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Weird Stuff

Top 10 Collectibles for Eccentrics

Zabrina . . . Comments

Have you always wondered what eccentrics really collect besides creepy jars of suspended liquids like the movies might show? There are plenty of boring, ordinary collectibles like shot glasses or teaspoons, but here are the top 10 collectibles that you can actually pick up yourself without spending a fortune on Elvis’ eyelashes or getting in trouble with the law! If you are more keen on collectibles that are downright weird and likely to make your friends avoid you, check out our other lists Top 10 Bizarre Collectibles and Top 10 Macabre Collectibles.

10

Antique Silver

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From Grandma’s silverware to rare silver ornamental weapons, there are plenty of antique silver objects to collect. You can readily find these items in online stores, by visiting auctions, or even by combing through pawn shops, depending on how hands-on you like to get. In terms of the sheer number of collectors, this is one of the top ten, and you can easily narrow it down to specific items – for instance, collecting only silver gravy boats or trowels if you want to put an unusual twist on a commonly-collected category of items.

9

Coke Bottles and Merchandise

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The heyday of Coca Cola saw a lot of interesting and unusual Coke bottle designs, tin signs, and other unusual merchandise that could even be classified as vintage. Everything from serving trays from the ’30s to apothecary scales given to druggists in the late 1800s are available if you know where to look. The brand is recognized worldwide, and to help with early marketing efforts, calendars and specially contoured bottles are a few more examples of easily obtainable items. You can focus on bottles alone, tie-in merchandise, promotional items, or things from a particular decade.


8

Pressed Coins

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Many tourist attractions have machines where you can insert a penny or sometimes another coin to be pressed and another to pay the fee (a quarter or two is a common fee), then choose the design you’d like to engrave the penny with. You can watch as the machine does it or hand-roll it yourself, pushing the handle until the roller squashes the penny and imprints a design based on the destination. Even if you’ve never been to these places, it can be fascinating to see the wide variety of creative and elaborate designs all pressed into the same starting material. It’s a new twist on the same boring old coin collections that everyone has.

7

Salt and Pepper Shakers

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This is one of the easiest and yet most fun kind of collectibles out there. You can find an almost unlimited variety of salt and pepper shakers designed for elegance or to promote something, for hobbyists or for amusement. You can easily limit your collection to naughty or nautical salt and pepper shakers, for instance, or pick up anything that makes you laugh. A nice shelf in the kitchen is perfect for displaying them, and you can use some of your favorites when visitors come over.

6

Buddhas or Another Deity

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The trend of decorating one’s home with Buddhas may be a relatively recent one, but it’s still popular in many circles. Yet Buddha figurines existed long before the West started to collect them, so you can find an astonishing variety made from various materials, in all sizes and shapes, and at all prices. Other collectibles might be a particular Hindu deity, crucifixes, voodoo artifacts, or Green Man plaques. Depending on what catches your fancy, you can make your collection as specific as you like.

5

Collect an Animal

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You might not be able to legally keep cheetahs as a pet, but you can collect cheetah-themed objects instead! Pick your favorite animal, and then start keeping an eye out for collectibles around the theme. Don’t limit yourself to stuffed animals, either. Cards, posters, coins, statues, and furniture can all have these themes. Some common choices of collectible animals to get you thinking about which one you want to collect themed products of: pandas, frogs, dolphins, whales, roosters, elephants, horses, and otters. You can, of course, actually collect real animals – dead ones!


4

Autographed Books

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You could look out for “first editions” or books in a particular genre if you want to keep your collection specific. If you have a common name, you can even try looking for books autographed by the author and addressed to a person with the same name as you! You might focus on older books published before a certain year, or only illustrated books. Whichever books get you really interested as you walk through an old bookstore – collect them!

