Welcome to the Junkieverse, a spotlight on our community members who know that collecting is more than a hobby, it is a way of life. This week, Baylee Alger chimes in with "Collecting is an Art Form". #AFJ4LFE  

Collecting is an art form. Many might not see it as such. Many might simply see it as a way to pass the time, as a simple hobby. But I see it as something that only someone truly dedicated can do.

I have been blind since the age of two years old. This was caused by an aggressive brain tumor which destroyed my optic nerves completely. Since then, I've had no sight, no light perception, no color perception, nothing. Despite this, I've been just like all my sighted peers. I played baseball, I hunted and I fished. Now, I read, write, and play drums. I hope to, one day, write for the New York Times and publish my own high fantasy series.

Above all, though, I collect.
Avengers: Age Of UltronIt all started in the summer of 2015, right after the release of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I came to the realization that I absolutely love Marvel Comics as well as DC. So, I started asking my mom for figures. I was thrilled when she agreed, and it started with a Marvel Legends Captain America and Iron Man. It grew to what it is now in just 3 years. Two shelves full of action figures and other trinkets from Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones, Transformers, Marvel, DC, God of War, Alien, Predator, and even Friday the 13th. As my interest grew, my collection grew. At present, my room is full of posters, figures, some decorative daggers and swords, and even my own bear rug.hulk

When I've spoken to other collectors, I've heard them always speak of how "terrible a figure's coloration works." This, to me, seems reasonable, but I'm happy that I can't see because I won't be put off by a figure that easily. I love the sculpts of the figures I do have. I love being able to see, in my hands, what others see with their eyes on screen.

On the day of writing this post, I received my statue of the armored Hulk from Thor: Ragnarok. I was so surprised to see how he looked, and it gave me so much more perspective on the movie. This is what I love about collecting figures. Even if they're not from the movie itself, most of the time, that doesn't matter. Because I am still able to be put in touch with the characters I love. Collecting is a safe place for me. My room is my happy place, being surrounded by all of my figures that I've worked so hard to get and keep in good condition. It's an art form to me. I want to build my collection into something amazing. Not for attention, not for possible fame, but for a larger and larger happy place for myself and other fans who walk into my life.

I don't have one single pride and joy figure in my collection. I love all of them equally. I love the fact that I'm included in a realm of comic books and other such things in such a hands-on way. I love the people who have helped me build my collection.

And above all, I love being an Action Figure Junkie.

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