Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

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Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 23rd, 2016, 7:05 pm

The other day I found a box in my closet full of baseball, football and basketball trading cards. I already sold a kajillion cards on ebay a few years ago. I had no idea that I had yet another box filled with hundreds of cards.

I've been going through them, getting them ready for ebay. And today it hit me...why the piss did I waste so much money on these things? I just can't comprehend ever doing this. Yet I did. All the money wasted buying all these cards, storage, pricing guides, etc. Why did I do this? What did I get out of this? Oh, look, there's a still picture of a player I could just watch on TV play the actual game.

And I used to have a million WWF figures. Why and how did I do this? I'm way too poor to afford a million WWE figures. What was the point? Oh, look, there's plastic Paul Bearer standing there doing absolutely nothing in my life.

And I won't even get into the money spent on buying every single DC comic for a few years. How did I afford guitar strings? With this DC Rebirth happening I'm having a huge jones going on to start buying them again but now I think about what that would cost and I think it's utterly ridiculous.

But nothing is creeping me out like the baseball cards.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 24th, 2016, 6:58 am

Man, this is a fantastic post.

I am working on a new book called the Collector of Collections. In the first chapter I talk about how my uncle had an entire room dedicated to the Three Stooges -- a shrine, really -- and when he died, his wife (they had been married for about 5 years) boxed all that stuff up and stuck it in the basement. I asked her one time what she was going to do with it and she said I could have it all. If I didn't already have a Star Wars room, I would probably take it.

When the Power of the Force Star Wars figures were released in the mid-90s, I was so excited that Star Wars was coming back that I decided to buy them all. The first series had orange lightsabers on the cards (orange cards) and I got every one. Then there were purple cards and the green cards and I got all of those, too. I got all the Phantom Menace ones and stopped buying them at some point during the Attack of the Clones figures. I didn't open any of these figures. They're all hanging on pegs in my Star Wars room. I just did a rough count and there are 240 figures hanging there. Those figures retailed for around $5 each, but I know I paid $10 or more for some of them -- but even at a $5 average (which again, is low) that means I paid $1,200 for those stupid figures that are just hanging there on the wall. That's not including all my Star Wars stuff, or even all the Star Wars stuff I bought during that era -- just that one little corner of carded figures.

I remember when Blockbuster put all of their game cartridges on sale for 99 cents or less. A friend of mine drive to every Blockbuster and Game Rush in town and bought every NES game I didn't already have. I have somewhere between 250 and 300 NES cartridges. Do you know what I have on my computer? A little program that plays every NES game... FOR FREE. Those NES cartridges are just sitting on a shelf, collecting dust. Most of them have never even been tested!

I consider getting rid of 90% of my collectibles every day and each time I walk into my room to try and find one thing to get rid of I freak out and say OH MY GOSH I LOVE IT ALL and shut down.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Ice Cream Jonsey » May 24th, 2016, 8:06 am

Well, let me know before you do anything rash with those NES carts. :)

The baseball card thing is odd to me, too. Certainly, when you're 12 and you think you might have something "worth" money, you feel like a Rockefeller when you read that your Kevin Mass Rookie Card went up to $12 in value. It was also the easiest way to see career stats for guys back then.

But baseball cards took up an enormous amount of room, cost me whatever money I was somehow scraping up back then, provided a lot of sadness the one time I took my cards into school and some kid stole a page that had a lot of "expensive" cards on it (Roger Clemens rookie, Mark McGwire rookie, etc.). Additionally, the whole deal where you send your cards to be "graded" seemed like THE DUMBEST SHIT to me. I'm gonna send something (registered mail, no doubt) so an arbitrator making money off me can tell me it's a 8.5 or a 9? Huh? What incentive do they have to not steal the cards? And while what a fuckup the USPS is?
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 24th, 2016, 3:46 pm

Flack wrote:When the Power of the Force Star Wars figures were released in the mid-90s


Have you collected any of those Disney Infinity Star Wars figures? Now that the game is canned I imagine you could get them cheap soon.

I'm shocked that game got shut down. I really thought their figures were the best looking. And how is a game with Disney, Star Wars and Marvel in it not the biggest seller ever?
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 24th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Well, let me know before you do anything rash with those NES carts. :)

The baseball card thing is odd to me, too. Certainly, when you're 12 and you think you might have something "worth" money, you feel like a Rockefeller when you read that your Kevin Mass Rookie Card went up to $12 in value. It was also the easiest way to see career stats for guys back then.


