How To Become a Successful Toy Collector
Many may dream of stumbling upon valuables that can be passed down and treasured, or at the very least, sold for a significant profit later down the line. Avid collectors can attest to this, including those who collect toys and games. However, one thing that many don’t always realize is that becoming a successful toy collector takes research, an observant eye and years of patience. While the worth of these toys and valuables may vary, there are still some methods worth trying that can help ensure that these unique finds can have lucrative benefits.
To a novice collector, it may feel like there is a lot to consider before getting started. With new products being released constantly, deciphering the extraordinary from the average may not seem like the easiest task. For example, when a craze hits for a trendy item, such as the latest hot Christmas toy, it can be tempting to follow the crowd and immediately splurge on these items. However, the real money-makers are collectibles that have withstood the test of time, and not simply forgotten by the next year when the hype dies down. For some inspiration, consider the types of toys that continue to remain valuable over longer spans of time. Some of these include:
- Classic boardgames
- Items based on popular video games and computer games
- Action figures, accessories of beloved comic book heroes
- Items from major franchises such as Lego, Harry Potter and Star Wars
Ways Toys Earn Value
Seemingly ordinary toys don’t become collectibles by chance, but instead as a result of more predictable events. By understanding what the general public wants, it is easier to see consumers’ patterns of behavior when it comes to collecting. This can help predict whether an item is actually a hidden gem, or a dud. Here are some trends to watch that can influence supply and demand –
1. Small Batches and Limited Supplies
Some manufacturers make limited-edition items that are typically released in smaller quantities therefore harder for an average person to find.
Batches of products released and later discovered to have a mistake or defect from the manufacturer are also sought after. Mishaps such as incorrect accessories, coloring or perhaps functions that don’t work quite exactly as intended, can become high-ticket items to avid collectors seeking certain items in every size, shape and even error.
3. Original Items
Items that are true originals can become prized possessions in a collection. Keep a lookout for new releases that are from the very first batch made available to the public.
4. Media Influence
The media is one of the single most significant influencers that give value to these collectibles, so paying regular attention to current events and pop culture can be very beneficial. A long-anticipated movie sequel, cult followings for certain shows or perhaps breaking news stories about well-loved cast members or artists can all signal the release or demand of merchandise related to these events.
Best Storage Conditions
Finding and purchasing these valuables is only half the battle. Once these sought-after goods are finally in hand, keeping them looking brand new can make them much more appealing to collectors who wish to keep them as they grow in value over the years, or sell items to the highest bidders when the demand is high. Some recommended methods of keeping these items as close to mint condition as possible include:
- Limiting collectibles’ exposure to sunlight to avoid colors being sun-bleached
- Storing them in temperature-controlled and humidity-controlled areas
- Tucking them away in areas with minimal foot traffic to avoid accidents or mishaps that can damage items
- Considering an insured storage unit for valuables
- Keeping a detailed inventory and organization system so items are more easily accessed
- Physically handling items as little as possible
- Reinforcing and protecting existing packaging with padding and bubble wrap
- Ensuring any loose pieces are secure
An Investment for the Future
To the untrained eye, these toys can seem like any other one that can be pulled off the shelf or ordered online. However, learning to recognize the differences in regular toys versus actual collectibles can be a worthwhile investment. Following some practical strategies, patiently observing trends and taking the time and effort to preserve these valuables are part of an enjoyable hobby that can lead to significant returns in the future.