Often, such assertions are based on a whim, and a hope that, in years to come, there will be a clamour for the toy that you own and you will either be able to proudly proclaim that ‘I have one of those,’ or sell it for a profit that would make Donald Trump proud.
How do we know what to take a punt on, though? While familiar brands aren’t so guilty of this, independent toy stores are devils with the way they call things ‘very collectible’ or promise that certain figures will be popular in years to come.
Two toys from our own childhoods spring to mind immediately, when particular models of die-cast cars or certain WWE wrestling figures purported as being collectible. If you own any varieties of these, you will probably be lucky if you are able to double your money, which unless you have an attic full of them, isn’t going to amount to any much.
So where should we look?
Branded or Unbranded?
Most people naturally look to the well-known, most popular brands when it comes to collectible figures, much in the same way as comic book collectors do. An original ‘Spider-Man’ issue one, for example, will be very valuable. People buy toys based on brands such as Marvel, and even, as mentioned earlier, WWE, then keep them in the hope their value will grow.
Those who go down the branded route tend to do so banking on the familiarity of a brand and its ability to endure over the coming years. If the ‘Spider-Man’ films, for example, weren’t critically and commercially successful, old comic books would still be popular among collectors, but would they have much in the way of ‘real world’ value? The same analogy can be applied to toys, whether they are action figures or die-cast cars.
Die-cast cars are perhaps a great example of something that hasn’t endured as well as many thought they would. ‘Collector’s Edition’ being slapped onto a box hasn’t achieved anything in most cases, except for garner more sales when said toy was initially released.
Unbranded toys definitely have the potential to become collectible, though, so long as they are renowned for their quality, quirkiness, and most importantly, give a person a reason to become a collector.
Porcelain and other dolls are one type of predominantly unbranded toy that has endured and can be collectible, and one that is still growing in popularity with both adults and children.
The Bottom Line
Whichever route you take when looking for collectibles, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Does it have a value and is sought after now? Thus giving an item the best possibility of being valuable in the long run.
- Is it a high quality item, original, and well made?
- Are you going to be able to keep it in mint condition, boxed, and sealed if at all possible?
After that, general trends will dictate whether something gains value in years to come. Like much else in life, the value of anything collectible is dictated by supply and demand cycles, and could fluctuate through time.
This is a guest post. This is an article written by Kate Carson, a writer in the collectible dolls and girls toys industry sector. Kate has spent many years specialising in this industry and created a 30,000 word thesis about this very subject.