Tuesday, January 15, 2013

State of the Batcave Toy Room Site

More on toy collecting and vintage toys is coming soon. However, for now, I originally started to write this post as part of an assignment for the Extraordinary League of Bloggers, but didn't complete it until now.

I've always wanted to jump into the fray and join the Extraordinary League of Bloggers, but time just never seems to be on my side. Hence, why it took so long for me to get this posted. I constantly attempt to make it a point and read a couple a posts a day from my fellow toy bloggers with Sunday being my biggest reading day. I really wanted to jump on the bandwagon after I happened to catch a post from Brian over at Cool and Collected on one of the Leagues latest assignment and I thought I'd throw my own two cents in.

That weeks assignment had really interested me, not that other assignments haven't, but I kind of dropped everything and started working on this post, but I wasn't able to wrap it up until now. I always look forward to reading Reis O'Brien's State of the Horde Address monthly and this weeks assignment seemed to be inspired by it, but Brian's post really hit home with me.

It hit home because it made me realize so many of us have a lot in common. Not just the toy loving geek part, but the real life part. The day to day work life, being a husband or wife, a father or mother, as well as the joys and sorrows we all experience.

The year 2012 brought some triumphs, but it also brought its share of sadness as well. Losing family members is never easy and 2013 started with a similar pattern as we lost our Basset and family mascot, Daisy Mae. However, the loss we experienced last year was greater, which I haven't spoke of this to any of my toy friends and I won't go into details now, but lets just say my home is really feeling empty right now.

My super cool, yet non-geek, wife and I own our own business, providing screen printing, embroidery, and advertising materials to businesses. The great recession just about did us in on multiple levels, but I feel God, the blessings of my business and finance degrees, experience, our perseverance, and the love of our children got us over a slippery slope. I am thankful for this turn around and expect God will continue to only give us that which we can handle.

However, these experiences also provided us with means to provide residual income through things like blogging and getting involved in that which put us in the middle of our bliss and the ability to follow our true passions.

Blogging and writing for Batcave Toy Room has really made me realize, outside my family, what I truly love and that is toys and the movies and TV series that inspire them. There are those who make a living at it, and that is a formula I need to discover. Being like Kevin Smith and his band of Comic Book Men or Jordan Hembrough of Toy Hunter fame, are occupations that I have always dreamed of , but never pursued. The first question is, why not? The second question is, why do so many of us not pursue what we love an make a living out of it? The answer to these questions are what I hope to explore over the course of 2013.

Many have asked me what became of my appearance on Toy Hunter and the answer is...nothing. After the producers caught wind of my collection they blew up my phone and emailed me repeatedly in an attempt to schedule a taping. The tapping was originally supposed to transpire at the end of September 2012 and then was later moved up to the middle of September,  but no follow up took place after that. The producers did express a problem of finding collectors in my hometown, which I guess in the end was the demise of my appearance on the show. I have emailed and called the producers back multiple times, but never so much as received a return email or phone call explaining what happened. I put a family vacation on hold and held off on the continued purging of the Batcave Toy Room at the producers request. The least they could have done was let me know and tell me they changed directions or whatever. I will say however, that reality TV is certainly not reality TV based on what I discussed with the producers.

It is awesome how many people I have connected with here at the Batcave Toy Room. I wish everyone lived close by and we could meet up for some serious toy and comic book collecting discussions and check each other collections out. Colin from Super-Duper Toy Box recently discussed how he too wished he knew more people to chat about the things we all love in person. I related to that and I think the same thing all the time. How I wish so many of you lived in the same city. I wish there could be some sort of master collaboration for a joint effort website, making the Dork Horde a major national organization, have a site like Super Hero Stuff and feature the art of Bubba Shelby for shirts and other ephemera, design toys, or have our own version of Kevin Smith's Comic Book Men. Time will tell, but I feel everything happens for a reason.

For 2013, there are a lot of things I want to accomplish:
  • Continue to work towards making the Batcave Toy Room a major reference point for toy collectors.
  • Increase my involvement with the Justice League Las Vegas or create another group with a similar goal of increasing literacy and bringing smiles to ill or under privileged children.
  • Join my local chapter of the 501st Legion.
  • Complete my checklist of the top ten Star Wars toys I want to add to my collection.
  • Work on my top 10 list of Mego toys I want to add to my collection.
  • Find answers to the questions I asked above and pursue making a living by doing what I have a passion for. 
May everyone's 2013 be off to a great start and remember...There is no sin in the dream but the sin is not trying to go after your dream. 

About the author: John Sholtz is an avid toy collector and the interim editor of the Batcave Toy Room due to the abrupt death of Bruce Wayne. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter at, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. I wish too great folks like yourself, Reis , Bubba, Collin and the other wonderful toy fans/collectors/bloggers lived closer it would just be so awesome to hang out, chat and even go on Toy Hunts together. This hobby of ours really keeps me going on those days when work and life's curve balls get to me and being apart of this community has been a real blessing for sure John.

    1. That would be way cool JBoy. I think Reis invisions having Dork Horde meet-ups one day. I would love that to become a reality.

  2. I too was approached by one of those reality TV shows but they lost interest when they found I WASN'T as crazed and obsessed as they hope I would be. It actually made me feel better not to be so over the top. I had a dream this year of really organizing my collection and I am well along the way towards that. Nothing needs to be in tubs, even loose figures and there is nothing cooler than doing my treadmill while looking at all my bountry before me. This year I promised to find some way to bequeath my stuff after I pass when I eventually do so that the collection lives on in some form. I am kinda digging sending off little gifts to all my blog friends as I find things that would look better in their collection than in mine. Thanks for your post.

    1. That's awesome Cal. Putting your requests in a will or trust are a great way to to ensure your wishes are met. Congratualtions on your organiztion efforts. I would love to see the Cave of Cool in person some day.

  3. Excellent article, John. These "state of the site" posts were incredibly enlightening, and are a great way of shining the light on the fact that there is more to a blog than meets the eye.

    Too bad that Toy Hunter didn't work out, but from what I've heard, it might be for the best--your comment about reality not being real sounds spot on.

    I want to know more about your "day job." If you don't want to mention it here, drop me an email with a URL. Maybe I can send some business your way, since I work in the same field.

    I share your thoughts about a website of combined efforts, which is where the idea for the League originally blossomed. There really aren't a whole lot of us out there, and if a bunch of us got together, we really could dominate the space. I haven't quite cracked that nut yet, but the idea is certainly worth pursuing. Glad to see you finally getting in on the League challenges, and I hope you take part in even more.

    Best of luck to you and the Batcave in 2013!

    1. Everything happens for a reason. They gave me the entire lowdown on how the show works. I always wondered how legit those type of shows were and now I know for sure that everything isn't as it seems.

      I'll drop you a note soon and we can discuss all this in more detail. I am hoping to contribute more to the League this year. Should have listed that on my list of goals.

      Thank you sir.

  4. I totally second that notion about the Dork Horde!

    Really enjoyed discovering your blog this past year and seeing your collection. Hope you have a great 2013!

    1. So say we all!

      Thanks Jaime. I enjoyed discovering yours as well. Glad to have a part of the team.

  5. Great goals John. Sorry to hear about your family's losses, here's hoping 2013 brings you and yours only bliss!

    And here's to many many years of Batcave Toyroom to come!

    1. Thank you my friend. Same to you and yours. Hope you have an amzaing year.

  6. Brian-I thought they were filming the 2nd season of Toy Hunter now. I saw pics on Jordan's facebook page. I might be wrong though.

    John-I 100% agree with this article. I wish I knew as much as you guys about collecting vintage toys. I was more of a sports card and memrobilia collector the past 10 years, but always loved vintage toys, so I decided to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. I am learning more and more about vintage toys thanks to people like you and Brian, both of you I consider friends. I have also been pretty friendly with Colin at Super Duper Toy Box, Hobgoblin and jboypacman as well. You guys are great resources when it comes to learning about toys. I too hope to make more friendships in 2013 to talk about vintage toys.

    Keep up the great blog John, I can only hope my blog becomes as good as yours is, my friend.

    1. Thanks for your input Mike. We are all here to learn and share our experiences together. We definitley have assembled a great group of toy collectors and your blog is up there with everyone else. Not only do I consider everyone friends, but the brothers I never had or additional sisters (can't forget Jaime). Hope you have a great year and I look forward to watching your collection grow.


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