If a few people are stockpiling comparatively huge numbers of 1200XLs, surely by definition 1200XLs are becoming rarer. Of course everyone has the right to own as many 1200XLs as they choose, but I have to wonder what the reasoning is for collecting them in huge numbers, other than as a financial investment (on the assumption that the price will continue to rise or at least remain high).
Contrast this with at least one notable community member giving away 1200XLs in large numbers a few years ago (I received one) - a gesture which is probably responsible for the large number of 1200XL owners today. I have three and would probably keep a fourth. Beyond that, it gets a little crazy.
I'll tackle the "Why?" from my personal perspective.
First, the obvious: there is no practical reason why I have as many 1200XLs as I do, since I can only ever use one, maybe two or three, without converting my entire home for accommodating the entire collection.
If I can't and likely won't be using each machine, then why keep them when someone else who could use one, even if only to complete their Atari home computer collection? Why not sell off the majority, keep a few for myself, and that's that?
I suppose I could say that I'm keeping the other machines for spares and parts as time wears out the 1200XLs, but the idea of scavenging the otherwise complete and working systems sounds like a terrible goal for me personally.
I mean, I was enchanted with the 1200XL from the first time I laid eyes on one in an ad. Never saw one in real life until I started adopting them last year-ish. Now that I'm older and have "discretionary" funds to work with, I'm able to fulfill the wishes of that late teens-early 20s version of me. Owning one, finally, made me want to have a couple others, for spares (at the time), so I adopted a 1200XL as they showed up. Originally, I was telling myself it'd be cool to own 10 or 12 of them. Fix them up, and resell them and hopefully make a bit of profit in the process since I would be selling them in much better condition than when they arrived.
But then 10 became 25. Twenty-five sounded like a good number, and since I could still buy them (and AFFORD them), I went ahead. Okay, just for laughs, let's aim for 30. But when I hit 30, I decided that was silly. I should just adopt 50 of them and be done with it. Since I was going to be 50 myself this year, that made it an even more enjoyable goal to try reaching.
And, of course, I managed to adopt those 50, with two more after that. My "50 plus 2" as I like to refer to them.
It was around that same time that I cleared my final goal of 50 that prices began to rise to where they seem to be trending currently. Much higher prices than I'm able, willing, or even need to pay, given my current 1200XL family size. Of course, if I see one listed with an irresistable Buy It Now price, I'll likely try to adopt it since I just appreciate the 1200XL as an Atari machine. Not for its flaws--although they provide the 1200XL's history, character, and personality, but more for its untapped potential when it comes to the modern-day mods, etc. In fact, the only issue I have with the 1200XL is the lack of a PBI port (maybe you, FJC, could do a YouTube video covering THAT monstrosity of a mod, lol).
Now, although in the very early stages of this I had planned on refurbishing and reselling most of the units, I have little interest in doing so. Given the current pricing trend, I stand a fantastic chance of earning profit on any number of units I could put up for sale. Yet as time went on, I began realizing that I wasn't interested in the financial returns, investment, profits aspect, so much as I am interested in preserving these machines for as long as I am able to do so. They are a stamp on history to my way of thinking.
And I'm also cynical enough to believe that the only way I'd make my money back on a given system would be to EBay it, as many here have already expressed the opinion that a 1200XL is only worth paying maybe a hundred, if that-- which is definitely less than what I invested in the collection. So it makes no sense for me to sell a unit to someone else for less than what I've paid into it. I'd prefer to keep the 1200XL, and wish the persons well in their hunt for one in a price range they are happy with.
I guess that means that I didn't build this Atari family as a financial investment after all. I built it to be its caretaker until such time as someone else must take over that responsibility.
Apart from all of the above, I do have a specific intent for the entire 1200XL collection, and have shared that privately with less than a handful of individuals online. That will remain under wraps, however, for the present time.
There are also a few projects I have in mind for several of them, but I'm still in the process of inventorying and going through everything I picked up over the past year and a half or so, and that's delaying me getting to my projects. Plus, I'd like to get back to the business of programming, as I came into Atari at the very end of its days and never progressed past BASIC and BASIC XE programming, apart from a couple interrupts I'd concocted in assembly. Then, I could wrap up some unfinished business (ideas) I've contemplated all these years since I first left the 8-bit computing life all those years ago.
Sorry for the long post. o.O