I wish I was 12 when I did this. I'd say I was mid 20s. I had zero interest in sports as a kid. I didn't start watching until at least High School age. As a kid I used to see kids bringing their cards to school and trade and I'd think how boring and stupid it was.

And the thing is I KNOW some of these cards ARE worth something. In particular I have Jeter rookies and prospect and college cards. I'm sure they're worth something. But it's such a pain in the ass to search through the cards and find their value, I'd rather just sell them in lots and settle for the one dollar I get.

I ordered a baseball card price guide from the library when I found the cards. The book showed up and it was about twice the size of a phone book. You know, the old ones. I went through the 58 Orioles cards I have and said NOPE. I am not going to look at all these cards saying 10 cents. Then I had to take it back to the library and use a forklift to put it in the dropbox.

To make it worse, there is only ONE card I had that I wanted to keep. My mom's cousin pitched for the Astros and Phillies in the 80s. I had his Philly card so I wanted to keep that just as a family keepsake. I left it on the counter. I woke up the next day I noticed that the cat puked all over it.

provided a lot of sadness the one time I took my cards into school and some kid stole a page that had a lot of "expensive" cards on it


Ok, let's switch to days we got sad because somebody stole something at school.

I got one of them awesome Transformers watches back in the day. It was a watch that actually transformed into a little robot. I took it to school and acted like I was KING SHIT OF TRANSFORMERS WATCHES. It's like I was a woman who was given an engagement ring with a giant diamond on it and I was showing it off to all my girlfriends and they was going OOOOH and AHHHH. I left the watch inside my desk for recess. I came back and opened my desk and it was gone. I went home and cried.

Perhaps it was karma because I stole Megatron from my cousin that I hated. This was a much worse crime because it could only have been me. I was the one playing with him and when I left Megatron was mysteriously gone. I think I might've nabbed his Starscream too.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 24th, 2016, 4:01 pm

I haven't, but one of Mason's friends came over and went nuts because I have Boba Fett unopened. He came with our PS4 that we bought and I guess it was an exclusive. He said they were going for $100 on eBay but I'll bet they just dropped in price, haha!
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 24th, 2016, 4:25 pm

I don't think I had too many things stolen from me. When I was like 5 or 6 I had a birthday party in our new neighborhood and my mom invited every single kid in our neighborhood. Seriously, there were like 50 kids there and I only knew a handful of them. According to my mom, one of the kids stole some of my birthday money that was laying on the table. She says she knows who it was but won't tell me. I don't even remember the party so it wasn't really traumatic for me.

Actually, here's one story. When I was 14 or 15 I went over to this party to trade some Commodore games. I brought my 300 or so disks with me. There were three of us there -- me, a kid named Beachboy, and a kid named Obi Wan. (I don't remember any of these people's real names.) Beachboy's dad owned a TV repair shop and we all met in the back room. I remember the place looked like that scene from Shocker. It was like a set from a horror movie. Anyway, when I got home my buddy Justin called me and asked me if I had "The Games - Winter Edition," one of those winter Olympic-style games. I said I did. He asked me to go get the disk. When I did, I discovered it was missing. Apparently, Beachboy stole the disk from me while I was at his little copy party. He told Obi Wan, who told someone else, who told Justin. All of this happened before I got home! Of course I confronted Beachboy online and he denied it. To put this in perspective, some of my disks had 10 games on them so I literally had thousands of games to play but having that one disk get stolen made me hopping mad.

Oh, I just remembered one other story. When I was fifteen or so I met these two guys, Greg and Richard. Greg was one of those cool skater kids -- not a kid like me who happened to skate, but one of those kids with a hundred dollar skateboard, a half-pipe, all the cool clothes, all the cool music, everything. My friend Louis and I started hanging around Greg. I didn't really trust him but he was pretty cool.

