Friday, May 4, 2012

Shedding the Collector Perspective

"Why on earth is all of your doll stuff still in plastic and boxes, etc? Do you ever play with your stuff?" Vanessa in Comment for "FS: Kenmore My First Kitchen on eBay"

Well, let's see ... why so many things still in boxes? I don't want stuff to get dusty? I can always have something new to open? If I open it, I will lose it among the other stuff? The box graphics and the doll pose are too precious to undo? I got it on sale and am not sure I really want to keep it? Wouldn’t that be unfair to someone else who would miss that just-opened-freshness? Suppose I “kicked it” tomorrow, how will my family identify what is left? Of course, their first thoughts will be, “how to distribute these fine collectibles to deserving enthusiasts?” Or I go into a coma after being hit by a driver who willfully ignores the “pedestrians have the right of way law in the state of Pennsylvania?” Whew. Ummm … surely I am not the only collector/enthusiast who has anxieties about the fate of my collection after I am no longer capable of overseeing it? Let’s see a “show of hands” …


I suppose that is part of the reason. I can still set the boxes up in a corner if I just wanted to retain the artwork. But to keep the dolls still there ... that's more for saving them, preserving them for some future generation to appreciate. Like I am the onliest bastion for modern dolls and action figures. No one else has ever or would ever be able to record these wonderful creations if I did not. Only now ... grace of the Internet ... I don't have to be the only bastion for the preservation of modern dolls and action figures. There are MANY others recording and photographing modern dolls - some, many even, better at photography than me. 

(Aside to the peanut gallery, okay, photography is NOT my strong point.)

So I really don't have to preserve ... by golly, I can PLAY. I can enjoy them. 

Flash image to self and dolls and action figures running unimpeded down a long brightly lit corridor.

"Free at last, free at last!"

Okay, hyperbole is, if not my strong point, a familiar one. But I do feel that there is a difference between being a collector-caterpillar and evolving into a enthusiast-butterfly. Enthusiasts have wings to fly!


Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I define myself as an enthusiast, but I suppose by others' standards, I am also a collector. I was a collector before I became an enthusiast, but with my dual personality, I belive I am both. With that said, I do not feel I should be required to open everything that I decide needs to enter the collection about which I am enthused.

Some things are purchased for their historical value and are not purchased for me to "play" with. Actually, I avoid using the word play. I am an adult and I don't play with toys. Rather, I enjoy collectibles and some things that were made for the play market.

I guess it all boils down to a matter of choice: Those who enjoy ripping plastic from their "toys" to "play" with them should continue to do that enthusiastically. Those who value an item's graphics (particularlly when said item is from a different era) should continue to keep their items in the manufactured state.

For me, I can do both -- open newer "things" and preserve the manufactured integrity of vintage toys and collectibles... if I so choose. I reserve the right to make exceptions, because again, it's all a matter of choice.


Ms. Leo said...

Ok, you have done some really good post as of late and I really hope comment on each of them in the next week.

As for me, I don't expect anything special for my collection after I'm gone. If anything happened to me, I think most of my stuff, dolls included, would make the local flea markets. No one close to me has my appreciation for dolls. My hope is that who ever gets them, will love them. What might happen is that someone’s cat might chew their feet off. At least for now, like me, they are loved. I have pictures of someone's dog peeing on my grave after I'm gone with some woman (on her cell phone) telling her kid to get the dog! I will have to trust and forgive the universe where my collection is concerned.

Box or out of the box, it is what every way gives you joy! If in the box gives you joy, then keep them in the box. You don’t do a lot of dioramas and you gave me the impression that you don’t have a lot of space, so maybe in the box works for you. I guess up until now you blog has been more of a resource of information and not story plots…. or are you planning to take you blog into a different direction….hmm!

I remember suggesting to you that you find a space outside your home for your things. You told me you like looking at them and won't get that joy if they were somewhere else.
I have thought about moving my collection somewhere else. I don't think I would be home as much if I did.
That’s it! No conclusion, just comments!

D7ana said...

Hi DBG and Ms. Leo! Thanks for your input. I appreciate your responses.

On reflection, I sound harsh about doll collecting. And I sound as if I believed that there is a choice between collecting and deboxing. I enjoy both. We do have that dual option, DBG, and thanks for that reminder.

I have more dolls than I want at this time. It's not a count matter though; it's shifting from amassing quantity to amassing quality. I need to "lose" some that are less favored and to replace them with new interests.

