COLLECTORS INTERVIEW: Shriram Jagadeesan
What do you collect? How long have you been collecting? How did you get into it?
I collect action figures and die-cast small cars and bikes. In action figures, I am interested in collecting 3.75 inches to 4-inch ones. The figures are varied. I collect GIJOE, Star Wars, Marvel figures, Power Rangers, Dragon Ballz etc., My prime collection line is GIJoes. I have started moving towards Motuc, DC Collectibles and Marvel figures in 6 inches now. I have quite a variety in 6-inch figures now. I am also collecting GIJOE vehicles. Apart from this in Diecast, I collect cars in 1:64, 1:76, 1:87 dimensions mostly. I collect across multiple brands like Hotwheels, Greenlight, M2Machines, Johnny Lightning, Oxford Diecast etc., I have been into the collection for past 18 years at least right from my young age. But the collection has become active more in last 5 years where I have collected a variety of figures stated above. I love figures right from my childhood and my dad used to get me a hot wheels car or a GIJOE figure if I get to top 3 ranks in class. I did that each year and without seeing the rate he will buy me cars and action figures. So the start of this passion goes to my Dad. I like to thank my Mom for keeping them safe in showcases and now I cherish them a lot.
GIJOES. I have over 100 GIJOE figures with me. Also to add on some 15 vehicles now too. This will never end. But I have streamlined my collection now. I am moving towards completing my Funskool GIJOE collection and then will target few of the GIJOE figures in Hasbro 25th and 50th Year editions. But said that I collect across like Marvel, Star Wars, Motuc etc., too. I am a crazy Storm Shadow fan in GIJOES. I have over 10 Storm Shadows with me all different. My next venture will be to MOTUC. I like Heman and Skeletor a lot and I will be adding to that collection too soon.
People travelling all over India to collect Joes. But I like my fellow friend Shiva who is interested only in Motu Classics and old Motu figures. He has a wide range of figures in it and very good in taking snaps of them. I can’t forget my close friend Tanmay too. He has a strange habit. He will get into a collection line, collect all and cherish it. Next day he will sell all of them and move to next. He has a new line of the collection now and I hope he will stay in that.
If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be? And why?
It’s not a GIJOE. That might surprise all. It’s a complete Die Cast Flame Trooper Star War figure which I bought in Disney store, UK. It is available only in Disney stores and that is the heaviest action figure I have got. Post that for sure all my joes are precious to me.
Heman and Skeletor from Shiva’s collection. He has quite a lot of them I suppose. Time to gift me some now buddy. I like that so much that I made a 4 inch Heman which was done by Prem below. This was my first custom figure. I am doing more action figures from Prem and he is a maestro in action figures making.
The collection is no more a child’s play. It has gone to next level. The more the movies come on the superheroes and other lines, we get more action figures and even adults start collecting them. Also, I see many houses hold action figures in their showcases these days and even the elders in family cherish them. Also, we see lots of action figures with great articulation for adults too.
How do you see, or hope to see the scene changing in 5 years’ time?
Change is eternal in any industry. We will see more realistic action figures made which we see as a trend now. Also to add on more adults will be involved in this hobby going forward as they see more of these realistic toys coming out. I love to see the realistic flying iron man, superman etc., I am sure that will happen very soon.
What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
Be passionate about what you do. Enjoy each and every moment of collecting it. Don’t worry what others say about that. It’s applicable in any field. Have a concrete theme line to your collection and ensure you don’t deviate from it much. But don’t worry if you see something better in other line collect them too. After all, it gives us happiness. For all my fellow buddies, I sign off in GIJOE style, YOJOE…HIP HIP YOJOE.
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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.