This is because until we are forced to spend our money on stuff we actually need to survive, like food or quad bikes with tactical crossbows mounted on them, we may as well throw it at stuff that doesn't actually serve any kind of purpose.
Featured here are the most valuable treasures in each of the most cherished areas of society, and what's more, they COULD BE HIDING IN YOUR ATTIC! If you do in fact own one of these, let me know.
Also let me know your address, your exact sleeping patterns and whether or not you are likely to press charges if you wake up and find an adult male lowering himself into your bedroom on a Mission: Impossible style harness.
GAMES: NINTENDO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
QUESTION: Do you remember an 80's movie called The Wizard?
If your answer is No, stop reading now; nothing I say, feel or value will have any meaning to you.
If your answer is Yes, then where do I send the invite to my fancy dress birthday party (STREETHAWK theme)?
In 1990 Nintendo based an America-wide games tournament on that film; The Nintendo World Games. During the same year Iraq was invading Kuwait, setting the stage for the first Gulf War, which was a nightmare for historians who had to flip a coin as to which one went in their diary.
Players competed on specially created games cartridges and the winners were presented with a Gold version and an iron clad virginity guarantee (valid for one lifetime).
These are considered the holy grail of video gaming going for up to $21,000. To date only 12 have ever surfaced, with all three winners (Jeff Hansen, Thor Aackerlund and Robert Whiteman) having sold theirs.
A nation-wide games tournament won by a man called Thor?! When I first heard about this I wondered if I had actually willed it into existence and my mutant powers were finally manifesting. Don't worry though - I tested them, and as you're all not either weak zombies or Asian girls, and I'm not a muscular were-tiger, they're not.
WHY IT MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC:
Because some chump found it, and a load of other priceless Nintendo items at a jumble sale. Rob Walters happened to be driving past a load of junk with a price tag in it and stopped to have a look. He ended up leaving with a sack of priceless games and a boner that, 7 years later, is still raging just as powerfully.
COMICS: ACTION COMICS 1
Here's a lego remake of the coveted issue
This is the most valuable comic ever created, both financially and culturally. Before this comic existed there were NO cape and boots superheroes. Can you imagine that? That's like two guys sitting down and inventing a colour. The concept was so weird that Superman couldn't even fly for the first couple of years. I truly believe that one day I will own a copy of this. I suppose I have to say that though, otherwise why go on existing?
WHY IT MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC:
In 2010 a family in southern America were having their double-mortgaged house taken off them by the bank. As they packed the boxes from the basement up the dad came across 8 old comic books. Seven of them were worth nothing. The eighth was one of the most valuable pieces of pop culture in the world. Don't think that just because he's old Superman can't still save the day.
BONUS! MOST UNVALUABLE
In the late 80s, there was a sudden spate of rare comics selling for exceptional prices. This caught the eye of rich white people who don't give a crap about the actual quality of their lives as long as they're have more money than their step brother, because then that proves their dad was wrong to leave when they were born. Suddenly, every first issue or limited edition was being bought up before it even hit shops. The problem was that although they were selling butt loads, there weren't any actual readers meaning that the longevity of each title was screwed.
Playing into the hands of the collectors, comic companies started releasing all manner of 'special editions'. Comics with foil covers, holograms, trading cards, Stan Lee's spit trailed across them...they would do anything. Todd McFarlane's Spiderman #1 had THIRTEEN different variants, all of them worth less than Jim Davidson's opinions on racial equality. The short run was fantastic sales figures. The long run was an industry wide crash. So yeah, that Chris Claremont X-Men #1 you've been holding on to? Comic collectors serve that as an appetiser when you go round for dinner.
TOYS: BEANIE BABIES
Once, a company called Ty Warner decided to make misshapen, gaudy coloured soft toys and sell them to parents who didn't understand that their children didn't want to be bullied. Although they were originally destined never to sell (look at them), a nearby hag was pouring a spell of endearment down a wishing well. The wind whipped up and blew this over the Beanie Babies and for miles around, sad, childless, middle-aged couples emerged from their dwellings sniffing the air, with the feeling that perhaps they now had something to talk to each other about.
I remember my driving instructor once telling me that him and his girlfriend needed to move to a bigger flat because they'd run out of storage space for their unopened Beanie Babies. The rest of that lesson is a blur of me pointing the car at lampposts and stamping on the accelerator.
