Look at This Stuff: Being a Collector

We all know, dear Wanderers of mine, about the various ways in which it is possible to be a member of a fandom. We can create fic, art, contribute meta discussions, make fantastic videos, and general participate in fandom any way we can. But there’s another aspect of fandom that we really haven’t discussed as of yet. Which, y’know, shame on us, but we’re fixing that now so can we at least have a ‘you tried’ star? Please? Just a little one? Oh, alright, suit yourselves.

So anyway, the title of this article pretty much gives away what this other aspect of fandom is that we’re going to be taking a little look at. Collecting is a fandom of all its very own, worthy of respect. As all forms of fandom if we’re being honest here so let’s have a round of applause for them all. … I’m not continuing this editorial until we show some respect here so make with the applause people. There, was showing a little appreciation so hard? … Okay, sorry, so maybe I went a little far there, I’ll just get on with the article shall I? [Please. -Ed.]

Right so … being a collector. There are people out there who would say collecting is just fancy word for hoarding. To them I say, you really have no idea as to the fine art of the collecting process. Also, my money, my space, I’ll deal with it how I want, thank you very much. Anyway, collecting as a part of fandom. How to explain collecting as a part of fandom. Well, first of all, let’s put it like this.

How many of you belong to fandoms that have pre-existing merchandise all ready for purchase? Be it in the form of action figures, or books, or even stuff that can be worn to show off that yes, you are a fan of this piece of media and, gosh darn, you’re proud of that fact? There’s a lot of official merchandise out there, and most members of fandoms will have at least one piece as some sort of little memento as to the fandom you so enjoy. Collecting is simply … well, like the word says, collecting.

Collectors want these little mementos, they want these small things that will remind them of their times in fandom, of all these good memories that come with enjoying some piece of media. Look at the Big Two comic companies; DC and Marvel have many different lines of action figures just so fans can have a chance at owning a replica of their favourite character from one of their many comic titles.

I suppose, in some meta sense, you could claim that collecting is a way of indulging the inner child, at least for certain fandoms. But saying that feels like I’m giving collecting far less respect than it deserves, so let me try to illuminate. Collecting is, essentially, in and of itself, a fandom in its own right. Collectors of various different types of things have meet ups, conventions, and even websites and forums of their own, just like other types of fandom do.

Collectors are a special type of fandom; they do what they do because they love it so. They collect because doing so makes them happy and frankly we all deserve a little happiness in our lives so why should we argue with what makes a person happy if it isn’t hurting anyone else. Collecting things can be a simple little pleasure, something to cheer someone up at the end of a long hard week. Popular collecting habits include toys – of all sorts including action figures and high-range special collectors dolls – stamps, books, and well, pretty much any type of media you can think of really. If one of the rules of the internet is that anything and everything can have a fandom, then another must be that anything can be collected and there’s someone out there willing to collect it.

But why collect? Well, again we go back to that reason I said of maybe indulging the inner child. That little part of you that sees something and just cries ‘I want’ for no other reason than it likes the look of it. But, maybe that’s not it. Maybe you collect dolls because your grandmother collected dolls, and you have happy memories of the way she used to speak of them to you. Maybe everyone in your family is a collector of some sort, and you’ve just sort of picked up. Whatever the reason, dear Wanderer to whom this article applies, you are a collector, and you should be proud of that. Enjoy the collecting; embrace the collecting; and above all, be brilliant, my collecting Wanderers!

Z McAspurren (is a geeky collector and proud to admit it)

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