I started collecting, if I don't count what I did as a kid when the movies were new, around the early 1990's. '92 or '93 I'd guess... I got back into Star Wars because I caught them on TV an evening, after not seeing them for quite sme time.
G.I. Joe had replaced them as my favorite toy as a child... In 1982 when Joes came out at the then Brand New K-Mart on the hill, I was ecstatic and hooked on that line for years. I'd spend my $5 allowance on a new Joe, and sometimes a clearanced ROTJ figure for his gear to give to my new joe.
He was simply a better toy line to a kid I guess. Still is a great one really.
When I got back into SW though, and into collecting as an adult, I picked up vinty's... Typical new guy, spending too much on them, haha... I started custmizing them as well, shortly after getting into it, when I saw pics of custom figures in some toy magazines.
Some of my first customs were a Captain Antilles Vintage, and RFT Vintage, both based off another's design of them.
I picked up new Star Wars stuff like a madman when it started pouring out... I was already buying West End Games items as I could... Minis, books to the RPG, Miniatures Battles figures and books, etc...
I immediately got into the micromachines when they were out, and had a nice set of Bend-Ems...
Then '95 came and I started picking up everything immediately. Saw them for the first time at the local Hills Dept. Store.
I watched sites online as I got online... I was new to computers though, so I wasn't really a net wiz or anything. Found Rebelscum, and watched it routinely... Also watched SSG, and then I started watching Collect Star Wars almost exclusively.
I would read the forums, and eventually I saw enough opinions I disagreed with that I thought I had to say something. I started at CSW then in their forums as member #1215 or something. I'd not participated at any forum other than lurking up till that point I joined CSW though.
Stuck with Scum after the merger split and GH.com formed... Joined there too though, and participate at both still.
Was asked quite nicely by Matt to join here and do reviews, and help moderate.... That's where I am now of course.
Over the years I've filled a nice loose vintage collection up pretty well... I've kept a modern 3.75" collection going, and I pick up oddball stuff from other lines as well.
I have a Tarkin, Imperial, and Bossk focus though, so I do pick up their stuff that isn't 3.75" strictly, like the busts or 12" figures of them.
I've weeded a lot out of my hobby though as well, like MM's, AF, comics, novels, and 12".
Customizing is my 2nd largest aspect to Star Wars though. I started in vintage, and moved onto modern... I'm not the most productive person in the hobby by a longshot, but I have my "skills" I guess, and I like the slow pace I have set for myself. I figure that when the line's done at least I won't have wasted my time making figures Hasbro did anyway.
I, in my mind anyway, think I'm one of the oldest members still actively participating in customizing that was on the original Rebelscum Email list-server... The others that were there when I joined don't seem as active any longer (Stephen Hayford, Tony Collucci, etc.).
I was asked to moderate at FFURG.com's chatroom somet hough, and still do that, and I do make occassional resources up for FFURG as well when I get time.
I have some of my best collecting friends through FFURG, like CorranHorn (Jason) and Doug Schroeder, and Jedi Raven (Justin)... Good people.
I've made the rest of my best collecting friends through here though I'd say, at Jedi Defender.
I actually didn't originally come here when I was asked to by Matt (and I believe Scott did ask too). Not that I was being a snob, but because I try not to spread myself too thing and I was wanting to just focus on one forum. Things at Scum, where I spent most of my time, deteorated to the point that I wanted to know where the people who had GOOD things to say and GOOD opinions and discussions had gone though.
I came here, and am very happy I did.
And that's that then I guess...
I've had the pleasure of putting some focus in my background in business on the Toy Industry in general then, and have met a lot of people within the industry but at varius levels. Marketing people often times, since that's one of my current majors, but I had some cool conversations with sculptors before in the past... You'd be surprised to know some are in the customizing hobby.
So, that's about it I guess... I posted too much here, but oh well...
I love the conversation though, so no I'm not a collecting snob. At least I hope not. Or if I am it's for other reasons.