Sunday, April 17, 2016

Super Secret Hobby Secrets Which Are Secret!

I'm in a grumpy, bitch and moan mode so pardon me. I've been in the 1/6 scale doll-action figure hobby for nearly 20 years, 19 years this April to be exact. Before that, I had been a scale modeler since first grade and in fact, I'm still dabbling in that hobby more than four decades later. The thing is, I've never had any "hobby secrets" and I've always disliked when people did. Let me back up and say that I totally understand if you have a business that relies on some sort of "trade secret" to keep getting paid. Generally though, touting your finished projects while refusing to answer questions about it always annoys me. You didn't learn most skills sets entirely on your own and if you'd rather not share your super secret special methods, don't taunt people with them either. No, I don't believe you have any obligation to pass along methods, materials and techniques to the hobby community but you can avoid being a jerk about not doing it.

I bring this up because I've had some encounters recently with an individual in an online doll community who gets very snitty and testy whenever someone asks about a doll or accessory this person has posted. The response is always something like "why don't you use Google?" You'll notice that I generally post a list of parts used and their manufacturers. I'll always try to clarify if something is confusing and admit that sometimes, I just don't know. Most of my 'bashes are dead simple but I don't expect my readers to have encyclopedic knowledge of subject matter and manufacturers past and present. If you want to know where the shoes or jacket on one of my figures came from, I will endeavor to answer you. The only time it gets annoying is if a person expects me to do the legwork of finding something for them or repeatedly badgers me to sell or give something to them. But if you say "where did that pair of pants come from?" I'll never say "why don't you just Google it?" In the few cases that I've genuinely worried about causing a run on an item I needed for a project, I've kept it quiet until I have my supply laid in. I've done that maybe twice in the past decade.

These recent episodes with this particular doll collector have reminded me of how much I dislike this attitude. I hasten to mention that this didn't happen to me personally but was something I witnessed. I've already learned not to ask this person any "how'd yo do that-where'd you get that?" type questions. Like I said above, there's no OBLIGATION to answer such questions, it's simply nice when people do it.

 I don't know, maybe I'm totally off-base here. Is this just me or do you feel the same way? I would love to hear some thoughts from my readers on this.


  1. No, I think you're right on... it's that kind of attitude that gives hobbyists a bad name. There was a girl in the Dollfie Dream world that always had cool stuff, or was referencing animes, and I'd ask her,"Oh, what's that one about?" or "Oh, where'd you find that?" and she'd always say, "Why don't you google it?"... I wasn't asking her because I *REALLY* needed to know... I was just trying to have a conversation... which she shut down.

    Now... maybe she just didn't want to talk to me, I don't know... but either way, I definitely stopped talking to her because of that pretty quickly.

  2. Totally agree with your stance on this issue GT. Even if one doesn't want to give away "trade secrets" there are nicer ways of dealing with it, without being rude.

    I do try to assist people when they ask questions (as long as they are sensible ones). :) Because that's how we all learn, but sometimes I have simply forgotten where I've bought something (senior moments often block the brain's remembrance system), and have felt very guilty at not being able to help out.

    I rather like being asked questions about my hobby, it's a great way to strike up a new friendship.

    Hope you are having a great week.

  3. Thanks y'all! Glad to know this bothers other people as well. And I get that sometimes, folks get grumpy because questioners become nagging and overbearing. When "how'd you do that?" becomes whiny demand to write an extensive treatise on the subject. I had a couple guys get on my nerves to the point I simply quit engaging them back in the day. One guy I suspected of having a reading comprehension problem since I would answer his question, explain my answer, clarify the explanation, restate the clarification, etc., all without any apparent resolution. Another was a notorious panhandler who would nearly always follow a question about something you posted with "will you give it to me?"

    So I get why some people turn grumpy but I also think a lot of it is rude,crass and (oddly) elitist behavior.