how to become a collector of coins and stamps

how to become a collector of coins and stamps

Coins and stamps are two of the most common items that are collected. Collectors spend years gathering stamps or coins, and these collections are often passed down to a younger relative. Whether you’ve been passed down a collection or you want to start one of your own, here are a few tips to aid in your collecting.

The Benefits of Collecting

Maintaining a stamp or coin collection may sound stressful to outsiders, but many collectors find the hobby to be extremely relaxing. Having a hobby to distract you from work and other stressors in life creates a little pocket of time where you can focus your entire attention on something you enjoy.Image by Gerd Altmann

Collecting coins or stamps may also help improve your memory and focus. Paying attention to detail is extremely important when collecting. You not only have to memorize what’s in your collection to prevent purchasing the same item twice, but you also have to know about the history behind your topic of collection.

Being a collector can also help a person develop their self-identity. If you’re struggling to figure out just who you are, collecting can help you do that. Collectors often network amongst one another. It’s an easy way to trade and obtain stamps and coins. It’s also an easy way to make friends. What may start as a business transaction could turn into a lifelong friendship. You and other collectors will automatically have something in common and if you collect the same item, you’ll never run out of things to talk about.


Getting Started: Find a Theme

Any organized collector has an objective with their collection. Perhaps they only collect coins from a certain era, or they only collect stamps that feature their favorite historical figure or celebrity. What’s important to you? Is there a particular period of history that you really enjoy? History buffs often collect stamps or coins from significant years in history.

If you’re a green thumb or someone who loves nature, you could collect stamps that feature your favorite flowers. Maybe you’re someone with a lot of different interests. That’s okay, too! Your theme could simply be things that interest you; just be prepared to have an extensive collection.

When a collection is passed down to you by someone else, you don’t necessarily have to pick a theme. You could continue the trend that was set by the previous collector, or you could go in a totally different direction if you want.

If you’re going in the same direction as the previous collector, congratulations. You’ve saved yourself a step. When the previous collector’s objective doesn’t interest you, find what does. You can incorporate items from the collection and use them in your own collection. If you have coins or stamps that don’t serve your collection’s purchase, you have two options for getting rid of excess items.

Collections and the people who curated them can have great sentimental value. If a collection was passed down to you by a relative but not all of the pieces fit the goal of your new collection, ask other relatives or family friends if they would like any of the coins or stamps.

After that, consider selling or donating the items to other collectors. You could help someone finally complete their collection, or you may have a rare item that would mean a lot to someone else.

Before You Start Collecting: Do Your Research

Before you dive into the incredible world of collecting coins and stamps, you need to do your research. It’s important to know exactly what you are collecting. If you’re looking to collect coins or stamps from a particular era, having an understanding of world history during that period is crucial. Large events, such as the moon landing and Queen Elizabeth II’s ascent to her throne, are often commemorated on coins and stamps.

For coin collectors, the history of money is their Bible. The usage of paper money dates all the way back to 7th century China, and the oldest known use of coins occurred around 600 BCE. Between 600 BCE and today, a lot has changed — especially when it comes to the coin form of currency. In American history, the U.S. Mint was not opened until 1792. There were lots of different coins in circulation before then, and anyone who owns one of them holds a piece of history.

About 70 years after the United States Postal Service was established, Congress authorized postage stamps to be used. The first stamps depicted Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. That was almost 200 years ago. Stamps have evolved greatly over the years. Stamps have featured historical figures, celebrities, cartoon characters, and almost anything else that you can think of since their invention.Image by Thomas B

Start Collecting

Now that you have identified your collection’s objective and you’ve done your research, it’s time to start collecting. Coins can be found in nearly everyone’s pockets, and stamps are resident in nearly every American home. People of a particular age bracket are notorious for not getting rid of things. Do you know someone who qualifies for senior discounts at restaurants? Give them a call and ask if you can come by and look for coins and stamps for your collection.

Be prepared to pay for whatever you find. Do not take advantage of someone’s kindness because of their age and ignorance of the value of an item. Collectors aren’t scammers, and you shouldn’t attempt to swindle anyone who is doing you a favor.

The next places to look out for valuable coins and stamps are yard sales and estate sales. Oftentimes, anyone hosting these types of sales is ready to part with these items and they’ll cut you a great deal.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to pick through the coins and only take what you want. However, the most common case is that someone will be getting rid of an entire collection, and you’ll have to buy the whole thing. For the right price, it will definitely be worth it to sort through the coins or stamps later. Whatever you don’t want, you can sell to other collectors or use it to trade for an item you do want, such as a vintage stamp.

