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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: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:35 pm 
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I have been a toy fanatic for as long as I can remember. But, the other day, I realized that I had spent nearly $3,500 in 3 weeks on toys without realizing it. My budget was $1,600 (tax season and all). After a huge ordeal with my wife, we sat down and talked about it. I have a minor in psychology, yet it somehow escaped me that I have a serious problem. I am suffer from spending addiction, and mostly on my hobby... toy collecting (though it also spills over some to comics, DVDs, and whatever I may be particularly interested in at the time).

My wife suggested it a few years ago, and I became extremely defensive and attributed it to her criticizing my hobby and maturity. Denial. So, after this week, I decided to look a few things up. I found a general list of warning signs of spending addiction:

Several of the behaviors and feelings typically associated with addictive shopping and spending include:

*Having a sense of euphoria when spending money
*Commonly spending more than you can afford
*Spending unusual amounts of time and/or money buying on the Internet, in catalogues, or on shopping channels
*Frequently spending time shopping that could be spent with family, friends or on work
*Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused after shopping or spending
*Hiding purchases and receipts and lying about purchases
*Feeling lost without credit cards or a check book
*Feeling on edge, agitated, or irritable when you have not been able to shop


I meet every single one of these warning signs. I am embarrassed and ashamed by my addiction, but I wanted to talk about this because I think we collectors are especially susceptible to it, and I would like us to share our thoughts and feelings on this very serious issue.

At some point, I stopped buying to fill holes here and there in collections, and started buying to create entirely new collections, even if I wasn't particularly fond of the specific line. I started buying as many toys I either had or wanted and never got during my childhood. If a figure from a particular line was exceptional, I had to get several in that line (even if I didn't truly want them) to make it "worthwhile." In the past five years, my toy collection has gone from four or five storage tubs to filling my entire garage with barely any room to walk. I have spent a lot of time and money buying items just for the sake of buying them. Example: The G.I. Joe Renegades line is pretty cool. I really like a lot of the character designs and figures, some I don't. So, why must I have the entire collection? What happened? When did "I'd like to have that" become "I HAVE to have that, and I will have it, regardless of the cost" (monetarily and otherwise)?

(As defined by dictionary.com)

Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation

Compulsion: a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one's will.

(This article describes the process of spending addiction)

How Can You Become Addicted To A Behavior?

There are chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters that carry communication from your brain to throughout
your body. When you’re anxious, nervous, or feeling worried (like when self-critical thoughts start creeping in), you
get a flood of panic-inducing epinephrine that can feel like pure jet fuel. When something happens that makes you
feel especially good (like when you buy something!), you get a rush of incredibly satisfying neurotransmitters called
serotonins that feels GREAT.

Spending addiction causes “I’ve got to buy something NOW” behavior. Each “cha-ching!” of the cash register or
credit card “Approved!” message makes you feel so good, you get enough of a chemical rush to drown in. One
purchase is never enough. You want to feel that exhilarating “high” again, and again, and again--and keep those
nagging, distressing feelings at arm's length. And so you go out and buy something.

You’ve become intoxicated by your own behavior. The only thing that feels important is to be able to continue
spending--because shopping for and acquiring new things makes you feel so good about yourself, about your life,
about everything! Just like the definition for addiction says, you have surrendered yourself to a behavior that’s
habitual, obsessive, and impairs your vital functioning.


http://www.eap.partners.org/WorkLife/Ad ... iction.asp

Somewhere my collecting went from a hobby to an addiction. It is also said that people with spending addiction may over issues with self-control in other areas, which may lead to eating disorders. I am also embarrassed to say that I am overweight and a binge-eater. I have little self control in too many areas. And these types of addictions can lead us down a path of self-destructive behavior and greatly affect our career and relationships.

The difficulty with our hobby is that it is popular, widely publicized, culturally relevant (it has never been more so), and legal. These things could contribute to a much more subtle development of addiction.

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

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:15 am 
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Thank you for this post. I have OCD so I know how difficult compulsions are. I think the reason I don't have a spending addiction is because I'm really good with money and make a budget for things that I want versus things that I need. I'm also on disability so my budget is very limited. But I have so many compulsive behaviors that I know what you are talking about.

I think it's important to simply be able to appreciate what you have in life. If you are content in general it would probably be easier to not feel the need to try and get a rush from spending. It's a good idea to try to talk to a therapist about tis. You realize you have a problem. That's the first step to getting well.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:28 am 
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Wow.

I feel bad whenever a blow $100 on a single outing for toys. I'm sure I spend a couple grand on action figures but it spread out over an entire year.

Lately. I've been re-assessing my collection (especially when it comes to Transformers and Star Wars), and I have successfully gotten rid of parts of it in the past with a "what was I thinking" mentality.

So I put myself in the "if I'm not careful, I spend more than I should." An example: that import Devastator look alike is truly awesome . . . until I see the price. Nope, not gonna buy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:29 am 
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I try and be like that... but when it comes to Doctor Who... I just... I need it all... everything... EVERYTHING!

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:21 am 
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This is me now after moving away from collecting Star Wars: I used to buy a lot, but have cut back considerably.

This is what I used to be like when I was collecting Star Wars: Me Need Star Wars now (Done in best Cookie Monster Accent).

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:40 am 
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1) Do you feel you have (or have had) an issue where your hobby has either become a compulsion or addiction?

I would say a slight problem a few years ago, about when Marvel Universe first came out. I had a bad tendancy to just buy stuff to buy stuff, while I won't say I got terrible as some I did go overboard, I guess the other part of that was my wife had a really good paying job (I had returned to college at that point) so spending wasn't as much of an issue cause we had so much money to work with, still it got a bit out of hand.

2) How do you keep yourself in check to assure it doesn't become an addiction?

Simply put, I look at the reasons for the purchase. I try and make sure I don't grab just to have it and that it really is something I like/want. Sometimes I have buyers remorse when something isn't as cool as I thought it would be or when I pass on something I probably would have liked but overall it's a better way to be than I was back then.

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?

Well with the proclivity of toylines to overdo one character, that was the first part I looked at, while some variaitons are cool, 40-30 of the same character is overkill no matter how you slice it.

4) What criteria do we place on ourselves for future purchases?

I have limted myself to mostly one scale, in that scale I try to make sure that the character I am buying is something that I don't have. If I buy an improvement I try to get rid of an old one (for example I was able to avoid much of the Captain america line last year due to the abundance of Captain Americas). That isn't to say I won't have multiples of a character but I do limit it to thiings I really want and really enjoy. That cuts bak my toy budget considerably. I also feel less overwhelmed and enjoy my hobby much more.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:05 pm 
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I hope this post doesn't come off as innopropriate or make me come off as looking weird or something... But I think I am pretty good about spending money, but sometimes I might cave and end up spending money I meant to save for something else, (mostly this happens with DVD/Blu-Rays, toys... not so much) I have OCD, but it manifests with other stuff in my life, it is rarely an issue when it comes to collecting anything, (it kinda was a factor in the past, but now I am just "meh" about everything.) Maybe the meds actually do something to help, lol. There are some things my OCD will not allow me to do (if I did I would go nuts.) Stuff I absolutely cannot do (yes cannot) is allow myself to get in debt or lie or a bunch of other crazy stuff, (in my eyes it's crazy.) So as much as it can be a pain to deal with, I count it as a blessing sometimes. (sometimes, ;) )


D.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:59 pm 
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I buy what I want, when I see it. I can afford it. That said though, I really haven't been buying a lot lately, they're just not making anything I want and I don't buy, just to have, I only buy what I actually want. I might have spent a thousand or so on toys last year, so far this year, I've spent less than $50.


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:23 pm 
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I had spent nearly $3,500 in 3 weeks on toys.

WOW!!! man just WOW!
i thought i was bad if i spend more than £40 to £50 a month :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:28 pm 
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1) Do you feel you have (or have had) an issue where your hobby has either become a compulsion or addiction?
I have had issue in the past with spending way too much. I had to learn the hard way that with anything in life, you have to keep a balance, especially when you've got a family.

2) How do you keep yourself in check to assure it doesn't become an addiction?
A) keeping a budget on your hobby, not going over. B) Thinking about a purchase. Sleep on it. 9 times out of 10, you won't make the purchase if you take some time to think about it. C) Keep your priorities straight. Your family, your bills, your rent, all things which should be taken care of first. The hobby should get the left overs, not vice versa.

