Monday, December 7, 2009

New Directions, Obsessions & Updates

When I started this blog it was a blatant attempt to gain popularity in the sports card world. As I realized that I honestly don't collect enough sports cards I started writing about other subjects and removed the "sports card" from the blog title, now we're just "The Budget Collector". We're no longer focusing entirely on sports, but all of collecting, and how to do so on a budget, since let's face it, we're all broker than we'd like to be. Going forward I'm going to feature more collectibles that aren't necessarily sports related, PLUS I'm announcing an entirely new series of entries at the end of the entry, so stay tuned, and no scrolling down eh?


- or things my wife would prefer I pay less attention to than her.

Some of the things that I've collected over the almost 4 decades I've been on this planet include (listed in order of importance at the moment)

    Active Collection Categories
  • Disney 3" Vinylmations (
  • Angels Baseball Cards
  • UCLA Bruins Basketball Cards
  • Books by John Irving, Robert Crais & Jim Butcher
  • 25th Anniversary/Rise of Cobra GI Joes
  • Cool Doctor Who items
  • Anything I can afford related to Joss Whedon's "Firefly/Serenity"
  • LEGO
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Movies & Movie Books
  • Gundam Books & Toys (Universal Century & 00 stuff)
  • 3 3/4" Action Figures that I like

    Inactive Collections
  • Non-Sports Sets (Mostly movie/tv oriented)
  • 6000+ Comic Books & related companion books
  • Original Comic Book Sketches
  • Defunct Trading Card Games (FPG's Guardians, WotC's Harry Potter, WotC's WCW Nitro)
  • Vintage Star Wars Figures
  • Wrestling Stuff (Magazines, books, toys)
  • Hockey Cards
  • Microman & Micronauts Figures
  • San Diego Chargers Football Cards (Autographed from Practices)
  • Various mini-collections of things like Starting Lineups, action figures, etc.

    Retired/Sold Collections
  • Star Wars Power of the Force 2
  • Vintage RAH GI Joes
  • 20,000 Football Cards

I've honestly NEVER been able to focus my collecting attention for more than a few months at a time. My personality is such that my attention span always wavers and something shiny and new always takes precedence. At the moment I'm obsessed with Disney Vinylmations, Doctor Who and 25th Anniversary GI Joes.

Current Obsession: Vinylmations

Vinylmations are a relatively new addition to the obsession list, as they were first released only a year ago, and are just now gaining momentum in the Disneyana collecting world. I currently own 23 of them at about $10 a pop. They are a cash-grab from Disney based in the relatively recent "urban vinyl" movement, but they are executed so well and definitely have the Disney flavor, plus I was able to get in on the "ground floor" so to speak, as I have a couple vinyls from the very first series, which have now skyrocketed in value.

What is a Vinylmation? Simple, it's a three inch tall Mickey Mouse figurine that is decorated by urban artists and sold in blind boxes (there's also a 9" line, but they're far too expensive for me to collect). They are released in series of 11 standard figures and 1 chaser in a case of 24 figures (2 complete sets, 1 chaser, 1 'triple'). So far they have released 7 different themed series of 12 figures, plus a number of special non-blind boxed one-off pieces in tins. They are very, very cool and look awesome when displayed (I'll post pictures of my collecting when I find my camera).

Each series is produced in limited production runs, and originally they were ONLY available at Disneyland in California and Disneyworld in Florida. They are now seeing released at Disneyland Paris, and have recently been sold online. Of course there is a healthy secondary market and even trading, as these are blind-boxed you have no idea which one you're going to get! The first couple of series, Park Series One and Urban Series One have shot up in value as they have been sold out from Disney for MONTHS. Park Series One sold out particularly quickly, released in late December, 2008, ALL of them were gone by February.

These two are from "Park Series One" and are the only ones from this series that I currently own. Fireworks is a particular favorite of mine.

Last time I checked Monorail Red was going for between $30 and $35, but I expect that to rise as the "Monorail" series is very popular with Disney collectors, AND the second piece "Monorail Blue" was just released in the Park Series 3 collection.

Fireworks sells for between $20 and $30 right now.

And this is Kermit, the one that continues to elude me and gain in price. For a figure that originally retailed for $10 it now sells for between $55 and $70! It was photos of this figure that intrigued me to no end, and forced my hand to start hunting these bad-boys down.

This one figure proved so popular that the Muppets are getting their own series supposedly in February of 2010.

If you'd like to see more Vinylmations featured, please leave me feedback, as I have tons of interest in this line and would love to discuss it with you. I'm also fairly active on, the biggest fan-community for the line. Disney's own Vinylmation site has just been nicely updated too, so make sure you check that out too.


Here's a shock, I've yet to mail out any of my ends of trades. Excuses excuses. They'll go out before Christmas, that's all I'm promising at this point. I suck I know, but if it makes it any better, I'll probably throw in some nice goodies to make the wait worth while. I did buy a new printer ink cartridge (and got a great deal too, $12.60 including tax for a Lexmark 28 Black ink that is normally around 20 bucks!).

Feature Announcement

My wife and I have just started watching, in order, all of the Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) episodes of the long-running BBC Science-Fiction show "Doctor Who". Seeing is that I've not seen MOST of these episodes for decades, and my wife has NEVER seen them, I thought it might make a cool series if I reviewed each storyline in order with my unique, snarky perspective. The first installment should be posted within a day or so, or as soon as I write the darn thing.

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