What is a grail? If you google ‘define: grail’, the first response is “the object of any prolonged endeavor”.

I think that is probably the best description of what a grail is when it comes to its use in our geek dialect. In pursuing our individual interests, many of us have become collectors. Be it collectors of toys, games, books, comics, consoles, achievements or random paraphernalia for a particular area of interest. We acquire objects or milestones that are significant to us. For that very reason, G is for Grails.

A grail can be anything that one strives to own or attain. Maybe your grail is a rare set of laserdiscs based on a decades-old Japanese series, or maybe its just an Achievement on XBox Live such as completing the Endless set list from Rock Band. There are no rules that dictate what a grail must be. It does not have to be a rare or even expensive item. It may even be something easily accessible and inexpensive, but anticipation for its release is high.

I asked some of the staff what their grails are/were.
aDam’s response:

For me it was the limited release Sailor Moon region 2 movie box which I finally found at a used DVD site years later and of course the very limited Sailor Moon Infinity Art book which was only made for attendees for a single convention which I got in auction for some 500$.

SeanOrange’s response:

Fortress Maximus, naturally, before I realized he was just an expensive brick. I think a 400 lb. dude shakily handing over $400 sweaty dollars to a vendor at BotCon 1999 was when I finally decided to abandon that particular crusade.

OmegaSupremeRobotModeAs for me, my grails change often, but I really want an Supreme Class Transformers Animated Omega Supreme. Now before I cause a stir, the figure does not exist currently and Hasbro has no plans of making one, but I want one, nonetheless. Real. Bad.

black_fire_convoy_1Grails are truly a double-edged sword, however. When they are the object of your greatest collecting desire, once attained, everything else may not rate quite as highly. This can lead to great disappointment. I know at least one other collector where this was the case. After many years of hunting down the rare Lucky Draw Black Fire Convoy from the Japanese Transformers series Carrobots, he finally attained his most holy of grails. After that, nothing held the same value and not long after he started losing interest in collecting altogether.

abbey-road-album-cover-the-beatles-posterIn an example of the complete opposite situation, I can remember a story my parents told me of an acquaintance of theirs. This person was an active fan of the Beatles. Running a nationwide fanclub “in the days before the internet” (as my parents said). When finally given the opportunity to meet the band, he turned the offer down, saying he did not want the encounter to ruin the image he had of them in his mind. This story really struck me. Sometimes the ultimate goal just cannot measure up to the path taken to achieve it. I think this is true more often than not.

In my years as a collector, I have acquired hundreds of toys and action figures. Probably thousands. I never really kept count. That wasn’t important to me. The items I have collected, themselves, are only a small part of why I still do collect and still enjoy it so much. The community that has developed around my target interests has catapulted my involvement and enjoyment. Whether it is going on a toy hunt with fellow board members or looking through galleries of fan-made art, its nearly impossible to ignore the infectious enthusiasm fellow fans share along the way in their search for their personal grails.