As we near the end of 2021, we can’t help but reflect upon what a strange couple of years it’s been. And not just due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Boomers retire, collecting is undergoing a generational shift.
But nothing is really changing.
Generations X, Y(Millennials), Z, and A may not be interested in, nor desire to hold onto all that the Boomers accumulated (and there is a LOT of stuff), but they do and will collect, even if some of what they value exists, like NFTs, only in the ether.
It’s human nature.
Here’s a roundup of some odds and ends in the collecting world to close out the year.
If you are fortunate enough to come across auction catalogs – for anything from fine art to farm equipment, stoneware to toys – headed to recycling or to the landfill, save them. You will find that collectors are willing to pay surprising sums for even used copies when related to their areas of interest.
Examples taken from recent online auctions have included Julien’s Amy Winehouse Auction Catalog, November 2021, $80.00 (20 bids); Christie’s Chinese Furniture Auction Catalog, September 19, 1996, $107.50 (7 bids); and Sotheby’s Maria Callas Auction Catalog, December 2007, $117.00 (8 bids).
At the same time, fixed-price sales are scattered along a wide range of prices up to and including a 1946 Parke-Bernet catalog, featuring objects from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, that piqued someone’s interest to the tune of $750.00!
Remember those digital pets that generated emotional meltdowns in their owners when they “died”, and were the bane of teachers and parents who had to contend with distracted and teary children?
Well, it’s the 25th anniversary of their release, and they’re back! (Actually, they never disappeared. They just evolved, like security cameras or Ring doorbells.)
The Tamagotchi (Japanese for “egg watch”) was first released by Bandai on November 23, 1996 in Japan and on May 1, 1997 in the rest of the world, and celebrations include exclusive special editions and a branding make-over.
This means, of course, that older and rarer editions of the toy are going to be worth even more to collectors, and online auction prices are already beginning to factor that in. Recent results include a used (no packaging!) 2004 Glam Rock Music Star that sold for $304.00 (42 bids); a 2009 MIP (mint in package) Music Star Purple that fetched $510.00 (77 bids); and a 1997 MIP Hong Kong P2 edition that finally closed at $1100.00 (12 bids)!
Cheez-It Turns 100!
Ohio has not only given us seven U. S. presidents (we don’t count William Henry Harrison because he actually hailed from Virginia), the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Superman (creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster met while attending high school in Cleveland), but it was 100 years ago this year that the Cheez-It cracker was born in Dayton.
We only mention it here because there are sure to be special offers, apparel, and whatnot – there’s even a Cheez-It cake! – and any changes in package design can be preserved along with those Uncle Ben’s rice boxes and Land O’Lakes butter cartons you’ve got stashed in that box in the back of your closet (unless you’ve already sold them to other collectors).
Heinz Ketchup Marz Edition
Speaking of special packaging, the H. J. Heinz Company has released a new “Marz Edition” of their ketchup.
Of course, it doesn’t actually come from Mars (notice the tricky difference in spelling), but the company claims that the tomatoes used were grown under the same conditions and using a soil similar to that found on the Red Planet. (Read more about it in Smithsonian Magazine.)
Now you can add another item to you stash of collectible packaging!
Vinyl Still Surging
We’ve written in the past about the resurgence of vinyl (records), and it appears that the supply-side in some areas of the world is having a hard time keeping up. The United Kingdom is getting a new pressing plant, but it’s still not enough to meet demand (see “Wax On, Wax Off“).
In the meantime, you might be interested in the utterly fascinating process used to produce a record (below).
Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season, and a prosperous 2022,
and Happy Collecting!