Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

The Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles

Last Update: 2021-03-15
Written By: Michael Crawford

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Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles

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Welcome to the Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles!

I'm your host, Michael Crawford. I've been a collector of everything my entire life, including stamps, and coins, and movie posters, and advertising, and comic books, etc. etc. etc., but it wasn't until I started collecting toys in the late 80's that I found my true passion. In the mid 90's I started reviewing toys, action figures, and other pop culture collectibles, an activity that continues to this day. And in February of 2000, I started my website for those reviews, which is where I'm hosting this virtual tour of my collection.

I have a history with museums. As a kid, I got the collecting bug from my father, and we traveled a lot with a trailer. On our trips around the country, he collected many antiques and rocks, and created a 'museum' in our garage. My elementary school was very close to the house, and my class would come down each year to visit. This planted the seeds for my adult yearning to have my toy collection set up in a similar way.

In our first home, I had a set up much like many collectors, where I dedicated a room to my collection. But a lot of stuff was boxed up, never to see the light of day, and that bummed me out. Enough so, that when we went looking for our next - and current, and hopefully last - house, around 2007, I wanted enough space to build a separate building to set it all up.

Putting up the building was one of the first things we did, but it turned into a storage place for lots and lots of boxes, as well as a place for me to take photos for the reviews. The building, as you can see in the first exterior photo, is rectangular. It is 50' feet long, and 25' feet deep, for a total of 1250 square feet. No interior walls, nothing to break up the displays. Before I started on building it all out, I wanted to catalog everything I had - what I was going to keep, what I was going to sell, and what I was unsure about. And that took forever to accomplish, because getting the motivation to go through box after box was near impossible.

And then covid came along, and I had a lot of time on my hands. About the same time, I finished up the daunting task of cataloging, and sorted out all the stuff I was positive I didn't want any more. In the spring of 2020, I began building out the interior.

The first thing I realized was I would be building all the shelves myself. If you've priced out any pre-built units or shelving, you'll know just how expensive trying to set up a space this size would be. Creating the basic design wasn't too hard, and the 9 foot ceilings meant I could have five shelves plus the floor. Designing the various shapes for the towers was much trickier, as was determining what size risers to use in various places. I did all the lighting myself as well, and if you have any questions about any of the construction, just drop me a note and I'll do my best to answer. You should also hit the General webpage for more details on construction.

While there isn't any area that's specifically themed, there are general themes maintained through out. There are 11 different wall colors, creating 'sections' where a loosely defined set of collectibles are exhibited. You'll see these sections highlighted below, with a short description. As you go through each area, I'll add flavor and text, but again, any questions please ask.  I'll be doing full video tours eventually as well, although those won't begin until I've completed the entire build out.

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The Institute
Please use the following links to navigate through the space.

- General - overall layout, general discussion of build
- The Gray Section - mostly Batman, some DC goodies
- The Red Section - lots more Batman, lots more DC
- The Green Section - mostly Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones, but other misc lines thrown in for good measure
- The Yellow Section - mostly Simpsons, with some additional cartoon lines
- The Purple Section - various cartoon lines, especially those from Palisades
- The Black/White Section - mostly Star Wars and Star Trek
- The Orange Section - horror lines
- The Brown Section - lots of war and western stuff
- The Blue Section - mostly Marvel
- The Door - lots of signage from lots of lines.
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- The Bar - not part of the Institute, but inside my home is my bar area with quite a few statues and prop replicas
- The Home Theater - also not part of the Institute but inside my home, and containing lots more prop replicas

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Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2021, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.