Somewhere online, someone recently posed the question as to what would be an idea of the ultimate collectible.
Now considering that my interests are all over the proverbial map, this poses quite a challenge to come up with an answer. Could be something from a film, perhaps the parrot’s perch (seen above from Casablanca) probably lost for the ages in the prop department at the Warner Bros studio in Burbank. Or would it be some arcane bit of Disney history? Maybe some piece of the Star Trek world like an original television series item. An autograph from a sports star.
It could go a bit further. Maybe something big. Say perhaps my own locomotive or a passenger rail car? Not out of the question. Both have been done by folks. Like this one, owned by a friend. Certainly won’t fit that into a small closet.
Or maybe it is a bit of clothing. A vintage sports jersey. A costume from a film? Dorthy’s gingham dress from the MGM production of The Wizard of Oz recently changed hands at auction for $300,000. How about some jewelry? Maybe that rarest of the rare Disney theme park pin. Is there such a thing and won’t you find it for sale on eBay?
Speaking of Disney and eBay, how about this lot of Disneyland tickets? Over 500 pieces, selling for $7,300 and not meeting the item reserve yet?
Perhaps you need something that it closer to the mark like a Disneyland attraction vehicle? More than a few for sale, including on auction at the upcoming D23 Expo.
The true nature of any collection is in what it means to the person collecting. Why does it have value? Not just the price of an item but what is that which makes it attractive in the first place. I can’t speak for everyone, but I collect things that tie me back to a place and a time. Back to the people and the moment.
Take for example my Disney cloisonné pins. By no means do I even come close to having every last pin issued by the company. I don’t even have all of the pins issued at Disneyland. What I do have, is the memories associated with the times that the pins represent. In some cases, time spent with friends and family. Some time spent with those who are no longer with us. Others tie into special events or other memorable moments.
Some of the best advice on collectibles is that you should collect what you like. Never plan on an item as an investment. Ask these folks, who spent over $100,000 on Beanie Babies and now regret that decision. Or folks who own box after box of comic books or sports cards that are not worth what they spent to buy them initially. Dollar values of collectibles are fickle things. Only as good as the person willing to pay something on any given day. Yes, those values on the Antiques Roadshow or other television shows? Only good for a reference. Maybe, for insurance values. But don’t count on getting the same price mentioned for your little diamond in the rough.
In the end, your ultimate collectible should be something that has significance for you. It shouldn’t matter what you paid for it. And is this something you can share with others? Why collect it if it is hidden away never to be shared? You should be proud to let others see what makes you happy. Because in the end, that is what collecting should be all about. If you are not happy with an item, why do you have it? Don’t know about you, but this certainly is the case on this side of the screen.
Surely, we all have too much stuff. And yes, it can be quite the task to reduce that collection. Focusing on essentials can be frustrating. But rather than have somebody go through box after box of your treasures once you’re gone, only to put most of it out for the trash or at a garage sale for fifty cents, it makes sense for you to take the time and cull the herd. And yes… I am guilty of this in more ways than I would like to admit. I have boxes of boxes, many of which need just to be recycled. But going through things, you never know what lies in wait. A friend recently going through some items found some complete Disneyland ticket books. Treasures indeed!
The moral of today’s story? Collect what you like, within reason. Just don’t expect to get rich and famous while doing so. Such fame has certainly eluded me…