Collection Spotlight by Kremzeek75
So this is the story of having it all, giving it all away, and then building it back slowly but surely.
I was roughly 9 years old when the Transformers debuted on TV- already a big fan of science fiction, I liked the whole concept of alternate modes, and of course, especially the robot modes. By this point, I had already amassed a huge collection of Star Wars and He-Man figures, but I got bored easily, so I basically moved on to the next best thing, and Transformers were HOT. I remember the very first Transformer I ever saw- it was at a friend’s birthday party, and he got the Frenzy/Laserbeak cassette pack. At first, I didn’t know what to make of it- they arrived in cassette mode, so I was saying to myself, “what is the big deal with that?” Then he transformed them, and I was amazed.
I can’t really remember what my very first Transformer was- I think it might have been Huffer, but not totally sure. So, I started buying the little guys on my weekly allowance. Generally speaking, I tended to root for the bad guys in whatever toy collection I had, so I naturally spent more on them than on the Autobots. Basically, over the course of two years, my collection went nuts between birthdays and Christmas. My parents got me the larger robots that I couldn’t afford on a weekly allowance like Prime and Megatron. Whatever figure I got, I saved every last bit of packaging (even then) including tech specs, points for mailaways, and whatever else came in each package. At one point, I had every single mail away figure available, including the crowning achievement of Reflector, who was one of the coolest tf’s ever.
I kept on collecting for a few years until the debut of the whole Nebulon-inspired theme came into play with the HeadMasters and TargetMasters- by then, I was starting to bud new interests in guitars and music. So what does a stupid boy do? He goes and sells all his collections. Yes, my friends, I was incredibly stupid, but the old saying “who knew?” definitely applies here. I sold my TF collection in its entirety, and saved nothing. By then, the micromasters had come out and I had lost interest fast since the characters I was weaned on were basically being replaced by newer, less popular robots. Then highschool time came, and of course, I totally outgrew toys, or so I thought.
Fast Forward to post-college life. Every now and again I would just walk through a toy store just to keep track of what was happening in the world of toys. I saw Generation 2, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and R.I.D. come and go, and I would pick up the occasional character that I found interesting, but there were many moons in between these excursions. I had grown up, started to pay rent, pay for a vehicle, and have a bit of a social life. However, I kind of found that I got more enjoyment out of buying a Transformer rather than blowing money on booze and clubs because the Transformer lasted forever- I began to put the few selected purchases on my desk at home, and before I knew it, I was going crazy buying these toys. First, I found a whole slew of Beast Wars figures on sale at the local TRU, then a few online at Ebay like Brave Maximus and Baldigus, and no matter where I worked, there always seemed to be a toy store within walking distance that I would frequent on my lunch breaks to check out new stuff. By the time Armada came out, I was fully back in TF buying mode, and the best thing that ever happened was the opening of this store at my local mall called The Toy Vault. They specialized in collectibles, both old and new, and when I saw their TF selection, I nearly dropped dead at the sheer volume and variety they had.
Much of my paychecks has been dropped at the Toy Vault since. It was there I got Trypticon, Scorponok, and Galvatron in one swoop. I also bought many of the Beast Wars Neo characters, too, as they had a great import section as well as domestic. I would buy select Armada and Energon figures as well at the normal retail stores like Target and TRU. Occasionally, I would pick up the store exclusives as well, like the Kmart exclusive Prime and Jetfire set, which is one of my favorite pieces. So, as you can see by my pics, I have spent a lot of time, energy, and money on recapturing a very special part of my youth. Whatever you do, learn by my example and hold on to the things that define your childhood.