“Black Diamond” VHS tapes from Disney hit the shelves from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Reports on Facebook and other media tell people their Disney movies could be worth thousands of dollars. If you search eBay, you’ll find Disney VHS tapes listed for thousands.
It seems legit. Classic titles like “Bambi” or “Pinocchio,” released decades ago might be worth something. Frankly, however, the reality is, that they go for about a dollar each. Treasure or trash? It may come as a surprise — eBay is not immune to scams. And besides, even if you do get your hands on one of these, who even has a video player to play it?
Norman Rockwell Decorative Plates
Artist Norman Rockwell painted idyllic American life. His artwork was so beloved it became an American institution. His creations are synonymous with “Americana.” He’s known for bridging the gap between an illustrator and a serious painter. High-brow art snubbed Rockwell’s work, but he illustrated Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” and he painted presidential portraits for Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson, and Eisenhower.
These plates feature Rockwell’s timeless American imagery. The singularity of his appeal stirs up nostalgia and radiates value, but it’s not real. Sorry, Boomers. Treasure or trash? Rockwell plates fall into the latter category. You can purchase one of these pieces for $10.
These darling porcelain figurines were one of the most popular collector items in America. The Hummel figurines came from Germany in 1935, and the porcelain models were based on the artistic designs of a nun in Germany named Maria Hummel. For a long time, these things were really uncommon and therefore carried a hefty price tag.
The Goebel company manufactured the figurines throughout the 20th century. Folks would invest $5,000 to get a hold of an original. But then Goebel opened the floodgates and produced too many. A classic case of treasure to trash. You can buy one for a buck on eBay.
It may come as a surprise to some of you but board games are another item people collect. They’re a lot of fun to play and maybe, maybe, maybe they’ll be worth a bundle someday. Though, ironically, it's more likely they'll be worth something if they have NOT been played with.
Unfortunately, board games are not highly collectible items. Some names from the 1800s or early 1900s might hold value. Like “The Mansion of Happiness” from the 1800s, it sold for $1,250. Relatively, it’s not that valuable considering how old it is. It comes with ivory game pieces stored in a leather pouch and a hand-colored board.
Broadway Playbills, especially from opening night, used to be a popular item to collect. But now even vintage playbills hold little value. A signed “Hamilton” from its opening run went for just $50. The problem is that lots of people don’t care about collecting playbills. Blame it on the post-internet age of mainstream Broadway.
Antique playbills have not always been significantly appreciated, though rare and old items could help your yearly vacation budget. A “Romeo & Juliet” from 1821 at the Theatre Royal lists at $275. But a Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier signed playbill will fetch $1555. In general, playbills are a sleeper collection.