I’ve got to be the collectible market’s dream come true.  I seem to have an obsessive compulsive disorder that makes me a completest, as once I start collecting something, I’m driven to continue purchasing those items until the collection is complete.  As someone who went through the 1990s rise and fall of the speculation market, it’s also been ingrained into my head that limited edition items should be kept mint on the card or mint in the box if one wants to have any hope of selling the items for a profit in the future.  Having been on a major collecting kick for the last 10 years, a couple of things have become completely clear 1) I’m a pack-rat, and 2) the biggest foe to any collector has to be the packaging.

One of my favorite collections at the moment are maquettes from various animated series.  Years ago, these were really rare and hard to find, as only a few were made for the animators.  Today, the merchandising arm of a property realizes there are fans who want to pick up these little statues to show off their obsession for the property.  For the simple fan, opening the package and setting the statue on the shelf is no big deal, but if you are someone who wants to keep all packaging, that trash adds up quickly.  For the Stately Spoiler Manor, we’re limited to the amount of space we have to produce this website, record our podcasts, and store the various comics and collectibles I’ve amassed over the years.  The Nerd Room of Doom went through a major overhaul around this time last year, and it looked like I was getting everything in order.  But alas, the foul packaging obsession continued, until this weekend when I realized enough was enough.

The image above represents 85 cubic feet of packaging that was taking up valuable storage space. There’s no way I’m keeping this around any longer and spent most of the afternoon breaking down boxes and bagging Styrofoam for the trash heap.  Some, who suffer the same affliction as I do, might cringe at the thought of not having that precious box and packaging should Major Spoilers move to a new HQ, but I figure bubble wrap and a good box will have the same effect.  Plus, I figure I’ve already invested this much time, effort, and money into this vice, that I’ll probably never sell anything anyway.

I’ve heard others tell of having to rent storage garages to store their packaging, or merchandise that no longer fits in their home or apartment, and I just can’t imagine spending $30 or more a month to store a cardboard box, so out it goes.  And as I attempt to cure myself of my Collection Obsession, more and more packaging is headed for the trash heap.  Of course there are exceptions to the rule.  Those $2000 ultra rare Batman: The Animated Series maquettes get to stay cozy and warm in their original packaging, but the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Yoda statue sits proudly on the shelf, while the package makes its way to the recycling center.

What about you, collectible fan?  Do you keep the original packaging, or does it head to garbage come trash day?

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

Previous post

Art Appreciation Moment of the Day: Statue Week

Next post

Review: Ultimate (Comics) Spider-Man #3

16 Comments

  1. October 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm — Reply

    Can someone help me get my jaw off of the floor?

  2. Gaumer
    October 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm — Reply

    I call this “the pokemon syndrome”. Gotta catch ’em all!!!

    I have this to an extent, but I am much more selective at what I begin to collect so as not to get in over my head. I usually take the item out of the packaging but I am nice about it and, yes, I keep every bit of empty box. I have a closet full of empty freakin’ boxes.

    Sidenote: I love the Google Ad for this post: ‘Nashville Junk Pick Up’. lol

  3. October 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm — Reply

    Before the fire, yeah, I kept every box. Action Figures and Toys never came out of the packaging, none of it. Clossets had no clothes, they had cardboard.

    After the fire, I rarely keep the box. I do keep toys in the packaging, but this is as much a display purpose at anything, as I hang them on the wall.

    The only boxes I keep right now are the wife’s Women of The DC Universe busts collection. Mainly because we want to pre-package them when we can get another house.

  4. Kirby
    October 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm — Reply

    For the one collectible thing I have (thank you MS crew), I kept the box because I was moving in a few months anyway.

  5. October 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm — Reply

    I use to to keep the boxes until I finally was able to buy a new house. Now that I have my own geek room though I have found myself throwing out the boxes and displaying them in all there glory for my friends and family to see.

  6. October 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm — Reply

    I don’t have that many action figures (4 at the moment, I plan on expanding my collection when I finally move to a new flat) and I never keep the packings. I want to take the figures out and put them on my shelves.

  7. October 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm — Reply

    ‘F’ the boxes and enjoy the contents…Hell, I rarely even bag new comics these days…

  8. John Morales AKA Uglyhooker
    October 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    I always keep the boxes. I don’t normally open things.

    I must say…my 100 Halo figures don’t come close to the epic-ness I see here!!

  9. hermit
    October 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm — Reply

    limited statue… i keep the box and display them proudly on my shelves

    regular toys/action figures… throw away the package and display them proudly on my shelves when there’s room.

    where do you live again? i just want to know for… hum… curiosity.

    if you ever plan to sell those nice batman black and white, tell me.

    • October 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm — Reply

      I could tell you, but I doubt you would be able to survive all the traps and alarms that have been set to ward off those with nefarious intent.

      • John Morales AKA Uglyhooker
        October 13, 2009 at 1:08 am — Reply

        Hermit…I think we can take him!!

  10. Dboy Mugg
    October 13, 2009 at 1:36 am — Reply

    I keep all my boxes for my displayed figures. Some I even buy duplicates…because its been ingrained into my head as well that once that blister pack is broken, so are your hopes of calling it an investment. More importantly I think its an ego thing when you can discuss a toy or collectible with someone and add “I have that…in the box” to the end of the conversation lol.

  11. October 13, 2009 at 1:47 am — Reply

    That’s a pretty obscure Avengers reference in the post title. Nice!

    – Z

  12. TheTaken
    October 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm — Reply

    Keep the boxes, it will give your children some trash to dispose when you die! And maybe a closet-full of boxes will fall on them as they clean out your house of crap with their hot friend(ala rachel and ross on friends). Then maybe your grieving child will hook up with hot friend (mostly due to loss of cognitive functions from having boxes fall on head).

    Seriously, why buy something to keep it in a box. Why not leave it in the store and you can go look at the pretty box whenever you like? Do you really expect to sell those toys/statues for real money? What does that feel like?

    Maybe Im lucky and learned this lesson early with baseball card collecting. Your collection is worth more to yourself than to anyone else. Let go the packaging!

    Sorry this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

  13. ~wyntermute~
    October 14, 2009 at 12:14 am — Reply

    This is why I don’t even buy many books (but do get them out from libraries): one’s gonna have to do something with all that stuff besides “look at it”. Like, there’s space that needs to be cleaned regularly, and then if you ever move you have to pack all this stuff to cart from point A to point B. When you die, it mostly gets sold and the proceeds divvied up amongst the kids, or — in the worst case scenario — it starts a fight about “family heirlooms” that extends for generations if some of the stuff is actually “worth big money”.

    Re: “Speculators & Boxes”, I gotta say if you’re buying this stuff to “flip” for a profit, you woulda already started selling things you’d bought in the past to finance future purchases, and so on. That’s how PROFESSIONAL speculators (i.e., stock market investors, venture capitalists, etc) seem to operate: as emotionally distant as one can be about the property in question. I presume you ain’t sold squat, so… Yeah. Play with the fancy toys you buy and stop pretending to be all grown-up & collectorish by keeping things boxed. ;) These ARE toys for grown-ups, it’s okay to admit it. :) There is nothing wrong with having toys, regardless of age.

  14. hermit
    October 14, 2009 at 10:22 am — Reply

    i don’t want to speak for you stephen, but i’m sure you buy all this stuff because you like it, not necessarly to make profit in the future, like me.

    buy some good looking shelves, open the boxes and display your sutff. that’s what i do and i proudly shot it to my friends when they visit my home.

    collecting books and statue is a hobby like anything else, it just take more room than some hobbies.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section