By Deneb R. Batucan
Photos by Jay Young
COLLECTING action figures is a hobby that could take you to a time warp. Having all these figures that you grew up with surround you in adulthood is nostalgic and can exude a warm feeling inside as you remember simpler times.
Celebrating his love for his favorite Marvel and DC comics and movies, Jay Young, a photographer, musician and entrepreneur, has an extensive collection of action figures, all in great condition. From collecting childhood artifacts — everything from action figures, robots, bust statues and a little bit of everything — he decided to focus on 12-inch figures from the famous media empires.
His collection started with four pieces: Joker and Catwoman for DC and Hulk and Black Widow for Marvel. From then on, it grew on its own. Today he has over 100 action figures, most of them are from the Hot Toys and Side Show brands.
Jay keeps his collection in loose condition, which means that he takes the figures out of their boxes and puts them on a stand or pedestal on his glass cabinets to showcase them. “I feel like it’s an injustice to the artist or creator or toy maker and yourself if you don’t take it out of the box,” he said.
Having a large collection, Jay has devised a way on how to take care of his beloved toys. After all, these action figures are more than just toys. “They bring another dimension from the screen. I don’t really know what makes me happy seeing them, but after a hard day, you head home and you turn on the light and they just bring you to some other place,” he said.
Tips on How to Take Care of Action Figures
Keep the figures in comfortable room temperature
Veer away from direct sunlight or excess heat, which can melt the figures or change its colors or chips the paint away. Jay keeps his figures in glass cabinets away from sunlight and with a foam surface.
Fight off dust and dirt build-up
Once in a while, Jay cleans his action figures for dust. Lately he has been putting leather conditioner on the ones that have leather or pleather to avoid flaking.
Broken figures can be pieced back together with some online help
“Over the years, it’s become easier to find a fix for broken stuff,” Jay said. By posting online, Jay has met friends or friends of friends who are also into the hobby who could help with repairs for his collection. “It it’s anything drastic, like looking for parts, I have three main forums online: OSR (One Sixth Republic, International), P.O.S.K (Pinoy One Sixth Kolektors) and Toys R Khrek. All of which have their buy and sell areas,” he said.
Put them on a pedestal
For items in loose condition, putting them on stands or bases can elevate your display and keep the figures safe. Jay has taken his toy collecting to the next step by customizing its bases and stands, which he has dubbed Happy Stands. “Been making a few and some friends from the forums actually bought. Who knows, that could be the next step in the collection,” he said.
Know more about Jay’s newest venture at Facebook.com/happystands.