Collectors Spotlight - August 2007 - kingphilbert
Age: 34 / The Mtns of Northeast PA
kingphilbert: Philip Barket
I can't really say it was the first pair of Frogskins I had, but by the time I had an M-Frame and Zero 0.4 it had def set in. After that I stopped in any store that sold Oakleys and grabbed up what little items I could afford at the time. As well as whatever catalogs and brochures I could get my hands on.
My first pair was the Crystal Clear/Violet Iridium Frogskin. Everyone had them. I was in Marching Band (Yeah, I was cool) and 2 Senior drummers my Freshman year had them and they looked sooooo nice. Of course, so did numerous other band members in various colorways. Usually with Violet Iridium or a Crystal Black frame. It was really all dependent on me getting contact lenses and the summer before my Sophomore year it happened. I had to convince my mom to buy me a pair of Oakleys before Band started that summer though.
I bought the very first pair of Plasma/Emerald Iridium Juliets to ship to my SGH. Memory fails on specifics, but the serial was in the 3000s. A year or so later when I bought the Magnesium Switch I decided to make a few bucks and ditch the Juliet. Bad move.
Right now I can't be sure. All summer long it was just rereleased Stretch items. I think I want to wait and see what's around the bend. Fingers crossed for a new MD or MP colorway. Or a completely new or re-envisioned style to come out of the bunker. I do have a jones on for the Glow-in-the-dark Frogskin.
I used to ask at the local sporting goods store, pointing to the laminated product brochures hanging near the Oakley Trium case, do you have any extra I can have? Every store I went to I asked, and never received. Finally I remembered back in middle school english – we wrote letters to whoever, a team, an organization, what have you – and I knew what I had to do. What came back blew my mind. A 9" x 12" envelope that was an inch thick stuffed with bi-fold and tri-fold brochures and athlete portraits. Outstanding!
I attempted to frame some. Gave some away. Then after a few more requests as new glasses would come out the collection just started to grow. To the point I needed a 3" binder to keep it all in! Before I left for college that binder was packed to the brim with what they had sent me as well as the first few years of SGH catalogs that featured Oakleys. I knew I had something special. Every time I flipped through it I was amazed by it.
That was the foundation that was forged into the "jewel" of my collection. My evergrowing Oakley Print Library. Once I was offered a few hundred bucks for it. Nope. I sold that guy numerous pairs of shades, but never that binder. As Oakley print ads started to show quite often in the late 90s it began to multiply exponentially. And the job at SGH was a godsend as it gave me access to even more items that were becoming harder and harder to get from Oakley as they themselves grew.
I am happy to say that now it has spread to three 3" binders and an overflowing large Oakley shoebox. I counted it all for the first time leading up to this and I am proud to say that I have over 300 individual pieces (Ads, catalogs, postcards, display cards, mailers both large and small, PIMs, portraits, posters - not counting dupes and tags) over 3" x 5" to poster size!!! I am currently trying to find an new home for it all and more ways to show it off. My Creative Director at my last job taught an advertising class where he would have the students pick a company and research their advertising, past and present over the course of the semester. I was always his example. I never got to go into his class and show it off as he wanted me to. Don't know if they would have appreciated it anyway.
For a year or more I had been eyeing the Detolf case at Ikea. Of course the case has only 3 shelves and 14" between each. Less than ideal for sure. Then as if in a dream inspiration struck and I set off on my most in-depth Oakley related project. Unfortunately I am moving in August and haven't the time to complete the new set-up, but I'll still show off a few sneak peek pics.
In it's prime it was def SGH. Nothing stopped me from driving about a half hour or more to get to one. My girlfriend in HS called me "Speed Racer" running for them first as we'd enter a mall. It's why I sought out the job with them when there was one close enough to me. Sadly no more, despite how much I still buy from them, and still being employed by them (as I write this).
I do feel lucky now to have a few really good OPDs in the Pocono Mountains since the initiative started. The one I like most particular is The Loft on Camelback Mtn. Their selection can't be beat, and once or twice I scored a reduced price. Unfortunately I can't say I buy from them more than o.com or when I travel to an O-Store. They did start my Monster Dog, Fat Cat, and Montefrio collections/addictions however.
