COLLECTOR INTERVIEW: Yassir Ahmad
City: Raiganj , West Bengal
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
As a kid I used to collect a lot of Hindi comics from Raj comics and Diamond comics. And I loved action figures from the start. Like most collectors, I started with MOTUC and then moved on to G.I.Joes from funskool. Then I put a brake on it in 1998.
My second coming was in the year of 2009 when I just couldn’t resist getting some of those G.I.Joe Rise of Cobra line of figures. Since then my collection has been going strong and I am fully committed to this hobby.
Besides RoC, I have collected figures from Marvel and DC movies, G.I.Joe retaliation, Dark knight trilogy, Lord of the Rings/the Hobbit and few others. My collection has slowly graduated from 1/18 to 1/12 to 1/6 over the past 7 years.
I also enjoy reading comic books on kindle and watching all these comic book movies on blu ray.
What is the holy grail of your collection? Or if you still looking for it then what it is?
As of now, it has to be the Hot Toys DX11 Joker figure which is soon gonna be replaced by the Hot Toys Hulkbuster (fingers crossed)
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
Not many. But one little story where a friend of friend was forced to hide his toys in his office shelf because bringing them home meant trouble! That was actually very reassuring thinking that its a lot easier for me.
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
I think that has to be G.I.Joe Mean Dog for purely sentimental reasons of it being associated with the memory of my late father.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
The only thing I desperately need right now has to be a decent shelf/showcase for my figures. But again I get transfers every few years so that’s another piece of furniture to move.
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? Do you like that or not?
In my field of collecting the only major changes I have seen is a decline in the standards of 3.75″ figures and the advent of Japanese manufacturers into major 6″ lines like marvel and star wars. While this has meant good news for 1/12 collectors, the 1/18 collectors have suffered. My own 1/18 purchases have been very limited ever since hasbro introduced those 5 p.o.a figures since iron man 3 line. On the other hand they have massively improved their game in the 6″ line because of the Japanese competition. So its a mixed feeling for me.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years time?
What I really want is for India to become a significant collectors’ market with more organised imports and physical store retailing for that ultimate joy of figure shopping. Having said that, I must acknowledge that the online retailers are still doing a mighty good job.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
My ultimate advice is to go buy whatever you like. Sticking to a particular line isn’t so important but going by what you truly like is more desirable. Just think over that preorder you badly want for about a week, whether you’d really want it as much in say, one year? Would you be selling it off then? Would all this expense be worth it? And its a yes, take the plunge. You may not always be able to afford that huge statue but you can always work hard, a little extra and maybe it wont be impossible.
A Business Analyst by profession, but more a traveller who is trying to analyse millennia of history, culture and stories across the world more than often.
I like to collect things – coins, stamps, books, autographs, and most of all action figures. Comics and pop culture has been an active influence to shape my life goals. In my free time (which I have very rarely) I like to do pencil sketching.
Secret wish – to visit every (real/inspired) place Tintin visited.