Organizing and enjoying your collection through journaling

This journal page is the ultimate tool for toy collectors! Designed specifically to help organize and document collections, it features a collection tracker, display planning, wish list, toy history & trivia, and toy maintenance & care. Perfect for both beginner and seasoned collectors, it allows you to keep track of your toys, plan displays, and learn more about your collection. With ample space for images, sketches, and notes, this journal page is the perfect way to document and enhance your toy collecting journey.

By Jim Bumgardner 02/05/2023

Greetings fellow overflowing collectors! Today I want to share with you an idea that will help you better enjoy your collection and perhaps help you get even more enjoyment out of what you have. Not only that, in following this method it can help you thin out the things you may not want, rediscover hidden gems that have slipped from mind and perhaps even land yourself a small fortune letting go of the things that don’t mean as much do you anymore. Funny how those “grail” pieces can equally become a dust collector just as well as those well meant gifts you received because you love Star Wars and everyone in your circle kept giving you any and everything related to the denizens of a galaxy far, far away as gifts over the years and decades. It’s the thought that counts but when you need a Death Star sized house to store them all, it can be a challenge to not want to drop a photon torpedo down the ventilation shaft.

With that in mind, I came up with an idea that can prevent that most extreme and radical solution mentioned above: Journaling. It actually serves many purposes. Along with all the aforementioned benefits, it can also help you create an inventory that you can use to get your collection insured with either a special insurance policy or for use in adding the most valuable pieces to your existing home owners policy. Plus, in creating this journal, along with the memories you will be revisiting, you’re also creating a scrapbook and record for future generations of your family to enjoy. More than a journal, you can create a historical document that helps inform, educated and entertain those who may want to get the rest of the story.

“But isn’t that “blogging”? Yes. Yes, it is. But this is meant for creating something in the physical world, at your own pace but also in a manner that gets you into a routine that will do all the above but also help you develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your hobby. It will force you to come face to face with the questions: “What is this? Why do I have it? Do I still want it? And why do I still want it?” Why is this important? To help break the habit of hoarding that we collectors find ourselves in if we’re honest with ourselves.

Caravaggio's Saint Jerome Writing (1606)
“Why oh why must I hold on forever to this plastic skull? It stares at me constantly in the most judgemental ways. Quite the rude one this skull. Off to the donation box for sure!”

Now that the lecture part is over let’s get back to the fun side of this project. Below you will find an outline for what I believe is a great way to do all of the above and at the end of the day have a collection of stories to share if only with yourself that will make every day you do it a little bit brighter and happier with your collection.

I. Cover Page:

A. Title of Series: “Toy Collection Organizer”

B. Subtitle: “Documenting Your Journey as a Collector”

C. Image: A colorful illustration of vintage and modern action figures

II. Introduction:

This journal page is designed specifically for toy collectors looking to organize and document their collection. With features such as a collection tracker, display planning, wish list, toy history & trivia, and toy maintenance & care, this journal page is the ultimate tool for collectors looking to take their passion to the next level. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned collector, this journal page will help you keep track of your collection, plan your displays, and learn more about your toys. With ample space for images, sketches, and notes, these journal pages are the perfect way to document and enhance your toy collecting journey.

A. Brief overview of the purpose of the journal

B. Explanation of how the journal can help collectors keep track of their collection

C. Explanation of how to use the tracker to keep track of your collection

D. Importance of documenting the journey of collecting toys

III. Collection Tracker:

A. Table with columns for:

  1. Toy Name
  2. Manufacturer
  3. Original Year of Release
  4. Date Acquired
  5. Condition
  6. Notes

B. Space for adding images of each toy

IV. Display Planning:

A. Space for sketching display ideas and planning the arrangement of toys

B. Explanation of the importance of displaying toys and how it can enhance the collecting experience

V. Wish List:

A. Space for listing toys that you would like to add to your collection

B. Explanation of how a wish list can help you focus your collection and plan your next purchase

VI. Toy History & Trivia:

A. Space for documenting the history and background of each toy in your collection

B. Trivia and interesting facts about the toys and the manufacturers

C. Explanation of how learning more about your toys can enhance the collecting experience

VII. Toy Maintenance & Care:

A. Space for documenting maintenance and care instructions for each toy

B. Explanation of how proper care and maintenance can protect the value of your collection

VIII. Conclusion:

A. Recap of the purpose of the journal and how it can help collectors organize and document their collection

B. Encouragement to continue documenting and sharing your collecting journey

And there you have it, a journal / scrapbook outline that if you take the time to make the time, your collection and space will be a far happier place. And yes, I totally meant for that to rhyme. Over the next little while we’ll be talking more about the individual points so be sure to subscribe to Jim’s Toy Box to get deeper into this discussion and who knows, if you need a little help I can build a page or even a book for you to print and use. I’m all about helping you help yourself in making this a truly great and enjoyable hobby.

Star Wars REBELS Jedi Temple Guard scored but a question has arisen… How do you like to collect?

