Author Topic: Are you having fun collecting?  (Read 3099 times)


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Are you having fun collecting?
« on: August 25, 2004, 11:16 PM »
Iím throwing this in OTC simply because the bulk of current releases are happening here, but this involves all aspects of collecting, really. Can I ask everyone if they have similar feelings about the state of the hobby?

A sense of dread came over me today leaving Target. Iíd just breathed a heavy sigh of relief after securing Unleashed Bossk as I put him in my trunk, right next to the VOTC Yoda from TRU earlier, and Aayla and the Tusken Raider from the day before. Another chunk of this yearís stuff is accounted for on my lengthy list of new items to be tracked down. That list includes anything associated with 3 ĺĒ figures and vehicles, Unleashed, and WOTC miniatures later, too. And most anything I collect I go into as a completist. So there I was, the relief instantly giving way to what, standing in the parking lot, I finally recognized as a pressure and dread that has loomed over my collecting habits all summer.

I despise the hunt. I feel like Iíll never catch up. I donít even have a momentís peace of mind in this search to rest and enjoy what Iíve found. There are too many exclusives. There are too many stores to check. Thereís not enough to go around. Hell, most of them I donít even want. I just keep moving forward and buying this all out of a 9-year-long completist obligation to maintain the hunt Iíve been doing. This isnít fun. It used to be, but it sure as hell isnít now.

And I got to thinking that this is all wrong. 

All I could focus on was the next nightmare on the list from this store I was standing in front of. Iíd have to come back soon for the Slave 1. If not this Target, one of 4 others a day Iíd search until it was secured.

This will go on and on this year. My head swims with the list and it looms over every find, depleting any joy in its discovery. Walmart and their DVD three packs. The remaining OTC, wherever they may show. The second K-mart Cantina. VOTC wave 3; if they ever show, wherever they may show. The Y-wing at TRU. Have to remember to check for the silver Vader, make my list of crap to buy that may actually be on the shelf to meet the give-away requirements. The Jedi Council wonít be complete without those two other exclusive packs. Keep checking for the Holographic Emperor. Hope it arrives in good shape. Got to double check my EBGames account so that Biker Scout is secure. Samís Club should have the Falcon with figures any day now. And on and on.

So there I stand, and there I finally feel abused. I finally, after so many years, have all those thoughts about changing my habits, of maybe being more selective. Iím not having fun; maybe Iíll just quit. Finally itís come to me feeling taken advantage of, here, as I stand, that stupid obsessive consumer Hasbro has in their sights, blindly and faithfully scooping up every pathetic offering that is shoveled my way. Iím being taken for a sucker.

The hunt never was like this before. There was a sense of pride and reward to finding these toys. Today, this is a miserable experience. My enthusiasm is all used up.

This is a problem that is all me and my attitude and my OCD, yes. But Iíve always, before, found consolation in good product, cool toys, as the outcome. Iím not experiencing that now. I really am having a bad time collecting Star Wars right now. Iím not having fun. Fun was the whole point. What the hell happened this year?

So, my question is, does anyone else have this feeling? Who is enjoying the hobby right now, and who isnít?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2004, 11:36 PM »
Yes.† I am having fun.

Of course, I'm not a completist, so I can pass on things like the TRU Darth Vader TIE or the OTC TIE and OTC X-Wing and not feel bad about it.

To tell you the truth, I am loving these vOTC figures.† The giddy feeling I get when I crack open one of these bad boys completely washes away the worried thoughts about how much gas $$ I just shelled out to track them down.

I think I hit "the wall" back during Episode 1 when crap was flying at us a mile a minute.† It was then that I decided to ditch the "buy two of everything" mentality.† I sold off a LOT of my extra carded deluxe figures, Cinema Scenes, boxed vehicles, etc.

I pared down my collection to one of every NEW toy (figures, vehicles, etc) and one of every basic figure MOMC as well.† If it's not NEW, I don't buy it.† This allows me to pass on things like the Wal-Mart DVD sets or the Carry Cases, or the TRU Vader TIE.†

So, yeah.† I am still having fun collecting, but I think every collector goes through the ups and downs.† The best part about collecting is that that next big score might just swing the pendulum back the other way, and you'll be doubting as to why you even though of giving it up!† :)

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Offline jokabofe

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2004, 01:04 AM »
i'm kinda in the same boat as you jared. there are times when i'm glad to find new stuff - but most of it comes from jedimac - i can't remember the last time i found anything new "at retail" with the extremely rare exception of votc vader and yoda last week.

