What is your collecting philosophy?
Why do you buy a particular costume or prop? What factors go into that decision? Well, here are my thoughts on how to build a collection.
1. Buy something that really lights your fire.
For me, sticking to either a theme or my Top 10 list is really important. I try not to buy stuff that I don’t LOVE. I really have to emphasize that. If you don’t just love the item, don’t buy it. Eventually you will tire of it and want to sell it. It will take up valuable real estate and be a burden. Every time I go downstairs and see my Klingon costume I just think “Holy ?@&#* ! I own a Klingon costume!” It is beautiful and I would never part with it. On the other hand, I bought a few items that I really wasn’t in love with and now I want to sell them.
2. Buy Quality
I try and buy quality. Top to bottom, my collection is strong. Sure, I bought a few costumes for the girlfriend, and a cheap background costume now and then, but those are not on display. Now, you may not have a big budget, but try and buy one nice prop rather than two or three mediocre ones. Don’t rush to buy something. Be a freaking panther, lurking in the weeds, ready to pounce when that perfect item comes up for you. Patience grasshopper. My Mom taught me always to buy quality. You never regret that.
3. Display your collection
OK, this may be personal taste, but every main collection I have (Star Trek, Major Matt Mason toys, books) is on display. I have had half a dozen people come to my house just to see my Major Matt Mason (it’s a 60’s space toy) collection because it is not only the best in the country, but because it is so well displayed. I take great pride in displaying my collections and I HATE having stuff in drawers or closets. I want to see the stuff every day! If you do this, you will find you cherish your collections more and then bring you greater enjoyment. Trust me, I love seeing my stuff around the house and office.
4. Be Social with your hobby!
For me, collecting is a social hobby. Unlike many collectors who hoard their stuff and don’t share it, I love making my collection a means to be social. That is why I started this blog and the Star Trek Prop, Costume and Auction Forum. I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me telling me how much they enjoy having a medium to share their hobby. And presenting at the Vegas Star Trek convention and having a booth there for everyone to share in, is so much fun for me, and makes the hobby so much more enjoyable. Don’t be one of those secretive prop hoarding collectors who are like Grinch! Discover the meaning of Star Trek through sharing your passion! (OK, that is way corny, but you get the picture!).
Well, I hope you enjoyed this article. I want to thank EVERYONE who has written me or thanked me for starting this blog and the forum, and who has made this all so much fun for me. You are all the best and I am happy to count myself as a member of this great Star Trek prop and costume collecting community!