5 things I used to/still collect that are useless

What is it with, likely more often than females do, boys/men collecting stuff? What the hell do we expect to do with it all once we get older or bored with collecting? We never think that far ahead, or if we do, we’re sure we can sell said collections for a huge profit, likely big enough to retire on.

As a recovering collector, I urge you to keep doing whatever it is you do to make money and save for retirement: Your bottle caps or baseball cards aren’t going to save you. As my dad always used to tell me about my football cards and comic books: They’re only worth as much as someone is willing to buy them for.

Anyway, here’s five things I used to collect or still on occasion do. Maybe you do, too?

I bought and drank part of a bottle of a Mountain Dew variety called Dewshine just to get this cap. It tasted about as good as feet smell; I suffer for my art. Or something.

1. Bottle caps: I started collecting in ninth grade or so—me randomly picking things up off the ground was a hit with the ladies—and somehow my collection grew exponentially in college. Weird, huh? To me the little cap designs are works of art, and there’s so many different ones! I’m not sure what I planned on doing with them all—maybe cover a tabletop with them? I figure I have a couple hundred different ones. It’s also a good idea to wash them before you keep them, otherwise whatever container they’re in will smell like stale beer pop.

Collection status: still collecting, albeit rarely

2. NFL football cards: I have a ton of these from the 1980s and ’90s as well as some cool reproduction cards from the 1950s. I’m not sure what I ever thought I would do with them. I last bought some cards in 2008, and those cards include many players who are big-timers today. But so what? Does anyone even care about football cards now? Do kids even know what football cards are? I think baseball cards were originally so valuable because they were so rare, but now everyone and his or her brother has a Mike Tomczak rookie card.

Collection status: no longer collecting, willing to sell most

The council patch from the area where I grew up includes, of course, a shout-out to the Wright brothers. | http://www.scoutstuff.org

3. Boy Scout council patches: These are required to be worn on the upper left sleeve of all Scout uniforms and identify where a Scout is from. At various gatherings of troops, let’s say summer camp or jamborees, Scouts would often trade patches with other Scouts from various regions or states of the U.S. I would typically cut mine off my sleeve to trade with someone, which never made my mom, who sewed on all my patches, very happy.

Collection status: still collecting, albeit rarely

See that, kids? Even the sons of Batman and Superman can enjoy nature without being on their phones.

 4. Comic books: I have quite a few comic books—maybe 100 or so—including the one shown here. Comic books only fueled my Batman fandom to the point of no return. I used to never keep them in the protective clear plastic sleeves because the the sleeves annoyed me, but now I wish I would have. I’m sure some of my comics are worth a little bit of money, maybe enough that I could splurge for an Extra Value Meal at McDonald’s, but not much more than that. As a kid my dad had the third issue of “Superman” at one point—I bet that could fetch some money now. Only as much as someone is willing to pay for it, of course.

Collection status: I haven’t bought a comic book in a few years, but I am still open to collecting

Each Ric Flair action figure comes equipped for limousine ridin’ and jet flyin’. Woooo!

 5. Action figures: Perhaps the most pointless to collect of all these items, action figures are also a test of willpower. Should one remove the little figure from the package and play with it, or should it stay in the package to maintain its value? Isn’t the whole point of buying a toy to play with it? And how did they get to be so expensive?! A G.I. Joe action figure used to cost $2.50 when I was of the age that I received an allowance. Now action figures can’t be found for under $10! Little Andy should have saved his allowance to buy more comic books.
Collection status: collecting dust

What did—or do—you collect, and why?

Things I collected honorable mentions: rocks • scale models • pocket knives • regrets


9 thoughts on “5 things I used to/still collect that are useless”

  1. Regrets, that’s pretty funny. Also, I collected football cards and comic books, too. i loved comics and still do, although I don’t buy them these days. I might like looking through the old football cards sometime, but I would rather read my old comics, and as you said everyone seems to have the cards now. Great post, all really good ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Andy! I have been collecting old books for about 25 years now and have about 700 of them. I recently decided to get rid of them because I’d rather have the space than the books. I quickly found out just how worthless old books are. They may have been valuable to me (because I loved reading them and loved the look of them) … but to the rest of the world they are only valuable as recycling. I have begun the slow, painful process of selling them to used bookstores for about ten cents per book. Perhaps I’ll just throw them all in the recycling bin and be done with them.

    I am also embarrassed to admit that I used to collect stamps. They are even less valuable than the books I mentioned above. Into the recycling bin they go, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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