One can spend hours combing through the web looking up his or her next procurement and it can get a little lonely when there aren’t meets to attend and fellow fans to hang out with. Luckily for Mike and Amanda Kieler, they’ve found solidarity in collecting togther, even if their collections are wildly different.
For Mike Kieler, Transformers are his toy of choice. He credits his childhood interest in them to his middle-class upbringing. His family didn’t have a lot of money so he insisted that Transformers were the best bang-for-buck item because it was getting two toys in one. He later found himself pining after Transformers figurines once he saw the Michael Bay adaptations on the silver screen. He promised himself he would only get the ones that were in the movies. That didn’t go as planned as he now has over 1500 Transformers in his basement in Iowa.
His wife, Amanda Kieler hardly remembers a time when Barbie wasn’t in her life. She considers it a kind of Barbie tradition since her mother was collecting Barbies before she was born. Amanda soon grew out of playing with Barbies and immediately started to collect them from her teenage years onward. She credits Barbie for being a kind of marker in her life. When she got married, her friend gifted her a matching newlywed Ken and Barbie set. When she walked the red carpet, she sought after Badgley Mischka accessories so that she could match her Hope Diamond Barbie. She now has over 300 Barbies in her collection. Over half of those are Barbies that she played with, so they’ve lost their value ascribed by some other collectors, but she hopes that one day she can pass them on to a child who can love them as she did.
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