It’s Time to Get Rid of These Worthless Collectibles
It’s fun collecting sports cards, toys, movies, and cars, but if you’re hoping for a return on your investment, then it gets tricky. Jay Leno’s car collection, for example, is a great retirement nest egg since he has lots of unique vehicles. However, most knick-knacks are worthless collectibles and won’t make you more money than what you paid for them. If you’re saving these items hoping they’ll eventually be worth something, it might be time to get rid of them because now they’re just worthless clutter.
All of these items have been part of a collecting craze at one point, but not anymore. The collectibles at Nos. 8 and 14 are particularly surprising entries on the list.
1. Beanie Babies
- They were once influential, but now they’re worthless collectibles.
The Beanie Baby craze was real and widespread, and their popularity makes them one of the most influential toys of all time. A few of the plush dolls, such as the royal blue Peanut the elephant and Princess Diana beanie babies can bring in more than $1,000, but the vast majority aren’t worth keeping.
Next: A similar craze a generation before Beanie Babies.
2. Cabbage Patch Kids
- A few are worth a fortune, but most are worthless.
Most millennials have no clue about these dolls that took the world by storm in the 1980s, and they probably don’t care. A sealed, vintage, mint-condition Cabbage Patch Kids doll could be worth a fortune, but the majority are worth less than the $25 price tag from the 80s.
Next: Priceless nostalgia, worthless collectibles.
3. Disney VHS tapes
- The nostalgia is priceless, but the movies aren’t.
The best Disney movies instantly take us back to our childhoods, and that nostalgia is priceless. However, the overwhelming majority of Disney VHS tapes aren’t going pay for your new car. The supposedly limited “Black Diamond Collection” movies aren’t rare at all, according to Snopes. Sure, you might get a dope to spend $10,000 on a VHS tape, but in reality, you probably won’t get more than $5 for each film if you try selling your collection.
Next: Don’t expect a return on your investment.
4. Franklin Mint products
- These items look great, but they’re not great investments.
You can buy coins, toy cars, games, china and porcelain, and other items from The Franklin Mint, but you shouldn’t expect a return on your investment in the long run. Sure, the items look great, but they’re worthless collectibles, according to The Street. A John McCain $2 bill and presidential coins are unique, but they’re not rare enough to achieve true collectible status.
Next: It’s probably not worth your time to sell these toys.
5. Happy Meal toys
- These childhood staples won’t net you much money.
The 10-year old in all of us would probably say that the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys were the best part of the meal. A glimpse of a Micky D’s-branded Hot Wheels car, My Little Pony, or Barbie Dolls may instantly transport you to your childhood, but that’s about all they’re good for. You likely won’t get much more than $1 if you try selling them on eBay, so it’s probably not worth your time to put in the effort,
Next: Sorry, Grandma.
6. Hummel figurines
- They were once rare, but now they’re readily available.
Many soldiers returning home from World War Two brought German Hummel figurines for the women in their lives along with them. The 3D ceramic figures were incredibly popular, so they produced more and more versions and sold them all over the world. What were once rare collectibles are now readily available, which makes them practically worthless. Plus, younger generations aren’t interested in collecting them, so there’s not really a market for the figurines.
Next: Even the diehard collectors say these aren’t worth much.
7. Model train sets
- Model trains are mostly worthless collectibles.
If you have a model train set, chances are it’s a Lionel, and chances are it’s merely worthless clutter at this point. As with anything, a few are worth their weight in gold, but the Lionel Collectors Club of America says most train sets don’t have a high collector value at all.
Next: Surprisingly, even the desirable ones aren’t worth much.
8. Newer sports trading cards
- Newer trading cards aren’t worth much.
Yes, Babe Ruth’s bat and a Honus Wagner baseball card are among the most expensive sports collectibles in history. However, sports trading cards from the 1980s and 90s are virtually worthless. It all comes down to supply and demand. At the peak of the trading card boom in the 80s and 90s, companies produced hundreds of thousands of every card. There are so many out there now that anyone can buy any card they want, even a mint condition Ken Griffey Jr. rookie, for pennies.
Next: They’re not rare, so they’re definitely not worth much on the open market.
9. Norman Rockwell collector plates
- Anyone can buy these plates at any time.
Plates featuring Norman Rockwell’s slice-of-life Americana look great, but they’re not collectibles. Anyone who wants on can readily buy them online starting at $25, so there’s really no secondary market. You need demand to make something valuable, and since these plates don’t have that, they’re worthless collectibles.
Next: A flash in the pan collectible is worthless clutter now.
- A short-lived, niche collectible that isn’t worth much now.
Some of the rarest pogs can be valuable, but by and large, these cardboard or plastic discs are just taking up space at this point. The 90s heyday of pog collecting was short-lived and was a niche hobby to begin with, so if you still have some, it might be time to get rid of them.
Next: Another line of cards that are worthless.
11. Pokemon cards
- Pokemon remains popular, but the trading cards are worthless.
Pokemon GO turned our smartphones into battery-sucking immersed reality gaming machines. (The battery-draining part was a reason to hate the game). Even though folks from all generations, not just kids, enjoy Pokemon, the trading cards from the 90s are by and large worthless. Manufacturers cashed in on the craze by producing tons of cards, and there are so many out there that none are rare enough to command top dollar.
Next: Three reasons these end up being worthless collectibles.
12. Recent comic books
- Anything from the 1980s onward won’t net you much money.
Some comic books are worth big money, such as the ones where Batman, Thor, or Spider-Man first show up. However, most comics are utterly worthless. Almost any comic books printed from the 1980s onward have three things going against them.
- One, they feature characters who are already well established. A Superman comic from 1998 doesn’t have the same cache as his debut from 1938.
- Second, newer heroes coming onto the scene aren’t as beloved as the X-men or Iron Man, so their stories aren’t as prized by collectors.
- Finally, their resurgent popularity means publishers print more, so comics aren’t as rare as the ones from older eras.
Next: This line of memorabilia is very similar to the Norman Rockwell plates.
13. Royal family memorabilia
- Lots of product plus low demand add up to worthless clutter.
If you’re so excited about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal baby that you need to commemorate it with a decorative plate, by all means, go ahead. Just don’t expect to sell your collectibles for a profit in the future. The Telegraph looked at the secondary market for royal family memorabilia from over the years and found out there really isn’t one.
Like the Norman Rockwell plates we discussed a minute ago, it’s all mass produced, so there’s more than enough to go around. Plus, it’s all poorly made, so it’s not going to stand the test of time.
Next: Let’s revisit the comic book discussion for a minute.
14. Star Wars toys
- The right toys are valuable, but the rest aren’t.
Just like with our comic book discussion, some Star Wars toys are worth thousands of dollars if you own the right ones. However, most of the action figures from a galaxy far, far away are mass-produced worthless clutter. You may love your young Anakin Skywalker toy from the prequel trilogy, but it’s one of the millions that rolled off the assembly line, so it’s not rare enough to truly be worth much money.
Next: These aren’t as valuable as you think they are.
15. Vinyl records
- Most albums aren’t worth more than their sticker price.
The very first copy of The Beatles’ The Beatles (the White Album), a rare Bob Dylan, and the first Elvis Presley recording are some of the most valuable vinyl records ever pressed. However, most LPs aren’t worth enough for you to retire, let alone pay your next electric bill. Most copies of classic albums currently on the shelves are mass-produced re-issues, so they’re not going to command top dollar if you decide to sell them. Plus, even if you have a vintage version of a classic record sitting around the house, it will only bring top dollar if it’s in pristine condition.
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