Anyway, one of these little shreds of rag was done in a darker colour and so is worth even more. A factory mistake made the first 2,000 Peanut the Elephants a much darker shade than the more common light blue color, and therefore increased the value.
WHY THEY MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC
Because they're everywhere. A couple to look out for when you're visiting your friends kids: Nana the Monkey: $4,000. One of the earliest Beanies, Nana was later renamed “Bongo.”
Punchers the Lobster: $3,800. The name of this Original 9 lobster was an error. Punchers was later renamed “Pinchers.”
All the rest. Once the spell wore off and people realised they’d been spending their money on something this pathetic, all Beanie Babies were good for was allowing shy people to communicate to shop keepers that they were pussies without having to actually speak.
TRADING CARDS: GARBAGE PAIL KIDS
The 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card is the most valuable card in the world, valued at $2.3 million. But who gives a crap about some unphotogenic American when you could have cards featuring kids with their brains exploding?
Garbage Pail Kids were utterly and irredeemably revolting; Art Spiegal, the creator, could not have been more deeply in touch with what children wanted. The original Nasty Nick weighs in at around £400 these days.
WHY THEY MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC
They might not be. These were a constantly endangered species. Not only did you have to avoid them being covered in liquids, mums would always throw them in the bin after being disgusted by their images.
BONUS! ONE THAT WON'T BE IN YOUR ATTIC:
When 14 year old Yu-Gi-Oh Tyler Gressle got liver cancer, the people at Make-A-Wish foundation asked him what he wanted. For Tyler there was only ever one answer – a one-off Yu-Gi-Oh card that enshrined him forever as a rad warrior. As there is only one of these in existence, it’s pretty valuable; the only time it’s ever been listed, it was for 12 million dollars.
And for the record Tyler beat his illness; presumably by reaching into his own liver, dragging the cancer out and headbutting to death.
MEMORABILIA: REVENGE OF THE JEDI CREW JACKET
Growing up, everyone had a friend of a friend who had some mega valuable memorabilia. The friends of my friends did anyway. That’s because my brother and I had an original crew sweater from Revenge Of The Jedi (the original working title for Return Of The Jedi).
We swopped it with a Swedish girl who lived in our town and who’s uncle had worked on the set. I can’t remember what we gave her (probably a Sylvanian Family or some horse shit) but when her older brother found out we had to hide it in the attic and pretend we’d already given it away to our cousin.
For years it was our secret treasure until my mum was cleaning out a load of stuff and gave it to the charity shop. Although she did give me the gift of life, this cancels that out making us even.
It’s hard to pin down an exact value, but the last sale I could find was for 30,000 dollars.
WHY IT MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC
Because you might be the little sniveller that found the treasure trove that ended up in Help The Aged when my parents decided that some space in the attic was more valuable than their child’s dreams.
BOOKS: TINTIN (Casterman edition)
Tintin books combined mystery, adventure, horror and action with an asexual lead character and a (possibly) talking dog. Also, like all culture over twenty years old, Tintin's earliest adventures are horrifyingly racist.
Before Methuen took on the duties of translating Tintin, Casterman thought they'd have a go. After all, they already published the Tintin books in Belgium, what's the difference? I mean sure, the language is different in those two countries, but words are words right guys? The result was a run of books that read as if they had been translated by an electronic dictionary that was gargling pebbles. Obviously this meant that they bombed, and even more obviously, this means that they are now worth loads.
WHY IT MIGHT BE IN YOUR ATTIC
There were a lot of these about and they’re not a famously valuable item. You can still find them on ebay for cheap sometimes. Just make sure you don’t appear too eager in case the seller realises you’re tricking them out of their secret treasures.
I’m going from a cultural standpoint here when I say that every printing of the original TinTin in the Congo should probably be sealed in lead and thrown into the sea.
I love collecting things, though there’s no doubt it affects my life, becoming emotionally attached to useless objects and placing value in them that can affect human relationships. Still, I only have to look to the left of where I’m typing this at my collection of still-cellophaned KISS airfix models to realise I’ve made the right choices at every single turn.
Although I don’t know where this impulse comes from, I can definitely understand people not wanting to pay a lot of money for a collector’s item – the actual value in terms of human survival is nil. For me though, the same can be said about old paintings, jewellery or sculpture.
These treasures are pieces of history and very rare, and I know that with me, they will be safe.