Secondhand stores are also a fantastic place to purchase collectibles, even stamps and coins. Coins will often be located near the jewelry. It makes sense, considering that they’re both small pieces of metal that could be worth a lot.

Stamps, however, could be found in different sections of the store. In the office supply section or near the stationery makes sense, but if it is a framed collection of stamps, it could be located on the perimeter of the store with other wall hangings. You may also find stamps inside of used books. Many people use small books of stamps as bookmarks.

Other collectors are great resources for buying stamps and coins too. When purchasing from strangers, keep your wits about you. This is another time where doing research is an integral part of being a collector. You need to know the current market value of the item and its potential value in the future before you make a purchase.

When possible, try to make all transactions between yourself and other collectors secure and traceable. If you’re making a purchase online, use a trusted third-party payment application such as PayPal. Never give someone you don’t know your personal financial details, including credit card numbers or bank account information.

For in-person purchases, be sure to meet the person during the day in a public location. To be extra safe, you can bring a friend or family member along with you. This will increase your personal safety during the encounter.

When possible, get a receipt for your exchange. The seller doesn’t necessarily have to have a receipt book on them. You could create your own receipt by writing down the details of the transaction on a piece of paper and having both parties sign. If you brought a friend along, they could sign the paper as well, certifying that they witnessed the transaction.

Be extremely cautious when purchasing collectible coins or stamps from pawn shops. These stores are overly obsessed with making a profit, and they will often list items for far above their market value. Do not be swayed by a salesperson’s claims of the item’s potential value in 100 years. If the item is particularly rare or special to you and your collection, then go for it.

Make good choices, and when something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to pull back from the sale.

Storing Your Collection

Collecting stamps and coins has been a popular hobby for decades. As a result of that, the storage cases for these collections have evolved. Special boxes and cases for coin collecting are a popular option. They’re often lined with velvet to prevent the coins from becoming scratched.

Coin capsules are also a good option. These plastic cases enclose the coins and protect them from the elements. These capsules allow coins to be displayed individually, and they can be easily viewed.

Stamp collections are housed in books. These books resemble scrapbooks as their cover and spine are often made of a thick material. The inner pages are either made of plastic or a thick paper. The plastic pages look a lot like a page protector, but there are pockets in the plastic where you can insert the stamps.

Paper pages are more authentic, but they offer almost no protection from air and moisture. Your stamps could be the victim of water damage from moisture in the air over time. This will degrade and warp the stamps.

For added protection, no matter which case you choose, you should store your coin and stamp collections in a fireproof safe. More than 350,000 house fires occur in the United States every year. They could happen to anyone at any time, and valuables should be kept in fireproof safes to protect them from becoming ashes.

Safes also lock up your collections in the event that your home is burglarized. While most burglars have their eyes on fancy jewelry and flat-screen televisions, your coin collection could also be stolen by them.

Keeping Tabs on Your Collection

Collectors who can remember every single item in their collections without viewing it are incredible, but no one expects you to have this superhuman power. To keep track of what is in your collection, consider creating a spreadsheet or roster of what coins or stamps you own. In your spreadsheet, include a description of the item, the quantity, and the value of the item. This roster will also come in handy in the unfortunate event that your collection is lost or stolen.

If your collection is ever stolen, you can hand over a copy of your spreadsheet to the police. This will help them in their efforts to recover your stolen items. It will also help in the fight to bring the thief to justice, as the monetary value of the stolen goods is what determines a person’s charge.

Knowing the value of your collection and being able to provide an itemized list is essential in the event you do experience a house fire. Insurance companies require documentation of what was lost and how much each item costs. While you won’t get your collection back, you will receive what you paid for it and you can use those funds to start a new collection.

Enjoy Yourself

Collecting is meant to be a fun hobby. You can’t relieve stress if you’re constantly worried about your collection. If you’ve accumulated too many items and the collection has now become overwhelming, consider culling some items that you don’t mind parting with. Obviously, that is easier said than done, but if you’ve got far too many stamps or coins on your hands and now your collecting is only causing strife, it’s time to rearrange.

There are no winners or losers in collecting. Everyone who collects something they love is a winner. Don’t compare your collection to someone else’s.

