Collectors Speak Out on the Maxim Controversy

Jan. 30th 2013

I recently wrote an article calling out Maxim magazine for mentioning an action figure collection as a dealbreaker on a first date, and the response from collectors has been staggeringly awesome.

After sharing the article with our DASH communities on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and numerous other spots around the web, collectors starting speaking out in droves. Most defended their collections and shared stories of the peoeple in their life that appreciate their figures. Others sided with Maxim's portrayal of toys. Some criticized me for addressing the issue at all. No matter the opinion, it stirred up emotions and created a genuine response unlike anything else I've seen lately. 

And I want to share that response with the world. Below you'll find a long list comments assembled from around the web. It might just look like a long list of wordy collectors, but there are touching stories of love and connection, angry rants of past spurned lovers, and a few hilarious jokes along the way too. Needless to say, they're all well worth the read. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the original article, and then dive into each collector's unique perspective below. 

  • David Aguero: I think women hate it when their collections become a mess or over take their lives. My Wife actually prefers that I collect toys rather then drink beer or smoke. She says she always knows where I am and that eventually they will go to the boys. Now she does hate when I have a mess. So I try to keep it clean and organized.
  • Matthew Casper: The types of women they asked, are the annoying, self absorbed, "I know I'm hot", types. Not real women.
  • Jorge Jose Urena Zegarra: Got my gf of 5 years now she never said anything wrong about my hobbies whether action figure ; rc cars ; guitars ; watches ; guns etc she even said that she hopes our son follows on my hobbies because she rather that than someone who is always drinking smoking clubbing or always going out every week end plus she has bought me a couple of action figures so far which are quite expensive.
  • Steven B. Williams: My point of view is that collecting action figures is no different than collecting glass figures or polyresin/porcelain figurines. Now if a guy plays with the figures,...
  • cobra48103: When I first met my wife, my apt was covered. C-O-V-E-R-E-D in action figures and comics....she immediately said "Now this is cool" Two years ago, she bought me a complete Death Star for Christmas.....my wife rules, oh, and she's super hot....so Maxim, why don't you suck it....and your magazine sucks....it's better used in a cat box than on the coffee table.
  • Gareth Nash: Met my wife at uni, took her to my folks and the walls were plastered with MOC toys. She never even blinked. Sold the collection but in the last year I've started to buy again and she's no issues at all.
  • Porcino Fulanito: My (now) wife knew i was an avid action figure collector, and she didn't freaked out or anything like that "who really loves you, accepts you just the way you are" remember that. Plus, it's way better to spend cash on toys rather than alcohol or drugs, don't you think?
  • Matt VanFossen: Women probably hate it more that men read maxim. That is the men actually read.
  • Don Hinrichs: My wife is also very understanding. She hates clowns, one of my holy grails was a 6ft tall Capt. Spaulding despite it being a life sized clown when I found one at a great price shr told me "go for it!" i now have my grail.
  • Fast Freddie: My wife loves them! Just one of a few things that makes me love her even more.
  • Dean Doc Williams: Most Women May Think It's Childish Collecting Toys....I Have Female Friends That Scratch Their Heads & Wonder Why I Do It?...Then Have Others Who Love It & Stare At My Collection Everytime They Come 2 My Unit..Me Personaly I Coudnt Care Less What Anyone Thinks! It's A Passion Of Mine & I Aint About 2 Stop Collecting Because Of What A Woman Thinks!...Besides If You Meet The Right Woman It Either Woudnt Bother Her Yet..Still Support Your Hobby or She May Love It & Start Collecting Stuff Herself?..That's Just My Opinion!
  • Paul Urquiza: I mean... my last ex said she'd dump me if I didn't get rid of my figures, so I left her first
  • Jeremy: My ex wife realy hated my action figure collection. At the beginning of the relation ship it was almost a deal breaker. In the end, it was one of the deal breakers.
  • Brandon Philips: My wife now buys stuff for me. I didn't have a huge collection when we met because I was broke and struggling to complete my bachelor's degree. Once I got out of college and got a good job I started collecting and she has always supported it. I am not a man's man, I don't like football or fixing stuff, but I love my comics and figures. My wife says she will take my action figures over me being obsessed with sports any day. She has her hobby, cosmetics etc, and I have mine. We support and enjoy seeing the other one happy.
  • Shane Rollins: Yeah wife definitely supports my hobby too she's actually purchased some of my more pricey figures. She even has a few of her own , Nightmare before Christmas and She Ra the key here is you have to find some one that ha the same interests as you do. If your lady walks into the room and turns her nose up in the air and tells you to get rid of it. Just because she doesn't like it then shed not the one for you. On the other hand collecting can get out of control if you're an unorganized hoarder and you got piles of stuff taking over the house that's a different story.
