changing attitudes.

“What do you mean, changing attitudes?”

These days, I wear my geek badge with pride and carry my nerd I.D. card wherever I go. I also had days back in middle and high school where I tried to be one of the ‘cool kids’. I never went so far as to start playing sports, but I tried to shed that image of being some kind of nerd. For a while, I saw collecting toys as something for kids. I thought it was just something stupid. Then, I started my first job in a comic shop.

“You worked in a comic shop?”

Yep. Memory Lane Comics to be exact. Started working there shortly after a guy named Adam took over from the old man who owned it for so long.

(oh, side note. I remember going to Memory Lane when I was very little, not sure exactly when, but I know G.I. Joe #1 from Marvel Comics was on the new rack)

Working at the comic shop did two things for me, well three really. First, it showed me that being a comic and toy collector was something alot of people of all ages did. Two, it showed me the value of taking care of collectibles. And three, it showed me that if you let a cat live in your shop like old man Henry did……oh god the yellow bags……

I still have nightmares about the yellow bags.

“And now? Sounds like you got it made now.”

From a certain point of view. I told someone recently that I was gonna sell off quite a bit of my Star Wars collection and they reacted like doing so doesn’t make me a collector. It was a joke, but it really got me thinking, “I’m a huge Boba Fett fan yet I only have a few figures. I love Batman but the comics I own are few of those titles.” So I want to refocus myself. I want to build a new computer soon. I want that sweet looking Boba Fett life size bust. I want to have a kick ass run of Batman and Detective comics. I can’t do that while I am trying to buy everything under the sun.

“So what truly makes someone a collector?”

If you are a geek and/or nerd and you love something so much you want to own stuff, then you are a collector. I think the highlight of my collecting life has to be two events. The first was heading to a show in Tennessee called AdventureCon and getting to meet the man who wore the Boba Fett suit, Jeremy Bullock. And of course, I can never forget DragonCon back in 2008, when I got to meet Adam West. I don’t care how many of you young people grew up watching him voice the Mayor from ‘Family Guy’, he IS Batman.

(Trivia note: The other most notable appearance, at least in voice, for West was in the Batman Animated Series episode ‘The Gray Ghost” as Simon Trent/Gray Ghost, who Bruce Wayne idolized as a child and used as influence later when he became Batman. Cool.)

So I guess my message to all my fellow geeks and nerds is this: Collect what YOU want. We are all in this together. I’m not trying to be better than the other guy, I’m not worried about how much I own. I just want to get the cool stuff.

Oh, and I still have a goal to meet Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day next. And Kevin Smith too, though if I get called up on stage for a performance of “Let Us Fuck”…..oh boy……


About mastercharles
just a Geek, Nerd and Fanboy all rolled up with some Otaku mixed in.

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