What will collectors collect in the future?

Been reading articles lately about what people collect, and it all seems so cool, and so dated. LP covers are beautiful, and what a tragedy that hardly anyone makes them anymore, so we collect them. Same for metal lunch boxes. And vintage dobro guitars. And on and on.

So now I’m wondering – what’re we making now that’s going to be quaint and collectable in 50 or 100 yrs?

What makes something collectable?

I think mankind is making less and less collectable stuff. This is good and bad. Good that people are having less reason to stuff that old laptop away because, “I can retire on selling this in 30 years”. Bad because people just pitch everything when it breaks or just loses its luster.

However, I’ve met people who collect antique calculators and computers. I’ve often thought of getting an old Mac (not the fish bowl). I never used one growing up, and after reading a book on its development, would love to see what got people hooked (yes, I’m sure it would be completely unusable for anything that I do on a computer today).

I think other than the computer, electronics will not be very collectable. It’s rare that someone collects beta tape stuff, because not even the tapes are in production anymore (stopped 3-4 years ago). Cel phones, radios, mp3 players, TVs, DVD players will be obsolete within 50 years, I’m sure!

Then there the old stand-bys. I’m sure someone will still collect Karim Rashid’s trash can, comic books, sports memoribilia, books, cars, motorcycles, etc.

Anything with Zeitgeist!
I’m holdin’ on to my first gen iPod!

I’m guessing people will have digital or virtual collections in the future.

I bet it is possible to be a collector of something virtual in second life.

i’m making fairly decent pocket money selling stuff like these.

IMO, i don’t know which are worse, useless plastic ornamentels or these.

Are these current products, or nostalgia? They look a heck of a lot like toys I had when I was 7…

Yeah, but if you can just hit Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and have someone else’s entire collection on your drive, doesn’t collecting become sort of pointless? I mean, a lot of what attracts people to collections are the effort and the process, right?

Collecting things has already become effortless via the net (eBay etc.)

So I think the short answer is that anything and everything can be considered collectable these days. Virtual stuff is another matter.

I think things will continue to be challenging to find and collect… as info is more available, finding the right stuff becomes just as hard as it was when the info wasn’t available at all… like a long google images search for just the right photo for a mood board… sorting through all the BS on eBay can be just as difficult… so Apple"C" / Apple"V" on someone else’s collection might be useless if it is not what you want.

Values of collections are totally subjective based on if you can find someone else that is willing to pay for it. If culturally people decide baseball cards are worthless, they won’t be worth the paper they are printed on. Maybe that is why more stuff has become collectable.With modern technology you are able to link up with that Taiwanese matchbook collector and trade items…

I could see the value in digital collections being in the curation, You are paying for the time that someone has put into putting together the perfect 48 hour playlist for your taste or something like that…

CG, I’m also betting on the collectabiity of first gen stuff… I still have my first gen iMac… in a closet.

You probably cannot go wrong with the 1st gen apple products but it is often the product failures that become valuable.

As things commoditize, I think people will be looking for stories connected with those things. I’d predict that celebrity-owned things will grow in popularity.

From MIT media lab’s John Meada:

“I have a collection of old Motorola phones”

I guess I was wrong again!