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How would you describe your collecting habits?
I don't really buy anything. 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
I have a few things here and there and don't spend too much. 22%  22%  [ 5 ]
I spend quite a bit of money on my hobby, but I don't go nuts. 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
I used to buy a lot, but have cut back considerably. 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
If I'm not careful I end up spending more than I really should. 30%  30%  [ 7 ]
I knowingly spend more than I should, but I can't help it! 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
I will put other necessities aside in order to make purchases. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I will (or have) put my family's well-being aside to buy stuff. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It's completely out of control. 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
It used to be out of control, but I have since re-prioritized. 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 23
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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:43 pm 
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bnjmnrlyr wrote:
HalJordanist wrote:
So, my questions to you are:

1) Do you feel you have (or have had) an issue where your hobby has either become a compulsion or addiction?
2) How do you keep yourself in check to assure it doesn't become an addiction?
3) If deciding to cut back, how do we decide what to part with, and how do we keep ourselves in check in order to continue our hobby without letting it get out of control again?
4) What criteria do we place on ourselves for future purchases?

This week, my addiction almost lost me my family, and ruined my life. Let's stand together and try to help support one another to and do what we can to ensure fewer of us fall into this situation.

-J


I'll try to answer these as honestly as I can:
1) Recently, I've cancelled every single credit card I had. I've gone to a credit counslero (didn't actually enroll in the service, just got some pointers/tips/strategy from them "off hours" that I could implement on my own. If I don't actually have the cash in hand, I don't make the purchase. Simple as that. I do still have my debit card (which is technically also a credit card) so I can shop online or pay for those larger necessities more easily, but that is monitored daily (by me) to verify my spending against my budget.

2) I'm a DC fanatic. If it is a DC character, chances are I'm going to want to buy it. HOWEVER, I've forced myself to look at an item and say, "can my son get as much enjoyment out of this as I can?". If the answer is "NO", I don't buy it. If the answer is "YES", I do. If I think the answer is yes, I get the item home and find out my son isn't really all that into it, I either trade it off or return it to the store. The only line I currently collect that is for "me" and not for "us" is JLU which will soon be no more.

3) I started looking at my massive collections a few years back (toys and comics both) and decided to part with anything and everything that wasn't DC. That meant all the Toy Biz Marvel figures went. The Kenner Aliens and Predators, the Matchbox cars, the Barbies, and everything else that wasn't DC. I also sold off all my comics. 20+ long boxes and about 5 or so shorts. The statues and busts were the next to go. Everything was cleared out until I was left with just a collection of TPB/GN (which I find to be a much more enjoyable format to read and share) and DC action figures. The only non-DC lines I kept were the Palisades Muppets and the Bone figures (which started from ReSaurus and then moved on to another forgotten manufacturer). I found that the DC Pantheon are really the characters that I care about. I grew up with them. I've always wanted to live in "that world". All the other stuff was just "a mess of plastic". It looked really cool at the time, but it served no purpose in my life except as clutter and an excuse to generate more clutter.

4) Future purchases are now in the realm of "this continues a collection that is still in progress" or "my son and I will really enjoy this together" or "this is for my son and not for me". If it doesn't fit into one of those categories, it isn't on the agenda to be purchased. If I just "have to have it" because of the format or aesthetic or whatever, I need to find a current collection that it will replace. I also am looking very heavily at the retail price for a line. $20 per 6" figure means I am out. I just can't justify that in my current financial situation. For odd items and formats, I need to find something comparable that I want and/or need and decide if the price point is feasible. A one-time purchase of $50 for a limited figure might not be so bad, but $50 per figure for a collection I am going to be buying multiple releases of will most likely mean I don't buy in at all.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but those are becoming more few and far between.

Ultimately, I take it day by day. If it takes me more than 3 days to open the new purchase, I don't really want it and it goes back. If I see it in the store, have money in hand, and for whatever reason I don't actually buy it, I don't really want it and can push it out of mind and move on.

John, I am glad to hear that you could face up to this. And even more glad to hear it was brought out and talked about before any permanent damage was done to your family. I know how important they are to you.

Depression is recurring theme in my own life and definitely a trigger for overspending behaviors. Unfortunately, it creates a fairly big self-perpetuating spiral as I buy because I am depressed because I buy because I am depressed because I buy because I am depressed because ... on and on until you talk very specific action to stop it.

I wish you (and everyone else in the thread) the best in gaining control and getting to a better place. We are all here for each other it seems, and sometimes that is all you need to get going.

Now this is a great post, I never thought people here were going through similar things I am and would feel the similar about it too. (I apologize about being so un-aware, I mean I know people struggle with stuff I just didn't know people here were going through such difficult things.) Anyways, I agree with bnjmnrlyr, I wish everyone the best and am here to talk to if you ever need to, as I understand some of what you are going through, not all, but some. ;)
Thanks for the great thread and all the great and uplifting post's everyone, :) and good luck to you all, I too wish you the best in being able to overcome the hard times. :)


D.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:53 am 
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deadpool wrote:
what are laser beasts? sounds interesting lol!



