Q&A with Chris Vaughan
When and how did you first start collecting action figures?
Immortalthor: I’m not really sure. I don’t know when it goes from just getting and playing versus “collecting.” I don’t think I’ve ever really stopped getting toys since I was a kid. In the beginning, I was collecting the original Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Star Wars figures. Now, I just keep buying what I like and selling what I get tired of.
What is your favorite character or figure?
Immortalthor: No question about it...Thor is my favorite, bar none. If it’s Thor or Thor-related - IT’S MINE!!!
What is the figure you’d love to get?
Immortalthor: I’d need about a mint worth of money to get one, but I’d love to get my hands on a mint-on-card Mego Thor. It is the beginning of a classic legend.
What is the best part of collecting for you?
Immortalthor: I love the hunt. Any collector knows what I’m talking about. You read online somewhere that the new wave of whatever should be hitting soon, and you find yourself going to Wal-Mart a little more often, or stopping by Toys ’R Us after work more frequently. It’s just a thrill to see what you’ll find on the shelves.
What are your favorite features of DASH?
Immortalthor: DASH’s Wanted List feature makes it a LOT easier to keep up with what I’m looking for. It helps me keep track of the things I want to keep an eye out for to see if I really want it or not. Sometimes I’ll want a figure, but then when I actually see it, I change my mind because of the sculpt or paint or whatever, then BOOM off she goes from the list. I use DASH on my iPhone, and it lets me keep my Collection and Wanted List updated all the time. While we’re at it too, I love the photo upload feature from the iPhone too. It makes it so simple to put pictures with my figures.
What advice would you have for new collectors?
Immortalthor: Buy what you LIKE, not what’s missing from your collection. I more or less stopped buying Transformers because of the 2,000 different repaint figures that kept coming out. Different color = different character, and I started to feel that it was a serious waste of money. I’m starting to get the same vibe from the Star Wars figures. Yeah, they're new sculpts and all, but how many different Hoth Han Solo’s do you REALLY need?
I don't really “collect” any line specifically. I focus on just what catches my eye, looks neat, or looks like fun. I open ALL my toys and play with them, display them, even torture the dog with them. Nothing like seeing a Sandcrawler chasing a Chihuahua!!!
But back to the question, buy what you have a passion for. If you’re a die-hard GI Joe fan, go for it! But start smart - buy the toys and vehicles you like first. If you're really into Cobra more than the Joes - start buying the Cobra stuff first, then you can keep going from there. Also keep in mind WHERE you’re going to put your stuff. How are you going to display it? Are you going to go the "store" route and have actual pegs and shelves? Are you going to go with a diorama and sort them by theme (ie. Hoth, Tatooine, etc)? The more organized you are up-front in keeping track of what you have and want, as well as even what you pay for a figure, the less likely you’ll be to get overwhelmed and frustrated.
I’ve spent hours on DASH getting myself set up, and it really gives me a little peace of mind. It’s really helped put more fun back into collecting for me, and after all, we’re talking about toys! This is all about having fun.