For our first ever Collector Spotlight feature, we interviewed Curtis Harvey from the United Kingdom. Curtis is a huge fan of action figures relating to Marvel, DC, Walking Dead and more. To see more of his extensive collection, click here.
1. How did you first get into collecting?
About four years ago. I have been a comic book reader and fan of DC/Marvel since I was a kid but never really collected anything. I was redesigning my work space at home and decided to add some shelving. I needed something to go on it, so I started collecting statues and figures. I must admit I went a little crazy, all the shelves are full now. Once I got the bug I haven’t looked back, my workspace is now surrounded with figures, statues and various other props and memorabilia. Its a very inspirational place to do my work as a graphic designer/digital artist.
2. Where do you usually go to find items to add to your collection?
Various places. I’m lucky enough to be in a few miles of a couple of good comic book shops, Forbidden Planet in Nottingham being my favourite. They always have the latest statues in stock. I’m also only a few minutes away from two very good second hand/movie memorabilia shops so whenever I see anything in there I grab it (usually every few weeks). I also frequent comic-cons and toy fairs for bargains whenever I can and shop around for the more unusual pieces on eBay when the price is right.
3. Which item is your absolute favorite?
I’m a huge Joker fan so that would have to be my Kotobukiya “Killing Joke” Joker statue. It’s also a infrared room guard that flashes and snaps a photo when you enter the room. It’s a amazingly detailed piece that matches its original comic book cover perfectly. It sits facing the door so its centre of attention as you walk into my office and will always take pride of place.
4. How much do you think your most valuable item is worth?
I own a few of the old Bowen cold cast Marvel statues, in particular the “The Mighty Thor Strike down” statue. When I bought it I paid a few hundred pounds, but now I can’t find it anywhere for less than £500. I didn’t buy it as a investment but it’s turned out to be. It’s an amazing dynamically posed piece and out of all my Marvel statues easily my favourite. It has its own shelf along with a Kotobukiya Thor cold cast statue that fits with it perfectly in scale, one of my favourite displays.
5. Would you ever consider selling your collection?
I don’t think anyone can ever realistically say no to that question; you don’t know whats around the corner. But it would have to be a very dark day for me to ever consider selling what I have collected. It’s not just about owning the pieces, its about the emotional connection you have with them. All my statues remind me of my childhood so I would never really want to part with them, but never say never.
6. Do you go to events where you can meet people who collect?
Yes, I regularly attend comic-cons and collector’s/toy fairs. These are always packed with fellow collectors and enthusiasts. It’s a great place to not only pick up new items, but also get all the gossip and rumours about new stuff coming out. Especially within the comic book world collecting has a great community with lots of really nice people.
7. Do you think your collection will ever be “complete”?
Never. There is always something new coming out that looks amazing. I tend to collect mid price range pieces. I haven’t dipped my toes into the world of the more expensive Sideshow Collectibles etc. just yet, but one day I hope I can afford to. Every day I see new stuff I would love to own and I’m always keeping an eye out for older stuff I still don’t have. The only thing that currently stops me is shelf space, but you can always find new places to display and build more shelves.
8. Do your friends and co-workers know about your collectibles?
Yes, and I get ridicule and awe in equal amounts. It seems very cool to be geeky about stuff at the moment, that wasn’t always the case. Now 99 percent of the feedback I get is positive, especially from people that have seen the collection on display in person. You don’t have to be a collector or enthusiast to appreciate how cool the stuff is. Lots of my friends are comic book people or film fans so they love it.
9. What is your “holy grail” item?
Just one? That’s hard. I have scales of holy grail. On a smaller scale, at the moment I’m searching for the old DC Collectibles Hush series of action figures, but at a good price. They have been frustrating me for a while. If I was going to say one new big item, it would be one of the amazing Hulkbuster statues doing the rounds. At the moment, most probably the King Arts Hulk buster 1/4 scale statue which is immense. For older stuff, I have always wanted the Kotobukiya Modern Avengers Thor statue. I loved the pose it was in but it’s almost impossible to find now without taking out a new mortgage on your house.