So one day I was in my front yard and Greg and his buddy Richard come by riding their bikes. As they rode by they said, "nice bike," or something like that. I had a really cool B<X bike so I said, "thanks!" After they left I started looking and my bike was gone. I looked all over and it was missing. I confronted them about it and they said something that made no sense, like, oh, they had seen my bike before one time and were just saying "nice bike." I think I even went as far as to call Greg's mom who was drunk when I called so that didn't go anywhere. I rode my motorcycle by his house a couple of times looking for my bike but never saw it again.

Okay all of a sudden this thread just made me mad! I'm going to track down that Greg guy right now!

EDIT: Found him. He works at my local O'Reilly's Auto Parts store.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby AArdvark » May 24th, 2016, 8:24 pm

Coolest thing I had stolen from me was the Corgi Lotus Esprit car from The Spy Who Loved Me. Thing turned into a sub and everything. I don't remember seeing the movie until I was older but the car was cool enough. then the little brother of one of my sketchy friends broke into my house and took it and some other stuff.
He admitted to it six or seven years later, after I was over it. Fucker.



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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 24th, 2016, 9:10 pm

I worked at the emissions testing place in the 90s. My boss was this black dude named Alton Jackson and we became best friends for many years. I mention he's black because Alton Jackson is a great black name that no white person could ever get away with. If a white guy is named Alton Jackson is probably a big nerd. A black guy named that is a cool ass mofo. Since emission testing doesn't get busy until 2 days from the end of the month, the job was basically just me and him hanging out all the time doing goofy crap like crushing coke cans into pucks and using catalytic convertor mirror sticks to play hockey through the open doors of the double sided garage or sitting around making fun of the other people who worked there. Then we'd hang out playing video games and what not. It was a true bromance.

Alton had a little brother named Corey. I was trying to sell a Sega Genesis with the 32x and the CD-ROM thingie, with some games. Corey said he wanted it and agreed to buy it. On a Friday he asked if he could go ahead and take it because his friends were doing some crap and he wanted to take it with him. He said he'd have the money on the following Monday. I said, it's Alton's brother, so why not? I never saw Corey again in my life.

I'd try to talk Alton about it and he'd tell him to pay me. He didn't. After time it got ridiculous so I started to torture him. So I'd go to Books A Million and go through the magazine section and pull out all the little cards inside. I mailed them all off in his name. So I subscribed him to a million magazines. He joined Columbia House SEVERAL times. He ordered all kinds of collectible plates and dolls. Eventually Alton put two and two together and asked me if I did it. Hell yes I did. And he laughed his ass off.

But that's all he did. Eventually it really got to me that Alton didn't do more. I'm his friend, he's his brother. It seems like a no brainer that he could at least do something like bring the stuff back to me or bitch at him a little more. So eventually I lost my friend, along with my ability to jerk off playing Night Trap.

But it did result in the "classic" Lethargic song called Corey.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 24th, 2016, 9:24 pm

When I was younger I used to do this test where when people came over to my house, I would leave a $20 lying around. At some point while they were over I would go to the bathroom or something and then later check and see if it was still there. I always figured it was worth paying $20 to see if I could trust someone.

I only had one $20 disappear. One time two co-workers and one of their little brothers stopped by my house. I don't even think I was intentionally doing the test, I just noticed it was gone later that evening. I'm not sure who took it but in my mind it was the one guy's brother because that's the easiest to deal with.

Around the time I turned 30 I decided it was easier just to quit inviting people over that I didn't trust. When I turned 40 I became a hermit and quit inviting anyone over, haha.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby fergojisan » May 24th, 2016, 10:40 pm

I had a small collection of Mego Batman figures when I was a kid, Batman and Robin, and the Joker, Penguin & Riddler. There was an older kid (I called them "big kids" back then) who lived down the street whom I idolized, and we went to the park with my Batman and Robin to play. Now that I've typed that out, it seems really sketchy. I don't remember how much older he was, but it was at least 5 years.

Anyway, there was a new merry go round in the park across the street, which you could crawl under and actually ride it underneath if you could get into the supports. This was a dumb idea, but we did it. My "friend" asked me if I wanted to see a trick, so he took my Batman and Robin figures and put them under the merry go round. I don't recall if I actually saw him do it. He spun it around a bit and told me to look underneath. Hey presto, Batman and Robin were gone! I asked him to make them come back, but he said something like he didn't know how to do that part of the trick, so they wouldn't come back. I'm sure I started crying and I know I didn't tell my parents that the figures were gone, because I thought it was my fault. I'm also sure it took me awhile to figure out that he had actually stolen them, but I never did anything about it.

