For me, collecting things is as much a hobby as it is a compulsion. For those that are considered hoarders, I suppose it most certainly is a compulsion and one without logic as hoarders tend to keep everything and anything. My collections have at least always been relatively specific.
Like most boys, my earliest collection was baseball cards. For many kids in the 80’s this was a big hobby. As we gathered and amassed cards of our favorite athletes we would often speculate how much they would be worth one day, certainly more than what we paid to acquire them. The card market ended up collapsing though and most of those cards are worthless. I was never real big into it so I never amassed a large assortment, just a tin canister’s worth and a binder.
My next collection would be one that would last a long, long time for me: action figures. As a kid, they were toys first, and a collection second. I played with them and got lots of milage out of various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, and X-Men for much of my youth. I don’t know at what age it became more of a hobby than a toy, I’d speculate when I was around 10 or so, but for a little while longer I continued to buy new ones even though I didn’t actually play with them.
Eventually I became more interested in other things, music and video games mostly, and spent my limited income there. Around the time I started working part time jobs I got the itch to pick up where I left off. I’m not sure why, though I think it mostly had to do with the quality of action figures released in the late 90’s and early 2000’s compared with what I had growing up. In the mid 90’s, Todd McFarlane’s company got into the action figure market and revolutionized it. The company’s philosophy was that a better looking figure could be created without radically increasing costs. They spent just a little more time than the other companies creating better and more detailed molds and the results blew the competition away. Marvel’s parent company Toy Biz would eventually catch up and start producing their Spider-Man Classics, and eventually Marvel Legends, line with a similar philosophy. The figures were now a bit bigger and more detailed and while McFarlane was willing to sacrifice articulation for visuals, Toy Biz crammed as many movable parts into their toys as they could reasonably accommodate.
That explains why I got into collecting Marvel toys again, but just before that I had started amassing a collection of Dragonball Z action figures put out by Irwin. My thought process here is that I got into DBZ as a teenager and before that any cartoon I watched religiously was always accompanied by a consumption of the toy lines put out. For some reason I really wanted a physical representation of the characters from that show to adorn my shelf space. Irwin’s toys were pretty basic too, relatively cheap, and not the most visually stunning but I bought them anyways. They would improve as the line continued until the company went bankrupt and the license was sold to Jakks Pacific, who all but ruined it.
The Marvel Legends line would meet a similar fate. I collected these ones for a good 4 years or so before the line succumbed to poor quality at the hands of Hasbro. At
first I bought sparingly, only grabbing the characters I really liked and that looked good. The first one I bought was Magneto from series 3, and the next one may have been Gambit. I passed on a lot of them though because I either didn’t care about the character (such as The Hulk and Toad) or thought the figure looked crummy (like Wolverine from series 3). I removed all of them from the package, as I wanted to pose them on a desk or shelf, and wasn’t doing it because I thought it was some smart investment. I just did it for enjoyment.
As a result, I have cases full of action figures in my basement. As I got more and more into it, I eventually started buying everything. Also, Toy Biz would start packaging each figure in a series with a piece of a larger figure to assemble (marketing genius) so I ended up buying entire series to assemble a sentinel, Apocalypse, Giant Man, and a few others until plastic became too expensive for the trend to continue. I also sparingly bought from other series, such as the Mini Mates and Spider-Man lines. And when Toynami unveiled its Futurama line I bought those as well, but I eventually stopped due to a combination of rising costs and lack of space to display all of these things.
Now my action figure lust is all but gone. I made one action figure purchase in 2010, buying The Monarch and Dean Venture together from the show The Venture Bros. The rest of the figures in that line are just too expensive to justify purchasing (20 bucks a figure) and I would have no place to put them anyways. Before that I think my last action figure purchase was a Batman put out by Hot Toys in 2008.
Even though my thirst for action figures has seemingly been quenched, I have found another hobby to focus my attention (and money) on: Danzig. I am a huge Danzig fan, one step into my home and you’ll find an image of Glenn Danzig on my wall. From there, his presence is everywhere.
