Monday, October 25, 2010

Collector's Mentality

For me, the difference between being a collector and being a pack rat is how long I originally intend to hold on to something.

Six-year-old me didn't plan to keep a half-used Super Mario Bros. coloring book in a toy chest for nearly two decades, but the me of today has to deal with the potential pack-rat consequences of possessing such an object. However, if the me of today had gone out and bought the exact same coloring book, it would be a deliberate addition to my collection.

If you've ever seen my Backloggery, you know that I own a fairly impressive number of video games, yet I've never even played a significant percentage of them. My DVD shelf is much the same way, though to a considerably lesser degree.

I've picked up things such as the inexpensive Sonic Gems Collection and the bargain-bin Warner Bros. Batman film quadrilogy (or tetralogy, if you prefer) with still-unfulfilled grand plans of someday at least opening the package.

I rarely buy anything at full price or when it first comes out, so it's not like I'm jumping on the bandwagon with every new release and then forgetting about what I've purchased. Most things I buy are things I've been considering for a while, or else they're dirt-cheap bargain-bin finds that seem more valuable than the few bucks I have in my wallet at the time.

Still, it's a comfort to have these things on the shelf, and for two reasons.

The first is that house guests are fickle and may at any point suddenly develp a craving for the 1980s Flash Gordon TV series.

The second is that certain items are far more expensive and difficult to find once they've left the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores. Plus, there's a certain joy in picking up the original Dark Forces or Dragon's Lair I & II in an actual store; grabbing them online because you passed up the opportunity the first time feels a bit disappointing.

In the case of Star Trek, my continuing mission is to collect every season of every series. Unlike StarFox Assault, which may or may not ever grace my GameCube, I know that I will eventually watch every episode of every Star Trek there is (fan projects notwithstanding).

Furthermore, I know that I will want to show Star Trek to my children and anyone else in need of some exfanding, so it's an investment for the future. Also, that much Trek looks is lookin' better on my shelf all the time.

There's a fine line between pack rat and collector, but I think this collector's mentality has all but replaced my pack rat mentality. No more compulsive hoarding for me. If I hang on to something, it's because I know or suspect it's a good investment.

After all, why else would I, on three separate occasions, pass up paying less than $10 for the new 2009 Star Trek reboot?

Oh, snap.


A Philosophical Nerd said...

Out of curiosity, if you want to expose someone to the Star Trek franchise for the first time, what would be the episodes you think would be the best to expose them to? Now, obviously that might be different depending on the person you're introducing it to, but are there any episodes you think would be good general episodes to start someone out on?

Flashman85 said...

Yikes--my apologies for completely failing to respond to your comment up until now.

I've since answered that question in extensive detail for both TOS and TAS (a guide for TNG is in the works):

In general, I'd say any episode that requires no prior knowledge and is fairly character-centric is a good place to start.

"City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Trouble with Tribbles" are excellent not just because they're fan favorites, but because they provide a good feel for the characters, don't overwhelm the viewer with technobabble, and get at the heart of what Star Trek is all about. Any of the holodeck episodes in TNG come recommended. I'm still working my way through DS9, VOY, and ENT, but I could come up with a few suggestions for those as well, though I suspect most viewers will start out with TOS or TNG.

A Philosophical Nerd said...

No worries! I have actually since read your guides to TOS and TAS, and I am looking forward to your post on TNG. I think as far as holodeck episodes are concerned, I'd probably either show the person "The Big Goodbye," "Elementary, Dear Data" or "A Fistful of Datas." But I think I would definitely start with TNG since I prefer it to the original, and it was also the Star Trek series that I started with and could probably do better justice on explaining the nuances, since I grew up with it.

Flashman85 said...

Excellent! The episodes you named are all great choices, and I think it's important to have an enthusiasm and good working knowledge of the series you're introducing!