My latest “Holy Grail” piece. We love him and perhaps he can submit us for the trials. Cuz we’re ready. Oh yeah, we are ready!

I got him! The phantom that made a man out of Kanan. Well, a Jedi Knight in a Star Wars Universe where that didn’t seem possible at that point in the story-line, which is pretty awesome in and of itself. You can watch a scene from that epic episode right here….

*For those who want to get a better understanding of who and what the Jedi Temple Guards were, check out this video from YouTube User the StuppendousWave, by clicking HERE. Tell ’em Jim sent ya 😉 

I remember seeing him on the shelves in 2014 but was unplugged at the time. BIG mistake on my part, but corrected now.

Now… isn’t that the most bad ass piece of Star Wars you’ve ever seen? Well, outside of the showdown with Darth Vader between Kanan, Ezra and Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. That was simply incredible. Oh, and Kanan’s battle with Maul. And… you know what.. I could go on and on … but I won’t. I’ve raved about the REBELS show for a long time now and it’s for these reasons. Great story with great characters. And with that said I will repeat myself on this one point: This is IMO the first new Star Wars in a very long time. I’m in no way knocking Episode 7 at all and most certainly not Rogue One which I find to be the BEST Star Wars movie to date, in regards to it being a fantastic MOVIE that HAPPENS to be set in the Star Wars Universe. But back to my point:

One day I’d like to see Ralph McQuarrie make it to the animated universe that his concept designs inspired for the show.

With REBELS, in my eyes, being the first NEW Star Wars in some time, I really connected with this show as a fan. And being a product of the original merchandising golden age of the 70’s and 80’s, I had to have the figures and ships. Too bad I was late to this party and revelation because the first issues get pretty pricey on the secondary market. Which is cool. I have no issue with supply and demand dictating price when it comes to vintage or out of circulation collectables. Now in regards to toy scalpers and hoarders, I still say they should be executed in a hardcore Darth Vader manner. Which leads to my next point and question:

How do you and how do you like to collect?

For me, the thrill was always in the hunt, pre-internet. Flea Markets, random junk shops and thrift stores, regular retail when the new stuff came out and before the “greedy toy mongers” raided everything and of course local comic book shops, when they still existed. But nowadays, it’s so easy to just “go buy it” online. Well, if you have the cash of course, but if you do, you can. I’ve done that plenty times over the past few years but it wasn’t very fun. It was a bit of a bummer really. So what I’ve opted to do is create a set of guidelines for my online hunting. The main one being price. It’s no secret to anyone who’s followed this blog at any point over the past decade that I’m a cheap guy who is a sucker for a sale. You can see that in my blind bag obsession series.

The Grand Admiral shall be mine! (And hopefully in the wild.)

What this has done though, has put a challenge back into my collecting. And I like it. I do admit it took some time to develop the patience but thankfully, a line such as the Star Wars REBELS series has given me something to focus on and want. This Jedi Temple Guard has actually been on the list for a long time but there was no way I was going to pay the crazy money people were asking. So in the end I scored this guy via an eBay auction for $10 less than the best price I had ever seen. And that thrills me. Now there’s only one figure left of the existing releases I need: Grand Admiral Thrawn. And now I face the same old situation of figuring out where to buy him.

So thrilled when I found her hanging on a peg. The joy of a successful hunt.

Thrawn if you don’t know, is part of the most recent wave of Rogue One figures that have been released, along with the REBELS version of Princess Leia. I’ve held out from just buying him and Leia online even though she was pretty cheap. Right at or just under MSRP with free shipping in many instances. My patience paid off however, as I did score Leia in the wild at a Walmart out of town from where I live. There was only one left and no sign of the Grand Admiral but it has encouraged me to keep looking, although the reality is It’ll probably never happen due to the really spotty releases from Hasbro and the apparent reluctance of retailers from ordering more Star Wars products since most places still have a glut of Force Awakens and Rogue One toys on the shelves. So, I’m going to hold out a little bit longer.

Picked these two up in a trade solely for the purpose of making THIS meme. A fanboy can dream.

Now I pose the question to you; How and where do you buy your favorite little playthings? Ebay, Amazon, from a Facebook group or other online source. Or are you like me and establish guidelines for your purchases or trades? Speaking of trades, what’s your thoughts? I’ve made some fun one’s just for the sake of it. Like anyone I could use and would prefer cash but at the same time it’s nice to freshen up a collection AND make someone else really happy. Isn’t that one of the biggest aspects of this hobby? I know I think so. But more importantly I want to hear what your take. My inquiring mind wants to know.

Now, Go Play! Jim 02/16/17

P.S. If you do like to collect via online retailers (or don’t have many local options like me) do me a favor and click around the links here at the Toy Box and check out the cool stuff that Entertainment Earth has to offer. They have some really cool exclusives you can’t get anywhere else. Plus there’s always some cool sale going or free shipping offers. And when you do make a purchase it helps me earn some brownie points and hopefully do some more reviews for them. I do appreciate it a lot! 


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