TVLand and Nick-at-Night are not the only places we find classic television shows. They are cropping up more and more places. Classic TV collectibles are popular items on auction sites such as Ebay. Enter "Classic television show collectibles" into your Google-powered search engine and you will find around 170,000 possibilities.
Run through a few of those results and you will find everything from classic television DVDs, lunch boxes, costumes, watches, salt and pepper shakers, vintage posters, and dolls. A quick search on Amazon.com found "The Best of Donny and Marie (DVD) Volume 1 (1976)." There are websites and online stores whose sole purpose is to sell classic television paraphernalia. These sites are capitalizing on the baby boomer's affinity for nostalgia. Collectors are scooping up the vintage collectibles.
There are companies who are bringing back the collectibles by manufacturing "New Vintage" collectibles. New metal lunch boxes with Donny and Marie, Superman, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and even the Dukes of Hazzard are popping up all over the place. With true vintage lunch boxes going for hundreds of dollars, these "replacements", although lacking authenticity, are an affordable option for those who just want to revisit the good old days of classic television.
The release of classic TV DVDs has made it possible for people to sit back and enjoy hours of their favorite shows from yesterday. The appeal of these shows for many is the "down-home" nature of the comedy. They don't rely on profanity, off-color remarks, or blatant sexual angles for their humor. They remind us of a simpler time. Donny and Marie, Sonny and Cher, The Partridge Family, The Walton's, The Brady Bunch, and many more shows take us back to a time when it was okay to say things like "Gosh" and "Golly." It was more than okay to love your family and country. It was expected. It was safe to turn on the television with the family and enjoy a nice show together.
The collectibles associated with these shows are gaining in popularity. As many from those generations begin to find more time for hobbies and have a little extra disposable income, the collectibles are becoming more desirable. Donny and Marie dolls, which were released in August 1976 with an accompanying "TV Studio", are popular finds. Sonny and Cher costumes are popular at costume parties. The Partridge Family memorabilia is making a strong comeback, as well.
Some of these classic television shows are enjoying a rebirth due to remakes of the originals. The Brady Bunch surged forward after a new generation was exposed to a less-than authentic version of the show in the 1995 version. Even with the tongue-in-cheek style of this movie, many people began seeking authentic Brady Bunch memorabilia and collectibles. The market for these items soared. The same held true for the Scooby Doo collectibles after the 2002 release of the movie. This one was so popular a sequel was made. This remake has brought about a whole new market for Scooby Doo collectibles, new and old alike. After the movie was released classic Scooby Doo DVDs were flying off the shelves. With the popularity of these classic television remakes it is not unrealistic to expect many more to follow.
As with any commodity, as the demand increases, the price will rise. Many collectors search for pieces to round out their collection for a more intrinsic value, rather than simply price. A collection of classic television show collectibles may be worth a substantial amount of money, but it is the nostalgia that holds the true value. You can't put a price on the memories those collectibles will elicit, or the feelings locked deep inside that are released when you hold that Donny and Marie lunchbox just like the one you had as a kid.
To find that special classic TV DVD or other collectible it may be as simple as hitting search on your search engine. Whether it is a find at a garage sale or a purchase off the web, it is the joy of releasing that inner child and finding that peace that simple joys bring that makes classic television collectibles true treasures.
~Ben Anton, 2007
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