Hobbies are an important part of daily life. Sure, we need to go to work and take care of our health, but to live life to the fullest we all need something that we enjoy doing for fun. For many people, this is collecting.
For those who don’t have the collecting bug, the hobby can seem strange. What’s so cool about just getting… random stuff? But for the people who pride themselves on their collections, there’s often more to their hobby than meets the eye.
Most people who have collections don’t start out amassing their object of choice on purpose. Usually, it starts with a gift or an interesting find or new passion. Collecting is a popular hobby all over the world, sure, but these collections are some of the strangest around…
1. Hair: John Reznikoff’s collection of hair from famous figures includes locks from Abraham Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Marilyn Monroe, and Albert Einstein. He’s currently got his eye on a piece of John Lennon’s mane valued at $45,000!
2. Sugar Packets: These doses of the sweet stuff aren’t just for your coffee. In fact, collecting sugar packets is such a popular thing to do that there is a monthly sugar packet collector’s magazine circulating in the United Kingdom.
3. Funko Pops: These unique figurines are highly collectible, with some of them being worth a small fortune. While you can buy the toys for as low as $10, the most expensive Funko Pop, Freddy Funko Boba Fett, is worth $6,000!
4. Santa Stuff: It doesn’t have to be Christmas for collectors of Santa Claus themed objects. People can’t get enough of ol’ Claus and are willingly to buy practically anything with the man’s face on it, no matter what the cost.
5. Books: Collecting books has been a hobby for centuries, and with the advent of digital publishing, book collectors are taking their collections more seriously than ever. Books can take home major bucks. John James Audubon’s Birds of America sold for more than $11 million.
6. Candy Containers: Though you might think the real treasure is what’s on the inside, the collector’s of candy containers disagree. The most expensive vintage candy container to sell actually went for $925.
7. AOL CDs: Back in the 1990s as soon as you threw away one of those free AOL CDs you could count on another one arriving in the mail the next day! Now, they are collected by avid fans with the rare discs selling for up to $25.
8. Photo Slides: While most photography today is digital, fans of the medium are willing to shell out a pretty penny for old photographic slides. Recently, 100 slides documenting a stranger’s trip to the Grand Canyon sold for over $500.
9. Underwear: China’s Chen Qingzu takes collecting to a pretty bizarre place. He boasts a collection of more than 5,000 pairs of used women’s underwear. He claims that he is collecting them to promote “women’s health issues”. Hey, we’ve all got our things!
10. Trees: Louis Meisel of England believes that he is the first man to ever take up tree collecting. On his property, there are currently more than 20 different types of beech tree alone, with some trees costing up to $150,000.
11. Chamber Pots: While the rest of society is happy enough with indoor plumbing, there’s a contingent of collectors caught up in the past who can’t get enough of these antique human waste containers. In London, a chamber pot once sold at auction for $3,850.
12. Barbie Dolls: Bettina Dorfman from Germany owns more than 15,000 Barbie dolls and her collection continues to grow. It is said to be worth more than $150,000, that’s more than some people would make in three years!
13. Banana Labels: For some people, these little stickers are just an annoyance, but for others, they are an opportunity to collect something pretty unique. Becky Martz is an avid collector who currently possesses 19,631 stickers!
14. Board Games: Hollywood heavyweight Quentin Tarantino wanted to collect movie memorabilia, but didn’t want dolls. He settled on collecting movie inspired board games instead, and he has never stopped since.
15. Coke Cans: 39-year-old David Andreani from Pesaro, Italy started collecting empty cans of Coke when he was just 15 years old. Some of the cans in his collection of over 10,000 are worth up to $5,000!
16. Bottle Collecting: Women began collecting interesting bottles in the early 1900s, but now it’s an equal opportunity hobby. Yuri Kreshkov from Ukraine has a collection of over 3,000 bottles that have taken over his apartment.
17. Stamps: When it comes to collections, stamps are one of the most popular items of all time. The price for certain stamps can change lives. For example, an 1857 stamp once sold for more than $2 million.
18. Rare Coins: Sure, coins themselves may already have value, but coin collectors are more interested in limited edition coins, ones with print errors, and coins from other countries. The coin collecting community is one of the largest in the world.
19. Water Bottles: Lorenzo Pescini owns 8,650 water bottle labels from more than 185 different countries. He has spent a considerable amount of money building his collection and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
Can you believe some of the things people collect? Half of this stuff sounds like it should be in the dump, the other half, in a museum.
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