It was then with that May 21st, 2013 article (which I wrote with the mindset that no one was going to read it but it’s what I would want to read about collecting Star Wars action figures) that I began the road which has led me to where I am today as collector and part of a larger collecting community. I do feel that all of the accomplishments I have had throughout this time all comes secondary and pales in comparison to my most prized accomplishments of being married to an amazing educator, have two incredibly smart, talented and beautiful children and get to work everyday with middle schoolers who are still young at heart as their social studies teacher. All that I have done with my “hobby” or “jobby” as some call it, even though I have never monetized a single thing, has been in addition to working and raising a family and typically done late at night after the fam has turned in the for evening. I typically sleep 5-5.5 hours a night and have done so for the better part of twenty years.
The result of writing some words on a collector blog and taking a few pictures of toys has opened so many different paths to me which I could not have predicted. First and foremost is my entry into podcasting via my good friend Jason Luttrull who after just a few episodes of the Galaxy of Toys Podcast invited me to become a co-host which has continued to this day. Galaxy of Toys celebrated their 10th Anniversary earlier this year. Jason and I met through SARLACC (Seattle ARea Lucasfilm Artifact Collector Club), which is the oldest Star Wars collecting club in the United State created by another friend Gus Lopez. In 2013, podcasting was still fairly new and therefore we were able to fill a niche for Star Wars collectors. This evolved into other shows, such as The Star Wars Spinner Rack which Jason and I created and hosted with Star Wars comics guru Carlos Esteban Munoz aka SWComics. And most notably was the formation of Toy Run: The Star Wars Action Figure Cast which I co-created and co-hosted with Criz Bee of then JediBusiness.com now GalacticFigures.com. We set out to create the best Star Wars action figure-themed podcast out there and based on the reception, I believe we were fairly successful. Rarely does a month go by, where I am not asked about bringing the show back. As fellow content creators know, it is incredibly difficult to produce weekly content, which we did for two and a half years.
Via my podcasting adventures and efforts, I was able to reach out to Matt Martin at Lucasfilm and get both my website and Galaxy of Toys Podcast added to Starwars.com as one of their official fan sites. Prior to this, I had reached out to Hasbro early in the site’s history and was able to get connected with their PR firm and approved as an official Fan Site partner. Back in the early 20teens, there were a lot less sites reporting on Star Wars collecting which made it much easier than it is today. Being a Hasbro partner has provided me with many opportunities including exclusive figure debuts, official fan votes and the ability to interview every Star Wars Brand team member in the last decade on many occasions. These interviews whether done online or in person at conventions are something I have always taken seriously in order to voice the feelings of my audience and fellow collectors. It has also brought with it, my fair share of detractors as they label the product Hasbro occasionally sends me as “Shill Boxes” despite the fact that I typically have 90% of what is inside already and that it comes with zero instructions on what to say or not say about it. But one thing I practice is not focusing on the negatives because when it comes to a hobby, it should be something which fills you with joy and not anger. I personally find it affirming to work with the company I have spent so much of my life, time, and money invested in.