PLAYING AROUND
Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

When you start running out of space to display stuff, you have to ask yourself the big question, "Why am I doing this?" Other than the fun of making this stuff, what other purpose does it serve? What purpose does Collecting serve? Once you own something, does it serve any purpose other than occupying space, accumulating dust, and being a less liquid representation of value? These are tough questions, but as Sun Tzu forgot to say, "Toys are for playing with!"

That's fine for kids and folks with kids. As an adult, just collecting this kind of stuff makes me feel geekish enough around "normal" folks. Like a dark, dirty secret. Adults romping around, bashing toys together and making "budda, budda, budda!!!" noises seems to me to be an over-the-edge brand of weird. About as respectable as nosepicking.

I don't know why we outgrow "playing around", or rather-- why the character of play changes as we become adults. But it does. Traditionally, adult toys have tended to be things like cars, motorcycles, sports gear, electronic gear, clothing, jewelry... They're costlier, but don't rely on firing up the imagination, like kid toys. This has been changing, as more adults have become toy collectors. For many, it's similar to the older "respectable" hobby of collecting baseball cards. "Investing" is an adult thing to do. Still, because these are toys, the question of "play" keeps coming up.

Some adults don't give up the desire for imaginative play. Instead, they do it in other more acceptable ways: They play with things in their minds, instead of physically manipulating them. Fiction writing, filmmaking, graphic arts, diorama making, and computer game programming are forms of this. The common element is "world creation."-- using your imagination to create worlds, characters, and stories. It's a more subdued way of doing what kids do.

You'll notice that a lot of the figures that I make fall into themes or genres. This is because I want to create worlds for my mind to play with. Having physical representations of the characters & props suggests an unwritten story. It's better that it's unwritten, because that way it's fluid and uncommitted. It evolves as new characters are added, and as my interests change.

They also serve another purpose for me... they provide material for the web site, so I can do pointless filler pages like this while I'm waiting for putty to cure! (Damn, don't you just hate those TV episodes where they recycle "flashback" material from earlier in the season?)

By the way, many of the head sculpts on this page were made by Francis Tavares (#1, #4, #7, & #9.)