Monday, November 30, 2015

Thankful 2015

It's November and that means Thanksgiving and that means talking about what we're thankful for.

For me, there's all the usual stuff: friends, family, a roof over my head, just being alive. But this year I'm thankful for having a job that pays me enough to have a disposable income.

You see folks, between the last time I wrote here and now I've become slightly addicted to those Funko Pop vinyl figures.

Alright, "slightly" seems like an understatement. For years I passed by these things, thinking they were dumb and ugly. "Who the hell would buy these?" I thought.

Lots. The answer is lots. I was at NYCC this year and found these things everywhere. Again, I thought nothing of these things. I only had about five of them, four of them being mini versions of Stan Lee.

And then as I walked around, I found that some of them were going for obscene prices.

Seriously, this variant of Vegeta goes for $400. I still think that people would be stupid to blow that much money on a little figure that doesn't even do anything, especially ones with those weird beady eyes. Hell, Funko had a booth there and the line for it was always a mile long. Those lines were only open twice a day, I decided to forgo that nonsense.

But then I saw "common" Pops (ie, ones that weren't exclusive to anywhere) go for $20, $30, or more. Sure, some of the booths selling those were asshole scalpers, but that's when the seed was planted into my brain: "I can find these at Hot Topic for ten bucks! I should get these before people start asking thirty dollars for them."

And that's where it began. I'm strictly a "only get the ones I want" collector. I don't want to be a completionist, I already did that with Amiibo. Seriously, it'd be easier to list the ones I DON'T have. Here goes:

-Famicom R.O.B.
-Mega Yarn Yoshi
-the SMB line that isn't Toad, Gold Mario, and Silver Mario.

Plus all the ones that haven't been released yet. Where was I? Oh yes.

I don't want to be a "get em because they'll be worth some day" type of collector, either. I did that with beanie babies and to this day I have storage bins filled with them collecting dust in my

See? I don't want that to happen with Pops, too. Between Amiibo, those beanie babies, plus a lifetime of collecting Transformers toys, I'm running out of space to put things. I've had trouble remembering this for the last couple of years. I always get more stuff, without any thought of where it's going to go. Lately I've been buying less toys and focusing more on artwork and celebrity autographs. They're thinner and they go on walls. Easy for storage.

And I've been giving a few of my pops away due to this. See this awesome Godzilla?

He was a NYCC exclusive I bought for the very purpose of being able to trade it with some random stranger on the internet. And boy, did that stranger deliver.

Snow Miser from The Year Without A Santa Claus was the result of that trade. His brother Heat Miser was bought off of eBay. Plus that Krusty was purchased from another stranger that wanted to unload THEIR stock. Did I mention that they're all worth around $50 but I was able to get good bargains for them? You guys know what regret is, right? Because I thought nothing of these things, some of the pops I brushed off such as these (plus Muppet ones) now go for high prices for whatever reason. I've devoted the last month and a half to getting them, one pop at a time either through outright buying them or giving one of mine away.

It's been hard to not get bitten by the snake that is a collector's addiction. When there's one day I congratulate myself on not giving in to temptation to buy something for the sake of buying it, there's another where I stumble upon a Buy 1 Get 1 50% off deal and just go to town.

It was tough to walk away from this amazing selection, but I was happy with myself. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I was short on money. I just needed to tell myself "I just want a few of these. Just GIR. And Marceline. And Darth Vader. And the entire Bob's Burgers family."

That's my other problem. When I started the "I only want the ones I want" mindset, there were only a few Pops I truly want. And then they made Bob's Burgers pops. And more Adventure Time characters. And Clark Griswold. And now with Steven Universe Pops and the Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion confirmed, I can only say this:

Sigh...can I just mail my money to Funko directly? Don't answer that, I definitely know that's possible. I said that I started with five of these, do you want to know how many I have now? Thirty, and that number grows by the day. And that's been over the last month and a half.

So that's what I'm thankful for, enough money to pay my bills and get a little something for myself each week. Some folks spend their money on cars. Or drugs. Or beer. I spend it on four inch figurines that look like Batman. We're not too different.