Walking down the aisles at Target during the #ForceFriday sales there was something wrong. Last time when a new Star Wars movie came out and there were new figures on the shelf, I was full of excitement and walking around with a list of figures that I wanted to buy.
This time it was different. I just did not feel the same excitement as I did back in those days. I walked back and forth a few times and questioned what I was doing here. Yeah, I had a few figures in my head that I wanted to buy and bought them, but it just didn't feel the same anymore.
You see when I was younger and lived at home with my parents, I was that kid you see in the stores nowadays. I was grabbing two or three figures and putting them in my cart. I bought that many with the intention of opening one, saving one and selling the third. I would go to stores when I did not have money and if I saw something I wanted I would grab it and hide it in another part of the store to buy later.
Yeah, now that I think about it I was kind of being a jerk to those that wanted to buy the toys to play with or to put in their collection. I mean I wasn't heartless. I once gave a kid standing in the same aisle as me a Chewbacca Shadows of the Empire figure that I was holding, because I saw him looking at it and I decided I will buy it another day. So I did do some good things while I was feeding my growing obsession.
Why did I buy so many figures? Why did I need so many figures?
Well, I guess one of the reasons is that I had them when I was little. I still remember opening the Death Star playset on Christmas Eve and the countless hours I spent having Luke swing across the retracted walkway. I also had fun turning the blue knob and "squeezing" my figures in the trash compactor. I guess I just wanted to relieve those days and escape reality for a few hours in a galaxy far, far away.
I remember when we moved to a new house, the box that had my Rebel Transport spaceship with all my figures and few odds and ends stuff went missing. All those hours of playing with my figures gone. I remember being sad about it because they were gone and I just could not go to a local Toys R Us and buy new ones. Star Wars toys were not on the shelves anymore.
When the Star Wars line was relaunched and all the figures looked like they had been working out I said to myself that I had to have them. This was just the continuation of my obsession with collecting Star Wars figures.
Flashforward to many years later and many figures, vehicles, statues and props bought. It came to a point that most of the stuff I had ended up being put in storage because I had run out of room for them. At one point I remember purging half of my collection. It took me awhile to get someone to buy them for near the price I was asking for, but once they were gone I felt a bit relieved.
|My Master Replica Yoda Lightsaber|
while everything just sits in boxes in a storage unit.
Most of the time these days I try to sell the items I have, but it is a little harder than I thought it would be. On forums and online groups, you usually get people that want to trade with you or they just "like" the picture about the items that are posted. I did a toy show, sold a few items and decided that that might be the better option than selling them online.
I have brought home a few things for my kids to play with, because that was one of the end goals of this collecting: to pass them down to my kids. The things I have bought home have brought a few hours of joy in them and that makes me feel good to see them played with.
Maybe now that I am older and have priorities the thought of buying every single figure that was released on Force Friday just does not appeal to me. I know my daughter has some figures that she would like after seeing the trailers a few times, but we will get them when we get them.
Collecting figures used to be a big passion of mine, but seeing the greed and scalping of figures has taken the joy away. While I am excited for the release of the new Star Wars movie in December, the excitement for collecting new figures has seemed to wane.
Who knows, maybe when my kids are older, I'll experience that joy again through their eyes.