American / European
Collectables are items of limited supply that are sought for a variety of reasons including a possible increase in value. In a financial sense, collectables can be viewed as a hedge against inflation. Over time, their value can also increase as they become more rare due to loss, damage or destruction. One drawback to investing in collectables is the potential lack of liquidity, particularly for very obscure items. There is also a risk for fraud.
The 1960s through the early 1990s were major years for the manufacturing of contemporary collectables. While some individuals purchased contemporary collectables to enjoy and use, many purchased them as investments. Speculative markets developed for many of these pieces. Because so many people bought for investment purposes, duplicates are common. And although many collectables were labeled as “limited editions”, the actual number of items produced was very large. Consequently, there is very little demand for many (but not all) items produced during this time period, and their market values are often low.