Collector’s Guide to Collecting.

The world of collectibles has been expanding at an increasing rate over the years. More and more people are finding new things to collect. From toys, books, cards and more people are building collections. This is a simple guide to help understand the want to need to collect things at a compulsive level.

B-Fest PosterDanger: Collecting can take over your home.

To start this off we need to know there are many reasons to start a collection, but most can be categorized. For many, money is a factor, mostly as an investment. Buy the item while it is cheaper, and then sell after it increases in value from demand, or lack of supply. This is based on a long term value rather than short term buy and sell. For example a non-variant cover for a comic, that maybe a special issue like a milestone or first issue of a new series. We also have people who collect based on series or specific items. These have been around for a long time, in the form of stamp, coin and even bug collectors. Whatever the reason, there are some things to know about collecting.

On TV you have probably seen at some point a parody of collectors who never open what they collect. They have it stay in “mint” condition to keep its value. This is rather true for most collectors. To use the item for its original intended purpose is not something they think of on purchase. Some try to hold for a year or two, others will keep them for years. Usually for both it always comes when the price is right. Now they are not the levels of obsessed you see on TV. Most care more about the value it might hold vs the intended purpose. You see this mostly with comics and toys, especially those who were cited as limited release or variant editions. This isn’t a recent trend, but has been a growing one. It has come to the point that both industries have been catering to targeting these collections. This actually was part of the reason the comic market crashed in the 80’s because they over saturated the market.  Too many variants and the value for them went nowhere, so people stopped buying. It has started to come back again, but not at the level it was in the early 90’s just yet.

Could be

Currently valued at $100

On the other side we have those who collect not for money but for the love of what they collect. They will collect items based on the series they love regardless of cost. It might be a certain character, a particular type of item or more often seen based on a franchise. This is the other main factor in Toy collections, but can extend to TV shows or other multimedia based franchises. Good examples would be Transformers, Star Wars and Pokemon. Fans of these series may still buy for monetary value, but many will grab items for their favourite character or other things form the series. Some fans will even modify collectibles to match the series better, or into another character who isn’t available but similar.

SWTFtoy-VaderTIE

Two for ones can also exist.

Finally there is one type of collection that has a strange twist to it. Competitive collection based games. Trading card games are a good example of this.  You collect to compete against players, building the right deck or gathering the right pieces. Magic the Gathering is the original, but has spread out into many other similar styled games. Pokemon is another example, one that uses the concept through most of its incarnations. This is one where value is based on how good a card can be, but that isn’t always the case. This set up has people willing to trade items they don’t need for ones they do base on overall value. Of course people looking to profit can jump on this too, and if they play their cards right can profit right away.

BEWD

The current king of Children’s Card Games.

If you’re looking to go into starting a collection, do so at your own discretion. Don’t worry about how people critique your style. You are in this for yourself in the end, and that is all that should matter. Now don’t think this will be an easy road. You will come across some issues as there are others who will be after what you are also after, and supply may be short. You may even come across an item that is way out of your price range. This are common, but should deter you from building your collection. After all, this your collection build it as you want.

Robert McConkey

Long time resident of South Western Ontario. Comes from a wonderfully mixed background which leads to confusion of what race I am. Lover of pop culture and taker of all media.