17 Odd Things That Are Actually Considered Collectibles

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By Jonathan Trent

While collectibles can be a personal preference, there are certain items that are generally considered as popular or stylish, such as vinyl records or baseball cards. Yet, in some corners of the world, people have very strange collections indeed. Here are 17 odd items that you may be surprised to learn are actually collectibles.

Vintage Airline Sick Bags

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We know what you’re thinking: Why would you want to collect vomit bags? Well, the vintage varieties apparently have some niche appeal. The main reason for this can be the unique designs or logos on the bags, which often come from airlines that no longer exist.

Celebrity Hair

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Just when you thought celebrity culture couldn’t get any stranger, some people go to extreme lengths to collect celebrity hair! Hair strands often fetch a hefty price at auctions, including strands of Marilyn Monroe’s hair that have been valued at $331,233, according to The New York Post.

Antique Dental Equipment

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Most people fear simply going to the dentist, let alone actively collecting outdated dental equipment. Yet there is apparently a market for collecting dental tools such as chairs – antique ones in particular – due to fascination with their historical significance.

Vintage Vending Machines

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We all love a nostalgic vending machine, right? Think of your favorite gumball machine from childhood or maybe even the novelty of a cigarette machine that can no longer be used legally. Older vending machines, especially rare brands, are prized collectible items.

Milk Bottle Caps

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When milk was delivered in glass bottles with a cap, most people probably didn’t believe that one day they’d be part of sought-after collector’s items. But collectors now seek out unique bottle caps, not only because they represent a bygone era, but also thanks to their unique designs.

Poison Bottles

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There’s something quite appealing about a vintage bottle, though most might prefer to collect something a little less morbid than poison. Nevertheless, there’s a collector’s market for antique poison bottles in distinctive shapes and colors – especially if they still have the ‘POISON’ label intact!

Hotel Room Keys

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Hotel room keys have changed a lot in recent years, as many are now electronic cards. Yet vintage hotel room keys used to be more unique, which is why they’re now a prized collectible for people who favor unique designs and pieces of the past, particularly for historic hotel chains.

Vintage Board Games

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Many people still enjoy board games, yet some are very serious about them as collector’s items. Old board games provide a tangible sense of nostalgia, and some can be extremely rare. House Beautiful lists a bejeweled chess set as one of the most valuable, valued at over $9 million!

Circus Posters

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Vintage circus posters are another piece of history that are actually considered collectibles. Many people covet them for their vibrant graphics, especially if they promote a rare act or famous performance. Therefore, they can double as a collector’s item and a valuable piece of art.

Vintage Postcards

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Though not the strangest collectible on this list, vintage postcards are still a curious item, especially because a lot of collectors treasure used postcards with handwritten messages from the past. These rare postcards can be a product of past times or how popular travel destinations used to look.

Taxidermy Animals

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Not for the squeamish, taxidermy animals are often a unique collector’s item – but you naturally need a lot of storage space for this one. Collectors seek out both the quality and rarity of the animal in question, though, of course, ethical sourcing always needs to be considered.

Antique Medical Quackery

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We know medicine has progressed significantly, which is why old – and dubious – medical devices have now become prized collectibles. Items such as electric belts are now hoarded for their unique nature. CBS News reveals that some of the strangest medical solutions in the past included a red wine tonic and dead mouse paste.

Autographed Napkins

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Celebrities can sign many things these days, but there’s nothing quite like the traditional way of signing on a restaurant napkin! Value can be added if the autograph took place during a significant event, too – though we hope nobody blew their nose on it first.

Fossils and Dinosaur Bones

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Fossils are no longer a quirky collectible item exclusive to paleontologists – it seems everyone wants a piece of dinosaur history these days! Naturally, the rarer the fossil, the higher its value, though it can often be difficult for collectors to discover rare bones that haven’t already been claimed by museums.

Vintage Political Buttons

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Political campaign buttons are a significant piece of history—and perfectly sized, as far as collectors’ items go! They can represent the history of previous elections and even offer unique designs from significant political events of the past. Those buttons with their original pins are often worth the most.

Antique Perfume Bottles

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If poison bottles didn’t cut it for you, maybe antique perfume bottles will. They have just as much unique design without the morbid history. Antique perfume bottles are particularly prized if they’re from the most famous scent designers or if they’re ornately designed.

Vintage Lunch Boxes

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And just when you thought we’d reached the pinnacle of odd collectibles, we have the vintage lunch box. Most of us failed to keep our lunchboxes in good condition, but there are those still worth something. One of the most valuable lunchboxes of all time, according to History.com, is a 1954 depiction of Superman.

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