SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – It could been a wide range of things that brought you to Toyfest, but the passion at the event was consistent. Whether you were a vendor, buyer or seller there was excitement everywhere. As a result, everyone had a unique story as to why they got into and kept collecting. For Colby Weaver, it was seeing Funko Pops in store, buying one and then collecting many. It started as his own passion but he was able to bring his dad into the hobby as well.
“I was originally the only one in my family collecting and everyone else thought they were kind of weird,” Weaver said. “Then we started finding stuff on Facebook market place where we could buy it and sell it to make some money off of it. And that eventually looped him in and he started collecting them too.”
It is a relatively new hobby for Colby and his family but Robert Ekblaw has been collecting a long time and started selling his extra comics in 1987. The selling aspect slowed down in the early 90’s for Robert, but a connection to his brother reignited the business.
“He died of cancer in 2019 and knowing that nobody else in the family would respect his massive collection of comic books, I inherited it,” Ekblaw said. “So, it’s kind of like okay time to start the business up again and here we are.”
Elaine Fesetch and her family originally sold candy before beginning to incorporate sports cards, beanie babies and eventually much more. While the personal collecting aspect isn’t the same for her, she has gotten a lot out of being able to participate in these events and run her store. With things like Pokemon being cross generational interests she is able to bring things to sell at Toyfest that can bond kids and their parents.
“Parents and their kids now have a common interest, so that has really generated something to bring them together,” Fesetch said. “You know, they both like it.”
People may have come with a variety reasons or connections to Toyfest, but many people come here with their family, their friends, or an opportunity to talk to a collector with a like interest just like them.
“It’s talking to the people,” Ekblaw said. “That’s why I started doing shows in the first place. You get to talk to people with similar interests who have the same level of excitement. They may be excited about different things than you are, but the same level of excitement. So you get you get to hang around with people and share your memories and share your thoughts with people who can relate to that and understand that and don’t look at you like you’ve got two heads.”
Many people who haven’t caught the collectors bug like Colby or Robert might be curious about the hobby, but don’t know where to start. Robert says you should ignore the internet and stick to what you know.
“Start with something you’re interested in,” Ekblaw said. “The problem with the internet today is people hear about things, hear about fads and go for it and then their not interested. Start with something you like.”