Collection Intervention — “Thinking Outside the Box” recap and review

This episode of Collection Intervention had me excited from its commercials–this week, we were going to get comic books and Transformers! Yes! No Barbies.

collection intervention Joe's comic book collection

Our first “victim” is Joe, who has a few comic books–30,000 of them! Joe’s fiancée, Rebekah, is not too thrilled with all the comic long boxes in her living room, bedroom, bathroom–you get the idea. The fact that these two aren’t married yet is cause for concern, because they have a serious issue with Joe’s collection.

Elyse arrives and after talking with Joe, she learns that he is completist, who likes to collect runs of comic books. I was astounded to hear that he has 30,000 comics, but not a single silver or golden age book in the lot. How is that even possible? Elyse thinks Joe would be wise to sell off many of his modern era comics and get some investment-grade vintage comics instead, which would free up a lot of space and make his Rebekah much happier. Of course, Joe is not so sure that is a good idea.

collection intervention Dahveed's Transformers

The next collector in need of an intervention is Dahveed, who is addicted to Transformers. Dahveed runs an online store called Toy Hell, which makes his friend, Steve, think he’s like an alcoholic who works as a bartender. Dahveed has over 20,000 toys and has difficulty selling many of them becasue he becomes emotionally attached to them as soon as he buys them, even though they were meant to be inventory for his store. Dahveed is 37 years old and rather than selling his toys, his parents are paying his rent. Dahveed needs help.

Steve has set his friend up up for a “real life intervention” with Elyse, who confronts Dahveed in a store where he’s buying inventory for the upcoming Pop-Con show. He is not too thrilled to see her, and lashes out at Steve, saying he sounds like his mom not his friend. After talking with Dahveed, Elyse tells him that he’s hiding his Transformer addiction behind his business, and she eventually convinces him she can help.

Back at Joe’s apartment, Elyse suggests that he cuts his collection in half. Poor Joe. I’m not sure of Elyse’s strategy, but she seemed to randomly grab a box and say, “why don’t you get rid of these?” She didn’t really seem to take into account which ones Joe was more likely to give up, but maybe that part was edited out.

At one point, she suggests selling all of Joe’s Avengers comics because they’re hot right now–never mind the fact that they seemed to be some of Joe’s favorites. I felt really bad for Joe, because he is a true fan of comics and devours every book for its art and story. He knows everything about the comics he owns and has vivid memories of buying each and every one. He really loves them for their contents, so it would have been nice if Elyse handed him an iPad or some trade paperbacks to make the loss a little more bearable.

collection intervention G1 Transformers and breakdown

Elyse visits Dahveed’s condo, AKA Toy Hell headquarters. It turns out that Dahveed has an amazing vintage Transformers collection. Before opening the box of his G1 collection, he makes Elyse put on some white gloves. I guess you don’t get to keep your toys in pristine condition if you put your grubby fingers all over them!

Elyse finds a rare Breakdown figure that is worth $1,500, and thinks Dahveed should sell it since it’s not part of his complete G1 collection. Of course, he thinks she’s insane. Elyse pushes even further and suggests everything in his house should go but the G1 collection.

collection intervention Toy Hell booth at Pop-Con

The next scene shows Dahveed in his booth at Pop-Con, which is well-stocked but he left the Breakdown figure at home. The booth space cost him $1,000 and Elyse thinks he will never make a profit if he doesn’t bring some of his better inventory out of his apartment.

Remember Joe? Well, Elyse has rented him a booth at Frank and Sons collectibles show, thinking he could sell some comics there. Joe is furious–he thought he would be selling his collection as complete runs and is not interested in having people paw through his comics, and cherry pick from them. Joe refuses to sell anything. As a collector, I can totally see Joe’s side of things. We take a lot of pride in assembling our collections and there would be nothing worse than to see all that hard work dismantled in front of your eyes.

collection intervention therapist

Dahveed has one more day at Pop-Con and Elyse wants him to rethink his inventory. She called in a therapist to talk with Dahveed, and we learn of his childhood and how Transformers played a role in helping him through a sickness, which prompted some of his collecting addictions. Once Dahveed sees the light, he seems to finally be willing to let some items go. I was wondering how many episodes it would take before a health professional was called in, and I guess three is the magic number.

collection intervention comic books for sale

Back at the collectibles show, Elyse has brought James Robinson, the author of Starman and other comics, to meet with Joe. He gives Joe the final issue of the Shade before it has been published, and Joe is thrilled–but he’s still not selling. Elyse was hoping that Joe would see the reasoning behind collecting high-value items versus the multitude of mediocre ones, but it was a swing and a miss.

Back at Dahveed’s booth at Pop-Con, we see that he has finally agreed to sell his Breakdown figure. A buyer offers $700, then $900, $1,200, and Dahveed finally cracks at $1,300. I have to give Elyse credit for helping him out with this transaction and telling Dahveed that the price was great but he had to feel good about it. She didn’t push him at all, which was surprising. In total, Dahveed sold $4,800 worth of inventory at the show.

Since Joe sold nothing at the Frank and Sons show, Elyse takes him to a comic book shop. The dealer, Ryan, is impressed with the comics, but there’s nothing investment grade in all the boxes. Joe wants a dollar a book, but Ryan can only pay 25 cents per book. Joe is crushed at the realization that his collection isn’t as good of an investment as he thought it was.

collection intervention hulk 181

Joe has always wanted a copy of Hulk #181, and Elyse thinks he might be able to trade his boxes for a copy. The shop has one in stock which is signed and valued at $1,000. Joe starts to think that he can keep his comics and just buy the Hulk comic, until Rebekah says no–she is not having any of that scheme.

Joe makes the trade, but he doesn’t seem too thrilled with his decision. As the credits roll, the show notes that Joe’s collection has gone from 120 boxes down to 62. I wish nothing but the best for Joe and Rebekah.

Comments

  1. Ben says

    I tried to order something once from toyhell.com. There is no order form on the site. You have to email him and tell him what you want, and if it’s not a bootleg (which makes up the majority of his stock…but he lets you know that it is indeed a bootleg/KO), chances are he sold it a while ago and never updated the website. He also takes weeks to respond. I wasn’t TOO surprised to see that he was a hoarder. I may spend a lot on toys, but I’m 28 years old and I’ve been paying my own rent since I was 23, so that’s…that’s really sad.

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