Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mint On Card By R.T. Ewell

I guess you could say that my toy collecting habits go back to when I was a child. The very first memory of seeing something and saying “I have to have that,” is probably the original He-Man line. It was absolutely my favorite cartoon. I loved the characters that inhabited Eternia. So many wonderful villains with Evil Lynn & Skeletor being at the top. Oh, and how good was Frank Langella as Skeletor in that horrendous movie? Anyway, let's get back on track before I go on a rant. When I was a kid, Orko was probably my favorite of the good guys because I was his target audience. His figure was the coolest with that rip cord that sent him buzzing across the floor. Some really good figures in that line that did some innovative things that my little brain had never seen in action figures.

I don't really remember going to a store and buying them individually. It always seemed like I would get a massive amount of figures/vehicles/play sets for my birthday or Christmas. After He-Man I went to G.I. Joe for a brief period but wasn't nearly excited about it even though I did figure out that the figures and weapons fit inside a tackle box. It was the perfect carrying case. Once I burned out those collections I sort of quit collecting action figures in my teens. Video games and comics seemed to conquer my most formative years. It wasn't until I was about fifteen, that I got a weekend job at the local flea market working for a toy/video game/comic/anything pop culture booth that my obsession came back. Now, when I was a kid, of course I wanted to play with all the toys I had gotten so I had no problem ripping the packages open for the plastic goodness that was sealed inside.

As I got older, my OCDs kicked in and I wanted all of my figures to be mint on card or MOC for all you experts out there. That's right, the figure needed to be safe and secure in their plastic cocoon while the cardboard surroundings remained crease free. Never allowing the figure inside to breathe a breath of air. To some it might sound dumb but hey, we all have our quirks.

Around the age of nineteen my obsession with professional wrestling had increased greatly while having a job allowed me to focus on the Jakks WWE wrestling figure line. At one time I had over 200 of them, all mint on card, thumb tacked to the walls of my room. If I was at a store and a figure was on the shelf that I didn't have, I instantly grabbed it without thinking. Even if I had the figure and they repackaged it, chances are I would still pick it up. Eventually, after a few years that dwindled and I began phasing out of collecting once again for a few reasons. I would still by figures every once in a while but never at the rate that I once did.

When Marvel Legends came out I could not resist buying these figures. What a great line, I mean all my favorite (and obscure) comic book heroes with amazing articulation for best optimal posing. At first, I kept them in package as long as I could but eventually with the articulation & just how friggin good the figures were, I caved. I started a new process of opening figures and displaying them in various poses. Because of how far figures came along I felt they were too good to leave in their plastic bubbles. It wasn't easy at first to open these things that I bought with my own money. Actually, sometimes it literally wasn't easy; I mean, do you know how many twist ties they used to put on those things?

At the age of 36 I am still a collector although my bank account dictates what I buy more nowadays. I imagine that the question you are asking, is whether or not I still open them, or if I went back to leaving them MOC. The answer is both. If it’s a really good figure that has a nice package (ha, ha, I get the joke) than he may stay safely factory sealed. But more often than not, I will remove the figure to display on my desk or around the house. I just try not to stress out about if it’s gonna be worth anything or if I bend the card a little and actually have fun with it. I mean after all, that's the intention, right?

I don't buy a whole lot of toys due to lack of funds but when I do, I make sure it’s something I will enjoy no matter what I'm going to do with it.

-R.T.


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