Collectibles you may have that aren’t worth much

(NEXSTAR) – You probably have the phrase “collect them all!” when it comes to toys, cards, bobbleheads, or almost anything 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 those toys and other items were released in the late 1900s, a time when mass production was underway. Mass production allowed customers to collect every piece of the line, and then some (how many times did you get a repeating toy in your Happy Meal or a duplicate Pokemon card?).

This also means that while you were busy “collecting it all”, a series of items were created that were definitely destined to be valuable in the future, and many others as well.

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

Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, Pokemon cards, and comic books are prime examples of this, explains Hembrough. These lines of toys and collectibles are the most common people think will be worth a lot of money, but are not. Comic books are one of the most popular items for collectors right now.

“Unfortunately, you know, a lot of people collect comic books from the 1980s and even the 1970s,” Hembrough says. “Those comic books aren’t the ones that are super valuable, though.”

Those from the decades before – the 1940s, 50s and 60s – tend to be more valuable. The same goes for another popular collector’s item: baseball cards.

Cards released in the ’80s and ’90s, like many collectibles, were manufactured during a time of mass production, Mike Provenzale, a production manager at Heritage Auctions, tells Nexstar. While the tides are changing for some of these ‘Junk Wax Era’ cards, other items don’t.

Speaking of sports memorabilia, Provenzale says most modern autographs aren’t worth as much as you’d hope, either. This is big because there are so many of them, he explains. Every time an athlete draws something, they are essentially devaluing themselves.

Having more signatures on one item — such as a team-signed football — typically doesn’t increase its monetary value, as collectors usually only want one signature, according to Provenzale.

And if you get free memorabilia for attending a game, such as a bobblehead, Provenzale says it’ll be more valuable in the parking lot to someone who didn’t get one than later in the collector’s market. However, there are some exceptions within these over-collected categories.

According to Hembrough, “the collectibles industry is very, very cyclical.” Reviving roles or franchises can help make older collectibles desirable again. He refers to ‘Star Wars’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and ‘Jurassic Park’.

On the other hand are toys that used to be relatively popular but have recently lost value. Among them are toys from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, which were “really popular five or six years ago,” explains Hembrough.

When it comes to autographed sports memorabilia, while most modern autographs aren’t worth much, select athletes can be special. Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are a big exception to this as they have exclusive deals to sign only for specific companies, leaving fewer of their signatures available.

If your favorite athlete and their team win the championship match, know that the championship gear you’re running out of is not going to be worth much more than what you pay for it at the store. Instead, the losing team’s championship gear, which is usually donated, is more likely to have kitsch value, Provenzale explained.

Whether you have a collectible like a Happy Meal toy or a Beanie Baby or any of these toys that Hembrough says are worth holding onto, both Hembrough and Provenzale recommend examining your item. For example, you can search for your item on Google or eBay to see how others are selling like yours. You may also want to consider taking your items to local collectors or auction houses for an expert to assess their value.

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