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What is the fate of LRG?


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#1 Czarcher

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 04:49 PM

Hey guys! It's nice to be back,but where is everybody?

I have so many fond memories of surfing LRG and interacting with people like Universal Ruler Supreme,Gilgar,Ericnilla,Ironmask,Soupie,Meatcutta,Doc Moore,and even General Veers lol. I still talk to Eric on Facebook,and that's actually what brought me back to LRG. Seeing him post various minis for sale really takes me back to those fun days when I couldn't wait to get off work to hop on LRG.

But what happened? Where did everybody go? I can assume that other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have stolen some thunder from the LRG forums. But that can't be entirely what happened. Is it that 'Life happened'? Since a lot of the OG collectors including myself got older,did our priorities change?

I joined in 2007,so I was 32. I think people in their early 30's are primed for collecting things from their childhood. 30 year olds for the most part have become established in the workforce,out on their own,in a committed relationship,and have some disposable income. I was 10 in 1985,so in my 30's I was all about collecting Muscle,Battle Beasts,Transformers,Gi-joe,He-Man,and Garbage Pail Kids chasing that 80's nostalgia.

Fast forward to 2021 and now I'm 46 and have gone through a lot. My mom died 5 years ago,I've been through the job 'merry-go-round',my oldest daughter just graduated high school and got her first job,I got remarried,and I have a new baby coming next month! So,do people fall out of collecting as life and priorities change?
Personally my collecting habits seem to change like the seasons,which I'm not especially proud of. I've collected sports cards,Transformers,Gi-joe,military vehicles,various mini figures,Star Wars,Dragon Ball,Garbage Pail Kids,non-sports cards,comics,and most recently Pokemon.

Pokemon is HOT right now. I'm in several groups on Facebook and its Big,Big money. Some cards bring in 10's of thousands of dollars. Sealed boxes from the 2000 era are 50k+. It's insane how people are throwing around thousands of dollars on vintage cards and sealed product. Pokemon collecting has gained so much steam from youtubers and media coverage (Just google Logan Paul) that everybody wants to hop on the bandwagon.

But when you look at Pokemon and why it's so hot,it's that same equation as why LRG was so hot in the early 2000's. Pokemon came to the US in 1999,so those kids that were 10 years old in 2000 are in their 30's now and are wanting that nostalgia. I'm no longer collecting Pokemon,at least not the cards. I can't afford to pay these out of control peak prices,plus the community is extremely shady. Fake cards and scammers are running rampant online. It's a very toxic community.

So what's the future of LRG and collecting mini figures? Can LRG make a come back?
I wish I knew how to bring this hobby and LRG back to its 'Golden Age'. I'm not in tuned with the newer lines,but it seems that monochromatic minis are still being made from various companies. And because of that you would think that interest in the vintage stuff would still be there.

Last time I saw Jon (Jkaris) was late 2019,right before the pandemic. We met for lunch to catch up. It was really great seeing him,since it had been like 6 years. We both had plenty of new gray hairs and life experiences. I had asked him back then why it seemed LRG had become so quiet? He said that life happens and priorities change. I think he was exactly right.

So as the years and decades go by,is collecting mini figures the new 'old man's hobby'? Will it eventually replace the hobby of the guy in his 70's who collects tin toys and cowboy cap guns? Time will tell,but I wish i knew a way to make LRG flourish the way it once did.

If you've made it this far,thanks for reading.
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#2 fuzzbuster

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 12:33 AM

I am sure people tend to prefer popular social media platforms to message boards nowadays for a few reasons, but I think it mainly comes down to a matter of convenience for most.

 

When this board first started back in 2002, message boards were just coming into vogue. For those already pursuing the hobby via the internet back then, this meant joining email groups and bookmarking various websites. The forum was essentially a newer way to streamline collector's activities, a single spot where discussions and links could be shared and archived for future reference.

Nineteen years later most people are already using social media to streamline their activities in much the same way, and not just when it comes to hobbies. It's only natural that the places where people are already conducting their daily electronic activities is where most of the current discussions on any given subject are going to take place.

 

 

To answer your main questions, there will always be collectors and LRG will always be here. It will always be a publicly viewable repository of collector's insights and shared knowledge. Regardless of how the nature of communication evolves, the information here is already and will continue to be a reference to minifig enthusiasts young and old.


