COLLECTOR INTERVIEW: Tarun Kinger
Profession: Software Engineer
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect mainly Batmobiles of different brands, but off late I’ve branched out into collecting cars from different pop cultures. i also own a few Star Wars Action Figures!
I’ve been collecting for about a year now, as my bank statement reminds me! 😛 I’ve been a hardcore Batman fan since childhood and used to always ogle my eyes out at that beautiful Batmobile he drove in the Animated series. I never owned a HW Batmobile as a kid, though I owned other Hot wheels, and even though I had gotten the idea of collecting Batmobiles as a teenager, I immediately dropped it thinking it wouldn’t be ‘cool’. Thankfully adulthood removed that stupid notion out of my head! 😛
It was sometime last year that collecting foreign coins got too mundane, and I decided I needed a new hobby, I had just rewatched The Dark Knight trilogy and knew that I wanted to have my own Batmobile, and I was sure HW would have manufactured it. Imagine my shock when I found so many varieties of Batmobiles on Amazon and eBay, and a bigger shock when I found that lots of people collect them like crazy! Purchased an Arkham Knight and a Tumbler right then and never looked back! 😀
What is the holy grail of your collection? Or if you still looking for it then what it is?
My Holy Grail is the 1:24 Animated Series Batmobile from DC! It doesn’t matter that I don’t have the space for it, or the money to get it yet, but some day I will get it! 😀
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
It’s when a new collector spent 500 bucks to buy a HW mainline Tumbler from eBay when the same car was selling for 99/- in practically every toy store that sold Hot Wheels. That new collector was me! 😛
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
I don’t think this a valid question to ask any collector, as if I had to pick only one item, I wouldn’t be a ‘collector’. My favorite Batmobile keeps changing every week, but if you put a gun to my head and asked me to choose one Batmobile from my collection, I would probably pick the Tomica Tumbler…or the Batpod..or the BvS Batmobile….ok I give up, go ahead and shoot me! 😛
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
I often daydream about raiding Arun Shankar’s collection and stealing all the Batmobiles that I don’t have! 😛
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? Do you like that or not?
I haven’t been collecting that long, but in the last year, I have definitely seen more collectors emerge, based on the number of new collectors I’ve befriended online, and the ones I see in toy stores. It makes me smile whenever I see more adults in the toy section than kids. Also previously rare models have become common now, and some of the absurdly common models have become rare mainly due to popularity.
The one thing that hasn’t changed thankfully is the spirit of collecting! You may feel extremely jealous if another collector has that dream collectible that you want, but that won’t stop you from contacting him as soon as you find a lead on something that he needs! That’s something I love about this hobby; there’s no competition, but just a mad craze to own more for yourself!! 🙂
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years time?
I hope for starters that Amazon/Flipkart and the likes take off the absurdly crazy prices they put even on common cars/figures, and price the rarer ones also reasonably. I lose a little faith in mankind whenever I see my dream collectibles priced ridiculously in 1000s of rupees, and I gain that faith back whenever I see a collector share his haul with other collectors at affordable rates. I’m glad that we collectors don’t care when people chide us for collecting ‘toys’ like kids, but I hope the way people see collectors changes. The passion towards collecting is increasing rapidly and the fact that you are never too far from a fellow collector online, I hope the perception towards collecting changes too!
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
Don’t follow the crowd..start collecting whatever appeals to you; it’s an expensive hobby (in most cases) so be patient, and learn when to catch hold of that collectible at a high price, and when to let it go and wait to find it for a cheaper price. Remember, money saved = money for more collectibles 😛
Also, follow collectors who collect the same things you do, and make use of their experience and knowledge on what to collect and from where. Most of them are friendly, and will even help you find what you need! 🙂