You would never believe what some people go to lengths to collect. Whether its spending a ton of money on ebay to buy some celebrity’s hair collected from a hotel drain or someone that hoards and won’t throw away newspapers, there are bizarre collections hidden in people’s basements and attics around the globe.
10. Cereal Boxes
I guess every kid grows up and wants to be on a Wheaties box someday. We grow up with characters like Count Chocula, Cap’t Crunch, and Tucan Sam from the Fruit Loops box. There is even that little leprechaun that tries to keep you from finding his Lucky Charms. Did you know that there is an entire underground pop culture phenomenon of people that just love collecting cereal boxes? There is even a website dedicated to it www.cerealbits.com. From message boards to photo collections, people gather to talk and sell their collectible cereal paraphernalia. For only $1375 you can buy a collection of over 150 cereal boxes dating from the 1980’s to today!
You’d never guess that grandma’s antique toaster that is hidden up in her attic could be someone’s treasure find! Just check out Jack and Beverly’s Toaster Collectibles at http://brightbytes.com/collection/toaster.html According to their website, “We now have over 100 toasters in the form of salt and peppers, Christmas ornaments, trays, cookie jars, refrigerator magnets, children’s toys, an inflatable toaster, cards, shirts and caps.” Who would have known that not only could toasters be such a valuable commodity, but also I could have never guessed that they came in so many shapes, sizes, and even characters.
Then there is Chuck Essler. Chuck’s toaster collection is now at over 300 toasters and growing every chance he gets, according to an article found in the Texarkana Gazette. Essler and his wife comb antique shops, garage sales and flea markets searching for those hidden antique beauties.
I can see it now, a wall of art, well, errrr, hubcaps that is. All lined up, metallic and shiny, hanging on the wall. This may be pop art in one of its classic forms. Can you call pop art classic? Either way, whether its lining the chain link fence at the local garage, or in your neighbors basements. Hubcaps have been a popular collectors item since the 50’s and probably won’t end any time soon.
Gaston Lapointe has even dedicated an entire website to his hubcap collection and hobby. You can find out more about it at http://www.hubcap.bc.ca/. He says that his “career as a hubcap man, I believe started way back when I was only nine years old.” He found a 1953 Cadillac hubcap that he hung in the pool room of a family friend. That started a lifetime of hubcap collecting and trading.
7. Duct tape
Yes, you read that correctly, duct tape. That magic thick and wide silver sticky stuff that can be used to repair just about anything. Not only can it repair things, but others also use it to make things. From purses to wallets, book covers to sculptures, duct tape seems to be the thing these days. There’s even a YouTube video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0V70FvyrpI Actually, there are several YouTube videos about it. And, a wiki. Yes, a duct tape wiki… http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Duct_tape
Can you believe that this sticky stuff can cause such a pop culture sensation?
OK, bones, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal about collecting bones?” Well I’m not talking about fossils, or old dinosaurs that people strive to put back together. From animal bones to human skulls, there is an entire black market out there for buying and selling bones. You can find them on eBay and other markets online. Most claim to come from cadavers. But, do they? How can you be so sure?
5. Medical and Surgical Antiques
Laurie Slater has spent years collecting Medical and Surgical antiques. She is in the process of cataloging and archiving her collection online at http://www.phisick.com/. Her collection started out as a handful of items which were used for display and teaching purposes in a London based general practice.. From ob-gyn equipment to surgery and bleeding tools Laurie Slater has a collection of medical and surgical supplies that covers the wide range of medical practices.
Who hasn’t heard of the moldy cheese sandwich that sold on eBay for $28,000 because it appeared to have the Virgin Mary on it. Yes, $28,000. There are also other food item collections out there. One guy collects chicken bones, and another collects Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets and memorabilia. From antique Coca-Cola bottles to Popsicle sticks, collections about or of food have been a popular hit for quite a few generations. You knew that someone out there would see the value in Billy’s log cabin he built in kindergarten, didn’t you.
Well the band-aid craze begins with all the fun colors and designs. From Disney to polka-dots, I have to wonder if Band-aid could foresee that these things would be used for something other than first aid. Was it a marketing genius that suggested, “hey, if we make them cool enough, people will start collections!” Probably not. But, there is an online gallery of fantastic Band-aids: http://www.funbandaid.com/ There is another guy that has been saving and collecting 75 years worth of Band-aid boxes http://www.savetz.com/bandaid/ I stopped my searching before even looking to see if anyone sought to collect the used ones. I figure that some things I would rather just not know.
2. Toilet Paper
Well there are collectors of toilet paper holders. And, there are those that look for all the pretty patterns and colors. I guess there are stranger things that have been collected than toilet paper. There is the virtual online toilet paper museum, http://www.nobodys-perfect.com/vtpm/ExhibitHall/Vintage/VintageTP.html, and there is also http://www.papertoilet.com/ And to think, some places they don’t even use toilet paper. Who knew that they were passing up such a great collectors item? to Elana Hurwitz, collecting toilet paper is a very human — even logical — thing to do, according to an article found at recorder.com. She inherited the collection originally from her grandmother and now uses the internet to keep the collection available to the world and growing every day.
1. Celebrity Hair
Well, I guess there will always be people that strive to have some little piece of their favorite celebrity, no matter what it is. Even if its hair? On eBay there is a guy selling a collection of locks of hair from 31 different historical figures. Elvis Presley, Marilyn Manson, even Mother Theresa. I can’t help but think that there must be some sort of amazing DNA archive in the making her. Then there is John Reznikoff’s collection of celebrity hair. Reznikoff holds the Guinness World Record for the “largest and most valuable collection of celebrity hair. I guess some people really do find value in the little things we sometimes take for granted.