COLLECTORS INTERVIEW: Brian D’Souza
Profession: Media Professional
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect Action Figures, Statues, Busts & Diecast models which bring back memories of the 80’s & 90’s & all the joy it brought me as a kid through Comic Books, Movies & Cartoons. The majority of my collection is between the 6 inch to the 1-inch range as I am very impressed with the detailing done on small scale & miniature figures.
My Parents got me my 1st figures which were He-Man & BattleCat when I was 5 years old.
Followed by my Grandpa who bought me a lot of Masters of the Universe figures, knowing how fascinated I was, watching the Cartoon Series on his TV. After He-Man it was Lego, Hot Wheels, GiJoe, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & WWF Figures. All these toys were the one’s available in our local stores, however, toys like Superman, Batman, Thundercats were toys we could only dream of getting as these figures were available only overseas. The hope that we’d someday get those figures kept that passion & excitement somewhere in me, alive all those years.
What is the holy grail of your collection?
It would have to be my Star Wars Collection. It’s taken me a long time to put together, but I have managed to collect all my favourite characters from all 8 Films released, thanks to eBay & with the help of my fellow collector & friend Ramgopal.
With so many new Star Wars movies on the horizon, I think I’m going to keep looking.
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
It would have to be this episode of Collectaholics J
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
It would either be my Giant Robot or Orko figures, those 2 figures bring back a lot of memories.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
It would be this diorama: Superman vs Doomsday –
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? Do you like that or not?
There is definitely more awareness about Collectibles & Collectors alike. This can be attributed to the Internet & availability of collectables through viable Ecommerce methods. A collector can simply search for a collectable she or he is looking to purchase & can have the same shipped to their doorstep.
Thanks to Comic-Con happening in India every year, the Comic Culture has grown. We have Collectors who have set up Collectible Stores & make a variety of figures available to a collector.
Local Toy Stores too have seen the demand from Collectors & are stocking figures which cater to adult toy collectors. Another upside to this is the number of Collectors keeps growing; this is evident on Collector Communities & Groups on Social Media platforms. There are so many people who have gone back to searching for their old toys probably stacked away in their homes, lofts or garages. They are inspired to renew their passion as toy collectors because they suddenly realise the worth of their collectables, due to the culture which has spread.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years time?
One can only hope that it keeps growing. If it keeps growing, there is a sure demand, and then the probability of International Toy Brands officially setting shop & directly distributing their products locally is high.
At times the shipping cost is more than the selling price of the product, which puts off a collector from making purchases. But the most important & deciding factor is the Dollar ($) value, with that going up it is getting extremely difficult for Collectors/ local Distributors to shell out money.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
1. Collecting is a happy but expensive hobby, know your limits
2. Your Family is more important than any of your collectables.
3. There will always be another opportunity to buy a collectable you think is rare or one of a kind. There are always more of the one of the same kind that keeps showing up on eBay, so no hurry there.
4. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You may just end up paying half the price for an expensive collectable bought from someone who doesn’t care or isn’t aware of its value.
5. Someday when our time’s up we going to leave all our collectables behind, you have no control over what will happen to them, ensure you always make your loved ones understand it’s value.
6. If you choose to pursue a hobby as a Collector, do it because you want to do it out of passion, don’t do it, to compete with another collector, you will never be satisfied & appreciate your own collection. Happy Collecting…Cheers
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