Ah, the story of my beginning......
As a child of the late 80s, I was very much into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Of course, as the completist I am, I loved trying to get every one. Then, my friend, who loved Turtles almost as much as I do, told me about some movie that he just loved. The year was 1996. There was a teacher at my school(mind you, I'm still in fifth grade at the time) who gave out prizes to the children who did extra credit for her. She'd have "Trenchak Days" or something like that, and give us Trenchak dollars to buy stuff she'd gotten at yard sales. Now, there were some, oh how do you say, "vintage" figures from this movie that my friend had seen. I thought they were cool-looking, and would go well with my other action figures, who now also included several GI Joes and Batman figures. Little did I know that it would spark a revolution.
I had R5-D4, Gamorrean Guard, and C-3PO Removable Limbs, which I had gotten over the past five years sometime. Since I didn't mind getting them as my prize, I started collecting more. I got the Royal Guard(for which my mother made a new robe, since he didn't have one, and yes, he still wears it rather than the true vintage robe), a Hammerhead, and a wonderful little Yoda, who happened to come with everything but a snake. I was still missing a Darth Vader, my favorite character. By this time, I had seen the re-releases, and was thoroughly collecting. I entered the comic book store world, also known as the scalper market. I'm now very good friends with the owner of the store where I bought my first figure, a mint, though loose Squidhead. Over the years, I've amassed over fifty figures or so. I'm biding my time, since the store's still there, and all the figures I can collect have been there since I started there(except the eight Ewoks, who barely ever show up). I also finally managed to buy some TMNT figures I had never gotten, including my holy grail, Wingnut. So, I have Star Wars to thank for that.
Soon, I managed to start out into the retail market, buying all the SOTE figures except Prince Xizor, who I still haven't bothered to try to get, and various early figures. Now, as a loose collector, I opened all my figures. After a guy at the comic book store I go to told me Ben Kenobi was worth $30 on orange card, the dollars rolled before me. I started a small carded collection, which only has grown to a peak of six figures at one time, though I've had about twenty different figures. I now have two thirds of the POTF2 set, having missed all EU figures(except for SOTE), and pretty much all of the last eight waves. Then Episode 1 came. Small set, which I've nearly completed. I consider it greater than most people appreciate it for. Then POTJ came and went. I didn't get as many figures, as other things bought my money. Now Saga has come. I have the first half of the set, and for some reason, have essentially stopped with Lott Dod and Teemto Pagalies. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'll rise again. Hopefully soon.
Glad I could share this with you. I've enjoyed reading all of your stories.