Collecting things

Any of you collect stuff?

As a child I used collect Call Cards* just like every child in Ireland. I also collected English Premier League football stickers. As a young child I used buy Garbage Pail Kid’s stickers. And as a teenager I used collect Magic: The Gathering. And to be honest, there was nothing like getting a new booster pack, opening it up and getting that new card smell, and going through them to see what you got this time. My brother was far more adventurous with his collections: on holidays one year he collected loads of beer caps, so much so that we couldn’t take them all home. He also collected toilet paper rolls (although that was a more functional collection as they were destined to be used as grenades in his house encompassing wargames.)

I don’t think I’ll ever get over that “collection buzz.” Every so often I get a hankering for it, I just have no idea what to collect. One that seems good, but unoriginal is beer mats. That could be handy because I go to two pubs that get in weird beers. But really I’m just looking for something that is nice to look at, nice to categorise, doesn’t take up huge amounts of space, is relatively cheap, and has a little history behind.

Do any of you collect stuff? From pottery, to bottle caps, to wargames models (this is slightly too expensive for me,) cigarette cards or whatever? And what buzz do you get out of it?

*They were credit card like cards, with a chip on them. They came in currency values and gave you that amount of credit to be used in the major telecom company’s phone booths. I don’t know if they were a big international thing. This would have been about 18 years ago.

I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

I sorta collect postcards, mainly from friends/family going places. I have turned some of them into collages.

I don’t get a buzz out of them or anything, but I like seeing pictures of interesting (or even mundane) places that I may never get to see myself.

I gave up trying to collect things some time in my teen years. I’m a completion (in this regard), and I can’t stand having a collection missing a few key (expensive & rare) items. The vexation I feel ends up outweighing any pleasure I could derive from an incomplete collection, so I stopped trying to collect anything as a genuine hobby.

Turns out I don’t get as much pleasure form the act of collecting, as I do from the end result.

I don’t really collect anything that could ever really be completed like cards or something. My only real collection is a small library of books on the planning and building of Walt Disney World as well as books on the art and detail of various parts of the parks. I’ve actually got a couple of reasonably valuable (where ‘reasonably’ means about $200 or so) books in there as some of them have gone out of print and were only available in the parks to begin with.

That sounds fucking amazing. (Don’t ban him Tom he’s cool! (So am I, and so his whzerwifenesname.)) I’ve often searched my Uni’s digital library for journal’s related to theme park design and management, be they Disneyland or Vegas’ Casinos (I read a lot of Vegas books as a kid, but never quite grok’ed gambling, apart from the not getting rich aspect.) I never found any.

Are the books about the structural part or about the “creation of joy?”

Mostly structural and thematic. Stuff like the four Imagineer’s field guides (one for each WDW park) which, though a very light series, gives insight on the stories behind the creation of different areas and rides in each park, talks about the process of creating a story first and then creating the design for the areas to come from the story, etc. The two Imagineering books have a lot more depth than the field guides and come bundled with tons of tchotchkes, but have a wider focus as well since they cover the entire area and history of WDW. Jason Surrell’s books on the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are pretty nuts for the amount of detail and history he goes into on the ride, and even casual fans of either ride can come away feeling like all time supermans after enjoying Mr Surrell’s company. For historical it’s hard to beat Project Future, which is more evenhanded than a lot of the rah-rah stff you’ll get from Buena Vista books, but not nearly as frothing as Carl Hiaasen’s Team Rodent.

There are a surprising number of books like this out there. Some which cover the stories and others which are written from an Imagineer’s POV, talking about the process of designing and building the rides or the lands or the atmosphere. For Christmas my Eilonwy got me The Art of Walt Disney World, which is just a hundred or so pages of context free preproduction drawings and paintings for different parts of the parks.

There are also books out there on the creation of the Disney experience, but most of those tend to be customer service oriented. Though The Art of Disney Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance sounds like it might be right up your alley, it’s also out of print and used copies start at around $60, so it might also be a little out of impulse price range.

Shot glasses. I have almost every US state and a few from Europe when the wife visited. It started as a joke and now it’s an obsession.

I collect video games, mostly.

I collect elephants. Here’s a (somewhat poor quality) picture of the top half of my curio cabinet, of which 90% is elephants of some variety:

I collect soda bottles & soda cans. I occasionally make a bottle label in Photoshop and make my own bottles. My most recent addition to my collection would be a holiday 2001 Coca-Cola bottle, 1999 16 oz Coca-Cola can from Germany (I think), and a 2002 8 oz Coca-Cola can from Germany.

My mother used to collect elephants. They always had to have their trunks in the air. That was supposed to be good luck. Eventually she had more elephants than she knew what to do with. Now every time she gets an elephant as a gift she’s all, “Oh another elephant.”

Hey she’s 85 years old. She can say what she wants.

Yeah, trunks in the air is good luck. That said, I have a fair number that don’t have their trunks in the air… I like to live on the edge. ;)

I too have slowed down in my elephant collecting, mainly because my curio cabinet is pretty much full at this point, but I’ll still buy the rare one if it’s particularly unusual.

stitch (from lilo and stitch) junk. i got a stitch piggy bank, stitch dressed as malficient pin, an old used copy of the making of lilo and stitch book (only took a few years for the price to go below $60), and a bunch of tiny plastic stitch figurines in various costumes.


Memories really, but you share a memory enough times and it becomes a story.

Edit: i also have five of the six original lilo and stitch mcdonalds toys. Missing the boyfriend hurrrrr wonder why hurrrrrrrr.

I don’t collect elephants, but by some fluke, I have exactly one of those in your case…2nd shelf down, jade (or some facsimile), his snout is right behind the divider.

It was a gift from a coworker of mine after she returned from seeing family in Mumbai. It (if I recall) is a representation of Ganesh, and contains other carved figures inside of it.

To the point of the thread: I don’t currently collect, but I maintain collections from when I did such a thing. I still have the vast majority of my M:tG collection (Alphas and Betas, plus the first few expansions), AD&D 1st Edition supplements and modules (most signed by their authors…I went to Gen Con a lot as a kid), and my D&D Blue, Red, and magenta boxes. I was going to give these things to my kids when they showed an interest, but they don’t seem to care. Someday, maybe, I’ll sell them off.

Ah yes, that one is one of my favorites! It does have another elephant figure inside it. I almost didn’t get that one, because it was a little pricey. My inlaws were visiting us from England and we were all out together and I ooh’ed and aah’ed over it, then we moved on. My father-in-law went back and bought it for me when we were all distracted with something else. Best FiL ever. :)

My wife collects shot glasses from places we visit. That seems to be pretty common. I collect pencils from gift shops. I even have a current favorite, from the Musee d’Orsay. Just unfinished wood with a clean font choice. I don’t use them very much. I just sharpen them and then put them in a box.

You don’t have to tell me. This is extremely boring.

I also collect business cards from restaurants and hotels. They go in the same box.

I involuntarily collect anything that I can justify collecting to myself, along with a couple of things that I really can’t. It’s probably not healthy.