Hello chaps, today’s rather cheery “What if” was inspired by a video posted over on IRO’s blog the other day….
(I’ve posted the link to IRO’s blog rather than the Youtube link, because you really should have a look around while you are there, it is a great blog!). Anyway the video refers to the last wishes of “Orson Munn” and his family’s attempts to get a local museum to create a permanent display of his $400,000.00 collection of toy soldiers, rather than selling them off at auction.
Now this brought back some memories of a few years back when I went to a local auction house that was having a of model railway stuff, a chap there said to me “Sad to think someone has spent years building up this collection and now his kids are just flogging it off!” I should add that he then happily informed me that “They want far too much for this load of crap anyway!” and left.
Now the question is what do you plan to do with your wargames collections after you are gone? Do you have a plan, is it being left to a relative? A friend? A club? Or don’t you care what happens to it once you dead, are you happy to see it go into an auction or show bring and buy, or in deed into the skips down at the local recycling centre?
I plan on passing mine onto my two lads, the one seems quite intent on taking as much of it as he can before I “pop my clogs” anyway!
So gentlemen where is your lead, resin, m.d.f and plastic going on your demise?
Over to you….
To lighten the mood, I’ll leave you with this news story from the BBC news…
A well-meaning cleaner who took the opportunity to give a locked-down library a thorough clean re-shelved all of its books – in size order. Staff at Newmarket Library, Suffolk, discovered the sloping tomes after the building underwent a deep clean. James Powell, of Suffolk Libraries, said staff “saw the funny side” but it would take a “bit of time” to correct. “It looks like libraries will be closed for a while so we’ll have plenty of time to sort the books out”, he said. “The cleaner is lovely and does a great job in the library. It was an honest mistake and just one of those things so we would never want her to feel bad about it,” he added.
Who says there’s nothing to smile about over the pandemic?
You see, I went had a daughter and, try as I might, I just can’t seem to get her interested in 18th and 19th century military history. That’s teenage girls for you.
I don’t much like the idea of them going to the dump when someone else who might appreciate them could have them. My concern is that (you can tell I’ve been thinking too much about this lately) my wife won’t understand what manufacturers, periods and regiments they all represent so I’ve been thinking of labelling them all in detail, just in case…
…but they’ll probably end up in the dump. Ah, such is the nature of life. 🙂
Thanks Marvin, sorry for the late reply, i have to approve the first comment someone makes. I always wanted a daughter (my dad was desperate for a grand daughter), but luckily in this case I had two sons who are both big game nuts! (one more for board games and the other more card games along with the inevitable PC games (yawn!).
They do though both appreciate the time and effort I’ve put into my figures over the years. So I’m hoping they are in reasonably safe(ish) hands.
So that will; be the landfill twenty minutes after I’m gone then. 😥
I’d already started selling off some of my unwanted/unused stuff before all this and plan on continuing – with more vigour and determination, once I reckon the market looks good – and reducing all my stuff to only a small collection.
What will be left, I’ll hopefully get enjoyment and use out of, plus all of it painted! Because at the moment – with most of it unpainted, unused, weighing on my mind – it is more of an issue to my mental health than a positive hobby to pursue.
When it comes to the point that they need a new owner? Pass. The first part of the plan is for me to make a reduction of that owned, then play with what I have, then get every last bit of it painted. I had made a decision in regard one of my miniatures, actually – Retro Girl. I was going to finish it and see if you wanted it? A gift, if you like. Problem is, when viewed in light of this post, I’d just be passing on my stuff and making it your stuff, leaving you the issue of sorting it out in the future 😀
You have a very similar attitude to me Roy, I have been selling off my stuff piece meal for years as I tend it get most of my enjoyment out of the painting (bloody frustrating as it can be!), and always thought I kept the amount I had at a pretty reasonable level, but last week we decided to have a go at clearing the loft a bit, and my wife came up there (something she never does as she struggles on the ladder, but this time she did with help), and the first thing she said was “I didn’t realise you had so much wargames stuff!!”.
Most of the box files up there (I keep my figs in box files by the way), now contain individual figures (ie Superheroes, fantasy character’s, Sci Fi Characters, Cowboys etc…) rather than armies as I have sold most of them off or passed them on to my son over the years. So most of the stuff I have now I doubt I will ever get rid of, as I have a sentimental attachment to them. Luckily my wife has said if I went first she wouldn’t sell/tip any of my figures. Though I think I would make a list of the stuff that I think could go. My He-man conversions will HAVE to stay in the family!! 😉
Wow! Retro-Girl would be a wonderful gift Roy and one I would treasure, if you were to do that, and one I would never get rid of (and I would specify that she too had to be kept!!) As both my sons have there eyes on my Super’s I don’t think they will be an issue 🙂
I would love to get in contact with these folks. My dad also has a huge collection of toy soldiers, mostly 54mm or bigger. He is still alive, but when he goes, I’ll need to figure out what to do with the collection. Some of them I’ll hang onto, but not the whole collection. I have contact several toy museums, and they aren’t interested — and I am not going to ship them overseas. I game mostly in 28mm, and I don’t have use for most of the collection; although, I would like to see it remain as a collection. I’m wondering if several of us couldn’t pool our resources and open up a museum in a lower-cost area than Long Island, like Lancaster, PA, or Orlando, FL.
