If you’re a lifelong geek you’re probably basking in the radiance of the 21st century comic book media renaissance. Suddenly comics are cool, not just amongst the proportionately tiny realm of people who follow them, but among the general populace. Geeky is the new sexy. There can be no doubt that Hollywood has played a huge part in this. Most geeks over the age of 30 remember the drought of content that plagues the ‘80s and ‘90s. Big budget comic book movies that actually took the source material seriously rather than playing it for laughs were a relatively new phenomenon. Richard Donner’s Superman in 1978 did a great job out of the gate but its sequels offered diminishing returns. The same goes for the Batman franchise. Tim Burton did a great job on the first two and even the third had its moments but the fourth is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time… But still worthy of a re-watch if only for its camp value. In the wake of 200’s X-Men, however, comic book movies have never been far from the public eye. They came and went somewhat fleetingly though the early ‘00s before exploding after 2008 as the one-two punch of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Iron Man (which kicked off the now thriving Marvel Cinematic Universe). Now, just look at the breadth of what comic book movies can be. They can be feminist totems (Wonder Woman), paranoid political thrillers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), or nihilistic, character based Westerns (Logan).
As geekdom became mainstream, so too did the geeky collectables market explode. Now the market is flooded with prestige format hardcover graphic novels, collector’s edition blu ray discs, that acre catnip to the geek community. As the geek community expands exponentially, so too does the market for the collectable items to the point where geeky collectables are now a multi billion dollar market. There are items that may be sitting on your shelf right now gathering dust, that may be worth way more than you realize.
If you’re seeking to free up some capital for the business venture that will one day make you rich, trying to claw your way out of debt or simply trying to find a way to free up some ready cash for a vacation, your geeky collectables may well be your passport to financial security. Moreover, your collectables may not be giving you the sense of fulfillment and belonging that you think they do...
Do you own your stuff or does it own you?
As Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden once said, the things you own end up owning you. The acquisition of stuff can become addictive. It could be said that shopping is the last truly socially acceptable form of addiction. All collectors know the thrill of the chase. They gaze longingly at the statues, figures and other collectable works of nerdy art in store windows and cabinets or online, diligently saving (or filling out credit card applications) until we’re ready to throw down our money and add them to our collection. Curiously, however, it doesn’t take long for our adoration to fade. Before we know it, we’ve all but forgotten them and moved on to the next object of our desires.
When collecting becomes hoarding
There’s a fine line between a compulsive hoarder and a collector and while a collector can be far more psychologically well adjusted than a hoarder, both are trying to fill a very specific hole in their psyche with the acquisition of material possessions.
The sad truth is that if you’re leaning solely on your collectable commodities to bring you happiness, you’ll never find it. No matter how much you buy, how much you spend and how much you collect, it’ll never be enough. Once again, this isn’t to say that you should throw out your entire collection, hand in your geek card and throw out and rid your life of the trappings of nerdom. You should, however, take a long hard look at each and every item in your collection and ask yourself how badly you really want it.
Take a good long look at your shelf (and, indeed, yourself if you’re feeling introspective) and think about which items your eye is drawn towards. Which are your pride and joy items and which are simply occupying space?
You need to undertake a ruthless audit of which items bring you pleasure and which don’t. You may be pleasantly surprised at how liberating it feels to rid yourself of the collectables you no longer love, but feel compelled to keep, such as...
Movies, books and games
Lots of people own the bog standard original version but you own the gold standard version. Whether it’s a prestige format graphic novel like an Absolute Edition or a steelbook blu ray disc, you go all out when it comes to building your collection of favorite movies, books and TV shows.
But which titles get regular rewatches and rereads and which are simply gathering dust? The least you can do is check Buyback Express to sell your games, movies and books… or at least find out how much they’re worth.
Videogames have a strange life cycle. They have monetary value when they first come out, then their value drops significantly over time… But give it a decade or two and the value of retro games and consoles skyrockets. If you have a cupboard somewhere full of Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo games or consoles which you’re never going to hook up to your TV, you may be sitting on a goldmine. As games move more and more toward digital distribution it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the value of physical games.
Toys and collectables
You most likely have a lot of high end collectible action figures like Hot Toys. These are awesome because they’re among the few collectables that actually increase in value even if you take them out of the box, but you may be surprised to learn what your childhood toys may be worth, even if unboxed, especially if you grew up in the ‘80s and / or loved Star Wars.
Nobody’s saying that you should rid yourself of something that will bring you joy, but ridding yourself of the excesses of your collection may be surprisingly profitable.