Remember when you were just a kid and collected basically anything you’ve found?

Like toys(car toys or action figures),napkins,stamps but even just old pieces of paper that made you remember of something.

napkin collection

img source: culinaryeden

Jumping into the teenager mood most grow out of these habits. However there are significant amount of grown ups who still loves to collect.

What makes a grown man or woman to fall back into the old habits and start (or never stop) collecting again?

Why it’s so good and beneficial to have collecting as a hobby? (or more than a hobby we would argue!)

Some say that collecting is a sense of accomplishment. The beauty of completing things from different sources and the manner it was acquired. It also gives us a feeling of luckiness when we bought something rare and cheap.

action figures

img source: toyark

Maybe we did not have too much toys when we were little. Or we just simply miss our childhood and this is our way to relive it. So we feel younger because of it.  We collect to preserve the past.

Or there is another way too see this. Maybe it’s not about missing old things. It’s about being a fan of a certain movie, comic book series, cartoons or a video game. So we buy our favorite character from it. And then buy the second favorite and finally the character we even hate.

Some people collect for investment, they buy antique items to sell it later for a huge price or to an antique shop. Some collect for pure enjoyment – it’s fun. Some collect to expand their social lives, attending swap meets and exchanging information with like-minded souls.

Many collectors say collecting toys creates a sense of accomplishment. Some like the fun of the quest and the excitement of the hunt, while others just enjoy the puzzles from their acquisitions.

A collector once said:

“Collecting is having an object of desire. For grown men, the benefit is not always monetary but emotional. The toys may have monetary value to some hobbyists but irrelevant to others who just enjoy the camaraderie of sharing their collection with other collectors who appreciate it.”


There are certain benefits that comes with collecting like:

  • It develops our resourcefulness.
  • We learn to be patient when it comes to budgeting.
  • An easier way to reward ourselves.
  • It brings life to our movie or game imaginations.
  • It develops our judgment when it comes to sculpting and articulations.
  • We meet new friends of the same passion.
  • We can relate well with younger people like our children.
  • Not bad for our health unless we chew them 🙂
  • It can boost our mood level when we look at our toy shelves.
  • We develop our sense of organizing and how to utilize small room spaces.
  • We can teach our children to cherish their toys at early age.

Collecting vs. hoarding

There is a line between collecting and hoarding. A fine line but still, a line.

img source: michaelguberti

Collecting becomes hoarding when we lose our sense of what’s normal, it becomes an addiction, stops us from doing our usual activities and spend all our money on it.

That’s the dark side of collecting, the psychopathological form described as hoarding. The “abnormality” of the hoarder shows up in those instances where the aberrant behavior interferes with an otherwise “reasonable life.” This can sometimes even include gross interference with the lives of others, even leading to enforcement issues.“ Compulsive hoarding is believed to serve as a coping mechanism for managing axiety and the fear of losing control.

Adult collectors on the rise

In Japan, to counteract the declining child population, Japanese toymakers have successfully expanded the age range of their target consumer. A large number of collectible action figures, candy toys and capsule (vending) toys are now aimed at adults, in particular targeting the impulse purchase market.

With more cash to spend, older generations are better able to indulge in hobbies and activities, such as collecting, which are on the rise in the country. Toy collecting hobbies have also been bolstered by the fact that the majority of the population in Japan lives in cities and therefore does not have much space to take part. With the current population trends in Japan, it is likely that more toys will emerge targeting adults.

Less than 10% of traditional toys target adults in most countries. We believe these statistics speak for themselves and companies should adapt to this and start making toys for grown-ups too. Don’t you?

Are you ready for some fun?

Look at these unbelievable fun-facts:

#1 Noah as a collector

noah was the famoust collector

img source:

When it comes to collecting Noah was the most famous collector ever. After all he collected two of every living animal and put all of them on a boat 🙂


#2 Strange names for collectors

teddy bear collectors are called arctophilists

Did you know that a person who collects teddy bears is called an arctophilist? Or who collects clocks is called an horologist?

