Friday, December 20, 2013

My Buying Habits - Buying Under the Influence

No, I'm not bidding on eBay while drunk. Well, not anymore.  Seriously, I've never done that.  What I'd like to cover for this article is the way that outside factors can influence what I'm buying at any given time and the benefits and dangers inherent with these influences.  Surely it's something that has happened to everyone else.  I'm going to break each influence into it's own header and discuss from there.

Other Blogs

Certainly this is pretty obvious.  There have been numerous times that I've read a blog and immediately went about searching for the figure that's being reviewed.  There have been many culprits in the two years that I've been doing this blog.  One such culprit is Maz at the SourceBlog.  Reading his entries wreaks havoc on both my self esteem and my thought line when I'm thinking about my collection.  Maz's review of GT-R Maximus is what pushed me over the edge on buying him.  Every time he makes a post about some rare European or Japanese exclusive, I find myself spending hours on eBay searching for it.  I don't know how many times I've almost pulled the trigger on a purchase only to bring myself back from the brink of sanity.

Maz's fault
Heroic_Decepticon is another culprit in my brain.  Thanks to him, I have a permanent saved search on eBay for a Canadian Slag.  He is also responsible for the a figure that I recently purchased.  I hope to one day be as good as getting the finds that he gets.

Toy Archive
Flywheels is responsible for my recent purchase of Monstructor.  After reading his reviews on Dinoking, I knew that I'd probably never have him (more on that in another article), but I knew that I could get Monstructor.  I actually consulted a bit with him before I made the purchase and his encouragement gave me the nudge I needed.  And thanks to a comment he made on another blog, I made yet another purchase.

Lastly, the good folks over at Pax Cybertron deal a lot with third party figures.  I enjoy reading their reviews so much that they've started to soften my stance a bit on third party figures.  Don't get me wrong, the glacier that is my dislike of third party is still frozen, but Pax's enthusiasm has thawed it a bit.


This mainly has to do with the comics, but I have managed to watch the first disc from the Japanese Headmasters series.  One day, maybe when I'm bored, bedridden, or forced, I'll watch the rest of the series.  But I'm going to have to be forced.

It all goes downhill from this shot.
First, James Roberts and his fine, fine writing have made getting Star Saber a priority for me.  While I've been aware of Star Saber for quite awhile, it wasn't until he popped up in More Than Meets The Eye that he became important to me.  It will be awhile before I get one, but I'm keeping my eye open for one.  I'm still trying to decide if it would be cheaper to get him on eBay or yahoo Japan.  Maybe with the Masterpiece version coming later next year, we can get treated to a reissue.
Takara, if you read this, reissue him!
Having watched one whole disc out of the four that make up Headmasters, I've been seriously fighting the urge to get every Headmaster that I can get my grubby little hands on at the same time.  I've been having fever dreams about getting a big box chock full of Headmaster goodness.  I have to take it slow and steady.  I just have to constantly remind myself of that.

Social Media

I'm a member of several Transformer groups on Facebook, and I also occasionally check out Twitter and Flickr.  The one thing I've noticed is that most of the people on these Facebook groups love to show off their newest additions.  Then again, so do I, hence the blog.  At any rate, seeing these posts drives the competitor in me.  You got a new Transformers Prime Vehicon?  Check out my recently acquired Pretender Classic Starscream!  Does that make me a jerk?  I don't know.  I don't engage in exchanges that way; the thoughts never leave me head.  I'm just competitive.

Flickr has influenced me in ways that don't have to do with purchases.  I like to look at the photography.  People such as brr-icy have inspired me to attempt to improve my photography.  The key word here is "attempt", because I haven't gotten the nuances down yet.  I'm getting better, but I still lack the patience needed to get my pictures looking as good as I'd like them.

The Wrap Up

Every day I wrestle with the things that I see.  Every click of a link, turn of a page, or simple conversation plants a seed in the back of my head.  Do I let that seed sprout, or do I pour salt on it, killing it forever?  This is something that I give a lot of thought to.  Being influenced isn't a bad thing, as all of the things listed above have led me down avenues I hadn't thought of before.  Collecting in a vacuum isn't very fun, or practical, so just being in the world will bring about some sort of influence.

I really wanted to throw all of this out there, because each of the things that I've mentioned will play a big part of this blog over the first few months of this blog.  As I've mention before, I pretty much stick to a schedule with this blog - reviews of my newest additions on Mondays, and then an article on Wednesday.  To maintain the review portion, I pretty much write them in advance.  Well, thanks to all of these great influences, I have the first three months' worth of reviews done for 2014.  I'll mention what influenced me to get each figure as I review it.  There may be a few figures that will interrupt the so-called "Influenced Buys", what with Masterpiece figures coming (I'm looking at you Smokescreen), but they're written.  Stay tuned to see what they are!


  1. Nice posting Optimal. I've actually been thinking about this in regards to my own personal buying.

    I blame Maz for me getting almost all the newer MP's. I'm on the hook with TFSource for quite a bit......

    And yes, I think you nailed all the other cuplrits...HD~, social media. I also have my friend "M"; it's not like we are in any kind of competition against one another but when he buys something I feel like I need to do the same to be able to show something back to him.

    My blog was initially just a way to give myself another hobby along with my TF collecting by attepting to write and improving on my photography, but to go along with that you need to have material to shoot or write about so there I am back to buying again.

    My only real control other than the money factor is that I have at least streamlined my collection into only getting certain toy lines. I feel sorry for people that need to have everything. I would be all for it if money / space were of no concern, but the stress of having to find everything would probably be too much for me.

    Keep up the good posting!


    1. I initially started my blog as a creative outlet, and while it is still that, it's also a way to get some sort of interaction with fellow collectors. I've also started to work on my photography skills, so we'll see how that goes.

      I've been very introspective the last few months when it comes to my collection, and all of that navel gazing has bled into the blog. I've actually abandoned like 8 articles because they were all navel gazing. I may go back and revisit them.

      As far as controls go, mine are all self imposed. Even with the influences, I still have the strength of will to say no. So far.

  2. Oh so that's how it're blaming me and others now for your recent purchases I see! Nah, just kidding. I'm right there with you. I recently bought a Scramble City / Zone DVD and after watching the Zone episode I immediately hit eBay looking for a few of the Micromasters from the show. Both Maz and Heroic Decepticons words and pictures can be quite persuasive too. I think it's normal to read or watch something somewhere and it gets you "motivated" to buy. That's why I stay away from watching too many YouTube video reviews!

    The same thing happens to me - with any of my hobbies. I'm on a big retro video game kick lately and I've been researching all sorts of different hardware and games that I don't currently own. That Sega Mark III console I shared on my blog a few months back was the result of picking up one magazine from Barnes & Noble that featured a story of collecting the Sega Master System. Yeah, I'm easily influenced.

    1. Look, I have blame someone when my wife shakes her head at me when the UPS driver makes his stop at the house...

      I love checking out what everyone else is up to or doing with their collections. It lets me know that I'm not alone.