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"Creative Ways to Downsize Your Wargaming Collection" Topic

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ChrisBrantley12 Oct 2023 5:55 a.m. PST

Like many historical wargamers, I have been tempted by the historical books I read or movies I watch, and by announcements of new ruleset and figure ranges to embark on a host of new gaming periods and projects. But after helping my siblings deal with my Dad's move to assisted living and the sale of his house, I am reflecting on how much wargaming stuff I have collected, much of which never sees its way to the tabletop. An urge to simplify, streamline and downsize has come over me, which prompts this query to the hivemind. Other than Ebay, the TMP Marketplace and convention flea markets, do TMPers have any advice on efficient and creative ways to downsize your collection?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 6:06 a.m. PST

I hear you. I won't leave my kids with the amount of stuff my brother and I had to deal with after dad passed. I am not sure that there are too many way to get rid of a figure collection.

Throw it in the trash.

Donate it to someone else.

Donate it to a club.

Donate it to a gaming store.

Donate it to a convention as a raffle item/s.

Sell it to a second hand figure buyer.

Major Mike12 Oct 2023 6:30 a.m. PST

Run a game at a convention and give the participants the units they command.

Put together a grouping of soldiers of both sides as starter packs and run a simple kids game using the starter packs as gifts to the participants.

I do like the suggestion of donating items to a raffle.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 7:02 a.m. PST

I mostly move my stuff to other gamers

Gave a whole bunch of 28mm Ancients to a couple of young guys – they loved it!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 7:17 a.m. PST

I think you've covered the ways which might make money. I'd strongly endorse starter armies for young players when you can create such, donation to clubs playing something appropriate and charity raffles at conventions. If you're within range, Fall In is coming, and the Toys for Tots people will make good use of stuff.

Cormac Mac Art12 Oct 2023 7:27 a.m. PST

The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society is always looking for donations to help support GM's introducing the hobby to new players.

citizen sade12 Oct 2023 7:32 a.m. PST

Some auction houses will accept wargaming lots. The downside, in my experience, is that you'll have limited say of how they lot it all up and they charge a hefty seller's commission. On the plus side, they handle photography, packing, shipping etc.

The one I've used has international reach and access to an online auction platform. I could have probably made more by selling myself, but it would have involved a large amount of time, effort and hassle.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 7:48 a.m. PST

Given some to younger gamers
Sold some cheap to other gamers

When I am gone my wife will provide bulk to be auctioned for charity

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 8:06 a.m. PST

Donate to Toys for Tots auction at Fall IN.

miniaturemen Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 8:35 a.m. PST

Shame that you are on the other side of the pond as we buy collections.
I'll bet there's someone like us local to you that would happily buy any of your unwanted items.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 9:35 a.m. PST

One thing you can do to help the estate is SORT AND LABEL YOUR STUFF. Once or twice a year I hear from a family and what they have is just boxes of jumbled, unsorted, unlabeled figs.

Let's see, that looks like a couple dozen 25mm Zulus, next to a 20mm (?) squad of US marines, that looks like a 15mm Panzer III and those guys look like some sort of 15mm ancient slingers mounted for DBA….

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 9:56 a.m. PST

Good advice, Mark.

Silurian12 Oct 2023 10:14 a.m. PST

Creative ways, huh?
When I was younger my friend and I snuck out of the house this lovely wooden boat my dad had constructed. We lined it's decks with miniatures (old Citadel which we were collecting at the time), pushed it off into the middle of the local pond and proceeded to chuck rocks at it. Definitely fun at first, until it dawned on us how many weeks of pocket money we had just sent to the bottom. Still regret it.
OK, that wasn't useful to you at all…

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian12 Oct 2023 10:37 a.m. PST

Most of my stuff I've given to friends. Sold some, still winding down my books.

Arjuna12 Oct 2023 10:58 a.m. PST

To give my soul eternal peace after my passing, I will pass the curse on to a few unsuspecting yokels, to whom I will give it as a loving memento of an altogether great guy.
To place on their cabinet, mantel, desk or nightstand.
The miniature stands will get little tags with a dedication on them:
To a loving friend, your Arjuna.

They will ask themself:
"Who the Bleeped text is that Arjuna?
Is that that the Deli downtown?
I don't like Indian food at all, it's too spicy for me!"

Some will do some further research, ask friends, look online, inform the authorities.
And a lot of them will put them on cabinet, mantel, desk, nightstand or in the evidence room.
And they will remember Arjuna, someone they never knew existed.
Because, well I gave them a tiny little piece of wonder and importance.

