From childhood until now: The passion of being a collector


Oscar Torres

A photo of all 22 Transformers figures Torres acquired in the span of three months, either from birthday gifts to self purchase. Photo by Oscar Torres.

Growing up, you start to keep a hold of something you’re passionate about. No matter what it is, you strive to keep that passion even in your adult years.

I have always thought of collecting, but I didn’t start out with the intention of collecting. I just started getting action figurines with the thought of playing with them.

It’s essential to me because I know the saying, “You are too old to have toys,” and people may say that, but to me, they hold the memory of me playing with them all the time and that when I eventually have a kid, I’ll get to share these treasured items with them.

I was the first kid born in the family, and because of that, I tended to get the most attention. I got showered with gifts and love from my family members.

One such gift was Hot Wheels toys. My aunt, who works at Mattel, would often come to my house and hand me new Hot Wheels cars, either the regular race cars or monster trucks.

I don’t remember how many Hot Wheels cars I got, but I’m grateful to my aunt for getting me interested in the prospect of having a wide variety of toys to use and display.

I may not interact with her as much any more, but even then, I still kept the cars she gave me and my brother.

The Hot Wheels toys represented the kid in me that loved to go outside and race my cars to see which ones were the fastest. It made me curious about cars, wondering how they move and why they look like they do in the toys.

As I got older, my interest went from toys to games. That’s when I began to collect game cases, rare game collectibles and more.

I would often play games with my cousins and see all the collectibles and game memorabilia they had, like a GameBoy and GameCube. It made me want to keep collecting.

One such find was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Mini and N64. The SNES Mini was a Black Friday purchase, while the N64 was a gift from my uncle.

It was always so fascinating to see old consoles with the controllers they had. I would often read through the history of their design and the way they work.

Even as I work as a digital editor and produce digital media, physical media is still an integral part of me, and I would always strive to collect physical game cases for my Xbox or Switch consoles, because one day, they will be gone from digital stores, and I can always have them physically, to play.

After a while, I stopped the hobby of collecting things like figures and toys not because of money but because I was growing up and thought that having this stuff was for kids.

I didn’t want to be laughed at because of something that I still keep so I got all my cars and gave it to my brother, and while I still collect games and play them very oftenly, my love for collecting just went away during my high school years.

However, that all changed in December, as the gifts I’ve gotten from my siblings got me back into the realm of collecting again.

Thanks to the new movie “Transformers: Rise of the Beast,” I got back into Transformers, and my brother gave me my first figure to collect. It was a Soundwave figure, and even though it was small, I still appreciated the gift, as Soundwave was one of my favorite Decepticons growing up.

It also helps that adults my age and older are buying toys either for collecting or to experience it with there kids making up most of the revure from toy brands like lego or hasbro, according to The Collider.

As of right now, I have collected a total of 23 Transformers. I would often take them out and display them in several poses, re-enacting a battle or keeping them still.

With so many figures, it’s challenging to find a place to show all of them as there’s hardly room on my shelf, so I plan to purchase a frame for them when the time is right.

“I feel like when my brother gets a figure from me or any other family member, it shows gratitude to me when I see him looking at the figure’s details,” said my brother, Abraham Torres.

When my brother bought me that figure, it made him want to start collecting on his own, and he began to collect Dragon Ball Z figures.

“My brother introduced me to his transformers,” Abraham said. “This got me into collecting my own thing, such as dragon ball figures.”

My little sister, Isabella Torres, has also gifted me collectibles.

“It’s special to him,” Isabella said. “So one day when he has kids, he’d probably give them to his kid and get them into collecting also.”

Because of my family, I have gotten attached to these collectibles.

There is such a charm to having hobbies, and I’m glad that I have gotten into the hobby of collecting because if not, I wouldn’t be as close to my siblings as I am now.