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Thread: Why do collectors collect?

  1. #1
    High Admiral Bonsai_Tree_Ent's Avatar
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    Why do collectors collect?

    Random fact of the day: There are more unemployed Psychology graduates than any other degree subject (if you want to walk out of university and straight into a job then currently topping the most 'in demand' tables are Sciences and Engineering).

    I mention this as I know nothing about psychology, but I do have an area of expertise in video games. Last night I was playing Skyrim, and the thought occurred to me that developing my characters stats and equipment in a role-playing game shares some key things in common with developing my Star Wars collection. It's a similar kind of satisfaction. Adding a fire enchantment to make my sword better = adding instructions to make my boxed Ewok Battle Wagon better. Searching through a dungeon and discovering a rare artifact = searching through a collectors fair and discovering a rare Lili Ledy figure. It's the satisfying feeling of steady improvement that keeps me coming back to Skyrim, and it's the same reason that keeps me building my SW collection.

    I don't know if I've hit on something fundamental here, or if i'm just a guy who stayed up too late gaming.

    What do you guys think, and i'm not just talking vintage Star Wars here, but a broader universal question - why do collectors collect?

  2. #2
    Moff Grant's Avatar
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    There's probably many different reasons why we all collect. For me it takes me back to the early 80's when I was a young kid playing with and collecting Star Wars toys. As an adult I get to reconnect with those times and it feels awesome. In a nutshell... Nostalgia I guess.
    Last edited by Grant; 10-01-2013 at 03:58 AM. Reason: ................
    Some where in the Outer Rim Territories...

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    High Admiral Bonsai_Tree_Ent's Avatar
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    I think nostalgia can be a factor with 20th century items, but further back than that there has to be something more (such as Civil War collectors, or collectors of Ancient Egyptian pieces, etc). Even with vintage SW collections the hottest items such as prototypes and Uzay are those which probably none of us encountered as children so nostalgic appeal cant be the only factor, can it?

  4. #4
    Moff Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonsai_Tree_Ent View Post
    I think nostalgia can be a factor with 20th century items, but further back than that there has to be something more (such as Civil War collectors, or collectors of Ancient Egyptian pieces, etc). Even with vintage SW collections the hottest items such as prototypes and Uzay are those which probably none of us encountered as children so nostalgic appeal cant be the only factor, can it?
    Dude I'm not sure about ancient Egyptian or civil war collectors but as far as Star wars goes. Nostalgia is still the key element for a lot of us here I'm sure. The fact that a lot of collectors hunt preproduction material shows an even deeper appreciation for the type of toys we coveted as kids and adults, well that's how it works for me at least.

    I think in the broader sense ancient Egyptian people for example collected because they like the wow factor that certain items gave them. There are so many other different reasons too like people trying to connect to their ancestry some how like it possibly is with some of the civil war and WW1 and WW2 collectors etc.
    Last edited by Grant; 10-01-2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: ...............
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    Some where in the Outer Rim Territories...

  5. #5
    Moff AussieFortuna's Avatar
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    Great thread Bonsai.

    Something ive noticed about plenty of collectors including myself is that even as children we collected things, almost like its in your genes.
    I collected, insects, dead flies in a jar that id spend hours on a hot day whacking with a fly squat lol, match boxes, stamps, football cards, etc.

    Collecting things in a way is connected with identity, seeing the beauty in things, the hunt of the chase, completion, connecting with childhood, nostalgia, but as i was an avid collector as a child, of things that held no monitory value whatsoever, i think collecting runs a bit deeper than nostalgia for me.
    -- Looking for Polish and Mexican bootlegs.--The Pablo Picasso's of the Star Wars universe.. WTB Jaws (movie) memorabilia and models.
    -- ''Blue and Gold will never fold'', Parramatta Eels Rugby League Club - Passionate life member..

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Fettafari's Avatar
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    I used to collect comics, and collected specific characters that I thought where cool. For example, if you collect Spiderman, a grail piece would be AF15. A lot of people including myself collect specific characters in Star Wars. The grail piece for this would be preproduction pieces of that specific character(origin). The "grail pieces" are why a lot of people collect... the drive, search, hunt, for the best, coolest piece. It is all personal opinion, and every collector has a different "grail"...well not every collector, as some collectors "grails" are the same.
    Last edited by Fettafari; 10-01-2013 at 04:40 AM.
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  7. #7
    High Admiral Bonsai_Tree_Ent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fettafari View Post
    I used to collect comics, and collected specific characters that I thought where cool. For example, if you collect Spiderman, a grail piece would be AF15. A lot of people including myself collect specific characters in Star Wars. The grail piece for this would be preproduction pieces of that specific character. The "grail pieces" are why a lot of people collect... the drive, search, hunt, for the best, coolest piece. It is all personal opinion, and every collector has a different "grail"...well not every collector, as some collectors "grails" are the same.
    The reason I started this thread was to try and put my finger on something fundamental, and maybe you have something here. Many ancient myths involve a hero's 'quest', whether it be for a Golden Fleece or the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail itself. Maybe that's a deepdown urge that some of us have inside, an itch we need to scratch.

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Fettafari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonsai_Tree_Ent View Post
    The reason I started this thread was to try and put my finger on something fundamental, and maybe you have something here. Many ancient myths involve a hero's 'quest', whether it be for a Golden Fleece or the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail itself. Maybe that's a deepdown urge that some of us have inside, an itch we need to scratch.
    I think it is. Once we find a piece that we have been searching for, do we stop. NO!!!!!!!!! There is always more to.... collect(the itch)

  9. #9
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    Because it's fun
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  10. #10
    High Admiral DarthDad's Avatar
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    Much like most of us here, my 'need' to collect developed as a kid also. I was a mad card collector, football, non-sport, anything that was numbered in series (of cards) I would have to get the 'whole set' to satisfy my lust of collecting. I know that I felt a great deal of satisfaction when knowing I had got the last card from a particular set. I remember trading was part of the fun, so learning simple things that control economy such as supply and demand became synonomis with collecting. For example: a friend of mine has the one card I need but is demanding 4 'swaps' for it. Not worth it on trade basis really, but because it was a card I may really want I am happy to make the trade. So my point is, there are also gains and losses the relate to collecting, therefore an economical factor also creeps into it all. ie, sometimes we win, sometimes not so much.. that's life.
    Getting the cards and toys from the old cereal boxes as kids certainly helped to create a desire for finding the prize also.
    The desire, (not necessarily 'the need') to collect, for my part, has grown in my veins and is a part of my being, my wife doesn't really understand but she puts up with it. I truly don't know if i'll ever stop collecting..
    I find nowadays that I consider myself a 'completionist' when it comes to collecting, being that if I purchase 1 or 2 parts of a particular line, I will end up chasing the lot, no doubt. The only thing holding me back from making more purchases is cost. But believe me I spend a fair allowance I have set myself monthly, and I can because I am over 40 years old and earn a decent weekly.
    I am sure I am different, but not that much different to others when it comes to collecting. What I like about here, is that some of us can make friends easily, because we share similar interests..
    yibbedar, yibbedar,... that's all folks.
    Last edited by DarthDad; 10-01-2013 at 06:29 AM.
    If youre saying that coming here was a bad idea, Im starting to agree with you.

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