Considering my past, saying the following feels at once terribly hypocritical yet experientially undeniable: the worst thing that can ever happen to any franchise or industry is catering to fucking professional collectors. I myself am guilty of gobbling up the Exclusive Limited Platinum Collector’s Criterion Special Edition bullshit versions of any number of things in my past, and it just fucking ruins everything.
Not everything in this world should be a goddamned financial investment. Some things are fun BECAUSE they’re cheap and disposable. And there’s no room for fun in the OCD ruled world of collecting. Trading cards are SUPPOSED to be cheaply printed cardstock rectangles a kid can keep in his pocket and lose without caring much, not little high gloss, foil embossed portraits that cost $7 a pack, that you place immediately into a plastic storage sleeve so they don’t get fingerprints and the corners stay perfect. What kid can afford that? And even if they can, who the fuck would want to? Toys are SUPPOSED to be fun and interesting to play with, not overly packaged so they look good sealed away on a collector’s shelf 15 years from now. Ever open a McFarlane Toys “action figure”? They’re $20 statues of what should be $10 toys. They only look good as long as you never open and play with them. No kid’s going to want to play with that shit. Yet companies will redefine their businesses to produce this crap.
The new Ghostbusters board game looks like a lot of fun, until you realize that it costs FUCKING $85. FOR CARDBOARD. Vinyl records, comic books, magazines, food packaging, even our goddamned money is being manufactured with the idea that it be secreted away in mint condition in the hopes that it will be worth selling in the future for a small fortune. It almost never works, and it ruins all of it. It drives prices up, reduces profits, alienates consumers, dries up markets, and, worst of all, it financially excludes young people, preventing them from forming the very fond memories and nostalgic associations which make things worth collecting in the first place. It’s an idiotic, parasitic, scumbag business model that ultimately eats itself, but always, ALWAYS takes something once great with it when it goes. It’s like building a Wal-Mart next to the corner store of your soul.