Image by Merry Christmas


stargate: atlantis collectible box set

stargate: atlantis collectible box set

Stargate is one of the most popular science fiction franchises. Stargate allows anyone to travel instantaneously across the universe. The first film in this series premiered in 1994, and it explored the idea of extraterrestrial beings having an influence on the human race and its development.Stargate Atlantis_image one

Stargate: Atlantis

Stargate: Atlantis was the second time that the military science fiction franchise came to television. Often abbreviated as SGA, the series was a spin-off of the first Stargate television series, Stargate SG-1.

Premiering on July 16, 2004, the series was broadcast on the Sci-Fi channel in the United States and The Movie Network in Canada. Most of the series was filmed in Vancouver. The pilot episode depicted Dr. Daniel Jackson discovering the location of the lost city of Atlantis. An international team is sent by Stargate Command to travel to Atlantis.Stargate Atlantis_image two

Over the course of five seasons, Stargate: Atlantis was a huge ratings success for the Sci-Fi channel, and it attracted European and Australian audiences as well. The series was discontinued in 2008, and while there are no new episodes coming in the future, the five seasons provide more than enough action-packed science fiction to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Where to Watch

Stargate: Atlantis is available on streaming services such as Hulu and Prime Video. However, the episodes on the streaming services are the exact same as those that originally aired on traditional television. Some services may lack the entire collection of episodes, and they may be dropped from these streaming services at any time.

Streaming services are passive bills. They require you to sign up for a monthly subscription. If you don’t have the financial security to always guarantee that you’ll be able to pay your premium for your subscription, you don’t want to take this route.Stargate Atlantis_image three

The best way to watch every episode of Stargate: Atlantis is to purchase the collectible box set

Why Do I Need The Box Set?

When you purchase a collectible box set of Stargate: Atlantis, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of streaming services. There are no monthly subscription fees and no commercials. Not having to deal with commercials is enough incentive for fans to drop the money to buy the box set.

Additionally, you also get extra content when you purchase box sets. The collectible box set comes with 50 additional hours of special features. Special features include extended episodes, behind-the-scenes extras, and commentary by the cast and crew.Stargate Atlantis_image four

You could see things that you never saw on television when watching the original series. Behind the scenes on the set of a science fiction production is wildly fascinating. You’ll get to learn all of the ins and outs of your favorite episodes, and you can witness special effects come to life right before your eyes.

Do you want to know more about the people who brought your favorite show to life? Commentary from producers and writers provides valuable insight into how Stargate: Atlantis was created as well as how they made it flourish. Your favorite characters provide commentary as well, revealing the people behind the acting.

With the box set, you’ll get 20 DVDs that contain all episodes in the five seasons of Stargate: Atlantis. You can have a binge session without ever having to sign into a streaming service or listening to boring, monotonous commercials.

Besides saving money by not having to pay a monthly subscription fee, you’ll also save money on your Internet bill. Since you’re watching the show on DVD format, you don’t have to have a smart TV or a device that’s connected to WiFi.

The collectible box set is perfect for anyone looking to save money, or for viewers who don’t have Internet. While it may seem like the entire world runs on the Internet, there are a lot of people who cannot get Internet in their homes due to geographical and economic restrictions.Stargate Atlantis_image five

Owning your own copy of the show also guarantees that you don’t have to worry about your favorite show getting pulled from a streaming service or being shown re-runs out of order when they pop up on cable television.

Collectible Value

If you’re a collector who loves to capitalize on fandoms, you need to purchase the collectible box set of Stargate: Atlantis.

Firstly, the show aired on cable television in 2004. Any fan who watched it while it was on air is at a wage-earning age. This demographic has the money to spend on items from their favorite franchise.

Secondly, Stargate: Atlantis isn’t getting any younger. As a series ages, the original fans become deeply loyal, and there is more and more time for newer fans to come aboard. As time marches on, even used disks containing the episodes will be worth something to collectors. As the show is now off air, there’s no telling how much longer DVDs of the episodes will continue to be produced.

You, as well as other fans of Stargate: Atlantis, could soon face a future where there is nowhere else to watch the series except on these DVDs. As the supply of these box sets decrease, their value will increase exponentially. Soon, you could be selling your DVDs for double, maybe even triple, what they cost you.

Being able to watch the series is much more tangible and enjoyable than other merchandise from the series such as figurines or trading cards. Over and over again, you’ll get to relive your favorite Stargate: Atlantis moments.

