Becoming part of the Realm of Collectors and the Cool Table Network

Hi again, I wanted to carry on from my last post and talk about the collecting communities I have discovered and become a part off over the last year. I had been collecting for a while and really enjoying building my collection and also learning about all the different companies and lines of toys out there. My brother is an avid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collector as well and boasts a very good collection himself. You can check him out on Instagram here. I can tell him about my latest purchases and photo's and he as interested as me and vice versa for his collection. My mum always shows a high interest mainly I think from when I had the toys as a kid, although recently she called Galvatron Cyclonus so as you can imagine I have since stopped talking to her lol. My friends share the same love for films as me and have an appreciation for the toy lines but not a lot more than being interested as it's my hobby. I think deep down they all think I'm stir crazy lol.

So my collecting hobby took a drastic turn when I started watching toy reviews on Youtube to start learning about the figures being released and already available. This helped me to decide what type of toys I wanted to collect and also what companies make the figures that would best suit what I was looking for. At first this was the Masterpiece line from Takara and the original G1 figures I was buying from Ebay. As I mentioned before I was caught out on Ebay when I purchased a G1 Optimus Prime that turned out to be a KO, this was my first experience of a KO of toy so I was quick to research the differences and what to look out for especially when buying original G1 figures.

Thank you to the recommended features on Youtube I eventually stumbled across a podcast show which was a bunch of guys talking about toy collecting. This was the Enter the Realm show from the Realm of Collectors group. I started watching some of the old shows whilst watching the new ones each week. It was great to start watching and listening to other people talking about the hobby I love. This then lead me to follow their Instagram page and start interacting with some of the people posting. They had photo competitions at the time that I entered into a few. This also sparked my use of my Instagram account to share photo's of my collection. I think I then joined their Facebook group which is where I really started to become part of the community.

During this time and have got to know a lot of people who share my love for Transformers and collecting in general. They come from all over the world which makes it even more fun being able to talk to people from all walks of life. I have even taken part in a few live shows broadcast on Youtube which have been aimed at the people not based in the US, if you know me this sort of thing is way out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed them immensely but still wouldn't want to watch myself back lol. I have even attempted to stay awake until about 2am to join a few other shows but it's difficult :).

Linking on from the ROC I have then discovered and started to follow many other podcasts and toy reviewers in the community. These are all part of 'The Cool Table Network' which is an umbrella group that links them all together. I created a trailer for this group a little while ago.


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So to talk about some of the other groups that are involved. The ROC Hangout is broadcast every Tuesday night on the ROC Youtube channel. Figga Banging is every other Tuesday, again on the ROC Youtube Channel. The ROC International Hangout which is broadcast when people like myself from across the world can get together and fit in with members based in the US. Shattered Cast Uncut which comes out every Friday which is a very good transformers podcast! Plastic Fanatics is the ONLY podcast on a Saturday night :) :). Toy Detox, Hail Hasbro Reviews and Stasis Lock and a few other Youtube based shows. There are also some great shows on iTunes. Nerd Rage radio is one of my favourites which is a weekly podcast on everything nerdy :) 8 weeks and Beers and Bolters are another two that I haven't listened to as yet.

Coming back to talk about toy reviewers of which there are many many great channels for reviews and to be honest you can pretty much find out all the information you could possibly want to help you decide on what figures to buy. This can take away some of the anticipation especially if you have pre-ordered a figure for some time. I do wish sometimes I hadn't of watched so many reviews on some figures. Saying that my favourite reviewer by a country mile is Bobby Skullface, you absolutely have to check out his channel if you are remotely interested in toy collecting, great guy who really knows his stuff.

So anyway I think I have rambled on enough now but wanted to talk about my toy collecting experience after and during becoming part of these excellent groups. I am lucky to have a fantastic support group from family and friends for which I am extremely grateful. To also join and share one of my biggest passions with an online community which I can see can seem weird to some people but it has really enriched and boosted my enjoyment and love for this hobby so also for that I am very happy.


Thanks for reading, take care, Sam

Instagram: Samsformers

Twitter: @66SamThompson