As a true child of the 1980's, I had no idea that those fun cartoons I used to watch were secretly 22-minute long advertisements telling me to go out and purchase the toys associated with the cartoon. If Cobra was rolling out a new vehicle to defeat G.I. Joe, I would beg my parents to take me to Service Merchandise or Wal-Mart so I could see if they had it for my imaginary battles.
Interestingly enough…20 years later, I'm not that different.
Having to ask mercilessly for a trip to the store suddenly became much easier when I got a car of my own. Then a job freed up even more capital for me to fund my addiction…er…hobby. Now I'm 35, and if I could show the "12-year old me" the scope of my collection, he'd pat me on the back and say "Thanks for being me."
While the desire of going out and buying those toys and action figures hasn't changed that much, the playing field has changed tremendously. The internet has made the entire world a 24-hour toy store for guys like me. Stores make deals with toy companies to carry exclusive product at their retail stores. Fans even customize figures that were never made and sell for a premium. In the secondary market of the toy industry, it's a brave new world.
In the last couple years, I've tried to focus my attention from "buying anything that just looks cool" to really having a theme for my action figure and toy collection to make it stand out.
Welcome to the 21st century and the world of Action Figure "Army Building".