Introducing: Cool & Collected Magazine! (maybe)

It’s not real if you’re the only one who knows about it. At least that’s what brought me to finally writing this post.

I’ve been working on a secret project for a while now and it’s come to the point where I need to call in the reinforcements and make it “real,” or risk watching it fizzle away as an unfulfilled dream. I’m going to put this all out there now, because if I don’t, I might not get the courage up to do so later. Today, I am going to tell you about a dream I have of publishing my own magazine.

As a graphic designer and publishing professional, I have been producing publications for other people for over 20 years, and it has been a long held dream of mine to produce a magazine of my own. I present you with the Cool & Collected Magazine!

Cool & Collected Magazine

(Concept is still in the very early planning phase!)

The magazine market may be on the ropes, but I think there’s still a market for collectors — we like stuff! And for those collectors who don’t want more items taking up room on the shelf, the magazine would be available in an electronic format.

While developing the layout, page plans, story ideas, advertising opportunities, etc. it has become clear to me that this is not a one-man show. I need help, primarily in the content-generation department. For the magazine to succeed, it will need experts writing about topics that they know better than most. I’m going to need a Star Wars guy, a comic book girl, an action figure aficianado, a movie prop master — you get the idea. I need access to people who have the goods and would be willing to photograph them for the magazine.

Since starting this website, I have encountered an immense number of passionate collectors who know more than I could ever imagine about certain pop culture genres, and I would love to have each and every one of them involved in this magazine in some way.

About the Magazine

The departments of the magazine would fall along the same lines as this website, with categories such as:

  • Collector Profiles
  • Treasure Hunting/Thrill of the Hunt
  • What is it?
  • What a Character!
  • The Year of 19XX
  • DIY
  • Pop Culture events/artists/galleries
  • Report from the show
  • Awesome action figure/toy photography “Action Shots”
  • Book Roundup
  • Top 10 Lists
  • Hammer Time (Auction results)
  • Ask the Expert
  • Calendar of Events
  • Roadtrips

And the areas of collecting that would be covered:

  • Toys
  • Movie posters, props, and memorabilia
  • Characters and icons
  • Comic books
  • Original art
  • Trading cards
  • Video games
  • …and more!

The magazine would consist of “evergreen” articles as well as timely items. Since the subject matter will mostly focus on collectibles from the past, rather than current ones, the shelf life of the magazine will be pretty high. Each issue will have two or three long feature articles, each one tackling a particular collecting genre or topic.

Now what?

I know I can run a tight ship and wrangle all the elements that will need to be wrangled–that part doesn’t worry me. What does worry me is figuring out the best way to get high-quality content. I have never taken out a bank loan for my business, and won’t be changing that philosophy anytime soon. This mindset has held me back on a few ocassions, but it’s also probably been for the best–going into debt is not something that appeals to me. I have looked into starting a Kickstarter project, and haven’t ruled it out entirely, but would need to find out more about the process.

I would like to gauge the level of interest in something like this, both from potential readers and contributors. Is this a good idea? Would you buy it? Would you want to be a part of it in some capacity? I’ve always been receptive to the opinions of others, and if the only sound I hear is crickets, then that will be instructive as well.

At this point, I could use a little encouragement. If you think this idea has legs, give me a little “Go get ‘em” with a comment below. And if you would like to be a part of this in some way, let’s talk! Even if only one issue ever makes it to print, then this guy’s dream will be fulfilled. Oh, and if you happened to want to invest in my dream, I definitely want to talk with you! ;)

This post is part of the weekly challenge from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Other great bloggers are writing about their dreams over on Needless Essentials, Mos Espa Blog, G.I. Jigsaw, and more!

Comments

  1. Batfan says

    I like it :)

    Can’t invest any money (all my base are belong to my wife & kids) but, would be happy to help in any way I can.

  2. says

    I think you should go for it Brian! I would definitely back a kickstarter or kick in a bit of money if needed… and I would love to be counted in as a content contributor! I’m self-conscious, knowing that the writing on my blog is not always publishing-caliber stuff but if it were an article for something as epic as this I’d happily send you a few pieces that might be a fit.

    I’d love to research and get more detail oriented with some of the stuff I collect!

    I know it’s all in the development stages etc. etc… but even if I weren’t directly involved in its inception, this is EXACTLY the kind of magazine I would support on a continued basis as it seems completely relevant to me.

  3. hobgoblin238 says

    Do it if it is your dream! It was mine to open the Monster Cafe Saltillo! I did. Extremely satisfying. I say go for it.

  4. says

    Looks great, and perhaps you can cover a little of the collecting computers hobby too. Looks like a perfect KickStarter campaign, and I would back you! I have some experience there, if you’d like it.

