The year 2020 will certainly be remembered as one of the more “interesting” years in our lives. We welcome 2021, but as collectors, we can’t help but take a look back at some of the news stories of the last year that will most certainly affect the secondary markets going forward.
Most Popular Artist of 2020
Bob Ross made a year-end appearance when Artnet News, an art market newswire, published a piece claiming that, in terms of web searches, Bob Ross could be considered more popular than Andy Warhol.
This may be just one more indication that it has been a most stressful year.
Most Expensive Books of 2020
We can’t imagine a time when there would not be a market for used books. E-readers may be adequate for ordinary fare, but a book that is intellectually inspiring, visually beautiful, emotionally uplifting, and is just so well-written that it can or has stood the test of time must be held in your hands to be fully appreciated.
Of course, the market for used books is affected by supply and demand, and, especially, by the fact that a favorite book may have been issued in more than one edition, of which the First was, in all likelihood, printed in lesser numbers – and of which there are fewer copies extant – than those that followed.
AbeBooks also publishes an annual year-end, most-expensive sales list. Highlights for 2020 include a signed first edition of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger ($25,000), a first edition copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol ($27,500), and a 1936 signed edition of Ulysses by James Joyce ($46,310).
Mr. Peanut Brand Goes Nuts in 2020
Remember back in January of last year when 104-year-old Mr. Peanut gave his life to save his friends when the NUTmobile in which they were riding plunged over a cliff? And remember that he was reborn as Baby Nut during a Super Bowl commercial?
Well, Baby Nut quickly matured to 21-year-old Peanut Jr. by August and then aged another 29 years to become Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe (aka Bart), the new (old?) 50-year-old spokesman for Planters, just in time for the December holiday season.
It’s still too soon to tell whether Planters’ ad campaign will translate to enthusiastic interest in the different incarnations of the company icon among collectors, but it certainly did not hurt auction sales of older items such as an unopened tin of Planters Cocktail Peanuts, dated 1938, that recently sold for $393.99 (13 bids) or the 1950s-era, 4.5 inch plastic Planters Carousel Truck that fetched a hefty $597.98 (19 bids)!
Read more about the Planters 2020 ad campaign in Esquire.
Sports Teams Shake Up Branding in 2020
Speaking of marketing, a number of sports franchises changed their branding, including the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Redskins. Of course, every fan and his aunt or uncle will probably rush out to purchase whatever branded merchandise remains available, ensuring a surfeit for years to come, but older and rarer items are certain to get a monetary boost as time passes and they get – well – older and rarer.
New Collectible Emerges in 2020: Face Masks
Finally, we could not end this piece without discussing one of the newest collectibles out there today – Masks!
We’re not, of course, talking about such prosaic items as N95 or any other medical-grade equipment. No, we’re talking about all those cloth masks with the cute kitty whiskers, or polka dots, or daisies, or a plethora of other patterns – even sequins!
Whether made by hand and sold on Etsy, or turned out by the hundreds of thousands (millions!?) in manufacturing plants around the world, fashionable cloth masks may turn out to be the new darling of the collector set. They’re small, relatively inexpensive, easy to store or display, and available in such a variety of patterns that collectors could specialize!
If interested, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor. And you don’t have to worry that your mask collection will ever go to waste – you could always use it for the next pandemic!
One thought on “Collectors Corner: 2020 Makes Mark on Collectibles”
It’s really messed up toy collecting, that’s for sure. While the Hasbro-Walmart BFF Embargo has taken its toll lo these many years, it really hit home with many collectors in 2020. Entire waves of product simply weren’t stocked in many stores and the algorithms of Walmart and Amazon made prices go nuts. Not only did these stores allow resellers to grab entire shipments and relist at triple price, the companies themselves got in on the act too, jacking items up to over double price for weeks at a time. Way to kick people when they’re down.
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