Cult Collectors examines cultures of consumption and the fans who collect cult film and TV merchandise.
Author Lincoln Geraghty argues that there has been a change in the fan convention space, where collectible merchandise and toys, rather than just the fictional text, have become objects for trade, nostalgia, and a focal point for fans’ personal narratives. New technologies also add to this changing identity of cult fandom whereby popular websites such as eBay and ThinkGeek become cyber sites of memory and profit for cult fan communities.
The book opens with an analysis of the problematic representations of fans and fandom in film and television. Stereotypes of the fan and collector as portrayed in series such as The Big Bang Theory and films like The 40 Year Old Virgin are discussed alongside changes in consumption practices and the mainstreaming of cult media. Following this, theoretical chapters consider issues of gender, representation, nostalgia and the influence of social media. Finally, extended case study chapters examine in detail the connections between the fan community and the commodities bought and sold.
Topics discussed include:
The San Diego Comic-Con and the cult geographies of the fan convention
Hollywood memorabilia and collecting cinema history
The Star Wars franchise, merchandising and the adult collector
Online stores and the commercialisation of cult fandom
Mattel, Hasbro and nostalgia for animated eighties children’s television