More Characters than just Snoopy? – Collecting 101

Finding collectibles for some Peanuts Characters can be tricky!

Many collectors love Snoopy, but they also have many other favorite Peanuts characters. Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy always seem to be in the main spotlight. Peppermint Patty, Sally, Schroeder and Belle sometimes get their chance on the main stage. But where are Pig-pen, Marcie, Franklin, Spike and many other beloved characters?

The reality of the situation is manufacturers and the stores that sell their merchandise both need to maximize their profits. Most stores don’t have the floor space to dedicate to selling large number of Peanuts items. The price of “completing the set” goes up the more pieces are added to the set. You’ll see this a lot at Hallmark stores where they’ll have seasonal sets. It can be difficult to find certain characters, typically Snoopy, since he’s the most popular and some people just bought the one piece. From my experience at a large department store, I know that even when there is a variety of characters, more will be purchased of Snoopy compared to other characters. Linus and Lucy may sell out quickly because buyers didn’t anticipate the consumer demand. Getting the balance right is tricky! Stores don’t want to disappoint customers, yet don’t want to have to sell at deep discounts.

Some collectors and fans just don’t have the space or budget for the full set. If a collector has to pick just a few, she will probably focus on her favorite characters. You’ll find ten times more Snoopy stuff than all the other characters because he’s popular and he sells. Kids and adults love him for his cuteness and versatility. There’s a little of everybody in Snoopy.

What if they did make more characters? Even if Pig-pen sells really well, it might mean the Linus figurines don’t sell through. These are businesses. They need to make money, pay their employees and grow their business. They’ll sell what will give them the best return on their investment. Some collectibles, like figurines, aren’t cheap to make. There is a lot of work needed to turn 2-D artwork into 3-D figurines. It’s not like character art where they can just make something with stock art. It’s a huge investment and takes a lot of time to model characters, plus the manufacturing costs associated with creating them.

Molly Volley! What a Find!

How does the rarity of a character affect the second-hand market value? It really depends on the collectible. Most times, the popularity of Snoopy balances out the rarity of the other characters. Though there are less “human” collectibles, they just aren’t as sought after by some collectors. Snoopy being a favorite can also lead to mishaps and lots of use, making mint condition versions hard to find. Certain collectibles, such as Hungerford dolls, the harder to find characters do bring in more than a Snoopy in comparable condition. Snoopy’s brothers and sisters are always a popular find on the secondary market, so they can sometimes bring in more than their famous brother. Specialty collecting of a minor Peanuts character is a great way to keep your collection small and focused.

If you look back into the past, there were a lot of minor character that weren’t represented in merchandise. Where are the Violet, Patty and Shermy Hungerford Dolls or Lego Nodders? The Sally and Frieda Pocket Dolls? Or even the Charlie Brown talking doll from Worlds of Wonder that was never released? Rarity of some of the characters makes them more special. Finding a rare Pig-pen or Franklin piece makes it all the sweeter for a Peanuts collector!

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