I missed this bit of collecting wisdom from Rob O’Hara when he first posted it last month, but Rob describes his concept of mini-collections to keep his hobbies from taking over his life.
The idea is that since he can’t collect everything he would like to collect, due to space and money constraints, he picks niches that do fit into those constraints, and focuses on those. Rob cites the idea of collecting Commodore games that fit into certain parameters to keep his collection in check; for the same reason I specialize in Marx and American Flyer (especially Marx) 3/16 pressed tin O gauge trains. They’re reasonably affordable, not so numerous as to take a lifetime to complete, and I like them.
That’s an added benefit. If I wanted to collect Lionel 6464 box cars, there are about 100 variants (my estimate) and many of them cost hundreds of dollars. Realistically, it would probably take me 10 years to assemble that collection and it would tie up a lot more money than I’m willing to tie up in something like that.
Maybe someday things will change and I’ll reconsider, but that’s the beauty of it. If things change, I’ll reconsider, but otherwise, it’s not distracting me.