Latest scientific research says there’s no reason to think people with piles of plush toys must have anything wrong in the head.
Owning Teddy Bears Does Not Reflect Immaturity: Scientific American
Although “some people might automatically assume that an adult owning a toy animal is an indicator of the owner’s immaturity,” explains lead author Stuart Brody, professor of psychology at the University of the West of Scotland, “there was no association of adult toy animal ownership with emotion regulation and maturity.”
This should bring a relief to thousands of men, (with enormous collections of matchbox cars, guns, comic books, or action figures), who secretly, (or loudly & rudely), suspect their wives & girlfriends of being crazy because of their penchant for plush animals.
A study I’d like to see is one that would answer the question…
Is there any significant psychological difference between collecting different types of things?
teddy bears, model trains & railroads, matchbox cars, Gran Turismo 5 video game driver gear, sports team memorabilia, comic books, Farmville virtual animals, real animals, toy soldier diorama figures, works of art, figurines, action figures
Does it really matter if you’ve got an excessive collection of crystal owl figurines, vintage tins, antique fishing gear?
Or a study to examine the question of…
Does the “robustness” (quantity) of the collection inform anything about the collector?
Is there any difference between a modest collection, or someone with an extremely large collection?
And does it count if the collection is something that is functional, and that you use, or not practical at all?
There might be some things about which practicality can be argued.
For instance, art works might count both as decoration and investment, which could count as practical. On the other hand, people have considered “Beanie Babies” and Star Wars action figures as “investment” because of their value as collectibles just for the sake of themselves. So where to draw the line with calling something a proper investment?
Other things, like cars, people might use, but does anyone need dozens of them or ones from history? Probably not. Still, perhaps intrinsically more valuable than crystal owl figurines.
How many times can you read the same 200 books?
Obviously most people won’t reread them, and just want to own them. First editions are special and may increase in value. But I basically only buy real books that I like to have, to refer to from time to time, or maybe even to reread, if not in whole, then in part.
Other things, like my Hello Kitty collection, it might depend on the collectible at issue. I have a number of appliances in the Hello Kitty theme. Clearly I could have a clock, or a humidifier, or a thumb drive, or a toaster, that are generic in style, but these are things I actually need and use regularly.
(Also, I have received nearly all of them as gifts.)
Then there was the time when, on driving back from New Jersey, Robert wanted coffee, and insisted we stop at the 7-11 we were passing because he saw a sign advertising 99cent coffee in Domo cup. (The Domo plush toy on our shelf is Robert’s.)
My mother has a collection of shot glasses from places she’s visited around the world. Ironically, I don’t think she’s ever drank a shot in her life, and she never has liked booze much. She just thinks they’re pretty souvenirs.
I had a friend a few years back who had a refrigerator covered in souvenir magnets from nearly all 50 states.
I’m not much into things that don’t have a function, but I think snow globes are actually pretty cool, because at least they’re somewhat animated & interactive, if somewhat cliche.
There was a lava lamp in my house when I was a kid in the 70s, and I enjoyed watching it, but I couldn’t imagine any reason to have more than one lava lamp.
Those pendulum sort of things seem amusing, but a room containing many would be truly maddening!
I had seen an office where the occupant had at least 30 clocks, all very fine quality, and all ticking away. It was a bit unnerving thinking about working in that room.
Another office I saw some years back, someone had an impressive collection of Christian pictures, paintings, statues, figures, and various decorative items of faith. I learned that this person was very active in a church, as well as an active volunteer with related community groups & charity, so obviously this was more than just a collection to this person.
A highly sought collectible of 1983 was Cabbage Patch Dolls. Never understood their popularity. I certainly didn’t want one when I was a kid. I was never into dolls, I hated cabbage, and thought they were almost as creepy as the dolls with the eyelids that opened & shut upon tilt.
Nevertheless, it caused riot-like scenes at stores during Christmastime shopping, in various parts of the U.S., one of the most sensational in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
In the 1990s, I heard of someone, indirectly, who had a “robust” Cabbage Patch Doll collection, who was attending medical school at the time.
Next time you go to your doctor, you can wonder if the physician has a basement hobby room full of Star Wars action figures, or a china cabinet full of Precious Moments figurines in their dining room.
I dare you to ask!