Today marks the drop of the Nike X Supreme Dunk Lows. Those are shoes. Basketball shoes. Basketball shoes that will most likely never see the court. They are going to sell out in seconds. I assume bots will be involved. I assume lots of emotions, good and bad, high and low, will also be involved. Those lucky enough to snag a pair will show them off, possibly from their closet, or their basement apartment. Others will just resell them for a crazy amount. They will be a thing.
The paragraph above will elicit a reaction. From you. Yes you. You might say if Supreme and Nike made enough maybe someone who would actually use them could have a chance at them. Or you might tell the bots to f*#k off. Maybe you are licking your chops with your bots ready. Most of you will just say something along the lines of “who the eff cares?”.
But that last reaction is a reaction, and it is coming from a person reading a blog dedicated solely to toy cars. If there is any type of person that could at least understand all the sub collector and hype cultures, it would be a diecast collector. We reside in a “who the eff cares?” world.
I mention this because I am very curious what the collecting experience is right now. You either care about the latest hypebeast sneaker drops or you don’t, and sneakerheads might say you either get it or you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that world doesn’t exist, and it is A THING. The same can be said for diecast collecting.
As connected via technology as we all are now, I don’t know if I really know what the collecting experience really is. Sure, I have a good sense of what kind of cars folks like to collect. The JDM Era was certainly A THING (and is still going strong), and it wasn’t hard to see the surge of European favorites coming right when it did. A muscle renaissance is around the corner. That should be obvious. I get all that.
What I am more interested in is HOW we collect. When I jumped in the Hot Wheels collecting pool, rarity was certainly A THING, manifest by the massive popularity of errors and variations. The rare, random wheel variation was the thing to have, and if you collected during that era you certainly knew what folks were talking about when they mentioned the Pink Bedlam, FTE Flamed Charger, and Red-Wheel Dieselboy.
But that era came and went (as did my variation collection), and many other changes started occurring. Folks left the online forums and went to Facebook. Instagram then surged in, turning Facebook into what the forums were in 2008. The custom world also surged on Instagram, creating what is now essentially an industry. And I think all this really fundamentally changed HOW and WHAT we collect. Or it didn’t. I really don’t know.
Let me pause. Look at what I have mentioned in those first few paragraphs. Shoes, variations, Facebook, Instagram, customs, and more. My mind is scattered. That might be because I haven’t written a blog post in awhile, but it is more because I look at this hobby now and get a bit overwhelmed. I love collecting. I am a confident collector. I try to pay attention to what I honestly like, but know I can fall victim to all kinds of little hype machines, including my own. If I’m honest, I have a true love/hate relationship with my collection.
So I want to know about your collecting experience. How you look at this hobby. Clearly you have some opinions, because you are here, reading a blog about toy cars.
So I started thinking about my collection, and came up with this massive list of what I consider honest questions. These are questions I ask myself. A lot. I would love to get your thoughts. Answer some, or none, or all. Answer them here, or make them rhetorical. But I would love to hear your thoughts on the collecting experience.
Call these the Lamley Stream of Consciousness Questions:
What do you collect?
What makes you collect a new brand?
What makes you stop collecting a brand?
Do you even care about brands, or just the cars they replicate?
What makes you angry about the hobby?
What do you enjoy about the hobby?
What makes you jealous?
What makes you flex?
Do you like to show off your stuff?
Would you rather keep your collection private?
Do you participate in raffles?
Do you run them?
Do you like raffles?
Are there models you would never get rid of, no matter what your predicament?
Should you be able to sell anything, even something given to you as a gift, if you decide to quit collecting?
Do you see collecting as an investment?
Does it make you angry that someone would pay thousands for one model?
Does your collection overwhelm you at times?
Do you hate your collection at times?
If a model is considered hard-to-get do you want it more?
Do you try and get many of one particular hyped model?
What joy do you get by having multiples of the same model?
Do you ever feel satisfied with your collection?
Do you want to still have your collection when you die?
Do you want to leave it for someone?
Why do you like seeing leaked models?
Does finally acquiring a new model give you as much joy as learning that it is coming?
Do you buy stolen models?
Do you like them because you have something no one else has?
Would you still be collecting if social media didn’t exist?
What is the end game for your collection?
These questions are connected, or they aren’t. And there are many more where that came from. That last question – “What is the end game” – fuels all the rest. I will talk about that more in future posts.
For now, answer those questions.