From crisps packets to naval fluff... The Top Six world's weirdest collections

There are as many reasons for collecting as there are collectors in the world. It could start with a search for your most treasured childhood toy, a lifelong obsession with Elvis Presley or a fascination with World War I.

Wherever your interests may lie, one thing is for certain: the collecting bug can strike at any time, and in the current financial climate it's definitely catching.

As more and more people look to investments like collectibles as a real alternative to stocks and shares, it's worth remembering that even the strangest collections can prove to be profitable.

Knowing a thing or two about the collecting bug ourselves, we decided to take a look at some of the world's weirdest collections.

We've picked six of our favourites, and although they may seem strange (or in some cases incomprehensible) they all go to show that one person's junk is another person's treasure.

If you can imagine it, someone somewhere is collecting it and they could be sitting on a goldmine...

6) On its own something may seem worthless, but own 7,000 of them and people around the world start to take notice.

Luke Underwood did just that with a collection of McDonalds Happy meal toys, which he persuaded his father to buy for him in 2005 for £250.

Four years and a few additions later he sold his collection for £8,130, making an incredible 3252% profit (and tidying his bedroom in the process).

5) Are you a member of the UK Sucrologists Club? If not you may be amazed by the world-wide craze for sugar packet collecting.

Phil Miller of the USA is a prominent collector with over 8,000 packets, but it seems there are enthusiasts across the globe holding events and conferences dedicated to their obsession.

The market for trading is a strong one, so next time you're in a cafe it could be worth popping a couple in your pocket just in case...

Just a few examples from the emerging sugar packet

4) ...And perhaps grab some napkins while you're at it. Helena Vnouckova from Prague always does, and to date her collection of napkins from around the world is over 16,000 and counting.

It includes over 1000 East German examples, and vintage designs stretching back to the 1940s. The collection has never been valued, but as a museum of disposable design throughout the years it takes some beating.

3) Look in most student houses and you'll find a beer can collection. But Jeff Lebo has taken it to another level altogether, with his internationally famous collection of over 70,000 cans from across the globe.

 He's appeared everywhere from Playboy magazine to the History Channel, but one question remains: did he drink them all himself?

Jeff Bebo's 'House of Beer Cans' is exactly what is says
on the tin

2) Dave Valentine's obsession with crisp packets started as a child, when he collected them instead of football stickers.

But 25 years later his collection of 700 examples is estimated to be worth £10,000, and has attracted attention from several museums and collectors, recently being exhibited at Bexhill's De La Warr Pavillion.

He is particularly proud of the antique crisps some of them still contain, and has vowed not to sell such an important part of his childhood despite the fact he could make a packet in the process (sorry). 

1) Who would have thought that navel gazing could start a glittering collection? Graham Barker obviously did, and his collection of his own navel fluff has brought him world-wide fame and an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

His obsession started in 1984 and has to date filled three enormous jars, making it one of the world's most unique (and slightly disgusting) collections.

His collection of his own beard trimmings pales in comparison.

The greatest, and thankfully only, navel fluff collection
in the world

So if you have an interest or a passion, no matter how strange, the collecting bug could be waiting for you just around the corner. As this list goes to show, people can find value (both sentimental and financial) in almost anything...

Sometimes the most mundane of items can start a truly remarkable collection, one that can go on to provide a lifetime of enjoyment (or in some cases just clutter up the living room). But with the right amount of passion and an eye for the unusual, your collection might just bring you fame as well as a fortune.

Even if it's just for collecting navel fluff. 


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