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[3mo] Reflections on Collecting

freshringofreshringo7 days agoDiary
Greetings, everyone! It's been about 3 months now since I've started collecting, so I wanted to reflect on what I've learned and experienced so far, as well as share a few pictures of my collection. It'll probably be a bit ramble-y and disorganized, but I hope it will be interesting! (ノ´ з `)ノ

My collection has grown even more since the last time I posted a month ago (blog/35147), and you can certainly see some new additions, as well as how I've run out of space to display them!

http://i66.tinypic.com/2gws18g.jpg
▲ Display case, with a few more figures un-displayed on the side as well as stored elsewhere.

http://i67.tinypic.com/313onpi.jpg
▲ Even more figures, purchased at the Kotobukiya US warehouse sale! (The ones crossed out don't belong to me haha)
As you can see, in just a short 3 months span, I've acquired around 35-40 figures, not to mention all the pre-orders I have. That's more than 10 figures a month!! For those curious, I've spent about $4500 so far. I am very fortunate that my job allows me to afford these spending habits, but I think there are still many places I can improve my mentality to avoid overspending. 〣( ºΔº )〣

So I wanted to go over how my collecting mentality changed from the beginning of my collecting to present day! I hope some of this might be useful to other collectors like me, who are struggling to keep their wallet in tact. ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

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MONTH ONE

When I first began collecting, I was very excited to explore all the figures available to me! But I was also a bit more cautious of the price and over-spending. You can really see this in the pictures of my collection after one month from my first blog post (blog/34906).

I operated under three main rules when buying:
(1) The character must be from a series that I watched, played, etc., and they must be someone I liked a lot.
(2) The figure must be a scale, no smaller than 1/8.
(3) No more than 2 figures per character.

I made a couple exceptions here and there regarding size (Nendoroid/Chibi-Arts figures), but they were so cheap (under $20) that I didn't really mind. ( ̄▽ ̄*)ゞ

MONTH TWO
The whole reason I began collecting figures was because they were beautiful pieces of art of my favorite characters/shows, which is why I predominantly buy scales. However, I started finding more and more figures that I liked artistically, but were of unfamiliar characters or characters that I didn't really have strong feelings for. In my second month blog (blog/35147), you can see how my collection exploded!

(1) The sculpt/pose/painting of the figure must be aesthetically pleasing.
(2) The figure must be a scale, no smaller than 1/8.
(3) No more than 2 figures per character, unless they look significantly different (i.e. different Miku costumes).

I bought some figures of characters that I sort of liked, often simply because they looked nice or were the only figures from the series available. For example, while I loved Kamina in TTGL (ITEM #540469), I didn't really care that much about Nia -- but I got her simply because I liked the base and design of her figure (ITEM #142642)! Similarly, I wasn't a huge fan of Fremy from Rokka (ITEM #396992) -- I much prefer Nashetania -- but since there is no Nashetania figure and Fremy's figure is quite nice, I bought her anyway. In retrospect, I wouldn't say I regret purchasing them, but they aren't exactly top-shelf figures for me. ( ̄▽ ̄*)ゞ

I'm glad to say that I was at least able to control myself from buying too many figures of unfamiliar characters. In November, Crow from Show By Rock (ITEM #463570) and Alisa from God Eater Burst (ITEM #164557) were the only figures I bought where I was not very familiar with the source material (watched little bit of their respective animes). But these two have absolutely stunning sculpts and easily earned spots in my upper shelves as you can see from photos in the previous blog, so in the end, it was worth it!


MONTH THREE
By now, I had become somewhat numb to the total amount I'd spent, but still quite sensitive to the price and rarity of each figure. My rules had now become:
(1) The sculpt/pose/painting of the figure must be aesthetically pleasing.
(2) The figure must be a scale, no smaller than 1/8.
(3) No more than 2 figures per character, unless they look significantly different (i.e. different Miku costumes).
(4) If the price is extremely good AND/OR the figure is very rare, grab it!!

