It seems like just the other day that I decided to change my collecting habits, and trim the hoard down to just a few toys lines. As I sit here looking at my collection, not to sound too cocky, but I'm impressed with the way my collection looks. The Detolfs worked out nicely, and all the hard work I put into The Nerd-Cave has really paid off, but now it seems that I'm facing another hard decision; rather or not to further trim the collection down.
One of the things that made me want to really focus my collecting was that I just felt too much pressure to "keep up" with all the figures that were coming out. It started to feel more like an obligation, rather than a hobby, and I really wasn't enjoying it any more. I just had to have the latest and greatest incarnation of this character or that, I had to have this exclusive, and how could my collection be complete without this short-packed figure that everybody else was clamoring over.... pffft I spent too much time and money trying to keep up with what the community told me I "had to have" because it was so "awesome" or "rare".
To make a long story short, I decided to limit my collecting to just three things; Generation 1 figures, Masterpiece figures, and of coarse I was going to keep my Seeker collection going. The time and money that I was spending on all these modern figures was taking away from what I could be putting toward things that I had really wanted, but could never get because I was "nickel and diming" myself to death with all this other stuff. There were hardly ever any more than a couple of Seekers per line, and a line typically lasts two years, so I figured that I could get away with buying a couple of modern figures a year at retail. Generation 1 figures haven't been produced for two decades, so I could pretty much just buy them at leisure. At the time Masterpiece figures were being released at a rate of one or two a year, and although they were a bit pricey, I could keep up with them pretty easily since I wasn't going to be buying much else.
Fast forward a bit, and now MP's are coming out every couple of months. This is awesome for the line, especially since it shows that Takara realizes that the collector market is worth catering to with these high dollar figures. While I think it's cool for the fandom, it's starting to put a hurting on my wallet. I love the way these figures look, the attention to detail is phenomenal, the articulation is miles above what we got in G1, and the figures tend to keep true to the way the originals looked back in the 80's. Hell, I've even had friends over who would see things like Masterpiece Optimus Prime, and swear they had that exact figure as a child; these things look exactly the way we all "remember" Transformers looking during our childhoods.
Make no mistake, I do like these figures, but at the rate they're being released they're starting to feel like and obligation than a hobby. I've made a couple of sizable G1 purchases recently, and as a result I've missed out on the last three or four MP releases. I've spent the last couple of weeks scrimping and saving, to get "caught up:, but now that I have the money, I don't really have any excitement about getting these figures. I find that I'm more excited about the potential Sonic Bomber that I'm in the talks over than I am over these Masterpiece figures. Even though I was as excited as every other fan-boy when they were announced, the thing that is driving me to purchase them is that they would leave a hole in my collection more than genuine desire for the figures themselves.
It seems that I'm at a crossroads. The secondary market on these figures tends to go through the proverbial roof once online retailers sell out of their stock, making them prohibitively expensive in my opinion. While a second run of any figure is possible, it's not something that I would bank on, and I remember MP-11 Starscream selling for well over $400 at one point before TakaraTomy did another production run of the figure. I'm a Seeker collector, and even though the mold modifications that they've made to this figure are cool, and the cape and crown are neat little accessories, I still wouldn't pay that much for this guy.
Another "rule" that I decided to adhere to was that if I didn't have room do display a figure, I didn't really need it. I really can't justify shelling out out my hard-earned money for something to just sit in a box, and not even be able to enjoy it. I have more room dedicated for display space than most people would consider "normal", and while I'm going to be buying another cabinet for my expanding Seeker collection, that is the extent of room that I have. I have room to accommodate quite a few more MP's, but my G1 collection is fastly reaching the limits of display room that I have allocated for them.
So when I factor in all of these things, I'm strongly considering selling off my Masterpiece collection, using that money to buy a couple of those so-called Generation 1 Grail figures like Raiden, and using the extra cabinet space for my ever expanding G1 collection. Decisions, decisions...