you say you are getting tired of the hunt... starting to hate it. join the club. just the other day, matt asked me if i wanted/needed the new unleashed figures, since he had found a few extras. i said, "yeah sure - why not?" to which he replied, "just let me know if you find them at retail and i won't ship them to you". to which i replied "that would mean i was out looking for them - which i'm not at this time. why should i bust my ass driving around looking for new stuff when i have you to do all the work for me?" (i hope he doesn't mind me relaying our "personal" conversation here† :D ). well, of course, i was joking with him, but it just seems like all the new stuff i've gotten lately has all come from him. don't get me wrong - i still make attempts at hunting. but not like i used to. this also has to a little to do with my living/commuting situation as much as anything. when i lived with my ex-wife, i used to travel about 35 - 40 minutes each way for work. along the way, i would pass 3 targets, 3 toys r us, 2 wal-marts, and a few other places along the way. these were at most a 5 minute detour, with 3 of them actually, literaly on a street that i needed to drive down. so stopping off at one or more of these places daily was a given. now, i work about 10 blocks from my apartment. usually, i walk to work, since parking in my city is damn near impossible. at best, when i have a saturday or sunday off, i might take a drive and hit a store or two, but they usually have nothing. so i've pretty much resorted to getting everything online. if not from matt, then from others on the forums, or... dare i say it... ebay.
so i guess my answer is "no" - i'm not really enjoying this hobby at the moment. maybe when the midnite madness sale hits for episode 3 i'll be a little more into it. but until then, i'll probably feel this way. it begins to feel more like something i "have" to do instead of something i "want" to do. lately, i've been having serious thoughts of stopping this collecting habit... but what would i do with all this extra money† ::)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 02:26 AM »
I'm having fun through the fact that I customize so things I think suck I am at least working on in my mind how I'd go abut changing them.

I know the feeling though.  I was experiencing something similar during Saga.  Lotsa new product and I'd say well beyond 50% of it was crap in my eyes.  Attrocious stuff that a company as big as Hasbro should never have released with a clear conscious while they still utter that they're doing their best.

But, I always look at things thinking what I'll do to fix it...  If I can... 

I rather buy it and say "Not even gonna touch it, it's that good", like the VOTC Han or SA Clone", but alas that's a rarity.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2004, 10:21 AM »
I'm having fun collecting, but at the same time I can understand some of the feelings that you are having as well Ty.  I'm not a completist either, and only occasionally buy two of anything...but at times I do feel a little "overwhelmed" with Star Wars collecting.  There is just so much stuff out there, and the majority of it is "hot", so you really have to hunt for it if you want to find it on your own, at retail.  There are several things that I wouldn't have either if it weren't for the great community here at JD, and we're lucky to have the helpful system we do here.  There are a couple of other lines I have tried to collect as well, outside of Star Wars, and it looks like I might be on the way to cutting those out, at least for the most part.  It is tough enough for me to keep up with Star Wars, both from the aspects of finding the stuff, and finding a way to pay for it.  Don't get me wrong, I like that there are so many cool things out there for Star Wars collectors to get into, but it can be a tad bit overwhelming.  There are areas I just haven't been able to touch, just because it would be more money, more hunting, and in some cases, more of a headache.

I guess I'm someone that "enjoys the hunt" as well, to an extent.  I'm not really someone that can go to the stores each and every day, and usually only check once (maybe twice) per week.  Although I can't complain, and have been lucky enough to find the OTC Dagobah and Bespin waves, as well as 5 of the 6 VOTC currently out at retail...I think being a Star Wars collector really can be trying at times.  I guess I've never been nearly as deep into collecting anything else, so maybe it is similar with other lines, but you really, really have to be on the ball (or have help) to be able to keep up with even the basic areas of Star Wars.  Basic OTC figures are basically not found anywhere in town right now, or maybe 1 hangs on the pegs when I get to the store.  I think you really have to make that trip each day, or every other day, with the chance of finding things.  I know when I have looked for my other occasional collections (Spider-Man, Marvel, LOTR), I don't think I've had nearly the trouble finding things.  I guess that is a testament to Star Wars' popularity, or to their scalp-ability (is that a word?).