  5. says

    You are right. We need something like this in the world. I would hope to be able to contribute to it’s content and completion. You got some of the most knowledgeable collectors out there and people enjoy being a part of something new. I would like to hear more of this project.

  6. pjtek says

    A “WIRED” type of magazine that is printed and digital and contains the elements of your blog and contributors would be awesome! Don’t make it a price guide! That would be lost in the shuffle. Looks like a lot of work though…. Let me know how to subscribe!

  7. says

    I’d totally buy the magazine or subscribe to the e-mag! Would love to contribute too in any way I can. I could become the ‘voice’ of South East Asian collectors or something….hahah.

    Been following your site for quite some time now and I believe you can make this a reality. Go for it Brian!

    • says

      That’s awesome! Don’t be a stranger here–I checked out your site and loved it! I’m always intrigued to hear from collectors in other countries and to see the variations of products that they have on their shelves.

  8. says

    It’s a very good idea, and who doesn’t still love magazines (he says, with his subscriptions of Empire and Sight and Sound piled high…)?

    I don’t know what my subject matter would be, but I’d be happy to help in any way I can, Brian. Go get ‘em!

  9. says

    Sounds great! Don’t know if I’d have anything useful to contribute print-wise, but this might help:

    Try contacting Rondall Scott who runs Strange Kids Club (www.strangekidsclub.com). He’s Kickstarted a couple of mags for his site.

    • says

      Rondal is certainly a huge inspiration, and someone I definitely plan to tap for insight. I was a contributor to one of the issues of the Strange Kids Club magazine and was so proud to be a part of the process.

  10. dave says

    Yeah, do it! Time to take that passion and hard work and push it to the finish line!
    I’d e-subscribe or kickstart or contribute (i’ll shoot you an email)

    • says

      Yeah, I used Toyfare as one of the models in the initial development. I think C&C would flip the Toyfare approach–they had 80% new toys and 20% old toys (or less), C&C would focus more on the vintage items, with a dose of new products sprinkled in the mix. Thanks, Pax.

      • says

        I too work in the magazine publishing world and our largest title is a doll collecting magazine. While I think most readers would prefer the 80% old, it becomes difficult to sell the advertising. The companies that produce the product want you to focus on their newest item. It tends to be a very delicate balance to keep both happy.

        I do think the magazine could be awesome especially in such dedicated hands. Do you have any thoughts on advertising or is that something you would like to bypass and keep the magazine crowd funded? If you go that route I would recommend a digital only magazine. Paper and printing costs tend to be the largest portion of the budget these days.

        I wish you the best and if you ever wish to compare notes, let me know.

        • says

          Yeah, the whole advertising route is something I’ve struggled with here on the site–it’s hard to make money advertising products that were sold 20 years ago! I have had some success with companies that sell vintage toys, but it is a challenge. Companies that cater toward nostalgia such as Funko and Sideshow Toys would be the ideal kind of candidates for advertising. I think there will certainly be some ads in the magazine, but if the purchase price can cover the printing and distribution costs, that would be great. Of course, i would like to be able to pay people who contribute and assist in the production, so the more ads the better. I don’t see this being a mass-produced magazine where millions of copies need to be sold. If I keep it small and more of a niche publication, there will be much more flexibility in the means of production.
          I would definitely be interested in picking your brain at some point, and I appreciate the offer. Thanks for the insight!

          • says

            I could see it being done as a quarterly publication, or at least bi-monthly or something at first, with most of your sales coming from online orders rather than trying to get this out on news-stands and super-market racks.

            I know Strange Kids Comix was done as a kickstarter… would that same model be a feasible route the first time out?

  11. says

    I think it is an amazing idea! At least in what I have found there isn’t really anything that taps the market quite as widely as you are suggesting. I would back it! I would love to be involved if I can. Not sure what I could contribute (and it would need to be edited) but It would be fun to see the process if nothing else! Great idea!

    I also know the importance of doing something you want to do for no other reason than you want to see it done! So you NEED to do this! for you if for no one else!

    • says

      Thanks Ashley! Your Collecting Nostalgia videos have actually been a huge inspiration for me and this project. I’d love to have you be a part of the magazine.

  12. says

    I have No monies or areas of expertise that could help you in any way. That being said I will support this idea in every way I can and with every fiber of my being because this would be amazing and I love seeing friends pursue real goals. Let’s make this happen!

  13. says

    Great idea. Would love to help. I have used http://www.blurb.com and made several encyclopedias of my collection. They now offer magazine services as well.

    http://www.blurb.com/b/4025790-football-sports-figure-encyclopedia

    http://www.blurb.com/b/1888495-chicago-sports-figures-2nd-edition

    I miss Toyfare, Lee’s and Tomart’s magazines a lot. While its nice to see everything online, its fun to leaf through a 1995 Tomart’s magazine and see what was, and realize what has come since. There is still something about holding something tangible.

