COLLECTORS INTERVIEW – Prashant Adukia
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect Action Figures of different makes across different characters. I don’t follow a particular line/make/ characters. I don’t buy because I have to buy. All the figures I buy, I share emotional connect with them.
My journey with these figures started sometime in the mid-1980’s, primarily with the Joes and the HeMan. It was pure Nirvana, but mind you, it was marginally from my pocket money and the rest was sponsored by my parents. They have always been supportive of all my hobbies and this was no exception either. However, during the growing up years, this got dusted off somewhere.
What once started as a random toy photography (till early 2016), turned out to be my passion and I found my inner self.
During my childhood, I was (and still am) a big fan of Spider-Man, BatMan, and HeMan. Later on, some more characters got added to my favorite list because of watching/following a particular series or
movie is. I have been collecting these toy figures since the last two years. This collection makes me feel nostalgic, is a stress buster and keeps the child in me alive. I am a serious hobbyist photographer and
yes, I still have some of the Joes and HeMan from my childhood collection, though unfortunately not in the best of shape.
What is the holy grail of your collection?
That is a difficult one. I am glad my action figures won’t judge me based on my answer. If I have to choose from my current collection, it has to be Bandai Ashigaru Storm Trooper. It’s an artist rendition and I have immense respect for such a talented work of art. My next grail would be to build a collection of Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
The story here is neither surprising nor outrageous, rather it is heart warming. A fellow toy photographer lost his camera. He bought a new camera which unfortunately started malfunctioning as it fell in the water. All in all, in a span of a few weeks, he had lost 2 camera bodies and a few lenses. He was without a camera for the next couple of weeks. On the brighter side, he started shooting and exploring phone photography. His father made a superhero entry, came to his rescue, and gifted him a brand new camera and a few lenses.
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
This is not fair. How can you expect me to choose from my own collection??? However, as you are really insisting I will go with the Arkham City Batman and the Danbo. These are the first figures which I
had purchased and with it, my passion resurfaced like an adrenalin rush. It’s not at all about the money, it’s about the sentiment attached to it.
If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
The grass is always greener on the other side. I seriously, don’t dwell on other people’s collection. I have limited knowledge about the comics and the characters and the versions. However, I observe other’s collection very closely and leverage their exposure to try and identify certain figures which can be added to my wishlist!
How has the collecting scene changed in the last 5 years? Do you like that or not?
In my view, there has been a positive shift in this aspect as far as India is concerned. With the advent of eCommerce, online retail stores are offering such collectibles at competitive prices, which was unheard
of a couple of years back. Collectors coming together as a community also helps in achieving the economies of scale. Although, what I don’t appreciate is that certain rotten apples on this journey disrupt the happy and positive experience of this marvelous hobby.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years time?
Merchandising is a big business and has an expensive entry point. However, as brands/ companies look at broader markets, we can all expect more diverse collections to be available. I would expect collectibles up the value chain to become readily available as people are becoming more mature with their hobby. Simultaneously, sellers need to understand to keep their side of price/shipping/packaging commitments. There isn’t room for such shorthands in times to come. Of late fan made custom figures is gaining a good foothold with the collectors’ community in India. I have two fan-made custom figures and two more figures with a fan made custom figure designer make changes to the overall design and look of the action figure.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
I have two foundation rules for all my fellow collectors as this is an expensive hobby.
#1 Buy something which will bring alive the child in you and not is simply an ego massage.
#2 Don’t forget #1. Sometimes the experience and the joy is beyond the parameters of money.
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DISCLAIMER: ALL THE IMAGES SHOWCASED HERE BELONGS SOLELY TO THE ARTIST MENTIONED ABOVE. IT HAS BEEN PUT UP WITH THEIR PERMISSION AND MEN OF COMICS HOLDS NO RIGHTS OVER IT.