To a point. I tend to be fine with O stock combinations. Call me old fashioned that way. Recently I have started to yearn for more and have swapped around some select items to create a few more desirable combinations for my tastes. Anything Black with Gold or VR28 family lenses. C'mon O, Black and Gold is such a nice combo!
Well, you know all about the print collection now. Then really just smaller items and accessories. Their clothing is okay, but I've kept it to a minimum. Same with the shoes. I feel lucky just to have the two watches that I own. Thanks mom. And thanks Rick, for making fun of my "Seiko" last summer. It was a Timex! And a few bags have started to pile up in my closet lately.
The one thing that has gone on longer than Oakley are my comic books: http://www.comicbookdb.com/user.php?ID=3989. I broke 1600 books this May/June. Just as with Oakleys and OPDs, I am always trying to find that comic book store everywhere I go and usually end up bringing something back. And action figures just seem to be part of the territory. Other collectors, you know what I mean. And then there are The Simpsons. Not as die hard as some, but one look around my apartment and you know Homer and I are pals.
Start slow. Find what you like and set a pace to not over do it. And don't necessarily stick to just glasses or watches or display pieces. Oakley has so many cool little items to be had like Wallets and Lanyards and hats and catalogs. And I suggest trying as hard as you can to work for an OPD or O dealer. It pays off.
So many have told me it's such an odd, strange hobby to have. I just say "if girls can collect shoes and purses, why can't I collect shades?" It half amazes some of my SGH customers and friends and other times no one really cares.
As for my friends now, I think I have been doing long enough that it's all they know and it's never been too weird for them. Jack tells me it's a good hobby for me to have. I don't really get it, but I guess it goes back to what I just said about them.
Even my family is fine with it, now. They'd bring me O shirts home from vacations or call me to say they were just in a store with such and such O items they presume I may not know about. I had my mom wearing them within a few years of myself starting. Dad was a holdout due to the lack of Polarization back then, but one day. My bro and sis both have a pair to wear too.
It would have to be one of my two trips to HQ. I talked about it for years and it took until the Review started for me to step up and do it. Both times were amazing in their own right.
That first year in 2005 I met Dann. We saw everything for the first time and made a grand time out of it. We had an amazing tour and saw things at HQ we really weren't supposed to talk about lest an O hit squad comes to silence us and it was outstanding. We also bought the first two pair or new RazorBlades they had sold at Spectrum O since their release months earlier. Wore them all day too.
Then that second year in 2006 with Bong. And being joined by Rick, Adam and Cal one day for another tour, seeing the Iridium ovens! and complete with a surprise visit to, um... It was fan-freaking-tastic. We even had rhlake and Monster Dog with us for the afternoon. Bong and I spent our other days hitting up Spectrum O (w/ Rick and Heather) and the Ontario Super Vault. It may just out weigh the first year. I don't think I'll ever buy that many glasses in the span of 4 days again either. And Rick, I for sure know what happened that day : )
A bit about my best friend Kyle B. The reason I knew what Oakley was to begin with. He had a Neon Yellow/Orange Iridium RazorBlade with Frosted Clear stems when we were in 8th (maybe 9th) grade and they were the coolest thing I had ever seen. They had interchangeable stems! They swapped out with a guitar pick!!! And that soft fiber pouch you stored them in was such a cool little accessory.
I can remember once we were walking around the mountain behind my house one summer near some giant water tanks. I asked to see them and either I missed handing them back or he missed reaching for them and they almost ended up down a drain near the one tower. Good thing he had a cord on them : ) Why I never sought the RB out as my first pair I don't know. Probably because it was still a year or more until I could consider those contact lenses. I had an M-Frame to make up for it a few years later.
It wasn't just the RazorBlade with him either. Next thing you know he has something called a Sub Zero. What's Planet X? +Red Iridi...what? Didn't take me long to find out. Not sure if he still has them. I rem he hocked his RB at the local Pawn Shop for a few bucks one summer. His little brother had the Blue Iridium Subs too, and they were just as sweet. Thanks KB, for starting the addiction.
I also want to drop a quick "Thank You" that will most likely never be read by those who shared the passion on one level or another growing up - Dustin, Nick and John - Hope the O still finds you well. And, of course the best to everyone here. It's been an awesome 3 years and despite the little bumps along the way and what may come of the uncertain future we now stare down I still look forward to it all with everyone here.