Monday, July 1, 2024

Inside the Mind of a Toy Addict Part 7 – Intermediate Level Justification

The Cosmic Marvel shelf continues to get far denser than I originally planned due to store closing sales on Kree and Skrull themed two packs (2021), and the sale of the entire Kree Sentry (2019- purple and silver robot in the back corner) Captain Marvel build a figure line featuring those same races of aliens.

 At this point in my addiction, once Spaces are addressed, many sale quests happen due to those build a figures. Sometimes it is stress and “Thrill of the Hunt” based like the embarrassing incident with the Venom wave.(2018)

Sometimes they happen all at once. There are advantages to liking a film that no one else did. The whole Eternals (2021) 
wave’s prices plummeted undeservedly like its box office reputation shortly after release. THEY'RE SO SHINY!!!! (And that movie was so cool. People keep complaining superhero films are all that same, and that one had depth and unique weirdness to spare. This is why we can't have nice things.) 

That sale extended to include the special edition oversized hat and gown, EXTRA shiny Salma Hayek figure AND the over armed (and also EXTRA shiny) Angeline Jolie figure. Originally, all three of us decided Ikaris was a big poop and since he wasn't needed to build Gilgamesh he was not welcome in our home. That bit of my willpower lasted roughly a week and a half until his price dropped again, this time below initial Toy Biz wave levels. When I realized the oversized and shiny-by-way-of-slimy Deviant figure was also vastly reduced, I needed a minor bump to get free shipping.

As should be crystal clear by now, I do have a problem.

Aside- Yes, of course as a dinosaur kid who never grew out of it, I also have a higher end dinosaur collection. It's original group was the first thing I bought when I got a real job. Someone once asked me if I had to choose between dinosaurs and superheroes what would I do. I panicked for a moment and then answered.

I couldn’t… and that’s why I love Godzilla!

Other times, the wave will become a gradual acquisition. America Chavez and Wong fit easily into the collection in a Space (Young Avengers) and a Location. (Wong is cool and I had a Doctor Strange...because I needed to finish Galactus. (2005) See a trend?)  They joined the shelves as soon as their price dipped. I kept an eye on the rest of the line, they continued to drop, and after a while the whole gang joined the party. (2022)
Granted I fully admit I have absolutely no idea who “caped skeleton head man” and “green Play Doh face guy in a hoodie” are. But Rintrah is such an awesome looking, wildly ridiculous, and huge figure, they were well worth the price. (Rintrah is the green minotaur. And congratulations to anyone not knowing that who made it this far without dying of boredom.)
Anyway, those two unknowns mesh well with the Marvel Monsters gang! (Box set 2006, Mephisto- Select 2007, another example where that oversize scale is a bonus.)

The glow on the side of the image is the coming sunrise to scare off the creatures of the night, not (as less creative folks might think) the edge of my finger that I didn't notice until I had finagled all seven of them back into place on the Bad Guy Shelf.