  • Jo Gonzalez: My room looked like a toys r us, had batman sheets, I had lots of girl friends and they thought it was cute.
  • Scale Wars: You mean people read maxim. I figure people bought it for the near naked women that were slightly more respectful than actual nude women (for whatever reason). Essentally it was the Sports Illistrated Swimsuit issue all year round I thought. Reading it? come on.
  • Chris Barber: In related news, 98% of women said they would leave a guy's apartment if they found out that he reads Maxim magazine...
  • Damon Batt: Just for the record, my wife likes the stuff I collect and has no real problem with it. But since my work is in line with all that, it fits and most people think it's pretty cool. But I guarantee (if I were single) if I went out into the world and picked up some chick and brought her home and she saw that stuff that there may be a negative reaction. Like it or not there is always going to be a stigma with collecting of anything like that, be it comics, toys, cards, etc. All it takes is 6.6% of our world to make a bad example for the rest. I mean, I know how I look to most people when I'm out and about. Long hair, leather jacket, Harley-Davidson and people just think certain things and with good reason too. I'm ok with it, it's not for me to tell them they are wrong for thinking defensively. It's up to me to show that I am not like the stereotype. But back to the stereotypes for 'collectors', the majority are divided with either overweight, or thin, usually not athletic, either no confidence or too overly confident (about what, I don't know), and so on. I mean, Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons kinda sums up a lot of collectors out there and we all know, but just don't want to admit it or see ourselves for that. To tell you the truth, I would have thought that the percentage number in the mag would have been higher. I do see where you are coming from, I really do. I have my own man-cave in our house literally covered in figures and collectibles. My wife of course has the rest of the house decorated really nice in her own style of "french country" etc. However we actually spend most of our family time in my room amongst the hundreds of DC and Marvel comic related items. I have also had several female friends and relatives describe my room as basically a "dream room". So I guess it just depends on the crowd. At only 6.6% that's a pretty fair number if you look at the other responses and how high those numbers are. The fact is that the majority (out in the world at large) and not the small world we tend to relegate ourselves too, tend to not look at action figure collections positively. I mean, think about the number there . . . if you met 100 women and only 6.6% of them had a negative reaction then you are actually doing really good when it comes to relative numbers. On a side note, it's Maxim! Nobody gives a shit what they think. Also, and this may be a bit sexist but a woman will only 'embrace' the action figure thing till it interferes with anything pertaining to her. Just like when a girl says she likes sports or cars or whatever. It's only cool as long as it stays out of her way and away from her money. But what happens when it does get in the way? It's out of there or she is.
  • Emily Bore: I do!!! My fiance has shelves upon shelves of action figure and it his collection started with just a few here and their and now he has a huge collection!! I will be marrying him in a month and weve been together 11 yrs! Being with him has now made me an action figure collector!! They cause no harm in.A relationship at all in my opinion. In fact we enjoy going "hunting for scores" together doesnt change the person you are inside if you have action figures.....they're fun!!!
  • Jerod Spencer: man women hate action figures........they just care about barbie and makeup and shopping
  • Jason Plyler: There has been women in my life who didn't understand it,and there has been some who loved it.The ones that didn't understand are the ones that were stuck on themselves and had no personality.The ones who thought it was cool had a great personality and thought outside the box.So in a way u could say thats how they pass my test!
  • Dean Doc Williams: The Way I Look At It..Other People Collect Stamps..Coins..War Memorabillia..Etc..All We Do Is Collect Pop Culture Mostly In The Form Of Plastic...It's A Hobby..An Intrest! Something I Enjoy & Something I Wont Be Giving Up In A Hurry!
  • Gareth Nash: I think they appreciate its harmless and even an investment sometimes. Compared to some guys who have much worse habits we can't be that bad can we lol.
  • Ronnie Tosh: Yeah I don't drink at all since my youngest was born,I don't go out and come home early hours,I have my comics and figures to keep me happy and to be honest I prefer the dad part of my life to the young and wild,and my boys are completely into comics and figures,Jesus overwhelming pride for my kids here lol
  • Aaron Roberts: My girlfriend's awesome, she's learnt what I like, what I need and what good prices are for things I'm after. She buy more figures for me than I actually do lol. Sure she may think it's a little sad but it keeps me quiet and happy. Plus she's smart enough to realize it's an investment as well.
  • Guy Bernice: my buddy's wife also collects action figures so they are a perfect couple!
