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July 30, 2018

Collectors: San Proper’s G.I. Joe collection


They have an untamable passion for gathering as many quirky items as possible: collectors. Meet San. He’s a musician, producer, and dj from Amsterdam. But he’s also a notorious collector of various things. This time he shows his collection of G.I. Joe action figures.

Where did this collection come from?

“I just picked it up at my mother’s house. I’ve got a lot of old stuff lying around at her place here in Amsterdam. I like to collect things, obviously like most DJs I collect records. But my fondness for collecting stuff goes way back. This is my fourth exposition for Volkshotel, I’ve previously shown my collection of matches, Star Wars and heroes.”

When did you start collection these action figures?

“When I was very young. My mother wouldn’t let me watch stuff like The A-Team because it was too violent, but like most young boys I was fascinated with everything that had to do with war, weapons and the army. So what I did was secretly save money to buy G.I. Joe figures to play with. I guess I started rebelling at a young age.”

Do you have a favorite piece in this collection, a toy you loved to play with the most?

“To be honest, I haven’t actually seen the figures in a really long time. Over twenty years now. Setting up this exposition is like opening a time capsule filled with objects from the past. I do however remember I was always a lot more captivated by the bad guys named Cobra, than G.I. Joe himself. He was way too much of a goody two shoes for me. The bad guys always lost in the cartoons though, so in this exposition I made them finally win.”

What do you expect people to think when they see this expo?

“I think some men my age will be hit with a feeling of sentiment and nostalgia when they see my collection. Maybe it will take them back to when they were young. Furthermore, I hope people will understand the concept. The sarcasm behind this expo. I do not support war and think we should aspire to live in peace. If you look at the state of the world today, we’re far from achieving that.”

Do you have any more collections hidden in your mother’s attic?

“I do. I think there’s still a Playmobil collection somewhere around. It’s probably half-moldy by now. And my mom has a lot of collections too. I obviously got it from her. You see this display cabinet with my G.I. Joe collection in it? My mom has like hundreds of these cabinets in her house. Her most prominent collection is her teapot collection. Maybe she’ll show it here some time.”

Volkshotel is looking for collectors. Those with an untamable passion for quirky items. To show off their special collections and to tell the special stories behind it. Happen to know one? Let us know at

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