An article in today’s paper really hit the nail on the head, in terms of why we do what we do.
“When Lois Katzke turned 13, the start of her passage from girlhood to womanhood, she discovered one startling fact about this exciting journey: No dolls allowed.
She did not want to give up her hobby, but family and friends made it clear she was too old for dolls. "I was shamed into giving them up."
Flash forward 44 years. Each Thursday she is among a dozen women who for three hours paint, assemble and costume their own creations at Sandy's Dream Doll shop in Glendale, Ariz.”
The link is only part of the entire story that appeared in my daily newspaper, but the point is clear.
We collect and “play” with dolls, GI Joes, and toy trains; we own and ride horses; we collect comic books and baseball cards; and we play musical instruments, because it’s fun, because it helps us handle daily stresses, and because we have “the time, the money and the inclination to dip their toes back into childhood, reconnecting with the things that brought them so much joy.”
My first action figure as a card-carrying adult was a SOTW figure from Target for one of my boys. I was so impressed with the changes that I had to see more and somehow ended up with a Dragon Dave figure.
That was about five years ago. Since then, my collection, my skills, and my knowledge has grown, as has my willingness to give a .... less what others think about what I do. They have their hobbies and eccentricities, I have mine.
As a pre-teen, some four decades ago, I still recall the model soldier kit I built. Unpainted, unmoving, and unimpressive, I thought he was the coolest thing in the world.
Girls, sports, jobs, growing up, and probably the fear of being marked as a teenager who played with dolls all intruded on that simple pleasure.
I suspect a lot of the same thing happens today, with our younger members and collectors who claim to be burnt out on the hobby. But it’s okay, just know that we, or someone resembling us, will be here when you look to recapture your youth or rekindle the simple pleasure of building GI Joes.