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Truetorial: Space.
The Final Frontier…

I probably could write a whole series on the “Joys of Moving Your Toy Collection”, so keep that in mind as you indulge me in this, only the second installment. As of today, mostly nearly everything I own is in my garage. It’s in my garage because I have no idea what to do with my new “office”.

My wife and I have entered the unpacking phase of our move. Nearly everything is out of the old house and moved to the new, but we decided early on to use the new garage as a staging area. A two-car garage had been a stalwart part of our “wish list” even after my car accident last November robbing of my need for a parking space. As such, the two-car garage we did get became a great place to quickly stack up the boxes and allow us to worry about unpacking later.


If I have any advice for future movers, it’s to never do that. Every time that we’ve needed something this weekend, it’s been buried under stuff that you have no idea why we took with this other than it being, unfortunately, our property.

It made sense at the time. You go to your closet and start packing your clothes; your primary thread repertoire is up front and finds its way into a box and gets loaded up. As you dig deeper into the closet you find that JLA shirt that doesn’t quite fit you or that really cool online-bought shirt that ended up being too thin, but you just have to keep it, sort of like a printed meme. Those get boxed up and moved next. And inevitably, the box with the current clothes gets put behind or under the box with the old clothes. My wife is ultra-organized. It’s often joked that I have undiagnosed OCD. And yet here we are, our favorite clothes lost in a sea of cardboard when we have to be at work within the hour. Ugh.

This has also been true of my toy collection. My MOTUCs – I couldn’t tell you where they are right now. I can’t see the giant tub they’re in, but I assume it’s in there. Meanwhile, I’ve got easy access to some older items that make me seriously question my past self’s purchasing decisions. I mean, I didn’t even watch X-Files. I try to look on the bright side, perhaps Mulder & Scully will come in handy here in future IAT photos or maybe I’ll get $5 out of an eBay X-Files lot.

This is here for a reason, trust me.

My collection being inserted backwards into my garage makes me really take note of what I’ve done all these years. I, as I well know, have way too much stuff. My parents weren’t happy helping me move it. My wife is not happy seeing it in physical form in the garage. And, heck, I’m not all that happy about it myself. I could’ve told you this last week, maybe I did, even I don’t need this much. Many of these toys will need to find themselves new homes with new kids and collectors soon. Many have been boxed up for far too long. Many just can’t be appreciated as individual pieces among the chorus that is my collection. And so, looking at it, I know I’ll be doing plenty of trimming and selling in the coming weeks.

And it’s funny to me. Because for the first time in a long time, since before my brother was born and I had my own room, I haven’t had this much space to display all my toys. The new house, among its rooms, affords me a little 10×10 room for a personal office. I’m not sure why I need an office. Maybe I could finally manage to get myself published or at least have a quiet space to work on IAT as we rev up the engines here in 2013, but I do have one.

Prolly shoulda taken the batteries out of the box.

I’m pretty stoked. If nothing else, this will mark the first time in my life that my writing/work desk and my art desk are in the same room; that the art desk will actually be propped up and not a flat surface for whatever. It’s going to be sweet. And there’s going to be toys. Oh, there will be toys.

But which toys? Well, that I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to go through and it’s going to take awhile, particularly those boxes of random/loose cellar toys I had to box up in a hurry (I’m thinking of turning those into a strange finds type column here at IAT). I’m going to get some new shelving and it’s going to be grand. But where do I start in reassembling my collection? Well, unlike all the other quandaries I’m facing, that was one actually pretty easy.

To Sticker, or not to Sticker?

If you’ve been patiently reading along with me, you’ve no doubt questioned why this article is being accompanied by strange pictures of a golden Enterprise-D. When I was a kid and Playmates was plugging away at Star Trek, my parents did a great job of spoiling me with that line. I love that line even to this day. It, more than anything, helped me transition from playing with toys to collecting action figures.

It’s silly to look back on it now with the individually numbered packaging and collectible cards, pogs, and whatnot that Playmates added to make them collectible instead of just making a line of Trek toys, but it totally worked back in the day. Everybody bought those things, wave after wave, ship after ship, and now… well, now it’s all pretty worthless because they made plenty of everything and everyone has it. But! It was a great line in its heyday. It had an impressive character selection, a great range of ships and props, and I’d probably still have bought more if Playmates had the ability to go back and make anything remotely compatible.

Among the many toys my parents bought me for those early 90s birthdays and Christmases was this ship. It’s trying to be a lot fancier than it really is. It’s just a simple gold recolor of the standard Enterprise-D toy. It did include a stand and a little shiny plate pointing out it was limited to 50k (how many toy companies would kill to be able to make/sell 50k units of anything today), but it was really just one more ship in the line at the time. One with limited playability unless you concocted “The Gold-Plated Incident” or “Operation: 24 Karat” in your home adventures.

But I loved it. I didn’t see it like the other ships. To me, it was more like a prop. The show regularly featured gold-painted models in the backgrounds of offices and quarters. They didn’t have red plastic bussard ramscoops and deflector dishes, but I didn’t care. I resolved to keep this guy in box until I had somewhere nice to display it. And for a long while, it became one of only two toys to stay in their package in my young “collection”.

That was about twenty years ago. In all the moves, in the all the backs-and-forths, and changes to how and what I collect, this Enterprise always stayed somewhere known. It was stored, but never under, behind, or in the back. I’m not sure which box my Bird-of-Prey is in or that even sillier Battle-Damaged Enterprise with pop-up off panels and fake damage, but I knew exactly where this gold Enterprise was. When it came to the new house, it came alongside my Hot Toys, my Masterpiece Transformers, etc.. Stuff that probably shouldn’t ever be in the same box or trunk as a toy that I could probably get on eBay for less than my parents paid for it twenty years ago, but that’s what I gave it.

And today, with that room still empty. My art desk and toy shelf in the garage to be cleaned and my work desk still at my old, internet-ready place so I can update the site, I moved in my first toy. I cut the twenty-year old tape and opened the box. I quickly discovered a smarter kid would’ve opened it twenty-years ago and pulled out the included batteries, but nothing was amiss on the toy itself. And it was great to open a “new” ship after all this time. It was worth the wait.

Yes, it’s a silly toy and my wife got a good chuckle out of that little golden Enterprise sitting all alone in what will ultimately be my office, but I’ll take it all in stride. It’s going to get plenty of company soon enough, but for now I think it looks great in there.

It is going to have to give up that center spot in the carpet though. That’s just not feasible.