Fuck that guy.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 24th, 2016, 10:56 pm

That is a shitty thing to do to a kid and if you give us his name the Gas Chamber crew will go kick that guy's ass for you.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Felix » May 25th, 2016, 7:31 pm

Elvis used to do a similar trust test that you mentioned, Flack.

I do remember having a couple MUSCLE figures stolen. I was playing on the front porch when a kid I sorta knew dropped by. We talked a little and he took off. I called him back and asked about the figure. They kid taking it, of course, and said I must have dropped them. I knew I didn't. I had no recourse though and had to let it go.

I do remember I did steal something. My friend had a GI Joe gun that I really wanted. REALLY wanted. I was staying the night at his house and happen to slip it into my pocket. I felt so terrible that I couldn't sleep. I was over come with guilt. How could I be a thief? What was I doing with my life? Can you tell I was a dramatic and serious kid? Before I went home, I made sure I left the gun. In my mind and heart, I had already done the crime though.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 25th, 2016, 8:10 pm

I stole a specific LEGO brick from a friend of mine. It was from one of the space sets and only came in one set, which he had, and I did not. The dumb thing is, he grew up to be a normal adult and, at age 42, I still have every toy I owned as a kid, including my LEGOs. I'm sure I could go upstairs and dig that brick out right now.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 25th, 2016, 8:46 pm

New question....Do you remember the day you stopped playing with toys?

I remember mine specifically. It was in the summer before junior high. I lived next door to Mike's aunt. Who was the most lesbian lesbian I've ever known. She even worked in an auto factory. Mike would stay with her in the afternoons and we hung out and rode our bikes. The weird thing is I don't even believe we were friends. It was just he was there, I was there. I knew him, but I didn't really KNOW him. It's hard to explain.

We moved that some before junior high so I'd be closer to the school I'd go to. My parents had been friends with Aunt Lezzy, so she came to visit sometimes. This one time she brought Mike with her. And it was like I was meeting him for real for the first time. He seemed to have matured in our time away. Taller, deeper voice. He was only a year older but it felt like he was 18 and I was 12. This is how I still feel actually.

But the thing is. I was sitting on the front porch with all my GI Joes. Pew pew pew.. Since we were the kids he had to hang out with me. I'm sitting there like pew pew pew Yo Joe! Duke is fudgin up Serpentors day pew pew pew pew pew. And he sat there looking at them like...ugh. He'd pick one up and kinda fondle with it for a second and put it down. He'd say stuff about how he "used" to do this and that with his figures. And the more we sat there the more I felt like an idiot. Am I not supposed to do this anymore?

After that day the toys started fading away. GI Joe's become something fun to burn or strap to fireworks. A year from then my room was filled with drums instead of toys. A year after Mike and I were playing in Lethargic.

Luckily, even though I stopped, I did not get rid of all my toys. I kept all my Transformers and a lot of GI Joe stuff. Made a KILLING yo.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Ice Cream Jonsey » May 25th, 2016, 9:47 pm

Aunt Lezzy


Aunt Lizzy?

Aunt Lezzy


Aunt Lizzy?

Aunt Lezzy


Aunt Lizzy?

Aunt Lezzy


You mean Aunt Lizzy.

Aunt Lezzy


Aunt Lizzy?

Aunt Lezzy
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Ice Cream Jonsey » May 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

lethargic wrote:New question....Do you remember the day you stopped playing with toys?


Great question. Love the show. I have a memory of an older kid that I was friends with coming over and asking me which G.I. Joes I had. I thought he was interested in them! I had a birthday party the next week and he got me the Snowshoe Cobra guy. He said that he just wanted to see which ones I had so he didn't get me a duplicate. Sneaky, but greatly appreciated, because nobody wanted doubles.

I also remember a time where a friend that I played a lot of toys with was coming over, and I cleaned my place up, but forgot one spare GI Joe laser pistol or something similar. He pointed it out and said, YEAH he hadn't played with those in a LONG TIME. I was getting the message, non-verbally, that their very existence wasn't cool anymore.

