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ArtFigurines help cherish fan culture

Figurines help cherish fan culture

Published: 1st Aug 2021 12:07 am

Hyderabad: If you’ve ever watched an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, you would have seen the intensity and zeal with which the characters go about collecting action figurines and comic book merchandise.

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What is lesser known is the collectibles community of the city and according to some of them, a growing one.

According to Harish Bhagavatula, an artist and a collector, members of the community spend a lot of time, money and energy in getting the right figurines.

The common motive behind collecting these is nostalgia and the connection with the characters, as Harish says, “Toys freeze our favourite characters and special moments from our favourite shows, movies and comics. It is no different than having a poster of our favorite celebrity. But why settle for a poster or a wallpaper, when I can have a life-sized Baby Yoda next to me. This is the evolution of fan culture. We also get custom-made figurines as a tribute. I spent months finding the right maker to get a customised figurine of singer SP Balasubrahmanyam after he passed away.”

Echoing this is Kranthi Kiran Simhadri, an animator from the city. “There are moments from different comic books or series that we feel close to. For instance, I am a major fan of Superman and I wanted one specific figurine, done in the style of Alex Ross, a cartoonist. It is from the classic era of comic books and there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to it. I went to great lengths to acquire that,” says the collector with over 500 figurines in his collection.

For these enthusiasts, it is not just about owning the figurines but also the journey that goes into collecting them.

According to Shiva Ram Kumar, an Income Tax consultant and a veteran collector, it is extremely important for them to get authentic merchandise. “The licensed models are done with immaculate detail and the material used is also premium and top notch. There’s heavy realism in those and we spend a lot of time finding the right sellers from wherever in the world we can. The process of hunting for the right one is one of the driving factors,” says Kumar.

He has a Bat Plane, an extremely rare item, and also a diecast Iron Man Mark 1 suit. “These merchandises are not easy to find and are also very expensive. But they are worth it because of their quality,” he says.

There is also a lot of knowledge sharing and a lot of exchanging that happens within the community, as maintaining these figurines is just as important as acquiring them.

“Collectors take a lot of measures to keep their collections safe. For instance, these collectibles should be kept away from moisture and from direct sunlight. If something is damaged or needs repair, there are specific ways,” reveals Kumar.

Access to OTT platforms and online stores has also enabled the growth of the community. Adds Kranthi, “People now watch superhero shows on OTT platforms and feel they want to replicate the same energy in their workspaces. That has led to more people wanting to get into collecting and the community is growing for sure.”

Harish Bhagavatula with Baby Yoda, and Kranthi Kiran with his expansive collection.

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