In exploring this hobby of collecting action figures, like with most pass times there are the negative labels and misconceptions placed by those who know little about anything nor take the time to understand and appreciate why people do things. This post will cover a series of misconceptions and negative labeling about collecting action figures based on my experience as a collector, my interaction with collectors across the global and how it is perceived by media over time.
Action Figure Collecting is an Addiction:
Yes it is. It is very much an addiction if you allow it. A credit card and collecting can be financial chaos and it is this fear that kept me from acquiring a credit card for years. Even today I use an alternative to a credit card that limits my spending significantly so I don’t go overboard. With great power comes great responsibility. Like a drug the more you want but mind over matter. Think, plan and make a calculated purchase decision.
Action Figure Collecting is Expensive:
No it is not. Financial discipline is the key and being able to plan a budget and manage expenses according to your specific income. In a video shared on the first post the collector talks about budgeting and buying loose instead of sealed, w/o accessories and weapons and from flea markets and sales than just straight off the shelf. It is only expensive when the hobby begins to financially affect your responsibilities and duties as a person.
Collecting Actions Figures means you have no life nor anything better to do with your money.
Lets be real and say that this is one of the first labels that pops into any non collectors mind. So no, collectors live a normal life and again most of us plan a budget and work with it. I will admit that collectors in the states go overboard and I guess the labeling stems from the 40 year old virgin that is portrayed with a figure just to mention one scenario.
Action Figure Collecting is associated with being Gay:
In a recent facebook post just one month ago a fellow collector himself stated that ” that guy seriously needs a girlfriend,” commenting on an image of a man cave filled with comics, posters, games and action figures. The idea behind this misconception is that girls consider a guy that has “childrens toys” to be not a man but a child and therefore is unappealing. This further evolves into the idea that a person collecting action figures” typically guys” are unsuccessful with girls and find themselves entertained and fulfilled through the action figure. Lastly this concepts finally degrades into the guy must be (gay) since he can’t get a girl, collects action figures and only guys collect action figures.
Both local and foreign collectors live normal lives, happily married with kids and collect. Supporting girlfriends and wives may not collect as well but appreciate the person there with for who they are and don’t make the pass time a problem.
Action Figure collecting is for Nerds and Geeks.
According to the Merriam Webster Online definition, a nerd is ” an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.” A geek is ” a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people. A person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity.”
The misconception here is that media portrays these types of people associating themselves at some point with an action figure. Eg. 40 year old virgin, The Big Bang Theory, Dexter’s Laboratory to name a few. It is true on a worldwide scale that persons considering themselves to be nerds and geeks do collect action figures. However it is not the hobby that makes you a Nerd or Geek based on the definitions.
The hobby is simple a vessel for self satisfaction. Just as party loves, drinkers or any obsession/vice, the purpose for engaging in the activity is that it brings the individual some degree of satisfaction and happiness.
Locally, the terms “Nerd” and “Geek” maybe replaced by other words but the same concepts apply. I hope that locals on the whole would shed some light on this subject .
People tend to fear what do not understand and create first impressions without knowing the full story. This is why in the next post I will bring to light what maybe hidden in the darkness which are famous/ iconic persons (celebrities) that do collect action figures.
Stay tuned and share your thoughts on the subject.