Boy, this took a lot of soul searching, but in the end I think it is best.
I started collecting AFA (Action Figure Authority) graded figures over two years ago. My plans started out innocently enough, I just wanted to have a couple for novelty sake, nothing more. What I didn't realize is that I am often a victim of my inner completionist. Little by little as time went by I wanted more AFA figures. They looked so pretty in their perfect packaging, like a little time capsule of a Transformer. Eventually I decided that I would try and get all of the 1984 original release of figures. That transformed (if you'll excuse the pun) into obtaining all of the figures I had as a child in AFA form. That ballooned into having EVERY SINGLE G1 FIGURE GRADED. I got about 36 figures into that goal (approximately 10%) and started to think long and hard about if this is what I really wanted. As with everything there is an opportunity cost when you purchase one thing over another. What I began to realize was that I didn't want to sacrifice all the numerous opportunities open to me in order to obtain a complete AFA collection. Based on my estimates it would take somewhere around $100K to $150K to meet such a goal and I finally realized that isn't what I wanted.
So about a month ago I decided to sell off the bulk of my AFA collection. However since they are such high value items I thought it would be a good idea to wait until after the new year for tax purposes. People also have a lot of money to spend right after Christmas (ironically enough) so it seemed like good timing, and strangely enough the AFA market is actually up for the first time since 2007. Almost all of the auctions are over now and I am feeling quite a bit of relief that I won't have to worry about them anymore. AFA items can be such fragile things and if they are damaged in any way they completely lose their value. I did keep a few select items that mean a lot to me; Starscream, Bumblebee and Hot Rod. I may decide to purchase a few others that would really mean something to me (Smokescreen being one as he was my very first transformer) but for the most part I am done with AFA. All of that money will be re-invested into other things like Japanese and European exclusive G1 figures, Third Party items and maybe a few other special figures (Big Blue Convoy I'm looking at you). I am a loose collector at heart and while I can appreciate AFA figures I don't want them to take up the bulk of my collection. Plus, they were all duplicates anyway :)
So now that I have a little expendable cash I wonder where it should go first....
Oh, and Botch, thanks for the nudge :)