Anyways, from one aspect, it is kind of nice to know that other collectors do get these feelings from time to time.  I always hate to see any collector "drop out", but at the same time if it isn't fun, what is the point?  Maybe cutting back is the answer, maybe its quitting altogether.  I think, unless things really get crappy, I will collect at least some part of Star Wars as long as there is something out there to collect...and as long as I have the space, money, and passion for it still.  Sometimes when looking at all my "stuff", it does make me think it is time to cut back somewhat, which I am currently trying to do.  I guess like I said earlier, it is a feeling of being overwhelmed at times.  To be honest, the VOTC (and OTC) line has kind of re-fueled me.  I'm not really picking up the re-hashed figures (except for a few I missed on initially..and haven't found yet), so for the most part I've been hunting for VOTC figs.  On one hand, it is nice because (with what is currently out), I'm basically looking for a VOTC Vader..and that's it.  Also, the carrying cases if I happen to see them (might get a Vader one, never had one as a kid), and a few OTC figures here and there (but those aren't showing up) the search feels better when it is a little more limited.  Then again, now the new Unleashed are starting to show up...and before we know it there will be more VOTC on the horizon as well, so things will get bigger in a hurry.  Also, even if there are only a few things you are looking for, it still seems like you have to have pretty good timing to get what you are looking for.

Anyways, this is much longer than it needs to be, but to answer your question...yeah, I am having fun...but, I can see where a person could feel overwhelmed or burnt out.  Those are the reasons why I have cut out other collectibles, thought about going OT only from time to time (but haven't), and why I maybe get the most joy out of collecting a "limited" collection, such as VOTC, since there is only 12 figures.  Sometimes, it seems like it is neverending...which is good in many ways, but sometimes contributes to the feelings of never being "caught up".  But, at the same time, I don't want it to end yet either ;)  Good luck in your decision on what to do personally, whatever makes you the happiest.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2004, 12:05 PM »
I love the hunt.  There is nothing better than finding stuff at retail.  Not paying shipping costs, not paying customs fees, not being a pain in the ass to any of a number of people at JD.  The adrenaline rush is great.  Finding stuff to send to other people for decent trades is super. 

And it happens about once every three months. 

Canada is a ******* frozen icefield as far as toys go.  For the most part.  The OTC stuff is trickling in, but really, one case assortment, maybe two thus far at retail.  There are no peg warmers, unless the local flea market guy has returned them, unable to turn a profit.  We typically sit somewhere between 3-8 weeks behind US distribution.  Unfortunately, we cannot count on something arriving, even if we are patient.  I've outlined them before, but we have had some major droughts where retailers stopped carrying stuff: last waves of POTF2; missed some early commtech; nothing past Christmas for Ep I, missing not just the final htf waves, but a couple of others as well; Saga - nothing post Djas Puhr; OTC - who knows, same for VOTC.  That tends to suck the life out of you. 

I too am overwhelmed by the amount of product out there.  Much of it I have passed on, losing my OCD some time ago.  Still, I want a complete Jedi Council, but cannot bring myself to pay $35 CAD for each set.  We are being gouged on top of struggling to find product.  Sadly, much of it is not so great. 

To top it all off, trading seems to have died, for the most part.  There are no new, hungry collectors, just a bunch of old, fairly completeist people that need none of my crap.  People only seem to want the htf stuff (reasonable) but unfortunately some want it just to sell.  That's their business, but something not that appealing to me.  I'd much rather help someone out that have that happen. 

Prices falling through the floor also proves frustrating.  Not sure why I should buy anything at retail currently, given that it will likely be about half price in six or so months.  Some stuff I must have, VOTC for example and will pay for that, but others, meh, who cares.  Really, Dagobah Luke is going to be cheap, cheap, cheap and soon.  Yet I paid full retail.  The collector's challenge has proven illuminating as well, to say the least.  I knew I spent lots, but jeez, I have a wife, kid and house.  What the hell am I doing?  You cannot believe the amount of capital I have tied up in stuff in my office that I don't even want now.  It's crazy. 

Nope, too much stuff, too many rehashes and fading interest.  Anyone else think the OTC X-wing sucks crap?
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2004, 12:24 PM »
CHEWIE is still having fun!

I do understand why at times it can be the exact opposite though.  I think a lot of it depends on one's collecting habits... whether one is an opener, MOMC collector, completist, etc.

My salvation is that I am a non-completist opener who customizes all the time.  My favorite thing to do lately after work is to get out my boxes of custom fodder and customize away while I watch the St. Louis Cardinals whip someone's tail and have my wife make me dinner.  Can it get much better than that?

Also, the VOTC figures have totally sparked my interest in Star Wars more than anything Hasbro has put out so far.  These figures are what I have been begging for since 1995.  I am also keeping a carded set, which is a first for me.  The nostalgia factor kicked in on me for the cards, which is the first time I've wanted to keep ANYTHING carded.  But of course this has meant getting many more to open for dioramas/customizing/etc.

