Why People Collect Things

Topics: Designer toys, Graffiti, Design Pages: 9 (3647 words) Published: April 1, 2011
Collections: Why do people collect and how the design of Urban Vinyl toy revolution brought a new era of collectors.

‘Not just objects are collected we are collected…empire is a collection of countries and of populations; a country is a collection of regions and peoples; each given people is a collection of individuals, divided into governed and governers- that is collectables and collectors’ Eisner and Cardinal (1994:2) This essay will firstly define what collecting is. Then it will look why people collect, looking into people’s individual views as well as the view of expert psychologist and palaeontologist. It will also examine if age and gender affects habits of collecting. Another area to be explored is the idea of part work magazines and the collections they create. Following this my case study will look at the phenomenon of Urban Vinyl Toys and how it has created a new era of collectors. How collectors are targeted and created in marketing will also be explored throughout. This subject was chosen because of my keen interest in collecting Urban Vinyl Toys and a future project designing my own designer toys, I believed it would be a good research method to understand why people collect, and use this information to help me aid putting my items into the consumer market and them being successful. In beginning to define what collecting is, my first source was the dictionary definition. ‘Col·lect·ing 1. To bring together in a group or mass; gather. 2. To accumulate as a hobby or for study.’ (Dictionary.com, acc. 12/11/09) It didn’t define it in enough detail so went on the hunt for more definitive answers. In 1932 Durost defined ‘A collection is basically determined by the nature of the value assigned to the objects or ideas possessed…If said object or idea is valued chiefly for the relation it bears to some other objects or ideas, or object, or ideas, such as being one of a part of a series, part of a whole, a specimen of a class, then it is the subject of a collection.’ Durost (1932:10) The second was in 1982 ‘ to collect is to gather objects belonging to a particular category the collector happens to fancy… and a collection is what has been gathered’ (Alsop 1982:70) In 1988 another definition was attempted by Aristides ‘collection…[is]…’an obsession organised. The pure collectors interest is not bound by the intrinsic worth of the objects of his desire; Whatever the cost, he must have them’ Aristides (1988:330) From further exploration I found many different definition that defined it but they all seemed slightly different ‘Collecting is a hard thing to define as it is personal to each individual, collecting is too complex and too human an activity to be dealt with summarily by way of definition’ Pearce (1994:158) In order to gain an understand of why people collect I set up an online group, to ask as many people there opinions of this matter. I asked whether or not they collected themselves, and why did they think other people did? A lot of people commented on the money value. ’Sometimes it’s a profit, thinking it could be worth a lot more in a couple of years.’ (Littley- online group) and ‘ I also think a reason for collecting things would be because they could be worth a lot in the future’ (Andrews, online group). Another point brought up was the emotional reaction you get when you see the object or the place it takes you back too is why people collect, a lot of these collections where tickets or photographs. ‘all carry a message, a story, a memory of something.’ (Pioli) and ’remind me of the good time’ (Shepard- online group) Another point raised was that a reason why they had collected as child was it was fashionable and a craze to collect this particular thing. ‘ty beanies and Pokémon cards because at the time it was a craze and I wanted what everyone else was getting, so I got them’ (Littley-online group) It also seemed also embarrassed putting symbols for laughing and smiling, like they now think it was a...
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