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Truetorial: I Bought a House, Now to Move All the Toys!

I have to apologize for the lack of updates after Christmas. It’s partially due to the busyness of the holiday season, but it’s mostly because I bought a house. I’m still neck deep in the “great toy move” as I write this, but I wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts.

Recently, the great Rob Bricken (formerly of ToyFare,, and now Senior Editor at, posted an article comparing toy collecting to heroin addiction.

The open floor you see is after
four hours of cleaning.

The article is a lot more light-hearted than anyone really gave it credit for, but it got a lot of folks talking. This article won’t inspire the same amount of talk, partially because it’s not going to shine light on the dark side of collecting, but mostly because I’m not Rob Bricken and IAT ain’t i09.

I’ve wanted to write something in response to the article, I think a lot of toy bloggers have, but I wasn’t quite sure how what to say. Well, now that I’m moving – it became pretty simple. Rob shared his experience. This has been mine.

Like Rob, I’d say that about 90% of my toy collection was already boxed up. Not because I wanted it to be, but because I keep a relatively humble display. It can hold a couple hundred of figures and never gives me the feeling that it’s too small despite what’s boxed up in the cellar. Back in the days before IAT, the toys in the cellar would get rotated in and out on the display. I might tire of having a bunch of Joes out and they’d soon find themselves boxed up in favor of Marvel’s Secret Wars. The display was fluid and I found plenty of time to appreciate most of the things I’ve collected over the years.

Since IAT started, however, the toy cellar became increasingly unorganized. I’d need Peter Parker’s camera as a prop, a Super Powers figure for a comparison shot, or a classic playset for a backdrop. And when I was done taking the pictures… I wasn’t always the best about getting the toys back into the right boxes. After three years of IAT, I had quite the mess on my hands.

So, these last few days – some of you have noted the notorious absence of funny pictures – have been an odyssey of sorts. This is where my experience was markedly different from Rob’s. Rob seemed frustrated whereas I was like a kid in a candy store. Granted, it wasn’t terribly conducive to getting things done; I’ve spent more hours in that cellar than I care to admit the last few days, but I had a blast.

I found a box of G1 Transformers that I probably hadn’t touched in over a decade. G1 & G2 Optimus greeted me. Grimlock was there too – and while the Masterpiece versions have impressed me to no end, I was still happy to play around with the old toys – though I might have to go eBay and find some replacement fists for Optimus, they didn’t end up in the same place all these years later.

First IAT Picture?

Elsewhere, I found a fuzzy picture of my G1 Transformers, possibly the first photo I ever shot of my toys. The picture featured some great childhood TFs like Hot Rod & Seaspray, but also showed some I’d forgotten. I didn’t remember that I’d had Pipes and while I’d often felt like I had Ironhide it seemed a foggy memory, but there he was in that picture! I assume the ones I don’t remember all that well were lost in a flood that claimed most of my toys. It was the survivors that literally stuck with me.

Speaking of that flood, I ran across the surviving pieces of the USS Flagg, mostly the deck, but a few other pieces as well. I always know I have them, but it’s always neat to set the pieces out and remember how gargantuan that ol’ ship was. I’m plenty times bigger these days, but it’s no less impressive, even in its addled condition.

It wasn’t all nostalgia and roses though. As toy collectors, we inevitably end up with things we’re not quite sure we bought. I tend to eBay off items I no longer need and I found plenty to eBay in the cellar too. Stranger still, though, was my penchant for keeping packaging. I don’t have that bug anymore (unless it’s an expensive toy and the packaging comes in handy for a move), but I found some strange things in the cellar. Cardbacks for the Toy Biz Hercules line, Malibu Comics’ Night Man, and the infamous Goat inaction figure. Why I bought some of those figures I’ll never know, let alone kept the cardbacks well into the 21st century. The figures will soon find themselves in the hands of other collectors and the cardbacks recycled. So at least some good can come out of those strange purchases. Continue to Page 2…

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