Sci-fi and fantasy fandom has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years. It’s made it easier for us to access shows, comics and media in all its forms. Merchandise has been easier to find at retail and we’ve never seen a bigger selection of toys on the market. But it’s come with one major drawback. For many of us, we are not just fans of Transformers. Following several franchises, often as passionately as each other, can prove expensive and problematic. That’s lead to many fans having to take stock of their collections and take a more practical and drastic approach… and downsizing collections.
It can be prohibitively expensive being a geek! It used to be much easier. Pocket money merchandise, simpler ranges and it was easy to be more selective in what we bought. Quality varied so we could afford to be picky. Nowadays there’s such a diverse selection available and of such high standards that we’re spoiled for choice.
It’s bad enough if we focus on just one franchise. With offerings from multiple toy and comic lines, video games, clothing and more it’s hard to keep up. Add others in to the mix and unless we’re able to land a small fortune from a casino online with a bonus, win the lottery or have a very well paid job then we have to think more about our collections. And that means being ruthless over what we actually collect.
Are There Too Many Transformers?
Ignoring other things that we might collect for a minute, Transformers itself is a huge franchise. With a legacy dating back almost 35 years, spanning countless toy ranges and television shows it’s almost impossible to be a completist. Even putting that aside, it’s still difficult to collect with more focused goals. Individual shows have hundreds of toys associated with them, not to mention repaints and when it comes to specific characters… Well, that becomes a nightmare. I don’t envy anyone who makes the decision to collect every variant of a particular character. Some will be a never ending task and will need limitless funds and storage.
I thought my own challenge to collect a complete set of toys for Beast Wars Cheetor was achievable, but that wasn’t to be the case. With all of the convention exclusives, character variants, repaints and rarer variants even I gave up. But that wasn’t before amassing over 50 toys and spending in excess of £1,500 on them. As with everything else, they just ended up gathering dust as I ran out of display space and found better homes where they were appreciated once I started the process of downsizing collections including Transformers.
The big problem with collecting anything is that it takes up space. Unless you live alone or have a VERY understanding partner, you’re going to run out of it sooner or later. We don’t all have the luxury or dedicated man (or woman) caves or ample attic space for storage. When we were younger we seldom cared for packaging so that was disposed of quickly. Now we care more about keeping things in pristine condition. So when we do open toys, more often than not we want to find storage space for the boxes as well.
But where can we keep everything and how can we save space? Attics can be prone to damp and other risks. The same for keeping anything out in the garden in the shed. Even more compact items have the same problems. The comics side of Transformers (and other collections) isn’t too bad until we look at the full range of what has been published. A basic run is bad enough but when you look at miniseries, different publishers, reprints and collected volumes – you could be looking at a few bookcases!