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It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:14 pm
by Snaketibe
I have seen more than one thread on this forum over the years basically asking the question, "Do you regret selling anything?" Well, fortunately I've never sold a double-telescoping Obi-Wan for 50p, but unfortunately I've never owned a real one either. I don't really regret selling any Vintage stuff (not that I've sold that much of it anyway, really), but there is one thing that I really do regret that is to do with Vintage, and that's selling my old cabinets.

Back in the early nineties when I first got back into collecting Vintage figures, I quickly realised I wanted a wall-mounted cabinet to display them in. I also started collecting the modern line (don't shoot me! :-)), and so I wanted a second cabinet for them too. I didn't like my chances of buying ones of the right sizes for my needs, and besides, I wanted bespoke ones; made to measure for the figures they were to hold. I thought about it, and really couldn't see any reason why I couldn't make some myself. I mean, how hard could it be? ;-) So I wheeled out a sheet of paper and a pencil, drew up some plans, and got building!

However, I wanted more than just display cabinets. I wanted STAR WARS display cabinets, and so I hit upon the idea of painting the background of each with the Star Wars logo! I'd always been quite artistic, and so I set about carefully measuring and scaling up a highly accurate Star Wars stencil which I then used to paint onto the back of each cabinet. And they looked amazing, even if I do say so myself... right up until I put the figures in! I hadn't realised just how much the logo detracted from the figures and vice-versa. All that effort and I wished I hadn't bothered! And so when I inevitably made more cabinets as the modern line collection grew, I didn't bother with the logo, but otherwise the design remained the same.

Well, eventually I moved house and I took my cabinets with me, but for a variety of reasons, I didn't put them back up on the walls straightaway. Time passed, and I reluctantly came to realise that my old design was no longer fit for purpose. The modern line had expanded so much that I felt I should build something bigger and better. The old cabinet design was also imperfect; they were good as far as they went, but the covers were quite fragile when not fixed in place, and also had a tendency to go out of true during their manufacture, making most of them a slightly different shape to the cabinets behind. Don’t get me wrong; I was really proud of those cabinets, but I knew I could do better, so I did. The problem was, what to do with my old cabinets, of which there were now four?

They were no longer of any use to me, but I couldn't bear the thought of just throwing them away. I thought there must be hundreds of collectors out there that would leap at the chance of owning them, but the problem was trying to find them. This all took place about 16 years ago, long before I found this forum, and although I probably was using eBay by then, I couldn't possibly mail the cabinets anywhere. Placing adverts in the local rags and collectibles shops yielded nothing, and so I eventually hit upon the idea of trying a local auction house. They accepted the cabinets and sold the lot... for £5!... Great.

I really hate the fact that I don’t know where they went; that I can’t be sure that they went to a good home. I can only hope that they did and that they’re still being used today. I had no choice really as they were far too bulky to store and I needed to free up space in my house, so they had to go, but I really do wish I had known about this forum back then. I'm quite certain I could have found some deserving and appreciative homes for them, but now I guess I'll never know :-(

So no, I don't regret selling any Vintage, but I do regret selling these in the way that I did:

SW 01.jpg

SW 02.jpg

SW 03.jpg

SW 04.jpg

SW 05.jpg

SW 06.jpg

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:21 pm
by yoda
Those are really cool thanks for sharing your story. Have you ever bounced the pictures around Facebook! You never know someone might contact you that has them :)

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:31 pm
by Snaketibe
yoda wrote:Those are really cool thanks for sharing your story. Have you ever bounced the pictures around Facebook! You never know someone might contact you that has them :)

Thanks for the compliment :-). I don't do Facebook, so that's out. It doesn't really matter, I suppose, but it still grates! As I say, it would be nice to know they went to a good home, however I must of course respect the privacy of the new owners... always assuming the cabinets still exist. It's a horrible thought, but since I couldn't shift them easily, I have visions of the auction winner trying to flog them, failing, and eventually skipping the lot :-(

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:32 pm
by theforceuk
Nice work, let's see it full. :D

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:10 am
by SAVORY100
They're pretty unique, I reckon if you posted them up on some Facebook groups with a broad location or name of the auction house and approx date of sale you'd be happily surprised. It always amazes me how collectors can even identify, just by looking at a MoC that they once owned it and its collector history...

