When working with Eloquent recordsets, I tend to expect them to behave exactly like core Laravel collections. Indeed why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t a recordset exist as a collection, with all the properties and functions that come with them?
On the most part you can use an Eloquent collection just like a core Laravel collection, however some functions have different behaviours, such as the ‘merge’ function, which in Eloquent is hard-wired to key by the record primary key, and will overwrite a duplicate key, even if the records are otherwise different.
Enter the completely undocumented ‘toBase’ function.
This is buried within the Eloquent collection class, and will spit out the recordset as a core Laravel collection, and allow you to perform all the normal collection operations in the manner you would expect.