In one of the several toy message boards I scour daily for info, a member posted: “Why do you collect?” I wanted to click on the reply button, but after mulling about it for a few seconds, all I drew was a complete blank. Nothing! I didn’t want to read the other posts, because I didn’t want them to influence my own response.

When I was a kid I had all the time in the world to become a fan of many things in movies, television and comics. Tintin and Batman are some of my favorite characters. The Starship Enterprise heads off to fantastic adventures. The Valkyrie VF-1S is one of the coolest mecha in anime. They are all conceptual, but I love to have toy representations in my hands if my parents could spare the money. These days I make my own money, and I collect toys that remind me of my youth favorites, and toys that appeal to the kid in me now.

Even today, companies realize the marketing possibilities of these icons, and I fit very well into their scheme of supply and demand. Through sneaked snapshots and insider info gleaned from the ‘net, I discover plans of a “perfect transformation” robot are not too far off. Something with light and sounds at the push of a button. A figure with 36 points of articulation. Photos of an unpainted prototype only make me drool in anticipation. Don’t tell me it’ll be delayed ’til the fourth quarter. I want it now! I need it!

“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting.”- Mr. Spock

After waiting a seeming eternity for the expected release date, I drive to and fro between stores, on the hunt for the treasure until I find it hanging on the peg or sitting on the shelf, the last of store’s stock. I let go of it only as long as it takes for the clerk to ring it up at the register, and then I rush home to tear open the package of my latest trophy to pose on my desk (I didn’t speculate on future mint-in-box worth as a kid, and I don’t do so now). I feel the rush of satisfaction of finally getting my favorite item.
But wouldn’t you know it – a new version with 48 points of articulation is coming soon! The next starship will be decorated with battle damage as seen in the third movie! And I wait (im)patiently for it all…

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