When I was a kid 50 years ago there was no such thing as a collectible, well maybe stamps and coins, but nothing else that comes to mind. And even stamps and coins was more of a hobby than a collectible. We just didn’t buy things to save them thinking at some point they would become valuable. We destroyed them. We bought hockey ( and other sports ) cards and we played games ( like ‘ tops ‘ ) with them, or we traded them, or we put them in the spokes of our bikes to make the sound of what we considered to be an engine. Tops, by the way, was a game where you threw your cards towards a wall and if your card landed on top you won all the cards underneath; or you threw the cards toward a wall and if your card was closest to the wall you got all the cards.
Comic books were treated with the same level of disregard or disrespect. No one collected them. Hell I never even heard the word ‘ collectible ‘ till years later. I can’t remember growing up anyone saying to me ” wanna come over and see my collection ”. It just wasn’t a part of our vocabulary. Skip ahead a few years and suddenly there were all kinds of stuff being produced with the word ‘ collectible ‘ on it. Bullshit.
The only reason why any of this stuff is valuable now is because we ( my generation ) destroyed them. Making them rare to find and even rarer to find in good condition. And unless something is rare it has no value, no matter what marketing ploy you use to dupe people into buying them. Now, having said that, we can include ‘ limited ‘ into the new collectible market. ‘ Limited ‘ has some legitimacy because there is only so many made, and are usually numbered, add to that ‘ signed ‘ items also have legitimacy, because they are also limited. So now you have two things that create value, which is really one thing ‘ limited ‘. Limited due to it’s rareness by circumstance or by planned rareness.
You can say anything is ‘ collectible ‘, you can put the word ‘ collectible ‘ on a box, use it in marketing, but if it’s not limited it’s not valuable. And that’s the ripoff. That’s the scam.
Companies promoting that things have value, which are not limited, should be taken to task. Companies like CGC ( who grades comics ) who turns a comic from a $15 value to a $400 value simply by encasing it in plastic, giving it a grade, and putting their name to it, should be fined, or closed down. It’s ridiculous how the ‘ collectible ‘ industry has created a pandemic of suckers. P.T.Barnum would be impressed.
( image courtesy of search )