I've been pondering on what it was that first prompted me to start reacquiring items I'd once owned in my youth, and one of the things I realised was that it was never really a conscious decision - it just sort of happened. Perhaps it started when a fellow I knew asked me if I'd like (for free) an unbuilt unboxed Aurora Superboy model that one of his friends had but didn't want. Months later, with yet no sign of Superboy, he told me about an Aurora Batman kit in a Glasgow model shop for a mere £1.50, which, if I gave him the dosh, he'd get for me the next time he was in. And so it came to pass.
Many months later, once Batman had been built and painted and after I'd flitted to another house and neighbourhood, he said to me one day "Remember that Superboy kit I mentioned? Well, I've got it now, so I'll give you it the next time I see you." This could well have been about a year and a half after him first telling me about it, but it eventually passed into my possession. In the meantime, Monogram had reissued four of the Aurora 'Glow-In-The-Dark' monster kits and I bought the Frankenstein one. I think I got Frankie before Superboy, but whatever the sequence, my collection was well under way.
The next step in my gradual and inexorable evolution into a 'toy collector' was when it was announced in the press that Palitoy was discontinuing production of Action Man as they felt children were no longer interested in 12 inch action figures. That prompted me to buy one at the earliest opportunity, as I had never bought a brand-new Action Man as a kid, being merely the recipient of a neighbour's two unwanted AMs, though I may have paid him the exorbitant sum of 50p for them. Point is they were second-hand, whereas the one I purchased in 1984 was brand-spanking-new (and on sale for half-price).
And that, to the best of my recollection, is how it all started. Right at this moment I can't recall what my next toy acquisition was, though I was simultaneously also buying replacements for comics I'd once had as a kid and teenager. I wasn't particularly searching for anything, opportunities to re-own things just seemed to present themselves completely unbidden. I bought whatever came along of what I'd once owned and, before I knew it, I'd built up a nice little collection. Well, around 40 years later, I'm seemingly in the grip of an overwhelming compulsion to track down just about anything I remember as once having, and my collection is so huge, I could probably do with a house twice the size of my present one.
So what I'd like to ask any fellow Crivvies who have also dedicated themselves to reacquiring certain items from their past is this: What was it that set your foot on that path? Was there a defining moment when you decided to 'go for it' and buy a specific toy or comic, and did that lead you to want more and more of the things that represented your childhood and teenage years to you? Did you seek them out, or simply not think about things until something unexpectedly popped up for sale somewhere? Share your experiences of such momentous moments in our comments section and indulge in a cathartic exorcism of any embarrassment or guilt that you may feel about being a big wean who's never quite grown up.
|My 1984 Action Man is buried away somewhere, so here's|
a photo of one from the '60s that I acquired much later