Could these six collectables make you rich?

What collectables are worth owning? We look at which everyday items are worthy investments and could make you a small fortune.

Retro-style video game controller
(Image credit: © Getty images)

While some investors may be satisfied in waking up and checking their portfolios, for others, owning luxury items is the path to future wealth. 

Buying collectable items combines the hobby of collecting with a simple investment principle – the value of in-demand items tends to trend upwards. Art, antiques, stamps, toys, coins and comic books are among the most common collectables sought by investors. And while some are one-off rarities, others are mass-produced items that have become desirable and valuable over time.

Some Pokemon trading cards, for example, have appreciated in value by over 10,000% since their release in 1996, according to

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With many of these items now hugely sought after you may be thinking what collectibles are worth investing in and what you need to know about buying, collecting and selling rare items.

Why invest in collectables?

By incorporating some form of collectables into your investment portfolio, you are adding another layer of diversification

Owing to their tangibility, collectables are not subject to interest rate changes, inflation, or other factors that may shape the value of your cash, equity or bond holdings. 

The low level of correlation between the value of collectables and the broader stock market means collectables could be resilient during difficult periods. So, as long as the value of your collectable keeps up with inflation, you could find they generate a healthy return for you. 

As with any investment, there is no guarantee that this will happen and for many people, their investment is usually also tied up with passion.

But, the market is growing according to analysis by Market Decipher, which found that the toys collectable market is growing by 10% annually, alongside other sectors, such as UK wine growers, which is also currently in demand.

Here are six collectables you can buy that could make worthwhile investments.

1. Barbie dolls

Since the release of the live-action Barbie film in July 2023 starring Margot Robbie, we have entered a Barbie boom. Not only has the colour pink hit the roof, but interest in collectable dolls has also risen. 

According to BonusFinder, the first ever Barbie doll was priced at three dollars back in 1959, equivalent to $32 now. Today, it is worth a whopping $27,450. More recent Barbie dolls are also worth thousands of dollars, with Dahlia Barbie, from 2006 worth $2,423 – though the Swarovski crystal brooch might add a unique touch. 

Investing in toys doesn't stop at Barbie dolls. Matchstick toys can also make you money. Lego is also a popular investment.

2. Gaming consoles and games

The popularity of gaming in the modern world means that a lot of gaming items may not be as scarce as they were in the past. But, if older consoles and games give any indication of the future value of current-day originals, then it’s definitely an area to consider.

Consoles or games that redefined gaming or were a first of its kind over the recent years, such as the Nintendo Wii or virtual reality tech like the Oculus Rift, could be great investments for future collectors if they are in good condition.

For example, a Sony PlayStation game that was released in 1997 called “Elemental Gearbolt” is estimated to be worth over $10,000 (£7,982) today, which is a 19,900% increase on its original US retail value of $49.99.

3. Trainers

Investing in luxury goods and fashion can pay dividends, and there is a big community around trainers which has turned certain pieces of footwear into highly valuable assets. Many of these high-value shoes are associated with celebrities or are only available in certain markets.

Even shoes that had no limited-edition releases have appreciated in value since their release such as the original Nike Air Jordan I from 1985, which originally retailed in the US for $65 and are now valued at over £30,000 per pair.

4. First-edition books

Whilst it may be difficult to establish which first-edition books will be worth a lot of money in the future, at the time of their release, some of these literary pieces can significantly appreciate in value.

For example, a first-edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, which was originally released in 1997, is now estimated to be worth around £44,000. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the most valuable book released in 1613, listed at £139,356 according to Homeprotect Insurance. 

David Joyson, Chief Customer Officer of Homeprotect advises: “If you have any of these valuable items lying around your home, or if you come across an item you think may have a high value, get them professionally valued, so you know if they are worth insuring and to avoid underinsuring.

“Rare or antique books may be covered by your contents insurance, but it’s always worth checking the specific policy terms with your insurer and to confirm that you have an adequate amount of contents cover.”

So, if you’re thinking about purchasing some modern books and novels, opting for the first-edition release could end up being a worthwhile investment opportunity.

5. Fine Wines

As the saying goes, fine wines age well, both in quality and in price. Collecting fine wines can be quite expensive initially as they need to be stored properly and safely in order for them to maintain their quality, but they can turn into valuable collectables for the future as they can be either sold for profit or opened for pleasure. 

One of the most expensive wines in the world today due to its supreme quality and low supply is the Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992, a bottle of which was sold at auction for $500,000 (£399.740), just 5 years after its release. See our article on how to invest in fine wine.

6. Vinyl records

Spotify or Apple Music might be your go-to in the car or on your commute to work, but vinyl records are making a comeback and they’re worth a lot. If you hoard old vinyl records (in good condition) you could be sitting on thousands of pounds. 

Original copies of The Beatles The White Album are worth as much as £10,000. Albums that are in great condition, with the original Apple logo and low serial numbers, are worth checking.  Rock album Complex, by the Blackpool band Complex, has been sold for £10,000 according to A2DR, due to its rarity. 

Read more on the vinyl records that could fetch you up to £10,000.  

Tom Higgins

Tom is a journalist and writer with an interest in sustainability, economic policy and pensions, looking into how personal finances can be used to make a positive impact. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a BA in journalism before moving to a financial content agency. 

His work has appeared in titles Investment Week and Money Marketing, as well as social media copy for Reuters and Bloomberg in addition to corporate content for financial giants including Mercer, State Street Global Advisors and the PLSA. He has also written for the  Financial Times Group.

When not working out of the Future’s Cardiff office, Tom can be found exploring the hills and coasts of South Wales but is sometimes east of the border supporting Bristol Rovers.

With contributions from