From Barf Bags to Boba Fett: the Art of Collecting and the Quest for Your Grail


From air-sickness bags to refrigerator emblems, umbrella covers, Funko Pop! Vinyls, Star Wars memorabilia or comic books, and even more, people collect a wide spectrum of unique items. You name it, someone out there collects it! With the emergence of countless new comic-based and pop culture related movies and TV shows, their associated memorabilia finds its way to the collecting community.

Nostalgia is one of the major driving forces for collectors, as they search for reminders of the good old days. This nostalgic component is often seen in our collections. Some of us seek to recreate the past by surrounding ourselves with what we loved or wanted as kids. Others build armies of Funko Pop!s and Boba Fett figures to quench a desire to connect with our favorite movies, shows and books.

QuestImageThe quest for the Ultimate Grail item to add to our personal collection can be seen in the diagram to the right. The first part is, of course, the actual quest for the coveted items, or the shining grail. This particular item is often elusive due to extreme rarity, high cost, or lack of space. Despite the obstacles, the collector never loses interest and remains driven to find the finest example in his or her chosen category.

If the grail is completely unobtainable, the pursuit shifts to a search for information to learn everything possible about the subject. Any facts, particularly little known or surprising, help to quench the thirst for knowledge. This is illustrated by the exclamation point.

There is also a significant visual component to this journey. The collector gains enjoyment simply by seeing beautiful examples of the grail items, whether in person or in photographs. We are creating a mental scrapbook, an extension of our collection that exists only in our mind, which is illustrated here by the eye.

The pyramid portrays the levels of collecting that one can attain. At the bottom exist the dabblers and pokers, who passively observe or maybe own a few items. The middle tier of the pyramid represents the conscious collectors who have established collections and are actively on the quest. Finally, at the top of the pyramid we have the influencers, many of whom have completed their quest. These people are a wealth of information on their respective categories, as well as an inspiration to other collectors seeking their level.

Collecting is more than just a pursuit for tangible items. Collectors have a love for their pieces and always remain on a quest for knowledge. Once they learn all there is to know, they often share it with others. Although we collect to feed our own desires, many of us share that passion with others.

Inevitably for any collector, there comes a time when they run out of space and their things are buried in boxes. That’s when we begin to prioritize which items mean the most to us and often relegate some of our earlier acquisitions to boxes and back rooms.

The days of inviting friends to come visit your house to share your collection are over and the digital age is now in full swing as we create our digital shelves online. We have the opportunity to share our collections, not with just our friends, but with an endless group of people who share our love for collectibles.

Written and contributed by Dan Sullivan, Business Development Manager at



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