An Australian Man Cave to be proud of

by  in Comic News Comment
An Australian Man Cave to be proud of

Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where fans invite us into their homes to take a look at their collections. Today Jamie from Australia shares his “man cave,” which features action figures, comics, DVDs, more action figures and much more.

If you’d like to share your collection, you can find details on how to do so here.

And now let’s hear from Jamie …


My name is Jamie and this is my Australian Man Cave. No beer, cricket or footy memorabilia, or thongs, but lot of comics (13,000 and counting) and toys. My three main hobbies would be reading comics (and crime/ mystery/ science fiction novels,) watching movies, and hunting down toys at reasonable prices. I’ve been reading and collecting comics for at least 38 years (I’m 41.) I only started collecting toys about twelve years ago. Most of the toys, statues on display I’ve gotten for pretty low prices. My best find was a 12 inch Grand Moff Tarkin doll that I got from K-Mart for a measly $2!!

My Man Cave is a single-car carport that my wife kindly allowed me to convert into a fourth bedroom. It’s a nice snug size, a little bigger than a bedroom, and the perfect shape for watching movies in surround sound. I used to have a projector screen hanging above the windows, but when I recently upgraded to bluray, I took it down as the large screen TV is much better. This is the view from the couch.

View of the left-side of the room. I started off with the brown china cabinet, purchased at Lifeline, but that became full after about a year. Then I discovered IKEA, and cheap shops like Sam’s Warehouse for all my storage needs. Hard to believe that when I started collecting comics I could fit them all into one blanket box.

View of the right-side of the room. The desk is a great solid piece about 40 years old that I acquired from a mental institution. Sometimes I can feel my inner Nurse Ratched coming out. I would like to tell you I do a lot of work at this desk (I’m a teacher,) but to tell the truth it’s mainly used for reading, and bagging comics.

The couch. It’s old and well sat in. Eventually I want to get one of those movie couches with built-in cup-holders. Every Man Cave should have a couch with cup-holders. As you can see, I like watching DVDs.

I’ve been a HUGE Captain America fan for 38 years. One of the things I always dreamed of owning was a life-size shield. I knew a collectable model would be way out of my price range. Then I saw this baby, a tin shield, costume accessory. I mounted it on the backboard and ta-da, instant collectible! Surrounding the shield are a number of comics that have personal appeal. I’m a bronze-age boy at heart. The Human Fly, Steel, Machine Man, and Omega the Unknown are those D-list characters that I loved, and still do, as a kid. The teddy bear is my oldest possession – 41 years old!

There’s no logic to my collection, just things that personally appeal. Topps cards, Batman PEZ dispensers and toy cars, even a Nic Cage Ghost Rider. The Captain America Walkie Talkies may have been a little too much.

Some of my favourite movie characters. I used to have a Michael Myers and Ash figure as well, but they freaked my wife and kids out too much and were put into storage. I can’t afford a Hot Toys Michael Keaton Batman, so the plastic one from Batman Returns has to do.

I don’t usually spend a lot of money on individual toys, but when I saw the Hot Toys Christopher Reeve Superman I was determined to get one. Superman: The Movie is my favourite movie of all-time. Highlander comes second, then the Star Trek series (particularly Wrath of Khan.) Funny story – I bought the Karl Urban Star Trek doll the same day I sat in on a seminar he was presenting at. It was all I could do to not stand up and yell, “Look Karl Urban, I own you, your soul is mine!!” while waving it in front of him.

James Bond dolls. Another favourite franchise. When are they going to bring out a Daniel Craig one? There are some other movie-related dolls behind them as well. Underneath is the start of my Marvel Legends series.

More Marvel Legends figures. I try to group them together in themes. While it was a pretty average film, I really like the Fantastic Four Movie figures. Underneath are a number of Famous Covers dolls I acquired before getting hooked on Legends. Not sure what the appeal, but I prefer figures that have cloth costumes. It probably stems from all the Mego figures I had as a child. I love that Hawkeye figure.

My other Captain America shrine. Some of the toys are a little battle-damaged because they used to belong to my son. I stopped collecting Marvel Legends when Hasbro took over and they became too expensive. However, I was able to get the Hulk series really cheap so I could get Fin Fang Foom.