Of course, after a year or two they will disappear in a box in the basement, and every time my victims move and the miniatures fall into their hands again, they will remember me with curiosity.
And they again will wonder who I actually was and why I gave them these lovingly painted, funny little toy soldiers, since they did not knew me when I send the gift.
After the second or third time, they will then give the figures away to neighbors' children or family or friends.
They in turn will ask who I actually was, and so over time I become a legend….

The only problem is that I have to give a hell of a lot of gifts to complete strangers.
I'll probably just mail them to randomly researched addresses.
evil grin

Stryderg12 Oct 2023 11:14 a.m. PST

I have a feeling that Arjuna will become a legend, or myth, in the centuries to come!

How about donate them to a local library. They can store it, and you can check them out to play games when the mood strikes…until they throw them away.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 12:54 p.m. PST

Apart from donating minis to deserving individuals or groups, you could ask Noble Knight games if they would buy your unwanted toys.

I've had friends use Bartertown as a sales platform, too.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 12:55 p.m. PST

Arjuna can send his Indian food to me, it can't be too spicy for my tastes!

Micman Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 2:05 p.m. PST

We had a good friend and gamer pass this last winter. He had a great give away for the miniature games. About 20 of us were invited to take home some of his toys.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 7:59 p.m. PST

Any one have some Tupi they want to get rid of now?

Closer to the topic, two good gaming friends passed a while back. For one, I put on a "warmers garage sale" and got rid of quite a bit. For the second collection, the local group got a flea market table at Historicon and sold $5,000 USD worth of items for the widow. My son is quite a salesman (professionally) and had a great idea of providing boxes to all who bought more than a handful. "You still have some room in that box, why not add a few more" and they usually did.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2023 8:13 p.m. PST

Giving stuff away is a great idea. I suspect even selling here on the marketplace for essentially postage would be a good idea too.

Convention sales and give a-ways. I have given some stuff to kids and to friends over the years as my collection changed direction or narrowed the focus, although you can't actually tell anything is missing.

Keeping the boxes labelled is very helpful.

Or get buried with it all like Pharaoh or a Chinese emperor.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

cherrypicker12 Oct 2023 9:15 p.m. PST

I moved to Oz and built a 63sqm gaming shed :-)

ChrisBrantley13 Oct 2023 6:13 a.m. PST

I used to buy a lot of ancient/medieval figures from Essex and others to get maximum figure variation in my DBX/Triumph armies, and ended up with lots of blisters of 1-2 extra figures of various types/codes. At one HMGS Con, I laid them out on a table with a small sign that said "Orphaned Minis – Free to a Good Home." They were all gone by the end of the day.

Arjuna13 Oct 2023 9:04 a.m. PST

Arjuna will become a legend, or myth, in the centuries to come!

Yes, the techno-barbarians of the post-apocalyptic wastelands, sitting around their nuclear fire pits, listening to the arcane tales their cyber-shamans tell of a bygone wonderland, extinguished by the fire that is hotter than a thousand suns.
Burned to ashes, washed away by black rain.

But there is still some hope, for they also whisper in awe the name of Arjuna.
Arjuna, the preacher without a God, that, when his army has gathered from all across the world, will conquer a new future for the people.
And so they set out to find Arjuna's tiny warriors, for it is said that when they are all united again on the battlefield he will return and lead them to Wonderland.

evil grin

Stryderg13 Oct 2023 9:35 a.m. PST

You should write introductions to novels!

Arjuna13 Oct 2023 10:02 a.m. PST

You should write introductions to novels!

No doubt about it.
I should give something back to the world.
Something valuable, deep and gloomy thoughts, of course.
Not just my precious toys.

What about highly entertaining, cheeky, saucy and funny fiction, something like…don't know…

Besides the explicit descriptions of Fleshman (pun intended) sinking into the tentacles of a Venusian slave trader, through the back door (No Sir, not what YOU think)
I could slip in my philosophical musings, a few sentences here and there that would give people pause and briefly leave them deeply frightened before the roller coaster ride of the story continues.

Now that would be fun.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2023 5:17 p.m. PST

I've been slowly selling off large forces and moving to skirmish games.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Oct 2023 4:43 a.m. PST

I like the raffle idea. Maybe in aid of some worthy charity?


mildbill17 Oct 2023 5:14 a.m. PST

I have contracted with a gentlemen to long dollar sell with a % to him and the balance to my wife. He does this for a living.

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