3

Trading Cards

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Whether this means baseball cards, cards from games, or advertising cards, there are all kinds of trading cards out there to collect. If you have a favorite sports team, look out for every available trading card from players on that team, or focus on a specific player. You can find trading cards with original art or mass-produced trading cards. Depending on the type of trading card collection you decide on, this could be either a very expensive hobby (for limited-edition or vintage cards) or a relatively easy one.


2

Quack Medical Items

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It’s amazing what entrepreneurs came up with when they wanted to sell to the unsuspecting public! In decades past, someone would come to town with a miracle tonic, stir up hype, and leave town in the night before people discovered that it didn’t work. More widely-produced quack medical solutions had to be advertised in papers and came with packaging, cards, or other collectible items. You can make this a fascinating look into the not-so-distant past and medical remedies we would laugh at now.

1

Lunchboxes

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Kids today might bring lunch bags or buy lunch at school, but it wasn’t long ago that everyone had a lunchbox. Even workers at construction sites brought lunchboxes, though they were a little less collectible or unique in most cases! Collecting lunchboxes is a great way to get in touch with what was popular at one time and feel a bit of a connection to the kids who had the best lunchboxes – or the weirdest.

Collectibles for eccentrics vary from the downright bizarre (who collects skulls except movie villains, anyway?) to the normal. If you want to collect these things yourself, you can easily end up with one of those eccentric collections everyone wants to know about if you just limit yourself to particular types of items or those made at particular times. As collectors often say, the thrill is in the hunt!



  • David Hopkins

    A dildo collection wouldn’t work in Arizona. Apparently, it’s illegal to own more than two of them.

    • Gooch

      I wonder why..?

      • 1gav

        Because filling three holes means there’s no place for a man. This would mean the dildoes are no longer an aid (a possible medical problem), but a substitute. And gum by golly, that’s just plain wrong! Tee hee.

        (odd how the filters allow “dildo” but not “s.e.x.”)

        • Steve

          Is that the way they explained it to you at your trial?

    • Is that true O.o?
      Heard that there’s some places where masturbation is illegal, but never heard about Dildo’s being a felony lol

      • Andrew

        These are likely old laws from the 19th and early 20th century that nobody has bothered to look back at and erase from the books. I’ve never heard of them being enforced in any state, ever.

    • Fourwinds

      Thats ok, in my state they can’t even be bought or sold.

      • Missy

        We can have as many as we want in Perth.

        • mac

          That must be a relief for you.

  • greensmurf

    I’ve got Gold….cheesy I know

  • greensmurf

    aaaa dam it…silver again…..mmmm….I’m sulking boo hoo

    • greensmurf

      …how about my empty beer can collection??

      • Steve

        Those 6000 empty Milwaukee’s Best Light cans behind your trailer is NOT what they mean by a beer can collection

    • ni99a

      Come back when you are sober.

      • greensmurf

        1.38am is 9.38am where I live…… put a smile on your face and don’t be too serious….. it’s now 12.07am sunday…

  • Salo Hes

    Zzzzz… Ahh, this is interesting…. NOT !!

  • How about everytime someone gets a successful “first post” on Listverse Jamie sends them a certificate which they can collect & frame. That’d keep a couple of people happy.

  • Will Trame

    I remember the old lunchboxes. Other collectibles include old vinyl records (I have over 100) and the eight track tape cartridges (I have two, as mentioned on an earlier list this week). I also inherited my late brother’s collection of over 100 old comic books.

    Number 6 calls to mind a memorable Procol Harum lyric: The chandelier is in full swing//As gifts for me the Three Kings bring//Of myrrh and frankencense I am told//And fat old Buddhas carved in gold.

    Intriguing list.

    • Maggot

      Other collectibles include old vinyl records (I have over 100)

      “Only” 100 or so? Lol, I’d figure you for 1000’s. I’ve got boxes of them gathering dust in a closet still. I’ve skimmed off about 50 or so that I consider to actually be worth something from a rarity standpoint, the rest I can’t GIVE away. Funny about having a collection of “valuable” things. It’s not like I’ll ever sell them, so I’ll never actualize the monetary value. The value to me is just in the coolness of ownership factor.

      • Sincerity

        How bout you invest in a do-hickey that plays them. A whatchamacallit so you can actually ‘listen’ to them. I think it’s called a ‘twist-countertop,’ or a grandpaphone or something similar…

        • Maggot

          Heh, I still have my vintage 1970s relatively high-end (at the time) hi-fi stereo system including a turntable also packed away in a closet and gathering dust. I’m too nostalgic to part with it, even though it’s basically a boat anchor now. Though there are those serious audiophiles who prefer the “full” sound of analog playback to today’s digital media, because converting analog to digital for CDs and such results in some detectable signal loss.

          • Canadianguy

            Anal in analog is censured but dildo isn’t? Further proof that censorship is arbitrary.

          • Maggot

            Well it’s not exactly arbitrary, but it IS rather clumsily implemented on this site.

          • Sister Morphine

            my favorite insult is “piss off, wanker”

          • I’ve still got my old (also high-end) turn table, too, but it’s easily accessible, part of the “tower of power” which includes the cd player, etc. A lot of 33 1/3s and 45s are also on hand.

            The entire house and yard are wired for sound, with speakers everywhere, inside and out. We like music. :-)

          • Maggot

            The entire house and yard are wired for sound, with speakers everywhere, inside and out. We like music.

            Same here (as if you didn’t already know, lol), and our house is set up pretty well too. I usually listen to music via the computer though, using a good set of speakers & subwoofer that can blast thru the house (or a wireless set in the back yard). What with most of my CDs (and some converted vinyl) loaded into Zune and iTunes libraries, it’s just way more convenient than pulling out individual records or CDs to spin. Not trying to sound like a shill here, but iTunes has an extensive internet radio selection too, with channels covering about every conceivable genre. One of my favorite programs is the Ronnie Wood Show on Absolute Classic Rock. It airs on Saturdays, and he’s always featuring cool themes and relatively obscure songs from rock’s early days, while interjecting fascinating and humorous personal anecdotes and tidbits from back in the day.

      • megamel99

        My parents have about 5000 records. They still play them on a regular basis.

  • Behind The Sun

    Beer Steins

  • I have a pressed penny collection :)

    • ni99a

      I have a life!

      • Callum

        Yeah, thats why you take the piss out of peoeple on here then…

        • Dikin9i9’sA$$

          HAHAH!!!

        • mac

          p4wnd!

  • Vanowensbody

    I had a 1966 Gomer Pyle USMC metal lunch box when I was in elementary school.

    Nice list

  • Nuckztar

    A cousin of mine collects bells… she is also and eccentric.

    • ni99a

      What is an also?

      • Jane

        Maybe s/he just has a cold?

  • Arghhh

    I remember going crazy on the penny press machines at Disneyland when I was about 7.

  • Sbtier

    More than half if these entries are popular collectibles,. I don’t see why they are classified as ‘eccentric’. Collecting roadkill or toenail clippings (which I’ve both seen on TV) is eccentric, not salt and pepper shakers.

    • ni99a

      I personally collect sperm from every animals.

  • Paradox

    What about stamps?

  • Why are these collectibles for “eccentrics”? I’ve known a lot of collectors (from this list, of sports cards, lunchboxes, Coke stuff, and silver) and none of them are eccentric. This list seems like more of a list of “stuff some people collect” rather than anything truly eccentric.

    Find me the people who collect earwax. THAT’S eccentric.

    • ni99a

      Ooooo…… isn’t collecting anything other than Christian artifact considered as worshiping pagans? Isn’t it a sin? This list is blasphemous isn’t it?

      • Look, everyone! It’s a troll!

        • a funny or clever troll i can understand,but this guy is not only unfunny and unclever but just completely stupid…..

