Top five collectibles that aren't worth your money

5. Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies collecting Top Five
The craze was just the product of a clever marketing scheme

Remember everybody clamouring for the latest Beanie Baby back in the 1990s? Well, that fad has since died out and now your bright orange collectible Wiggly the Squid toy is worth little more than the materials used to make it.

The craze for Beanie Babies began in 1995 as a carefully orchestrated marketing scheme by the Ty company, who had planned to create a collectible toy that would sell in their millions. However, the craze rapidly declined after the company released its final bear called "The End" in 1999, giving collectors little to look forward to.

Today, you can pick up some of the once-rare Beanie Babies for around $5-10, although those with manufacturing errors - such as Peanuts the Elephant, who was made in a much darker colour than intended - can still sell for hundreds, possibly even thousands.

4. Hummel Figurines

Hummel Figurines collecting worth value
This little chap is now more likely to be found at a car boot sale

These German ceramic figures were brought home as gifts by Allied soldiers returning from the second world war, though they are now more likely to be decorating the tables at a yard or car boot sale than the mantelpiece of your home.

A strong market for the figures - which are based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel - emerged in the 1970s, spurred by nostalgia for the wartime era. Prices shot up during this period, although they have now reached an all-time low, with new collectors having little interest in the outdated figurines.

Although most figures will sell for no more than $100 at best, the larger examples and those manufactured before 1949 will still reach $1,000+ in the right market.

3. Caddy spoons

Caddy Spoon
Look out for silver spoons made in Birmingham prior to 1800

Those ornate spoons that you see dotted around almost every antique fair are actually known as caddy spoons, and were used to measure tea leaves before the invention of the tea bag. Collecting these spoons has a lot more to offer than you might first think. Mostly made of silver, the spoons often reveal their rich history through the hallmarks, assay marks and maker's marks.

Like most of these one-time collectibles, there was a well-established market for caddy spoons throughout the 20th century, with some of the most coveted examples bringing impressive sums at auction. Today, the only spoons worth your time (and money) are those that were made in Birmingham, UK around 1800 or earlier.

2. Barbie dolls

Barbie Collecting most valuable worth value auction
Barbara Roberts is reaching her twilight years on the collectibles market

Now, we are well aware that Barbie can still command high bids when she appears at auction, with the most valuable Barbie doll selling for $302,500 in 2010. However, the market for those limited edition dolls that you have been holding on to since your were small is in rapid decline.

This drop in value stems from the fact that most of the limited editions released were in fact manufactured in high quantities. This, combined with the fact that many people hoping to cash-in have kept the dolls in mint condition in their boxes, means that they aren't getting any rarer.

1. Hypermodern first editions

Collecting hypermodern first editions
Fifty Shades is likely to fall in with the Mills & Boon crowd in years to come

Don't even think about going after that first edition copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, it won't be worth a penny in a few years' time. "Hypermodern" first edition books are those that create a stir upon their initial release, but are quickly forgotten after the hype has died down.

We aren't talking about Harry Potter here, where the international franchise will keep prices high for the foreseeable future, but rather those that are the current talk of the town yet have no real staying power. First edition copies of these books can be worth large sums in the years following their release, but their value will undoubtedly fall sharply once they are forgotten.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a range of first edition and signed books currently available that we believe could gain in value over the years to come.

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