Starting off our second year of featured collector interviews on Source Blog is a TFW2005 member who has been getting a lot of positive attention for his exceptional loose toy photography, and deservedly so. He is also an active community member who knows the pain of selling a collection and then piecing it back together again over time. By rebuilding his monumental G1 army, Bryce Rutledge has taken much of the TFW2005 G1 Transformers collecting community along with him on his incredible journey of once again putting together that collection through an enormously impressive photographic gallery of US and Japanese G1 Transformers. This month he shares his own back-story with us.
1) Who are you and what do you collect?
My name is Bryce, most people know me as “brr-icy” online. I’m a 30 year old collector from Canada, I’ve been collecting again for about seven years now. I collect mainly G1, Masterpieces, Alternators, Classics, some 3rd party stuff, and Animated. I have some from other lines, but nothing I’m actively searching for. I mainly go for loose figures as I don’t have the space to display boxes, but I do make some exceptions. I have made a point to acquire a couple Canadian variant G1s instead of the regular releases to give my collection a unique twist. I also have a soft spot for Micromasters as some may have noticed. I also do some customizing and photography as ways of increasing my enjoyment and getting more out of the hobby.
2) How has the collecting scene changed in the last 10 years?
It has grown exponentially, and is more accepted in the general public. The conventions are huge. In the six or seven years that I have attended TFcon it has gone from a smaller hotel with a few people, to a large one that is completely packed. A lot of this is thanks to the movies, like them or hate them, they have helped to increase the size of the fandom, sometimes just by reminding people of the series they grew up with. You can hardly go to a toy store without meeting a collector nowadays, and most people accept it as a normal hobby now.
3) How do you see the scene changing in 5 years’ time?
I see the next generation of collectors getting into the collecting age, and Beast Wars and A/E/C figures going up in value. While the G1 scene will always be around, I can see a lot of the supply of the rarer figures drying up as collectors absorb a lot of them into their collections.
4) What has been your single biggest success as a collector, or your greatest ever find?
I’ve had a lot of finds, but the one that stood out to me was about four years ago, I have an ad that I put up for toys for the 80’s, and a guy answered it, showing me pictures of everything that he had. Everything was complete, there were some giftsets, Trypticon, Metroplex, and other combiners MIB, but not in giftsets. Asked him how much he was asking and he said $225. I went and picked them up the next day, and after the money and toys were exchanged, he asked me what they were really worth, saying that he figured they were worth more than what he asked by the fact that I was willing to drive two hours the next day to get them. I told him about $2000, he just laughed and told me to enjoy them.
5) What is the most surprising or outrageous collecting story you have heard?
A few years ago on TFW2005 I read about someone finding a sizable MIB G1 collection in a dumpster, I don’t know what I would do if I found that.
6) If you could pick one item from your collection to keep, what would it be?
That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say my MP-13 Soundwave, being both a gift from my wife and my favorite character. Runner up would be my Overlord, a friend gave me an incredible deal on him when I restarted collecting G1 on the promise that I never sold him.
7) If you could have one item out of someone else’s collection, what would that be?
A Victory Saber, it’s the next thing on my to-get list for G1 Japan. I love the character and the back-story.
8 ) What advice would you give a new collector starting out today?
In general, make friends, I have made a lot (Hyperoptic, CrackerBoy, Superquad7, vectorsigma2, chansformers, Maz, and Venksta to name a few), there are some good people in the fandom, and a good network is key to having fun while acquiring the collection you want without too much stress. Besides, it gives your significant other a break from hearing about what came in the mail today.
For G1 collectors: Be patient, the right deal will come around, there will always be someone that wants to help, as long as you are willing to help others. Also, don’t be selfish, trying to get ridiculous prices for everything won’t make you any friends, and what goes around does come around, contrary to what a lot of people will say.
Most of all, have fun, it’s a hobby, getting stressed about it takes away a lot of the reason you collect.
Many kind and gracious thanks to Bryce Rutledge for words and photos.
All the best