Falling out of Love: When a Collector’s Tastes Change***

Back in the mid 90s I was in an interesting relationship. The relationship lasted five years, and that was about four years too long. I should have broken things off then. But I didn’t. I didn’t quite know how to end it. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, despite falling out of love, and my tastes changing. Well, the relationship ended with my comic book collection up in flames. Fortunately, my action figure collection was kept in a safe place, as I am sure they would have met the same fate (she often threatened to “Pop Superman’s top”.)

Hell hath no fury, etc. Live and learn. But, I digress.

I have had a huge Superman action figure collection for well over 20 years, now. These came out in 92 (when the death of Superman book and comics came out), and several from the animated series. I’ve always enjoyed them. Then I got interested in the Hot Toys Collection. And, oh my, one can’t compare the quality (or price) of these figures to the 4” and 6” action figures.

I must say, I became a little less interested in the 4” and 6” figures. Indeed, my tastes changed. In fact, as you all are aware of my neuroses of having figures unopened in boxes, I have run out of room to display my less interesting figures. So, I have followed my pattern of not knowing how to end it, and have stored my less favored figures in boxes.

Until I was inspired by my wife. She has a HUGE Pillsbury Doughboy collection. About seven years ago, we moved into a new house, and she came to the conclusion that despite loving the cute little yeast confection so much, he doesn’t quite fit her Feng Shui, nor does she quite feel the same about him. Her tastes, too, had changed. She had fallen out of love. Perhaps he gave her heart burn. Perhaps he just didn’t “rise” to the occasion anymore. Perhaps her finger got sore from all the belly pokes. I have no clue. But she recommended we “get rid of them”. So, last month, I started putting her prized possessions on eBay.

Just a small sample of her collection
Don’t poke his belly, please
Two Doughboys taking a dry bath
And who doesn’t love funfetti! At least it looks like it tastes good.

Not only have I had huge success from selling these figures and memorabilia on eBay, but I have been getting thank you notes from the buyers because they are so happy to have these little guys in their house. Then, it hit me:

I not only need the room, but I have a duty to sell these Superman figures I once adored because they are no longer bringing me joy and they can ABSOLUTELY bring someone else joy. A new joy. A new sense of meaning (just like my Hot Toys figures do me). I am doing these figures and fellow collectors a disservice by keeping them in boxes stored under my staircase with my bars of gold and uneaten cans of food that I hoarded for Y2K.

Had to resort to using ceiling space!
Yet more ceiling space utilized for things that it shouldn’t be

So, fellow collectors: It is OK to fall out of love. And it is perfectly normal for one’s tastes to change. But, do your comrades and yourself a favor: Sell them. It makes you no less of a collector. It makes you more refined. And dare I say, a humanitarian!

Sure, I used to adore my baby bottle and accompanying formula when I was a tot. But, eventually I grew up. And when my tastes changed, I moved from formula to beer!

Have you all had similar feelings? Have you fallen out of love with any of your collection? If so, and even if not, feel free to comment and share below in the comment section. I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences!

***Although I have never mentioned it before, I am happy I don’t open my figures. It will make re-selling these a lot easier!

By Bryan Stewart

Bryan first discovered an appreciation for action figures at an early age, setting up elaborate GI Joe ant hill attacks, complete with firework pyrotechnics. Due to the high injury rate for the Joes, replacements were a constant necessity.


  1. I think that in the past couple of years my tastes have definitely changed. I used to love 6-inch action figures (while I still do collect the Black Series, I don’t display them) and 3.75-inch figures, I don’t really care for them anymore.

    My first Hot Toys figure was Nick Fury back when the Avengers figures were first starting to be released. I was instantly hooked – the detail, articulation, and quality are something that just aren’t comparable to other companies. Even just sixth scale, it doesn’t compare to their 6-inch counterparts.

    I only started collecting them about 2 years ago and now I have a sixth scale collection that’s almost 100 deep. Just having them on display is so satisfying. I can lay on the couch and look at them for hours on end.

    I was totally against spending $200+ on a figure a couple of years ago, but then I realized that the figures don’t really loose value at all and in case an emergency came up, I would essentially be able to just get 100%+ of the money I spent on them in the first place. It’s like a very satisfying investment, but really I don’t intend to sell them unless some kind of emergency comes up. It’s just good to know that I’m safe buying these expensive figures and not have to worry about really loosing that $200+ I spent on them.

    1. Hey Nick! Thanks for the comment. I replied on this earlier, but evidently, it didn’t post. So, if a dupe shows up, just disregard it. Especially if it presents an opposing view point to what I am writing now!
      I cannot believe that your first Hot Toys was Nick Fury! Very very cool. You and I started collecting about the same time, I’d say. And I so agree, one taste and you’re hooked. Heck, I could probably kick a meth addiction easier than my Hot Toys addiction (as you all so aptly pointed out earlier despite my threats suggesting otherwise).
      I quite impressed and intrigued with a 1/6 scale collection 100 deep. You HAVE to post a pic!
      And like you said, and for some reason I feel the need to echo, is that they retain their value so well. So, essentially, there is no real loss (providing that they never become like the Beanie Babies that JR and I have talked about! And as far as an emergency coming up, I’ll sell body fluids first! Or my nephews!!!

      1. Yeah, she is spot on. I think for me that one will be hard to pass up, though I have a sneaking suspicion that a Hoth version, and eventually slave girl 1/6 will appear down the road, so it makes me wonder whether I might just wait, cause slave girl Leia in 1/6 that would just be beyond what most fan boys could dream about, and what make my wife consider moving my belongings to the street!

  2. Great article. And so true, every collector goes through a serious phase where tastes and preference change. I am slowing reaching that precipice as I run out of room and am forced to get more creative. My weakness were the buffy six inch figures back when they made really good sculpts. A truck load of rare ones still in the packaging line my wall. There was a time when many of them when for 60.00 or 70.00 a piece, but as the obsession with the show died down, the prices started to drop. A few rare ones go for a good price, but most can be had for slightly above what they were once worth.

    I have considered parting with them, but now it is between nostalgia, and probably selling them for what would not quite be a big pay day. I have also thought about ditching my more valuable funko pops, as they are simply taking up a lot of real-estate.

    And I do notice now that I really am beginning to enjoy collecting the sideshow hot toys, mostly on payment plans, but I have been able to score a few nice ones and more and more I am leaning towards wanting to create a larger collection.
    My wife has boatload of beanie babies, never displayed. The problem with those is that with so many tall tales, urban myths, and various defects over the years, it is tough to find out what is truly valuable. We have spent hours researching and come up empty. We have considered taking them to a dealer and parting with them.

    So yes, sometimes its love that makes you part, sometimes necessity. Both can put you in a tough place to make a decision.

    1. Hey, thanks for you reply JR! I must say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the pic of your Buffy collection. It is quite impressive. Valid point on the Nostalgia. That heap of figures I pictured still have some nostalgic pieces. Like the JLA box sets. Sure, they’re just the 4″ figures (I’m pretty sure they are the 4″), but back before they came out, Kenner was almost toying with us. I believe that was pre-internet (or just 1-2 years into the internet), and I read about the possibility of these being made in a magazine. I wanted them so bad, I dreamed of them! Well, found them on eBay for a song, I can never get rid of them.
      Thanks for sharing yours and your wife’s personal dilemmas with collecting as well.
      And as far as the Hot Toys Princess Leia, WOW! I have not collected any of the Star Wars Hot Toys, simply from a logistics stand point, but this figure makes me want to change my mind!

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