Ohhhhhhh…….here we go. Yep. Controversial. But I’m gonna mention the word we don’t mention.
Backlog….Is not a dirty word.
I’m gonna ask you to bear with me for just a bit whilst I work through the more negative angle of this phenomenon, but trust me there is a silver lining to this cloud. I’m guessing (hoping) I’ll stir up a little emotion here because it’s good to get it out in the open and see it from other people’s perspectives, but I also hope to just temper the mood around the term and let us see that ‘backlog’ is in fact NOT a dirty word.
So, at the Gunpla Network Facebook group, we don’t mention backlog; we openly discourage the posting of backlog pics; we remove the blatant backlog posts. We are always seeing unique and sometimes sneaky ways to display an entire collection of unbuilt kits in boxes so as to express some sort of achievement, and yeah nice try buddy but no dice.….and this is why. Coz any chump with a fist full of dollars can buy a bus load of kits, pile em up on the kitchen table, and assume they got game. Well…..as I’ve just stated…. any chump with a fist full of dollars can buy a bus load of kits, pile em up on the kitchen table.....but it does NOT mean they got game. It means they got a bus load of unbuilt kits. It’s not building. It’s not showing any actual skill except you know how to hand over your hard-earned cash and make boxes in to a pile. Clever? Nope.
But…..we all got one. A backlog. We all know it’s there in the corner of our hobby room. Filling the cupboard. Filling half a room. Filling an entire room for some nutters.
How did it get so big?
Why is it that it just grows?
How do I make it stop!!!!!!!
Now let’s look at this like civilized people. There really really is nothing wrong with a ‘backlog’. Backlog….is NOT a dirty word. In fact, your backlog is all your dreams and desires in a collection. Some purchased by impulse, some planned purchases and are definite project builds you have 100% intention of getting too…someday. What kinda frustrates me is when I see a backlog post and someone saying, “I have so much Gunpla I don’t know what to build anymore”. I think you’ve missed the point and might as well just give it all away to someone who does know. I’m not referring to two or three kits and someone asking for help to decide which to build next…. although the common pattern is, and god bless the Gunpla Network members because generally it is dealt with in an entirely patient and encouraging way, but generally the reply is….”hey, just build what you feel you want to next”….and they do.
It’s still a form of showing off kits they got, at a low level, and it’s a little sly but it’s not as bad as a full collection post, even though at times we do see a huuuuuuge arse pile of kits in the background ever so slightly out of focus, but in the pic all the same. Nice try fella.
Regardless, that’s not so bad. It’s generally an innocent post from someone who genuinely wants to post up pics of a great haul and be part of the community and just hasn’t quite got anything to show for it at the moment. And yeah pics of specific ‘hauls’ is no biggie either. We always see posts of “my gf bought me this for our anniversary” etc and that’s cool…she’s a keeper. I know when I came back from a trip to Japan, I certainly shared pics of all my loot in a nice neat pile. In this situation I think it was more about “look how much Gunpla I got my wife and daughter to lug on to the plane as carry-on”. Suckers. It was a lot.
And I’d still see rather those sorta posts and the comments that ensue, than some of the insanely unnecessary and childish negativity we see from time to time. In my opinion, even though it is a bit annoying and at Gunpla Network we don’t ever want it to be the focus of the group over actual building of kits regardless of kit or skill level, we want it to be about building what’s IN the pile. But I believe, in Gunpla terms, the issue of posting ‘backlog’ pics is really a third world problem right so it’s important that we keep this sorta stuff in perspective and continue with the patient and encouraging response we see from the grown-ups in the community.
But what I’d like say here is…..why do we look at our loving collection of unbuilt kits, our hard earned cash sitting in gold bullion standard as far as Gunpla goes, all our dreams and desires, why do we look at that with such despise and see it as torment….when if we were to do the same with a heap of books, neatly organised and stacked into shelves, arranged in how ever an order, many of them prob unread but we’d have full intention to read them some day so we’ll buy them anyways…..why do we get to call that a ‘library’? What’s the difference, really? It’s just more collecting. It’s the gathering of the things we like to have around us.
