My ALF Collection

To get to know me and my ALF collecting habits better, I copied the following survey from a collector's site and answered the 28 questions. At the bottom of this page, you'll also see lots of pictures from my collection. New pictures will be added as the collection grows.

1. How did you first get into collecting?

In 2003 I found an old VHS tape lying around at home with the Pilot episode of ALF recorded on it, I watched it and became a fan overnight. The very next day I went to a flea-market after a friend told me it was a good place to find ALF stuff. Shortly after arriving, I found an ALF finger-puppet. I bought it on the spot and the rest, as they say, is history. That’s how my ALF collecting got started.

2. What's the driving force behind you wanting to collect?

I just think it’s a fun thing to do. I’ve never been the kind of guy who spends all his money on the latest fashion clothes or stuff like that, I find that boring. I’ve been collecting movies ever since I was a kid so collecting has been with me for quite a while. Also, my mom collects angel figurines and my grandmother collected cat figurines, so I guess you could say it’s a family thing.

3. Did you start out with the intention of collecting or did it just gradually grow?

I definitely knew right away that this is what I wanted to collect.

4. Do you “Collect ‘em all”, or just the ones you like?

I buy everything I can get my hands on and I like them all.

5. How do you decide what to take out of the package and what stays sealed?

Most of the stuff in my collection is already out of the package, if it ever had one. The things in really good condition that were sealed and cost me a heavy sum stays in the package. Also, some things can't be displayed unless it's in its package, so sometimes it must stay in its package.

6. When did you begin to display your collection?

Very shortly after I got my first item. I soon bought a shelf to display the things on and it was filled pretty soon. More and more were added as time went on.

7. What would your ideal set-up look like?

I’d like to have every single item I own on display for everyone to see. Some things are hard to display, so that's not the case at the moment. Bookshelves with glass windows are something I’d like to have for my collection one day.

8. How do you get your inspiration to organize and display your collection?

It’s something I really love to do, so it’s not really hard to get inspiration for it. There are very few things I enjoy more than organizing my collection.

9. How many pieces does your collection contain?

Too many to count, that’s for sure. They’re in the hundreds, I know that much.

10. Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?

It’s really like choosing your favorite child for me. I’ll have to name several favorite items of mine.

I have autographs from ALF (Paul Fusco,) Liz Sheridan (Raquel Ochmonek,) and Alf Clausen (composer for the show,) which I’ve received by writing them and requesting it. So these are treasured items in my collection.

The finger puppet I mentioned earlier, because it was the very first item I got for the collection.

The many authentic scripts I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on. These are extremely rare and go for quite a few dollars when they pop up on eBay, which they almost never do.

11. How much do you spend a month on your collection?

It varies, sometimes nothing at all, other times way too much, if there is such a thing.

12. Which item was the most difficult to obtain?

The scripts, no question about it. It was by luck that I got my hands on so many of them and I’m very grateful for that.

13. What is the oldest item you own and the one with the most value?

The oldest item I own must be one of the scripts from the first season, before all the merchandise were selling like crazy. The scripts are also the items I believe have the most value in them. ALF stuff really aren’t all that expensive, so when there’s something that’s actually from the show, it’s definitely worth a nice chunk of change for the right collector.

14. What is your “Holy Grail”? (The item you would hope to one day add to your collection but so far has been out of your reach)

Anything connected to the shows' production, that was either used or seen on it would be a very nice addition to my collection. One of my biggest aspirations as a collector is to have a script for every episode that was made.

15. Where does the majority of your collection come from? (Trading? Ebay? Brick and Mortar stores? Online Stores?)

It’s a mix between flea-markets and the Swedish version of eBay. I’ve only fairly recently been buying from eBay regularly, so the amount of merchandise I’ve gotten my hands on without eBay is quite impressive, if I may say so myself. The problem with eBay for us outside of the US is that while the items may be cheap and easy to come by, the shipping is almost always very high. Most times it’s higher than what you’re paying for the actual item.

16. How has the internet changed collecting for you?

If it weren’t for the internet, my collection would be considerably smaller.

17. Do you have a database or a list of all your pieces so you can keep track of them better?

I have pictures of every single item in my collection. I save them on my computer where I’ve divided the items in categories. It’s a big part of organizing the collection.

18. How does your partner (wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend) feel about your collection?

I’m one of those rare, lucky, lucky collectors. My girlfriend, whom I live with, has no problem with my ALF collecting habits one bit. In fact, she encourages me in my search for new items. I’m a lucky guy.

19. Do you ever get hassled about being a collector?

Most of my friends are collectors and nerds themselves, so that’s never been a problem for me. Even the ones who don’t collect things themselves always love coming to my place to see what’s new. Even my parents and other relatives gets a kick out of it.

20. What will happen to your collection after you've passed away?

My kids, who'll hopefully love ALF as well, will have to take care of it if they wish to do so.

21. Is your collection insured?

Not at the moment, but I’ve been thinking about it.

22. What toy did you have as a kid that you most wish you had kept or, at least, kept in good condition for your collection?

I had a cool ALF pen that my dad bought me when I was a kid, I had it for many years and it's my very first memory of ALF. When I got into collecting in 2003, it had not been that long ago since I’d seen it before, so I turned my whole house upside down trying to find it, but it was gone. I can’t tell you how much it would mean to me if I ever find it.

23. Have you ever had to physically move your entire collection?

Yes, when I moved out of my parents place. It was a real pain to do, too. Since some of it was very fragile I packed them with the most tender care you could imagine.

24. If you needed to raise cash quick, would you consider selling (some of) your collection? If so, what would you NEVER sell?

No way, over my dead body.

25. What is the usual reaction when people see your collection?

I’ve never, not once, gotten a bad response when people see my collection. It’s quite the opposite, as they are always amazed and get a real kick out of it. Many get that nostalgic feeling from when they were kids and watched the show, or watched the show with their kids.

26. How do you see your collection growing in the future? Do you think you would have grown tired of it?

Never, I’m a born collector. It’s a part of my everyday life, I don’t ever see me getting tired of it, and for that I’m happy.

27. What sources do you recommend for anyone interested in building a similar collection?

eBay, flea-markets and garage sales, you’ll find tons of stuff there. For more elaborate tips, read this section of the site.

28. What advice would you give someone who just started a collection?

Just keep going strong as long as it makes you happy. Don’t let anyone put you or your collection down. You’re cool and you know it.

As promised, here are some pictures from my collection: