As a collector I often am asked how did this all begin? I don't have a great answer to this. I suppose that because both my parents collected things (although never to the scale I do) it was just part of my life. I had gone to train shows with my dad and Shirley Temple conventions with my mom. (for a few years my brother got into Star Wars, but after discovering that he couldn't get EVERYTHING his enthusiasm waned.) That being said I do remember the first piece I bought myself.
There was a great little toy shop in a local shopping center, you know, one of those shops that have toys you couldn't find anywhere else but were so far out of your allowance pocket change price range. Well, the toy store was going out of business. My kid brother was going to buy some Playmobile toy or maybe one of those Thomas toys; the wooden, magnetic ones. Anyway, I was waking around in this toy store, and I ran across this:
Now, I had stopped playing with my Barbie dolls by then. I was still a kid but my interests were more toward makeup and music. But I saw this Evil Queen costume and I just wanted it. You know the feeling, you look at the thing and think - what do I need this for? what am I going to do with it? - and yet you still decide to buy it.
When it was time to check out, my mother was confused by my purchase. I had been saving to go the the record store next store to buy some popular band's tape, and yet I had decided to spend the money on this. To this day I'm not sure that I knew I was starting a collection, but I did know I had no intentions of opening the package.
I wish I had a better 'Why I Collect' story. I met someone at a Disney gathering who collected Pete's Dragon. You see after the Northridge earthquake he found that everything had been destroyed. It was a traumatic time for all of us in living in the area, and many of us learned the importance of QuakeHold. So he went on to say that he had quite a few figurines he had amassed over time, not exactly a collection, but they were dear to him. All were destroyed; except one. Peter Pan. The figure was sitting safely cradled in his childhood Pete Dragon toy. See - that's a great story: natural disaster, destruction, and a thankful and hopeful tear running down the cheek.
So no great story for me. No family heirloom that centers the collection. No childhood memory I bringing back. I just stubbornly bought one toy I knew I wasn't going to play with and off it went. All my family members continued to support my collection through birthday, Christmas, and even graduation presents. I often look at everything I have and think - how did it get so big? But I suppose that is true of many of us.
So, do you have a collection story? How did it all begin for you?