  • Jackson King: My girlfriends happen to be antique doll collectors or some sort of hobbiest. Maxim talks about those snobby business type woman that will be divorced in 5 years or less. I've read a few issues where it seems like they get there insight from sex and the city.
  • Randy Evil-h Hutchings: Uh, not to sound like an egotystic jerk or anything, but I used to be quite.......popular with the lady folk before I got with my fiance', and almost every woman who I ever brought home or dated thought my DC Universe Classics and Predator collection was badass... Though they'd all say "awwww" when they asked if they could take them out to look at them and I said, "Nope."
  • Imnot Traci: Dear Maxim. I work for a customizer with a BIG...Collection LOL!(his wifes gonna kill me)I am freinds with Guys over 600 of them with big...collections and they are with out a doubt the Cutest,coolest,kindest,most down to earth guys on the planet! Theyre sweet honest patient and are very appreciative of the ladies in their life. Adult,college age,HS,I even have a 4 yr old frend(happy b-day trent!!!) that are honestly Great guys! This is coming from a NON comicbook geek girl. I dont do conventions or dress up as Avatars with freinds. I got into this culture for the money(I help Promote URBAN ESSENTIALS). And as a result I met a group of guys that would make any female SWOON! 93.4% OF women(REAL women) know that.
  • Mike Fleck: That is a good article. I've had it come up (never in a condemning way, mind you) with women, asking out of curiosity how much I spent on things. Luckily, I've worked retail long enough to be able to answer "as much as a pair of (brand) shoes" or something to that effect. Immediately puts it in perspective, and also makes sure that I'm aware they spend money on dumb stuff too, so it's all good.
  • Wes Grogan: My wife approves my collection and actually really likes a lot of them. We also have a futon in the office for guests who need somewhere to crash, and she has several pictures of her exes that I have no problem with at all. Screw Maxim. Those types of women who would leave immediately upon seeing that don't DESERVE some of the great guys who also collect.
  • Matt Goldberg: At only 6.6% that's nothing to worry about. Plus if a woman doesn't accept you for you then forget her. Collecting toys was one of the best things I ever did with my life. It turned into a hobby that later influenced my animated videos, which later got me discovered on youtube by a TV producer, which now got me opportunities in the industry I've always dreamt of being a part of and I've become successful so far at the young age of 22 all because I collected toys. So the only one laughing in the end of a stupid situation like this would be me. If a girl doesn't accept me for me then forget her, not worth my time. That goes for anyone really. I've been with a few girls over the years and they didn't care. Collecting doesn't change your personality or who you are as a person, it's just something you enjoy collecting, no different than a girl and her shoes or purses, so that's just an immature comment by them. I hate stupidity like this.
  • Chris Person: My wife has been nothing but cool with me collecting from the start. Ironically enough, she did ask me to get rid of my Maxims...
  • John Sholtz: My super cool, yet non "geek" wife is completely fine with my collection and has been from the beginning. She is even great with letting me have an entire room in our house dedicated to my hobby. For my birthday and holidays she goes out of her way to find toys I want to add to my collection. She is a complete girly girl and into purses and shoes, but She accepts my vices and I accept hers. Relationships are a two way street.
  • Ceshom: I don't really know how difficult is in the USA to find a girl that has no problems with an action figure collector, In my special case, my girlfriend doesn't like much the fact that I love collector figures, but she still respects that this is my passion. She started to accept that fact when we first met, I told about this passion from the very beginning but most important, I explained her that as a sculptor and a fan of science fiction, horror and fantasy I consider those plastic toys, real pieces of art, because they actually are pieces of art. An open minded woman, free to think by herself is going to consider this fact, accept that collecting action figures is a passion and in some cases maybe, embrace this culture. Nerd, Geek or whatever they call us, I'm one of them and very proud of it.
  • Imnot Traci: Cor cor. As soon as I get home I'm gonna give you some awesome. Point of views. Is LOVE a guy that was focused enough to manage a collection. It shows dedication organization and a guy can't cheat if he's re organizing his self made batcave
  • Ryan Thomas: I've never had a problem with action figures and girls before. They mostly love em in fact. I try not to date shallow girls.
  • Shane Rollins: Yeah wife definitely supports my hobby too she's actually purchased some of my more pricey figures. She even has a few of her own , Nightmare before Christmas and She Ra the key here is you have to find some one that ha the same interests as you do. If your lady walks into the room and turns her nose up in the air and tells you to get rid of it. Just because she doesn't like it then shed not the one for you. On the other hand collecting can get out of control if you're an unorganized hoarder and you got piles of stuff taking over the house that's a different story.
