Musings of Kollector the Hoardarian, a Bonafied Collector of Things
Gotta Kollect Them All
Collecting Dust (And Others Things)
by Kollector the Hoardarian aka Jonathan Anslow, PsyD
I am Jonathan Anslow, PsyD - a therapist by trade and a certified geek by lifestyle. I am one third of Geeks Like Us (GLU) , comprised of my friends and colleagues Ryan Kelly, PhD and Megan Connell, PsyD. When we conceived of GLU, we felt that it would, at the very least, provide a platform to showcase some of the various ways that we each embody and celebrate the term "Geek." Whereas we all enjoy comic culture, conventions, sci-fi & science, action-adventure, fantasy, and superheroes, we also have our differences among us. Ryan and Megan have a stronger overlap with their regular forays into D&D, for instance. They both also have WAYYYY more knowledge of Harry Potter than I (though I do love that universe). Ryan probably has the most comic knowledge of all of us and the strongest scientific bent. Megan is aces at being productive with targeted videos and is our number one networker on the geek scene, though Ryan has been known to charm some of the bigger geek personalities who shall remain nameless (for now). On the other hand Ryan and I are arguably the more experienced video game nerds. Anyway the point is that together we cover a lot of bases, but I wanted to bring something else to the table that's more decidedly ME. We "collectively" (heh heh) felt that one unique niche I bring into this geeky mix is my penchant for collecting various, well, merch and limited special edition collectible type swag.
Some distinction, huh? Well I know there are plenty of like-minded collectors out there. I have jokingly embraced the name Kollector the Hoardarian because I am a dad and dad's generally like bad puns - this one sort of riffing on 80's era barbarian names:
To be fair my tendency towards eye roll worthy puns has pre-dated my dadness. Anyhoo, as with just about any hobby or interest, there is no one RIGHT way to do it per se. What I've envisioned for my future reflections on collecting, whether through articles, videos, or podcasts , is that I help promote a healthy concept of collecting. What I mean is that it is probably in one's best interest to be mindful and intentional in the way that you think about your collection.
Take for instance the uber collector - a completionist, or person who simply MUST own every last piece of merchandise emblazoned with the artwork and logos of a treasured franchise, be it a cereal box, door mat, or some other such nondescript or inconsequential item.
Does the prospect of not owning every last item fill you with anxiety or dread? Do you obsess about it to no end, to the point that you end up neglecting your day-to-day obligations like school or work? Are you spending most of your time researching and tracking down super rare finds? Are your financials in trouble as you track down pieces of your collection and place exorbitant bids on auction sites like ebay? Are you running out of room to display and/or store items from your collection? Are you spending more time with activities related to collecting than with family or friends? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these queries you might need to re-think about your collecting habits. A fair question to ponder is, "Do you own your collection, or does it, in a way, own you?" The essential determining factor of pathological compulsive behavior is that the behavior in question is negatively impacting your life in a pronounced way, yet you feel powerless to take any steps to curb the behavior or choose to ignore the problem altogether and look the other way.
Problematic considerations aside, there are certainly joyful and fun aspects of collecting. Who can deny the sheer joy of uncovering the unknown (i.e. unboxing videos). I might explore such notions as what drives us to collect? What kind of need does it fulfill or itch does it scratch? Perhaps something acquires value because it's inexorably linked with a treasured life experience. Is collecting, then, simply an aggregation of tangible embodiments of a romanticized bygone era and the subsequent basking in the nostalgic feelings that are evoked? That notion certainly resonates with me as I continue to harbor a fascination with 80's pop culture.
Sometimes I pick up items because they are hilariously unique or kitschy.
Sometimes there's a drive to squirrel something away because it might be worth a pretty penny someday. The younger generations may not hold onto items as much, but my generation certainly grieved over valuable comics that our moms threw out or sold at a garage sale for a quarter so we made sure to bag and board any issues we purchased thereafter. Or consider those Star Wars figures that lost so much value because we had the audacity to take them out of their packaging and play with them. These days I might buy: One figure to collect. One to display. And one more...just in case.
Whatever your motivation is to collect, I hope that you will find something of value in the content I will bring to you as Kollector the Hoardarian! Because in the end what is best in life? "To collect your wares -- see them displayed before you, and to hear the lamentation of those haters who do not have items from your collection."