« on: August 19, 2006, 04:45 PM »
I really think the question here is not what do I think about the future of Star Wars collecting, because that is far beyond my control. I can answer the question of where am I with Star Wars collecting ajd Hasbro.
This is a question I have spent some real time thinking about over the last 2 months because I have reached a point where I felt I was getting too much into the hunt and the hobby at the expense of other things. When I spend $100 to $200 a month on this, for me that is too much. I just increased my 401k contributions to 12% of my wages (I can save up to $15k a year before employer matching is added to it) and thought that I want to increase the amount of money in my nest eggs. So part of this is a financial decision on my part. I have also watched others I know get too much into the hunt or into the hobby at the cost of other items and in the end, decided regardless of anyone else, I had to make some changes.
The basic line has reached a point that I am bored. I am done with most army builders. No need to have an army because any display is small, 3-5 clones, a Jedi etc. I don't do big (except for the Balrog that just came out, but that isn't SW). I am down to themes in my collecting and whether or not I like or want the character. My themes are Jedi, Clones, Main Characters. I just don't have time, room or want to put my money into everything. So, I will buy from each wave, only those figures that fit my themes, that I do not have (NO, absoluetly NO rehashes) or that are significant improved sculpts. Otherwise, pass. That will scale me WAY back on what I am getting.
Next, vechiles. I'm done. I will get the snowspeeder since I do not have one, and my son wants one. But that is it, no more. My son is 12 going on 13 so he has stopped playing with most ships, and I just don't have the room; well, I am not going to make the room for items that can never be in scale and are over priced for what they are. I am tired of seeing the Jedi Starfighter redone in how many paint colors just to make it easier on ReHashbro.
All other items at retail, I am done with. I would imagine that next year I'll pick up 20 figures probably and that is all. I made a conscious decision in my teaching to move more of my collecting dollars over to my students so that we can engage in higher learning activities that will hopefully broaden their understanding of concepts, and give them something to remember. My 12 year old summed it up last June for me when he said (he was in my class), "Dad, one seven dollar figure can buy 2 books, or 1 pair or group of 4 science project supplies. I think its worth it for us to back down from collecting and for you to help the kids in your class out." Out of the mouth of babes or children. That made me think, and by doing this I estimate I will save anywhere from $35 to $50 (just for figures) and I can send that money to the classroom and buy enough supplies to fuel 1 science or social science project a month for my class, or buy a literature group a set of 6 books that they will read. I narrowed my son's comment to Plastic or People (kids)? There really is no choice. That and I am starting my Masters this year and finishing an endorsement so time is very limited and what time I have, I don't want to consume it all with hunting. I will hunt when it fits into something I am already doing, or order online if the price and the want is right.
I have also gotten back to a hobby I love, which is taking plastic minatures of soliders from time periods, modifying them and painting them and putting them in a display of no more than 10 to 12 on the display piece (a block of wood with a diaramha of vegetation on it). I have enough figures but the time to do this hobby is consuming. But my daughter loves it and is doing it with me so if it is something else that keeps my 13 year old hanging around Dad, good thing.
On a side note, please realize that as a teacher I do get a supply order that covers the basics each year, and from $150 to $200 for other items. It seems that no matter what, I spend $1000 to $2000 a year doing this. To do the things that I really like, and that the kids engage in like mummifying chickens (Ancient Egypt and then when we do micro-organisms we go back and ask why the decomposers/bacteria didn't decompose the chickens), an Astronomy Family Night to show consellations and look through telescopes, to buying micro-organisms for the kids to looks through in telescopes after we have grown them (again, I am in Utah and in the winter the ponds around here are frozen often), plastic half circles to chart the movement of the sun during the school day, supplies to make instruments for heat light and sound, growing mold and bacteria in aguar and petri dishes, and it goes on, requires money. I know that by doing these hands on activities that my kids understanding of the concepts increases by connecting them to things they have done in real life.
So to answer the question to where I am with collecting it comes down to this; time is very precious right now and my free time goes to my wife and kids. Next, I have a personal commitment to teach according to a certain philosophy and part of that requires some funding from me. I'm tired of getting 2 to 3 figures I like, and a bunch that are rehashed and I either don't need or don't want. So, I'll pick up the 2 figures or so a wave I want and that fit a theme of what I want to collect. If there is nothing I want, then I can just fade away and won't be missed in the collecting world. I don't want to fade away and not be missed by my students.
That is where I am at. I have backed off big time, and though I still consider myself in the hobby, I am not what I was six months ago. My wife is pretty happy about it, but most importantly, I am extremely happy.