I mean a book has a cover…. Gunpla has box art!!! I guarantee we’ve all bought a quantifiable percentage of kits because the box art was just amazing. I personally cut up all my boxes and keep the box art so that one day when my wife wins the lottery (coz I don’t enter, it’s a total scam) and we buy a mansion and I get a Gunpla room the size of a high school basketball gym, I’m gonna get all that box art framed and mounted up on the walls and it’ll look freakin’ amazing. But I digress. A book has a cover, Gunpla has box art. And isn’t it nice to go to someone’s house and nosey through their….’library’…..and see all the books they own. It tells us something about the person. And when you get the chance, it’s also fantastic to paw through someone’s ‘backlog’. They’ve always got tales of where they bought the kit or the plans they have to kit bash that Zaku with an Exia (waste of a perfectly good Zaku if you ask me) and you get an insight in to the person and a better understanding of their personal passion for Gunpla, always bringing us back to the most important aspect of Gunpla, in my opinion, the people we meet and know, through Gunpla.
And back to the books; some books are rare, harder to find than others, maybe old, maybe just not as many printed, but they are always the pride of a person’s….. ’library'…..and so with Gunpla, we have the same scenario. Whether it be because it’s a P.Bandai or limited run or an older kit, or just a kit that didn’t get much of a run but you love it and it’s got its place in your backlog.
So it’s not all bad, mate. There’s no need to go getting all nuts about the crazy amount of kits you bought for yourself to enjoy building someday. You really shouldn’t be whining about the amazing awesomeness piled up in your cupboard. It’s not really a mass of mistakes. It’s a king’s treasury of fantastic gifts you bought yourself. You only have YOURSELF to blame……and you have YOURSELF to thank for this smorgasbord of Gunpla at your disposal. Thank you, SELF. You are the best!!!
My personal issue with my backlog is never, that I don’t know what I want to build….the issue is that I want to build every single kit I own!!!
As I’ve grown as a builder, I’ve moved away from the furious building for the sake of building, just grabbing the next kit closest to me and snapping it up like lighting. These days, I tend to have a loose plan, a bit of a schedule of kits I’d like to see built over period X, and in a somewhat logical order. But when I go for the ‘next’ kit from my backlog, every other kit is reaching out trying to get my attention…”pick me, pick me, pick me”. I just want to build them all. There is not one single kit in my backlog I don’t look forward to building. Some maybe not as amazing and I don’t look forward to as much. But I love all my children and each will get their chance to shine.
And I encourage you to do find a way to feel the same. If you have a bunch of kits you just don’t like, then get rid of ’em. Stick on eBay (do NOT try selling em on GN) or try swapping ’em with buddies or at build meets, make a few bucks and buy kits you do like. Ironic, huh. Just get ’em out of the picture. It’ll be hard and you’ll lose money, but it’s all about the purging. And go through your kits and sort them in to some categories. Look at a build plan. Decide which kits need more love and which can be just snapped up with some waterslides and a top coat and still look great. Some kits you may just keep because you love the anime or you love the box art and you now accept that you will prob never ever build it, but that’s ok. You’ve accepted that now. Keep a few spares for rainy days or taking away on family holidays. Don't let your backlog be a burden or a weight on your shoulders, let it be a vision of the future Gunpla radness ahead of you. Whatever it takes, get your ‘backlog’ to a point where you look forward to building every single kit on the build list... And no matter what, find a way to turn your ‘backlog’ in to your ‘library’.
(Some images in this article were used with permission from the 'Gundam Meme's Official' Facebook group. Other images in this article were found via Google image search. If any of these images are yours and you'd like them taken down or given credit for then please contact us ASAP and we shall do so with out any issue at all)