It will be like replacing a dear friend

Looking at my toys I see that they are old and the plastic is full of cuts, bruises and cracks. One of my favorites toys is literally having a hard time working for me. He is so worn out that for over a year I have said: it’s time to retire him, but I have a hard time committing to that thought. When I go out on a photo walk I bring him with me, and make him a part of the idea that I want to try. With all my patience, not giving up on the idea, we get it to work, despite the fact that he has seen his better days. I have asked myself why don’t I just replace him with a copy, a better, newer version? It’s just a toy, in plastic…

Filled with cut and bruises

But the truth is that I have a really hard time using another toy. I usually work with a small group of toys, and I have made a commitment to them. I use them in my pictures time after time, even though my Sandtrooper is all sloppy, my lego-teddy has no printing on his nose and my lego Wing-Stormtroopers helmet is filled with cuts and bruises, and the plastic arms are cracked. All of my favorite toys are a bit worn out and it’s because of me and my “playing” with them.

I handle my toys rough

I wish I could say it wasn’t me, just time… but my toys are all worn out because of my rugged care. I have handled them rather hard. I carry them around in my pocket, and in my bag where they rub against each other and that isn’t good for the printing. When I work outside my toys get dirty, and scarred because they get blown over, fall to the ground, into the dirt or in puddles. My handling is so hard that looking at my toys and comparing them with others I have come to the conclusion that I ought to replace one or two of them, but I can’t. I’ll use them as long as I possibly can, because of all the memories that the cracks and the lost printing carries.

I love telling stories

When I compare my toys with newer or other toys, I have a tendency to mainly see what makes the newer toys different from mine: in printing, in details, in lack of scars, cuts and cracks. So even though I have “newer” versions I tend to stick to my old ones because of our work together; I have gotten to know them. In the worn plastic of my toys are the memories of the stories that we have told together. I love to tell stories with toys, and the day I replace my toys with others I think it will feel like replacing a dear friend, and I don’t do that easily.

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How do you handle your worn out toys? Do you exchange them? Or do you have a hard time replacing them like me?

~Kristina

0 thoughts on “It will be like replacing a dear friend”

  1. I’m in the same boat, a lot of my troopers are now starting to look a bit rough around the edges. I do have a set of pristine troopers that I use for photos that need to look clean and clinical, but I’m beginning to like the worn/well-used look. Saves me having to spend too much time in Photoshop removing the little scratches and dents!

  2. Mines tend to stay in pretty good shape. Even the old ones I have had since I was a kid are still in pretty good shape. However some of them have scratches that are most of the time only visible when going very close with a macro lens.

    Apart from that micro-specks of dust are my nightmare. They are completely invisible to the naked eye and are really a pain when doing a close-up of a dark minifig (like Darth Vader helmet). I tried to blow the dust away using various technique but I can’t get rid of all those specks of dust without using a cloning tool in post-processing…

    Also I used to transport toys in small plastic bags that I put in my backpack but I recently bought a small plastic case with individual compartment to transport them safely.

  3. If I had toys as well worn and loved as yours I would not be able to replace them. When I am looking to add to my classic space collection I actually look for well worn (loved) mini figs. They are more interesting to photograph because they have better stories to tell. Most of my figures have some wear and the ones who are more irreplaceable have been traveling in plastic bags within the plastic case they are all in. It keeps them from rubbing and getting further damaged (like the eyes of the classic alien rubbing away completely). I do tend to use PS to clean up specks and marks that don’t add to the over all effect, but other than that, I let them be. It is a part of their charm. I say keep bringing along your faves as well as including a few new ones to start breaking them in. There is no shame in sitting on a shelf for some much deserved rest after a life well lived. Thanks for sharing!

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