OtaKulture

Why Do You Collect?

Red gets too deep (and not in the sexy way.)
This has actually grown since I took this.

When passing by my amassed figures, I sometimes wonder if I’m making wise choices. When I stand in front of my display cases, I begin to wonder: how much money have I spent? Should I sell some of these to make room? Am I happy with the collector lifestyle? Am I overdoing it?

Some of you may have your eyebrows raised. Collecting isn’t that deep, is it? I imagine it is for some people. Although our blog focuses on figures, collectors and their pile of insatiable needs exist in many forms. This got me thinking…why do you like to collect?

For answers, I took to the Anime Figure Subreddit, to which many lovely users shared their reasons and passions with me. I’ll show some of them and throw in my unneeded two cents. Maybe their reasons will resonate with you; perhaps they won’t. Either way, I hope this little journey offers a glimpse into the mind of people who love PVC.

Usernames removed for privacy and respect

The easiest answer and my favorite. God knows dopamine and serotonin machines are the most broken bits.

There’s a part of me that feels that desire for artistry. I can’t deny the allure of certain color pallets, poses and dynamics. However, I have noticed that the figures that grabbed me for artistic reasons are the ones I often fall out of love with first. How strange.

Emotional attachment is one of my biggest reasons for collecting figures–primarily Evangelion. I’m still struggling to find out why, but the emotional investment is always a good reason to collect. There’s no wrong answer unless it has something to do with murder… o.o

Happiness is wonderful. Happiness is the reason. Who doesn’t want to be inside a happy little cocoon? Take me, happy little cocoon, and never let me leave. If your collection can send you a daily reminder that you can be or do what makes you happy, then never let them go.

I am happy for you, friend. I feel deep down many collectors share with you a sense of independence. While once children, we lacked the funds, the approval, and the escape (from toxic parents). I, too, find my collecting habits have formed by my present ability to do what I want, when I want. But I’m not entirely free yet: my own judgments and fear of disapproval from others still lingers in every purchase. You’re not weird, you’re free, and I admire you.

Lovely. Aside from the occasional disassociation and inward crisis, I do take a lot of pride in the collection I’ve nursed over the years. You’re passionate, and your pride inspires me.

All good reasons. The hunt and bargain finds fuel my adrenaline; I don’t know if that’s always a good thing, especially if there’s a limited amount of self-control. When does passion become hoarding? No, don’t think like that. As Mari Kondo says, “Through the process of selecting only those things that inspire joy, you can identify precisely what you love – and what you need.” Figures are a legitimate need for some people, so judging anyone for it is b.s. I should mention I’ve never seen Mari Kondo’s show, but it sounds like nice advice. May your next hunt be fruitful. 

So there you have it. I wish I could include every answer I received on Reddit, but this post would be way too long. As a general piecing together of these beautiful replies, I see that our collections maintain mental health for the figure community. It offers happiness, emotional attachments (something no Jedi can have), fulfillment, pleasure, artistry, and so much more. Did I use this entire “experiment” to help stabilize my spiral into existential dread that I pinpointed onto the only hobby that gives me life? Naw, dawg.

If you’re like me and your mind decides to tear you down for passions in your life that make you feel SOMETHING, please know you’re not alone. It’s just a bump in the road. Do you, friends. Do you. Even if you’re just here for the plastic tiddies.

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