    • Sister Morphine

      i know, right? eccentric people would not lower themselves to collecting something as popular as coke.

  • FMH

    Why are those for eccentrics? Most of them are just regular collectables.

  • My husband collects antique milk bottles. When I say “collects” I mean he has over 5000 of them IN MY HOUSE. If I could find a way to start a fire that would burn hot enough to melt them, without looking like arson, I would.

    • ni99a

      Wow… You husband is very unlucky to marry to such an inconsiderate wife. Time to get a new one.

      • Payne

        Time to start collecting wives

        • brian256

          One is enough – I don’t need two or more complaining.

    • Paradox

      Ever thought about starting a bonfire with them?

    • Canadianguy

      Start collecting bowling balls or long sticks and have an accident organizing your collection.

  • carimbo

    i have a modest collection of basketball cards of players from the 80s-90s, regular coins collection,a really nice silver coins collection, the baby of this collection have over 200 years!

  • honkster7

    I Was hoping to see a giant ball of string

  • UmbraTempestas

    I was expecting more unusual collections like perhaps, novelty diapers or something along those lines.

  • I do collect autographed books…but only those books I want to read anyway. I don’t collect autographs just for the sake of having a signed book. For example, I have all of Ray Bradbury’s books, all signed, mostly while I waited.

  • Meowmix

    I think collecting anything is eccentric in nature. Why do people feel the need to hoard things?

    “I MUST HAVE 18,000 COPIES OF THE HARDY BOYS IN MY HOUSE OR ELSE I FEEL EMPTY INSIDE.”

    I don’t understand it, but to each their own I suppose.

    • Steve

      There is a difference between collecting and hoarding though I will admit at times the line can be a bit fuzzy.

      • Sister Morphine

        fuzzy like a cat fuzzy?

  • Jockstraps

    • Sister Morphine

      used ones i hope

  • Ortho_Fan

    Most of the collectibles profiled on this list are standard, run of the mill types, and certainly not associated with eccentric behavior or “eccentrics,” in general.

    If you do another list in this genre, consider collectors of Gramophones/Victrolas & Phonographs–preferably those with cranks. I know of many collectors who have hundreds, taking up space in every room of their houses. A person HAS to be eccentric to live like that!

    Unlike most collectibles, Gramophones or Phonographs do not sit quietly as static displays, but are meticulously restored to optimum running condition.

    Ortho_Fan

    (Fan of Orthophonic Victrolas)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oINRGIdc0Ps

    • Mabel

      Ooh, those are neat. I see them all the time at the flea market and I always wanted one, but I can’t afford them.

      • Ortho_Fan

        Hi Mabel:

        Anyone who “wants” a wind-up phonograph has the potential to become a fellow-hobbyist, or as I call myself, a “phono-phile.”

        That said, don’t let the high asking prices at flea markets discourage you. Prices vary, depending on where you live, and the intelligence of the seller, frankly.

        In most cases, where a high price tag is affixed to a common Victrola in not so great condition, for instance, the seller has assumed:

        1) it’s the only surviving example in the world; never mind the fact that there are three just like it a few tables down.

        2) no information about the Victrola exists.

        3) because I’m selling it, it must be worth a fortune.

        Normally, AUTHENTIC outside horn models are priced above $1,000, but suitcase-portable, as well as table top and cabinet models–those equipped with internal horns–are FAR less; sometimes under $100 for a good condition working example. (I stressed authentic, because there are fakes and so-called “reproduction” gramophones. Normally, they’re equipped with stamped brass horns and have ornate looking cabinets.)

        If you live in the US, one great resource is Cragislist. Check your local board, and do a search of the main “For Sale” section, checking all categories, for:

        Victrola
        Phonograph
        “Record Player”
        Gramophone
        Grafonola

        Chances are, you’ll spot something.

        But even before this, take advantage of all the internet has to offer and check out some of the sites and forums devoted to the hobby. A good starting place is victor-victrola.com, and there are MANY others.