(Grimlock in a Transformers box is across the room, I think it really ties the room together, though admittedly I do not craft adventures with him.)
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 26th, 2016, 1:41 pm

That's a really hard question to answer.

My two big things as a kid were Star Wars and LEGOs. By kid, I mean probably through fifth grade. Break dancing hit big when I was in 5th and 6th grade, then there was the ninja thing from maybe 6th to 7th grade, and from 7th to maybe 11th I was big into skateboarding.

We got an Atari 2600 when I was five or six years old. The next year we got a TRS-80 Model III, and two years after that, we got an Apple II. I got my own Commodore 64 in 7th grade, so I was definitely out of my toy phase by then. I made friends with other kids who had computers too and literally all we did was eat, breathe, and sleep computers -- playing games, trading games, reading magazines about games, and talking about games.

Somewhere in the middle there -- maybe 6th grade, I guess -- I got into Dungeons and Dragons, too.

I don't know that any of that's an answer, so to speak. I'd say by fifth grade all my friends wanted to do was ride bikes and play football and do stuff like that so that's when my toys started collecting dust. Definitely by seventh grade, most of my toys were put away.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby lethargic » May 26th, 2016, 2:36 pm

Aunt Lizzy?


Are you having a stroke?


I did not get into breakdancing in 5th grad, I got into beat boxing. I was Human Beat Boxing my ass off.
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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby Flack » May 26th, 2016, 10:41 pm

In the summer between fourth and fifth grade, my mom came home one day and said, "do you wanna go see the Coca-Cola Breakdancers?" I don't even remember if I knew what breakdancing was at the time, but I said okay. That Saturday my mom took a few of my friends and I up to Synder's Grocery Store and in the parking lot they had a big stage set up like a wrestling ring but without the ropes with a huge DJ booth and speakers and everything. I don't remember how long they performed -- maybe an hour or something? -- but by the time we got home, we had already formed our first "breakin' crew." Before that day the only breakin' move I knew was the moonwalk (from watching Michael Jackson) but after that, we started doing the backspin, the kneespin, the centipede, and everything else.

Before long I had copies of Beat Street and Breakin' on VHS, and three vinyl albums: Beat Street, Breakin', and Electric Breakdance. Electric Breakdance had "Jam on It" and "Rockit" on it some other goofy songs. It also came with a big instructional poster that showed how to do all the sweetest moves. I think I even had a video tape that showed how to do some moves, too.

By the time sixth grade rolled around I had at least four different pairs of parachute pants that I can remember, plus I had this red windbreaker that folded itself up into its own pocket. Of course I had some big ol' puffy white Converse shoes that I loved. I loved puffy white high tops, man. I had some neon green shoelaces and some orange ones that I would swap in and out.

I remember one specific night I took my boombox out to the street corner around 10pm with some tapes I had and just went out there by myself and worked on my moonwalk for an hour. It was hot and sweaty and there were mosquitoes and moths fluttering around the streetlight and I just kept working on it. I wanted to be so awesome.

Each year in elementary school we did a P.E. program. I personally convinced our P.E. teacher that instead of doing the parachute or something like that, that she should let us breakdance in the school's P.E. program She allowed us to do it, and they even used my record and we danced to Rockit in front of an auditorium full of people's parents. It was one of those big wins for the kids. I was the breakdance hero.

Like everything, it seems like it disappeared overnight. It was such a huge part of my sixth grade life and by seventh grade my life revolved around ninjas, D&D, and the Commodore 64.

AND THIS AWESOME GAME:

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Re: Have you ever forgotten why you collected something?

Postby AArdvark » May 29th, 2016, 12:48 pm

I never really stopped playing with toys, they just got more expensive and adult oriented. Actually, the day i bought my first socket wrench set from one of those truck sales (super cheap quality but a low low price!) was the day all my plastic zoids and stuff looked immature to me. For a while they had these pocket sized battery operated trucks that you could upgrade with bigger motors, better wheels, stuff like that. We had a straight dirt course set up and mini truck pulls and stuff like that in my back yard. There were three or four of us I think. Then one of us got the idea of filling his little dump truck with gas, lighting it on fire and watching as it drove down the driveway, flaming out of control. Man I wish we had a video recorder back then.

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Edit: they were called Stompers, hadda look it up.
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