If you’re a current fan of Stargate: Atlantis, you’re a fan of the other Stargate installments, or you haven’t had the pleasure of watching the series yet, you really should purchase a collectible box set. You won’t have to deal with pesky streaming services, you can watch the show whenever you want without accessing the internet, and you’ll get to enjoy bonus content that other fans haven’t been able to see.

Owning the box set also makes the show more accessible to others around you. If you have a partner or friend who you think would love Stargate: Atlantis, you can invite them over or lend them your DVDs. You’ll be doing them a huge favor.Stargate Atlantis_image six


How to Become a Collector of TBLeague/Phicen Figurines

How to Become a Collector of TBLeague/Phicen Figurines

Phicen is a producer of collectible figurines specializing in 1:6 figurines. They have an expert team of craftsmen including sculptors, painters, and costume designers.

Phicen is known for producing figurines that are hyper realistic. The encapsulation technique used when constructing the model creates a skin-like finish that is only second to the real thing.

You can also find these incredible collectibles under the name TB League. Both names are used by the company following a trademark issue in Japan several years ago.

If you’ve had your eye on some of these incredible figurines, or if you’re a collector who’s never heard of Phicen, there are countless figurines available for purchase. Soon, you can be marveling at your own super realistic-looking figurine of your favorite characters.TBLeague_Purgatori

Realize Your Goals

The first step for any person looking to enter the world of collecting is to determine your goals. Will you be collecting figurines for your own viewing pleasure, or are you looking to cultivate a collection with a high market value?

You may be asking yourself, “Why does it matter?” Your personal goals matter when collecting because they will influence your behaviors. You should have your goals in mind every time you make a purchase or handle one of your collectible items.

If you’re collecting for your own enjoyment, go ahead and go crazy. Order whatever figurines you would enjoy, and when they arrive, you can take them out of their precious packaging and display them your favorite way.

When you’re looking to make big bucks on your collection, you have to be a lot more careful. With every figurine purchase, you need to ponder whether this figurine will increase in value over time, if there is a current market demand for it, and who would want to buy it. When your newly purchased figurine arrives in the mail, it’s best to leave it in its packaging.

Leaving the figurine in the protective packaging will preserve the item for much longer than if it was resting on your bookshelf where it can be exposed to moisture and air. Keeping the item (and its packaging) in tiptop condition will increase the value of the item exponentially over time.

In the event Phicen discontinues production of the figurine you purchased, your buyers are going to want to purchase the item in a condition similar to what they would have received if they were able to purchase it directly from the manufacturer. There’s no better enjoyment than unboxing and displaying your favorite figurine, and you don’t want to rob your potential clientele of that joy.

Pick Your Poison

TB League figurines are based on a number of fictional characters.

If you’re a TV/movie buff, you’ll be happy to know there are collectible figurines available for some of your favorite media characters such as Rambo and Stacy, the star of Stacy in Hell.

Some of your favorite actors and actresses are brought to life by Phicen and their artistically advanced figurines.

Julie Newmar is a talented American actress, and she is known to many in the collecting universe as the 1960s Catwoman in two seasons of Batman – the television series. She reprised her role as Catwoman 50 years later as the voice actor for the character in two animated Batman movies. She was also a singer and starred on Broadway. If you’re a fan of Julie Newmar, you can purchase a Phicen 1:6 figurine of her in her iconic Catwoman costume, complete with a black cat accessory.

Other big names in film and television whose figurines you can purchase include Eartha Kitt, Adam West, and Stan Lee.

Movie buffs will appreciate the collectible figurines from 2001: A Space Odyssey depicting various astronauts. If you love sci-fi, you’ll enjoy collecting Phicen’s Lost in Space figurines as well.

If you’re more partial to video games, you’ll enjoy TB League’s figurines that represent characters from the video game King of Fighters. Available figurine characters include Iori Yagami, Mai Shiranui, and Athena Asamiya.

Fans of the Barbarian Souls PC game produced by Steam will be overjoyed to hear that there is a figurine depicting the main character. The incredibly life-like figurine comes with metal armor and fur clothing fit for a Viking bent on slashing his way through town. You even get three pairs of interchangeable hands and an axe identical to the one you are equipped with in the game.

