Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Year of Frugal...uh...Dolling?

A few years ago, I used to visit a blog called A Year of Frugal Gaming. The author intended to devote a year to spending less money on his hobby of miniature war-gaming and focus on modeling, painting and gaming with what he already had or could obtain inexpensively. As I recall, the blog and the project lasted quite a while longer than a year and inspired a number of other folks to try something similar.

 Let's face it, there's a certain aspect of the doll/action figure hobby that is focused on acquisition...maybe obsessive collecting.... OK, hoarding! Not only can you end up with a house full of stuff but for all but the most thrifty few of us, it can be pretty costly as well. Sure we know of people who take thrift store Barbies and create brilliant masterpiece OOAK dolls for next to no money but I'm certainly not that person. So, like a lot of you reading this, I spend a fair amount of money on my hobbies and end up with a fair amount of stuff. I certainly do bargain hunt and have been pretty successful at my "under $50" project I started a couple of years back-LINK. The thing is, I haven't really documented that in a consistent fashion. Also, because it has been a successful project, I've managed to acquire quite a bit more stuff. As I mentioned at the time, I was inspired to find alternatives to to boxed military/action/adventure figures which have now trended in to the $150 USD and up price range. But if you spend say $30 each on five older boxed figures instead $150 on one, you have five boxes taking up storage space. I won't deny that I've found a lot of cool stuff for relatively cheap the last couple of years but I have A LOT more cool stuff to store! If I spent the next year just documenting what I have and didn't buy anything at all, I could stay quite busy. I don't have an exact inventory but I think I could post weekly for a year and not run out of material.

So, with my recently announced GI Joe and Obitsu projects for 2015, I started thinking about what I would need to prepare the figures I'm going to feature. And yes, I have some items to buy but for the most part, I'm planning to use what I have. This wasn't initially a conscious decision but as I started to compile my project lists, it occurred to me that there weren't any real major purchases needed for me to do it. Carrying this line of thinking through to its apparently logical conclusion, I wondered, if I have most of what I need to carry out my plan for 2015, then what DO I really need? Hmmmm....
I'm sure I'm not alone in needing to spend less money more wisely. While I try to keep personal stuff to a minimum here, the last few years have seen household income remain stagnant while expenses have increased considerably. And while I'm not suggesting that I simply stop spending any money on my hobbies, I'm curious to see how far I could go without spending very much.

Of course, all this circles back to the acquisition side of the hobby. There are always those things that you already want and those things that will become available in the course of the year. There's that grandiose plan that hasn't occurred to you yet. A certain degree of impulsiveness also comes with the territory, so I can't tell you now, in November 2014, what I might want to buy or do in May 2015. I might be totally satisfied at the moment but the "OH EM GEE must have now!!" item(s) could be just a few months away. So yeah....

I guess my challenge for the coming year then is not to stop spending entirely but to keep focus. Spending less and doing more with what I have is important but I also need to avoid the temptation to buy something, especially multiples of something, simply because it's cheap. Can I do it? I'm not sure but I can certainly try!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Next Gen part 2

Hey, more boring, content-free blogging! Anyway, I've been reflecting a bit on my last post and have decided to "up the ante" by adding another feature. In theory, this means that at least twice a month *GASP* there will be something posted here. The Obitsu Project is something I've already been doing informally and occasionally but now hope to post monthly. Basically, this works the same way as the GI Joe project I mentioned last time. Once a month, I'll post photos of an Obitsu or Obitsu-based doll with some brief description or back story. As long as the base doll is Obitsu, it fits the category; including Azone hybrids and dolls I've put together myself with heads from other manufacturers.

OK, so this doesn't sound like much of a challenge. After all, how hard could it be to dress a few dolls and take some photos? *SNERK* A few years ago, something like this would not have been a problem. These days, it can often be darn-near impossible. Dressing or "kit bashing" 24 individual figures, photographing all them and posting the results twice a month is pretty formidable for me. Hopefully, it should also be fun and a way to keep me focused on this blog for the foreseeable future.

What does this mean for other subjects like my Azone Pure Neemo girls? Honestly, I don't know yet but they aren't going away for now. One possibility is to alternate PN girls one month and Obtisu the next. That's not my plan at the moment but it's certainly worth considering. In theory, the PN girls would appear unscheduled but often, like other dolls, toys and what-not. I would love to do a regular travel feature with one or more of my Azone PN girls, kind of like slmka's LSO, with visits to various places of interest but again, that really isn't possible right now.

Meanwhile the GI Joe and Obitsu features will be my regular posts for 2015 with, hopefully, other dolls to fill in the spaces.

Ah, together again!