  • Tom McCraw: The joke is on Maxim. It's only 6% and the female population out numbers men. So if they don't like the collecting, a guy can find someone else who will understand their collection.
  • John Harmon: Happy stories, huh? My girlfriend definitely supports and encourages my collecting. She's proud of me for being able to turn it into a business, and using it as an opportunity to advance my career.
  • Aaron Roberts: My girlfriend's awesome, she's learnt what I like, what I need and what good prices are for things I'm after. She buy more figures for me than I actually do lol. Sure she may think it's a little sad but it keeps me quiet and happy. Plus she's smart enough to realize it's an investment as well. Oh and I forgot to mention my kids have constant conversations/arguments on who's getting what when I die............. they're gonna be sadly disappointed when they see the doors close on my crypt full of Detolfs and my figures surrounding my coffin
  • Blaine Rawsome i guess i get all shallow ones that find out, degrade my manhood and say I'm just a big kid/man child. only known a handful that like/tolerate it.
  • Chris Nix: Let me just give you a heads up. Guys who normally read maxim have never had vagina.
  • Gareth Nash: I think my missus sees the investment too as I've sold collections before and made some nice money from it when I have. My toddler is loving it all to with his Iron Man / Batman obsession. I hope him and our newborn get into collecting something as they get older because its harmless fun isn't it? All i get from my missus is oh!!!not another one..and im not aloud to put them downstairs because it would look out of place because we live in a cottage lol..so now the whole bedroom is filled hahaha!!!! so all her shoes have to be put in the loft..
  • Cheryl Turner: I personally love guys that collect, but hell I am the one in my family that does the collecting!
  • Jamison Dion: I met the woman I'm now engaged to 3 years ago and we hit it off because she collected McFarlane toys and I was into TMNT. Then we shacked up, both got into designer toys, and couldn't be happier. She could be the exception to the rule, but the problem here is more likely that the type of people who read Maxim (male or female) are likely too vapid and devoid of culture to appreciate a quality toy collection.
  • Tony Vazquez: Action-figure Collector, and PROUD of it. Maxim can SUCK MY MAZINGA.
  • Rien Polak: My wife has a collection of bugformers, so not completely true. Although she thinks almost any non animal transformer is boring.
  • Bernie Schuette: It's no secret, been that way for years. If you guys are tired of the stereo type, I'm willing to help by taking these embarrasing collections off your hands. Also I'm accepting Lional trains, mechanical banks, 50's and 60's Japanese metal battery operated toys. ect... Only you can stop the madness!
  • Joshua Coughlin: This seems extremely petty. If anything you should be celebrating the fact that the action figure segment had the lowest percentage. And sorry, but yes grown men collecting action figures is not the norm. It is for us because we are in that world.
  • Ferocious_Rabbit: I am glad to see that we aren't bottom of the food chain any more. Sadly, toy collecting still isn't as mainstream acceptable as video games just yet. Some of us are lucky; we can find women who tolerate, or even embrace our hobby. I did. I'm so glad I did. I've never been happier. The best way to find this seemingly elusive "nerdy girl" is to put yourself where nerdy people gather. If you attend college, try the niche clubs. If not, find your local comic shop. Hang out there, become a presence, learn the regular clientele. Even if you don't score a cute young lass to call your own, odds are you'll still make more than a few steadfast bros to hang out with, hell, maybe even a few collector buddies. In my town, my comic shop was the best thing that ever happened to my social life, and the beautiful girl by my side as I write this leaves me with no regrets.
  • cyko: I'm not too surprised. In fact, looking from the opposite direction, it seems like there would be far greater than 6.6% of the general female population to be poor matches for an action figure enthusiast (completely divergent lifestyles). Rather shocking is the futon hate. Maybe living in a studio apartment isn't attractive to the opposite sex? Anyway, it's "Maxim"; does anyone still read that mag?
  • Henchmen4Hire: I used to ask chicks in high school about this, the numbers broke down to most didn't care about collections and some are actually into it. Rarely was it a put off and I guess this poll back that up. Interestingly, the ones who said they wouldn't stand for action figures said they'd be fine with statues. Go figure!
  • Cameragrrl: My first action figure was a Silver Surfer, given to me by my brother for xmas in 1990. Sadly, I'm not sure where Norrin is these days. I took him to college with me, and I think he got misplaced in the many shuffles between then and now. Anyway, my collecting didn't take off until after I married my husband, and we both started collecting comics. The brainy/nerdy girl in high school scored a brainy nerdy guy in college. We accept and tolerate one another's obsessions, even if we don't share them. My action figures take up a huge amount of space in the basement, and he doesn't care, and my joy in them makes him happy. I'm really lucky to have such a guy. Those 6.6% of the polled females who said they'd run at the sight of action figures? They totally don't know what they're missing, both in the figures, and in the guys collecting them.
 

