What is focus collecting? Simply put, it’s when you decide on a theme or “focus” for your collection. While it’s pretty common for people to decide on a certain type of item to collect (vintage toys, for example, or statues), a focus collection does the opposite. Instead of choosing a particular kind of item, you choose a particular character or theme, and collect many types of items that fit that theme. As you’ve probably guessed, my focus is Jabba the Hutt. Nearly anything that features him or his retinue is fair game. Of course I also collect other things such as statues and figures of the main Star Wars characters, but I’ve had a lot of fun with this focus.
There are a lot of focus collectors of vintage action figures, and I think this is partially because after collecting for a certain number of years you get to a point where you have all the common items that you want, so you need to find something a bit more rare to concentrate on. A lot of these collectors like to buy up every version of their character’s figure and packaging, often getting relatively minor variations with different mail-in offers or from different countries. At the moment, anyway, this doesn’t really appeal to me. I’m more interested in getting a wide variety of item types — the quirkier the better, in many cases. For me, a lot of the appeal is seeing how the same character has been portrayed by different artists and in different media. With Jabba in particular, I really like seeing how they interpret his design differently, often turning a pretty grotesque looking character into something very cute.
Of course I’m not the only person with this kind of collection, nor am I the only person to have a web site about it. Here are some other focus collections that I know about:
MADBROWNZ (Jawa Focus)
Zuckuss Hunter (Zuckuss Focus)
R2D2Central (R2-D2 Focus)
Sithtoys (Darth Vader Focus)
LukeJedi (Jedi Luke Focus — appears to be down?)
Mffanrodders’s Blog (Millennium Falcon Focus)
Ackbar’s Trap (Admiral Ackbar Focus)