The other day, a slightly shocked reaction of a “non-collector” friend to my triumphant jumping as a result of being able to track down a rare KAWS art piece that I had been hunting for years, got me thinking about collectors versus non-collectors, their habits and behavior in particular. After all, to me as a collector, jumping for joy over rare collectibles seemed like perfectly normal behaviour and I’m sure it does to other “collector” friends as well.
Typical “Collector Behaviour”, in my opinion, is a result of our commitment to our collections and sets aside real collectors from ‘collectors by accident’ (i.e. people who just happen to have a pile of similar stuff that could qualify as a collection but don’t actively build or maintain the collection). This behavior is readily recognized by fellow collectors but mostly regarded as somewhat weird by others. How familiar does the below behaviour sound to you?
1. We keep buying the same design over and over again
In various colors and color schemes, that is. For us collectors, the slightest variation in color makes a significant difference between items that seem completely similar to others
2. We are willing to pay a lot for signed and limited editions
The most basic plastic figure as a ‘one shot’ edition or in a signature color scheme, an expensive print or poster signed by that famous artist, autographed sneakers that don’t actually fit – it all seems terribly overpriced but it’s not to us!
3. We don’t unbox a collectible but quickly put it into storage after buying
Yes, the child in us wants to hysterically rip open the box, but we know better…and even if we do display our collection “OOB” (Out of Box), we do keep and carefully store the original boxes
4. We’re not able to concentrate at work when that one email pops in: “your delivery is scheduled for today”
Your collectibles arriving at your address today is the perfect excuse to rush back home immediately after work. Or to leave early “for that appointment at the dentist you had almost forgotten”…
5. We spend too much time in toy stores and comic book stores
Which is why the staff knows us by name and is almost like family. eBay and online communities are as close to home as a digital place can get, and we keep a closer eye on our favorite webstores and sellers than our friends & relatives’ Facebook updates.
6. We don’t mind queuing for hours for new releases and limited editions, even under the most extreme weather conditions
Enduring scorching hot temperatures, burning sun and pouring rain for hours? No biggie if we set our eyes on a special release or a really good deal. If the item sold out though, we suddenly can’t keep our cool and act quite dramatic because we feel like the end of the world has come.
7. We marvel at our own collectibles over and over again….and always have wild plans to expand them
Ogling our own collections never gets boring and fills us with pride each and every time again. But no matter how contented we are with our collection, we always see opportunities for expansion.
8. We take pictures of our collectibles and share them
Some people show off with pictures of their kids, we do so with snapshots of our treasures, our collectibles - in that sense we’re exactly the same.
9. We transform our living space into a Batcave or museum
We want to look at and enjoy our treasures as much as possible and prefer to do so by prominently displaying our collectibles. This requires space, and what better space than our living space? Like, all of it?! Our significant others don’t always agree though.