Collecting is perhaps one of the oldest and most popular hobbies out there. Its accessibility, combined with the infinite variety of things one might collect, make it extremely popular among people of all ages. In recent years, with the advent of social media, it has become even more widespread, thanks in part to large and enthusiastic communities of people on various social media platforms talking, buying, selling, trading, and sharing.
However, for those who have not yet begun collecting, all of this can seem a little intimidating. With so many different categories of collectibles, and with so many small yet driven communities, it can seem difficult to find a good entry point. Fortunately, you do not have to go very far to start creating a collection: in fact, all you need to do is reflect on what interests you.
“Collecting isn’t just about material objects; It’s also about community,” says Brad Lunt, founder and CEO of GoatGuns, a premium collectable die-cast non-firing toy firearm brand. “If you’re looking to start collecting, seeking out a community of collectors can be one of the best ways to begin. Of course, the best way to find one of these communities is to start by figuring out what types of things you plan to collect.”
Trading cards have an extremely long history as collectables. In the past, many of these cards were baseball, hockey or basketball cards. Since then, however, with the advent of collectable card games like Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon trading and collectable card game, things have exploded.
For many people, the game is the most important part of the cards, but for others, it’s all about the act of finding and admiring rare cards. Their rarity, combined with the detailed and intricate artwork featured on many of these cards, makes them perfect objects for preservation and display.
Miniatures are a broad category, encompassing virtually any object or character one can imagine. When it comes to miniatures, the possibilities are truly endless: some come pre-assembled, such as die-cast cars, some (such as Warhammer) can be painted and played with, and others are packaged as build-it-yourself kits. Whether you are interested in fantasy or history, chances are there are miniatures you will love.
“Miniatures make great decorations for any space, but they can be so much more than that,” says Lunt. “Miniature versions of historically or presently significant technologies can offer unequaled insight into how these items actually look and work. They can be the first step on a lifelong journey of learning about our world and our history.”
Coins and Stamps
An oldie but a goodie, a coin collection has been a staple of every grandad’s den for as long as anyone cares to remember. Some coins are undoubtedly rare and desirable to serious collectors. Others are simply interesting, covered in intricate detail, or cool to look at.
Stamp collecting is frequently associated with coin collecting, as both hobbies maintain a similar passion for history and extremely dedicated communities. While it can seem intimidating to begin, these communities tend to be very welcoming and to love sharing knowledge, making them great for those who want to delve deeply into the social and educational aspects of collecting.
Film posters are another favorite collectible. Perfect for adorning a bedroom, basement, mancave, or TV room, they are a great way for people to proudly display their tastes. In addition to more standard paper posters, some companies have begun to release metal posters that feature interesting and dynamic designs.
For the classic film buff, collecting movie posters is a perfect way to get in touch with the history of the medium. At the same time, some iconic movie posters can fetch impressive prices, making them a potentially worthwhile investment.
Records have become a major collectors’ item in recent years, making an unexpected resurgence at the advent of digital streaming. For some, vinyl records are a great way to reconnect with the past and experience their favorite artists the way they did when they were younger. However, it is not merely a hobby for the analogue generation: digital natives are increasingly turning to vinyl as well.
Besides their distinctive sound, vinyl records also boast full-sized artwork, making them equally enjoyable as objects of display. Moreover, vinyl collecting can be one of the best ways to meet other music lovers, whether online or in record shops.
Much like trading cards, some comics can also fetch a surprisingly high price. For example, a copy of Action Comics #1 can sell for $3.2 million. While that is clearly the exception rather than the rule, there are still plenty of people in the comics community who are willing to pay top dollar for iconic issues.
For others, collecting comics is a way to get invested in interesting stories and enjoy top-notch art, while also connecting with their inner child. There’s an avid community of comic book readers and collectors online as well, and social media makes connecting with authors and artists easier than ever.
“Collecting is a truly lifelong hobby, and it only becomes more enjoyable the more you do it,” says Lunt. “There are as many reasons to collect as there are kinds of things to collect, so it’s safe to say that there is something for everyone out there. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to collecting.”