Before you fulfill your New Year’s resolution to clean out your house, you may want to double-check the value of that old VHS or vintage Pyrex dish.
New collecting trends are expected to gain popularity in 2016, according to an analysis by JustCollecting, a social media site for collectors based in the United Kingdom, and the rise of more classic household items could benefit consumers with a tendency to hoard.
As with most collecting items, those that are original editions and in mint condition fetch the highest prices, but if you’re lucky, you may be able to find some of these pieces hiding in your garage.
Despite most popular movies’ availability on DVD, online or streaming services, VHS tapes have become increasingly valuable over the past few years—so much so that Yale University’s Sterling Library began a VHS collection in October 2015.
The nearly 3,000-tape collection includes mostly 1980s horror movies that went straight to VHS release. “In and of themselves, these movies have value just as cultural and historical artifacts,” said Yale librarian David Gary in a statement.
The collecting trend is right on the brink of becoming mainstream, says Aaron Pratt, a co-founder of the Yale library VHS collection and current English professor at Trinity University.
However, value will most likely remain in the 1980s horror genre that is harder to locate.
“With VHS it’s very specific stuff selling for the high ticket,” Pratt says. “That’s where it will always be.”
These particular films have become so popular that companies like Massacre Video have been reproducing limited copies of the original titles in VHS and DVD form for collectors.
The condition of the original tapes isn’t as vital as most other collectibles unless they’re completely trashed, says Dan Wade, head writer at JustCollecting, since much of the value lies in the box cover art.
“Tales from the Quadead Zone” is one of the most valued of these 1980s horror titles, fetching nearly $700 in an eBay auction in 2011.
Wade says more well-known titles like “Star Wars” aren’t likely to be of value in the near future because of their wide availability on all formats; however, original box sets could eventually be of worth.
Last year marked the 100th anniversary of Pyrex kitchenware, sparking a new collecting interest in its vintage product lines. The Corning Museum of Glass opened a Pyrex exhibition in June 2015—that will run through March 17—to commemorate the milestone, including the first 12 products introduced by the company in 1915.
“The history of Pyrex reflects the history of the United States in the 20th century,” said Kelley Elliot, a co-curator of the exhibition, in a statement. “Pyrex patterns and advertisements changed to reflect fashions, décor and world events from the past century.”
Wade says products from the 1950s and 1960s with floral imprints and bright colors could be worth about $300 at auction. It may not be worthwhile to hold on to your more modern Pyrex measuring cup, since they’re widely available and not as fragile, he adds.
Roald Dahl memorabilia
The beloved children’s book author would be turning 100 this year, increasing collector attention in his first editions. Titles released before the 1980s, when Dahl became more of a household name, are more valuable since fewer were produced.
The first United Kingdom edition of “The Gremlins,” published in 1944, is priced at £12,500 on rare book firm Peter Harrington’s website, and a signed first edition of “James and the Giant Peach,” published in 1961, is priced at £7,500.
Signed copies are especially valuable, Wade says, since Dahl was reluctant to hold book signing events during his career. “If you have a signed first edition, you’re on to something,” he says.
While the commonly held belief that your comic book collection could become your retirement fund may not necessarily hold true, certain copies are expected to become increasingly valuable over the next year.
Specifically, the 1938 Action Comics #1, which features the first appearance of Superman, and the May 1939 Detective Comics #27, which introduces Batman, are expected to fetch high prices at auction in part because of the coming “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie.
A copy of Detective Comics #27 sold for $1.1 million in 2010 at Heritage Auctions, and JustCollecting expects a premium-condition copy — there are estimated to be at least two in existence — to bring in about $2.5 million if it were to hit auction blocks this year.
There are an estimated 200 copies of Detective Comics #27 still in existence today, though likely not in the same quality condition as the copy sold at Heritage, and 100 copies of Action Comics #1, according to JustCollecting.
Classic muscle cars
Typically shunned by high-end antique car collectors opting for European models like Ferrari or Aston Martin, classic American muscle cars are beginning to see more action on auction blocks.
Wade says the limited availability and skyrocketing prices of higher-end models have sparked recent collector interest in this segment.
Muscle car value has increased 13% over the past year, according to Hagerty, a classic car insurance company. The company calls the segment “the most bullish” of the market values it monitors.
While rare models like the 1970 or 1971 Hemi Cuda convertible can sell in the low millions, certain Chevrolet Chevelle models can be worth up to $400,000, according to Mecum Auctions.