Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Horrors of Collecting

Hi, my name is James and I'm a collector.
(support group) Hi, James.

Those who know me know that I collect a variety of things, all of them of a geeky nature: Godzilla movies, Star Wars books and comics, Star Wars Legos, etc. This is particularly difficult when the items you collect have limited availability. For example, any particular Star Wars Lego set is usually available for about a year to a year and a half. However, certain exclusive sets (especially those exclusive to Walmart or Target) may only be available for six months. Thus, in order to maintain the completeness of my collection, I run out and buy those sets, whether I have money on hand or not. Fortunately my wife hoards her allowance money (yes, we each receive an allowance; it keeps our frivolous spending down) and she'll often give me a loan. I was indebted to her for about three months after the last major release of Lego sets.

I usually check Amazon for items whose availability will soon be uncertain. I start to worry as soon as the "usually ships within..." changes from "two to three days" to "two weeks". The closest call I had was when Amazon stopped carrying a Star Wars Republic comic I wanted. I bought it for a reasonable $12 from an independent seller. Within two weeks a new copy of the comic was going for about $100.

The latest panic involved the two Godzilla movies Invasion of Astro-Monster and The Terror of Mechagodzilla. Apparently Classic Media has recently discontinued their Godzilla DVDs. Classic Media was the company that had been releasing the awesome two-disc collections of early Godzilla movies: one disc with the dubbed version released in the US and one disc with the original Japanese version with English sub-titles (the only way for a true fan to watch a Godzilla movie). Once I was able to get over my horror, off I went to borrow money from my wife so I could buy the two movies on Amazon. Astro-Monster will be coming from an independent seller, but he's covered by Amazon, so it's all good.

The collector's life is a hard one.

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