At this time, I do have a separate room, but I don't have space to properly lay out all the figures, boxed or deboxed. I am keeping some things boxed that I would like to enjoy out-of-box.

Yes, Ms. Leo, I remember you suggesting that I store some dolls away from my home. ;-D I'd rather sell some and spread out the others - boxed or deboxed. I'd have more space then. Because I would like to try dioramas and I'd like to try storytelling publicly.

I've got a sale idea. If this doesn't reduce them down enough, I'll set a "group" auction.

Thanks again, ladies, for your thoughtful and considered responses.

Muff said...

When I first started collecting I LOVED opening the packaging, oh so carefully, and fussing with every little piece of the item. But now that I've limited myself to a core number of dolls out at one time, I don't feel the need to immediately rip a package open. In fact, I like seeing some things still in their boxes.

I don't think it's a big deal how you play or IF you play. For me it's about the enjoyment of the hunt, getting a deal, admiring the dolls or workmanship and just having fun with it.

M said...

IN box or out of box, if they give you pleasure...then I say I'm all for it! As long as your enthusiasm for what you do stays true and relevant...I say keep on collecting as is!

D7ana said...

Hi Muff and Fashion Doll Foto!

I've retained some boxes to do as you did, Muff, remove parts and figures and then tuck them away when I am not "using." I, too, love the HUNT as much as the acquisition and the subsequent "play."

Have either of you ever heard a salesperson tell you that it's okay for an adult to collect, but then add that "it's not as if you are playing with them." Oh, lol.

Sometimes, I rearrange them and think/hear stories for them. They please me in their boxes and out.

Thanks for your comments.

Muff said...

LOL, I remember when I was in Ross going through the sales bin and this preteen comes up to look as well. I wanted to tell her to get lost, this is grown folks business!

I've never had anyone question me when I'm doll buying, but I have a rather offputting demeanor so people don't really approach me, thank goodness.

Vanessa said...

I only asked that of you because you appear to be someone who wants to play more. I, too believe whether dolls are boxed or deboxed doesn't matter. It's about what brings you joy. I still have quite a few dolls still boxed because I like seeing them in their boxes until I decide I need to do something with them; play with them or sell them. Now if I can just get my act together and post what I have to sell. Like Ms. Leo, I don't have a grandiose plan for my dolls when I am gone. I was given 44 months to live, 34 months ago. Ha! I said. They don't know who I am I will beat this. Now that my doggie is gone, they may have been right. So guess who is going to get every thing I own (unless I get my act together and do my Living Trust), the State and the hospitals. That is the main reason I started deboxing. I think when we are faced with certain circumstances, we act accordingly. I was not trying to pass judgment on anyone for boxing or deboxing. That comment was only directed at you because I felt through the blogosphere that you wanted to.

MissSpottyJane said...

I'm like you, I have to re-evaluate my sprawling doll mass. I get so caught up in it, sometimes I know I've forgotten what I really wanted in the first place.

D7ana said...

Hi Muff! I have got to work on having more of an offputting demeanor ;-D

Oh and I give a mental, "oh no" when kids or their parents come down the aisle when I am there.

D7ana said...

Hi Vanessa!

First, I apologize for taking such an anti-NRFB stance and linking that stance to your comment. That gave a wrong impression.

I didn't feel that you were being critical about my keeping things boxed up. I thank you for asking the question because I thought, ah, she *understands* that I want more fun from my collection than I have been experiencing. I thought of your comment as a "wake up" call.

I did wonder if you had had a health scare and if that pushed the frequent and wonder-filled posts you are submitting. On one side, I was greedily guzzling every story as fast as I could. On the other side, I felt anxious as to why so many stories so soon. I could sooner have fewer stories spread over more years. I don't decide though.

Much as I love your stories and your creativity, I appreciate and want to emulate your enthusiasm about life. You set goals and accomplish them. You are so alive.

So I thank you. You have taken precious time and helped me see the importance of doing and living life. Not that deboxing is good. But appreciating what we have, that is important.

I pray - and I don't always feel comfortable praying because it feels as though I am asking God to work the world in my favor - but I do PRAY for a long and comfortable life for you. I hope your doctors were wrong - or just mistaken.

So thanks for all your many gifts. And yes, we do have to work on getting our acts together. Here's to laughing at this mixup when we are 75 year old. (And I rather think you are younger than me so ... you got a ways to go.)