Wednesday, September 9, 2015

T.O.M.B. Raiding

Way back in the day, a group of action figure collectors started a group called T.O.M.B. Raiders. Obviously named after the wildly popular game, T.O.M.B. was also an acronym for Take Out (of) Mint Boxes. The point was that when you buy a figure (or any other toy) you should remove it from the box and play with it, display it or basically just enjoy it rather than leave it boxed and stashed away as a collectible. I like the idea and have certainly done my fair share of it over the years (usually with the stuff that ended up being "valuable" later on) but I still have a lot of figures in unopened boxes. Recently, I have opened a few older figures to provide material for future blog entries but I'm starting to wonder if I should just go for broke and open them all.

Here's the deal…. I'm not getting any younger and I've been in this hobby for close to 20 years. I'm not taking anything with me when I check out and I kind of doubt that most of this stuff will be of any real value in decades to come. I could sell a lot of the unopened stuff on eBay or offer it up at the few forums I still involve myself with. I could probably make a modest amount of money, which is certainly attractive at the moment. With my wife and I both looking for work, a few hundred dollars in hand is better than no money and bunch of old toys wasting away in storage somewhere. But maybe I should just open everything up, toss out the boxes and go from there. If my kids want any of it when they're older, so be it. Although I'm reluctant to suggest another regular feature here, maybe unboxing old figures and doing something with them could become a regular feature here. Or not….

I'm going to think this over for a while but I would love to hear from my readers. What would you do in my situation? Perhaps like the Year of Frugal Hobbying I've mentioned before, my motto should be "use it, sell it or trade it" with an eye towards minimal, really NO expenditure for the foreseeable future. I don't know yet but I think I would like to do things differently than I have been and maybe this is how I should proceed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Blogging and Job Hunting (a Labor Day rant)

So, Mrs G and I are both in the job market (aka outta work) and I'm spending much of my limited computer time filling out applications. To be honest, I've been out of the game for a while, I've spent the last few years as a stay-at-home dad and I'm getting closer to 50 than I care to admit! Mrs G is a hard working, highly motivated and loyal employee who recently got unceremoniously sh** canned after over a decade at her job. We are both feeling pretty discouraged right now but driven by the need to sustain our family. The sad thing is, we know a number of other people in our age group who are in similar or worse situations; some barely hanging on to careers they have while others can't get work at all. One friend was recently told by a long-time professional colleague that he was now essentially black-listed from an industry he'd worked in for 20+ years. I might add, an industry well-known for its deep financial commitments to "social justice causes" and "sustainable, green initiatives" but infamous for treating employees and even executives like total crap. Not to mention the obvious disdain for their pissant proletariat slaves uh, customers. If you are reading this, you are familiar with that industry.

And no, I don't expect government and politicians of any party to fix this or make it better. Neither do I expect that corporate or institutional leaders will change much. I expect to hear a lot about what they intend to do and how it'll all get better and how wonderful they are for doing it but I write most of that off as self-serving propaganda. OK, I'll try to spare you the socio-political opinion stuff since that's not what you're here to read.

Anyway, this has at least given me a little bit of extra time to catch up on blogging and photography. You'll probably see an increase in activity here, at least through the end of the year. I'm building up a small reserve of material to post the next few months and I may even post twice monthly photo blogs through December. I have more figures in the queue and it's really just a matter of getting them ready and outside to photograph.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone looking to hire a pudgy, lazy guy in his late 40s with no special skills, two small kids to raise and enough toys to populate a small town, then I'm the guy! Or as I used to say, if you need an employee bad, I'm the bad employee you need!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Photoblog/Let's Joe! -September 2015

This month, Let's Joe! is back. Our subject is Sergeant First Class Ian Campbell rockin' out with his…uh, dressed for a bit of desert recon. Ian is a GI Joe Super Articulated body from the early-mid-2000s with uniform and weapons being a mix of mostly BBI and Dragon stuff from the same era. The body armor and chest rig are a set produced by ACE again in the mid 2000s. His weapons include an M4 rifle with ACOG scope, a SIG P226 9mm pistol with tactical light, and both a Mk 3 fighting knife and a KaBar knife. Although I wasn't thinking of a specific campaign or time period here, the combination of desert and woodland camo would not have been uncommon in the early days of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. You'll also note my usual set up of boonie hat, chest rig and lighter weight body armor that has been featured on several of my figures this year. I did try a "3 day" pack on him but I didn't like the over all effect and he seemed to be drowning in straps and belts. So, like a lot of my other guys, he's going "high speed, low drag". Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the photos and check back for more soon!