ZOMBIES IN MY CLOSET!!
Jaye wants me to call this post “Zombies In Toyland.” That’s a good title, but the zombies aren’t in Toyland. They are in my closet.
(For the record, Jaye rarely gets what she wants, unless she acts in a sly, sneaky, subversive manner and goes ahead and gives the post the title she thought of, then thinks about it and puts a subtitle in, which is actually what people will pay attention to anyway.)
I hoard toys. It’s an obsession I developed after I sold some vintage Star Wars action figures on eBay for a friend. He made a tidy profit. It would have been an incredible profit, but sometime in the 1980s he tore a corner from every single bubble away from every single card so he could poke the little plastic Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vaders and Han Solos with a finger. I will never understand it as long as I live. I hope those pokes were worth thousands of dollars, because that’s what they cost him. The value of toys is often (stupidly) in the packaging. Mint condition packaging is the real rarity, not the toy itself. What a poke will cost you aside (and they’ve cost billions of divorcees plenty, believe you me), I wondered if I could pull off a similar financial windfall by collecting some toys for future sale. Cheaper than playing the stock market and a helluva lot more fun. If they turn out to be stinkers, I can always give them to Goodwill and take a tax deduction.
(Okay, fine, my little asides are kind of dumb, but this is so Marina knows. I collect Breyer horses. And I play with them. I throw away the boxes and dress them up and put beads on them and sometimes daub them with paint. In the distant future some collector is going to curse my name. Heh.)
I buy toys dispassionately. I often don’t like the toys I buy. I buy them with an eye toward their future desirability. 1968 Television Batmobile Hot Wheels? I got a billion of ‘em. I picked them up whenever I saw one on the Walmart Hot Wheels rack. I don’t like them, I think they are stupid. They don’t really look like the Batmobile from the Adam West television show. They have doubled in value in a very short period of time. They were a good buy, and someday I’ll unload them.
When I heard that McFarlane (one of the better action figure manufacturers) was going to release a series of AMC’s The Walking Dead figures, of course I had to have those. Those are going to go up in value for sure. Back then (less than a year ago) Series One was available for pre-order. Series One is always a biggie with toys. By the time Series II comes around and some fans realize that the figures even exist, they’ll be shit out of luck on buying a Daryl Dixon With Crossbow from a store. They’ll have to buy it from me. For a lot more than I paid. It’s already happening.
I ordered my figures from The Big Bad Toy Store, and I spent a little extra dough to upgrade to Collector’s Grade because IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PACKAGING. I got Sheriff Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon With Crossbow and a couple of zombies. At least I think that’s what I got. See, when my order arrived, with the figures individually boxed in plain cardboard boxes, I didn’t open the individual cardboard boxes. I didn’t want to risk ruining the cards and the bubbles. I want them safe and sound and in mint condition for a long, long time. Or at least until I can get at least $100 a pop for them.
The stupid thing about this is I finally have some toys that I would enjoy looking at and possibly displaying (no, I would not play with them…okay, I might play with them).
(Ha! You know you would, Marina. Ooh, I have a beat up Breyer that would look great as a zombie horse. A little plastic clay, some paint…)
I can’t even see them. I have four cardboard boxes to look at and display and play with, and that’s way too much like me being a toddler (which I’m not) rather than me being a pre-teen boy (which I’m also not). Hell, the Big Bad Toy Store could have sent me four boxes with some Littlest Pet Shop shit in them, and I’d have no way of knowing. Irony is a cruel, brain eating, zombie mistress.
On a happier note, variants rock and my friend Dee sent me Bloody Black and White Rick Grimes for my birthday! No, I don’t play with it. Much.
(I bet you snuggle it and kiss it, Marina, and dress it up.)
If you would like to join me in zombie toy speculation, Series II of AMC’s The Walking Dead McFarlane action figures are up for pre-order!
Important tip for collectors: If you should start collecting toys and develop a compulsive need to open corners of packaging to poke them, remember that it will be far cheaper in the long run to get one to keep and one to poke.
Jaye here: Speaking of poking, I’ve poked Marina into finishing her story collection, Zombies Take Manhattan! It’ll be up and available for your reading pleasure within a few weeks. Watch this post for the big launch announcement!