Team GB medals to boost toy prices
Filed under: Investing
Team GB's gold medal success at the London Olympics could turn your kids' souvenir toys into gold dust, according to the world's biggest toy auctioneer.
Limited edition Hornby and Corgi models could double in value over the next 20 years but one valuer reckons Team GB's success on the cycle track could make your toddlers' Scalextric velodrome toy the collector's cash cow.
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Big boys' toysAndrew Reid, specialist cataloguer and auctioneer for Vectis, says collectors often start in their mid to late 20's and like the toys they remember playing with as a child. That means that in 20 years time, the boys who played with the Scalextric Velodrome toy will want to buy a pristine copy.
Because most will have been played with, perfect condition boxed sets will be rare and doubly valuable.
Vectis has estimated that special collectors' toys related to the Olympics will also rise in value. It says a 25,000-pieces limited edition Mini Olympic Torch could increase in value by anything from 300%-1,000% in the next 20 years. A special edition of one of the 36 Olympic taxis from Corgi would be a winner too.
But pristine boxes of the played-for toys, such as the velodrome set, could well rise in value even more.
InvestmentCollecting toys is big business as investors shun the poor returns and lack of security offered by banks and even property investing.
Vectis – the Roman name for the Isle of Wight - was set up in the 1980s on the island and was sold to its current owner in 1996, since growing to the world's biggest toy auctioneer. It holds six auctions a month, auctioning about 25,000 toys with sales totalling more than £500,000.
And punters are big and small. "We have people who spend £50 a month and some people who spend £50,000 a month – private speculator investors who don't want to put their money into banks and property," says Reid.
"Some modern collectibles weren't sold as collectibles but were on sale as normal toys in Argos," Reid says. And he reckons returns for investors are currently running at nearly 5% a year, which is better than most investment products.
ClassicsAnd certain toys come back into fashion. There's always a spike of interest in James Bond toys whenever a new 007 film is released so November's next Bond outing with Daniel Craig, called Skyfall, is expected to provide a fillip.
Star wars is another popular range, with a 12-figure set from the original 1977-1883 series of films going under the hammer for just over £10,000 recently.
Reid says: "It's really hard to predict what will become valuable. Often it's the things kids are ripping open as cheap toys to play with. That will the thing he wants to collect when he gets older."