A lot of DC characters that also have personal appeal. Fans today have no idea how lucky they are. When I was a kid there was no way you’d get a Guardian, Blue Devil, or Commander Steel action Figure!! I love the DC 13 inch figures. Eventually I’d like to get enough to make it look like a Superfriends display. The Bronze Age Batman is a highlight. See the 1990 Captain America video on the shelf? That’s how crazy I am about Captain America.

Above the display cabinets are about 200 Star Trek novels. I’m a big Star Trek fan, but I would never refer to myself as a Trekkie. As you can see there are a few toy odds and ends that I should probably put in storage but I can’t help myself.

I got the Thing Hands for Secret Santa. I also used to have a Mr Fantastic Stretch Armstrong but he was eaten by ants : ( They did what Dr Doom’s been trying to do for years!!! After seeing how cool Spinner-racks look in bedrooms I decided to make my own version. My room’s too small for a real one, and they’re too hard to find so this is a good compromise. All the comics in the rack are signed by the likes of George Perez, Chris Claremont, Todd McFarlane, Howard Chaykin, Stuart Immonen, and Geoff Johns. Getting comics signed and sketches at Cons are my new hobby.

Fin Fang Foom – every Man Cave must have one. If they make Devil Dinosaur I’ll have a seizure. I had the Pitt figure disassembled for years until I was able to acquire a reasonably priced head from Ebay. The only reason the wrestling figure is there is because of how politically-incorrect he looks.

The Thing guards my Captain America Comics Corner. Apart from two or three issues I have a complete run of volume one. There are also a lot of limited series and miscellaneous titles featuring Cap. In the 80’s I would buy any comic that featured Captain America as a guest star. I’m not as fanatical about the character now, but it remains the only Marvel book I collect (apart from Waid’s Daredevil.) I dropped Marvel just after the Avengers Disassembled era began. Behind the Thing are Air-Wave and the Human Fly custom Megos. Air-Wave rocks!!

What do you do with your 2011 Superfriends Calendar when it looks too nice to throw out? Cut it up and use it as a desk protector. I have a few tradepaperbacks, but I prefer original comics. Over the years I’ve acquired a few comic art books, and encyclopaedias. My mother bought me Crawford’s Encyclopaedia of Comic Books when I was a child hence its dog-eared appearance. It was an invaluable resource in learning about the Golden Age of comics. A personal favourite was the original Hydroman. Then Alex Ross brought him back in Superpowers! I love you Alex Ross!

I was lucky to get a couple of Howard Chaykin sketches at a Con last year. Stuart Immonen was kind enough to give me the Thor sketch back in 2006.

I’ve only recently started acquiring Marvel Busts. The Batman Matchbox collection was acquired a while ago. My eight year old has been begging me to open the Killer Moth car for about two years!!

I’m living proof that Star Trek and Star Wars fans can co-exist harmoniously. All the original Star Wars figures were purchased really cheap because they were practically throwing them out to make way for Phantom Menace stock! The modern figures were purchased in sales. R2 D2 is actually a shampoo bottle. Next to the cabinet is another favourite character of mine, Union Jack figure signed by Roger Stern.

I have about 13,000 comics, split between Marvel and DC Comics, with a few independent titles like Charlton, Frew, and a few Image comics. Most of my Marvel and DC comics are from the 70s to 2000. The Bronze Age is my all-time favourite era, and I’ll spend hours re-reading Marvel-Two-In-One, Super-Villain Team Up, and Batman Brave and Bold comics. I like to store my comics in magazine holders as it’s really easy to pull out a section for reading, without disrupting the shelf too much. They’re really affordable as well.

Thanks for checking out my Man Cave. Hope you enjoyed it. Cheers.

Thanks Jamie! If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Robot 6, here’s what you need to do:

1. Take some photos and save them as jpgs.
2. Write a little something about your collection
3. Send them to me in an email.

Some additional tips:

1. Although we don’t have a minimum or maximum limit on photos, usually 10-15 should suffice. They also don’t need to be huge, so if you can shrink them down so they are less than 1000 x 1000, that would be great. You can help make your collection look nice by being sure to focus, use the right lighting, dust your shelves beforehand, etc.
2. You can either write something up that’ll appear at the beginning of the post, or you can describe each item. Be sure to indicate where each image should be placed within your write-up, but don’t embed the images into a Word doc. Just put the file name in brackets where you want the image to appear.
3. When sending images using something like YouSendIt or DropBox, please keep in mind that I may not get to your submission for a month or more, so make sure you don’t delete them or that they won’t expire.
4. Please include your name (just your first name is fine) and location with your write-up.