Maybe what you need to do is just step back, take a deep breath and consider what it is about your collection that makes you truly happy.  Is it having one of everything; is it having everything mint on card; is it the finacial value of your collection; or is it because you have a unique collection that is displayed to your liking?  Also, if you haven't done it before (even if you are not an opener), try customizing something.  It opens a whole new limitless world into collecting.  Start off simple with a basic boil-pop head swap and then take it from there.

My point is, try to look at yourself and see why you collect, and what it is about the collecting that makes you the most happy.  From day one for me, it has been making dioramas to re-create movie scenes.  For you it may be something similar, or something entirely different.  The same thing happened to me in 1999 when the Episode One toys turned me off a bit.  I got into customizing then, and from then on, it has always kept me interested in the line.

Good luck, and I'm sure you'll find some way to snap out of it!


Offline Ben

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2004, 04:08 PM »
I'm currently on a sabbatical from the hunt, but I keep up with what's going on.
I was in a funk a few weeks ago that snapped as soon as I found a couple OTC Stormtroopers. After that, the finds became a little more frequent, and the hobby felt fun again.  I scored most of the OTC, the first three VOTC, the Gates of Mordor set, and a couple new LOTR figures.

That ended when I decided to move and Toy Biz released Marvel Legends 6. I love the Marvel characters, and I hate Toy Biz. They are now the company that most pisses me off since I don't bother with Mattel product anymore. Why a company would release one of any given figure in a case of 12 is stupidity. (Especially when the movie Punisher eats up 1/4 the case. This line stinks of MOTU.)

So it's kind of a mixed bag for me now. Once I get the Phoenixes and Deadpool, and the newest VOTC figures, I'll be good until the holiday season.
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Offline Darby

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2004, 07:31 PM »
It's more of a hassle than fun nowadays.  I always get excited when I see something new, much less find it, but the sheer volume of it all, plus the prices, plus the short pack/chase BS starts to get to you. 

I agree with Chewie and Jesse, the funnest part now is customizing.  It's a challenge and creative and more and more the focus of my collecting.

Offline JediMAC

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2004, 07:38 PM »
Yep, still having fun. †Definitely.

But knowing Jared as well as I do, I can tell you that his problem is a total and complete lack of patience when it comes to finding every last item possibly available, as soon as it's available. †Hence, not enjoying the hunt.

Me? †I live for the thrill of the hunt. †It's almost like a game to me. †I HAVE TO find EVERYTHING on my own. †Don't seek help from anyone on the boards, don't even take Jared's extras from his EE cases, even though they're readily available to me. †Nope. †I find it, or I wait 'til I can find it. †It takes at least 4 - 6 months of not finding something before I hit the boards looking for assistance.

But the difference between Jared and I is that I AM patient. †My OCD is apparently a bit more mild, whereas I don't need everything the second that it hits. †Granted, I'll be looking for it as soon as reports start popping up, but I don't sweat it if I can't find it right away. †I've learned over the past 9 years, that eventually I'll find everything at retail, with patience.

But I'm fortunate, in that I have a built in toy hunting route that encompasses about 10-15 stores just on my immediate route to/from work/home. †So the fact that I'm not really having to go "out of my way" to make stops helps out a bit. †I know I can get pretty frustrated when I take some of my other larger routes when I'm further behind on stuff, and still come up empty handed, but I don't do those that frequently anymore, so my frustration level stays fairly limited in that respect.

I can probably say that I don't technically enjoy the "toys" as much as I used to though. †Moreso the thrill of staying complete, or at least moving towards completeness. †The rare times that I am complete, I still stick with the thrill of the hunt, but just gear it towards other friends on the board here, and what they need. †If I'm up to date, I'll just hunt for other folks! † ;)

What's becoming tougher and tougher for me though, is the growing desire to expand my collecting focuses. †I've recently finally delved into the Unleashed line, and am adding the WOTC miniatures, GG bust-ups, and MR mini sabers as they start to trickle out now and in the near future. †So that's already adding a serious burden to the collecting chores, and especially dollars. †But I'm at odds with myself as to whether I want to take it a step further and start getting the GG busts (OT only), and possibly even getting back into the Code 3 diecast ship line (no comments please!). †Then there's all the MR FX lightsabers that I've fallen behind on.

So basically, what's hard (and not fun) for me, is wanting to have EVERYTHING. †At this point, I'm closing in on collecting pretty much everything except the MR props, and the $5,000 mannequins (Vader, Fett, etc). †Those are really the last couple things on my "if I win the lottery, I'd buy..." list. †Other than that, I think I'm getting it ALL now. †So that's where my OCD has taken me. †Ugh.

