The definition of collectible I prefer is – Worthy of being collected. Another definition to consider is – An item that is worth far more than it was originally sold for because of its rarity and/or popular demand. So, in writing this piece I wanted to offer my opinion, experience, and some actual facts in an attempt to explain what I believe makes something truly collectible.
One of the most important things to take into consideration is an items rarity. Items mass produced by the millions will rarely become collectible. However, in most every situation, there are exceptions. Take for example Lladro figurines, which generally in our industry bring less than $100.00, if you’re fortunate enough to find a buyer. But consider this, there do exist some very rare Lladro figurines that are in very limited editions that have been sold for over $100,000.00. In this case, rarity played an important role as did size and the craftsmanship of the sculptors and painters that created the piece.
One thing I tell a great many of our clients is this, “Things made for the purpose of being a collectible, will almost never become a true collectible”. A few examples of this are US Mint coin sets, Beanie Baby plush toys, Precious Moments figurines, decorative plates and there are many, many more. Again, I must emphasize there are exceptions to the rule in most cases. Another important factor in gauging an items collectability is the desirability or perhaps even the relevance of the item or who the previous owner was. There was a time when Roy Rogers memorabilia was highly sought after. But with fewer and fewer people alive who even know who Roy Rogers was, the collectability and consequently the value of those items has diminished. Much like antiques, cut crystal, fine china and a great many other things, values have fallen significantly due to desirability. In wrapping this up I would just like to say that collecting things is worthwhile in many cases and if you want to collect something, then just do it and enjoy the items you decide to add to your collection. It can be a satisfying experience.