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Collector Spotlight: Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith collects vintage Wonder Woman memorabilia. She explains her fondness for the Amazonian princess and why she started collecting.

Describe your collection.

I collect Wonder Woman memorabilia. My collection is mostly pre-1990s collectibles, but I do have newer items also. I prefer vintage because they hold a lot of memories for me and many of the items are no longer produced. My collection includes statues, shoes, pins, dolls, clothing, bedding, posters, masks, lunchboxes, and lamps. Overall, I have about 8000 items in my collection.

The oldest piece I have is a pin that was given away with a Sensation Comics comic book in the 1940s. One of my favourite items is a yellow raincoat. I was shopping with my dad when I was six-years-old and came across a yellow Wonder Woman raincoat that said “I’m Your Wonder Woman” on the back. It was an adult size 14x; far too big for a 6-year old. My dad said, “By the time that fits you, you will be out of Wonder Woman.” Around 1999/2000, one popped up on eBay for only $14. I bought it and finally have that yellow raincoat. I never outgrew Wonder Woman!

When and why did you start collecting?

I started collecting in 1995. I’m an only child and when my mother passed away, my dad and I went to toy and comic book shows together. We shared that interest. In addition to Wonder Woman, I collect memorabilia from Jem and the Holograms, Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra, Rainbow Brite, and other franchises I remember from my childhood. I have about 10,000 items in my collection, if you include these other collectibles.

I was introduced to Wonder Woman through Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. I was attracted to her compassion and search for peaceful outcomes. I went to a Quaker school. The focus was on humanity and the importance of love and appreciation for people and their differences. I saw those same qualities in Wonder Woman.

How do you display and store your collection?

There are multiple rooms in my house devoted to my collections. I have items on walls and on shelving systems from IKEA and Home Depot. When we built an addition to our home, my husband suggested making a specific room for Wonder Woman. I didn’t really intend for the collection to grow so much. I originally had three shelves at my parents’ house for my toys. Those later went into plastic bins that I would take out when I wanted to look at my collection.

What do you consider to be the Holy Grail of Wonder Woman collectibles?

I have a Super Queens doll from Ideal that took me ten years to get. It’s from the 1960s. It’s quite rare and costs a good amount of money. I missed my chance to acquire one of these dolls on many occasions so I’m very happy to have one now.

As for something I don’t have, it’s hard to say because I don’t know everything that’s out there. My friend John is also a Wonder Woman collector. He has many items I don’t and we sometimes compete to acquire the same item. There are still many things I can add.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a similar collection?

Don’t try to do it overnight. A lot of people think my collection happened over a few years but I’ve been collecting since 1995. Be patient and don’t overspend. And pick a few key types of items such as statues, glassware, or figures because there’s just so much out there.

What resources do you use to acquire knowledge about your collectibles and connect with other collectors?

There are groups on Facebook that focus on vintage Wonder Woman collectibles. It’s easy to make friends online that know information you don’t. There are collectors who may not specialize in Wonder Woman but may be knowledgable about Ideal or Remco toys. That can be helpful. There was a time before the Internet that made information hard to find. It was a process of looking through catalogues and calling different stores for information. It’s so much easier now.

See more of Kristin’s collection on Instagram.

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