The first Dr. Octopus sat, proud. The second sat hidden behind some Cloaks and some Daggers, a black-suited Daredevil, and other equally less interesting characters. Now I don’t mean that in a snide way. They’re good characters that should be presented in respectfully designed, highly articulated, and professional plastic toys. It’s just for me, now, none of these characters represented core aspects of my personality, iconoclastic role models, or my favorite inspirational heroes. Overly critical?
Perhaps, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
I will still own and buy action figures. GI Joe and X-Men were a core component of my childhood, they represented larger-than-life archetypes for how one should live life, fairly, and even the baddies occasionally did some good. Sure, the shows were ads for the toys, but some of the better characters meant something.
Dr. Octopus is a C-Lister for me.
I can’t relay his backstory and don’t quite recall his full name. His motivations escape me. If I later find a deep attachment to this character, well, I can purchase this or another version of his character. Until then, I’m fine with my current collection. I am “missing” other characters from my core collection, and by that, I mean characters I would be hard-pressed to sell.
Those truly inspiring childhood characters.
One of my favorites was Colossus. Piotr had a sympathetic backstory, was empathetically misunderstood, and is still an inspiration for fitness. Omega Red was one of my favorite baddies for no other reason than his character seemed especially ruthless and vicious. These are characters that persist in my mind and are ones I’ll keep above the random ones that might be iconic but not iconoclastic.
The precious few rather than the saturated many.
That should be how life is like for everything, even the stuff that we collect: if I were to just mindlessly collect any zombie figurine without any concern for quality, then where would I be? Inundated with some good and some bad pieces. Quality control may be offensive to some, but it’s a way to prevent ourselves from being drowned out in the noise, even if some items might be high quality to some people.
Collections, then, should be reflective of the collector.
We shouldn’t own things merely for the sake of owning them. I’ve been learning not to go out and get some random things unintentionally. I’ve kept a flyer in my coat pocket that I got while on vacation that had a silly joke around it, and whenever I check my pocket, it provides an amusing little chuckle for me, which isn’t something that any other object could do. That’s what I want to focus my possessions around.
“Does this object inspire me?” If not, why keep it?
Through this move process, I’ve recycled or gotten rid of myriad memories that didn’t serve me any good. I held onto them compulsively, like purchasing any action figure I was vaguely interested in, to build my collection.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Explained in-line, but that was probably the first time I passed on buying something like this, so I was struck with a particular melancholy enough to write about it.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
Above: Moving Zeal editor [note: he will be editing the eBook variation, rather than the ones that appear here] J.D.’s photograph when I explained the essay.
Below: Moving Zeal’s casual contributor Collector’s photo of Dr. Octopus. I want to note that this is one of his more favorite characters, and stands as a counter-point to my example. In this essay, I did not mean to slight or imply that Dr. Octopus was not a good character, just that he’s not one of my favorites.
|Written On: December 28th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; “final” draft.|