“There's a lot I could say about this man, but I don't know if it matters now. I guess what matters is what he stood for, what he lived for, and what he died for. You always did everything the way you wanted it. And I didn't understand that, but now I understand. I'll never forget you, Apollo. You're the best.” - Rocky at Apollo’s funeral, Rocky IV
I’ve been tasked with breaking the news to you Junkies that Jarrett has passed away. If you have found these words, then you are part of his dream. He created the AFJ Facebook Page out of loneliness. After being hit by a drunk driver, he found himself laid up in bed with life literally passing him by. He started a group on Facebook with the hope that a few of his friends would join and discuss his favorite subject, action figures. Over three years later and closing in on 30,000 members his group, his number of friends has certainly grown.
The quote and piece of music above, which I hope you selected "play" on, are from the Rocky Saga. I chose both because Jarrett Kruse, the founder of Action Figure Junkies, loved those films so much. On a daily basis, Rocky quotes would get said in meetings and the Rock’s mantra was often quoted on tough days. Oddly enough, I know that Jarrett is watching me from the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. This might be far from most of you reading these words, but it is not from my own home. So in essence, Jarrett is closer to me now than when he lived in Los Angeles. He’s watching and waiting to see what happens next with his dream, Action Figure Junkies.
That dream is a place where collectors can come together and share their love of action figures. All of us, at one point or another, have talked about toy hunts for the latest Marvel Legend or DC Icon with someone who simply did not understand the fascination. To many people, we just collect children’s toys. For a Junkie, those tiny pieces of plastic bring us one step closer to our heroes. The fantasy of who they are what they represent becomes real. We can touch it, not just read it or see on the screen, but hold their power in our hand, making it real. Thus making us feel important, powerful, or strong when we may need it the most. Jarrett embraced that idea and made a place where all of us could come together and feel safe. Remember that when you are on the hunt, posting that picture of your latest find, or making a deal with another Junkie. This is a special place and one that should not be taken lightly.
Today, and from this point forward, we shall ever be one Junkie short. AFJ used to stand for Action Figure Junkies. It should now stand for something else as well. All For Jarrett. Over the next couple of days, we will be posting his last few articles and one special piece that he was eager to share with all of you. The first of which is posted below.
Junkies, AFJ is not going anywhere. In fact, our East Coast Summit was great and we, with Jarrett, got a lot of plans ironed out for the future. MJ Ortiz and I will not let Jarrett’s dream fade away. In fact, we are counting on each and every one of you, who love what AFJ stands for, to help us out. Spread the news of our FB Page and website. Bolster the Junkie Community by being good to one another. Furthermore, remember, one man gave his all to bring a group of like-minded people together so that he wouldn’t feel alone anymore. And now, no one else ever has to.