Updated: May 2
With more than 130 dealers selling antiques and vintage items, collectors are likely to find many items of interest at King Richard's. Here's a look at some of the antiques and collectibles making headlines today and some tips for how to pick the best pieces for your collection.
Action Figures are perennial favorites and they don't have to be only Star Wars Figurines. There are many dealers selling action figures at King Richard's. Look for figures in their original packages and look for packages without tears, bends, creases and price tags -- or signs the price stickers were removed. The closer to pristine the more collectible. And here's a hint -- look for action figures of women. There are fewer women action figures but they are becoming the favorites among collectors.
Comic books are always in demand and condition counts -- a lot. Here's where some research can really pay off. There are very rare comic books that demand premium prices because their condition is pristine. And then, there are rare comic books with creased pages and tears and stains that are very affordable.
The same rules apply to toys. Toys that are just a few years old can be valuable if they're still in their original packages. Here again you need to do your research.
Coins and stamps are very tricky to collect. Let's start with coins. There are "collector coins" which usually are not valuable enough to have been "graded" by the major grading services such as PCGS and NGC. When these independent grading companies certify a coin they encapsulate them in a tamper-proof plastic holder. It can cost $35 to grade and encapsulate a coin so only premium and rare coins will be encapsulated. Coins without encapsulated are more commonly called "collector coins" and these are usually not rare and not in pristine condition and these are the kinds of coins that you would put into a coin folder or coin album. Even some "collector coins" can be worth $100 or more, but when a coin is priced more than $100 you might want to ask why it hasn't been certified, graded and encapsulated by third-party experts.
Now, stamps. The problem with stamp collecting -- and we're talking about U. S. stamp collecting -- is that millions and millions have been printed. And so many millions have been printed and so many have been collected that frankly many stamps printed since World War 2 are only worth face value. You really have to look at pre-1941 stamps to find stamps worth more than their face value. Again, condition matters. You want unusued stamps. You want to look at the perforations to find they are not bent. You want the stamps to be centered. You want the colors to look good. There are independently graded and certified stamps for sale. Some collectors specialize in plate blocks -- which is typically four stamps from the corner of a sheet with the number of the sheet showing in the border attached to the stamps. Some collectors specialize in covers -- which are stamps that were attached to special envelopes and canceled with a special postmark. Again, you need to research and then specialize because there are so many stamps you might not know what to collect. Try a specialty such as airmail stamps, or a specialty such as "space stamps" so you can target your search.
Vinyl records are not only collectible but they are also used for entertainment and luckily there are several dealers at King Richard's with vinyl records for sale. Condition counts and that includes the condition of the album covers. Look for specially issued records sent to radio stations as these have special labels and are very collectible.
Video games and video game consoles have become collectible and vintage dealers at King Richard's have these because you didn't save them twenty years ago.
There is new demand for housewares and furniture from the 1940s through the 1960s. Some people buy these for the look as well as for the value they offer. And oddly enough antique typewriters are also finding places for display in home offices. You'll find a large selection of these among the dealers at King Richard's.
And with gas and oil prices rising, wouldn't you know it -- oil and gas advertising signs and memorabilia are also rising in price. It seems that oil and gas signs are finding a place right next to tobacco signage. And think about this -- if we are all driving electric cars in twenty years those signs for gasoline and oil really will become conversation pieces. Luckily for you, several dealers at King Richard's already have an assortment of gas station memorabilia for you to decorate with.
Check the Internet for pricing and then come to King Richard's. The dealers at King Richard's are aware of the prices you'll find on eBay and other sites and they always try to offer better prices. Also, you'll see the items -- not just photos to make your buying decisions. And don't forget -- when you pick up your collectibles at King Richard's you'll save on shipping charges.