Collecting is one of the classic nerdy pursuits, and with good reason. The actual act of collecting itself is satisfying, but it also lets you dive deep into what it is you’re collecting.
Reading up on what’s a good addition to your collection compared to what isn’t worth its time could be an entire pastime in itself.
When many of us think of collections, we tend to think of the expensive types like art collections or classic cars. That said, if it exists, you can probably collect it, no matter what it is!
Here are some especially geeky ideas for nerdy things to collect if you need help getting started as a collector.
1. Geeky Figures
As a geek, you have several options when it comes to “geeky figures” that are worth collecting:
Anime figurines are pretty much a given for anyone who’s a serious anime fan—whether you’re a die-hard fan of a particular anime series or a connoisseur of all things anime as a whole.
Gundam models are excellent if you’re crafty and like building things and painting them with your own hand. They’re called “gunpla” and there are all kinds of models at numerous price points worth exploring if you like Gundam.
Funko Pops are another option if you’re more into general pop culture like Marvel movies, American mascots, Western animation, and such. There are thousands of Funko Pops out there, which make them perfect for beginner and veteran collectors alike.
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Nintendo Amiibos are winners if you’re a fan of Nintendo’s gaming consoles and related brands, including Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, and more. A shelf of Amiibos can bring a lot of personality to a home.
Do you have a favorite author or two? In that case, you can start your collection by aiming to gather everything they’ve written.
If you want to aim bigger, perhaps you could aim to collect your favorite book in a variety of languages. Even if you don’t read them, few things look more impressive in your home than shelves stacked with books.
Yes, comics are a kind of book—but collecting comic books (and graphic novels and manga volumes) is a very different animal.
Books are usually kept on a shelf out in the open. With comics, you’ll need to become acquainted with the process of bagging and boarding your issues and volumes. And if you ever score a rare find, you’ll want to get it appraised.
Note that collecting comics for posterity usually means you won’t spend much time reading them. That’s why we recommend digital comics for reading, physical comics for collecting.
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4. Vintage Toys
Most of us have one or two toys from our childhood that we remember more fondly than anything else.
If this is an especially strong or pleasant memory for you, maybe you’d like to give collecting old toys a try.
You’ll probably spend a fair amount online, but if you take a few weekends to browse some garage sales, you might luck out.
5. Vintage Gadgets
I like old technology. For example, I have a Tandy TRS Color Computer taking up space in my basement along with most of the accessories sold for it.
This isn’t the sort of thing you buy to use as your day-to-day computer, but there’s something satisfying about firing it up and seeing that it still works.
You don’t have to collect computers, though. There are plenty of awesome old gadgets—from calculators to cameras to music players to dumb phones—worthy of a collection.
I intentionally left this vague, as there are a bunch of different types of cards to collect. If you’re into baseball or other sports, that’s a great place to start.
On the other hand, maybe you’re a huge Magic the Gathering player. Just because you won’t use a given card in your deck doesn’t mean it’s not worth collecting if you like the art!
7. Video Games
Yes, this one is probably obvious, but it’s also a larger category than you might think.
What type of games do you want to collect? Do you want to own every RPG ever released for the SNES? Do you want to specialize in collector’s editions? Do you want a little bit of everything?
If you’re especially brave, you could even try collecting arcade machines—but be warned, you’ll need friends to help you move them. You might also want to keep an electrician on retainer.
Collecting rocks is awesome if you don’t want to spend money. All you have to do is wander nature and keep a lookout for rocks that are unique, beautiful, or rare.
But it’s not only for the frugal! If you have any interest in geology, it can be absolutely fascinating to find a rock somewhere it doesn’t belong. If you’re an adventurer, this is a great thing to collect.
I put this last on this list because coins are the old standby when it comes to collecting.
Coins are popular to collect for a few reasons. For one, almost everybody has some change lying around. For another, there are various ways to scope your collection.
For example, you could aim to collect every denomination released in a certain decade, then decide where to move on from there.