Rabbit holes. What are they, where are they, and where do they come from…and: Do we really need´em?
As a disclaimer, first I want to say that I accept and respect every single last one of you all in the Realm. You collect and buy whatever and how many of whatever you like and how you see fit. This here is my way of doing it, and because I have read many comments and posts of people who say stuff in the vein of, “How am I supposed to pay for all of this? Damn you (insert “Fans Toys” (I'm not doing it here ;-) ), Hot Toys, Iron Factory, MMC, etc., etc.),” I wanted to write a different set of thoughts and maybe spark up a flame. If this isn't for you because you´re a completionist, or you simply don´t like my blog entries, I suppose you may exit now, and that’s fine.
For all others: Welcome to my third entry. This is starting to be fun.
So…rabbit holes are apparently THE abyss of a fandom. A practical definition of “Rabbit Hole”:
- Have you been into Street Fighter pretty much from the get-go and you also collect Bandai´s S.H. Figuarts line? You´re screwed.
- Do you love the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Do you love it each time Robert Downey Jr. shows up in the gazillionth armor variation and are you ALSO into One-Sixth Scale? Then you “need” all the Hot Toys armors. Feel the burn.
And to close it off:
- Do you love Legends-scale Transformers? Do you have all of Hasbro´s releases, but acknowledge that there is stuff missing. BOOM! Iron Factory drops their Bruticus. Guess what? Down the hatch you go.
I think you get the picture (if you weren´t familiar with the term “rabbit hole”). I may shatter some expectations here by saying this, but you don't “need” them all. You can spend money on other things, may it be real life, may it be other franchises, or you got mortgages, or debts to pay, or, or, or…
Don´t get me wrong. I love looking at everyone's collection. It is a major part of the hobby for me, and I also do understand and absolutely respect you when you say that you need the Transformers G1 Ark crew in MP form. Those are almost impossible to pass up, same with a full Street Fighter lineup. I grew up on those. The part I don't understand is when you collect and you post comments like I mentioned above (“How am I supposed to…?”). You´re not. Plain and simple.
If you don't have the money, don´t buy it. Look at your stuff, check if you “need” it. That's where MY approach comes into play, which I jokingly called, “The German's Approach” a few months back:
I only have the characters I absolutely need, 1 or 2 characters that have a sentimental value for me, or it was an impulse buy (like entering a Toys’R Us for the first time in 3 years and you see figures you normally don´t see). This means:
- I collect Terminator, Robocop and Transformers (with the first 2 on hold, because there is nothing coming at the moment):
- I have nothing in my 1/6 collection I regret and I would only add a few more: T1 Kyle Reese, T1 Sarah Connor, and a T1/2 T-800 Endoskeleton and that´s it. Nothing more would spark my interest.
- I´m essentially only missing Dick Jones, Anne Lewis, and Clarence Boddiker. Legio7’s customs are borderline genius, but they are way too expensive, and I´m not paying $400 for a figure without accessories.
- My MP shelf is done, BUT: I´m thinking about upgrading to accommodate Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. I'm also thinking about Fans Toys’ Omega Supreme and and and...
- The one thing I NEED is Galvatron, and if nothing happens soon on the official side, I will hunt down Fans Toys Sovereign.
- (I also have a little bit of Marvel, but not much and I´m almost done, so this is not really a category)
But here is where “The German’s Approach” comes into play: I want to get Generation Toy's IDW MP Megatron next. I opened this rabbit hole (unknowingly) with Mastermind Creations’ Carnifex, continued with the Transform Mission Stunticons, and widened it even further with Generation Toy's OP.EX. I don't know where this will take me, but I do know that I want to go to the United States next year. If I want to manage that, I need to stay selective, and that's what I recommend.
Wait a little bit once you have something in your shopping cart. I know the first urge is to buy it, but for me…even if it´s preordered and the payment is due, it can go a couple of different ways:
- “Man, 380 bucks for that Diecast War Machine…alright. Order placed.”
- This is the quick way, because I regretted selling this piece in the first place, but next comes the alternate and quite honestly, it’s what usually happens.
- “Man, 250 bucks for that Batman, and the Arkham Knight is next…you forgot that PO, did you? Together they're around 550 bucks.”
- That's when I look around and I see I don´t have the space. Even though I have the money, I don't “need” it, so I canceled the preorder and I didn't regret a thing.
And this is where I come back to one of my first sentences, where I was really honest and I apologized if I stepped on anybody´s toes, but again, it´s my honest opinion:
If you buy something, even though you said before that you don´t have the money for it and jokingly say: “Huh, ramen for next half a year again,” then it´s your problem. “Self-induced pain” is the magic term here, and this is where you shouldn't get any mercy from anyone. Broken down, there should really only be 2 paths for us as collectors:
- You REALLY want to have it: Pull the trigger, look forward to it, but don´t complain when it shows up and you get a cut worth 200 bucks or more.
- You suppress the urge and stay away: Congratulations! You made it to the promised land of selective collecting.
I´m currently bound to the #2 due to private reasons, but I'm not sad about it. I'm actually happy with it. It helps me keep everything in check. I know my expenses and if I don't need a toy, I cancel my PO. This has helped me big time in the past, and I hope I rang a bell with someone here.
Peace out and thx for reading,
The Mad German