Trends come and go, but collectibles are always hot. As one generation ages into the “vintage” zone, the folks who grew up with the hallmarks of that era get nostalgic for the toys, comics, movies, music, video games, trading card games, and other memorabilia that defined their childhood, adolescence, and even young adulthood. Nostalgia is what fuels many a collector, but there’s a more practical approach as well. Some collectors begin their journey as investors. Both are valid reasons for collecting, but this is just the beginning.
Younger generations of newer collectors are also responding to current trends in fashion, lifestyle, and décor, and find that they can enjoy one-of-a-kind, functional pieces in their homes and lives at minimal cost. If these same purchases offer a return on the investment in the future, even better! And with thrift and vintage shopping catching up to mass-produced products for reasons of both uniqueness and sustainability–among other things–collecting is on an ever upward climb.
Before we get into the trends that are currently gripping collectors’ hearts and wallets, let’s define some terms:
Retro: greater than 20, but less than 40 years old
Vintage: greater than or at least 40 years old
Antique: at least 100 years old
These categories of collectibles are going to appeal to different folks, for different reasons, from nostalgia, to personal, historical, or familial importance, to an unbridled and unabashed love of the thing itself. And if you land it right, you can pick a beloved item today that ends up funding your future.
Where to start? If you don’t already have a natural affinity for a genre of collectibles, you can take a more pragmatic look at what’s hot right now, or what’s projected to bring a future return.
Current Collectible Trends
For so many reasons, not the least of which was the pandemic lockdowns, folks have spent more time indoors over the past few years. They could have had more time to devote to hobbies, or to freshly discover or reignite passions. A convergence of factors led to what we’re now seeing–a major increase in the desire for great collectibles!
The combination of natural enthusiasm and the potential for making future gains is a strong draw. But it’s also the fact that everyone can be a collector. The typical demographics that separate us–age, socioeconomic status, education, location, etc.–are somewhat moot in the world of collection. Folks from very different backgrounds can have similar interests and can get super jazzed about the very same piece. The community this creates is extraordinary, bar none. Whether the appeal is an item’s beauty, rich history, or highly personalized link to cherished memories, the desire to collect brings people together. But collectibles can also have a real-life, intrinsic value if used as intended. They can also store value over time based on supply and demand, offering good returns. What makes a collectible a good investment? Here’s what we’re looking at in 2023:
Classic cars – beautiful, functional pieces of design
Trading cards – always popular, with dynamic shifts in demand
Comic books – vintage and modern, classic and edgy
Fine art – contemporary art as well as vintage and antique pieces
Sports memorabilia – cards, shoes, balls, jerseys, anything signed, etc.
Cultural memorabilia – anything that was ‘of an era’ in pop culture
Records – both contemporary and vintage
Music memorabilia – instruments, ticket stubs, fan magazines, anything
Vintage advertising – great for décor and carries a cultural significance
Vintage books – intrinsic and aesthetic value
Automobile and gasoline memorabilia – signage, oil cans, posters, emblems, etc.
Toys – vintage, retro, and even relatively modern (i.e. Funko Pop!)
Disney memorabilia – limited edition toys, recordings, etc.
Fine jewelry – always popular, vintage styles especially
Furniture and décor – especially items that are antique or from specific artistic periods (mid-century modern, art deco, art nouveau, etc.)
Coins and currency – highlight history and rare production mistakes or
pure metal pieces
Stamps – actual postage or presidential and commemorative issues
Fine wines – age well with less volatility
These are some of the current in - demand collectibles that can be found, but it’s also important to choose something that speaks to you as a collector.
More later on how to get started building your collection, but suffice it to say that value is in the eye of the collector, be it intrinsic, financial, or personal. But one thing is certain–no matter why or what you collect, protection is central to your success.
At Protect My Collection by Zinc we’re collectors too, and we know the risks you face. We can work with you to ensure that your beloved collectibles are always protected, whether at home, on the road, or at a show or convention. Chat us up to learn more about our suite of policy options. Be safe out there, and keep on collecting!