How to Get Started in Toy Collecting

toy collecting

At first, the collectible toy market may appear challenging for new collectors. The category includes a wide range of artworks, from 2-inch-tall plastic figurines to functional household vases, and many of the artists don’t have a catalog raisonné that can be used as a reference. Dedicated social media pages and forums, on the other hand, make the digital marketplace accessible for collectors.  Furthermore, despite the fact that certain large-scale toys by artists like KAWS can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, there is a collectible toy for every price range, making this the ideal category for beginner collectors—if they know what to search for. In this guide, we will explore toy collectibles  or Toy Collecting in more depth and provide you with essential tips for buying collectible toys.

What Are Toy Collectibles?

When it comes to collectibles toys, we are not referring to Super Soaker from the 90s or that slinky that helped you dominate the block in the 80s. So what exactly are toy collectibles? Collectible toys represent a very distinct niche. They raise an interesting question: At what point does a toy transition from a simple toy to a collectible item? A collectible toy isn’t a doll or action figure you would play with; it’s something you would display on your shelf. Collecting toy collectibles is driven by the same desire that has lasted generations, the desire to complete collections and obtain items associated with popular brands or movies. You may express your personality by collecting toys. Many collectors express the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of the pursuit when they collect toys.

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How to Get Started in Toy Collecting

Choose a Toy Line

How do you pick the toy that will start off your collection? Although it can seem difficult, a collection is constantly changing and can be anything you want. There are no restrictions, so it can be a mashup of any era or company. You can look for the toys you used to play with as a child or the ones your parents refused to get you. Picking a toy line that isn’t incredibly uncommon and that already have a collector community surrounding them is the simplest way to get started. Here are some well-known toy lines from bygone eras that are very valuable as collectibles: Star Wars, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Polly Pocket, Barbie, Star Trek, or He-Man and Masters of the Universe.

Learn the Lingo

If you want to buy toys online, you’ll need to learn the language of toy collecting, which is similar to any other language. The vocabulary mostly serves to answer the following key question: Do you prefer a toy that is brand new or are you looking for a used one (loose toys)? “Loose toys” are toys that are no longer in their original packaging. When it comes to loose toys, they can either be fully unwrapped or possibly played with, or they can be “Loose in the Box,” or LIB, which can be as easy as someone opening the box without ever taking the item out. It all depends on how you feel about packaging; some collectors consider the toy to be more significant than the box. However, there’s a good chance you might find the toy’s original packaging on your own by sifting through eBay if you ever buy a loose toy and want to find its packaging.

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Time to Make Your First Purchase

Now you could be tempted to buy everything you see, but it’s best to exercise self-control. You can end up yourself regretting some of your purchases if you are overly excited. The item could not be in the condition you initially expected, or you might find the identical item being offered by another vendor with free shipping. eBay is the best place to start. You can (hopefully) discover what you’re looking for with the help of a number of filters and parameters without too much difficulty or expense. The most important factor, besides the condition of the toy you want, is whether you want to bid in an auction or just click “Buy It Now.”

Bottom Line

It can be a lot of fun to collect toys, especially when you’re looking for a rare item. There are various ways you may invest your time and money in something you’re passionate about while also increasing your chances of finding other collectors and sellers who share your interests. Just keep in mind that collecting toys can become quite expensive very quickly, just like any other hobby or passion. Determine what you can afford, and stick to your budget.

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