EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 350 - January 05, 2014 - ISSN 1528-6703     5 of 6

Collectors Corner: Happy New Year

By Michele Alice

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Did you know that January is named after Janus, the Roman god of endings and beginnings? Typically depicted with two faces - one contemplating the past and the other gazing into the future - Janus bids us to do the same.

So, here's our look at some of the things in 2013 that you may have missed or forgotten, and what to look out for in 2014.

Pez Meets The Hobbit (again)
Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic world of wizards, elves, dwarves and orcs has once again gotten the Pez treatment with the September 2013 release of a limited (200,000) box set of eight dispensers.

The set, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, depicts Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast, Fimbul the Hunter, and the dwarves Bofur, Dwalin, Thorin Oakenshield and Kili.

Walmart has also been carrying a limited (75,000) edition set in which Dwalin is replaced by the Goblin King.

It's too soon to tell how the sets will perform in the secondary markets over the long haul, but they are already reportedly in short supply in some areas of the country.

An Enlightening Opportunity: light bulbs
Whether you purchase incandescent light bulbs for a collection or for use in your home, you should be aware that as of January 1, 2014, federal energy efficiency mandates have ended the manufacture and importation of standard 40 and 60-watt bulbs.

This follows the phase-out of 100 and 75-watt bulbs in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Remaining supplies of the bulbs can still be found on retailers' shelves - Home Depot has reportedly stockpiled a 6-month supply - but once they're gone, they'll be available only in secondary markets.

Toys: "And the winners are,..."
Just in case you had voted for your favorite toy to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, but had missed the results last November 7, the winners were: Chess and the Rubber Duck!

My Little Pony and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were fan favorites, but additions to the Hall of Fame are actually voted upon by a national committee composed of educators and historians, and not by popular vote.

Chess is actually based upon a game called chaturanga that was played in India at least 1400 years ago, and from whence the game eventually spread to Europe.

The rubber duck dates to the late 1880s and the work pioneered by Charles Goodyear for producing malleable material from rubber. Rubber ducks have proved to be so popular that, today, they have their own planet!

Parting Advice
Finally, whatever you're collecting, it never hurts to seek out the best examples that you can afford. While the advent of the internet has made available to the secondary markets large numbers of all manner of collectibles, forcing prices down in most categories, currency devaluations around the globe have contributed to pushing prices for top-tier items through the roof. Hence the records being set for work of fine art, comic books, and other types of collectibles.

Aside from rarity, condition is the most important factor involved, and there is a lot of money chasing the best specimens available. More and more collectors appear to be willing to wait and not bid up items in lesser condition, especially knowing that they probably won't have to wait too long before another gem appears on the market.

These trends will probably continue throughout 2014 and into the foreseeable future if governments continue their monetary expansionist policies and as more and more boomers begin to downsize, adding to the already sizable glut of collectible material available.

So, as the old year ends and the new begins, we hope you had a very happy holiday, and we wish you a most satisfying and productive 2014.

Happy Hunting!

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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