COLLECTOR INTERVIEW: Manoj Sreekumar
Profession: Guitars & Vocals for Acoustic Rock Band ‘DUALITY’.
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect Comics, Action Figures and die cast models. I’ve been a collector since 1987. It was not a conscious decision. Over a period of time, I’ve been buying collectibles that appeal to my tastes & preferences. Soon I was labeled a ‘collector’ by most friends. It’s cool.
What is the holy grail of your collection? Or if you are still looking for it, then what it is?
The original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ action figures by ‘Playmates Toys’ that were launched for the very first time. I’ve had them since 1991.
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
Oh, there are way too many to list here. But yes, there are some awesomely insane stories of collectors that are out there and the passion with which they have been collecting over several decades is something else! There are quite a few who have made it to several Record Books as well.
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? Why?
Tough one, considering that I am one of those who only buys collectibles that appeal to me or which I really like. I am not a ‘completist’ or a ‘multiple variant’ kind of collector. I see something and if I like it- then I pick it up. So I’d like to keep my collection intact. But if you’re being specific- then I’ll have to go with my ‘He-Man & Battle Cat’ figures from the late 1980’s. They were my very first figures which kick started the whole collection and there’s a lot of nostalgia that’s attached with those 2 Action figures.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
Just one item? Hahaha….are you serious?
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? (Both in India and abroad). Do you like that or not?
It’s changed a lot! There are so many collectors from all over the country, it makes you realize that this passion is definitely something that’s not region specific. Also, the internet has really helped in like-minded collectors, all over the world, to link up with each other through several online group forums. The information, knowledge & discussions in these forums have been a great help to many collectors who are also new to the hobby. Getting access to rare collectibles is actually no longer an issue today as a collector now knows the best online sites & stores with the best offers from where he/she can pick them from.
How do you see or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years’ time?
It’s only getting bigger and bigger. Today you have so many new collectors popping up every nook & corner. Online group forums have ‘new members’ joining up almost on a daily basis! And it’s great to see the excitement from all over.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
Be clear on what it is that you want to collect and only buy/collect that you want to keep with you. Don’t buy something because it’s the latest fad or if it’s cool to own what everyone else is having. Do some research before buying your collectible. These days, the same model is being made by different manufacturers. A little research into the pros & cons of different models will definitely help in building your collection. Also, be a ‘collector’. Don’t be a ‘speculator’. Don’t buy things only to hold on to them for some time & then later on put them up for ‘sale’ with marked up costs. Not cool, not one bit.
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.