There is an old saying, “You can’t have everything, where would you put it.” The other side of this is, “You can’t have everything, you can’t afford it.” Or, you are just internally wired to be turned off by the idea of spending that much money.
Let’s not try to fool anyone. Collecting stuff is designed to cost you money. When I was young, my grandfather got me collecting match book covers. Books of matches from all over the place, carefully removing the matches. I liked the match boxes better that the books, I just felt they were cooler. And collecting these was basically free. Restaurants, gas stations, stores, lots of places gave them away for free. From there we graduated to pennies and stamps. Stamps I think was the first thing I paid for to ‘complete’ parts of my collection, but I also realized those really old rare stamps that had spaces in the albums were never going to be mine. I contented myself with completing sections of the album. Stamps gave way to comic books because comic books had actual stories inside them. Then came action figures (which is why you and I are at this site) and finally HeroClix.
When you start a collection, you have nothing, so everything is cool and different. After you get a lot of something, each one feels less special. Maybe that is what fuels the drive to get more, a fix to keep the excitement going. But how do you know what would give you the biggest fix? For many of us, it is keeping a collection complete and up to date with the latest release. For things like HeroClix, that can be a lot of money, so keeping it complete has never really been practical (for me), even from the beginning. I gave up being an action figure completist when Toy Biz released the 5th version of Wolverine in their X-Men line. And the volume is starting to blur them together. What to do.
I sat back and thought about what would make my collection more interesting, both to myself and the casual viewer. What were the biggest things I wanted, and was I willing to bite the bullet and pay the price tag for them. Yes, I actually set goals for my collection to reach.
1. Continue to obtain a most of a set of commons, uncommons and rares for each release. This reasonable easy and doable, as long as you make allowances for that one expensive piece that you somehow fail to pull from the blind box boosters. Buying a booster or two each week also helps keep cash going into the store I play at to pay for things like lights, rent, heat and air conditioning. Then, after the set has been out for a while and I am more likely to pull pieces I have than pieces I do not, I decide, that’s enough and patiently wait for an occasion to trade or buy them cheaply. Buying boosters also gives me a chance to pull that occasional super-rare or ultra-rare piece.
2. Decide upon and actually buy and add a handful of distinctive pieces to the set. These were actually kind of easy to decide upon, especially when Christmas got me an extra 50$ I was not expecting.
a) A chase (ultra rare) from the Incredible Hulk set. They have green bases, I never got one and I think they look cool.
b) A motorcycle. Batman got two sets, one which had larger vehicles and one which had motorcycles. I never got one of the motorcycles, which have bases which take up 2 squares on a map instead of one. Would be kind of cool to get one.
c) Batmobile. Yes, Batman’s signature vehicle. I have the Batjet, but having the car and the jet would be even cooler.
Looking back at this, months later, How did I do?
1. I actually gave away a few pieces to a new friend I made and created additional holes in my CUR sets. Plus WizKids released several new sets since I made my list. I have quite a few holes now, have put together a number of orders at on line stores as many of those left to get are 2$ or less, but never actually placed the order. Why? Timing.
2. At about the time I was going to place the order, I won an eBay auction for the Batcycle. The next time I won an auction for the Batmobile. Then I bought the Police motorcycle and its driver at a local shop. They also have one of the Hulk Chases, for the next time I stop in and feel like buying something. In case you are wondering, the 3 purchases made so far did used up the 50$, but I also got a 2nd Batcycle in the deal.
So that’s what I did. I set some goals, decided how much I would spend, looked for and took opportunities. Yes, there are new goals, but over a relatively short time I completed several of them. Now does anyone have an extra Hulk Chase they are willing to part with …
Erik Skov (superfriend)
I wrote this article originally months ago. The interesting thing is that recently I asked a friend and fellow player that last question, about a Hulk chase, and he said, yes, selling it to me last week.
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