Hi Buck, long time no speak!
I know what you mean, it would be great to see these (and your’s) figures on permanent display somewhere, I did think perhaps they were going about it wrong and should be contacting toy museums too.
Being on this side of the pond I really don’t know that much about the way things work over there, but watching “American Pickers” there seems to loads of large buildings dotted about that could be turned into Museums out in the sticks, maybe near an historic battleground? There is a Mad Max museum on the road that the filmed the second movie on, I imagine that was fairly cheap real estate to buy. 😁
As for contacting the family I think there is an e-mail for the show, they might be able to put you in contact?
Hopefully it might motivate me to finish the miniature, since, as you know, it was started in 2017 😦
Once completed we can sort out arrangements.
Great stuff Roy, though I am guessing the Jez will be running “Forgotten Heroes” again this year, so you might want to save it for that. 🙂
I’ve given this topic much consideration over the years, not just with regards to wargaming miniatures, but to books, games and the general crap I have accumulated over 4 decades of gaming.
I have no children, and none of my friends or family would want any of my stuff. in fact, one of my friends recently gave me all his miniatures, thousands of them from a lifelong collection. It broke my heart, and I took them in the hopes he would regret his decision and want them back. But he told me in no uncertain terms that he is done.
That means it falls to the one person who I least want to burden further should I die. Sometimes this is enough for me to get rid of stuff I know I won’t ever use or play with. Often, it’s not.
Regarding your funny anecdote: I have thousands of books. Really. I counted them once. A few years back, a house guest decided to “tidy up” while I was at work, which meant taking all my books off the shelves, where they are arranged alphabetically by author according to genre, and putting them all back in descending order by size. Some of them had the pages rather than the spines facing outward.
I came home. I saw what had happened while I was away.
It was not a good day.
Hi Keith, for some reason your comment had gone into the spam, I think it’s sorted now (fingers crossed). I think this is a problem that all collectors face, whatever it may be (Teapots, handbags, model horses etc..) Unless you know another collector or family member who would want it where does it go. We have most of my wife’s brother’s toy car collection in boxes in the loft, though unless we ever win the lottery I doubt we will ever have the room to put them on show (I have most of my wargames figures up there too, so I have first dibs on extra space anyway).
Glad you liked the story, even if it was a little to close to home 🙂
I think my son will take a fair bit. My daughter might grab a few things, as well. I think at sone point I will have a convo about what they might want, and what they have no interest in. Things like my WoG planes will sell easily. The board games the kids don’t want will go to one of the local cons to raffle off. The historical minis they don’t want will go to HMGS for their auction. Anything unpainted will go to HMGS as well. Anything painted will be offered on the appropriate forums on the cheap. Or buried with me. Cant decide which!
Sounds to me like you have it all worked out Harry. I had wondered about having it buried with me, but those coffins are blooming heavy enough with half a ton of lead in them too!
If like to think I do! I dream that my kids want it all. But I know they aren’t into like I am.
You do like to think your little soldiers will be safe but in the end we wont be there to check anyway. 🙂
Hmmm, something I have been thinking about for a while, particularly since we don’t have kids and I don’t really know anyone of a younger generation that would want my stuff! Could be, like you’ve said, I’ll have to think about selling stuff and use the cash to buy books – but then, who gets the books when I pop off!
I have wondered about this myself, people keep buying more and more figures, new ranges/companies keep coming out yet surely there must be a point when everybody who wants figures must have all the figures they could want, and each time an old gamer dies his fig’s are sold off to one presumes new/newer gamers.
As figures don’t effectively wear out where are all these figure? are they in landfill? or is it like I read in an article a while back that something like 70% of the motorcycles in Britain are stored in garages and never see the light of day or only come out once every year or so, and Gym equipment is even worse they say 95% of all the equipment is stored away on cupboards or under beds etc… and never used.
Are Wargames figures the same? I rather think they might be.
My wife and I like books, but they are another thing that we have to clear out every now and again for fear of drowning in them!
This reminds me of the jokes you see popping up on Facebook, What do yyou fear will do with your models ? Sell them at the price I told her I paid for them !
Never had that problem myself,but always makes me smile, I’m sure the children would keep several pieces for sentimental reasons, but the wife would sell off the rest, he reasoning being that it would be better if they went to someone who would get enjoyment out of them
I like to think the same thing, when I sell stuff off on bring and buy’s. I often sell stuff for what I paid for it (or less sometimes once they take off commission), but I like to think I got the fun of painting them, now hopefully someone else will use them for what the were intended and play games with them.
This is a good point. Although I don’t have that many painted figures (probably around 120 so far), I have a ton of unpainted ones in a box along with the usual bottles of paint, brushes, basing stuff and all the other paraphernalia that goes with the hobby. I have no idea what would happen to all of it if, say, I got hit by a bus while walking the dogs. Apart from the 3 or 4 minis I’ve painted as gifts for her, I doubt my girlfriend would want it. I guess it’ll all end up being thrown out with the trash or given to the FLGS to sell off.
Hi Matt, thanks for the comment, I seem to have hit a bit of a nerve here, a slightly depressing one too it seems .
Seems with only 120 minis painted you have a very long life ahead of you anyway if the old adage is correct….
If a wargamer paints all his miniatures, he dies…long live the lead mountain!!