Welcome to the latest feature here at Go Green Machine! The idea of this reoccurring feature is simple: to take a snapshot of one aspect of the fandom, the TMNT collector, and to learn more about them.
I know there are a lot of fans out there with some great collections so I thought this would be a great way to not only see a bit of your collections but more importantly, learn a little bit more about each other. (I use the term collector loosely, so you need not have a massive collection in order to be considered.).
I have sent out an initial round of inquires to people so if you have received one, please respond so we can get you up here! Also, if you haven’t heard from me that means a) I haven’t gotten around to you yet or b) I don’t know you, so please shoot me an email! The plan is to showcase different collectors fairly regularly so make sure you drop by to see whose been featured. It may even be you!
Below, is the first profile. Enjoy!
Michele Ivey AKA Iveyangelo, Donatello and Michaelangelo depending on the website.
1) Please tell us a little about your self.
I lived in Michigan my entire life, though I love traveling. Getting out of town is something that has always been enjoyable. Here in Michigan, I spend most of my time at home. I do have some friends that I go out with to the movies, food, and shopping. Though more than anything I spend time at the house on the internet with my online friends who have a lot in common with me. I love going out for food rather than eating at home. Places like Rib City, Red Lobster, Chili’s, and Logans are among my favorites. For pizza, I prefer a local pizza place called Pizza Connection. I go there one or two times a month. If we have pizza more than that in a month, it’s not normally my idea or I’m on a trip trying different places.
My hobbies growing up were art, karate, acting, wearing costumes, working puppets, and collecting toys. I’ve still got most of my toys from my childhood, from all of my original Care Bear toys and dolls to recent anime toys like Fullmetal Alchemist. Every type of thing I have collected, I went all out with collecting. So, I still have my Ghostbuster HQ, along with all the toys that went with it, including the old plastic holders that use to have the slime in it. I also still have my original ThunderCat toys, and Cats Lair. I’ve always enjoyed having the items from the shows that I watched growing up. As a kid, it was to play with and goof off acting as the characters as all the little kids on the block would come over to play toys in our back yard. Though as I got older, I kept collecting for display pieces in my room and than I realized how much sales impact a media so I continue collecting now to help keep the things I enjoy out there for us all to enjoy. So I sit here with anime wall scrolls, statues, and toys.
I use to be one who enjoyed working all the time. When I first started working, I put my heart into my jobs. In 1998, I held three jobs at once, plus was training 2 hours a day four days a week in Karate, so it was like four jobs. Though I slowed down working as much so that I could keep a personal life going for a little bit there. In 2000, I ended up quitting the job I had at the time to try and sort out a lot of depressing stuff that was going on and found myself not able to get another job for a few years, I felt useless during that time like I was sitting around wasting my life. In 2002, I got back into the work force, and stayed in it this time till 2004 when I got injured on the job and have been out of work since than. I have a medical problem called RSD in my right arm, which leaves me always in pain. For more information on RSD check out http://www.rsds.org/ This has changed my life greatly, a lot of hobbies and things I enjoyed doing are now out of my reach as I’m limited on what I can do. So I’ve been fighting off depression for the last 4 years.
These days my hobbies include going to conventions, to help get away from my room at least once a month or every other month. It’s a chance to get out and enjoy my time. I also spend a lot more time on the computer, a way to reach out to friends around the world without leaving my room. Though I am more into one on one chatting than emails and blogs. I like meeting other fans and helping them in areas of the fandom that they want to take more part in, be it meeting voice actors at conventions, building their collection, or just general knowledge. I share my stories so people have ideas of how I’ve done all the crazy stuff that I’ve lived through so they too can see if this is the life for them.
2) How long have you been collecting TMNT and what prompted you to start?
I started to collect TMNT when I was younger, just as I did with all of my other collections. I became a fan of the show in 1989, than for that Christmas I got all of the TMNT toys that were on the market at the time. Than I just continued to collect them. In late 1990, I made friends with a guy who liked the comic books and he started sending me the comic books. So I always had comics coming in the mail for me to read. It just went from there. Things got crazier as I collected more with animation cels, original art work for animation cels, and following up with original comic book art work, my collection became a mixture of the behind the scenes of TMNT and the general things you can find in the stores here, and things that you can’t even find in this country.
3) What specifically do you collect (toys, comics, etc.) and how large is your collection?
As mentioned in question 3, my collection is everything I can get my hands related to TMNT, be it toys, comics, RPG books, Dark Horse miniatures, T-Shirts, coats, hats, animation cels, original comic art, autographs (which I prefer to get in person, not over ebay), movie props, scripts, stickers, banners, posters, toothbrushes, magazines, and so much more. I don’t know how large my collection is because it just keeps growing and has been growing for 20 years as of this December 2009.
I know that in 1999, I counted my toys for the last time. The total was over 300 out of package action figures, and over 150 action figures in package. Though since than I’ve gotten more collectible action figures from the past, plus as many of the toys that come to the market since than, that I could get my hands on, I really don’t know exactly how many action figures I have collected. I am trying to do an inventory, though it’s just so much that I end up taking a break than everything gets mixed back together.
4) What is your favorite piece in your collection and why?
My favorite piece in my collection is my home made Turtle Costume, originally made in 1990 and than remade in 1993. My reasons for this is all because of the memories that it has given me. I wore this costume for over 150 parties, for sick children in hospitals, for the movie theaters in the Detroit area when TMNT 2 and again when TMNT 3 came out, for parades, for Kevin Eastman at the Words and Pictures Museum, and Peter Laird at the Canadian National Expo in 2004. This costume has brought smiles to thousands of people’s faces as I would entertain sometimes crowds of 1500 children. It’s got memories, which I would never want to loose and hopefully has given memories to many of those smiling faces, which I got to entertain for a brief moment of their lives.
5) How do you store/display your collection at home?
I have one display case, plus an entertainment stand with two side display areas where some of my harder to find and need to be protected items rest within. Though my walls are usually covered with items for display, be it animation cels, banners, and posters. For awhile the TMNT comic strips from the newspaper were stuck to my walls, with a few still up. Any flat surface I have in my room has toys and statues set up around on them. Though I can only display 1/3 of my collection at any given time, it’s too big to have all out at once or I wouldn’t have anywhere to go in my room. So what I do is I change up the display at least once a year, rotating the collection so each piece still gets time to come out into the open and be seen. I’d love to put this all into a museum one day so it can really be displayed for the public to enjoy.
The parts of the collection that is not in display are kept in boxes in my attics, closet, sewer loft, back room, garage, and basement. There’s Turtles in just about every part of this house.
6) What are your top five most wanted TMNT collectibles?
Oh that’s a hard one. I’d have to say the Scratch action figure in package. The Glow in the Dark Leonardo Shirt that came out in the early 80’s. A full body hero costume from the first TMNT movie (I’d be happy with Stunt double) though it can’t be one of those Planet Hollywood ones, since they are stuffed and mounted in poses. I’d rather have the real deal a piece by piece costume as it was on the set of the movie. The Subway set from the movies and Next Mutation, that’d be so cool to set up in the museum I want to make. And I’d love one of the jackets the Coming Out of Their Shells Tour Turtles wore. Heh ok, a lot of that is dream items that I’d never get, but hey they’d be cool to have.
(Pictures are from Michele’s Collector Quest website – check it out for more pics!)