        HTH,
        OF

  • Croix

    What about preserved insects?

    • Sister Morphine

      i collect dead butterflies.

  • urban buzz

    Collecting precious metal is eccentric now? I never knew!

  • Jenny

    I’m just a hoarder. I don’t collect anything specific.

    • Paradox

      Question to you all:Do you think that it would be a good idea to have a ranking system for lists?This way, depending on how much we viewers like the list, we can draw newcomers and regulars alike to the better lists, and draw attention away from the bad lists.

      • Maggot

        I’m not in favor of it. I don’t think there is any reason to draw people to or away from a list. People come to the site to read lists, so let them read and decide for themselves. Different people have different criteria for what they like or don’t like in a list, and you’ll get people voting negatively against a well-researched and written list just because they don’t care for its topic, or whatever other dumb reason. Ultimately the votes mean nothing.

        • Paradox

          Alrighty, fine.I’ll drop the idea for now.

  • i think trading cards should be no.1 i collect yu-gi-oh cards from along time and i still tell today also think many collectors love to collect cards cuz of the alluring design and images .i have to say this …i am tired giving my love and getting nowhere nowhere what i nee is somebody who realy cares its time around for you baby actions speak louder than words

  • i realy need a lover who realy cares

  • f**k America

    It seems the lists here are getting lazier and lazier

  • Mabel

    I collect Victorian cabinet cards. It’s a great thing to collect because 1) I can’t afford Victorian furniture, grr, and 2) they’re very easy to find and cheap at flea markets and antique sales. I have several of those old albums they slide into. Two I got at an antique mall already had several cards in them. Bonus!

    The ones I like best have unusual or more animated-looking people in them or weird backdrops or props. In those days you had to stand still for a long long time to get your picture taken. Also, it was an occasion, so they dressed up and looked kind of solemn.

    Some of the more unusual ones can be quite expensive. My collection has a memento mori (death photo) of a toddler, a hilarious wedding photo where the groom has a silly smirk on his face, and my prize: a Wendt card of midget Willie Ray. That one cost me $22. I live to find another Wendt or Eisenmann sideshow card, but the famous performers are SOOOOO EXPENSIVE. Maybe someone will stick one in their booth at the flea market, or price it absurdly low, not knowing what they have.

    I don’t buy ones that are foxed (have brown spots) extensively, or if the vendor has placed the price tag on the front (ruins it since you can’t get it off). Sometimes, people have written names on the back so you know who the people were, like “Aunt Millie and Uncle Barker,” or “Little Nephew James Willet” (I made up those).

    Sorry, didn’t mean to go on and on about them. But they are pretty fascinating as a slice of Victorian life. :)

    • Sister Morphine

      i collect mid to late victorian lockets with hair and photos! i also have some victorian tintypes and calling cards. calling cards are inexpensive to collect. i love stuff like that!

  • AddamScott

    This reads like a “how-to” manual for hoarders!

  • Gem

    We have a wall of crosses at my house. Some of them are bought, most of them my husband made out of wood or metal. They are a beautiful thing to collect I’m sure the collection will keep growing until our wall looks like picture #6

  • I have a 350 year old vampire/werewolf hunters kit, has holy water, communion wafers, stakes, a silver dagger, silver pellets, coins, a bible and other stuff…Not sure what it’s all for but it’s been in my familyy for generations…..

  • John son of John

    I have a TON of Lord of The Ring cards and football cards so I’m good.

  • Marwan

    I can relate, haivng lived in the same apartment for 40 years. Its hard to let go of the things that bring back memories of when the whole world was yours because you were so blissfully ignorant of the tribulations ahead. I still have a Cracker Jack toy, a lenticular print of a mermaid. This must be 35 years old, I can never part with it

  • Dkovatch

    I keep thinking in my head the woman in number 6 is saying no vampires getting in here