5 Tips for Collecting Rare and Unique Toys
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Get to know the market
  2. Build relationships with dealers and collectors
  3. Handle collectibles correctly
  4. Store and display toys properly
  5. Document and insure your collection

Whether you're just starting out or already have an impressive assemblage, collecting rare and unique toys is a rewarding hobby that can also be a lucrative investment. In the world of collectible toys, knowledge is power. This guide is here to give you five practical tips to help you navigate this exciting realm.

Get to know the market

Before you dive headfirst into the world of collectible toys, it's important to first understand the market. Here's how you can do it:

Research, Research, Research

The first step is to do your homework—literally. Learn about the different kinds of collectible toys out there: the well-known brands, the obscure finds, and everything in between. Read books, join online forums, and follow toy collectors on social media. The more you know, the better decisions you'll make when it comes to adding new pieces to your collection.

Understand the Value

Not all collectible toys are created equal. Some might be worth a fortune, while others might just have sentimental value. Learn how to determine the value of a toy. Factors like rarity, condition, and demand can greatly affect a toy's worth. For example, a mint condition, first edition Star Wars action figure could fetch a hefty price, while a common Beanie Baby might not be as valuable.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Collectible toys aren't just about the past, they're also about the future. Stay updated with the latest toy releases and trends. This could mean following toy manufacturers on social media, signing up for newsletters from toy retailers, or even attending toy fairs and conventions. Who knows, the next big thing in collectible toys might just be around the corner.

Build relationships with dealers and collectors

Diving into the world of collectible toys doesn't have to be a solo journey. Building relationships with other collectors and dealers is not only enjoyable but also beneficial. Here's why and how.

Expand Your Knowledge

No matter how many toys you collect or how many books you read, there's always something new to learn in the world of collectible toys. Other collectors and dealers can be a treasure trove of information. They can share insights about rare toys, inform you about upcoming releases, or give you tips on where to find the best deals. So don't hesitate to strike up a conversation at a toy fair, join a collector's club, or participate in online forums.

Access to Exclusive Deals

Establishing a good relationship with dealers can open up opportunities for exclusive deals. They might give you a heads-up when a rare toy comes into their possession, or offer you a special price on a piece you've been eyeing. Remember, being friendly and respectful goes a long way in fostering these relationships.

Trade and Sell

Sometimes, you might find yourself with duplicate toys or pieces that no longer fit your collection. Having a network of fellow collectors can be handy in these situations. You can trade or sell your toys to them, ensuring they go to a good home while you make room for new additions. Plus, it's a lot more fun to trade with someone you know than a random person online!

Handle collectibles correctly

Your collection of collectible toys is a source of pride and joy. As such, it's important to handle your toys correctly to maintain their condition and value. Let's talk about the best ways to handle your collectible toys.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Seems basic enough, right? But you'd be surprised how many collectors overlook this simple step. Always wash your hands before handling your toys. Dirt and oils can cause damage over time, especially to toys made of certain materials like vinyl or soft plastic.

Be Gentle

Remember, these aren't your everyday playthings. Some collectible toys might have delicate parts that can easily break if mishandled. Always handle your toys gently to avoid any accidental damage. This is especially pertinent if your collection includes older, more fragile pieces.

Use the Right Tools

Depending on your collection, you might need certain tools to handle your toys. For example, if you have action figures with small, interchangeable parts, you might need tweezers to switch out these pieces without causing damage. Always use the right tools for the job to keep your toys in the best possible condition.

Store and display toys properly

Now that you've got the hang of handling your collectible toys, let's explore how to store and display them properly. After all, these toys aren't just for play—they're works of art that deserve to be showcased.

Create a Dedicated Space

First things first: your collectible toys need their own special place. This could be a shelf, a glass cabinet, or even an entire room if your collection is large enough. Make sure this space is clean, dry, and away from direct sunlight to prevent any potential damage.

Use Protective Cases

For those extra-special pieces in your collection, consider using protective cases. These can shield your toys from dust, dirt, and accidental knocks. Plus, they're a great way to showcase your most prized collectibles.

Rotate Your Display

Why not give all your toys a chance to shine? Consider rotating your display every now and then. This not only keeps your collection fresh and interesting, but it also helps prevent any one toy from getting exposed to light or dust for too long.

Document and insure your collection

With your collectible toys now safely stored and displayed, let's turn our attention to documentation and insurance. You may think it's a bit overboard, but trust me, these steps are key to maintaining a valuable collection.

Keep a Record

Start by keeping a record of your collection. This doesn't have to be anything fancy—a simple spreadsheet will do. Include details like the toy's name, brand, date of purchase, and price. This will not only help you keep track of your collection but also prove useful if you ever decide to sell.

Take Photographs

Along with your record, take clear, quality photographs of each toy. This is especially important for rare and valuable collectibles. Remember to update these photos if you acquire new pieces or if an item's condition changes.

Insure Your Collection

Finally, consider getting insurance for your collectible toys. This can cover you in case of theft, damage, or loss. Check with your home insurance provider—they might already cover collectibles, or you may need a special policy. It's a small price to pay for some peace of mind.

If you enjoyed our blog post on collecting rare and unique toys and want to explore the creative process behind designing such captivating collectibles, check out the workshop 'Inventing Gods & Monsters' by Cat Johnston. This workshop will give you an inside look at the world of toy design and help spark your imagination as you grow your own collection.