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November 2019: What were the best years to be a collector?November 2019: What were the best years to be a collector?

I have been watching a lot of 80's and 90's Scifi lately and found myself thinking about the times when things were fun and enjoyable.


Finding that the more I look at what I enjoy the most and the more I keep going back to collecting the original series that got me started on this hobby the more I focus on what years were the absolute best for collecting and it feels like the years between 2002-2006 were the best years for collecting Anime because a lot of the series I really like were still new and a lot of merchandise were coming out for those series.


The fanbases back then were still decent to interact with and this Hobby felt fun and enjoyable to do and it was a great time to share your passion and joy for it and you didn't have to feel like you'd be hated for being happy about things related to those series.

I started collecting Anime with Mobile Suit Gundam, a recent return to collecting Gundam and watching the Gundam series reminds me of how great it was to be a fan of those series in the early 2000's because the Gundam series were on Toonami and there was a lot of discussion about it then.


Now things have gotten to where it's a lot of constant complaining and re-releasing older items is the common thing with the Mobile Suit Gundam series, older model kits get re-released every few years and the one thing that doesn't get re-released or reissued are the Gundam Action Figures.

My descent into collecting Anime started with the Gundam Deluxe Action figures that could be found at stores like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and Toys R Us or Kay Bee Toys in the mall and I didn't have to do a lot of online shopping to get them so I really enjoyed collecting that line and it was fun to collect.

The new Gundam Universe figures remind me of those days since I'm still surprised from seeing those figures in Walgreens and it had me thinking about the last time I saw Gundam in regular stores.


For years my focus with collecting has been Gundam, Star Wars, and Transformers.

The Star Wars fandom has gotten to where I am happy not to have anything to do with it and the toyline has gotten to where I'll only focus on the Black Series but I remember when the Power of the Force line came out in 95 and for most of the 90's I was a Star Wars fan and Collector so I know I'll never stop collecting Star Wars entirely and it feels like the best year for collecting was just after the SAGA line and the 30th anniversary line started in 2007-2008 up those were amazing figures and Kotobukiya was putting out a lot of neat Star Wars Statues so that was a fun time to collect and be a fan of Star Wars.


Transformers I have been into on and off over the past 2 decades since starting collecting that with Beast Wars and Robots in Disguise late 90's early 2000's and the best times to me were during the Unicron Trilogy [Armada,Energon, Cybertron] since there were so many amazing figures released it was fun to hunt those up and the Transformers fandom was still pretty decent at the time so the early 2000's up to 2006 were the best time to me to be a fan of Transformers.


I started with Action Figures,I am happy to collect those and they give off some good nostalgia to me and have me always thinking about what were the best times for those series over the past 20 years and I wish that things could be better now with Anime but with it always being so expensive even figures for Gundam are getting to where they can be expensive and now I feel like getting those when they are on sale.


I've been collecting almost 30 years and lately collecting isn't that fun with the way fanbases have gotten so I feel like there is a time limit on the collecting hobby some days since it gets tiresome pretty quickly to see the same old complaints and feel the same way about the hobby to where you don't feel much for it.



I miss the exciting and happy days of collecting.





What were the best years to you?

How long have you been collecting?
454 hits • 11 comments

Comments11

Selected Comments
12pt
From a price and quality standpoint, 2012-2015 seem to be the best years to be a collector, imo. Since then, although quality for some brands certainly has seen improvements, the ever sky-rocketing prices today has far overshot the average collector's ability to enjoy their hobby without having to constantly make tough decisions.
12 days ago
Recent Comments
2pt
2002 to 2003 was when something inside me clicked and I realised I was a collector. Everything was so much harder to get back then, and I enjoyed hunting for Transformers in bricks and mortar stores, as well as meeting up with dealers to purchase new items.

2013 was when I started to bolster my collection of anime figures though. With quality improving drastically and so much coming out sub 10,000yen, my 3rd trip to Japan hunting in Akiba was a wonderful experience.
11 days ago
3pt
For me, it's between 2007 and 2013. I think that time was the perfect balance between quality and price. It's not that figures before this time weren't any good, but I think this is the time scales really started expanding and you started getting higher quality and a larger variety of figures (i.e. not just cute girls getting figures) while still not having to pay an arm and a leg. Prices did start to creep up around 2010, but they didn't get insane until 2013-2014. Sure, you can get far more ambitious figures today than back then (i.e. you'd never get something like this in 2007: ITEM #907280), but I think the hobby was more accessible than today and manufacturers didn't abuse the limited and exclusive tag. I miss limited scales costing a mere $120.

