The collectibles market thrives on the iconic: those moments, objects or people that are instantly recognisable across the world.
And like any investment, the best returns in the collectibles sector are made when you spot an opportunity early.
Speculation is a gamble to take, yet investing in these six modern-day icons today - and potential legends of the future - could provide you with a nice nest egg.
Few musicians have captured the attention of the public like Lady Gaga. Rarely out of the media, she is renowned for her shocking style (that famous 'Meat Dress') and flamboyant stage shows.
Her antics divide opinion, but there is no denying her obvious talent and ability to sell records - she has sold 27m albums and 125m singles so far, less than 10 years into her career.
The collectibles to own from Lady Gaga will undoubtedly be her stage-worn costumes. Each unique, and often created by a world famous designer, they are as much works of art as they are superb pieces of memorabilia.
Many are kept in her private collection, but some have already appeared on the market.
Gaga has one of the most dedicated fan bases of any musician out there. She has carefully nurtured her image and has an amazing level of fan interaction, using social media to ensure she keeps them engaged.
Her "Little Monsters" have been known to whip themselves into frenzies akin to Beatlemania, and it's only a matter of time before they grow up and gain the disposable incomes to buy the items they always desired as young Lady Gaga devotees.
Top 3 Lady Gaga auctions so far:
- Lipstick-marked teacup - $75,000
- Signed Steinway piano - $42,500
- Photoshoot dress - $31,250
The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in US TV history, having first aired in 1989.
There is hardly a situation that hasn't been referenced in an episode, with one expert commenting: "The Simpsons has apparently taken over from Shakespeare and the Bible as our culture's greatest source of idioms, catchphrases and sundry other textual allusions."
Many of The Simpsons' catchphrases have now entered the official English dictionary. Scores of celebrities have made cameos, and there aren't many with access to a TV that haven't seen an episode.
The Simpsons is a huge franchise, so avoid anything mass-produced.
Items signed by the show's creators, most notably Matt Groening, could be valuable.
Original drawings of the show's biggest characters, and animation cels of the most memorable scenes will also be among the most coveted items, as will promotional materials produced in very limited numbers.
But don't dismiss Simpsons merchandise completely. Spotting an oddity among the millions could see you on your way to strong returns in the years to come. A Mattel Bart Simpson doll with a "Save Blinky" T-Shirt is perhaps the ultimate Simpsons collectible, with just three known to exist.
Today, far from the peak of its popularity, the show still attracts 7.3m viewers worldwide.
Matt Groening says he sees no end in sight for the veteran show, yet it has to end some day. When that day comes, if you're in possession of a quality item from The Simpsons, you are sure to see phenomenal demand from the millions who have garnered so much humour from the show over the years.
Top 3 Simpsons auctions so far:
- Swamp Thing parody original art - $5,078
- Simpsons opening title animation cel - $3,585
- "Save Blinky Bart" Mattel Mail Away Figure - $1,000
You've seen the frenzied scenes outside Apple stores worldwide prior to a big release? The endless lines of buyers camped outside for days resemble a religious gathering.
Then there's the rainbow logo, firmly implanted in our minds since the 1980s, and the striking white packaging.
Consider how many times you've updated your iPod on your iMac using iTunes, probably calling someone on your iPhone just minutes later, and you'll understand why Apple is fast becoming the most collectible brand of the 21st century.
Billions have been produced and demand just keeps on growing.
However, Apple hasn't always been at the core of our tech-buying habits. In fact, it was once the bedroom operation of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and the first machines were produced to order in very limited numbers in the 1970s.
There are just 61 Apple 1 computers - the very first produced - known to exist and these are already seeing huge sums at auction, with the record standing at $668,000.
But that ship has already sailed for many of us, so where to look for the future Apple collectibles?
Any of the models produced by the company in the 1980s to early 1990s is highly sought after by collectors; the Apple Lisa, made in 1983 and the first mouse-controlled computer, sold for $54,351 in 2013.
Those looking to the very long-term might want to buy limited-edition new releases - just avoid the temptation to open the packaging, an immediate way to devalue your collectible.
Chances are you've used an Apple product at some point. These gadgets have permeated every aspect of our daily lives.
Yet not all of us are as obsessed by the addictive products as followers of the "Cult of Mac", who will go to any length to get their hands on the latest release before anyone else. They are an incredibly dedicated group, who are already collecting every product Apple releases and will surely bolster the market for Apple collectibles in years to come.
We've already seen how much some of them are prepared to pay for an Apple 1, and with more fans joining the market every day, this is a collecting area that is going places.
Top 3 Apple auctions so far:
- Apple-1 computer - $668,000
- Apple-1 motherboard - $87,500
- Andy Warhol Apple logo screenprint - $37,500
The first inauguration of America's first black president was a historic moment not just in the US, but also around the world. Based on combined attendance, TV viewers and internet traffic, the ceremony was one of the most observed events in the history of humanity.
A tremendous publicity campaign helped his to White House, which saw the world's celebrities and other public figures backing the "cool" new president.
Today, Barack Obama has retained that "cool" image and is one of the most popular leaders the US has ever had - at least with the rest of the world.
As is often the case with events on this scale, there were thousands of mass produced collectibles produced for Obama's election campaign and inauguration, so there's no great value in those. But other options are available.
One of the most recognisable pieces created for the campaign is graffiti artist Shepard Fairey's "Hope" posters, which became an instant hit around the world, evoking the famous Che Guevara poster.
The artist sold screen prints of the poster to raise money for the campaign, and was irked when some immediately appeared on eBay. Just 350 originals were made, but then Fairey created a further 3,000 to counter the eBay sales.
Find one of those original 350 (many of which were pasted to walls in Los Angeles) and you could be on to a winner - they have realised as much as $10,000 and prices look set to increase due to their ephemeral nature.
Political memorabilia is big business in the United States, with the nation keen to celebrate its most popular lead