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:46 pm
by grinchy
Great story and nice cabinets :D hope you find out some info

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:39 pm
by Robstyley
They're cool. I can understand your attachment to them. Making something is usually more satisfying than buying it. I made my wall mounted cabinet and although it's a bit rough round the edges and I could easily make an improved version with a better finish etc I can't bring myself to do it. I could never get rid of it now because it has sentimental value and I love it. Shame you weren't able to stash yours.

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:07 pm
by subzero
Very nice displays you made there, really smart and accurately made.

I know what it's like to craft and build something to later let it go for no money, and then regret it years later. This is one I really regret more and more as the years go on, I built a few tabletop arcade machines in my garage a few years ago which I sold all of, but the very last large one shown in this video with the 2 joysticks on it went in auction for a bit less than what it cost to make, it was basically the 'masterpiece' of all the ones I made and put the most effort, time & money into it and was the nicest looking machine. I really wish i'd kept it now as I absolutely loved it but at the time sold it needing the money...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTs8sOK5y0Q&t=2s

:cry:

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:59 pm
by Snaketibe
Thanks for the nice comments and suggestions. I do feel I should clarify something though. I posted the story mainly because I hoped it would be mildly interesting, and whilst yes, I certainly do wish I knew where the cabinets were today, my real regret and annoyance about parting with them is not having to let them go, it was that I wasn't able to offer them to members of this forum. My apologies if my original post didn't make that sufficiently clear.

As far as trying to track them down today goes, unless by some fluke someone on this forum now owns one or more of them and also cares to share that fact with the rest of us, I have no intention of trying to locate them. I'm naturally as curious as hell to know where they are(!), however when I try to put myself in the shoes of one of the potential owners today and ask myself the question, 'How would I feel if the maker of my cabinet tried to find out where it was these days?' I start to feel uncomfortable. Some people wouldn't mind, but for others it could easily be seen as nosey and intrusive, if not downright suspicious! The fact that I know I would do nothing harmful or untoward with the information doesn't mean that the current owner would know that. And so I will be grown up about it and put a lid on my curiosity... But that certainly doesn't mean I won't continue to scan on-line photos of other people's collections in the hope of seeing one of them being put to good use :-)

Oh, and subzero... LOVE that arcade machine! :-D

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:05 am
by subzero
I know exactly how you feel Snaketibe, thanks for the compliment btw. I'd also love to know where my machine is and how it's been treated over the years by it's other owner(s). I always remember the guy I sold it to seemed a bit ( to put it frankly ) thick, and when my dad dropped it off at the guys house he told me he seemed like a bit of a tramp lmao! :lol:

So the only things going through my mind after that was it most likely won't be treated with any respect nor looked after properly, it's probably been used as a clothing rack or a shelf in the corner of a dirty dusty room, or sitting in the guys cold garage in the back garden gathering dust and mould with all kinds of scratches and damage all over it. Not a nice way to treat someone's work of art but I have to remind myself that although i'd love it to be treated with respect and well looked after, it now belongs to someone else and they can treat it how they please, and I tell myself almost all things that are basically pieces of furniture always end up in poor used condition many years later anyway even when it's been loved.

That takes the edge off the pain a little bit. :lol:

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:42 am
by talldroid77
They look really nice cabinets. Yes when you've made something yourself that your proud of there is always a sort of emotional attachment. It's a sign of a good craftsman who cares about his work.

I know what you mean if I had them I'd probably want to keep them but would feel uncomfortable with guilt if I knew the builder wanted them back. You never know they could still be in good condition still - some people really look after their stuff. My grandmother still has 1940's furniture in good as new condition - my grandparents kept everything immaculately clean and tidy at all times which I assume must have something to do with having a military background through WW2. So you never know you might see pictures of them one day still in really good condition still being used for the purpose you intended.

You could build some more I guess if you had time - and a set for me! Lol

There must be a bit of a gap in the market for dedicated good quality figure cabinets. It could be a little business idea for someone with a bit of skill and time on their hands.

