Beanie Babies, baseball cards, comics


(NEXSTAR) – You’ve probably heard the phrase “collect ’em all!” when it comes to toys, cards, bobbleheads or almost anything else in a series, like Beanie Babies. You may still have some or all of what you collected as a kid today, but they may be better at collecting dust than dollars for you.

Many of these toys and other items were released in the late 1900s when mass production was underway. Mass production allowed customers to collect every piece in the line and then some (how many times did you get a repeat toy in your Happy Meal or a duplicate Pokemon card?).

It also means that while you were busy “collecting them all”, creating a set of items that were surely destined to be treasured in the future, so were many more.

“You know, people just seem to think that since something is collectible it’s automatically valuable, and that’s not always the truth,” said Jordan Hembrough, toy expert and host of the show “Toy Hunter. “, to Nextstar.

Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, Pokémon cards and comic books are prime examples, says Hembrough. These ranges of toys and collectibles are the most common that people think they are worth a lot of money, but they are not.

Comic books are one of the hottest items for collectors right now.

“Unfortunately, you know, a lot of people collect comics from the 1980s and even the 1970s,” says Hembrough. “These comics aren’t really the ones that have a lot of value.”

Those from earlier decades – the 40s, 50s and 60s – are generally more valuable.

The same goes for another popular item with collectors: baseball cards.

Maps released in the 80s and 90s were, like many other collectibles, made in an era of mass production, Mike Provenzale, production manager at Heritage Auctions tells Nexstar. While the tides are changing for some of these “junk wax era” cards, this is not the case for other items.

Speaking of sports memorabilia, Provenzale says most modern autographs aren’t worth as much as you’d hope either. This is largely because there are so many, he explains. Every time an athlete signs something, he devalues ​​himself.

According to Provenzale, having more signatures on an item — like a soccer ball autographed by a team — usually doesn’t increase its monetary value, because collectors usually only want one signature.

And if you get free memorabilia for attending a game, like a bobblehead, Provenzale says it’ll be more valuable in the parking lot to someone who didn’t get one than in the collectors’ market later.

However, there are a few exceptions within these over-collected categories.

According to Hembrough, “The collectibles industry is very, very cyclical.” If roles or franchises are revived, it can help older collectibles become desirable again. It points to “Star Wars”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and “Jurassic Park”.

On the other hand, there are toys that used to be relatively popular but have recently fallen in value. Among these are toys from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, which were “very popular five or six years ago,” says Hembrough.

When it comes to autographed sports memorabilia, while most modern signatures aren’t worth much, some athletes can be special. Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are big exceptions to this as they have exclusive deals to sign only for specific companies, which reduces the number of their signatures available.

If your favorite athlete and his team win the championship game, know that the championship gear you miss to get probably won’t be worth much more than what you pay for at the store. Instead, the losing team’s championship gear, which is usually given away, is more likely to have kitschy value, Provenzale explained.

Whether you find yourself with a collectible like a Happy Meal toy or a Beanie Baby or any of those toys, Hembrough says it’s worth hanging on to, Hembrough and Provenzale recommend seeking out your item. You can search for your item on Google or eBay, for example, to see how others like yours are selling. You may also consider taking your items to local collectors’ shops or auction houses to have an expert examine its value.


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