The last releases of Battle Beasts-- most were avaiable only in Japan, and even there- many were released in hard to complete ways, mail aways, in person promotions, expensive box sets and the like... -- a couple sold over the past months for over 400.00 a piece-- just cant stomach that...

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:44 pm 
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I put myself in the if I'm not careful I can spend more than I should category.

I'd say it took me close to two years to hone my collecting interests and I still am borderline involved in too many things.

A year or year and a half ago I would buy almost anything if it seemed hot at the time. I would buy those for a couple of reasons - It was hot and good trade fodder, the thrill of the hunt, and most of the time it was a cool character I liked. For instance Qorra from Tron Legacy or the different characters from JLU. I don't collect or really care about any of those lines, but because other people wanted em, I would pick them up if they were in front of me.

Now I concentrate on lines I actually enjoy and collect for myself. I love 3.75" GI joes, Marvel Universe, DCUC and Marvel Legends. I'm kind of obsessed with Build a Figures so I love what DCUC was doing and now the Marvel Legends relaunch. I was probably one of the first in my town to complete Wave 2 of marvel legends but I had to pay a prettty penny to get them, luckily the guy I knew who got them gave me a great deal compared to what they were selling for on eBay at the time. Even though I opened the figures and loved them, I felt a little guilty for spending so much money. I would think to myself I could be helping my parents or my fiance with things, but here I am spending hundreds of dollars on the first two waves of Marvel Legends. I still get my bills paid and keep food in my belly and keep gas in my truck. But I for sure could cut back a little more and start saving more money for a rainy day.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:54 pm 
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HalJordanist wrote:
This week, my addiction almost lost me my family, and ruined my life. Let's stand together and try to help support one another to and do what we can to ensure fewer of us fall into this situation.


I read an interesting book on hoarding called "Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things." The research was mostly anecdotal, but the authors had some compelling theories about why people hang on to things, and they offered a clear difference between collecting and hoarding.

Good luck on your journey. I hope you find the answers you are seeking.


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:04 pm 
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People who fall victim to behavioral addictions have less dopamine receptors than people who don't. So it takes more rewards for a person like this to feel the same level of satiation as a normal person.

This also explains why so many action figure collectors are overweight. They are more susceptible to variable ratio reinforcement, shopping for thrills, and over-eating.


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:41 am 
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GregNYC wrote:
HalJordanist wrote:
This week, my addiction almost lost me my family, and ruined my life. Let's stand together and try to help support one another to and do what we can to ensure fewer of us fall into this situation.


I read an interesting book on hoarding called "Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things." The research was mostly anecdotal, but the authors had some compelling theories about why people hang on to things, and they offered a clear difference between collecting and hoarding.

Good luck on your journey. I hope you find the answers you are seeking.


Thank you! I will definitely check this out.

JamesTheRogue wrote:
People who fall victim to behavioral addictions have less dopamine receptors than people who don't. So it takes more rewards for a person like this to feel the same level of satiation as a normal person.

This also explains why so many action figure collectors are overweight. They are more susceptible to variable ratio reinforcement, shopping for thrills, and over-eating.


I have a background in psychology (ironically... but, it's a lot more difficult to truly see your own behaviors), and what you're saying here makes perfect sense. This is also not the first place I've read something linking overspending with overeating. I also happen to be overweight. This is really interesting information and I'm going to be looking more into the relationships from a psychological perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:30 pm 
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JamesTheRogue wrote:
People who fall victim to behavioral addictions have less dopamine receptors than people who don't. So it takes more rewards for a person like this to feel the same level of satiation as a normal person.

This also explains why so many action figure collectors are overweight. They are more susceptible to variable ratio reinforcement, shopping for thrills, and over-eating.


What a load of poop you spew, I thought you had left these boards, if your so over toys do everyone a favor and get lost, thanks. :D

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Last edited by GreenArrow on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:14 pm 
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GreenArrow wrote:
Excuse my french but James your such a ***** dick.

What a load of shite you spew, I thought you had left these boards, if your so over toys do everyone a favor and get lost, thanks. :D


Why in the world would that offend you? That's science, read any book about dopamine and behavioral addictions and it will mention that.

I have just as much right to be here as you do. I still collect toys I just shifted my focus from modern to vintage because I think most modern toys being made are shoddy. There are a few modern lines I still collect but they are just high quality replicas of vintage, like the new Outer Space Men that utilize the Glyos joint system. And I am also a designer of my own toyline called "Bullies and Braniacs" though that is still in the development phase.


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:49 am 
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Hey guys, how about we take a little breath and a step back for a minute. Toy collecting should be fun :)


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:10 am 
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JamesTheRogue wrote:
GreenArrow wrote:
Excuse my french but James your such a ***** dick.

What a load of shite you spew, I thought you had left these boards, if your so over toys do everyone a favor and get lost, thanks. :D


Why in the world would that offend you? That's science, read any book about dopamine and behavioral addictions and it will mention that.