So what does a “pannapictagraphist” would collect? Try and guess in the comments!

#3 Shrinking action figures

oil shortage was the reason for smaller toy figurines

img source: ourenergypolicy

Ever wondered why children’s action figures were halved in size during the late 20th century?

The answer is oil shortage.

When you’ve long since grown up and you return to the things of your childhood, you often find yourself amazed at how small the things are when you recall them being so much larger. Elementary school hallways look tiny, the old tree you used to climb doesn’t look quite so tall, and toys seem small in your hands.

If you grew up playing with toys before the 1970s, there’s one thing that might throw your size-divergent nostalgia off: action figures. Today it’s standard for actions figures to be around 4″ tall; a size that is easily engulfed by an adult’s hand but still fairly large to the children that play with them. Whether you’re playing today with G.I. Joe, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Batman you’ll be playing with figures under six inches in height.
Children who grew up in the 1960s playing with G.I. Joe, America’s Movable Fighting Man, however, had a totally different experience. Back then it was standard for action figures to stand a towering 11 1/2″ tall and pack clothing and accessories of equal scale.

collectorism the biggest collector portal

When the 1970s Oil Crisis put a sizeable dent in the global oil trade and sent barrels of crude oil skyrocketing in price, it also made it prohibitively expensive to keep cranking out thousands of nearly foot-tall action figures. Takara (still under license by Hasbro) reduced the size of the G.I. Joe-based Henshin Cyborg-1 line (later known as the Microman line) to save money, other manufacturers followed, and the action figure shrunk to less than half its original size almost overnight.

#4 Weird things to collect

world's largest fluff collection

img source: graham’s paddock

Wonder what’s the weirdest thing you can collect?

While this is a bit subjective of course I think most of could agree on the fact that if you collect belly button fluff you’re a weirdo. Still lovable and funny, but weird. Big times.

Graham Barker probably wouldn’t agree with this statements as he proudly owns the largest fluff collection in the world.

But human’s creativity doesn’t stop here, no.

There are folks who collect barf bags (yap, from the planes), toenail clippings (ew,ew,ew) or – and that’s the grossest of them all for us – chewed nicotine gums which now form a huge ball. A huge ball of chewed gums. At least he quit smoking…

There’s someone else though who’s collection is weird sure but amazing at the same time. Vic Clinco aka pepperboy collects hot sauces. He has over 6000 of them! (Okay you caught me, I’m a huge fan of sauces and dippings) He’s surely got options to choose from when it comes to a good ol’ BBQ. I wanna know though, has he tasted them all?

Wonder how these collections start? Me too!

But I know how pepperboy’s addiction started:

“I’ve been collecting for a little over 18 years now. My wife Wendy started me on it, she had bought me 12 bottles for a very first Christmas together. (I still have those original 12 bottles)”


#5 No dolls for boys

g.i. joe action figures

img source: wikipedia

Do you know when the G.I. Joe action figure was first made in 1964?

They always called it “action figure” instead of “doll” because they believed boys would never play with a doll. So they ditched this term forever.


#6 The president’s toys

ronald reagan's role on action figures

img source: opportunitylives

Ronald Reagan had a major role in the popularity of transformers action figures. Wonder how a president is connected to a toy-line?

President Ronald Reagan’s policy of deregulation extended to American television, and the repercussion for kids’ TV opened up a new frontier for toymakers.

Historically, children’s programs had been prohibited from promoting products due to the FCC’s concerns that commercial elements would compromise the integrity of the content onscreen.

As a result of Reagan’s media deregulations in the mid-1980s, toy company Hasbro and Japanese toymaker Takara (now TakaraTomy) were suddenly free to launch a venture like Transformers: An action figure line that coexisted with a cartoon series about its characters, encouraging the purchase of as many of its products as possible.



What was the main reason for you to start collecting toys? Let us know in the comments!


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