    • says

      Wow, those books are great! I’ll have to look into their magazine capabilities. I’m with you and would definitely rather have a paper copy than a digital one, but we’re a dying breed! ;)

  14. says

    Would definitely love to help out in any ways possible.

    Also, it’s great to see everyone coming together here and offering support. What an awesome collection of talented individuals. Cool and Collected indeed.

    • says

      It really is amazing. My pipe dream has seemingly turned into a “must-do” overnight, and I can’t thank you and everyone else enough for the encouragement.

  15. says

    A Cool and Collected magazine is a wonderful idea! If it is in electronic format, people on the other side of the planet (like me) will be able to download it. The previews look highly professional. You can take any of my photos for your magazine, no need to ask for permission :)

  16. says

    Wow! This is such a truly cool idea! I think you should totally do it. So many people like you and have such nice things to say about you. I think this would be a fantastic experience. I have no exeprience writing for a magazine type format, but like many other wonderful people, if there was any help you needed, I’d be ready to help you. You certainly would not be alone in this. It is so odd that this is your dream, because part of my topic for this week involves a similar issue, at least in terms of writing. I say do it Brian!

  17. dwitefry says

    You don’t know me cos I’m ultra new BUT I’d be happy to contribute articles, top 10s, photos, anything you’d need in my areas of expertise (pre-2000s comics, 70s-90s toys etc etc) – I’ve been pondering a Retro Toys magazine for a while, it sounds like a great idea, even if you don’t want my help, I’ll still buy!

  18. says

    This is a fantastic idea. I would contribute to a kickstarter fund to get a copy for sure. ANy way i can help out let me know. Weird NJ is a magazine around here that puts out 2 issues a year and has done well.

    • says

      Thanks Matt. I’ll have to check out that magazine — I’ve got a huge stack of mags sitting next to me that I’ve been using as resources for story and layout ideas. Always glad to hear of other good examples.

  19. kngfu says

    It seems you got a few “Go get um’s” but here’s another one…this sounds like an awesome idea and I would love to check it out in the near future. Report from the show is something we all can help with.

    • says

      Thanks Mike, and thanks again for all your previous support and “Reports from the Show” here on the site. (I will meet you at Steel City Con one of these days!)

  20. says

    Very cool, you get it on kickstarter, I’ll be happy to contribute, and if you need any gaming articles, rants or general geekery, I would love to submit the odd article or two.

  21. says

    I think it is a great idea, and I would definitely subscribe. And I would love to contribute content if possible… I defintely could help out in int comic book department, Star Trek, He-Man, Canadian content, etc.

  22. says

    I know we spoke on Twitter about it but I thought I’d make it official and comment here! I’d love to help in any capacity needed including backing on Kickstarter.

    I think it’s a great idea and you certainly have the connections and a community willing to help make it happen!

  23. Grey says

    Brian,
    Excellent idea. In the board game world, many magazines have come and gone. However there is one magazine that not only has met the cut, but it is originally published in German, and has a successful translation into English. It is called Spielbox. Each issues contains a small game expansion that are highly sought after. If you are interested, I will send you a copy.

    Grey

    • says

      That’s an interesting concept. I’ll have to think about whether or not there is something similar that would be effective for C&C. I had thought about trading cards and stickers, but not sure the lure would be that strong. Thanks Grey, I’ll check out Spielbox online.

  24. The Rook says

    I’ve been sad ever since Toy Fair Magazine was cancelled. I would definitely be up for a new toy related magazine.

  25. says

    I love this idea, Brian, and I’d be happy to help contribute where needed. The Toy magazine world has been fading a bit over the past several years, but this sounds like a great ambitious project. Looking forward to seeing what might come of it.

  26. says

    Hey Brian,

    That’s great! Been busy, so it looks like I’m a little late to the party, but this sounds like a terrific idea, and I’d love to see this get off the ground.

    Heck, I’ll fund it myself if that’s what it takes! I’ll send you an email in a bit, but whatever you need to make this happen, let me know and I’ll be happy to support you in any way possible!

  27. Adam says

    Man. Your site is great. I’ve got 290 boardgames, 130 are pre. 1910 Mcloughlins and even better. I’ve been considering selling them lately as well as using your site for advertising. I have them all pictured and cataloged. Your welcome to anything you want. If you want a taster email me, I have a 10×10 picture with 200 of them on it. Or I can send you a link to all the games for download on a securely hosted site.

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