This new rule led to buying many figures that I...probably didn't need to buy. I went to the KotoUS Warehouse sale, where Kotobukiya was selling many figures for $20 a piece! You can see my entire haul below cost only $125!
http://i63.tinypic.com/2hog3te.jpg
But of this, there were only 3 that I really cared about --Akira (ITEM #77885), Shiki (ITEM #77886), and Taiga (ITEM #40568). These three were on my wishlist, but I didn't want them enough to ever buy them for the average market price -- so it was good that I got them so cheap! But the others I really didn't want besides the fact that... they were so cheap! As such, they'll probably sit in storage or be sold/given away eventually...

I even started buying a few prize figures, which I'd previously avoided due to quality concerns, simply because they were absurdly cheap on AmiAmi pre-owned. That was a mistake -- the shipping cost for them ended up almost as much as the figures themselves and overall they just...weren't worth it. So I learned a valuable lesson there to better control myself in the face of cheap prices... ( ̄ヘ ̄)

✪ ✪ ✪

You can see here my spreadsheet for figure collecting (orange lines are pre-orders):
http://i65.tinypic.com/2agjghu.png
It's a scary number of figures for three months! (And there are even more that I've added in the last 24 hours that aren't pictured...)

Here are a couple tricks/exercises I used to prevent myself from impulsively buying a ton of figures!

Watch the Source Material!
One good tip/procedure I developed was making an effort to investigate the source material of any figures I wanted to collect before I committed to buying. This saved me from spending anything at all when it came to the Black Rock Shooter figures! They're extremely flashy and cool looking, so of course I added them to my wishlist early on. But after sitting down and watching the anime, I was able to remove them all because I didn't like the anime at all and looking at the figures afterwards made me feel mostly disgust/annoyance at having wasted an entire evening binging the (imo) horrible source material. (눈_눈) (Apologies to any BRS fans lol ◡‿◡ I still like the original MV!)

This tactic also helped motivate me to watch a few series that I'd never gotten around to -- such as the Fate series! I'd never been able to get through Fate/Stay Night, but since I found a couple pretty Fate figures, I decided to watch Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works. Happy to say that I definitely enjoyed both and was able to justify adding various Fate figures to my wishlist. (´。• ᵕ •。`) ♡

Let it Sit
Although it's difficult, I often let a figure sit for 12-24 hours before buying it. I think very hard about how I would feel if I came back and the figure was out of stock. In some cases, this gives me anxiety that it'll be sold and I check on it obsessively throughout the day (lol) -- so this is a good sign that I really want the figure. I'll never forget my ultimate sorrow when I found Megahouse's Lavi (ITEM #518142) preowned on AmiAmi and then accidentally forgot to checkout my cart and lost him. 。・゚゚*(>д<)*゚゚・。 I moped around for a few days straight! But this experience confirmed that it was a figure I really liked.

On the other hand, if losing a figure doesn't bother me too much, I know it's probably not one that I really care about, and I'll reconsider whether I want to buy it. This is a good tactic to let myself wait and see whether my desire to purchase the figure was spur of the moment and impulse.

Pre-Order Control and Buying Pre-Owned
Pre-orders are a nightmare for me because I have huge FOMO (fear of missing out). When I see a figure I might kind of want, but am not sure about on pre-order, a little voice in the back of my mind tells me to go ahead and pre-order it in case it becomes an after-market nightmare in price.

I usually ask myself whether I would still buy the figure if it were $50 or $100 more in the aftermarket. Sometimes, the answer is "absolutely, yes", so I'll pre-order the figure. In most other cases, I don't bother pre-ordering, especially if the figure is very popular since the after-market will have a good number of figures available. A good example of this is the CCS Stars Bless You figure (ITEM #396841), which I was sorely tempted to pre-order (and am relieved I didn't after seeing the shipping costs). It popped up a lot on pre-owned sites for decent prices, and I was actually able to grab it locally for a good price.

Some people are a bit more impulsive when it comes to pre-orders and rely on the ability to cancel them later, but I try not to do that. (´。• ᵕ •。`)

I also almost always try to buy pre-owned instead of new. I've never had an issue, especially from AmiAmi, and I've gotten some very good discounts because of this.

