I’ve been obsessed for sci-fi and anime and Star Wars and things like that since I could remember, but I only became really serious about it when I started collecting toys in 2009. What makes it even more serious is the fact that I’m not the type of collector who keeps purchases unopened and stored so that he could sell it for a fortune when it appreciates in value in a decade or so. I rip my stuff open like a present on Christmas day and immediately put the toy on display. For most people this hobby of mine is not a wise investment, but I’m of the belief that if you surround yourself with things you like, you’re happier, which makes you more productive–which should make you richer, eventually. Right? Right.
But at the age I’m in, people have all sorts of adjectives for my use of disposable income on consumables that don’t do anything other than take up space and gather dust: wasteful, childish, irresponsible and to an extent, even selfish. I guess I understand where they’re coming from. Most people my age would rather save up for travel, marriage and more practical things like a car, or a house. Not many people will take you seriously when you say you’re serious about collecting toys.
Not many people will take you seriously when you say you’re serious about collecting toys.
I guess that’s why I was (and still am, actually) really touched when Tricia, a friend of mine, got me a three-piece Dragonball Z scouter set for $25 at the recently concluded San Diego Comic Convention 2013 (SDCC).
When I found out that the scouters were being minted again (they were so rare that they cost at least $100 on eBay), I was heartbroken since I live nowhere near California. I have some friends over there, but I didn’t know anyone who had a Golden Ticket to the convention. It meant that I’ll be at the mercy of eBay re-sellers once again (some were already selling the scouters at $70 weeks before the SDCC dates)!
That was until I found out that Tricia had a free ticket to the event, who said she could buy it for me if stocks last until Sunday, which is the last day of the convention. Her boyfriend is a hardcore comic collector which makes her essentially a geek herself or in the least, understanding of fandom and geekery. I didn’t expect her to buy it for me considering the hellish maelstrom these conventions can be–and it was, and I quote : ” It was probably the longest line that I ever lined up for during the comic-con. Still can’t understand why so many people wanted this!”
It was probably the longest line that I ever lined up for during the comic-con. Still can’t understand why so many people wanted this!
To say the least, I felt really strong emotions when I saw the scouters over Facebook.
Tricia thinks my gratitude is excessive. But I don’t think it’s just a case of “you would’ve done the same if you were in my place”. I think most people would say “it’s just a toy” or “he’ll understand if he doesn’t get it” or “only children would get THAT disappointed over some silly plastic thing”, and of course they’re right. But it think it takes a rare kind of goodness, humanity and heart to go the extra mile and be in solidarity with another person’s passion even if you don’t understand what the fuss is all about.
But it think it takes a rare kind of goodness, humanity and heart to go the extra mile and be in solidarity with another person’s passion even if you don’t understand what the fuss is all about.
And I think that kind of solidarity should apply to all sorts of fanhoods and pursuits even if they seem like nonsense. Like my sister’s k-pop for instance, or my workmate’s liking for his pet tarantulas and scorpions, or chronic travelling that most of my peers do (which I find expensive and tiring) or even the strangest ones like “marriage”. There are, after all many, many ways to find one’s fountain of youth and happiness. No one path could ever be trivial if it adds colour and life to a person’s existence. (So okay, maybe marriage isn’t so much nonsense if you see it that way.)
Yes, I’ll probably go the extra mile to help people along with their passion. And mind you, that’s not an entirely selfless act–there’s a ton of joy to be had at seeing people’s faces light up after receiving/achieving something they have always wanted–it’s like having a taste of that person’s personal fountain of youth. And to an extent that’s one of the bigger reasons I brave resin fumes and burnt hands and tedious detail-work to produce some prop from some movie; it’s not just because I enjoy the process or see myself enjoying the outcome, but I also would like to see others enjoy what I create as well.
So for everyone who puts up with my silly toys–my geeky family, my tolerant friends–thank you. You’re free to drink from the fountain anytime, because you guys are super cool and awesome, and over 9000. (Tricia is over 27,000 because she got me THREE SCOUTERS, which puts her at a power level to kick monster form Zarbon‘s ass. Seriously though, thank you.)
P.S. So what kind of mods am I planning for my new scouters? Read more about it on my next post!