Ask Doug: Men and Their Toys

Helping to fix things or explaining why men still wear their oldest t shirt, Doug gives us the man’s perspective.

How do you convince your husband that he does not need new action figures at the age of 30? My house is being overrun with toys of one 9 year old boy and one 30 year old man. HELP!!!
Regards, Being held captive by Boba Fett

Note from the Editor: Doug is feeling quite conflicted about this question and is unable to answer it. You see, it was only recently with the imminent back room clean out project that Doug decided to let go of his own Star Wars collection.

I laughed when I read this question, because I too have lived with toys.

I’ll see your Boba Fett and raise you an AT-AT.

Doug’s selling most of the collection, but we’re keeping the Darth Vader head.

So bide your time, dear readers, and your man may grow out of them on his own. Until then, may the Force be with you.


Have a question? Send it to Ask Doug.

Doug’s first job was in a meatpacking plant. He ran with the bulls in Pamplona. He’s read the works of C. S. Lewis. He’s manly, and he’s here to help.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I have to say I love this Ask Doug series. It cracks me up.

  2. I’m so glad to see this post. I must not be the only woman in the world trying desperately to hide the motion-sensor Darth Mahl figurine. I feel like I’m part of a sisterhood :)



      Where have I been these last few years! I need to talk to Rachel now. Gotta go.

  3. Will I be shot if I admit that I’m the one with the Star Wars toys?

  4. What is this fascination most women have with making men, “grow up” and get rid of their toys? If having a collection means something to them, they should be allowed to have it.

  5. I can’t let my husband see the pictures on this post or he will be the one buying up Doug’s toys:)

    • Please note the condition of the full size Boba Fet, he is complete with Wookie Scalps!! Deals can be made.

  6. My husband has a “collection” as well, and there is a compromise position: all things must be displayed nicely (on a shelf, in a case, whatever – not thrown all over the room) and once that space has reached capacity, nothing new can come in without something old going out. Has saved a lot of arguments between us and possibly made him think if he really, really wants the toy before he buys it.

  7. i have a coworker who would probably buy up all of those toys! oh wait, my 4 year old is very into star wars and i’m sure the 2 year old won’t be far behind. maybe i should buy them from you!

    but back to the toy thing, my mother ENCOURAGED us to keep toys and sometimes to keep them in packages for resale value one day! i can’t tell you how good it was to clean all of those out when i was in college. so no collections from me and i’m lucky that my husband doesn’t collect toys. he is more prone to buying a lot of duck hunting stuff [or waste of space, as i call it], but at least he’s an avid hunter and uses all of it. it’s hard to argue with that.

    good luck with the SW cleanout!

  8. Sandra Gonzales says:

    In her case, she has to consider that her husband probably likes to play with their son. Those memories will be alot more valuable to their son than a clutter-free, tidy home.

    I can sympathize though. I look at my husband’s Star Wars collection and it seems silly to me. On the other hand, my three “Gone with the Wind” collector’s item Barbies are just too precious to part with.

  9. I’ve just accepted the fact that I will be living with hundreds of Boba Fetts for the rest of my life. I’m okay with that.

  10. Now, I’m all for decluttering, but old Star Wars toys are always exempt from that. If they’re really from a childhood and not the kind purchased in their mid 20’s.

  11. This made me laugh today–thanks!

    Kait Palmer´s last post…WC Days 9, 10 & 11

  12. Ooh, I had a good belly laugh from that. Thanks.

    Adele´s last post…Make Me Smile

  13. My husband is more of a Batman and GI Joe guy…most have been relegated to a single box in the closet, but he has one Batman figurine that’s allowed to lurk around the house. Actually, we take turns hiding it in different places, and seeing how long it takes the other person to find it. Currently Batman is hanging from the chain on the ceiling fan in our office/spare room. :)

  14. My husband isn’t currently buying toys, but he has saved most of his from his childhood. That’s so hard for me because I wanted to get rid of everything. However, it has been great recently when my 6 year old got into Star Wars and we were able to pull out all of Daddy’s old toys. We recently just pulled out the Transformers. It’s like Christmas for my son and we don’t have to spend any money!

  15. We keep my DH’s Star Trek toys in the bedroom. There he can enjoy them, but I don’t have to be embarrassed in front of company. Knowing that my company may have their own stash of toys somewhere makes me feel a little better.

    Emily´s last post…Another Daniel Update

  16. My husband’s Evil Dead toy collection lives in my laundry room. I think laundry is evil, so why not do it up as a theme in my laundry room?

    Condo Blues´s last post…Tooltalk: Let’s Compare Screwguns!

  17. My hubs cannot resist buying those puzzle toys – the rubics cube of today… And they lie around because I just don’t know where to put half done puzzles that no one can do… Aha “lightening bolt moment” The back-room is calling for them!!! Saw you on Apartment Therapy, well done!!!

    se7en´s last post…This Week (25 January) At Se7en…

  18. How could you part with the Star War’s collection???? In a past relationship, my ex parted with his collection. So Sad. He did make a pretty penny from it.

    As for mine, the Darth Vader head bank was shattered during a home breakin when I was young and my Galactic Empire TIE Fighter (the wings pop off and it lights up, too) was lost through many moves. Tis sad. :(

    Did you see the Star Wars Flash Drives?

    Christine @ Money Funk´s last post…Separate Bank Accounts with Your Spouse?

  19. When I was a kid, my brother and I had a whole collection of the original Star Wars play figures, plus a Landrover and I think a Tie-Fighter. Believe me when I tell you that we played with those A LOT. Every day. We had a carrying case for them, and were very careful to put them back when we were done. Most of them were my brother’s.

    One day, they were gone. We asked Mom and she said, “Oh, i gave those to Mrs. So-and-so for her garage sale.” We were aghast. She actually said, “I didn’t think you kids played with them anymore.”

    Now that my boys are old enough, I really wish we had kept those. There are some toys worth keeping—not for collectible value, but to pass down to the next generation for their enjoyment. We have a full set of Thomas the Tank engine trains, and those will be saved when the kids grow out of them, and put aside for grandchildren. I had too many of my toys thrown out or given away to bear scuttling my kids’ favorite toys!

    The one good thing about my mother in law’s hoarding issue (it’s pretty mild compared to what you see on TV) is that we have some of my husband’s old toys, like the Millennium Falcon, for my kids to play with.

    • How devastating to lose your toys in that way! We’re definitely thinking about which toys would be worth keeping.

  20. Love this post! And good? to know that I could well be living with all of my husband’s toys for the rest of our lives. Because there are just so many great classic toys from the ’80s…

    Jess @OpenlyBalanced´s last post…Wordless Wednesday – First Food

  21. Ditch the wife, keep the toys! Doh!