Plastic Souls

This isn't a toy review - it's more news, a little feature, wrapped up with some editorial. In other words, I'm just babbling on this week on a toy related topic.

Looking for love in all the wrong places. Sound like you? I'm betting most folks have that feeling at one point or another in life, and I know that toy collectors feel that way. It's been well publicized that to find a great mate, you should skip the bars and the meat markets, and spend your time doing the things you like doing most. As long as those things actually involve other humans, and you aren't committing a felony in the process, you're more likely to find someone you're compatible with for the long haul.

This is a common topic for discussion among toy collectors. The hobby isn't particularly well understood or universally accepted by mainstream civilization. Collectors always marvel when one of their own finds a mate who understands, or at least tolerates, their obsession, and they are forever asking how they too might get that lucky. Or just get lucky. Hey, action figures all over the house doesn't make you a chick magnet. Hard to believe, I know, but very true.

With the boom of the Internet during the 90's, dating changed forever. Now people could take the concept of meeting folks with similar likes and hobbies to new heights, meeting them not just at the local swing class or pottery store, but all around the globe. I personally know two marriages, and at least a dozen long term relationships, that have started through  Internet meetings around their hobby.

And now someone has taken the next logical step for all you toy collectors out there - they've created a cyber meeting place just for you. Called Plastic Souls , it's your chance to hook up with people who enjoy toy collecting, and are also looking to meet people of a like mind for that much touted but hard to find 'long term relationship'. Or maybe just a trading buddy - trading toys that is, not partners.

Here's the press release: "What is

Created by collectors for the collecting community, is the most unique online community in existence. We have fused the functionality of a dating website with the atmosphere of a toy store. This hybrid meeting place gives you the opportunity to meet new people who share your passion for toys, collectibles, movies, dolls and more.

Post your FREE profile on and browse the listings for people in your area (or around the country) with similar interests. If you see some members you'd like to contact, simply upgrade to a full membership for only $12.95 (half the cost of most dating/meeting sites) a month and gain full access to user emails and screen names. Also enjoy our REAL MEMBER POLICY - feel safe that our members are real collectors that enjoy meeting new people.

Meet new friends, find new soul mates. Plastic is in your blood, your soul. Why else would you buy so many toys?!"

Okay, it's a catchy name. But what does it REALLY have to offer? I'm a happily married man, but I figured if it was really working as described, it could be useful to find local collectors looking to network. So like any great journalist, I signed up to check it out for myself.

The process begins by creating a profile. You give yourself a screen name, and fill in relevant data like marital status, age, and ethnicity before moving on to the more important stuff - what you collect. You can also add your favorite movies, music, and some additional info. Finally, you can say where you heard about the site, and if you could do me a favor, there's a spot to pick "Michael Crawford's Reviews". Thanks in advance!

The form can be a tad annoying - if I told you my birth date, do you really need me to tell you my age? and every field must be filled out, including the "Additional Info" box before you can continue. Once you have it all filled out, you can upload a photo (or skip it and do it at a later time), and then you're all ready to log in and start looking for that perfect mate.

There's a few bugs still to work out in the searching. If you use the home page, the "Who Collects..." field defaults to Living Dead Dolls, and there's no way "Select All" option. This is corrected on the main search page, where you  have quite a few ways to search the database. I suspect that the use of the terms 'dude' and 'chick' might annoy a few folks, but overall the look and feel of the site works well.

I did a quick search using the 'all' feature across every category, and found that there are currently 47 males signed up, and 15 females.  Sarah Michelle Gellar isn't one of them, so my marriage is still safe.  That's actually a better ratio than I was expecting - let's be honest, most toy collectors are male, not Brad Pitt, and tend to spend way too much time arguing the virtues of Star Wars over Star Trek, Batman over Superman, and just how did Wonder Woman manage to keep her costume from falling off. It's nice to see enough 'chicks' looking to meet fellow toy collectors to keep the ratio at a reasonable three to one.

This service just started up about a week ago. When you do find someone there that springs your action feature, you can sign up to a full membership for $12.95 a month, and that gives you the ability to contact anyone else on the site. It may not revolutionize dating, but it has great possibilities for the toy collector.

If you sign up for the site, and find your true love, I'd love to hear about it. If I get some responses back from the ex-lovelorn, I may do another article about their success. And good luck!

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour