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Top collectibles and how to store them safely

A photo showing a large number of music vinyls spread on a table.

Collectibles: for some it’s a hobby, for some, an investment. And for others, it’s an obsession.

But whether you collect to resell or for your own personal pleasure, it’s crucial you keep your items safe. Especially if you plan on holding them for decades.

Any items can be collected, but the most common collectibles are those which increase in value over time. In this article, we explore some of the most commonly collected items and the best ways to protect them from theft, damage and deterioration.

Vinyl records

A hallmark of the 80s, vinyl records are making a huge comeback as music fans seek to recapture the distinct sound of physical music.

The most sought after records are usually those from legendary artists, including The Beatles and Michael Jackson. Some records were released with limited edition album covers, which add to their rarity and overall value.

In 2015, Ringo Starr’s personal copy of the ‘White Album’ sold for $790,000.

How to safely store vinyl records

  • A photo showing a large number of music vinyls.

Items with such high sentimental and resale value must be kept safe from theft or damage.

Ideally, you should protect your vinyl records in polyurethane sleeves inside of paper sleeves and store them in a cool, dry location with minimal sunlight.

You should arrange your vinyl records so they remain upright and placed next to records of a similar size. This will maintain the condition of both the edges and faces of the sleeves, as well as the records themselves.

Try to handle the actual vinyl as little as possible. If you do, only touch the outside edge and labelled areas.

Comic books

  • A photo showing a range of collectible magazines and comics spread on a table.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a comic book, one of the most popular forms of entertainment throughout the 40s and 50s. Even today, thousands of comic books are sold in newsagents across the world. But it’s vintage comic books, loved for their nostalgia and rarity, that dominate the collectible comic book market.

First edition and limited edition comic books will often fetch high prices at auctions. The first-ever edition of Action Comics sold for a whopping $3,207,852 on eBay in 2014. It cost just 10 cents to buy in 1938.

How to store comic books

  • A photo showing a number of Star Wars comic collectibles.

Part of the reason why the first edition of Action Comics sold so well was because it remained in near-mint condition despite being over 75 years old. To retain as much value as possible from your comic books, you’ll want to ensure they are stored so that the condition doesn’t deteriorate.

Keep each comic book in its own individual sleeve and store it in a suitable box. This will prevent the comic from bending and will also protect it from dust and scratches.

Comic books should be stored in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight and with temperatures slightly below room temperature.


  • A photo showing a large number of collectible coins.

Coins are an attractive collectible because of their sheer volume, variety and history. Many coins also have unique designs that can be appreciated for their art and rarity.

Coins increase by an average of 220% in value over ten years, which makes them a hot commodity for investors. Commemorative coins or coins that are no longer in circulation are most popular. Many collectors also look for ‘error coins’, which are coins that were accidentally minted with unusual flaws.

The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, purportedly the first silver dollar struck by the U.S. Mint, sold for over $10 million in 2013.

How to store coins

  • A photo showing three coins outside of a wallet.

Coins should be housed in an appropriate coin holder, album or folder. These provide protection against dust, dirt and humidity while also helping you to categorise your collection.

Store your coin holder, album or folder in a dry place at room temperature. Keep your coins away from any liquids or harmful chemicals.

Vintage toys

  • A photo showing a group of small collectible toys, including models of cars and motorbikes.

The demand for vintage toys is driven by one powerful feeling: nostalgia. Old cars, dolls and lego sets revive pleasant childhood memories and keep the vintage toy market booming year on year. Many people hold a personal attachment to their old toys and simply keep them with no intention of selling.

But those who do sell can make a hefty profit. An original 1959 Barbie sold at auction for $3,669 (£2,900).

How to store your vintage toys

  • A photo showing some vintage robot toys collectibles.

Any toys you intend to keep for a long time should be kept in their original packaging. Not only will this help to protect the toys, but it will also make them more valuable to collectors. Toys for sale without their box are often deemed incomplete.

While the packaging may protect the toy, you also want to protect the packaging. Wrap the packaging in bubble wrap and store in a box. Ideally, you want to keep the box in a dry area at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.

Trading cards

  • A photo showing rare pokemon card collectibles.

Trading cards are one of the most popular items to trade and collect. There are so many different types of trading cards — sports trading cards, tabletop trading cards, franchise trading cards. Almost anyone can find trading cards that match their interests.

One of the most popular trading card games is Pokémon, and recent attention on the trading card game has seen prices soar. First Edition Charizards are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the latest sale racking up a cool $200,000.

How to store your trading cards

  • A photo showing trading card binders on a shelf.

Trading cards should be kept in individual sleeves. A good way to store trading cards is to use a binder, that way all the cards are protected and kept together. You can also organise them into whichever order you’d like.

Place the binder in a box and store the box in a cool, dry environment and away from direct sunlight. Ideally, humidity levels should be at around 50%.

Top tips for storing collectibles safely

Collections don’t have to be economically valuable to be valuable to you. No matter what you collect, it is always wise to store it away safely to keep your collection in good condition.

In addition to all the storage tips above, there are many general storage tips that are useful for any collection. Follow these tips to ensure your collection stays safe and sound for years to come.

Avoid direct sunlight

  • A photo showing sunlight shining in a dark brown room.

You may have noticed this as a common storage tip for many collectibles. That’s because exposure to the sun can damage a variety of materials.

You may not notice sun damage from one day to the next, but if you store your collectibles in direct sunlight for years at a time, there’s a very good chance that they’ll fade and lose a lot of their original appeal.

Keep your collectibles out of direct sunlight. A storage unit is a great place to store your collectibles as they don’t have windows.

Limit how much you handle your items

The natural oils on your fingers can damage your collectibles, so try to limit physical touch as much as you can. If you plan on keeping your items for years, we recommend finding a suitable storage unit and leaving them alone.

Keep them in a secure environment

  • A photo of the hallways at one of Vanguard's self storage branches.

Store your collectibles in a secure environment to ensure they’re safe. Collectibles, especially valuable collectibles, are often targets for thieves and should be out of reach at all times.

Store your collectibles in a secure storage unit for complete peace of mind. Vanguard Storage Service offers robust storage units with CCTV 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Use appropriate packaging

Package up your collectibles to protect them from dust, dirt, and moisture damage. Delicate items should be wrapped in bubble wrap, and paper or card-based items should be kept in plastic sleeves. You should also consider placing your items in storage boxes for easy transportation and added protection.

Considering storing your collectibles in a secure storage facility? Vanguard Storage units are perfect for storing boxes. We even have units with pallet racks for accessibility.

For storing collectibles, valuables, or anything else, look no further than Vanguard Storage. Each of our branches has highly secure storage units in various sizes. Clean, dry, and away from direct sunlight, our units are ideal for storing your collectibles. You can store with us for as long as you need, and our porters will even help transport your items if required. Plus, we offer a variety of packing supplies so that you can pack and store your collectibles in a safe and suitable way.

Find your local branch on our website or contact our team to begin storing with Vanguard Storage. We have Bristol self storage units, London; West London, East London, Central London, and storage in Salford.

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