Collect something? There’s a club for that!

There are a myriad of things to collect. If someone made more than one of an item, you can bet there is a collection of them somewhere. I myself have about 5 different collections going at any one time, much to the chagrin of my family members. My children are especially hopeful that I dispose of my collections before I shuffle off this mortal coil. I am making no guarantees though; I like all my cool stuff.

Collectibles come in all shapes and sizes. Antique to modern, such as antique milk separators or Boyd’s Bears. Hand crafted to mass produced like wooden dough bowls to Zippo lighters, or small like thimbles to large like John Deere tractors. I thought I would take this column and highlight some various collectibles and provide some internet websites that would be a good introduction to, and of interest to my readers.

Once the collecting bug bites, it can bite hard. Don’t say you weren’t warned. It can take over your life, but in a fun way. However, one of the hazards to collecting things such as salt and pepper shakers, is that once people know you collect something, that’s all anyone buys you for birthday and Christmas presents. Speaking of salt & Pepper shakers…

Salt & Pepper shakers can be great fun to collect. They come in an amazing number of forms and don’t take up much room, that is until you acquire a couple hundred sets.

https://www.saltandpepperclub.com/

Many people enjoy collecting Coca Cola memorabilia. I prefer the antique Coke items, but they have been around so long, that there is a huge range of items to choose from between true antiques and the collectible mass produced items.

https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/collectors-club

If pocket knives are your thing, especially Case knives, you can find information online at the Case Collectors Club. I am sure most knife manufacturers have dedicated clubs as well.

https://www.casecollectorsclub.com/

Stamps have cycled in and out of favor for years, but there are still many folks who enjoy the history that surround stamps. Philately can be a very rewarding hobby and one that doesn’t take up much room.

https://stamps.org/Local-Clubs

The Fliptop Pezervation Society caught my eye while browsing. What can that be you ask? Well Pez candy dispensers of course. Pez are fun character shaped candy dispensers that when you flip the head back a tiny piece of candy comes out. Having being invented in 1927 you can be sure there are many to find and collect and some are quite valuable.

http://pezcollectorsclub.com/

Button, button, who’s got the button? – Well if you do, you can find the National Button Society here.

http://nationalbuttonsociety.org/Home.html

Model Trains have always been popular for children and many dads have created elaborate layouts for the “kids” without having to admit they were having just as much fun or more. Check your local area for train clubs too.

For Lionel trains you can see their club here,

https://www.lionelcollectors.org/

For general modeling, check out

http://www.modeltrainclub.org/

If vacuum cleaners are your passion, then you will want to check out this club. The great thing about vacuum cleaners is you can find them pretty inexpensively at yard sales, and flea markets. Just be warned that your family and friends might think it a bit wacky.

http://www.vacuumcleanercollectorsclub.org/

Gi Joe was a staple in most men’s youth. I had my share and if my mother had not given them away, I might have made a small fortune. (I finally found my space capsule to go with my space collection and it was, well, let’s say it cost more now than when I had it as a kid.)

http://www.gijoeclub.com/

Some clubs are a group of fans that have gotten together to create an online website as a place for members to communicate and share finds, as well as buy and sell their passion. Other sites are provided or organized by the actual manufacturer of the collectible. One of the latter is the Hot Wheels Collector’s Club by Mattel.

https://hotwheelscollectors.mattel.com/shop

If you have some serious space and some extra funds laying around (lots of extra funds), maybe tractors are your thing. Just about every make of tractor has a collectors club and tractor collectors are some of the most devoted and brand loyal collectors out there, sometimes even bordering on fanatical! Here is the International Harvester Club’s page.

http://nationalihcollectors.com/

I like collections that are a bit quirky and not all that common. Matchbook collecting has been around for many years. I imagine it is getting more difficult as time goes on as fewer and fewer businesses give out matchbooks, but at one time it was a staple advertising tool.

http://www.matchcover.org/

There are many collector clubs for toys. One brand of toys that I think goes unnoticed are Fisher Price Toys. Because of the amazing quantity of toys produced, good examples should be relatively inexpensive. When you get to the older more rare items is when the challenges and the costs rise.

http://fpclub.org/

People have been collecting banks as long as they have been collecting money! Banks were given out as advertising pieces, decorative items, premiums and prizes and even as commemoratives. Buildings, figures, cars, animals, anything you might think of, they probably made a still bank out of, and in as many different materials too!

http://stillbankclub.com/

I have tried to give a small idea of the range of clubs out there. The internet is an amazing way to connect with people who share your passion. I can’t even imagine how folks found each other 30 years ago! If you are looking for something to collect, look around and you might find something that interests you. Check out antique stores, flea markets, yard sales and online markets to get collecting ideas. Once you settle on a collection, I bet you will find a club somewhere made up of people who share your interest and are happy to share their knowledge and experience with a new collector. Collecting also allows you to become an expert on what you collect.

Have fun. The excitement and the challenge is in the chase!

 

Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Vintage Finds Magazine