I've been watching a few episodes of Syfy's "Collection Intervention" show lately, and while it has a number of cliched attributes that make me loathe most reality programming - obviously scripted moments, a flair for the overdramatic, a handful of people who don't know what they're talking about - I will say that, overall, I enjoy it. Beyond being a fairly entertaining show, I think that the host's message of smart collecting, as opposed to just grabbing everything in sight, is something more collectors, including myself, should pay attention to.
Over the past month or two, I've managed to land a number of items that'll fit right into my collection. Is it smart collecting? In some cases, I don't know. Some of the additions might indicate some kind of completist OCD tendencies, but I will say that I was excited to get each piece, and ecstatic for a few.
McMurray's Pittsburgh Comics, as you might have heard, is awesome. It's one of the best stores I've ever been to. It seems that the store always has some great dollar books on sale, which leads to me spending more time there than I plan. Above are some of the books I got, each with a Fantastic Four theme, for a buck a piece. The Thing image on the bottom right is that of an oversized Fleer trading card.
This cover looks familiar - it's the ubiquitous Fantastic Four (vol. 3) #60, otherwise known as the nine-cent issue. Marvel sold somewhere around 600,000 of these things when they came out a number of years ago due to the minuscule price tag. This particular version, however, was sold on the newsstand - i.e. places like the now-defunct Waldenbooks - for the regular $2.25.
As nine cents is a much better deal, almost no one bought this version, making it one of the most rare FF comics around. I finally managed to track down a copy and got it for a decent price.
This comic is also a rare variant, but it's more of the manufactured rather than the market driven type. It's the "premiere" variant of FF #1, which was given out to stores participating in a release party-type thing (how weird must those be??) at a strict limit of one per participating store. What's different about it as compared to the regular edition? VERY LITTLE! The logo is in a different font...
...there's a montage on the back cover...
...and there's a personalized message on the inside cover from Marvel editor Tom Brevoort. Otherwise, it's the same thing. I now have each different FF #1 cover (out of the 10,000 released, which says something about Marvel's marketing strategies as well as my hopelessness). I feel a strange sense of accomplishment.
From the land of eBay (wait...they changed their logo?) comes this 1970s book and record set, which, if it corresponds with the issue that the cover art is from, is of a retelling of Fantastic Four #1. Why not just include the original first issue? Oh well. It's still pretty cool.
Minimates, for all their Lego-ness, are pretty cool (I wonder why noses are seemingly forbidden on their toys, though). As the Thing has many changes of costume, it's absolutely necessary for there to be a Minimate depicting each one - and even more necessary for me to get them all. The exclusive Future Foundation set comes with accessories for every character except the Thing, because the Thing doesn't need accessories.
...except if it's a trench coat. And now I have two Doombots as well! In case one gets broken.
The earlier mentioned Pittsburgh Comics sale also brought forth this gem, with Spider-Man 2099 on the front cover. Hey, kids, it's even formatted for your three-ring binder! The insides are basically character sheets for artists of the company. I'll assume that these were mass produced regardless of the look, but either way, this is certainly an interesting item.
I hear good things about the new TMNT cartoon - I'll check it out soon. In celebration (and since Nickelodeon is undertaking a huge marketing push), there are new "classic" TMNT figures on sale and they are really spiffy. Larry (your friend and mine) got me this figure that features a manhole cover as a base.
There's a new "Weird Al" Yankovic book out! It's called...Weird Al the Book! Clever. It's a semi-biographical book with insight from Al himself and tons of pictures. You should buy two.
Everything else that was listed here - the books, the figures, whatever, pale in comparison to these final two items. You could get everything else fairly easily if you really wanted them (and you do, you do), regardless of their level of awesomeness. But I managed to score a couple rarer pieces in the last few weeks, and OH! how I've wanted to show them off a little bit.
Above is a picture of a seven foot tall, tri-cornered movie theater standee for the Dark Knight Rises. The other two sides showcase Catwoman and Bane. Where in the world do you put a seven foot tall movie display? Anywhere you want! Because that's just how it is. I had to borrow a truck to haul this thing away, but it was worth it. Perhaps I'll put it in front of a window, but only at night as to scare people walking by.
I saved the best for last. A friend of mine sent me this original animation cell from the 1967 Hanna-Barbera Fantastic Four cartoon! It's ten times cooler in person. In this picture, it looks like the Thing is fighting a chair or even perhaps my dog. I'm going to get this framed sometime soon because this is a museum quality piece, and I'm grateful to get it. It's automatically one of the centerpieces of my collection.