An Update…

So, I want to apologize for the sudden and abrupt ending to this blog.  I have been thinking about what to write and how to explain everything – if there is a way to explain it – and the more I thought about it the harder it seemed to put into words.  The truth is that I was getting more and more frustrated with mounting costs and what I consider to be less quality products.  The only power that us consumers have is to speak with our wallets and to stop buying.  Of course, that isn’t easy decision to make when you have spent the better part of close to two decades collecting a certain character.

I started this blog back in 2007 when my collection was bursting at the seams already – and when the blog continued to grow in readers and in popularity I felt that I needed to keep the momentum going by posting something everyday.  This led to many purchases that I wouldn’t have personally made had I not been looking for something to blog about.  That’s all on me, of course, and no one else. Then I started seeing more and more Hulk products that I considered to be over-hyped, too expensive pieces (mostly from Sideshow) that other collectors seemed all too eager to buy.  I felt like this was the beginning of a nasty trend.  The Hulk Hot Toys – which looks incredible – but is a plastic action figure and the asking price is $300. The Maquette – which is an open edition statue (and to me that is an immediate red flag) – retails for $650.  Again, this is a beautiful statue but with an outrageous price tag.  Both of these pieces are cool – but I felt like it was just another slip down an already slippery slope where I see the collectible market heading.

If you have read my blog in the past than you know I was always a big believer in patience and finding the best prices and also haggling to a better price.  This becomes harder and harder when prices already start at an outrageous jumping off point.  Even harder still when other collectors willingly and excitedly pay those pieces and even defend those bloated prices.  It’s frustrating to say the least.  All of these issues continued to boil over and it was a constant thought and aggravation in my life – what was once a fun hobby had turned into a regular point of contention.  I decided it was time to leave this hobby before I became bitter towards it all.

Now for the updates: Believe it or not – the collection has stayed.  I did contact someone about buying a bulk of what I had to offer – but it didn’t pan out – and besides, most people wanted me to sell the few things I wanted to hold onto – my comics, art and certain figures and statues.  I haven’t exactly left it all behind either – I am still reading the comics and even picking up a Hulk piece here and there – but I have left more on the shelves than I have bought… which is not something that has happened in, well, DECADES!  I think I just needed to take a break and to learn to let things go – not get so wrapped up in things.  It’s hard sometimes – especially when you’ve done something, lived and breathed it, for 20+ years – to just decide to let it all go.  I was ready to do something – shake things up a bit – and at first I thought the best alternative was to do just that: LET IT ALL GO.  But I couldn’t.

If anything, I think the many, many emails, comments and phone calls I received humbled me into seeing just how much this site meant to people.  What started off as a little passion project turned into a useful place for all Hulk-a-philes (like myself) to come and talk, or argue over the latest and greatest in the Hulk universe.  In fact, I just read through an email which really made me miss this site.  This was it:

Hello Ratchet!

My name is Justin Wigard, and I’m a graduate student at Central Michigan University.

I’m writing a 30-page critical essay examining the battles between the Hulk and Wolverine, and I stumbled onto your blog!
is of particular interest to me, as I have been using it to find issues of Marvel comics where the two fight.
My request is this though: Do you happen to have a fuller or more complete list of all of the issues that the two fight? I’m sure you had to be somewhat selective in which issues to incorporate surrounding the battles between the two, so I was just curious if you knew of any more issues. 
 
For the record, I will be giving your blog and you specifically a special mention in my critical article, which I will be refining and hopefully publishing sometime in the new few years (I’ve just graduated from CMU, and hope to publish academic articles on comics, including one I wrote comparing Edward Cullen from theTwilight series to Superman). Once I’m done with this article, if you’re interested, I can send along part of my manuscript to look at.
 
Regardless, even if you don’t have a list, I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been absolutely crucial in my writing. I wish to give you my utmost gratitude. You’ve created a valuable scholarly resource, and I’m humbled by your blog. Please, let me know if I can contribute to your blog or donate something. I’m fully aware that you’ve just ended your blog posts, and I can commend that, but I’d love to send along something regardless.
 
Thank you. Really: Thank you.
Best regards,
I have been considering doing some regular updates – maybe once a month to let everyone know how things have been going – and showing off any items I have added – reviewing the recent issues, you know, everything I always enjoyed doing in the first place.  I am still wrestling with the idea – and I know I owe you guys an answer to the last “Guess That Panel” game.  It’s on it’s way… I swear.
See you guys soon,
Ratchet
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8 responses to “An Update…

  1. Ratchet, thanks so much for the labor of love that was, is, and I hope will continue to be this site (even if diminished in frequency of posts). Your insights into the Hulk and your passion for the character are a delight to those of us who share your predilection for the big green guy.

  2. Hey Ratchet,
    Great to hear from you again, and with good news. Im very relieved to hear that the blog ending decision wasnt due to more serious issue with you or your family. I can totally relate to your decision, as it seems similar to my situation when I decided to stop “collecting” comics. I wasnt sure about it at first but then it actually felt really good to leave them on the shelves (apart from Hulk of course!). I really enjoy reading comics more than I ever did when I was collecting just because of an artist, special edition etc. The collecting aspect of the hobby had actually become more important than the actual reading and enjoyment of the stories. Im soon going to take the final step and get rid of the long boxes that have been sitting in the attic for years. Im not getting rid of the hulks yet – maybe a step too far, but its not actually even a difficult decision to get rid of the others, I dont even want them any more! Sounds like youre going through something similar and I wish you all the best.
    I hope you are able to continue with the occasional update – personally even if you can just manage to continue with reviews of the comics, I would be a very happy man.
    Glad to have you back (occasionally, at least) I hope.

  3. i hear you, man. haven’t bought a new piece of hulk merch in a long time. none of it seems that good. not point in buying for buying’s sake.

  4. For what it’s worth, I was most interested in your reviews of the comics and the dialogues they generated.

  5. Welcome back! I absolutely agree with you on the prices/inferior products that are being dished out, where collectors jump at the bit to obtain. That’s why I stopped collecting all the items about 8 years ago. However, I still collect the comics (yes, including the Red Hulk series – which you no doubt celebrate that is being cancelled). I’m in agreement with John about the interest in the reviews and dialogs. But “guess that panel” quickly became my favorite. Again, welcome back and I look forward to future posts.

  6. I was very excited to see a new entry on this site! Any new entries are appreciated mate. Keep the Hulk dream alive!

  7. I’m not a regular follower of your blog but as a fellow collector of Hulk action figures (and other Hulk merchandise if it’s vintage and/or cool) I’ve found myself landing on your blog time and time again when I was looking for reference material for those rare vintage pieces. You always had the information I was looking for (and usually some humor to go along with it … Joint Action Hulk’s head, shoulders, knees and toes pictures still make me laugh). Thank you for that. And thank you for compiling the premier Hulk merchandise reference site on the internet. I understand your need to take a break (and echo the above relief to find out it was not a serious health issue, etc. with you or your family). There is just too much merchandise out there these days and I agree that much of it is overpriced. I’ve found myself passing on much of the new stuff recently as well and just enjoying the hunt for those missing pieces in my collection from decades past (like others, the Hamilton Gifts Hulk is my “white whale”). I am encouraged by the quality and prices I see out of NECA lately (I just picked up the 1/4 scale Iron Man action figure for under $100 and I hear they are doing a 1/4 scale Hulk next) so I see some hope for certain companies like NECA driving quality up and prices down. I’m glad to hear you will be posting from time to time again and look forward to reading your posts.

  8. good news right here, nice to see you back in the fold Ry

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