Collecting was always a kind of passion for our family. Most of the family members had their own collections like coins, stamps, crown caps, small glass figures...etc. My passion is for toys and figures, but why ? It's a long story which starts from my childhood, since i was four years old. Let me explain this passion of mine in this part.
I was born in 1984, in a small district of Istanbul, Sariyer. To born in 1984 makes you feel like you lived both 80s and 90s, and also if you grew up in a small city, until mid of 90s you still feel like you are in 80s because of the slow improvement of the city. When i was four years old, He-Man & The Masters of the Universe was the most popular cartoon for children. The unending battle in Eternia between evil Skeletor and our hero He-Man, was too impressive for us children. Then we've met with She-Ra, the cousin of He-Man, even it was created for girls, all children watched them.
There was a parfume shop at the entrance of our apartment in Sariyer. It was quite strange but - i can easily remember - one day i saw a He-Man figure in their showcase between parfumes, nail polishes, lipsticks... Why does a perfume store sell an action figure, may be they've brought one piece from USA and tried their luck. Anyway i was suprised, my hero was there and waiting for his best friend. Days, weeks, months passed...He-man was still there. I wanted it too much, told everyone in the family, but it was quite expensive for a toy and also for Turkey as well in the end of 80s. One day, my godmother Sofia surprised me with this best gift of my life....
I was not a kind of child who plays with cars, never interested in. My all passion was for action figures, but i only had one and couldn't find the rest of this serie. He-Man was alone in my toybox. In the beginning of 90s, a new cartoon started on tv, which was about the adventures of four mutant turtles : Teenaga Mutant Ninja Turtles . It was perfect, the story of four mutant turtles trained by a mutant rat changed my small world. In the same time i saw the figures of them in toy shops. My father never understood how i play with figures as he grew up in 60s with bicycles, car toys and social children games. But we were in 90s and it was passing like a dream.
Anyway, i saw the toy of Michaelangelo in a toy shop. My aunt was with us at that time. I've asked to my father to buy me this mutant friend but he denied. I was too upset. But then, my aunt bought me this toy and it became my second super friend.
But Michaelangelo was alone, no friends and no villains. I was playing with it together with He-Man. Different scenarios in my head, Michalangelo visits Eternia they are searching for Evil Horde together. Yes they were searching only cause there were no villain toys..
On Christmas, my godmother bought me another toy from TMNT, it was Shredder. Finally i had one villain toy. I remember that i told to my godmother, this toy is a bad guy and she was upset, thought that i didn't like it. But then i've explained her.
After one year, we went to Athens to visit our parents. Everyone asked my mother, what kind of toys do i like, and she told my madness with TMNT. It was a dream day, we went to toy shop and everyone in the family bought toys for me and for my cousin. Rocksteady, Usagi Yojimbo, Splinter, Krang, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael all have been bought for me as gifts. Then some figures joined as a gift for my success in the school.
A few years passed and i've met with another super hero. He was Batman. The legendary DC Comics hero, i've met with thim by the movie of Tim Burton. Bruce Wayne became my hero as he was more realistic, and i thought that i could be Batman one day. So my gifts changed to Batman figures. But i always combined my figures and created different scenarios with all of them, they help each other sometimes they fight...
Batman toys have been collected easily than my previous toys. It was easy to find, and also everybody in the family knew my passion for action figures.
By the way, i must not forget the toys of Transformers. It was another passion but not as the other super heroes. They were attractive for a child as you can turn them in to vehicles, but as i told before i never interested in cars even all men in my family was crazy for cars.
On 1995 i watched a movie which was going to effect my life with its scenario, quotes, characters. It was : STAR WARS . A digital mastered edition of the movie came to cinema and i was so shocked when i've met with Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and of course Luke Skywalker. After that time, i watched the movie hundred times and memorized all the quotes. Boba Fett was one of my favourite characters, Han Solo as well.
I was not a child anymore, i didn't buy toys but instead movies and fantastic novels were my best friends. But i visited toy shops to see what they sell. It was not like before...
On 2002, i saw a photo on newspaper . It was about the biggest Star Wars figure collection in the world... That time i told myself, let's continue your childhood by collecting Star Wars figures. My first Star Wars figures were Qui-Gon Jinn and young Obi-Wan.
I was in university and saved my money to buy figures. By the passion of collecting, i started to collect figures of movie characters such as Hannibal Lecter, Freddy Krueger, Rocky, Terminator...etc. And now all my family started to buy me movie figures as gifts. It was a good period, i could find most of the figures that i wanted. And now i'm really sorry for some figures that i didn't buy or postponed. Because i can't find them anymore and they are too precious, such as Leonidas of 300, Eric Draven of Crow, Conan The Barbarian...
Collecting movie figures needs bigger showcases that you must have a suitable place in your room. Also the figures are more expensive but collectors like me save their money to buy their favourite figure.
2002-2010 was good enough to collect figures, especially for Star Wars figures in Turkey. So i continued to collect the characters that i like. But on the other hand, my passion for He-Man, TMNT and Batman came back and i started to look for the rest of those series. But it was too hard to find toys of 80s and 90s.
As sales from internet started and became reliable,i started to look for the old friends from my childhood. He-Man must reunite with his friends, Ninja Turtles as well. First years were hard, nothing on sales but day by day i found some of them. I was not a child anymore, working and earn my own money. I was free to collect...
I can easily say that toys are too important to effect the rest of life of a child. But you can't push children to play with a toy that they don't like. As mentioned before, i have never been interested in car toys and now i don't have any interest in cars. I'm over thirty and live in my own fantastic world with movies, books, comics and of course my collection. I don't like buildings or constructions as Lego children.
Well then, how those figures effected my university education, my business life ?
With the effect of the fantastic world of He-Man and Star Wars, i've met with Greek Mythology. Believe me the stories are same behind. The story of Perseus, Hercules, Jason, The Twelve Gods... And with the effect of Greek Mythology, i started to interest in Ancient Greek History and Archaeology... I feel like you think that i'm an archeologist. No, i'm not.
Within the education system of Turkey, it was hard to select your own path. You have to give a decision when you are fifteen years old, to be educated in a science field or a social field. But sometimes the schools don't open the classes that you prefer. I had to select science field and became an electrical engineer. It was hard times for me, cause i wanted to work on history, archaeology, historical architectures...One day i've learnt that i could work on lighting design of historical monuments, architectures which i could combine engineering and history, and i did so.
I can easily say that He-Man showed me the way.
Collection is a passion, but not for everybody. Most of the people don't collect or don't like to collect. That's why we call us as 'Collectors' . One persons thrash, could be the most precious piece of a collection.
Wherever i travel, i visit local toy shops, flea markets to check if i could find anything suitable for my collection. There are a lot of figures in my collection that bought from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Taiwan...etc. I hope the next generations in my family will have the same passion for figure collection.
I would like to invite you to the galleries below to check our toys and figure collection in our e-museum. I believe you will meet again with old friends, sometimes you will suprise when you see the dates on figures.
Written by : 2mi3, September 2018