Thursday, January 19, 2023

When Did Collecting Geeky Stuff Become Popular in Our Culture?

Nowadays, both kids and adults alike dress in nerdy t-shirts. Even though I reside in a small town in the Midwest, I see them everywhere. The world has evolved. Because I was afraid of being labeled odd, nerdy, or geeky during my childhood in the 1980s and 1990s, I would never have worn such a t-shirt. Though I was worried about being teased, I wanted to wear Star Trek, Star Wars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirts. Because I'm a bookish loner, I got bullied from middle school to my senior year in high school. Yes, I got tormented by my peers for reading books. It was probably a bad idea for me to bring a Star Trek: Generations novelization into an 8th-grade science class. 

Let's fast-forward to the present, where I'm a self-professed bookworm with a newfound love for science fiction (Star Trek, Star Wars, Dune, etc.), and I couldn't give a damn what people think of me. Many other geeks worldwide share my passion for the same things I like. And there's an entire culture dedicated to utilizing geeks; walk into any Walmart, Target, or Hot Topic, and you'll find a whole area devoted to nerdy collecting, from Funko vinyl figures to NECA horror action figures. If you can't locate what you are looking for, then you're in luck because there are lots of nerdy-related items on the internet. You can even buy Pokémon card packs online, which has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

I'll be honest: I do own a modest collection of Funko vinyl figures, which include a mix of horror characters (including Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and others), Star Wars characters (primarily droids), and a few Marvel superheroes. Despite my love for Funko, I haven't purchased a Funko vinyl in a long while. They are periodically on my radar while I'm shopping, but none of them shout, "Add me to your collection!"

I do, however, have a substantial library! And like any collector, I have had to scale back over time due to either space constraints or shifting reading preferences. My enthusiasm for Star Trek has rekindled in recent years, and I have taken an interest in reading the expanded books (also known as the lit-verse). It all started when I discovered Simon & Schuster has a monthly 99-cent sale on Star Trek eBooks, but digital copies alone couldn't fulfill my need. It prompted me to purchase the Bantam paperbacks from the 1970s and early 1980s on eBay and to later buy several additional books from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.

There are already more than 850 published Star Trek books, and the number continues to grow. Even though I strongly doubt I'll ever read them all, I'm still going to try to read as many as possible. Do you know the reason? I like it; it makes me happy.  

I'm fascinated by the "geeky" stuff other people amass. Do you collect books, NECA toys, Pokémon trading cards, Funko vinyl figurines, or anything else? Please respond in the comments area.


  1. I can remember reading Star Trek books when I was a kid. I had no idea there are now over 850 published Trek books. Wow.

    1. I'm going to assume that since I obtained the figure from Wikipedia, it also includes non-fiction, behind-the-scenes material, and technical manuals. Then there was a series of children's novels written in the 1990s that didn't last long. I suppose the kids who watched Star Trek would just read the standard novels.


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