My focus when it comes to Danzig resides mostly with LP’s. It started with a purchase of The Misfits’ 3 Hits From Hell years ago. I had just gotten my first real job and wanted to acquire a rare piece of vinyl, just to have. The hobby was reignited when I purchased my first home last year and suddenly found myself with lots of
wall space to cover with records. I quickly purchased two more records, Halloween and the Glenn Danzig solo release Who Killed Marilyn?, and was able to get both signed by Mr. Danzig before he played in Boston last summer. I also picked up copies of the new record, Deth Red Sabaoth, on vinyl and CD as well as the 7″ for the single On A Wicked Night. In 2011, I have so far added a copy of Horror Business on yellow, The Lost Tracks of Danzig on blue, and original releases of Danzig, Danzig II, and Danzig 4p, with a copy of Danzig 7 on its way. To finish off the Danzig LP’s, I need to acquire copies of Danzig III, Danzig 6, and Circle of Snakes. Unfortunately, Danzig 5: Blackacidevil has never been released on vinyl, and I’m not sure if I want to add a copy of the EP Thrall: Demonsweatlive to my collection as well. Whether or not I do will largely depend on the going rate on ebay, though I have yet to see one surface. Danzig 6:66 Satan’s Child looks like it will be the hardest to come by. It had a very limited, European only, release on vinyl picture disc. It’s one of the least popular Danzig records so that may depress its value, but considering the rarity, who knows? Danzig III: How the Gods Kill has proven to be a bit of a rarity on ebay as well, though I just barely missed out on one a few weeks ago. I’ll be able to get one eventually, I just have to be patient.
I’m pretty well set on the Misfits stuff. I am mostly interested in the colored versions of the 7″ singles and EP’s put out by the band. The only one I don’t have that I really want is a copy of the Bullet single on red. It’s going to be an expensive acquisition so I’m sort of just biding my time. The thing that will help me out there is that the 1st pressing of the record on black is actually harder to find, so the red edition isn’t quite as in demand as others. I’m also looking into the Samhain stuff. There are numerous editions of the first LP, Initium, and a couple editions of the subsequent releases Unholy Passion and November-Coming Fire. With Samhain, like the Misfits, I’ll target the colored editions. The first two releases are available on red, and NCF on orange.
There’s a white version of Initium but it may be out of my desired price range. I still need to check out more auctions to see what I’m in for, though with NCF the orange ones are fairly common on ebay and I already have an established price range.
Aside from the records, I have targeted other Danzig related items. Last summer I purchased the special edition of Deth Red Sabaoth that came with a Danzig urn. Kind of stupid but undeniably unique. I also recently acquired an original Lucifuge cross-necklace like the one that appears on the cover of Danzig II: Lucifuge. It’s totally impractical as a piece of jewelry but completely awesome.
I haven’t decided what exactly I am going to do with all of these records. I have framed and hung on my wall the Misfits ones and also have Black Aria on my wall because I love the cover art. I also love displaying the colored records but for the 12″ ones it’s not as practical. The blue Lost Tracks and red Deth Red Sabaoth would look great displaying them the way I display the 7″ records but will consume a lot of wall space. I’m thinking of just getting the standard LP frames and arranging a Danzig wall with the records in a 3X3 grid in order of continuity. I don’t have enough records to do so, yet, but it’s an idea. I currently do not even own a record player so I don’t buy these to listen to them (I have CD for that) so I’m not concerned with having access to them at all times. Even so, If I choose to hang them I’ll probably get some generic record sleeves and keep the vinyl someplace else to avoid placing stress on the LP sleeves. Some of the older pieces have enough ware on them as it is.
My budding record collection is my current hobby, but what will follow is anyone’s guess. There’s a finite amount of material out there, though I could always expand my criteria and own every edition of every Glenn Danzig related item out there, but currently have no plans to do so. I am also totally screwed when the day comes I welcome a woman into my home on a permanent basis. There’s good chance she won’t tolerate skulls and inverted crosses on the wall of her bedroom.
UPDATE – The Danzig vinyl collection is basically complete: