EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 324 - December 02, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     5 of 6

Collectors Corner: All They Want for Christmas 2012

By Michele Alice

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If you've been paying attention, you long ago picked up on the subtle and not-so-subtle hints dropped by the collector(s) in your life. ("Can you believe it? Hallmark has already released their new Christmas ornaments and it's only July!")

But, just in case you've been preoccupied and you haven't a clue what to put under the Christmas tree or in the holiday stockings, here are a few hints of our own:

For the KISS fan, PEZ has released a boxed set of four dispensers depicting the legendary performers Demon, Starchild, Catman, and Spaceman. A number of Fake KISS Dispensers have appeared on the market over the years, but this is the first officially licensed product.

Also available from PEZ this season are sets #2 and #3 in the U.S. Presidents series (for the political/history junkie in your life) and a Star Trek set celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Next Generation. The Wal-Mart exclusive variation of the set, with Locutus of Borg substituted for Doctor Beverly Crusher, has reportedly sold out at many locations and is already fetching a premium at secondary markets online.

Meanwhile, over at Mattel's Barbie Collector, the site is populated with fan favorites from the Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds doll to The Hunger Games' Katniss doll.

Know someone who hasn't had enough of vampires? Mattel is releasing a collection of dolls portraying several of the main characters in the Twilight Saga.

Hallmark has again covered all the bases, from A Christmas Story to The Wizard of Oz, but Barbie collectors should take note that this year's Celebration Barbie ornament will be the last in the series.

New series being launched include Cookie Cutter Christmas, in which a snowmouse frolics within the bounds of a different cutter each year, and Holiday Lighthouse, "inspired by actual lighthouses from across the United States." As we all know, the first in a series is usually the most valuable to collectors, so both of these Hallmark ornaments offer the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Finally, money is always nice, but if you feel it makes an unimaginative gift, how about a couple of 100-trillion-dollar Zimbabwe notes? For just about $5 each - that's what most of the notes are presently selling for on the secondary markets - you and your giftee can feel like multi-trillionaires! Though they are real national currency, the notes have no actual value as they are the result of inflationary monetary policy "run amok" and, at one point, "couldn't buy a bus ticket in the capital of Harare." But they make great collectibles!

If you'd rather give a monetary gift with more tangible value, you might wish to consider one of the offerings from The United States Mint. The Mint sells silver, gold, and platinum uncirculated and proof specimens of the American Eagle in addition to a variety of other coins, coin sets and commemoratives. (The popular one-ounce silver Eagle bullion coin is sold by the Mint only to authorized vendors.)

Proof coins are specially struck to produce a mirror-like finish, and they can carry a hefty premium, but they usually appreciate in value much more than regularly struck specimens.

Need more ideas for holiday gifting? Unless the collectible is really arcane, chances are that some other collector has written a book about it. Or perhaps the person you have in mind could use archival supplies or display cabinets or a trip to a museum (and lunch or dinner) or a collector's convention (hotel and plane fare included).

Good luck, and Happy Holidays!

About the author:

Michele Alice is EcommerceBytes Update Contributing Editor. Michele is a freelance writer in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. She collects books, science fiction memorabilia and more! Email her at makalice @ eBay ID: Malice9

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