Here we are at eight years. I’d like to say it got here quickly. I’d like to say it was an easy road. But it was neither of those things. This past year was a very hard year for me. Probably the hardest I’ve had. My personal struggles are something I’ve discussed a little bit here, with losing my wife Jess being the very biggest of them all. I won’t lie, it got a little hard to keep up with things and to keep persevering, but the site also gave me an outlet to channel some of my worst feelings during some of my darkest days. I made it a point not to quit right away after I lost Jess, but the thought did enter my mind. She was a very strong influence on this site, and it’s very different without her here. I knew I wanted to get to today, and see how I felt from here. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and my plan as it stands right now is to keep going. I like this side of me, and Jess did too. She didn’t want me stepping away during her treatment, and I don’t think she’d want me stepping away now. I may revisit the decision in the coming months, but for now, I’m not done here yet.
Over the course of the last 365 days, I’ve written over 271,000 words about 409 figures, 4 vehicles, 1 radio, and a pizza. Gotta love the climbing pizza stats there.
This year, the site’s views moved their way up to a cumulative total of over 480,000, over 120,000 of those coming from the last 365 days, absolutely blowing away the already heightened stats of the two prior years. I picked up 47 more followers, bringing the total to a resounding 277. I had 99 comments, excluding those made by myself.
Let’s talk about the make-up of this year’s reviews. Breaking it down by franchises, Marvel is still on top with 138 reviews, Star Wars is about half of that at 75, and DC isn’t too far behind with 52 . Dealing with toy lines proper, Marvel Legends maintains its spot at the top with 90 reviews, followed by a gap and then The Black Series at 43, and then Minimates wrap things up with 27, holding the third spot by a narrow margin . By virtue of being the primary manufacturer of the top two entries in both of the last two categories, Hasbro once more takes the number one spot for manufacturers, with 202 reviews, again more than half my total. Second place is 159 reviews behind, and not even in business anymore, since it’s Kenner with 35. Toy Biz, another not in business company takes the third spot with 25, finally dethroning DST, an actual company that still makes things. That’s gotta hurt. As of today, I have reviewed 62.4% of my collection, almost a 5% increase from last year.
The past six years, I’ve taken the end of this post to go through my favorite reviews from the past year. Admittedly, I don’t think I have the clarity to do that this year. I’m still kind of feeling out having emotions and liking things, and it would probably just wind up being things from happier times, which seems unfair to the back half of the year’s reviews.
I will, however, once again offer my most sincere thank you to all my faithful readers who have stuck by me through all my crazy ramblings, and to all of those who have joined me along the way. This year, more than others, I couldn’t do this without you guys. Thank you for being part of finding my new normal.
That’s pretty much it…
I’m happy to hear that you’ll be continuing on with the reviews for now. It took me reading the number of followers gained to realize there actually was a “Follow” button, so you got one more follower today! I enjoy so many of the different toy lines that you review, and I get to enjoy them vicariously without spending the money myself!
I just came across your blog recently, so just learning of your loss. Deepest condolences. Believe your wife’s spirit is in your words, and she will be with you all the way. Although no where near what you have gone through, I got back into blogging recently after a breakup , so I feel you. Hope the passion for collecting brings you some comfort. You are not alone.
Congrats! I’m glad to hear you’ll be continuing as this site is a daily read for me. Again, congratulations on eight years!