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?
That's a tough one. I think you're going to have to go through that garage full of stuff and start separating stuff you really want to keep from the stuff you have just to have it.

4) What criteria do we place on ourselves for future purchases?
Me, a purchase has to have significance. It has to be really cool and really mean something to me. Otherwise, I just don't get.


Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:26 pm 
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Krypton1976 wrote:
1) Do you feel you have (or have had) an issue where your hobby has either become a compulsion or addiction?
I have had issue in the past with spending way too much. I had to learn the hard way that with anything in life, you have to keep a balance, especially when you've got a family.

2) How do you keep yourself in check to assure it doesn't become an addiction?
A) keeping a budget on your hobby, not going over. B) Thinking about a purchase. Sleep on it. 9 times out of 10, you won't make the purchase if you take some time to think about it. C) Keep your priorities straight. Your family, your bills, your rent, all things which should be taken care of first. The hobby should get the left overs, not vice versa.

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?
That's a tough one. I think you're going to have to go through that garage full of stuff and start separating stuff you really want to keep from the stuff you have just to have it.

4) What criteria do we place on ourselves for future purchases?
Me, a purchase has to have significance. It has to be really cool and really mean something to me. Otherwise, I just don't get.


Hope this helps.

Great post, that's how I see it, and how I try to collect stuff, though my OCD gets the better of me sometimes, lol.
:)

D.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:32 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:11 pm 
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I have had several similiar discussions with my wife-- we have our highs and lows about stuff in regards to this-- she feels that I buy to fill a void-- there are days where she doesnt believe that I buy things that I like, because I like them.. That Im buying to buy them--- at one point this was true- especially with Star Wars-- if it had star wars on it-- no matter what it was I bought it-- when things got tight for a while- we had multiple arguments and I reassed my collecting habits (why did I need 35 different millenium falcons) so at that point I purged a bunch of stuff-- from statues to lines to figures-- I stopped army building clones, I partially regret dumping my SS marvel comiquettes-- but those were some of the items I was buying because they looked cool-- but not neccessarily in my "focus".. My bigger problem is sometimes I just cant pass up on a good deal-- when I find something I reasonably like- at 80-90 % off I pick it up (its why for some reason I have a Silk Spectre bust when I hate the watchmen). Inevidebly I scale back a little every three years because my taste changes.. My wife always says shes fine if I just collected Batman and Star Wars-- but she wonders why I pick up items like Ben 10-- its because I started watching the cartoon-- liked it and wanted representations of it- I have actively cut back though- I am no longer a completist in almost any line out there-- (although I usually still follow the one of each character rule)_- except for comics-- those figures I still pick and choose) but I can understand how you can get into that-- because I will drop 600.00 on a case of trading cards without even thinking about it-- (or the blockbusters going out of business and dropping 300 on blu rays in one stop_

If I have a kid priorities would probably change-- but until then I will probably keep at the same pace I go now-- (which honestly is at about 50% of what I used to be) -- and probably 75% on the high end gentle giant and sideshow pieces)

Now one thing I do is that when I upgrade a figure I usually sell of the old ones-- so its not like I have a hoarders mentality..

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Now of course the toy companies could help out by not making any more stuff- :lol: - provided I get everything that is shown-- ending lines like JLU and even Star Wars wouldnt bother me, its when they show me stuff and end the line before it comes out I get frustrated (JLU, Super Hero Squad)..

ANd there are things I want-- but I can control myself -- (for instance-- laser beasts-- I can stomach 25.00 a piece for them (not happily - but I can)-- but I refuse to drop 100+ on an individual 2.5" tall figure... Its why I still dont have Gleek..

And of course every time I think Im out something draws me back in-- I was always a picker and chooser with the 6" scales-- and still am-- and just as the DCUC chapter closes-- Marvel Legends starts back up again-- which means the minute one of the other Big 3 drop for me- MU, SW or Joe... Someone will come out with an awesome sculpted DC 3-3/4 line.

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 Post subject: Re: Toy Addiction (please take the time to read this post)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:42 pm 
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what are laser beasts? sounds interesting lol!

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