Monday, October 21, 2013

The Endgame

Think about an end you can live with
Think about an end I can give you
Think about an end that'll satisfy
Lyrics from "Think About an End" by Anthrax

I like to think of myself as a reflective and introspective person; almost overly analytical.  For over the past decade, I've been hemming and hawing about what my ultimate endgame would be in regards to collecting.  And for the vast majority of those years, that plan has shifted constantly.  It's only within the last year that I've achieved any kind of focus .

The first figure I ever bought on secondary market was Afterburner.  My original Afterburner broke, and I was in need of a replacement, so I decided to test some uncharted waters and ordered him.  That was in 2001.  Since then, I've given myself various ages to get out of the game, so to speak.  I was 24 in 2001 and I gave myself until I was 25 to get out.  Once I hit 25, I pushed that to 28.  Just a few more vintage guys, I kept telling myself.  I'm getting too old for this was a prevailing thought in my head.  This was getting me nowhere.

Here's the thing: it's not like I want to get out of collecting all together; I buy new figures all of the time.  Rather, I've always been looking at an exit strategy for vintage figures.  It's insane for anyone to think that they'd be able to get every figure made.  Especially if you're behind the 8 ball, like I am/was.  Even more so once you find out about Generation 1 figures that you had never even heard of from Japan or Europe.

Ten years ago, I figured I had maybe 100 or so figures to get.  Then about seven years ago, I found out about the Japanese exclusive figures.  My heart sank.  There was no way that I could ever hope to catch up.  In crisis, I just shutdown.  What could I ever hope to accomplish?  I decided to just stick to newer figures like CHUGS, Binaltech and Masterpiece and the Takara Reissues.  At least I could stay current with those.

My thinking started to change around the time I started this blog.  I'm not really sure what kicked it in, but I really wanted to get a nice even number with my collection and then stop.  Then I just went nuts and decided to get everything.  Now, that I've calmed down a bit, I have a very sensible and reasoned approach to my collection. Even if my wife doesn't think so.

My main goal is to finish the U.S. figures. With luck and skill, I should have that finished in two years.  Hopefully.  At my current rate of acquisition.  This is all in a vacuum and doesn't factor in announcements of new Masterpiece figures, reissues, or interesting Generations figures.  Seriously, as of now, I already have five Masterpiece figures preordered for 2014.  Five!  And based on how Hasbro started off 2013 with the horrid War for Cybertron figures, I had no clue that we'd get Trailbreaker, Hoist, Skids or freaking Metroplex.  Who saw those coming?  

I might not always know what my next vintage purchase will be, but I do at least know what my last figure will be.  

Action Master Prime was the last G1 figure I got as a present from my parents.  I sold all of Action Masters several years ago for ridiculous prices and regretted it ever since.  I think that ending on AM Prime makes sense.  Told you I had a plan.  

So now that just leaves me with the Japanese and European stuff.  It would be pointless of me to try to get them all.  I'm thinking that I may try to get a few, but with prices trending the way they are, I find that highly dubious.  I may stand pat with the U.S. stuff and hope for some Encore releases to plug any non- U.S. holes.  Hopefully.

Not in the cards.  For now.

Him either.
While I'm in no way looking to get out of the hobby, I know that one day I'll get to the point where vintage may not be viable.  Thanks to my plan, I think that I will feel comfortable with wherever I am when the day comes.  The main point with collecting, as always, is to have fun while doing it.  No matter what, I'm always having fun.  What about you?  Do you have an exit strategy?


  1. A very interesting notion. I have never actually considered an exit strategy for collecting as I have just assumed I would be doing this all my life. Actually, no. I take that back. My exit strategy is completing certain runs of figures, but I don't believe I'll ever be truly 100% finished with everything. Even if I have every vintage figure out there there will always be variants, parts of paperwork or something else that I may have missed. I have a long term strategy where I don't want to run out of things to collect too soon, which is why I don't buy everything at once. I am a firm believer that the fun is in the journey so I want to make sure that journey lasts as long as possible.

    1. Even as I wrote this article, I was searching eBay for Metalhawk, so I doubt that I'll stop at the US run. I think I may be getting fatigued from constantly looking for the best conditioned vintage figures I can find at the best prices. It'll pass, certainly. I'll never stop buying new figures do long as new figures exist that justify the purchase. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.