Also on a personal note, as a One Piece POP collector, 2010 to 2014 was a golden age for the line where you got so many new characters and Megahouse upped their quality a lot. Now POPs are still really beautiful, but are mostly rehashes of the same old characters. You're lucky to get even one new character a year.
11 days ago
4pt
In terms of scale figures, I think right now is a great time with the increase in quality and the wide variety of stuff to choose from (aside from Alter's stuff which is just ridiculously priced). I would say the same goes for Nendos- I miss when they were under 4000 JPY but the recent stuff looks great albeit light on accessories (looking at the Hunter x Hunter ones... which I ordered anyways)

Now... figmas? Post-2014 I probably wouldn't get one unless I REALLY loved the character. I don't really think they're worth over 4500 JPY when they are usually pretty lackluster with accessories. The recent ones don't even look better than how they looked 5-6 years ago lol.

I do miss trading figures a lot though. I feel like they've declined in the past 3 years but I feel like they were affordable and a nice way to collect all the characters of your favorite series. I'm specifically thinking about the Nendoroid Petit and the One Coin lines, which were both high quality and really cute!
12 days ago
3pt
This year has been one of my best times to be into collecting.

As a kid I had all the passion and none of the money. As a young adult I had no passion and no money. Right now I've got a renewed passion, a little money, and a hint of responsibility. I can't buy everything I want, but I can usually manage one or two frivolous presents to myself each month. That'll drop down to one every few months when I start saving money more seriously next year, but for now it's an utter delight to open the mailbox and find a new figure or piece of doll furniture waiting for me.
12 days ago
2pt
I started in 2011 I believe, around the time I got seriously into anime.
It was all fun and games until 2015 or 2016.
Went through a tokusatsu craze, watching almost all old heisei rider shows.
Bought SHFs of all the characters I remotely liked or looked cool, ordered figs in fours.
Suddenly I was left with nothing but tacky neo heisei shows, THEN bandai decided to make you pay for webshop only releases when you place the order and I had to blow all my savings on spot for half a year worth of figs. It took two years to recover from that.
Meanwhile the price hike kicked in, while I was able to afford 4 or 5 figures a month back then, I started going over budget with only 2. Now I'm happy if I can buy a single action figure and I don't go over 100 bucks while doing so...
But nevermind that, because the industry as a whole stopped offering toys aimed at me.
No more anime products. It's all western IPs or mobage stuff now.
If you don't like the following: MHA, SAO, FGO, DBZ, Star Wars, Marvel, misc video games including nintendo ones and P5, or Miku, you're shafted when it comes to action figures.
Funny how I'd be willing to buy into these still if they made those sacred few characters.
fate: Shuten, Raikou. SW: Shaak Ti, Grievous. Marvel: Spiderman 2099, Black Cat. Game: Shin Megami Tensei, and Devil May Cry characters.
In the end I buy 1 or 2 figs every second month and pay the same price I did for 4 figs, just 3 years back. I don't like it one bit but by now I gave up hoping that the prices would normalize.
12 days ago
2pt
I bought my first figure in 2015, at my first convention. I didn’t start properly collecting until January of this year and I like that I started this year. I’m old enough to make responsible decisions whereas if I started collecting back in 2015 I think I would have blown all my money. I couldn’t start any earlier because I’m only 17 so, I’m not gonna say I wish I had started collecting sooner because I wouldn’t have been mature or handled figures well.
However, a lot of figures I missed out on were back in 2012 so I wish they had come out later but a lot of really nice figures have come out this year so I can’t complain.
I started off well and will hopefully build up a nice collection on the years to come.
12 days ago
3pt
i bought my first anime figure in 2013 or 2014. i wish i had been more active and understanding of how to purchase and where to purchase back then! 2012 seems like it would have been a great year for me to start ... or actually wait let's say 2008 would have been awesome to start, but due to my age it wouldn't have been any use, so i'll just say that i'm glad to have started when i did :D
12 days ago
2pt
Between 2008 and sometime before 2012
Around 2013/14 you say toy companies realize the "kidult" audience was outgrowing the child segment so they took it as an opportunity to jack the prices through the roof.
Plus let's face it the quality of figures is now starting to go into free fall while the price keeps rising.
12 days ago
1pt
I only got my first figure in 2016 and only really started collecting figures in december 2017 so I don't really have that much time to pick from. However the oldest figure I own is from 2010 and I'm not really interested in a lot of older figures because I generally prefer newer anime over older ones. It probably wouldn't have made too much sense for me to get into figure collecting before 2014 or so because that's when they really started releasing a lot of figures I like.
12 days ago
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