This isn't exactly a "when did you hop online and where" kinda thread, since we've had those before. But rather, more of a "How long were you collecting Star Wars stuff before you actually joined (and posted in) any Star Wars forums?"
I collected the modern line of Star Wars stuff from the inception of the modern era's "rebirth", back in '95 (or earlier if you count the Galoob stuff). I was as die-hard a collector as there was, and surfed all the various collecting websites for many years to keep tabs on the latest news and offerings. But it really wasn't until the "great" CSW/RS merge a couple years back that I ever felt like getting involved, and actually chatting with all you crazy wackos.
Did some forum lurking at CSW before that, but never felt like chiming in for whatever reason. So it took me nearly 6.5 years to speak up finally, but once I did, I realized you all weren't so weird after all (well, most of you anyway)...
I would occasionally post some thoughts on the old Tomarts/AFD boards, but I was by no means a regular there. Oddly enough, the only name I specifically remember from their forums way back then was "Fatty Bitchall". (you were there, right Matt?) No idea why that name, and only that name, stuck with me - but it did. And now look at us still together after all these years.
But what I've noticed after being heavily involved in the forums for a couple years now and therefore having my reality skewed, is that I can't really imagine Star Wars collectors out there who aren't
members of any of the SW boards. In fact, I tend to completely forget (or ignore the fact) that there even are any, even though that's exactly what I
was for many years. When I occasionally see other fellas in front of the Star Wars stuff in the toy aisles or at conventions, I always wonder to myself just which forum member they are, and that it's odd that I don't recognize them. Could there actually be collectors out there that I don't know?! I think I've become some kind of collecting forum snob, where if you're not "in the community" then you're somehow less of a collector than me and my pals, or just non-existant altogether...
Weird, huh? So are you consciously aware that there's "others" out there who collect this stuff as passionately as we do, but could give a rat's ass (quiet Rob!) about actually discussing it on the internet with a bunch of geeks like us? That used to be me, but obviously I've come full circle now, since I wanted so badly to join the "in crowd" online here!
So are you a forum snob too, or are all
Star Wars collectors created equal, regardless of forum participation or not?