Image by Mike Hanlon from New Atlas

With the rise of eBay and pop culture garnering more popularity than ever before, collecting movie memorabilia can be a fun hobby! Collecting can become a treasure hunt, tracking down a rare movie poster, an action figure, or a physical piece from the movie set.

While you can get into the internationally-recognized community of collectors who track down memorabilia like bloodhounds, it can just be a fun side hobby instead. Collecting cinema pieces can be a perfect way to capture the essence of what makes the film unique to us—they generate memories with the people we love.

You never know when a piece from your collection could earn some significant cash—in fact, there is a screen-worn Stormtrooper helmet currently on sale for USD 60,000 to $80,000. When looking online, you can easily find a guide to classic movie memorabilia, but it begs the question of what pieces you might want to collect for the future. Read below how you can get started collecting and what you should have your eye on for the future!

Focus on One Franchise

There are many types of memorabilia that you want to collect to build a solid collection. You can either focus on one franchise or one particular figure, like Marilyn Monroe, Steven Spielberg, Star Wars, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, or Transformers. Vintage never goes out of style, so you can always impress a cinephile with old film footage, movie props, movie posters or even original art concept pieces.

However, autographs from the cast of the modern Avengers movies would be exciting also. Keep yourself focused on one franchise and look for unique finds to begin your collection, whether it is to display or sell. Depending on the collection, whether it’s a classic like Wizard of Oz or a modern franchise like Spiderman, you can sell multiple pieces for more money than just one piece. The more unique the finds, like still photos, special edition magazines, limited edition action figures, or special market releases, the more remarkable the piece.

The Old Vs. The New

If you don’t care for a particular franchise, determine which era you would like to focus on instead. Maybe you have a passion for film history or foreign film; this could make for an even more unique collection. Movie memorabilia is like a glimpse into the past or into one specific moment that brought the movie to life. Whether you are trying to create a time capsule or gather a museum-size collection, you are building an ode to your love of film.

The juxtaposition between the old and the new can be fascinating—like a cigarette carton promoting Gone With the End compared to a popcorn bucket with James Bond proudly displayed. Whether you want to hunt down pieces from Francois Truffaut or Ingmar Bergman’s past films instead of George Lucas, tailor your collection to your interests.

Where To Find Movie Memorabilia?

Whether it is online retailers, auction sites like eBay, estate auctions, collectors’ shows, or conventions—there are quite a few avenues to begin curating your movie memorabilia collection. If you want something specific, you might want to tailor an ad or chat with other collectors who might know where you can find it.

When making your purchases, make sure that it is authenticated. Items like a signed guitar or a first edition comic book often come with an authenticity certificate or lot numbers. This authenticity paperwork proves that your purchase is the real deal if you ever want to sell it moving forward.

When you are just getting your collection started—make sure that it is safely displayed and taken care of. Don’t leave your old Frankenstein poster in the sun; avoid any acidic chemicals or liquids near it. Any moisture can ruin any collectable item, so you should be sure to get high-quality poster frames or display cases.