For people who have known me for a long time, you know my obsession with toys. For some reason or another, I never grew into the basic white girl mentality of make up, yoga, and weird expensive leggings. Instead, at the age of 16, around the first time I broke up with a boyfriend, I found comfort in collecting vintage toys, starting with Strawberry Shortcake, my long-time toddlerhood idol.
I was always a collector, but it would come and go in stages, dinosaurs, Polly Pocket, StarCastles, those little velvet Sylvanian Families creatures, Pokemon, and at one point, those butt ugly porcelian dolls from the dollar store (don’t ask.)
But it was in my teems where I knew I would be a collector, a serious one at that. My pocket money would go to weekend trips with my dad to the Columbus flea market in New Jersey or Love Saves The Day, a vintage shop in New Hope PA. I was an outcast from my peers, my nose stuck in EBay and Goodwill auctions, browsing large collections from adult collectors with envy, hoping for the day I can nerd out in my own place. Kids picked on me, but I didn’t give a shit. Toys can’t hurt me, unless the cat knocks them over on your head. Ouch!
Over the years, my collection grew in part of gifts from RJ, a once a month trek to a flea market or thrift shop, and occasionally a random find in a care package from home as my parents clean out the storage unit and ship out something that might fit into the collection.
My collection spawned into the “Freaking Toy Store” as my mom puts it so lovingly. I have so many things going at once, it’s hard to be specific on what exactly I collect, but I guess I can summarize it into a few key categories. These are.
- Disneyana/Universal memorabilia (vintage Walt Disney Wotld and Epcot merch and some Cast Exclusive stuff. Also Vinylmation and Tsum Tsum)
- 80’s and 90’s Toys (Happy Meal toys, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, and random plushies)
- Mini Figures (Blind Bag stuff, like Shopkins, TokoDoki, Sunny Angels, Kidrobot, Funko Pops)
- Con Art (Independet artists who frequent the comic cons here in Orlando, like Joey Smith and Vicious Collectibles. More on these guys later)
- Anime Stuff (Pokemon, Yo Kai Watch, Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Attack on Titan, and random GotchaPon, or blind capsules)
- Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors stuff)
- Autographs (Mostly from the conventions I volunteer at.)
Yeah, I’m a bit of a hoarder.
Since the next week and a half leave me homebound until my training for the new job kicks in, I will be working on cleaning and reorganizing the collection that has since been ignored due to sleepy depression fits and work. I feel now it’s time to zen out from all the negativity and give my collection the love it deserves.
And I invite you to get down and dirty and dig through all this awesomeness with me the next few weeks, all while picking my brain as I share with you why each item I find brings me the joy it does in my worst times.