If you’re into Egyptian mythology, Phicen is about to become your number one collectibles dealer. There are 1:6 figurines for sale that depict Month the Deity of War, Anubis the Guardian of the Underworld, Horus the Guardian of the Pharaoh, Cleopatra, and Nefertiti.

History buffs with an affinity for Ancient Rome should check out TB League’s Spartan Army Commander figurines. These female characters are dressed in traditional helmets with spears, and you can purchase them in silver, gold, or black. You can also find Hercules figurines that depict the son of Zeus’s rippling demigod muscles.

If you’re more into Grecian history, you can find a figurine of one of the greatest military commanders of all time, Alexander the Great. The collectible comes with traditional garb including armor, a helmet, a sword, and a shield. By the age of 30, Alexander the Great had created one of the largest empires in the ancient world. No matter what age you are, you can own a piece of the history that he helped cultivate.

Comic book fans, hang on to your hats because Phicen is going to blow you away with their vast collection of collectible comic book character based figurines. Popular options from their website include Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Skarah the Valkyrie.

Fans of the Queen of Vampires series will be all too thrilled to hear that Phicen has an incredible 1:6 figurine depicting Arkhalla, the Queen of Vampires. This figurine is one of the most popular of TB League’s creations, and it often sells out extremely fast.

There are so many collectible figurines available, it’s impossible to write about them all. You can rest assured that even some of the most niche comic book characters are depicted in 1:6 form thanks to Phicen.

If you’re not a fan of any of the formerly mentioned categories, but you are a fan of the female figure, Phicen has something for you as well.

Besides the fantastically sculpted female comic book characters, there are also generic figurines that depict hyper realistic, beautiful women.

There are four figurines available that depict women in the Honor Guard of China with all branches represented: navy, army, air force, and militia.

Female Agent, Maid Servant, and Lady Magician can be used to create whatever storyline you want in your collection. There are 13 figurines available that depict females with incredibly curvy figures in bathing suits.

To pay homage to the most notable figure of all time, there are three Bettie Page figurines. Bettie Page was an American Model who gained fame as a pin-up girl. She is often referred to as the Queen of Pinups. Her jet black hair, blue eyes, and astonishing figure were splayed across advertisements and calendars for much of the 1950s.

Purchasing Collectibles

The best place to purchase TB League/Phicen figurines is directly from their website. When you purchase directly from the manufacturer, you are ensuring that you are getting the accurate product. Purchasing from third-party suppliers could result in you being shipped a counterfeit figurine. Counterfeits will not have nearly as high of quality as Phicen’s figurines do.

Purchasing from other Phicen collectors is an option as well. To create a network of collecting friends that you can purchase from, you should visit online forums that are frequented by figurine collectors. There, you can get to know other people who share the same interests as you. Not only will you gain friendship, but you’ll also gain avenues to purchase more figurines.

When selling to friends, people often make a good deal. If you try to scam a friend, you were never their friend in the first place. Strangers in the collecting world don’t owe you anything, and you’re right to not trust them. Remain skeptical of people you don’t know well when purchasing figurines from them. If something seems off, trust your gut.

If you intend to make a large purchase from another collector, it’s wise to involve other parties in the transaction to get a fresh pair of eyes. This could be a figurine evaluator who prices these items regularly, or it could simply be another collector. If the figurine is associated with a particular comic book series or character, you could find a fan of that series and get them involved. Someone who is deeply appreciative of the comic will know whether the figurine’s costume, hair, and makeup are accurate.

Taking Care

Collectible items are meant to last a long time. To make sure your Phicen figurines last, take good care of them. Follow any and all care instructions that come with the figurine.

To dust the figures, many collectors use a very small paintbrush to whisk away any collecting dirt or debris. Using a large duster on the small item could cause damage to its structure and/or costume.

Keep figurines away from excess moisture, air, and light. These elements could cause degradation to the figurine.

TBLeague_Purgatori_image 2 



Collecting 1/6th figurines can be exciting. These figurines by Hot Toys represent popular characters from many universes, including but not limited to DC, Marvel, and Star Wars.

Collecting these realistic figurines can easily become addictive. Who wouldn’t want to have their favorite characters shrunken down and kept in their home? The secret to collecting Hot Toys is to remember: you don’t have to own them all.

How to Start

Before beginning any collection, you need to identify your goals. Are you becoming a collector to holster the joy these characters have brought you all for yourself, or are you interested in a collection that has a high monetary value?Justin's Collection_Star Wars Hot Toys

You don’t have to sacrifice joy when you’re looking to collect for money, but there are a few different behaviors that you will have to adopt.