As should be crystal clear by now, I do have a problem. 
And a wretched ability to take good photographs.
There are two key take aways of how this addiction warps my mind that can be easily illustrated with one recent (2022) specific wave of Marvel Legends.
A) With a collection of this size, even when there is no logical way that a character can be considered to fill a Space, there is always a Location where they will easily find a home.
B) The primary thing the purchase of an action figure can lead to in my life is…
The purchasing of more action figures.
As should be crystal clear by now, I do have a problem.
This uncontrollable set of waves of addiction began with one single character.
Jack Daniels, the U S Agent, (2022 which I've likely already mentioned, but given my lack of control when editing may have deleted) who replaced Captain America for a while, was a complete jerk. (Way worse than he was in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier!) However, he was an important jerk during the West Coast Avengers days. His costume was also first used by Steve Rogers when he was “The Captain” during the Armor Wars. That famous Iron Man tale also occurred during my first Marvel collecting days making this figure fill a key double Space. There was a previous release (2012) that never went on sale. For a while I debated getting the very much on sale one (2021) from Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (With myself naturally, we've already established insanity early on in this review.) As much as I do like Wyatt Russell, the TV show costume didn't really fit in anywhere on my shelves, and waiting proved the right choice for a change. 
Jack's comic book grouchy face was fine all by himself in the West Coast area of the Avengers shelf for a while.
His existence led down two paths of further acquisitions, a minor one and a major one.
To subdivide further, the minor one came via two points.
The first has to do with things usually more connected to DC comics,
“The Big Three”
One could argue endlessly about a “Big Three” for Marvel based on popularity.
(Probably Spidey, Wolvie and Hulk…y)
However, the Big Three of the Avengers has been consistent in comics almost since the team formed. (Since issue four to be exact.) It is Captain America (2002), Thor, (2006 Walmart exclusive, Kim found it in Alaska, still helping my addiction after all these years) and Iron Man. (2021 from one of many two pack sales)
These three set the tone for the team and if any are missing, it is sorely felt.
During the excesses of the Nineties, all three had more extreme and violent version of their characters. (This is something that also happened at DC. Nineties comics were kinda stupid for many reasons.) At one point, they all took over for the main character, including the name. Then they moved on and took on new identities. (The DC characters fitting this mold were  Azrael, Eradicator [but really the whole Reign of the Supermen] and Artemis.)

Due to having collections associated with the two main characters, I already owned Thunderstrike (2020) and War Machine (2005). It is a sad commentary of that time period that the suit of gray shaded power armor with ridiculously lethal weapons sticking all over it was the LEAST extreme character of the three. Adding US Agent to that crew completed the Extreme Nineties Replacements version of the Big Three.
Additional expansion in this area came from a greater understanding of Legacies by the writers, and a greater amount of procrastination than usual from me.
A combination of two of the biggest contributors to Marvel Legends sales converged:
Box Sets and Store Closings.
As the original Hawkeye is one of my favorites, and Kate Bishop is Anabelle’s favorite Marvel Comics character, grabbing the box set (2017) with her in it as a Toys R Us shut its door was a given. Anabelle decided that “Rainbow Vision” was prettier than the classic version, therefore the older one I had (2004) would go up for sale.
Aside- While I refuse to contribute to the Action Figure Armpit Black Market by buying figures for the sole purpose of selling them, selling loose figures that get replaced, or selling figures or build parts packed in with ones I “NEED” on my shelves is completely allowable as a way to defray the cost of the addiction.
The third character in that box set was Sam Wilson as Captain America. The character is great in comics and on screen. However, I already had a classic Falcon (2006) on the Avengers shelf, and Sam’s Cap days didn’t really jive with the time period I had been (initially) shooting for.
He was selling for a decent price online; therefore, he went into the “photograph for auction” pile. Rosa is way better at that sort of thing (and many other things) than her anti-haggling husband, which is why she’s in charge. (Of equally many things) However, we had a bunch of stuff going on, and the auction pile sat untouched for a stretch. It was long enough that, following a rewatch of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I checked online prices and learned things had changed. Due to release of multiple other versions of this character, the box set Captain America was fetching less than five bucks when he sold at all. Given that - as my addiction has expanded- the originally planned time frame and medium of my figures has gone way out of focus, if not completely out the window, I grabbed the new Cap and added him to the Avengers shelf.
As should be crystal clear by now, I do have a problem.
Due to a coupon at the comic book store, and an Asgardian shelf, I already had the Jane Foster as Thor figure. (2022) A quick online check showed that the Riri Williams Ironheart Deluxe figure (2022) that came out for Wakanda Forever had an Eternals level price drop. She completed the new legacy trio. 

It is a testament to modern comic book writers (especially compared to the Nineties) that while this Big Three Legacy looks substantially different than their namesakes, they embody the spirits and beliefs of those characters perfectly.

Click to continue to Part 8

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