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#3 plasticfiend

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:54 AM

Folks give all sorts of reasons why they prefer other groups and social media platforms etc... but I think fuzz hit the nail on the head: convenience.  The convenience of reaching a pool of collectors on a social media platform that the collector is probably already CONSTANTLY looking or checking is huge... not to mention when it comes to attracting new members.  

 

I'll always appreciate LRG for being the intro into my own personal nosedive into rediscovering mini-figs.  I imagine it must be pretty exciting for folks googling about their mini's to discover littlerubberguys!!

 

I may not post as much, but I certainly poke around here and there.  Always grateful that LRG is still going strong after all this time.

 

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Edited by plasticfiend, 25 July 2021 - 07:55 AM.

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Feel free to take a look at our FB and Instagram pages... for an example of out balloon work!!

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#4 Czarcher

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 12:05 PM

I appreciate your responses and insight Fuzz & PF.
I understand that Facebook and other media platforms are convenient for most people,but to be honest it doesn't take much effort to hop from one page to another. Also,there isn't a whole lot of groups on Facebook. I've only seen the 'Mini Figure Militia' group,and there's only like maybe 1,400 people in it with not very many posts. I'm not on Instagram so I really can't give an opinion on that one.

So it's not like LRG is slow and activity on other sites are going strong. It seems slow everywhere. Sure FB is more streamlined,but to me it seems more chaotic too. I personally like how LRG is set up into specific categories and I can go and see posts about a particular subject.

You're right Fuzz,in the fact that LRG will always be the main library of reference for mini figures,and the fact that old collectors like me and new collectors just getting into M.u.s.c.l.e. ,Battle Beasts etc have a haven to go to to research the hobby.
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#5 Beastformers

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:03 AM

Who knows if our mini figure lines will become the new ¨old man hobby¨ (we´re well underway I´d say with the years counting lol) the old members will eventually return together with all the activity and liveliness but I agree that the mainstream of social media in the world we live in today has definitely had a huge impact on LRG.

 

I´m still active and checking here regularly but like many, and I didn´t join from the beginning, I do long back to the period where there seemed to be many daily posts and discussions going within the various areas of the board. A period in which, together with ALL the information that´s already been out here for years has been very helpful in order to understand more about the various toy lines documented out here. And I dare to say there´s no place out on the web that´s containing more valuable information about mini figures than LRG. Luckily this is something that will, hopefully, always remain and even if the liveliness doesn´t return LRG will always hold it´s central position as an archive for the many mini figure toy lines simply because there is no way all the difference sometimes secluded FB groups can compete with the information that´s stored on the LRG servers. LRG is a great example of how a bunch of passionate collectors and fans of the various mini figure lines all together are able to built such a strong home base for mini figures within the digital world. It still comes up during searches and the old as well as new collectors will eventually come back here sooner or later. Maybe just to look something up but if there are any new questions or posts it´s also up to the (few) members that are still out here to keep things going and reply with the knowledge we´ve gathered here over time to ensure post or questions aren´t ignored meaning people might actually think LRG is a non active community. So in the end it´s also up to us...

 

I´ll continue to try and contribute where I can, when it comes to the Battle Beasts we still have ongoing topics we´re doing ¨research¨ on in regards to the history of the Beasts so from that point of view we´re far from done. Don´t know about the other lines in the other areas but also there many passionate collectors are around who´ll hopefully keep things going as well.

 

Because in the end we can´t go without LRG and LRG can´t go without us...


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#6 BaltanII

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 08:06 AM

While I check in LRG frequently, probably still daily, not much point in shouting into a void if I can get similar discussion elsewhere from active communities. So I will presumably keep being around for a long time to come, but without forum growth and engagement, probably won't seem like that 99% of the time.

 

There are forums that are still active and livelier, but it's usually hubs for huge amounts of discussion. A collection of narrow minifigure types doesn't quite have the pull of Transformers, He-Man, or action figures in general, to think of some of the communities I know do thrive as forums in 2021.


Edited by BaltanII, 26 July 2021 - 08:07 AM.

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#7 jkaris

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 08:39 AM

I know for myself that I am really just too busy with other aspects of life to be active here. I still collect, but infrequently. I do skim the board every day for a few minutes, but don't really have anything to add. I'm not even really active on my @littlerubberguys or @riseofthebeasts Instagram accounts. I've got adult kids, grandkids, an IT Business that I am trying to grow and I am super active with my church. So time for toy collecting is minimal. Plus I've really gotten into tabletop games the last 4-5 years (great way to spend time with family and friends).