Collecting for Value

If your collection is centered around its value, every purchase you make will have to be worth it. Every time that you spy a new Hot Toy you don’t own, you have to ask yourself, “Will I get my money back?” Not only is a return on your investment important, but you also want to make a profit.

You need to purchase the figurine at the lowest price possible, then turn around and sell it for the highest price possible. This scenario doesn’t have to happen for every single figurine, but if you get a high enough profit margin on some of the figurines, you can rest assured that you have enough money to continue your collection.

When you’re trying to expand the value of your collection, nostalgia is your best friend. Everyone loves to reminisce and relive happy memories. You can capitalize on this love for nostalgia by purchasing items that are related to older story lines.

These items can include characters from the original Star Wars series, such as Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia figurine or Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Purchasing Heath Ledger’s Joker figurine could also help you get a pretty penny, as many regard his rendition of The Joker as iconic and the actor is no longer living.

Stan Lee’s death in 2018 exponentially increased the value of all things associated with him. The prolific producer and artist was behind many hero’s story lines in the Marvel Universe, and his influence helped take Marvel from a small line of comics to the massive multimedia powerhouse it is today.

Stan Lee often made cameo appearances in the films he helped bring to life. There are several Hot Toys figurines that depict his iconic cameos, and these figurines are bound to increase in value as the time we have without Stan Lee in the world increases.

Aside from the usual iconic performances, there are some figurines that are simply timeless. Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor and the Infinity Gauntlet from Avengers Endgame are examples of these. These components were an integral part of the story line, and their value is higher to those who enjoy these movies.

R2-D2 is another example of a timeless figurine. R2D2 is present in many different movies across the Star Wars series, with the most recent appearance in Rogue One in 2016. This means that there are fans from many different age groups who know and love R2D2. He’s not linked with a particular actor, so you can’t count on any posthumous value, but it’s a safe bet that he will remain loved for many, many years to come. The same qualities can be said about Storm Troopers. They’re present across the Star Wars series, so young and old fans know who they are.

Lesser-known characters can also help you get a return on your collection. Marvel’s Venom didn’t do as well in the box office as other movies in the Marvel universe, but fans of the original comics acclaim it as iconic. Venom’s fan base is fanatic, and they will pay good money for anything related to the character.

Knowledge of the comic and movie industry are important in collecting Hot Toys for cash. You need to know which franchises are hot on the market and which will forever remain in fans’ hearts.

Collecting for Yourself

When creating a collection that is only for your enjoyment, you don’t necessarily have to worry about the money. Don’t get carried away; this statement doesn’t mean that you should blow your life’s savings on collectible items. The intention is to say that you don’t have to worry about whether items are of value and whether their value will increase.

Each transaction you make can be made with your heart instead of your wallet. One of the newest series that is taking the entertainment industry by storm is Star Wars’ The Mandalorian. People are falling in love with Star Wars all over again, thanks to Baby Yoda. You’ve probably noticed the influx of Baby Yoda merchandise in stores and online.

Those that base their collections in monetary value shy away from collecting this hot, new merchandise. Some collectors claim that the Baby Yoda craze is just a fad and that it will soon pass with time. However, collectors who follow their hearts don’t care if it’s just a phase for everyone else; they thoroughly enjoy the character and its associated merchandise. If you love Baby Yoda, go ahead and buy the Hot Toy figurine. Don’t trouble yourself about whether the figurine is going to double in value or not.

Another fantastic part of collecting for your own pleasure is that you don’t have to worry about keeping the figurines in mint condition. You can actually take them out of their containers and handle them. Who wants to collect something that they can’t touch?

Instead of keeping the figurines locked away somewhere with perfect storage conditions, you can actually have them on display. There’s nothing a collector loves more than showing off their collection. When you collect for your own enjoyment, you can show off your collection by displaying the figurines wherever you choose. Viewers of your collection can also more thoroughly enjoy the figurines by viewing them up close and personal.

Where to Buy

Hot Toys’s website is one of the easiest places to purchase Hot Toys. There, you can see all items currently available for sale and you can even pre-order some figurines. When in doubt, pre-order. You never know how quickly an item will fly off the shelves and waiting too long to order could cause you to lose out on a really great addition to your collection.

Other places online where you can purchase Hot Toys include online marketplaces. Some online marketplaces are framed as auctions, and you can find great steals and some really great finds on auction sites.