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:59 am
by spoons
Great looking cabinet, be good if you track it down. Why don't you offer to make bespoke cabinets for forum members? I'm sure there would be takers

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:44 am
by Snaketibe
talldroid77 wrote:There must be a bit of a gap in the market for dedicated good quality figure cabinets. It could be a little business idea for someone with a bit of skill and time on their hands.


spoons wrote:Great looking cabinet, be good if you track it down. Why don't you offer to make bespoke cabinets for forum members? I'm sure there would be takers


Thanks for more nice comments on the cabinets. Regarding building more to order, I'm not sure how serious the suggestions to do that are, but it wouldn't be without its with problems. Over the years I've built a lot of cabinets of one kind or another (those shown above are just one style), and the one rule that's never changed is that they always cost a lot more than you think they will. Those shown above are the simplest (and most amateurish) style, but still required the purchase of the following items:

Wood pieces for the cabinet edges (cut to size)
Hardboard for the back (cut to size)
Wood stain
Black paint
Yellow paint (for the Star Wars logo versions)
Black felt tip pen
Plastic joining / connector blocks
Screws (lots)
Panel pins (even more)
Rawlplugs
Angle brackets
L-Shaped mending plates
Straight mending plates
Brass hooks and eyes
Plastic pegs to support the shelves
Wooden dowels for the removable front cover (cut to size with a custom groove cut into one side of each to fit the perspex)
Draught excluder (as an anti-dust solution for the front cover)
Curtain track (I don't know if anyone noticed, but the top of each cabinet can have a curtain fitted, if desired, to keep out sunlight)
Glass shelves (cut to size and with aris edges all round)
Perspex sheet for front cover (cut to size)

Additionally, the following tools were required, since the cabinets don't assemble themselves :-):

Electric Drill
Screwdriver
Hand drill
Drill bits
Hammer
Paint brushes
Disposable rags
Sandpaper
Saw
Pencil
Paper
Ruler
Tape measure

And of course time and patience is also needed to build them and do it right. I'm not claiming it's especially difficult to assemble them once you have all the parts and pieces; it really isn't, but it is time-consuming (and those sodding logos took fecking ages to do!), but the cost of buying all the parts is always more than you think, and I don't even like to think what it would cost to mail one! Once you factor all of that in, plus add in a reasonable profit margin to make it worth your while, I think the price would scare a lot of potential customers away. That's another reason why I was so annoyed at not being able to find a buyer who would actually appreciate them once I decided to sell the ones shown above. And even more so that once I had parted with them, only then did I discover this forum, and hence was unable to sell them on here. Before I resorted to auctioning them (for a fiver :-(), I tried to sell them locally by asking £75 for the small one and £85 for the larger ones, but I had no takers, even though that was much less than the actual cost of making them.

Basically, you really have to want a cabinet and to also be prepared to foot the bill for doing so. If you tick both of those boxes, I would encourage anyone evenly vaguely competent with their hands to give it a go and try building one themselves. Unless you get really lucky and find an off-the-shelf option good enough for your needs (or a suitable second-hand one), then building your own will always be the least expensive next option.

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:23 am
by talldroid77
Yeah lol now you put it like that I can see you'd have to be making quite a few production line style to make the initial investment in materials worth it. Buying those things listed in small amounts is expensive especially if you go to some rip off place like B&Q.

Still it would be a fun project - I'd enjoy something like that. It's just getting the free time....

Re: It Still Annoys Me To This Day!

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:26 am
by Robstyley
You're right Snaketibe, they are a great project to build for yourself but quite expensive and time consuming to make. Yours looks a little more complicated and refined than my design but I remember there was a lot of different stages and problem solving/trial and error even doing mine. I considered whether I could make a viable design to build more with a view to selling them but concluded the same as you, it's not worth it. Nobody would pay how much you'd have to charge. If I had a full workshop with table saw etc and a full array of tools (which I don't) I could do it. You'd make ten at a time but even then it would still prob take several days to finish them all. I may however try doing a couple of other designs and making another one for myself at some point for other loose figures.