I have just as much right to be here as you do. I still collect toys I just shifted my focus from modern to vintage because I think most modern toys being made are shoddy. There are a few modern lines I still collect but they are just high quality replicas of vintage, like the new Outer Space Men that utilize the Glyos joint system. And I am also a designer of my own toyline called "Bullies and Braniacs" though that is still in the development phase.


i find it offensive as well actually
especially when people assume that because we collect action figures then that means were all small fat sweaty guys with no wife or partners and collect toys.

and you saying most toy collectors are fat and overweight is total nonsense i served 6 years in the 1st battalion black watch royal highland infantry regiment in the british army i done fitness everyday swimming and running and combat training.
and now that i have left the forces i still do and have started collecting more figures yet still excercise regular and im a member of a mma gym and train 3 nights a week for 2 hours or more per session so heres 1 guy who isnt automatically overweight because i like toys.

sterotypical bullsh*t.

and im also pretty sure hardly anyone on this forum is fat and overweight i really really hate when people just assume oh he likes action figures hes immature or oh he collects toys he must be a fat sweaty geek with no life or girlfriend because he likes toys and hell if he likes action figures he must masturbate to world of warcraft on his pc everynight.

its a stereotype and a rubbish made up statistic that its only fat and overweight or single geeks collect toys
the people that make those statements are just secretly jealous that they dont collect and have no guts to do so because they fear the reaction of what others would say about them or perhaps think about them for toy collecting.

you say
That's science, read any book about dopamine and behavioral addictions and it will mention that.

um what bloody book says if your overweight then you are sure to be a toy collector

HA HA HA! OMG! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

you sir talk more sh*t than ten a*sholes.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:19 am 
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stewbacca wrote:
deadpool wrote:
what are laser beasts? sounds interesting lol!



The last releases of Battle Beasts-- most were avaiable only in Japan, and even there- many were released in hard to complete ways, mail aways, in person promotions, expensive box sets and the like... -- a couple sold over the past months for over 400.00 a piece-- just cant stomach that...


aww i loved battle beats i remember fighting over swaps in the playground my fave was the alligator guy im off to ebay beast hunting lol!

thanks for the info stewbacca :lol: although that new line seems outrageously priced

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:01 pm 
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deadpool wrote:

you sir talk more sh*t than ten a*sholes.


I see you have met James!

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Van Statten wrote:
deadpool wrote:

you sir talk more sh*t than ten a*sholes.


I see you have met James!


Well hang on a minute. Look, I don't know the guy at all. But what he says definitely has a scientific leg to stand on. It's not a hard rule, saying that if you like toys, you will also be overweight and single. But... coming from a psychology background, there could very well be a positive relationship between toy collecting and obesity, especially when either get out of hand. Not that they both must go hand-in-hand, but that there COULD be a relationship there. Of course, even if there were a relationship, it wouldn't prove that it was finite, and there would always be exceptions. Remember, correlation does not equal causation.

James may be a windbag and a jerk, he may not be. (no offense, James, I don't know you). That doesn't mean that his argument has no merit. That's a case of argumentum ad hominem (mistaking the man for the argument). Just because you don't like the guy, doesn't mean he doesn't have a point. Brain chemistry can absolutely be a factor in overcompensatory behavior, such as spending addiction and over-eating. Like I said, what James has stated is not the first place I've seen that mentioned. I don't think he or anyone in the scientific community is making fun of toy collectors for kicks. Scientists making fun of geeks? Really?? That'd be the pot calling the kettle black.

-J

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:13 pm 
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True but come on, I'll bet my DCuC collection it was brought up just to be a smart ass. Even if true, I don't come here to talk about the psychological reasons of my toy collecting, if I cared I would go see a shrink or check out a mental health forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:08 pm 
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I was not meaning to offend anyone or be a "smart ass", this was a thread about toy-buying addiction and I merely wanted to share my thoughts as this is a topic that interests me. Van Statten, if you say you don't care, one wonders why you would even read this thread.

What I was pointing out is that in people with compulsive behavioral addictions - whether that takes the form of gambling, over-eating, porn addiction, online shopping, blackberry addiction, etc - they all share a similarity in that they have less D2 dopamine receptors than average. So these behavioral addictions are all operating through the same neurological mechanism and if you have one you're more likely to have another.

And furthermore it has been shown that there is a direct correlation between how many D2 dopamine receptors someone has and their social status. Doctors Nader, Morgan, and Grant preformed an experiment on monkeys. They took 20 macaques monkeys and put them into groups and watched as social hierarchies formed and dominant males emerged. Then they gave all the monkeys PET scans and saw that the dominant monkeys - the ones who groomed most by other monkeys and who were submitted to most often - had MORE D2 dopamine receptors than monkeys with lower social status. When cocaine, which operates on the same dopamine system as behavioral addiction, was made available to the monkeys, the dominant monkeys with more D2 receptors took less cocaine than the low status monkeys, and presumably they would be less prone to behavioral addictions as well.

So this whole stereotype of the fat, nerdy outcast being into collecting comics and action figures, it really does have some scientific backing to it. The jocks who often bully these nerds can be seen as the dominant monkeys.

An abstract of the monkey study showing lower D2 receptors in subordinate monkeys can be found here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11802171


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