It’s sometimes nice to live in the now, because as of 2023 a ‘football collectible’ can be pretty much anything for pretty much anything – there’s so much to choose from!
What is a ‘Football Collectible’?
Technically speaking, it’s something football fans can… ‘collect’.
It’s not that difficult, really!
But in order for it to be considered a ‘good’ football collectible within the collectors’ community, it needs to represent some real value for other collectors – which can be down to its rareness, condition, ‘collectability‘ or all of the above.
For this list, we’re only going to focus on certain categories (which you’ll be able to find throughout Hobby FC) which have what everyone needs to efficiently collect something; variety, depth, scarcity and all that other good stuff. Beginning with my personal favourite.
I’ve always collected football cards, ever since the Shoot Out collection of 2005/06.
There’s just something about seeing my heroes held captive in these little cardboard pieces…
I seem to not be the only one, either. Thousands of listings are on eBay right as we speak – and that’s just at domestic level – for both graded and ungraded cards (new and old).
My personal preference as a UK buyer, would be to go for cards that are already graded – with PSA leading the way in this area – to save the hassle of having to grade them for yourself.
But, if you’re not into the grading thing and would prefer singular or bulk selections of cards, then you can always just go ahead and buy your favourite ones. I for one, am not going to stop until I have every Ruud van Nistelrooy card ever made. And then we can become friends.
Also, give those autograph cards a gander when you can – they look awesome!
A pristine sticker is a little bit rarer than a pristine football trading card.
As it’s a football collectible you rip off and stick down somewhere. Meaning that it’s a lot less likely to hold a sticker in great condition which another buyer has resisted the urge to stick them down.
That being said, the handling of stickers is a lot more fiddly and tricky to keep the condition and grading at the right level if that’s what you choose to do, but everyone has their preference.
Again, you can go ahead and buy already-graded stickers. And there are new collections and sellers creeping out the woodworks every passing season, so the market continues to grow.
They have taken more of a ‘heritage’ stance in the football collectible market, as if they are the ‘original’ ones to have – with older sticker collections being sold in cigarette and gum packets since the Second World War. And who doesn’t love a bit of heritage, now and again?
Ah, football shirts.
The one true mark of the ‘football collectible’ world.
It would be a little bit strange to wave your cards or stickers about to communicate to everybody that you’re a football fan, but wearing your favourite shirt is mercifully accepted worldwide.
As we stated in our earlier article about the Classic Football Shirts London store, the football shirt market has boomed over the last decade, where original and period football shirts can fetch a hefty figure depending on its condition and whose name is emblazoned on the back.
One thing to look out for here however, is that the forgeries have gotten a lot better over time. Replicas of ‘retro’ shirts are a dime a dozen, and even football clubs themselves are jumping on the bandwagon with the odd historic release here or there for their fans.
So, if you foray into this area then be warned. For while even a PSA 10 graded card or sticker can fetch for about £30 on the low end, a good shirt will be about three times’ that. So far, shirts would have to be considered the most expensive football collectible on the market right now.
I’m learning about the world of football figures as I’m going alone.
But they are quite robust as far as football collectibles go.
Subbuteo as a game is one of the more beloved in the collectors’ world, but due to the diminutive and indiscriminate nature of these pieces, it’s hard to distinguish from player to player.
By contrast, sculptors like Corinthians have done a much better job at that, and they have been making bespoke football player figures for decades.
Judging by interest on marketplaces like eBay and even Facebook, the bids continue to come in for these figures and I don’t think that’s going to stop. They’re quite cute, you know!
There’s a lot of tat you can buy on any given match day.
But there are multiple football collectibles around too.
A friend of mine loved pins, and there will always be a good stall or few to buy pins from to commemorate a certain match or the club as a whole.
The same can be said for scarves, hats, snoods and flags/banners to brandish for the match you’re about to see. So, if you’re lucky enough to be at one of these game-changing events, it makes sense to hop up as much as you can if you’re aiming to get it among the collectors’ community.
Except for those half-and-half scarves, nobody seems to like those!
There’s a type of football collectible for everyone.
It’s a real smorgasbord of stuff for collectors to sink their teeth in to.
If you’re aiming to make as much profit as you can from this, then you’re going to want to do as much research as needed into pricing and demand once the listings are available.
But, if you just want to keep them, befriend them, and look at them forever – then simply choose whichever one you like the most and go for it. Pick and spend wisely!
Which football collectibles are you going for?