Collection Corner: $40 Well Spent

Welcome to the first installment of a new feature, Collection Corner.  From time to time I intend to showcase a little bit of my personal collection as well as give tips on collecting in general from over 35 years as an active collector.  As a former convention dealer, constant convention participant and presenter, and long-term collector I am often asked advise on what and how to collect.  So perhaps in small ways I can share a bit of that knowledge with those who visit my site.  So please be sure to refer anyone you know who collects to the JediCole Universe!

For this first installment I am going to share a recent experience that underscores an ongoing concern for collectors, display space.  The larger your collection, especially if it continues to grow and evolve in its focus, the more troublesome it can become to find adequate display space to truly showcase your collectibles.  Many are the options available but after a time things can accumulate to the point where it is time to seek out new options.  Such was the case for me after Star Wars Celebration VI this year.

One of the top priority pieces for me that was offered by the Celebration Store was the Gammorean Guard Piggy Bank.  At $30 it was quite the bargain, especially given its size.  But then size was also a detriment.  Even before Celebration my display space was nearing capacity, so finding a home for this and other purchases was going to prove a bit troublesome.  But it did not end there!  Shortly after returning home I was determined to see if I could find something else I was seeking at the convention to no avail, Gentle Giant Studios' Mos Eisley Cantina Bookends. 

Seeking was not so much the issue as finding.  Released in 2006, these incredible bookends are rarely offered on eBay or other after-market venues, so to find one being offered was something of a surprise.  Especially since it was being offered at a price I felt was more than reasonable, especially since the statue itself had never been taken out of the packaging for display!  As it was a Buy It Now auction I did not even have to wait to make it my own.  But with its impending arrival on the horizon I was confronted with the realization that there was no place in the house adequate to accommodate the set for display!
I have often told fellow collectors that when you display your collection you are ultimately the curator of a very private kind of museum.  As such it is important to always be mindful of the fact that when you share your collection with others it should be presented in a way that illustrates your passion as well as the collectibles you have amassed.  It simply would not do to shoehorn these much sought after bookends into an already heavily laden display of statues and mini-busts in the living room.  There was only one option open in the end.  It was time to look for a curio cabinet or other quality display shelf!

Enter Craigslist!  Every collector worth his salt utilizes this site from time to time.  While it is rare, sometimes a collectible that has otherwise eluded you can be found there.  Or a collection worth buying to cull certain pieces.  And of course it can also be a great resource for finding display options.  In this case I was quite fortunate to have a half dozen or so options in the range of $40 to $80.  In the end I opted for a cabinet referred to as "Display/DVD Cabinet - $40".  The ad placed the piece about 30-45 minutes from home and it looked like it just might be ideal.  After confirming the dimensions with the seller I arranged to purchase it the same night.  And within hours of those arrangements it was in the hall just outside of my studio (the principle showcase room for my collection).

A small wooden table stood in the spot it now occupies which was the home of a variety of larger books like The Making of Star Wars, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, and DC Comics Year by Year.  It seemed there would be ample space on the top shelf for books with plenty to spare for three shelves of statuary.  A test run with the books thus placed and a few pieces put on the shelves offered some unexpected concerns.  Some of the shelves seemed too low to adequately display certain statues and the smoked glass doors robbed the display of what light the hallway could offer.  Opting to remove the doors and move the books to the bottom shelf (mostly as a deterrent from that shelf becoming a cat landing pad as absent the doors that was a probability) proved to be the best approach all around. 

And now I have an ideal display for not only my Celebration acquisitions but for some busts and statues that were suffering from over crowding in other displays.  The Hulk vs. Thing bookends have a new home as well, clearing space for the arrival of those featuring Han Solo and Greedo.  The books maintained their place while I gained a tremendous new display space for collectibles old and new.  So the Gamorrean Guard Bank can now be showcased, two Diamond Select vinyl coin banks that once resided on the floor of the studio are prominently displayed, and some smaller pieces have much greater visibility.  So remember, when considering display options keep the nature of the display in mind, but also be ready to adapt your original concept to the circumstances presented by the actual pieces in question.