Over the years, my closet has had several Marie Kondo-level makeovers. Every time I am able to return to my childhood home, I make sure to clean out my room and set aside all of the possessions that I no longer need or desire to hold onto. However, one array of items that will always remain is my collection of the famous “Beanie Babies”. When I was young, collecting these adorable stuffed animals was, of course, natural for me. Who doesn’t want to build an inventory of loveable stuffed animals as a kid?
Little did I know, these small stuffed animals that I revered for so long would become highly famous and lucrative collectible items once I outgrew them. Especially for the Beanie Babies that are themed or are in mint condition (meaning they have not been taken out of their original packaging), people in possession of these could be holding on to several thousands of dollars worth of money.
What exactly is it that draws people towards collectibles, memorabilia and to collect or place value on certain items? When I ask myself this, the first concept that comes to mind as to why is purely for sentimental reasons. For those of us who see emotional weight held within certain inanimate objects, we will most likely be inclined to be an avid collector. Another potential motivator behind collecting items could be to reach a goal or to foster a sense of accomplishment with scoring each collectible item. Oftentimes, items could be of interest to collect because of a monetary value, hoping that once purchased, they could be sold for more than the original value. There are actually a bevy of intriguing reasons as to why we all collect certain items, and it presents a look into our psychology as well. HobbyDB is one of the many fascinating interfaces for collectibles fans to connect and see what the current market is for curating beloved items.
Top 10 Collectibles
This online blog listed the 10 most sought-after collectible items in the country, with the list looking like this:
- Antique furniture
- Vinyl records
- Comic books
- Coins and currency
- Classic cars
- Trading cards
- Dolls and toys
- Fine art and jewelry
A common thread that is shared through this list of 10 is the respect for and interest in history. All of these items have been long-established, and the longer time goes on when they are in preservation mode, the higher their value becomes. However, it is not as easy as 1-2-3 to grow or maintain an impressive collectibles collection. There is a sport-like aspect to it, with lots of important tactics needed in order to be successful. This collectors blog, Neat Stuff Collectibles, gives 7 tangible steps to make your hobby even more lucrative – the smart way. Some of these tips and tricks include things like doing extensive research on your prospective collectible items before you invest the time, considering your economic status and the general economic status (if people are mostly able to invest in peripheral hobbies at the same time), ensuring the authenticity of the collectible items, and so on.
Keeping up with the trends in collecting is important if you are going to venture into the hobby. There is a new type of collectible that is taking the collector world by storm, an all new digital collectible, known as the NFT, (non-fungible tokens). These are one-of-a-kind pieces of art and memorabilia, and you cannot exchange them back and forth like bitcoin, for example. In this highly-digitized time, the popularity of NFT’s allows for online artists to really think outside of the box and use their creative muscles, while making impressive commissions on non-traditional pieces of art. A more in-depth look at these intriguing digital art pieces can be found here. Be it traditional collectibles or a new NFT, there are a lot of reasonable things to consider before delving into an expensive and fairly time-consuming hobby.
Collectible or Memorabilia? For me, it is both!
One significant item that didn’t make the list of top collectibles was books. Book reading has significantly skyrocketed during quarantine and the 2020 pandemic, and many of those who have been avid bookworms since day one realize the sheer joy and fulfillment when we see our perfectly-lined collection of books on our shelf.
A collectible book for some is just one they may want to collect as a hobby, but for others, a book may have a connection to the past or a memory of a loved one. For me, be it my Beanie Babies or my assortment of vinyls and Funko characters, all collectible and memorabilia items seem to have a direct connection to a past memory. I guess you could say that I am a collector of memorabilia!
Collections worth Investigating!
To come full-circle, one incredibly valuable collection of books is none other than Nancy Drew books! One of the best ways to learn about Nancy Drew collecting and the history about our favorite sleuth can be found on Jenn Fischer’s Nancy Drew Sleuth site. Jenn is a known expert, a devoted Nancy Drew fan, a proud spokesperson, and a source of factual knowledge for all things Nancy Drew. Here on her website, you can find all of the necessary detective steps to see if your Nancy Drew book is an authentic copy!
April 28th, 2021 will mark the famous detective’s 91st birthday since the publishing of Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock, and Nancy looks pretty good for 91 – I need to find out what Nancy’s skincare routine is.
Other collectors like myself, started collecting the Nancy Drew video games with the beautiful art on the box covers from HeR Interactive. For video game fans, boxed video games are fun to collect. A quick search for the original first Nancy Drew game released in 1998, revealed just how few original mint-boxed copies are available today. I received my first Nancy Drew video game when I was ten years old as a gift, and each holds a special memory. I now have a boxed version of almost all of the games right through to the newest game, Midnight in Salem.
There are still a couple of HeR Interactive physical game copies (such as these) on my wish list but, like many collectibles and memorabilia, once they are sold out or are no longer in release, they are gone.
Like many iconic characters, the images reflected in the art, the popularity, and reception from society often have changed and molded over time.
One of the many things I personally admire about Nancy Drew, whether it be the Nancy Drew of the books, the video games, or the newest series featuring Nancy Drew on The CW newly-aired CW Series) is her independent spirit. Nancy is a phenomenal character that has stayed true to her original character traits for 91 years.
Yes, Nancy may take on a blonde hair color one year, and in five years, she may be a strikingly-bright redhead. Yet, what true Nancy Drew fans and admirers realize is that Nancy’s hair color doesn’t matter – her smart and resourceful bravery does. Nancy fans don’t focus on the hair color or the trivial, physical aspects about Nancy, whatever platform she is on.
Nancy Drew, the 2019 CW Series; Photo by Fandom
It is so encouraging to see modern-day adaptations of Nancy Drew stories that still present Nancy as a headstrong, fearless, multi-faceted, character. Nancy isn’t necessarily ever aiming to be a feminist icon – she takes on unprecedented and culturally discouraged adventures as an independent woman simply because she wants to see justice served and in doing so, save the day. Her intelligence and sleuthing skills are her “super power”, and that’s a very important lesson we can all embrace and share with future generations.
Photo from HeR Interactive
The memorabilia and collectibles based on the character of Nancy Drew are a reminder to think through situations and to speak up for truth, even if we stand alone. We shouldn’t let anyone try and stop us from taking even the first step in reaching our goal or our dream. Nancy never lets the pessimism surrounding her get to her – so why should we? As a woman who is hyper-romantic and loves nothing more than to dream big and to challenge the norm, Nancy is an inspiration as I dream about what I want to do and be in life, and that I can be brave enough to face the challenges and obstacles ahead of me, like they are puzzles waiting to be solved.
Many famous women have verbally honored Nancy Drew as a great female role model, such as Bette Davis, Barbara Walters, Hillary Clinton, Mary Tyler Moore, Joan Mondale, Fran Lebowitz, Beverly Sills, and the amazing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That’s a pretty impressive list of admirers! This list of strong, iconic women who have passed on or are still with us all have legacies and inspiration that they leave to other women. To know that they have thought of Nancy Drew as a propellant is more than powerful.
Nancy’s character, her sayings, and her icon status spanning 91 years all help to make Nancy Drew memorabilia items that we love and treasure.
Have you discovered any exciting collectibles and memorabilia in your spring cleaning rituals or are you a collector? Tell us about your collections and why you love to collect them.
Are you a collector? Or, do you know someone who is a collector? Leave us a comment below saying what you or your acquaintances love to collect.