I have been collecting for 15 years now. When I stated there was a vigor that is almost unexplainable. I can remember pouring through the original Marvel comics that were on loan from my cousin. I can distinctly remember that the first comics that I read were the G.i.Joe crossover books that started Gen 2. I know that I started near the end of the line, but I had to know how Megatron was upgraded. I just wanted to know as much as I could. The first figures that I purchased were Optimus Primal from Beast Machines and a deluxe Jetstorm. With them I had Transformers: The Movie on continuous loop on my computer in my small room. Lucky for me my cousin soon fed me 8 CDRs that held on them downloaded Gen 1 episodes, many of these actually held the Cybernetic Space Cube and the Gen 2 CGI bumpers. Please remember that these were CDs with legit files burned to them. In a world before wireless keyboards and mice, every 22 minutes I had to get up and select the next episode to continue.
My timing was almost perfect. Right when I was discovering the online community was when the big DreamWave announcement was made. Her I was, a blossoming Transformer fan at a time when the fandom was being reborn. Robots in Disguise was on the shelves, and truck was finally in the lead over monkey. I now had a new set of media to being to consume.
Through this time I have been a very committed collector. Granted as my life has become more evolved, I have evolved my tastes and moved away from my previous completionist self. I now purchase what goes for my tastes, however this is where the new project is beginning.
It all started when Armada finally hit shelves. Robots in Disguise was surprisingly manageable. The toys hit shelves as I was receiving a steady paycheck (granted it was a McPaycheck), but for the first time in my life I could look at a figure cardback and "got it" across the entirety.
During this time I also stumbled across a Toyfare magazine that gave a specialty price guide for Transformers. This price guild became my homework over the next couple of weeks. I started to transcribe it, word for word into Excel, creating the first spreadsheets. I printed up my fist copies, and created my collection 3 ring binder. I can't lie, if anything helped my to support my collection it was that my father noticed that this was forcing me to learn Excel and begin to get organized. It impressed him and started to help him give the fact that his son just turned 16 and is getting back into toys, after finally leaving them. I remember studing the priceguide. I was so proud to look at my Robots in Disguise Excel file, and see it in its almost complete glory... only missing the TRU exclusive Air Attack Optimus Primal that I never managed to bite the bullet on. I began to keep up on the spreadsheets and watch all of my online dealers, noting the upcoming case packs. I knew what was on the way and kept an eye out. Often when going hunting with my father on the weekends, new finds were just new notes, recrding that the next wave was not in existence and could be marked in my books.
When RID ended, my display space was maximized. Armada began I and I needed to retire the previous series. I remember my great idea included a Rubbermaid 4 drawer system, and the use of Tupperware to hold all the small accessories. The spreadsheets were kept up meticulously, through Energon however, as Cybertron rolled into being College and life started to get in they way. Also the Rubbermaid containers were upgraded to larger bins, and card organizers now holding so many more tiny missals, protecting them from loss.
And that is where the problem started. Since Cybertron my logging of the collection has been lax at best, but quite honestly has been the one and off struggle to try and create a new log, with new Excel knowledge. When I purchased my house the collection had to take second fiddle and was mostly placed in storage. I have had high hopes of getting everything organized, however my first home has not been conducive to spreading out and working on the now massive pile of bots and cons. The biggest portion of organizing has been that I have successfully separated out the bins into smaller, series sorted bins, as well as have most of the figures individually bagged in zip-lock bags.
For display I had a small office that allowed me 5 detolf cases from Ikea. These held my Classics collection with Masterpiece, what I deemed important. I enjoy my display, however in January I had to dismantle it one Saturday afternoon. After 8 years my wife and I decided that it was time for us to upgrade. Our home, even though we love it, had finally become too damn small.
Now for the good news... in mid May we will be moving to our new home, a home which will provide me with a fully finished basement, ready for more Detolfs, and a the ability to spread out and finally get this monstrosity under control. That is the current state that I am wanting to move this blog to temporarily. I am going to document my steps to get this collection under control and try to see where I really went wrong. The next few entries are going to address my collection's current/past state with the display I had setup as well as where I hope that it goes. I just hope that a new fan will find this record and learn from my mistakes. If anyone has any advice or tips I am more than welcome! In addition I am certain that I will be creating a new Excel file that hopefully when this is all said and done I can distribute through Google docs to help more than just me.