Who are you?
A thirty-something [redacted] whom has a strong passion for games. Most people around the net call me Cally which is a very affectionate name based off an old character of mine. You can also call me Viper. Adore games, always have, always will. Lover of both old-school and new consoles.
I write music for fun, have a thing for knives. As much as my parents would hate to admit it, collecting is in the family gene. My mother has a thing for coins and stamps, my dad for plush sheep.
It's their fault.
It's just a fun combination. My major online handle I'm most known for is viper.fox, ergo its a combination of Viper and (Bio)Hazard. BioFox, ViperEvil, ResidentFox all sounded pretty crap, too. Not to mention I have preference over using BioHazard in the name over Resident Evil, because I'm pedantic like that.
What started your collection?
The games, if we're being technical. My first non-game collection article were the books, followed by figures. If there is one thing I can really thank my sister for, it's for hiring the first game out from the video store in 1996. She'd just gotten her own Playstation, after we'd saved up and hired one from the video store down the way a few times, and we used to save up our pocket money to rent out games to play that we didn't have. As an 8 year old, the games were a thrill. I've never really gotten scared by many games, Wolf 3d and Doom had their moments when I was much younger still, but playing Resident Evil late at night with my sister while my parents were out having a night for themselves lit a fire for me. We both got creeped out by the visuals (which, hey, back then were quite scary, whereas now they're hilarious) and took turns at playing through parts of it.
Cut forward to 1998, with the release of the second game, and we both were playing the game again late into the evening. I remember first being totally shocked that the female lead character was named Claire, which is my birth name, and was a redhead to boot, and then I remember screaming in fright with my sister as we got accosted by a Licker that jumped through the one way mirror in the RPD. Earlier in the year I had managed to finally finish the first game at easter, starting a tradition that I'd carry through every year. I knew then that I was 100% hooked. My love for the games and their stories and characters slowly expanded, especially with the addition of disposable income as I got older and the wonders of eBay, Play-Asia, and AmiAmi. And now, here we are, finally documenting all these articles I own for such an amazing series.
How long have you been collecting?
I guess since 1998 would be the official start, heading for nearly 25 years now.
What was your first collection item?
Resident Evil 2 on the Playstation. My mum bought it for me during school holidays when I was a kid still, and that was my game for me to play instead of hiring out other games and movies during that time. Already I was having terrible issues with insomnia, so it worked out really well having just that, as I'd sit up all night on the big TV out in the living room playing the scenarios to death rather than going cocoa from the inability to sleep.
What piece of your collection has a story behind it?
All of them in a way, but the best one is my Music Box. I'd originally seen the music box on an old Japanese site, which had it up and catalogued from a physical catalogue book when all the 5th anniversary stuff was coming out. I was really naive then, I only had a rudimentary knowledge of Japanese compared to what I do now, so I never 100% gauged the rarity, how many were made, or how to obtain them. Fast forward a few years while searching for items on eBay, and I had a flashback to seeing that original site with the very real music box. All through college I'd considered commissioning a music box one day of the Infants tune from CODE: Veronica because I thought it'd just be the coolest thing ever, but also because I never thought I'd get that music box. I searched for that thing for years, uncovering a few details of its existence, but never one for sale. I'd never seen it come up, even with the new addition of Yahoo Japan Auctions under my belt for item scourging. Until it surfaced on eBay in April of 2010. I hadn't searched at all during 2010, in essence I had given up the fight for another day, but I woke up to a really excited message from a friend with the link to the auction and the following text: "No idea if you've seen this or what, but I saw it and thought of you."
Needless to say I totally freaked out. It was far from cheap, peanuts compared to a recent purchase of mine in the Pokemon TCG world of things when I had collected those, but at the time I simply did not have the funds for such a thing to do the outright BIN price it was set at. I did however contact the seller, and after talking back and forth a payment plan was organised and then it hit me.
I cried so much, and was pretty incoherent for most of the day.
Do you have a favourite item?
The Biohazard Catalysis art book. It might be an odd choice, as it's a subpar artbook in terms of content compared to some of the later ones they've since bought out, but I love that thing so much. It was one of my first artbooks for the series, and was an awesome, AWESOME, thoughtful, and sweet gift from a good high school friend and fellow series fan Cody. I love the DVD that came with it, since it has so many of my favourite game scenes on it in as close to HD as they'd get at the time.
How about a favourite character?
Tough call, because I have a love for all of them. Top of the castle is Claire Redfield. How could she NOT be: fellow redhead, generally awesome and kicks ass, and a total deadpan snarker. Both Wesker's are in my favourites castle, along with Jake, Sherry, and Alexia. But really, in the long run, I do genuinely love them all. A lot of people in life have real people as inspirations: mine were the characters I've really grown up with. Cheesy, yes, but it's the truth.
What do you think your collection is worth?
Personally, to me, it's priceless. Every piece in it has a story. A lot of the games are copies I bought or was given back when they actually came out (which means most were bought at full price!), with only a handful being picked up down the track (mainly with the Japanese releases, obviously), and thus are quite old, or in some cases quite worn. Because I never plan to sell any collection item, I therefore enjoy my collection 100%: every game I own has been played if I have the system for it, all figures have been removed from blisters and lovingly displayed and cared for, and so on. It's my collection in that sense. But monetary wise, I honestly couldn't tell you. I've got my fair share of rare stuff in this collection, and it all adds up. I aim to provide retail prices on the site here just for the sole reason of being a completionist, so if someone is bored when I've got everything catalogued, you can all go add everything up for an estimation.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, about either myself, the collection as a whole, or any specific items, please feel free to contact me. I'm contactable on twitter over at @viperhazard, or email. I will do my best to either personally answer them, or if I feel it's interesting enough, add it to the official FAQ.