Collecting Prequel stuff isn't all that fun for me though, so we'll have to see how it goes come next year, with the glut of Ep. 3 product hitting the shelves. †The non-movie years always seem to be more enjoyable, that's for sure.

But the figure collection, and the hunt, I still greatly enjoy. †The beauty of the OTC line makes it a little easier right now though. †Some of the rehashes though (like the vehicles) grind on my nerves pretty bad, when I "have to" buy them to stay complete. †That's not fun. †But the rest, it still is.

But I can definitely vouch for the fact that Jared isn't enjoying stuff as much lately, especially hunting. †The agitated phone calls from his fruitless runs always brighten my day... † :P †(kidding, J) †I make some of those calls to him too though.

But having forum friends with in here to vent with is always fun though, and therapeutic, right?! † 8) †I should probably shut up now. †End novel.

Offline Mike16

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2004, 07:03 AM »
I am enjoying collecting this year. Theres some great stuff coming out and it has to be one of the best designed lines that Hasbro have released. Also, the quality of the new figures, eg Dagobah Wave, are excellent. Its almost like POTJ all over again. My onyl gripe with the OTC is some of the rehashes. Some are so old that they don't look good enough nowadays and some are so new that they were only released a few months ago on a Saga card.

But overall, its been a good period for collecting. Had some good chances to fill a few holes in the collection.

Offline Infamy Of Crete

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2004, 10:50 AM »
Since OTC I have been totally into my collecting, however, I'm currently taking a mini hiatus so I don't burn out I'm current on everything so I'm not looking until i'm sure some new stuff hits the streets.
I really enjoy collecting the OTC line I think I'll be juiced about the new ROS line but probably not as juiced as I am about OTC.


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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2004, 03:58 PM »
Thanks for everyone sharing their take on things, I think I have a lot better perspective now with a few days to digest and slow my pace from a frantic pursuit of figures. I envy you guys that have the control to not go completist on things or see it all with a more level head. I'm glad I'm not alone on some of my concerns and happy to see some others are getting a lot more out of the year for the positive, too.

Like Matt said, I'm definitely impatient, but I also have this nasty tendency to go into full pursuit mode when I know I've just missed something. I just didn't let up on my search after finding two Vaders last week, but not Yoda. I went hell-bent to track him down. No patience, that's for sure. I'd probably make a great US Marshal though.  ;)

So, a little more chilled out and after sitting down and looking over my OTC stuff, I thought some more about it, and saw the positives again. I really do dig the OTC stuff, like the new figures, and I love the packaging. On the whole I really like the VOTC, too. I'll even concede that the rehash figures in the standard line that are repainted are pretty neat, all things considered.

Hopefully I can just try to be a little mellower about the rehash exclusives that have me so wound up. Those are the things that are annoying me the most this year. There's just too many I don't like.

I'm pretty much in the same situation like jokabofe mentioned, that I don't have a route anymore to hunt while en-route to anywhere, so if I go on a hunt, it's exclusively for just that - searching. So I'll probably be forever frustrated by that aspect, so should keep a level headed perspective on it and just stick to my EE orders, JediMAC criticism be damned!  :-*

So maybe I'm back on the road to enjoying this whole hobby again.  :)

Offline Paul

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2004, 05:05 PM »
I was REALLY enjoying collecting when I got the first VOTC's. 

Then the case assortments started getting jacked with. 

Then the guy at Comic Con told us basically that it was too bad so sad if there were only 1 Stormtrooper to every 100 Obi-Wans.

Then they messed with the Case Assortments again.

Then they announced that 2005 is the year of the PREQUELS and to look for Original Trilogy Stuff maybe in 2006.

Then they said, 2005 is the year of the Action Feature again.

So my fear is that the VOTC Stormtrooper will be what POTF2 Death Star Trooper was for me...the reason to stop collecting and move onto to another genre.

So right now I am enjoying it, but Come November IF and when I get my 4-6 Stormtroopers, I will be done till 2006. 

Offline Snively Bandar

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Re: Are you having fun collecting?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2004, 05:57 PM »
I think it's always fun!  Granted, at times it can get more challenging and/or frustrating, but that's just part of the hobby and you have to accept that.  We all know that we're not going to score on every toy hunt we make, or get every exclusive right off the bat for cheap.  Things like that are what keep the challenge alive, and it's that challenge that keeps you on the edge of your collecting seat and adds drama and fun to the hobby, in my opinion.

What was Tom Hanks quote in A League of Their Own, in regards to playing baseball?

It's supposed to be hard, otherwise everyone would be doing it!  The hard is what makes it fun.

Or something to that effect.  Same holds true for me when it comes to Star Wars collecting!   8)