 

As far as board traffic, definitely not a whole lot of day to day posts, but still a ton of activity. We average around 45,000 visits per month, 250k page views and 500k kits. (compared to 2014 when we averaged about 60,000 visits, 500k page views and 2 million hits per month). This is the number with bots and spiders filtered out. We get 20-40 new users registering each month. PM's are still pretty active, since people are still wheeling and dealing on the back end.

 

For the last 90 days, here are the most popular sections, in order.

Toy Identification
Got Toys?
Need Toys?
Battle Beasts, Laser Beasts, (classic series) etc.
Kinnikuman / Ultimate Muscle
Sandbox
M.U.S.C.L.E.
Other Toys and Toylines
Sightings
What's it worth?
Boglins
Monster In My Pocket

 

So that gives you an idea of what people are coming here for right now.

 

At some point, it will get really active again. It always does. Not Facebook active, but active. But if not, it will be here for reference. The server itself sits here in my office and the board has been around for almost 20 years now. I don't anticipate taking it down anytime in the near future.

 

We certainly don't have the activity that Transformers or He-Man does, but then again, minifigures don't have their huge collector base and thus nothing new is coming out for them from the media and toy makers to drive excitement.

 

Either way, like Fuzz has mentioned, the best way to drive activity, is to start posting new and exciting stuff. LRG is here as a long term resource for the minifigure group. Use it as you will.


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#8 Czarcher

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 05:34 PM

Either way, like Fuzz has mentioned, the best way to drive activity, is to start posting new and exciting stuff.


Thanks for commenting everyone. I think everyone's replies are correct. And You're right Jon,I have some ideas to hopefully drive activity,but I need to accumulate a broad mini figure collection again (I'm working on it). I'll be here a lot more. See you guys around! Don't be afraid to SHOUT Baltanll :)
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#9 ManofV

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 04:26 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I am a relatively new member to this site. I only just started seriously collecting early 2020. I stumbled upon this as I heard a few people mention it on m.u.s.c.l.e. social media pages. I love it personally and would love to see it continue. I have done a few deals with the White Rabbit on Instagram, so it is great to see him here. I am concentrating on my Battle/Laser Beasts at the minute and would love to use this site to help my collection grow. I for one will continue regardless.  :D


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#10 Czarcher

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 11:05 AM

Hi everyone,
 
I am a relatively new member to this site. I only just started seriously collecting early 2020. I stumbled upon this as I heard a few people mention it on m.u.s.c.l.e. social media pages. I love it personally and would love to see it continue. I have done a few deals with the White Rabbit on Instagram, so it is great to see him here. I am concentrating on my Battle/Laser Beasts at the minute and would love to use this site to help my collection grow. I for one will continue regardless.  :D

That's awesome! Welcome,and I'm sure you'll find this site and the people on it very helpful. Good luck with your Beast collection!
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#11 bigazzhead

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 07:15 PM

Hmm, I for one am glad the board is still around. Even though I dont check the board daily anymore, I still try to pop in when I can. Every since my first kid came around my collecting has been severely tamed. I'm hoping to set up a proper display to kinda get my juices going again. Right now everything is all packed up in storage so I haven't been able to really appreciate it. I have pulled a few out to play with my girls though..this makes me eager to get more stuff out, but just haven't had the time to dig for it. So I guess that's what's mostly killing it for me, time.
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#12 Czarcher

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 12:17 PM

Hmm, I for one am glad the board is still around. Even though I dont check the board daily anymore, I still try to pop in when I can. Every since my first kid came around my collecting has been severely tamed. I'm hoping to set up a proper display to kinda get my juices going again. Right now everything is all packed up in storage so I haven't been able to really appreciate it. I have pulled a few out to play with my girls though..this makes me eager to get more stuff out, but just haven't had the time to dig for it. So I guess that's what's mostly killing it for me, time.

Hey! Nice to 'see' ya again!
Ya,I think the majority of the members are in the same boat. Everybody has other stuff going on...'Life Happens'.
But I'll always love mini figs and showing my kids kinnikuman,Ultimate muscle,Pokemon,and other classic animation has been a blast (trying to pass the torch). I'll always have fond memories of coming to LRG and interacting with its members and I hope it will continue for years to come.
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