People collect nostalgia. For some, that's the 50's where they remember the Bonanza lunchboxes. For others it's the 60's, the era of the Beatles. Of course you 40 somethings remember the 70's, where you saw the first video game Atari's "Pong". It was soooo cool. It beeped and this white rectangle bounced back and forth and...well that's kind of all it did. Well that system now sells upwards of $300. If you were an 70's baby, you were there when the first Apple computer came out. Steve Jobs only created about 200 of the first Apple 1's. One recently sold for $374,500. What about you 80's kiddies. Well, in November of 1984 the first cell phone available to the public became available. It sold for an incredible $3995. People lined up around the block to buy one. It was portable (2.2 lbs) in name only. You can still find this phone for about $120. Will it ever get back to the original selling price? Who knows, but you can be assured that being the first of an iconic item that changed history, it won't go down in price. How about calculators, when they first came out they were over $100. Now they give them away in cereal. Do some homework and find out who put our the first ones. How about MP3 players, old walkmans?
Now not all of us want to save old electronics. Quality and rarity are hallmarks when it comes to collectables regardless if it is old toys or fine china. Watch for the first of any item. A copy of Sports Illustrated #1 is about $125. SI # 2, about $10. There's only a few weeks between them. People want the first of anything.
As I wrote last week, condition is imperative. It can't be overstated how important this is. NIB (new in box) can increase value 20 or 30 fold.
Here's one to try. Asian art, especially Chinese is increasing in value in leaps and bounds. When the Peoples's Republic decided to give the Chinese more freedom and in turn many Chinese became extremely wealthy, a lot of these new millionaires decided to start buying back much of the exported jade and collectable pottery and decoratives. Most good quality Chinese art has increased about 300 to 400 percent in the last decade.
So think of those things that made you smile as a kid. Many of them are now collectables. Now think of what makes your kids smile. That may be the new "hot" collectable. By the way, the original He-man in box ($450)!