Collecting For Yourself
I am easily influenced by other collectors/friends. If many people rave about how much they love a figure or how rare it is, I often feel more interested in obtaining it. For example, the Boku no Hero Academia Deku figure from Banpresto (ITEM #379999) is quite pricey now at $100+ in the aftermarket, due to the popularity of the series and the relative rarity of the figure. When I found out December's $25 LootCrate Anime included the figure, I had my mouse hovering on the purchase button almost immediately. But when I stopped to think about it, I didn't even want the figure and I had no intention of reselling it or anything. So why was I even thinking of buying it? (⇀‸↼‶) Simply because it was "rare" and "a good deal"!

Similarly, there were a few figures on my wishlist that were there because they were popular in the community -- the Ultimate Madoka figure (ITEM #98665) is a good example. I didn't even like Madoka very much as a character, nor did I love the show (sorry to any fans!). This figure was on my wishlist simply because "everyone else wants it" and it looked kind of cool. ( ̄□ ̄」)

It can be very easy to get caught up in group hype over a new figure or a popular character so it's important to take time and re-center myself on why I'm collecting! (︶︹︺) I'm not buying to make a profit by selling them later -- so buying random figures for cheap is not my goal. I'm also not buying to amass a huge collection just to have a huge collection -- so buying lots of prize figures and such is not for me either. I'm also not trying to collect a ton of rare or expensive figures for bragging rights -- although many of the figures I like turn out to be rare/expensive (lol). I'm buying figures that are really beautiful pieces of art and are meaningful to me in some way! So it's important to consider whether a figure fits that description before buying. (︶‿︺)

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Ahhh, that was rather long. I'm looking to move to a new apartment since I changed jobs, so hopefully I will find one soon and set up my second detolf to house all my new figures. They're sadly sitting in their boxes for now. (─‿‿─); I think the detolfs will look much better once I'm able to space out the figures and not squeeze a bunch on each shelf! I'm also looking forward to organizing the shelves to have more coherent themes rather than the "wherever things fit to maximize space" set-up I have right now!

I'll be sure to take some photos and make another post when I find a new place. ٩(。•́‿•̀。)۶ Thank you for reading!
626 hits • 20 comments

Comments20 comments

2pt
I also bought way too many figures at first, but once I got the ones I really wanted (and ran out of space) I started to slow down considerably.

Now I kinda figured out what I want to collect and think a lot longer if I really want/need each individual figure, before I buy them.

I also like buying pre-owned figures, because there's no worry of reducing their value when taking them out of the box and you can already see any flaws from images.
6 days ago
2pt
Wow I started collecting 3 months ago too. But I have not nearly as many figures. I can totally relate to you, I am as easily influenced by others and I have thrown my good intentions of having a "plan" over board after the first month too. :-) If I read a great review of a figure here the exitement is infective and suddenly I want that figure too. But I have restrained myself (and it was not easy) because I want to move soon and packing a lot of delicate figures is a nightmare in my opinion... ;-)
6 days ago
0pt
And it's not like the money is instanly gone because most figure's hold on to their value decently :)
6 days ago
1pt
Solarstormflare (6 days ago) #29453166
I'm glad you enjoyed it! And you're welcome for the Deku! I responded to your comment on the item page, but here it is again:

Just check out their website and it should explain how things work -> www.lootcrate.c...

Basically you have the option of buying just one month's crate for slightly higher unit price than a subscription. As far as I know, it's guaranteed to have him in it, but you may want to try reaching out to the site's support team to be absolutely sure. Hope that helps and hope you can get him! > w <

ipwnboyz (6 days ago) #29453950
Haha, I am trying really hard to not to buy anything that I would be easily able to part with later on! I'm sure we will see ^^

SanAndreas (6 days ago) #29456443
You know, I thought I would slow down after buying a bunch that I really liked, but I keep discovering more...and pre-orders come out... T_T it's a never ending cycle!

