COLLECTOR INTERVIEW: Balasubramanian S
Profession: Banking professional by weekdays, Superhero geek by weekends
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect action figures, statues and other memorabilia associated with pop-culture. Although I grew up reading comic books, the love for these characters translated to other mediums over time. Batman and Superman was my gateway to American comic books and Batman the Animated Series got me hooked and I instantly became a fan of the character. As a child, I always dreamt of owning an action figure of Batman, but it only came true when my dad got me a Kenner Batman figure when I was 11 (which I don’t have anymore…sniff sniff). However, I got into mainstream collecting only in 2012 when I stumbled upon the DC Collectibles Arkham City Batman and the NECA Crysis Nanosuit 2.0 at the London Comic Con. I’ve never looked back ever since.
What is the holy grail of your collection? Or if you still looking for it then what it is?
Now that’s a difficult one. I don’t for one buy stuff just because it’s the next big thing in the market. I try to stick to a particular line that I connect with. However, there will be impulse buys when you stumble across sweet deals. However, Just to answer your question, I would say it has to be my Trinity consisting of Superman from Kotobukiya, Wonder Woman from Yamato USA and Batman (Hush) from Medicom Toys. I am more of a DC guy! Although the movie versions of these characters are more popular today, I am more of an old-school fella and identify with the classic versions.
I am also planning to get the Hulk vs. Wolverine diorama from Sideshow Collectibles. It is a re-creation of the first appearance of Wolverine in the comics from the 1970’s and also they happen to be my two favourite characters from Marvel. This makes it a grail piece worth owning in my collection.
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
You want me to talk about how I hoard collectibles under my cot without my people knowing? Hush now!! Jokes apart, there’s this guy in Bangkok who built a museum dedicated to Batman, within a span of a decade. The best part is most of the 50,000 plus items in his collection are from his private collection. I am planning to visit his museum when I go to Bangkok.
My Hot Toys The Dark Knight Joker Bank Robber version 2.0. Meticulously detailed to match the likeness of Heath Ledger’s appearance as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008). The figure depicts the joker’s heist as a bank robber in the introduction scene of the movie.
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
It would have to be my Yamato Wonder Woman. The sheer beauty of Diana personified in a lunging pose makes this statue stand out in my collection.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
That guy in Bangkok I told you about. He has a lifesize 1990 Batmobile in his museum. How cool would it be to have that in your own garage?
My DC Collectibles Batman the Animated Series Batmobile. It is not only a massive 24” long vehicle, but the light-up feature is accurate to how it was depicted in the series and it can also seat two 6” figures inside the cock-pit.
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? (can mention in both India and abroad). Do you like that or not?
Considering this hobby is so unheard of in our country, we are usually the subject of ridicule by our family and friends who tend to label our collectibles as mere toys. However, the scene has been changing at a slow pace. The advent of DCEU and MCU and other franchises have spawned a new breed of collectors and new collectibles in the market. Also there are active social media groups such as ‘Action Figures Fanatics India‘ and ‘Indian Toy Collectors‘ on Facebook which has been instrumental in bringing together collectors from across the country, providing accessibility to good deals and helping foster the collectible market.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years’ time?
At the end of the day it is the love for art that keeps this passion going. The rate at which newer collectibles are being introduced and the number of people taking up this hobby, and with acclaimed manufacturers such as Kotobukiya and NECA officially entering the Indian market it is set to grow leaps and bounds in the coming years.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
Research, plan your budget and buy what you want as this hobby can get expensive by the day. There are no ground rules that you should stick to collecting a particular line or character. Just ensure you save enough money rather than ending up in debt. Try to restrict your impulsive buys to a bare minimum and that way you will be in control of your finances.
For more on updates on Balasubramanian and his collection do follow the links below:
Facebook -> http://www.facebook.com/mostwantedbala
Instagram -> http://instagram.com/bala171
Disclaimer: All the Artwork and the Images showcased here belongs solely to the individual mentioned above. It has been put up their permission and Men Of Comics holds no rights over it.
A Brand and Digital Marketer by day, a tech enthusiastic social media-friendly geek who produces content and can’t live without films by night.
In short, I notice things for a living and try to point them out to people. I write about movies, television especially superhero films, pop culture and Hollywood. When not listening to start-up pitches, I play with puppies and pretend to like craft beer.
You can follow me at the below social media handles. Don’t forget to keep your sense of humor.