Red boxes! Red boxes! Since Airfix.com go in and out of production of items and occasionally bankrupt, I have often taken to buying certain Airfix figures whenever I see them.
This expanding red box collection is in addition to the small hoard (or tiny hordes?) of vintage Airfix figures that I have had kindly donated or found in charity shops in the last few years https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/07/warning-more-vintage-airfix-nostalgia/
Some of this ‘new’ red box hoard, built up over the last three to four years, were absolute bargains. They came from a garden centre type Hornby stockist that was going out of stocking Airfix figures whilst maintaining its railway stock. £3 a box was a half price delight. I left behind lots of WW2 aircrew.
Occasionally I think I have snatched these budget entry level figures away from local youths who might just be able to buy them, tempting them into the hobby, but then the eternal “seven-year-old with limited pocket money” part of me kicks in.
Likewise the Ancient Britons, Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood figures that came from a small local small arts and craft shop that was shutting down its tiny Airfix section. No brainer – such useful figures – and reduced prices!
I wonder – is it the carefully designed trigger colour of red boxes and familiar vintage Airfix classic illustrations that creates this compulsive response? Or a response to figure famine and the absurd second hand prices offered for certain Airfix figures in the hobby magazines of the 1980s?
But stop there, Mark Man of TIN! Do you have enough space in your life and house for more of such tempting impulsively bought things?
“The goal of tidying is to make room for meaningful objects, people and experiences. I can think of no greater happiness in life than being surrounded only by the things I love.” Marie Kondo / KonMari
In a world of Marie Kondo Decluttering expert, where curiously she has started her own “lovely things gift range”, do I have an Airfix hoarding problem that needs dealing with?
Do these trusty ‘old’ new and original old childhood survivors still represent a meaningful part of my life? Yes they do, in a touchstone, still used and still inspiring way.
Am I still surrounded by the Airfix things I love?
Does opening up a fresh box of Airfix, washing them ready for painting, basing and gaming still have the excitement it did in childhood? Yes it certainly does. Two boxes can make a new game.
Should I thank these objects for the part they once played in my life and pass them on, as Marie Kondo suggests? Over my dead body! (Literally).
Rule 6: Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
Am I dominated by the lead and plastic mountain of many future gaming projects in many scales that I have hoarded away figures and materials for against uncertain future supply? Not yet. Though to be honest, I may soon be reaching the limits of my current storage space.
So many figures, so many projects, so little time?
I was listening to a recent BBC radio programme “So Many Books, So Little Time” about a writer called Mark Hodkinson who has just moved house with 3500 books. He wonders if he has a problem. Is he a lover of books in control of his collection (a bibliophile) or is he controlled and dominated by his excessive book collection and collecting (a bibliomaniac), a collection that he will physically never be able to read or reread again in his lifetime?
Mark Hodkinson ponders the nature of our personal book collections, why and how we gather books, what it says about us, and how we ever expect to find time to read them all.
Author Mark had just moved house. By far the most difficult task was carrying, storing and alphabetising his collection of 3,500 books. It made him stop to think. If it took, say, four days of solid reading to finish a book, he’d need 38.3 years to go through his collection. He would have to make his way through 315 million words. And that’s if he didn’t take time off to sleep, eat and have the occasional night out…
You can hear this documentary on BBC IPlayer / BBC Sounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bp3s
I wondered if I had that sort of bibliomaniac collecting in Airfix form, building an uncontrollable plastic and lead mountain in reserve that I could never possibly paint and game with, or if I should sensibly continue to pick things up as I see them in case they are not there next week / month / year?
As Harry Pearson wisely observes in his memoir Achtung Schweinhund!, “You can never have enough of things you don’t actually need.”
Wise words indeed, Harry. Not sure what decluttering expert Marie Kondo would say in response.
As we approach Christmas gift time and New Year’s Gaming Resolutions, I would be fascinated to hear how others shape, curb, control or glory in their growing or shrinking collections of gaming figures, books and projects.
Happy 8th December – only 16 sleeps till Christmas. Here’s hoping that maybe a bright Airfix red Santa has left you one of those nice red Airfix boxes under your Christmas tree or in your Christmas stocking!
Blogvent posted by Mark Man of TIN / Eternal seven year old boy of TIN, 8th December 2019