Lots of collectors turn to online auction sites to obtain vintage collectible items. Just know that when you’re eyeing a figurine online, another collector is as well. These auction sites allow the buyer to participate in bidding wars for the item. For those with a competitive streak, this could be a treacherous situation.

Do not let your want to win the bidding battle overshadow your want or need for the figurine. If you’re solely focused on winning, you will often end up paying much more than the item is worth. That’s fantastic news for the seller but terrible news for your pocketbook. If you stumble upon an online marketplace that allows transactions to occur in person, be wary. You could be scammed or seriously hurt by strangers posing as collectors on these sites.

In-person purchasing options are available as well. Visit second-hand stores and vintage retailers to scope out if there are any Hot Toys for sale. You’d be surprised what you find. You could even locate figurines that are now discontinued.

At second-hand stores, you could pay pennies on the dollar for a figurine. Saving money is great for any collector whether they’re collecting for their own pleasure or for a profit. Finding items at low cost is especially crucial for collectors looking to make money on their collections.


Storing your figurines properly is important for maintaining the integrity of the collectible. For maximum return on your items, do not take the figurines out of their packaging. This will prevent damage to the paint or structure of the figurine.

If you’re serious about the storage of your figurines, you could invest in UV-proof storage. There are many options available, including clear boxes that allow you to view the figurine or fireproof safes.

Keep in mind that these are 1:6 scale figurines. The average height of a Hot Toy is 12 to 13 inches. When stocking up on these figurines, stay mindful of the space that they will take up. Serious collectors who intend to purchase a lot of figurines should set aside space for the collectibles. This is another reason why it is important to not get carried away when collecting for enjoyment.

You may love every figurine you see, but you don’t have to own something to prove you love it. Stay mindful of your goals, and have fun.

Justin's Collection_Terminator Hot Toys




Masks are objects worn on the face. They have been used for centuries as a means of protection, anonymity, and entertainment. If you’re interested in collecting some of these historic face coverings, there are a few things you’ll need to know.

Your Preferences

What is it about masks that intrigues you? Is it the way that they cloak the person wearing them, or do you find joy in lady black noir maskobserving the intricate details of cultural masks? The best way to figure out your interests in masks is to observe them. To see masks, you’ll need to visit museums and culture centers.

Museums contain a plethora of masks and brief descriptions about their purpose in history. At historical societies, you can find even more information on particular niches of masks. In Irish cultural centers, you may see Morrigan masks that imitate the powerful goddess’s ability to transform into any being.

African cultural centers are a wonderful place to observe masks, as masks are used in cultural ceremonies and rituals across the continent of Africa. Masks vary widely from one country to another, and even differ from village to village.

The Purpose of Your Collection

Once you’ve discovered your love for masks and what qualities about them draw you in, you’re still not ready to start collecting. You need to decide before you begin collecting what the collection’s purpose will be. Are you interested in having a collection that is worth a lot of money? Is the collecting of masks solely for your viewing pleasure?

For collectors who are focused on monetary value, you need to set your expectations for your collection. Would you like to turn a profit in the near future, or are you looking at this collection as more of a savings fund?

If you attempted to tackle collecting masks without having financial boundaries set, you’re asking for a disaster. Doing so would be like shopping for a home without having a budget in mind. It’s simply unreasonable, and you may fall in love with something that you have absolutely no funds for.

When you view your collection as a cash cow, it changes your perspective of the items you purchase. You’re constantly thinking about the investment and what kind of return you’ll get on the mask or the collection as a whole.

Masks collections that serve no other purpose than to bring joy to their owner are a bit more flexible. You don’t have to continually crunch numbers in your head and turn every viewing of a mask into a financial transaction.

Find Your Thing

Masks are such a broad subject. Their many different uses and purposes throughout history and modern times mean that there are countless masks out there. There’s nothing wrong with loving all masks, but having too many various masks can make your collection appear junky. You want your collection to be cohesive and have a theme.

Having a theme in mind will keep you on track and prevent you from ending up with 1000 completely different masks and having to remember all 1000 origin stories of the masks.

Masks for Protection

Masks meant to protect their wearer from harm are a very interesting topic to base a collection around.

A collection based around this ideal could include masks from ancient Rome that were worn by gladiators to intimidate their challengers, or masks worn by samurais to hide their emotions in battle.