If you have the funds, go for it! My philosophy is that money exists to help make your life better in whatever forms that might be! There are some people who would choose to spend thousands of dollars on a fancy trip, or a bunch of electronic gadgets. I chose to spend it on plastic figures (lol). Whatever makes you happy!

Ceci (6 days ago) #29458760
Hehe... I might try to sell her later on, but for now I think she's rather pretty so I'm holding on to her. :3c

I'll be sure to upload more pictures in the future! Thanks for the comment! ^^
6 days ago
2pt
First of all... gimme your Sakuya Cerulean mode.


Good to see that you have taken steps to control your purchases a lot more and you are collecting for the enjoyment.


You should upload your photos to MFC. Worry not about your camera and your skills. Just fun to share.
6 days ago
2pt
3 month's for all that....
I suggest you slow it down a bit because at this rate you will get sick of the hobby within no time XD
or run out of space ;p
Im not sure if it's just me but i appreciate the figure's allot more when i haven't bought one in a long time, and then finally getting a new one that i have been seeking.
I actually kinda envy the "trigger happy" type because even though i could spend my money like that, my brain just won't let me :/
This might sound pretty stupid but seeing the amount you have spend really make's me want to buy a Kawasaki Ninja 300 XD, considering it cost's less and it's really nice motorcycle.
6 days ago
1pt
Wow, this sums up pretty much my experience as a collector as well, but beware the 'selling phase' like others have mentioned. If you ever run out of space, or change your mind overtime, those 'only aesthetically pleasing' or 'everyone have it' figures will be the first to hit the shipping boxes. Or maybe not? Only time will tell.
6 days ago
1pt
I emphasize with everything you said so much! Looks like we had similar sorts of journeys. Also thanks so much for the heads up about the deku figure! I'd given up on ever getting him for a decent ish price! Do you know how the loot crate thing works? Is it guaranteed to have him in it for December? I love the Lavi figure so much too lol, he's my fave
6 days ago
1pt
Tiamat26 (7 days ago) #29438209
Thank you for the warm welcome! ( ´ ▽ ` ) Yes, I didn't think I would start collecting 1/6, and now I have a couple of them!

I'm glad you understood the fresh apple of my name ^^

marseille (7 days ago) #29439242
Haha, I think it is terminal >_<;; (for my wallet)

I love buying pre-owned! It gives you many more options, and most reputable stores don't have much issue with quality. I recently started buying from Japanese stores using proxies...that's a whole new world for me and my wallet!

hicks16 (6 days ago) #29440250
I regularly browse AmiAmi preowned and have to stop myself from buying tons of figures that are just pretty or cheap. ( ˙꒳​˙; ) It's so difficult to control the impulse buying! Hopefully we can both be stronger in the future ; w;'' lol for the sake of our wallets!

blueberrywaifu (6 days ago) #29440913
Thank you! I love the P&S figures -- they go together so well and they're very well made (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚ I can't wait until I have more space and I can give them a better display!

The KotoUS sale was really great @A@ I wasn't even near the beginning of the line (20 or so ahead of me) so I'm sure I missed out on some great stuff. In particular, I saw someone with Sakura (ITEM #236143), which goes for $100+ in the aftermarket for only $20 there...very jealous haha. Although I can't complain since I did get stuff I like! ^^;

Thanks for the comment and the kind words!

RedHapa (6 days ago) #29442853
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ I think we all go through the same struggles when collecting haha. I think your philosophy is very wise! I agree that the most important pieces in my collection to me are the ones of characters I really liked. ^^ Good luck with your scale collecting! They can be dangerous lol @A@
6 days ago
3pt
I like your reflection, really relatable :p. I used to collect figmas about 3 years ago. I recently got back into collecting and specifically scale collecting. I sold most of my figmas. I have a decent income as a paid engineer intern, but these recent 2 months I have been blowing money on scale figures. Like you said it becomes pretty addictive when browsing through all the unique and beautiful figures. I think the best rule to live by is to only buy characters that truly have some place in your heart. It makes it easy to reminisce when looking at a character you like versus something that just looks pretty. This makes it safer for your wallet and saves space!
6 days ago
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