Art & Antiques | Revisiting TV collectibles

January 19, 2014 

Did you ever wonder if there was any resale value associated with those collectibles objects from your favorite TV shows? TV collectibles are flooding the market.

Autographed photos of the stars of classic sitcoms like studio shots of Jerry Seinfeld, Michael J. Fox and Charlie Sheen hold their value long after their popular prime-time show is off the air. Some of these coveted collectibles, like autographed photos, command good money in good condition.

Established TV brands

Broadcast networks promote shows to their network affiliates around the world using unique collectible objects such as “American Idol” Keurig coffee makers with Randy Jackson k-cups and Ryan Seacrest non-dairy creamer, Jack Bauer action figures from the series “24,” and red rubber dodge balls from the gym class on “Glee.”

Dedicated TV viewers hoard these collectibles in the hope of amassing rare objects, or down the line, reselling them once the shows are broadcast in syndication in years to come. Embarking upon its 13th season, “American Idol” collectibles are the TV items that I would be amassing for long-term value.

TV shows that are living on other networks along the cable and satellite landscape have related collectibles that are collected with vigor. For instance, a bottle of orange pop (“soda” for all non-Midwesterners) from the Formans’ basement on “That 70s Show” is not easy to find these days.

Street value for this Wisconsin-based throwback TV sitcom collectible is $25. Long-running TV shows continue on in syndication forever. Even as times and trends change in American culture, some shows have staying power late at night.

Ultra-popular “Friends” debuted while we were all still brewing drip coffee and just as the Starbucks craze went into high gear. As such, a collectible “Friends” instant coffee tin (worth $75) with the famous cast on the label dates back to the era when a spoonful of international-flavored coffee was a treat during an afternoon of relaxing TV viewing.

Cashing in

Remember, the promotional items are not to be confused with actual props that are used during the filming of these classic shows and new TV shows. Actual props used in famous TV episodes command big bucks with collectors and are more difficult to acquire, as well.

Lori Verderame hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Watch “Dr. Lori” on the Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings,” or visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori or @DrLori on Twitter.

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