Why We Collect – Answers from Collectors Across the Globe

I think we could all use a bit of lighthearted reading in a time where up is down and right is wrong. I went on various Facebook groups and asked why collectors collected and what keeps them collecting. I received over 200 responses from people all over the world. Here are some anonymous replies:

  • “More money than brains.”
  • “You’re either born a collector, or you’re not.”
  • “I’m an adult that has similar likes as when I was a child, but now I have money. And no one tells me no.”
  • “You want to be part of that world. We all wish it was real.”
  • “My therapist recommended I collect Lego.”
  • “It’s the hunt or treasure hunt that I love. Finding that last item in a set, finding hidden treasures, and owning rare items.”
  • “I started playing with Lego in the early 60’s. My grandmother bought them for my brother and I. I then got back into them when I had my boys. Now I build for me.”
  • “OCD.”
  • “Because it makes me happy.”
  • “Traveling.”
  • “To forget I was depressed.”
  • “The more you can surround yourself the more real that world takes shape and becomes a better place to escape to…”
  • “I have started to accumulate things I can wear like scarves, barrettes, and shirts! I like wearing those things because it could turn into a great conversation.”
  • “Uncontrollable need for more!”
  • “The hype from the London Olympics and seeing the torch relay live encouraged me to collect Olympic pins.”
  • “To pass the time during lockdown, but then I became addicted!”
  • “Crow brain. I likes the shiny.”
  • “My wife is an enabler.”
  • “I’m a kickboxer, I got really stoned and thought I’d look for a kickboxing Lego set. Closest thing I could find was a Ninjago set. Called my buddy and we build Misfortunes Keep while watching UFC. Never stopped.”
  • “For its history, it’s very fun to learn.”
  • “Financial irresponsibility.”
  • “I continue because of all the amazing friends I have made!”
  • “I watched Lego Batman movie and thought it was hilarious. Made me want the lobster thermidor mini fig… then my obsession grew.”
  • “It all started in the year of our Lord 1995 when I was 10 years old and got a free Lego helicopter polybag with the purchase of 3 Fruit Loops boxes. Been hooked ever since. Now they just make really awesome shit I can’t pass up.”
  • “I’m just extra, or that’s what my husband says…”
  • “Cause I’m sick and I need help… But before I seek help there are a few things I need to get.”
  • “Started in 1980, fast forward 30 years, and introduce my daughter to Star Wars and we buy some (lots of) Lego sets for her, and that restarted my interest.”
  • “It reminds me of a time in my kid’s childhoods that I cherish …they grew out of it but my husband and myself never will…”
  • “1972 Munich Olympics. I was in the Athletes Village and I was trading pins with my cousin was competing at the Games and I came home with about 50 different NOC pins from those Games and I was hooked.”
  • “Temporary bursts of serotonin.”
  • “When I was a teen, I was allowed to get one or two souvenirs from places we vacationed or visited. Hard rock pins were perfect as it had the location and sometimes the year.”
  • “Each item I buy or create just adds to the magic!”
  • “Lost my job, friend died, wife kicked me out… all in 5 months. Had a meltdown. I saw a Star Wars set and was reminded of my youth. Regret at selling all these toys with good memories. So, I started to collect Lego Star Wars.”
  • “Make brain go burrrrrr.”
  • “Honestly, I use it as a way to deal with my PTSD. It brings me down to earth when I feel I can’t come down. It brings me a sense of calm that so little else does.”
  • “Lego got the license to make Star Wars sets in 1999. I’ve been broke since!”
  • “Meeting new people who share the same passion as you.”

One person simply replied with a gif of Gollum saying, “My precious.”

It’s safe to say that collecting has improved people’s lives considerably, from passing the time to overcoming depression, or simply for the fun of it! It gives them joy and an escape from reality.

As for me, I’ve been a massive Harry Potter fan for over 20 years, and my rather expensive collection has become quite extensive. It ranges from Artbox trading cards to statues to various translations of the original seven books. I collect because it gives me a place to escape, as I grew up with Harry Potter. After the last film premiered, I sat on my couch for nearly two days in depression and shock that the movies were finished, trying to figure out what I would do now that Harry Potter “was over.” But it hasn’t ended, as my collection has tripled since 2011 and continues to grow nearly every week! My reasoning for continuing to collect is a mix of the replies above, especially finding that item for which you’ve been searching for ages. The thrill of the hunt! I’ve also met a lot of people through collecting and “nerdy” forums that have similar interests to mine. Not to mention it is also an investment, should I decide to sell one day.


It’s a refreshing reminder of how we all come from different places, speak different languages, have different political opinions, yet at the end of the day, we can all find similarities in collecting various items and merchandise, and how we all have a personal connection to an inanimate object. It’s something that the entertainment industry of today cannot see and over which it frequently tries to divide us. Always remember that you can have something in common with someone who is the complete opposite of you.

Cheers to all the collectors out there!

Comments (1)

April 13, 2022 at 1:30 pm

I collect cards does that count

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