On this journey of discovering not only Action Figure collecting in T&T but collecting on the whole, I take this opportunity to introduce one of the lovely women who is very passionate and excited to share her hobby of collecting with the world.
TMNT Photographer not Reporter.
Mrs. Reisha Navya is one of the young ladies and part of the action figure collecting family in Trinidad & Tobago. Reisha is not only passionate about her Lego and TMNT figures to name a few but the unique thing about Reisha is her creative drive to bring the activity of Toy Photography to life in Trinidad & Tobago. A camera is a collectors best friend for it is through photography that the world can appreciate what you have the same way you do.
All collectors take photos of their collection but when collecting, photography and creative drive come together we get Mrs. Reisha Navya.
Interview with Mrs. Navya
My name is Reisha. Doctor by profession, child at heart. I’m 28 years old, married and a Medical Doctor at the Department of Anesthetics & ICU, SFGH. My hobbies and Interest are photography, guitar, art.
1) How did you become involved in collecting?
I’ve always enjoyed action figures growing up. As a child, I was obsessed with Ninja Turtles..Had all the T-Shirts, action figures, socks..you name it! About two years ago I got my DSLR camera and was itching for some practise..thats when I happened across Lego mini-figurines. I started off with a Harry Potter mini figure and somehow, the collection just kept growing- now I’m up to about 70 mini figures. I resumed my action figure collection thanks to friends and my husband. Birthdays and anniversaries were perfect opportunities for getting toys!
2) What exactly do you collect or what aspects of the hobbies interest you the most?
I collect mostly Lego mini figurines, Ninja Turtles and am starting to collect the Mcfarlane Walking Dead figures. I love the detail put into those figures! My interest in collecting also lies in photography. I stumbled across toy photography on instagram and have been in love with it since. The ability to create scenes/ fights/ encounters that normally wouldn’t happen really amuses me (though it probably irritates others lol. Example the “Untold battles of Wolverine”- Wolverine versus Ninja Turtles hehe).
3) What motivates you to maintain this hobby?
The ability to keep creating drives me. I keep looking out for new detailed figures that I can use in my photography to entertain both myself and others.
4) From a woman’s perspective how do you think girls/ woman view the hobby in Trinidad and Tobago.
Honestly maybe my perspective is a bit skewed but I don’t think there is a difference per se in men and women collecting in Trinidad. Think collecting on a whole has a stereotype that’s quickly being broken. Action figure details have grown in leaps and bounds and now attracts a wide range of people- men and women alike.
5) It is an age old perception, some might even say it’s true that the hobby of toy/ figure collecting is somewhat of a deterrence to girls and women in the interest of men that do. Your opinion on this.
My opinion is that if you seriously meet someone and are interested in them, their hobby shouldn’t deter you. Nothing is more boring than a man without a hobby. Have you ever met someone with no interests in life? I have. BORING. Toy/ figure collecting often comes with a rich history. Here’s someone who is interested in a backstory. Someone who has an imagination and isn’t afraid to believe in heroes. As a teenager going to school in SAGHS, I had friends who loved Xmen. I remember reading the back of the Fleer 94 series and learning all the backstories and reveling in all the connections and how the stories interlocked.
I can’t understand why a woman would be prejudiced against a man who collects toys/figures but is happy to date a man who drinks himself drunk and fetes every weekend. Those are the real boys. Men who collect can be loving boyfriends/husbands and eventually fathers. What you do as a hobby shouldn’t and will not deter a wise woman.
6) What are some, if any negative labels /misconceptions you have encountered from others about your involvement in the hobby?
I think I’m fairly lucky to have started collecting over the last couple years. Maybe I’m imagining but with the advent of shows like “The big bang theory” and the various Marvel and DC movies, people’s views of collecting and being a “nerd” has shifted. Now it’s actually considered cool to collect and be into comic books. At first my friends and family found it amusing that I was 28 years old, married and collect action figures..now they’ve come to accept it lol. They even buy me figures for my collection! I really consider myself as lucky!
7) How did you discover the Collectors Group created by Marvel Masters?
Actually happened by chance..when I moved into my new house, needed to get cable installed. The cable guy- aka Nicholas Augustus- actually saw my TMNT collection on display on my kitchen counter and suggested to my husband he join (since he assumed was my husband’s collection hehe). Husband happily put me onto the group and 2 years, here I am!
8) What are some of your goals and aspirations for the hobby both for yourself and the local community?
I would love for there to be a huge local convention where we can all meet up and trade/buy new and used figures. Maybe one day, to actually have a comic book/action figure store! Would be awesome!
9) Your advice to the guys whose love interest/s somewhat disapproves of their hobby.
Its rare for two people to have a shared interest in hobbies. I read comics, my husband loves cricket. What’s necessary is understanding between the two of you. The important question is why he/she disapproves of the hobby. Spending too much time behind a hobby and not them, spending too much money behind a hobby (if you cant afford to) could be an issue..so I guess it really depends on the circumstances. Long and short is that not everyone will fully understand what you do but when you find the right person, they’ll support you and even if they don’t understand it, they’ll leave you to your own devices doing what makes you happy!
10) What advice would you give collectors/ persons interested in starting the hobby in Trinidad and Tobago?
Like anything in life, just do what makes you happy. I won’t consider myself a big collector but i really go after figures I find well detailed and characters I love. Prices also plays a role for me. Unfortunately I haven’t won the lottery yet so have to balance between living and photography and day-to-day expenses!
11) In what ways do see the hobby growing in Trinidad and Tobago?
Its wonderful seeing the various comic book conventions and seeing everyone out and about in their numbers. I really love the vibe within the group and the acceptance towards all collectors- young, old, new and experienced. Looking forward to seeing that action figure store!
Your closing comments: Anything you would like to let the readers know about.
There’s no shame in action figure collecting. Be who you are, do what you want. You have one life to live and as long as you aren’t hurting anyone doing it, go brave… and that goes for everything in life. There’s a certain beauty in action figures- an element of keeping that child in you alive. Heroes and villains show us the best and worse in human nature and give us something to believe in. Keep believing.
Figurine TT would like to thank Mrs Reisha for her interest in sharing what she love and information to our fellow collectors and all our interested readers. If you like collecting your going to love taking photos of it so try it, you’ll like it. Photography may just be the next interest on your list. In closing I leave you with a shot of Reisha’s photos all of which and more can be seen on her facebook page.
On the next post Figurine TT will dive deeper into the artistic aspect of Action Figure Collecting to really show that collecting isn’t just fulfillment by acquisition but a lot more. Illustration, sculpture, 3d modeling and graphic design are all applied professionally and can be applied as part of the hobby to really bring to life a collectors experience. Who said collecting was boring? Stay tuned.Remember to follow and share a comment for other readers. Thank guys and girls.