I want to thank each and every person who left a comment, whether it was included above or not. I had trouble keeping track of all the comments that were rolling in, but I read and enjoyed every single person that contributed to the discussion. 

I still hold by my stance that it's unfair to constantly portrary action figure collectors as the lowest rung of the social ladder, and that Maxim is complicit in that cultural trend. Thankfully most of the collectors in our community are having positive experiences with partners in their life despite the culture that suggests otherwise. But there are others who have been rejected because of this unfortunate stereotype, and I simply can't stand by that.

I hope someone takes notice that collectors are standing up and speaking out. 

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    This is staggeringly AWESOME. Thanks for rockin' it Corey!

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    Wow, I just read this article. Maxim has no idea what they're talking about. "Normal" guys like directors Eli Roth and Len Wiseman are action figure collectors. Another "normal" guy Seth Green collects and plays with them via his TV show Robot Chicken. A lot of "normal" men and women like Mila Kunis, Emma Stone, and Alison Brie would provide voices for Robot Chicken. Megan Fox's first Twitter posts were about Star Wars. I read somewhere that Leonardo DiCaprio collects Star Wars action figures, and he's "normal". Geez, is Maxim stuck in the 80s, or are they collaborating with TMZ types, or are they simply trying to enforce an aging stereotype, or all of the above?

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    "But there are others who have been rejected because of this unfortunate stereotype, and I simply can't stand by that." No one knows more about that than the geeks and the nerds, I think. Gamers, comic book lovers, figure collectors, cosplayers... Those people who think those things are weird or stupid, who don't understand a passionate discussion of which captain is best, whether one superhero could beat another, which gear is best for that boss fight, or the pleasure of finding that "Holy Grail" toy -- what sad and unimaginative lives they lead. Really, we should pity them...

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    Let's face it, a guy that collects toys is, stereotypically-speaking, not the dream guy that most girls grow up wanting to marry. But that depends on the guy. If Ryan Gosling, or Tatum Channing collected toys every girl would hang out at comic stores or Toys'R'Us. A geek is not determined by what you collect, it's more of a reflection of who you are and how socially comfortable, or not, that you are. I've met some very cool guys, with no female issues at all (one friend shot for Playboy), that collect toys. We don't all have to be Big Bang Theory to love toys, comic books or any collectible for that matter. Society is just happier boxing people in, and what passes as "journalism" nowadays (Maxim) is based entirely on Wikipedia stats and pathetically outdated stereotypes that can twisted into editorial fluff by some half-witted blogger who wants to make a name for himself. I would say a guy that reads Maxim is probably way less desirable to a woman, since most of his time is spent looking at girls he'll never have and more than likely whacking off on a regular basis. Be proud of what you collect, just shower once in a while, get out in the real world and maybe talk to some girls when you get opportunities. I married a very hot asian woman who loves my toys - in asia action figures ARE COOL - and whose dad collects as well (77 years old). There's a woman out there for everyone. Hey if all else fails, tell women how much your mint-in-box collection is worth. Gets them every time. You're only a geek if you fail to stand up for what you enjoy.

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    First time ive seen that article. My only comment would be: The only time i get shit for collecting from my girl is when i get characters such as Power Girl, Poison Ivy, etc. besides for any toys of female characters she thinks are "slutty" she genuinely seems interested in my new figures when i show em off to her for the first time.

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  • 6 years, 6 months ago

    To me,"40 year old Virgin" brought this on. I LOVED the movie, don't get me wrong, but most think it is a weird hobby. Some do not understand that this hobby brings us back to some of the best days of our lives...childhood. EVERYONE that either posts, or adds a figure on their collection page could tell you a "when I was little" story, and have the best smile on their face telling it. My wife has been very patient, and very supportive of my addict...er hobby. My two and five year old can't wait for the day when they figure out the lock on the door either!!!

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