Materialism: An Apology
As we get close to Christmas, I wanted to take a moment and discuss a subject we collectors too often neglect.
I want to talk about materialism and consumerism.
This is often an embarrassing subject for collectors, and I think it should be. We live in a materialistic society, and - lets be honest - we're part of the problem.
The toys we own are made of fossil fuels, as are the packages they come in. We're supporting corporate empires when we hand over our money. And we're also supporting companies with harsh conditions and unfair practices - most of the action figures reviewed on this site originated in China.
Does this make you uncomfortable? It probably should. As collectors, we're supporting a questionable system and wasting natural resources. At the very least, we need to acknowledge this.
The real indictment of materialism, though, tends to be less universal and more personal. Materialism, as we all know, is alienating. It reorders our priorities until we care less for those around us than we do for objects. I have two things to say to this accusation:
It can. But it doesn't have to.
One of the reasons I collect is that it's a hobby I share with my wife. I've got friends who have toy collections (none so large as ours, I'm quick to boast, but that's beside the point). And my knowledge of toys has helped me choose many the Christmas and birthday gift.
Toy collecting is something I share with my wife, and one day I hope to have children to share it with, as well. Is toy collecting materialistic? Of course. But that doesn't mean we need to lose sight of what matters.