Thursday, April 30, 2009


A collectable or collectible is typically a manufactured item designed for people to collect. In this respect, they are distinguishable from other subjects of collections, which may also include natural objects (e.g., butterflies) and objects manufactured for purposes other than collecting (e.g., stamps). Some objects designed for other purposes, such as toys, become so popular among collectors that they are later marketed specifically to that audience. The high price for certain older Star Wars action figures is a good example of this phenomenon since the figures were originally intended to be purchased as toys rather than collectibles.  

Although "collectable" is the spelling listed first for the adjective by the Oxford English Dictionary and is standard spelling in British English, the dictionary observes that the "-ible" form is also valid, and has come to be common spelling in the United States. 

To encourage collecting, manufacturers often create an entire series of a given collectible, with each item differentiated in some fashion. Examples include sports cards depicting individual players, or different designs of Beanie Babies. Enthusiasts will often try to assemble a complete set of the available variations.

The early versions of a product, manufactured in smaller quantities before its popularity as a collectible developed, sometimes command exorbitant premiums on the secondary market. Dolls and other toys made during an adult collector's childhood can command such premiums. Unless extremely rare or made as a one-of-a-kind OOAK, in a mature market, collectibles rarely prove to be a spectacular investment.

 Collectors' items 

A collectors' item is one which is made without the intention of special interest but due to rarity or uniqueness, a production fault, human error, or other events, becomes sought after due to its rarity in these circumstances. Occasionally, a series of circumstances will take place that result in an item from a collectible series becoming valuable and sometimes sold for substantial amounts of money. This could apply to an item or series of items intended to be collected, such as record albums. An example of this is the 12" vinyl LP Juju by the rock band Gass, a recording which featured a guest appearance by the guitarist Peter Green. Due to Green's prescence on this album, it was also of interest to and collectable by fans of Peter Green. The first pressing of this album was released into retail outlets, but then quickly withdrawn . The same album was pressed once more and sent to retail outlets again, without Peter Green's credits on the album cover and simply entitled Gass. This made copies of the album entitled Juju, the original title of the same album, hard to find and a collector's item due to the unintended changes and subsequent rarity.