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Kim's Corner
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by Kim Petersen (archives)
August 27, 2001
In her debut column on merchandise and collectibles, Kim tries to answer some basic questions about what makes an item collectible.

Collectables - Mementos - Souvenirs
Are Some Items More Collectable Than Others?

In the first of my monthly articles for the new Collectables Column at LaughingPlace.com I thought I'd tackle a few of the questions that make the collectables marketplace such a fun - and maddening - place to play.

With tens-of-thousands of items being designed by hundreds of artists for products in over fifty markets all overseen by more than twenty departments in at least ten corporate divisions being manufactured by thousands of crafts-people in hundreds of companies in factories around the world under hundreds of legal licensee agreements and marketed by dozens of corporate entities and separate independent vendors year after year in the Disney Company's continuing quest for the consumer dollar - the Disney marketplace is the most intriguing, complex and volatile in all of Collectables.

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You only have to enter "Disney" into e-Bay's search engine and read through the more than 50,000 items spread over 100+ pages - or go to one of the NFFC's Strictly Disneyana Show & Sales and wander the isles perusing table after table - or surf by any of the dozens on-line sale and trade boards - or go to any of the hundreds of other specialty, toy, paper, glass, pin, or art shows held in convention centers across the country - or around the world - to get a feel for the true depth and scope of Disneyana collectables. It’s a bottom-less marketplace - it’s a global marketplace - and it’s an amazing phenomena. There are few other brand names that carry as much inherent "collectability" as does the Disney brand.

Literally anything - anything - manufactured by, or in agreement with or under creative license for the Disney Company can become a collectable - those that are designed and manufactured expressly for the consumer marketplace as well as those items which become accidental collectables. From free theme park guidebooks to thousand dollar statuary - all is collectable - and all has a place in the market. Disney spans more genre than does any other single collectable - from pins to paper and toys to theme parks - there are very few markets that the Disney brand doesn’t impact.

This may well be the toughest question in the collector's marketplace: What is it - if there is any reason at all - that makes an item a "collectable"? Are there some things that are more worthy of collecting than others? Is there a "collectable" of choice? Does what you spend for an item make it more "collectable"? Does what an item re-sells for make it more "valuable"? Can you determine an item's "value" before you add it to your collection? Can you track the value of an item? Can you anticipate the Marketplace? Can you affect the Marketplace? What isn’t collectable? The questions can be as complex as is the marketplace itself.

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