How to Grow Your Animal Figurine Collection

There are countless things that you can collect which some people find interesting and I prefer animal figurines.  More specifically, I covet hippopotamus statuettes.  This article will discuss five things that I think are important to make sure that you can build a good collection and also remain interested in hobby collecting.  It’s very easy to sort of destroy your hobby and a subject that you might have been passionate about by over-using the Internet as a research tool to find and purchase any sort of toy or collectible that you can possibly imagine. 

It should be a little bit hard to find what you’re looking for.  If you’re always faced with instant gratification the hobby probably is not going to last as long.  Gone are the days when people were forced to hit road shows, search through gift shops,  second hand stores, and mail order from newspapers and magazines.

Make sure you are really fascinated by the subject.

I actually think for some people this is the least important requirement.  If you are someone who enjoys the act of collecting or adding to a collection, you may be able to arbitrarily decide to start an animal miniature collection as opposed to commemorative spoons, golden-age comics, or celebrity-worn suspenders.  In other words, even though you should pick something you like for the object of your collectible desire, it doesn’t have to be the ‘be all and end all’ of your hobby existence.

For many people, it is essential to be interested in the subject of their collecting and even the specific type of item, be it a glass figurine, a wooden figurine, or porcelain figurines.  Perhaps you like the feel of one or the other.  If you’re a lover or even if you like one particular animal, I think starting an animal miniature collection is a terrific hobby.  I’ve been collecting hippo figures for almost 20 years. My main rule is that I really want to feel good and be psyched when I make a find.

Set boundaries for you to get them.

I admit that collecting hippos is a lot more difficult than collecting action figures or toy robots, for example.  Even for me though, I have rules on what animal figurines are acceptable for my collection.  Obviously, you may have ethical restrictions for your collection, such as no ivory figurines or none that are the historic and cultural property essential to a group of people.  You don’t have to include looted Egyptian cat relics in your hello kitty figurine collection.

Also, I recommend setting firm rules on how you acquire your collection.  As a previously said, you could go on the Internet and find 100 vintage porcelain figurines to add to your collection.  I think that takes the joy out of the hobby.  I will not buy any collectible online unless it is extremely rare and that’s essentially the only way to acquire it.  You want to feel like it’s a find no matter how you acquire it.  You can use old collecting methods from eighties or you can make the subject of your collection hard to find.  Being an adult without any children, I don’t often find myself going into toy stores, except to occasionally buy a gift for someone else’s child, for example.  If I happen to come across a hippopotamus that meets my standards, then I’ll grab it.  Also, if I’m in a shop and I find one in a place I didn’t expect I will appreciate my luck and snag it.  You may be someone who wants to have a collection as massive as possible, and if that’s the case go nuts, but I think for many people, setting boundaries on how you find them and what is, or is not acceptable is important and a lot of fun.

Next, you should have rules and limits for what qualities the figurines will have.  Maybe you want to collect only vintage figurines, specific toy figurines, retro plastic figurines, glass figurine styles, one from each country in Europe, or as many counties as might make the bride figurine you seek. If your hobby subject is really common, it is more important to have rules. Decide what you like the most and collect those. Perhaps every one you find has to be a personalized figurine or else a custom statuette autographed by the designer. If you want to collect cats, and if you will accept anything that is a “cat”
but not actually a living cat, you’ll have a 1000 piece collection without rhyme or reason quite quickly. If, on the other hand, you only look for wooden figurines or one piece figurines or wooden, one-piece ones, I think the hunt will be far more exciting and easier to display. On the other hand, if you are collecting pterodactyls or rainbow colored top hats, then maybe any one you find will do.  

Decide whether you will accept non-figurines.

This has been partially covered but it is a big one for me that I had to decide upon mid-way though my collecting days. If you have a narrow topic, or a rarely covered subject, you may be tempted to include anything, like I was. Anything that was a hippo was okay by me, since I thought that they’d be hard enough to find that I had better take what I could get, be it a clay garden hippo, a giant stuffed animal, or a sticker.

This is even more of a problem when you friends and family learn about your hobby. If you are constantly getting gifts for your collection, as well as adding to it yourself, without much in the way of standards or limits you may quickly lose interest and end up devaluing your collection. I started with the tiny Tetley tea figurines I found in my local tea shop and within a couple of years I had cheesy giant stuffed animals and toddlers toys, as well. Keep it cool, whatever that means to you. Let it progress at a natural pace and you will really enjoy each moment that you discover your next animal figurine that fits perfectly onto the space on your mantle.