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In this episode of MEGA COLLECTORS, I sit down with a great friend, and first member of our group.
Scott has an amazing Toy biz Prototype collection, including the first unreleased DAGGER THROWING Legolas.
However, his greatest hoard is his Ralph Bakshi LOTR collection from the 1978 animated movie.
He's collected his favorite LOTR for decades. His collection and his beard are on an EPIC scale.
Donnie: When did you start collecting LOTR figures?
Scott: I actually started back in 79 with the Knickerbocker Bakshi figures, even though I never read the books or saw the movie. I just thought they looked cool.
From then on I was hooked, as I got older I collected everything that had to do with LOTR.
The Toy Vault figures were a godsend to me, and it really started to reinvigorate my love for the property.
When the film's were announced, I waited with anxious anticipation for the toys, as soon they hit, I collected everything thing that came out. I believe my first figures were the Ringwraith and Legolas.
Donnie: Do you remember your first LOTR item?
Scott: Yes, the first item I received was a paperback copy of the Hobbit. My Aunt had given that to me.
As for the toys, it was the Knickerbocker Gollum. I thought he'd look good with my Star Wars figures and he kinda did.
Donnie: What's your favorite sculpt from the Toy Biz line?
Scott: Oh man, that is a tough one, so many drop dead gorgeous sculpts and they got better as the line went on. But I'd have to go with the Rohan Armor Legolas. Just a perfect figure.
But man, Treebeard, Sauron and the Witchking, those three are up there as well.
Donnie: What was it like in the golden years of Toy Biz LOTR collecting?
Have any stories?
Scott: Well, it was pretty awesome, especially in the months leading up to the first movie. There wasn’t many LOTR collectors, so it was relatively easy to find any of the figures you wanted. They were plentiful and amazing.
I honestly wasn’t very jazzed when I heard that Toy Biz had the master toy license, but my trepidation’s soon melted away when I saw the first images.
There wasn’t a toy line out there like it. The detail and posability was second to none.
I got into obtaining prototypes as soon as the line was announced. I believe I had a test shot of Legolas a month before I got the actual product. And again, early on, there wasn’t many LOTR collectors, so, there wasn’t much competition for the prototypes.
It was me and one other guy so I was able to obtain them relatively cheap. After the movie hit, it got tougher to get stuff, but not impossibly so. There were more collectors, which is a good thing. More people going for the stuff, the more stuff the company will produce.
I guess it was sometime after the 3rd movie it reached a saturation point, and a lot of collectors, even myself, stopped buying things. Wish I didn’t, but now that break in collecting gives me the opportunity to go back now and fill in the holes in my collection.
Donnie: You have quite a few prototypes, across many LOTR lines.
Do you have a favorite, and why?
Scott: My favorite LOTR preproduction piece over all would be the production mold for the Frodo finger puppet, made by Animal Toys, inc. in 1978. It was the first LOTR preproduction piece I was able to get, and it is just so cool looking. Like a little bronze statue.
As for Toy Biz items, it would have to be the Legolas 2-UP. Just a gorgeous sculpt. And that it is of an unreleased version of the character, well that just makes it even more special. Also, this was the first 2-UP I was able to obtain.
Donnie: What are your thoughts on the current state of the LOTR collector community?
Scott: Right now, I feel it’s on the cusp of becoming really huge.
For so long it felt that there wasn’t many of us, but since the advent of awesome groups like this one, collectors are coming together like never before.
It is so encouraging to see collectors post pics of their stuff, and share the knowledge they have accrued. That is how the hobby perpetuates by sharing and teaching.
The LOTR community is amazing in that aspect. I, for one, never realized just how world wide the phenomenon was, and it really seems like it’s starting to gain even more momentum.
This is the time when the kids from 2001 are trying to reclaim their childhood and they are hungry for new merchandise as are us old farts. We have a new Gollum video game coming out, new action figures by Mego and I don’t even have to mention the new Amazon TV series. So there is definitely interest and it seems like it’s just going to keep growing from here.
Donnie: You run an amazing group dedicated to the 1979 Bakshi Lord of the Rings film.
What are you goals for the group?
How can we learn more?
Scott: Thanks man. My main goal is to just shine some light on a dark corner of LOTR collecting.
The Bakshi film was my introduction to LOTR, so it has always held a special place with me.
Most LOTR collectors know about the Knickerbocker figures and that’s it, but they are just the tip of the merchandising iceberg. There is so much more, and as rare as the Knickerbockers are, they are downright common compared to other items that were released.
There isn’t much info out there about the Bakshi items and there is just some amazing and beautifully crafted pieces out there.
Since no one was really doing it, I figured I should step up a bit and try to start something, with the hope other collectors would start to come out of the woodwork and share some of the treasures they have.
That’s how we learn more. In the end, it’s about sharing what you’ve learned, making some new friends and having some fun.