This post will not be what you expected upon reading the subject title.
This is about our collecting habits. Part 1, in particular, is about mine. AS will work on Part 2 when he has time (I suspect that this will be after he’s done with his summer classes after the end of this month).
AS has always been interested in figures. I, on the other hand, was charmed by things that remained flat.
In the early part of 1999, I became intrigued by the world of anime collectibles. In particular, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon trading cards. I’m not sure how I became enamored with them, but I do remember thinking how reasonably priced they were, ranging from 50 cents to a few dollars. In March 1999, I finally decided to buy some. While I don’t have pictures and I don’t recall the exact numbers, I can tell you they were the jumbo cards from Banpresto. Obviously, I no longer have these particular cards.
(Image taken from DM Sailor Moon Cards)
My Sailor Moon trading card collection was fairly large, although not as large as other people’s, but I spared no expense purchasing what I needed. I started off trying to collect everything and as a result, I had hundreds and hundreds of cards equating to many binders worth. Eventually I came to my senses and decided to only collect certain sets and only keep cards of characters or images that I liked from other sets I didn’t collect. Sounds reasonable enough, right?
Unfortunately, because Sailor Moon cards were getting harder to acquire, I started collecting cards from series that were current, like Cardcaptor Sakura, Di Gi Charat and Sister Princess. Sailor Moon was difficult to collect, in that complete boxes weren’t available because the series had finished airing in Japan and merchandise wasn’t readily available, forcing one to buy individual cards or trade for what was needed. But with current series, I could buy boxes and boxes of cards and then sell the extras or trade for cards to use as trade fodder or to complete extra sets to sell. At $60 a box and a college student working part time, you can see how this can be a money hole.
Because these cards were so readily available, I felt that my philosophy that I had adopted with Sailor Moon cards, to only collect the characters that I liked, didn’t apply. However, once I was surrounded by thousands upon thousands of cards and a budding interest in shitajiki, I decided to only keep the cards I liked and sell off everything else. I fell back occasionally, Sister Princess cards was what pulled me back in, because the artwork appealed to me a great deal. Luckily, something made me just stop, and whatever it was, I’m grateful. I have people that I’m still friends with from my card trading days 10+ years ago, so it wasn’t such a bad thing, but seeing as how I still have thousands of cards in hand, maybe not. xD
That budding interest in shitajiki (pencil boards) yielded a collection of more than 200. While this collection reached its peak, I developed an interested in anime cels. Oh dear. I still have at least half of my shitajiki collection, 30 or so that I am keeping for sure. The number fluctuates once in awhile because there are some boards I feel I can part with and the next time I look at it, I put it back in my binders. ^^;
Anime cels are one collection that I will still say I’m active in. Sort of. I’ve avoided shopping and cel forums for years now and sometimes I think about it and I regret all the Tomoyo cels I could be missing out on. ^^; I started off the same way in both pencil boards and cels, collecting everything I could get my hands on and then refocusing. With shitajiki, I went with the artwork. With cels, I focused initially on characters of series I liked, and then decided to solely collect Tomoyo cels. I think I can attribute being okay with not actively collecting partly to the fact that I’m pretty content with my collection. Oh sure, there are still many scenes I would adore owning, but I think I have a decent, high quality collection.
In the all of this, I also collected Japanese manga and artbooks. The former I regret so much now. It cost a lot to get them shipped here and I can’t even get rid of it. I don’t think I’m even recovering the cost of shipping. The latter I started getting into when I realized how much trading card art could be found in artbooks. This may have helped lead to my decline in my interest in trading cards and pencil boards. Artbooks, however, are also expensive to ship over. I’ve also realized how much they lose their value, unfortunately and fortunately. For example, recently when we were in Japan, I was able to acquire Koge Donbo’s Chocola 2000 at less than retail, but I didn’t even know it existed until I saw it! However, I paid $$$ for the first Sister Princess artbook after shipping, because it was hard cover and the company wouldn’t allow shipping to be combined because I pre-ordered it. I think shipping turned out to be 1.5 times the cost of the artbook itself! And now the artbook can be found in second-hand stores selling less than retail. It can be quite upsetting to see.
I do still collect artbooks, although I’m more discriminatory now. Some artists are on auto-buy, such as Tanemura Arina. As much as I love CLAMP, I don’t have them on auto-buy, simply because there’s so much CLAMP related artbooks I’d like to get that I don’t know where to start. ^^; I also started buying translated manga, but I fell behind. Manga isn’t as repeatable as a novel for me. If I feel like settling down with a book, I’d rather pick up Harry Potter or a Jane Austen title, than manga.
Let’s not get started on DVDs. My out of date DVD Aficionado account tells me I own over 500 DVDs, half of which are anime-related. xD
While these were my primary collections, I also liked picking up interesting things that looked neat or cute (this would explain all the UFO catcher plushies I had). ^^; Just a ton of miscellaneous things that were all over the place. I never did get into figure collecting. I had some gashapon and a few of the UFO catcher figures of Tomoyo, but in general, I found figures to be too expensive for what they were (this coming from the girl that pays hundreds for a single piece of acetate xD). It wasn’t until I met AS and got caught up in his enthusiasm for figures that I wound up with a few myself and became addicted to nendos. I still don’t really consider myself a figure collector though. I leave that up to AS. ^^;