Mattel Collectibles are huge!
Mattel collectibles are a popular category of collectible brands, and though they have not been around for as long as many other toy collectibles, it has its own set of dedicated collectors. Even though Mattel is most popular for its Barbie dolls, Mattel collectibles in fact come in much more varieties. Ranging from dolls, guns, cars, Tog'l to board games and robots, Mattel collectibles come in all shapes and sizes.
Mattel began in 1945, and began production with picture frames, later moving onto doll furniture. In 1959 Mattel debuted their famous Barbie dolls, and since then there has been no looking back. Reading the history of Mattel is extremely important for a serious collector, as this will give you an idea about the various toys that Mattel released and their age. The older the Mattel collectible, the more valuable it is. Hence picture frames by Mattel, dating back to 1945, are some of the rarest and most expensive Mattel collectibles.
Many collectors opt to only collect specific Mattel toys, like Barbie collectibles, or Hot Wheels collectibles, as this allows them to locate items easily and makes their collection more valuable. Either you can opt to collect only certain Mattel toys or have a general Mattel toy collection. Either ways you will need to extensive research, especially to study about the various distinguishing features of the brand. Before you begin collecting you will have to decide whether you are collecting for profit or for the love of the brand.
In case you are collecting for profit, you will have make sure your collection contains items that are valuable, which means you will have locate Mattel collectibles that are old. Dolls from the 1960s are quite valuable, and in case you need help in authenticating and valuating a particular Mattel collectible, you can refer to one of the many guides that Mattel itself prints, to aid collectors. Detailed guides for authentication and valuation are available elsewhere as well, though the ones produced by Mattel are most reliable.
Another great way to ensure authenticity is to request for the original box that toy came in. This will help you date the toys. Note that Mattel collectibles which come with a ‘Made in Occupied Japan' sign, date to the period between 1945 to 1952, and hence are immensely valuable. But rarer still are Mattel collectibles with the sign, ‘Made in Nippon', these date to 1891 to 1921, and are the most rare and valuable Mattel collectibles. ‘Made in Japan' signs indicate that the toys were made after 1921.
There are several other important pointers that a collector needs to be aware of. Apart from the actual collecting, you will also need to educate yourself about proper care and maintenance of these collectibles. Keep your collectibles in a clean area, and avoid direct contact with sunlight, or extreme temperatures. In case of delicate toys, keep them away from children and pets, as these can be very hard to restore and will definitely lose value if the need arises.
Always check the condition of the collectible before investing in it, as defective items are not as valuable as those in mint condition, no matter how cheap. Use these rules as the foundation to your collecting skills and never stop learning, to be an expert on Mattel collectibles.