2013 - Time to be sensible

Or is it? Maybe it’s the year to have your cake and eat it.

Well, we can’t put it off any longer, what we are going to talk about in this Blog – and before you click out of this article, and we promise not to lecture you at all – is investing.
And by this we mean investing a little time and of course a little money.
The start of a New Year is always a good time to take stock of many aspects of your life, and we are not going to stray any further than into your collection.

Having been at the ‘End Point’ of many a collection, we thought we should share some of the issues we have realised along the way.
We all know that one of the main reasons people collect toys is because they like them. It is as simple as that. It isn’t always nostalgia in the strictest sense because many adults are not collecting toys they had as a child, but more often, collecting toys they wished they had as a child. And more often than not, collecting models, that they have begun to appreciate as adults.
Whilst this could be seen as self-indulgent, as long as the heart and the head are employed equally, this could be one of the few cases in life, where you can enjoy the thrill of the chase (and often this is the best bit), enjoy owning them, and at some date in the future (recommend at least 5 years, preferably 10), selling them for a profit.
And this is where they beat traditional investment hands down – who really enjoys stocks and shares – and in any case, does feathering the nest of some investment banker really give anyone a rosy glow?

So now that’s settled, how can you insure that your toy collection maximises its earning potential?

1) Collect because you like them. Simple maybe, but trying to second-guess the market place never really works. And you can lose interest yourself pretty quickly too.

2) Buy the best condition you can. Now more than ever, the highest quality pieces retain their value best and are the best bet for a return in the future.

3) Buy items in as complete a state as you can i.e. all those leaflets, packing pieces, accessories are important.

4) Buy only originals – don’t get taken in, and don’t get tempted! So buying from a trusted source is the best option (can’t think who we mean here!!!!)

5) Invest in a magnifying glass! Simple advice and obvious maybe. But it took us a long time to get round to doing this. Now you can check for yourself that there are no undeclared touch-ins. Whilst we all like to believe we could spot a complete repaint a cabinet and a half away, re-touches have become more subtle over the years and often virtually impossible to see with a naked eye. Occasionally, factory touch-ins will be found, but these are quite different i.e. often a bolder flick of paint – that is absolutely the exact colour match. We spend a lot of time ensuring that our models are original and occasionally, if there are touch-ins we will declare them and price accordingly.

6) Boxes, boxes, boxes. More important than ever. Condition of the box is a vital part of the investment.

7) Take some risks, but calculated ones only. The collection that contains only the common and the mundane is never going to excite. Have some rarities! Follow the ‘less trodden path’. But know your subject well, and know your source. Provenance is not always possible, but a collection with some ‘quirky’ items, unusual colour combinations, promotional items, related display material, adds to your own enjoyment and ultimately the value of the collection as a whole.

8) Eventually, when the time comes to sell, don’t ‘flood the market place’ all at once with your collection. A controlled release is often the best way of maximising your investment.
Selling your 20 year collection in one day is not recommended – collectors will pick out the cherries and the rest will be relegated to the ‘also ran’ category, with prices to match.

Things you should not collect. Please do not collect all orange Fodens, all yellow Fodens, all light blue Guy Trucks, Fodens with green Wagon backs, and probably don’t buy anything that has just been found ‘in my grandfather’s attic’. Enough said.

Are we noticing any buying trends at the moment?
Yes! Collectors for a long time have been rather ‘sniffy’ about 1970’s Corgi & Dinky. Prices are rising exceptionally well in this sector of the market, whilst the 1940’s (largely) unboxed Dinky, such as the 36 & 39 series sell only when they are in the very best condition these days.

Well we have been guilty of lecturing a little after all, but only with the best of intentions!

Have you any points to add? We would love to hear any thoughts you may have on this topic, and we may add some of your comments to this article at a later date.

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