Hardcore Hobbies

Americans spend $75 billion dollars a year on their hobbies. But these men have gone too far and are in need of professional help. Dave, an action figure junkie from Toms River, New Jersey owns over 3,000 figures, worth upwards of $60,000. He spends 30 hours a week playing with his toys, building his collection and making toy review YouTube videos.

His wife Barbara thinks he’s married to the toys more than her. They have two young daughters and no savings. Dave often tells Barbara to cut back on their food and clothing budget, so he can spend more on toys. Barbara and Dave’s mom Sandy want Dave to stop buying action figures and focus on the family. Barbara enlists the help of Dr. Jeremy Spiegel, a board certified psychiatrist, to confront Dave about his out-of-control hobby. Dave reacts angrily to the intervention and almost karate chops Jeremy when he first approaches him.

Dave eventually calms down and guides Jeremy through his ‘collection cave.’ Jeremy encourages him to sell some toys to help his family out of their financial bind. Dave reveals he’s bought more toys that day and hidden them in the trunk of his car. Barbara is furious with Dave, who storms off to his room like a child. Jeremy has Barbara place Dave’s toys around the house and in his favorite stores, to show how much it rules his family’s life. Feeling cornered, Dave confesses that his collecting stems from growing up in a house without many toys. He yearned for approval from his father, who played favorites with Dave’s brother. Realizing he’s favoring the toys over his family and that his marriage is in trouble, Dave agrees to sell some toys to get their finances back on track.

Alex Condon has 62,000 baseball cards, all of the same player – the little known Andy Van Slyke. At 39, Alex is living in his mother’s home in Bayville, New Jersey. He has covered the walls of his childlike bedroom with the collection. Alex has been working on-and-off at Toys R Us since he was 16 and he is still not a manager. His mother and brother want him to grow up and move out, so they invite therapist Tom Kersting to turn Alex’s world upside down. Tom discovers that Alex has been back living with his mother for 6 years and his ‘temporary stay’ is beginning to look permanent. Alex opens up about his father abandoning his family when he was only 4 yrs old. With no one to look up to, Andy Van Slyke became his hero. Tom invites a surprise guest to the house – the hero himself, Andy Van Slyke.

A dazed Alex plays catch with Andy, as Tom challenges him to confront his feelings with meeting his idol. With Andy’s assistance, Alex agrees to let go of the collection and its hold over his life. Alex and Tom burn a set of Andy Van Slyke cards and take down the rest of the collection. Alex is now determined to move out on his own and reclaim his life.

Tune in to Hardcore Hobbies tonight at midnight.


  1. Texan
    June 25, 2013, 12:03 am

    What a disappointing show! Tuned in thinking there’d be some cool hobbies on display…instead it’s more like “intervention” moments…yuck…that’s 5 minutes (started fast forwarding after first 2 minutes) of my life I’ll never get back…sad NatGeo…very sad….

  2. jay
    June 25, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Yeah, I was disappointed. It was awesome to see his toy collection, then the lame intervention. He’s also does stop motion animation, which is difficult. I mean look at Seth Green and Ray Harryhausen.

    Besides, it can be considered an investment as the value goes up as the years go by.

  3. interestedga
    June 25, 2013, 10:16 pm

    I want to see a follow up on Alex. He was pittiful and desperate. Does he really move out, how much money did he get from selling this “collection?” , and is he a manager yet?

  4. cormac
    August 2, 2013, 7:43 am

    yeah this was a huge disappointment … this wasn’t about hobbies it was about the people who bitch about hobbies … i admit, these guys are over the top but seriously, the first guys wife knew he was like this when she married her … and apparently the second guy’s wife/girlfriend broke up with him after some period of time and whose older brother is worried about him …

    the first guy is just what he is and trapped apparently in the same house with both his wife and mother (is that how others saw this that they all lived together?) … either way, his mother starts to cry when they start to talk about this ‘intervention’ … his wife can only bitch about it … but then he is saying she needs to cut back on food bills for the week because he’s going to buy a lot of action figures this week ..

    the first couple, and mother, are just never going to get it together … with his mother only wanting to ‘smother’ her son in love and let him do whatever he wants and his wife wanting him to get rid of it all, it might end up with gun play lol …

    the second one is almost too weird because the older brother is acting like his father, there’s like a weird vibe between him and the mother frankly … and she was crying too … jesus … this was so lame … and he burns the cards in the end … so really he wasn’t that attached to them … that’s what i see

    this was awful and as others have said, not at all what was expected …

    so what of the other people to post have a ‘hobby’ that is hardcore? and a wife and mother to gripe and cry about it? lol

  5. Nick
    United States
    May 22, 2015, 4:32 am

    LOL are you serious? What a joke this action figure guy is PATHETIC. He wines like a little B…He throws fits like a child, has excuses for every problem he has, what kind of loser wastes all his money for his family to go and spend it on TOYS. ACTION FIGURES? i literally looked up on where to comment on this so i could rant, so let me get back to ranting. His wife obviously had issues growing up probably no father i.e the red hair with the physical and emotional attatchment to her pathetic husband. He says jump n she asks how high lmfao. Move on to better things before your daughters grow up becoming junkies because daddy wasnt there because of his action figures and mom worked 3 jobs to support them in a double wide trailer by herself after she finally left him. I wish i could meet this joke of a man and knock him the **** out. Grow up kid. Keep lieing to your wife about the steps you’ll take and the nice fake front you put on for the camera, especislly at the end of the show. I swear this show has to be fake ive never seen a 33 year old child with a wife and kids that wines more then they do. “IM GOING TO MY ROOM LEAVE ME ALONE”. Lol i remeber when i did that when i was 10. Alright im finished. Take care and i forgot his wifes name but shes cute, if you ever want a real man and not a immature fat slob, hit me up;)