The first mask known to be used to protect the wearer from fumes was also invented in ancient Rome. These masks were made of animal bladders and they were worn across the faces of mine workers to protect them from noxious gases. It’s highly unlikely that you would find such a mask existing today, but a replica of it would be pretty impressive.

Other masks known throughout history to protect their wearers were those affectionately called the Plague Doctor masks. These masks were made of boiled cardboard or leather and featured a long beak protruding from the front. One of these original masks would be worth millions of dollars due to the history they hold.

In World War I, we saw the rise of using chemical warfare. This led to the invention of gas masks. These masks sell for hundreds of dollars on the internet, but the real value in them is how many lives were saved by their implementation. These early prototypes led to the amazing progress in the field of personal protective equipment.

Masks for Entertainment

Masks have provided entertainment for humans for centuries. Masquerade masks served as a fashion statement in Venetian society at parties during the 16th century. These grand balls hosted during the Renaissance era brought forth dancing and socializing with a twist. Guests were able to conceal or reveal as much of their identity as they wanted.

Masquerade masks could be made from fabric or composed of sturdier materials such as clay. Bauta masks were popular among men of the period as they were full-face masks that showcased masculine features such as a strong jawline. They were even worn by women.

Moreta masks were also full-face covers, but they were pitch black in color. These masks were based on feminine features such as a rounded face and pointed nose with wide eye holes.

Masks have been used in countless theater productions across the globe. The most widely known masks are those of comedy and tragedy.

In ancient Greece, characters who had a happy disposition and would get their happily ever after wore the mask of comedy. These masks were constructed to portray a smiling face with raised eyebrows. Characters who were sullen or the antagonist of the play would wear the mask of tragedy. The mask of tragedy featured a frowning face with furrowed eyebrows.

The use of these masks made it easier for the crowd to discern the actor’s emotions. This was way before you had jumbotrons displaying every detail for fans seated in the back of the arena.

When the Globe opened in 1599, these masks were a huge part of Shakespeare’s productions. Performances of Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, and Romeo and Juliet often utilized masks to easily portray the character’s feelings during each act.

In Japan, masks are an integral part of Noh Theater. Noh plays don’t have many characters, and the masks allow the actors to hide themselves. In Noh, actors are not meant to make a grandstand or be the star of the production. They are expected to integrate themselves into their roles. The masks allow the actor to remove their personality and features from the play and act according to their characters.

There are 50 to 60 categories of masks in Noh and each individual mask is used to represent a character’s age, sex, and role in the play. Supernatural beings have masks that are in direct contrast to the mask worn to signify an adult male in the story.

Cultural Masks

Across the globe, there are many different cultures. Nearly every culture known to man has used masks in some form of ritual or cultural celebration.Dia de Los Muertos

The use of masks for rituals is widely associated with the continent of Africa. These masks can be used to resemble gods, animals, or people. Tribal dances are often performed while wearing or carrying around masks.

The culture of Melanesia is focused on ancestral practices. The use of masks helps to bring forth the spirits of the ancestors to guide the current inhabitants of their land.

Native American tribes of North America, such as the Iroquois, carve healing masks from living trees to ease the ailments of the wearer. These masks can take many forms depending on what they are meant to heal.

Every culture that utilizes masks in rituals and ceremonies has a rich history. If the cultural side of masks interests you, don’t think that you are limited to just your own culture. Learning about your own culture can be amazing and insightful, but branching out to learn about a different culture’s application of masks can broaden your horizons. Keep in mind that you should always be respectful of someone else’s culture.

We all have different beliefs and values, and you shouldn’t belittle a culture for their beliefs and practices.

How to Collect

With applicable financial boundaries in place and your heart set on a particular subset of masks, it’s time to start collecting. The most popular place for buying and selling masks is the Internet. When purchasing masks online, be wary of the seller. They’re not your friend. They don’t owe you any special favors, and it is your responsibility as a collector to do your research.

If you see an “authentic” Plague Doctor mask for sale on the Internet, use your good judgement. High-quality leathers were not commonplace at the time, and even under perfect storage conditions, the mask would begin to age over time. If the item pictured is pristine and made of high-grade leather, turn away. It is not authentic.

To collect cultural masks, your best bet is to attend cultural festivals. These festivals often have market booths where masks are sold and traded. You may have to travel to other countries to obtain specific cultural masks, but that is part of the adventure of collecting.

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