31 March 2011
Why do you collect?
Image from an earlier post (and no those are not my stuff)
"Why do you collect this sort of stuff?"
Assuming one is into anime-, manga-, or game-related media, it is likely that s/he buys and collects items related to them too, be it figures, models, cards, CDs/DVDs/BDs, or many other things. Some may have just collected a small handful of them, while others may have the majority of their rooms filled with such hobby items.
So someone or even yourself may ask you, "Why do you collect them?". What would you say?
The things we collect, aka collectibles or collectables, are (as Wikipedia defines it) any objects regarded as being of value or interest to a collector.
What we may feel interested towards something can be anything like "we like the character from XYZ", or even simply "I like the appearance".
As for value, this can be quite subjective too depending on what type of "value" one is perceiving on the object of interest. This can be play value (fun?), quality/finish, or perhaps even monetary value that one may consider investing so that he can resell for a profit in the future.
So we all have all sorts of reasons to collect.
But then there are people who would question their existance. There are increasing number of voices saying that hobby has more and more been regarded as business driven, where it is sometimes viewed that collectibles have been manufactured for the sake of being collected driven by other media, with demands artificially created like bottled water. Or more seriously, wherever there is new stuff and is popular, people will follow without thinking for themselves. While this is not exactly the subject of talk in this post, it is something worth thinking about too.
Image from Radiant Dreamer
In fact, this post has somewhat been inspired by two other posts: Why Do You Buy ???? from Radiant, and Should I Open My Toy? from LEon. While what I am saying here may not seem as deep as what the others have written (I do get easily intimidated I must admit, and at the same time I do humbly recommend reading these two posts), but I want to put it in a positive way and look back on what we enjoy doing.
So you may ask, why do I collect?
Well, everyone has his own story. Mine is nothing glamourous, but here it is:
This may surprise a few who are not familiar with me, but I am actually a small enthusiast for German WWII tanks, or many other things WWII-related. It's still one of my earliest and most passionate hobby, but it's not something I talk about very often on my blog or even on my twitter page (only not to confuse people too much). To me, these miniatures do represent the vehicles in real life and history, and each of them have their own stories to tell: why they are made, how they performed, and how they made an impact. It's a bit like going through history and relic museums but miniaturised while you link the little puzzle pieces together to make a bigger image in your head. This picture comes from one of my early posts on my 1/144 tank collection. This also brings in my interest to building 1/144 scale Gunpla (Gundam models) and also collecting some N Scale miniatures (for diorama purposes).
While I did get myself briefly into Gundam very partially during childhood, it was only a few years ago some friends brought me back into anime, as well as Gundam, so this got me back into Gunpla as well. Speaking of anime, I probably will consider taking part in Nopy's "My History With Anime" project, but it will take some time. While I have been a fan of some Gundam units, given my enthusiasm for military stuff I tend to have a big tendancy to lean for the grunt units (and get multiple units to make teams of them), even though most are depicted as cannon fodders in various series... ^^;
... And I have made notorious examples before, like these Balls ^^;
And last but not least, being the latest kind of hobby I've delved into, bishoujo figures. The motivations behind getting them is quite shadllow I'd admit - I simply like the character in the series I have watched or if some unusual cases, I just like the appearance of the figure. While I personally prefer articulated ones so I can pose them however I like (and I do like having interactions with toys rather than a static piece), it is not one that will take firm, solid grounds compared to my other hobbies I'd say.
But I might have started to digress. To put it simply, I enjoy what I collect. It's that simple.
I do want to become more open-minded, but this does mean I am slowly becoming a bit too open to temptations from new stuff... ^^; Space and money are always the restrictive factors no matter how much you like something, or like collecting something.
And of course there's also a possibility that you may collect so much stuff but you don't get to enjoy them all, or feel that you don't seem to enjoy them as much as you used to.
Funny enough I am one of the guys who are really quite reluctant to let go off my stuff. While it doesn't happen all the time, I do take a lot of decisions whether I really want this particular something or not, and whether I will continue to appreciate it or not. It's not exactly easy to do with so much new stuff coming at you nowadays.
Image from Ngee Khiong Ex
But bottom of the line, a hobby is meant to be enjoyed, so while we may have different interests or ways to collect them, we should (IMHO) simply enjoy what we buy. This reminds me of a phrase that Ngee Khiong has mentioned in his Ex blog shortly after he stops his main blog: "買得開心, 玩得開心" (Buy Happily, Play Happily). Certainly a phrase I would like to go by.
... Or am I just trying to be a bit too optimistic against the dark clouds of what is ahead of me?