Starting a Peanuts Collection – Collecting 101

Specialize your Peanuts collection! Pick a favorite to find a focus.

Let’s admit it. You’ve already started your Peanuts collection. I’m here to help with some advice from a seasoned veteran Peanuts collector. In other words, don’t make the mistakes I made. Keep your collection manageable, in your budget and most important – FUN!

Finding Focus

Trying to collect EVERYTHING Peanuts? Good luck with that! With Peanuts being international, it’s difficult to know just how much Peanuts memorabilia is out there. My advice is to find a niche. Pick a decade, a type of item, a character, a Snoopy personality, or anything that has a specific meaning to you. Reflect on why you’re interested in Peanuts and what really captures your enthusiasm. From there, you can help focus on what you should pursue when collecting.

Why find a focus? It’s easy to let the collecting bug run rampant. Your house can be filled in no time if you don’t find some way to reign things in. You can still buy what you love along the way. When it comes time to downsize or make a little extra cash, you can keep your focused collection intact and find new homes for other items.

Picking a focus can be tricky with so many great products on the market. Flip through our galleries in our Peanuts Product Profiles series to get familiarized with some of the big brands in Peanuts collectibles. You don’t need to pick a focus right away, or even at all. It’s just a good way to keep your collection in your control.

Peanuts Collector Books are handy reference guides and collection trackers.

Going Vintage?

If your Peanuts collection will be composed of vintage or second-hand Peanuts items, you’ll want to study the market before diving in. Knowing what you’re buying can save you money. Collector’s guides are a perfect way to learn about the different types of collectibles pre-1995 and their approximate value. If you have a specific product type niche, like lunch boxes, you may want to invest in a newer book related to that specific field.

Next, consider how you’ll be finding your Peanuts treasures. Are you going to snag deals on eBay? Or will you scour antique malls and flea markets for your scores? Part of the fun is the hunt!

Using Collectibles

When I first started collecting at age 10, I just really wanted to rip everything out of the package. Luckily, I didn’t ruin anything too pricey in my youth. Before you get deep into collecting, figure out if you’re a saver or a user. Savers like to keep everything as mint as possible, saving packages and other ephemera for completeness. Users like to put their collectibles to good use. Savers might have better resale someday, but Users won’t have the extra clutter. Which are you?

Learn more about packaging in our article “Condition – Packaging – Collecting 101“.

Get in the Know!

The nuances of Peanuts collecting are important to pick up early. Rather than find out on your own, be sure to go through our resources on CollectPeanuts.com to get a good understanding of copyright info, condition guides, fakes and more! Understanding the basics can ensure you understand what you’re buying and get a good deal.

Copyright

“When was this made?” is usually the first question everyone asks. Most people look at the copyright and assume that’s the year the piece was made. Don’t fall into that trap! Pre-1994, most copyrights refer to the copyright of the character, not the item itself. Read up on which Peanuts copyright dates you can trust.

Condition, Condition, Condition!

Collectibles are all about the condition. Collectors use terminology and abbreviations to discuss common conditions. Packaging is also a big factor in final price of an item and whether some items are collectible or not.

Fakes VS. Licensed Products

Are you buying the real deal? There are fakes, look-a-likes, crafts and more duds on the market that don’t hold the same value as authorized, licensed collectibles. Find out the difference in our article on Peanuts Fakes VS. Licensed Products.

More to Read

CollectPeanuts.com has lots more articles on collecting in our Peanuts Collecting 101 series. Our weekly feature, Snoopy Sanity Checks, discusses real-world examples of what to look out for when buying Peanuts collectibles.

Save up for that once in a lifetime Peanuts treasure!

Budget

It’s easy to spend, spend, spend on Peanuts collectibles. The internet makes it so easy to buy Peanuts memorabilia from everywhere in the world. Generally, the only thing standing between you and what you want are the dollars.

Budgeting for Peanuts collectibles can be tricky. I would suggest always putting something aside for that once in a lifetime opportunity. That one thing you’d pay any price for. Buying an original Schulz Peanuts strip is mine. Slowly, but surely, I am building up some saving to buy the ultimate collectible. What’s yours? Perhaps it’s an animation cell from your favorite Peanuts special or finding that long lost Snoopy doll you had as a kid. Save your money so you’ll be prepared when the time is right.

For your day to day Peanuts purchases, make sure you buy what you love. You may feel the urge to buy everything Peanuts you see. We’ve all been there. Hold yourself back and save receipts if you find you need to return something. Peanuts should be your little pick-me-up when you have extra cash, not a necessity.

Finally, you don’t have to buy. From my personal experience, I know there have been days when I didn’t buy anything Peanuts at all when antiquing or at a flea market. I have also bought things just because I hadn’t gotten anything yet. I felt like the day would be a waste if I didn’t buy something! That can lead to spending too much and not saving for the big things. Collecting Peanuts can be all about finding the balance between satisfying your collecting bug and buying what will make you happy.

My Other Collections

Did you think I only collected Peanuts stuff? You would be wrong! I collect lots of things, but none as extensively as Peanuts. However, I don’t have the money or time to dedicate to other collections, so I thought my strategies might help with the more casual or budget conscious collector.

The easiest way to save money and space – don’t buy on the internet. Simple. I only buy in person for my side collections and it saves me shipping fees and time. I’m looking for Peanuts stuff anyway at antique stores, flea markets and thrift shops, so keeping an eye out is easy.

Before you look at a price tag, determine how much you want to pay. If the price tag comes in lower, feel free to buy it. If it’s higher, either barter the price down when possible, or just walk away.

I have an old pantry that I use to display old kitchenware. I like to find old food packaging to decorate with. However, I have a budget of $4 for items. I’ll occasionally splurge up to maybe $10, but that doesn’t happen often. When I splurge, it’s only because it’s something special or personal to me. It keeps my collection in check and my pantry not overflowing with dust magnets.

My kitchen is decorated with vintage tourism plates. They’re fun to look at, especially when you’ve been to some of the places. I spend up to $1 for domestic, $2 for international at thrift stores only. I occasionally get some as gifts, too. If I saw something I just had to have, I might spend a little more. Plates being as common as they are, I don’t need to go off budget to get the good stuff.

Collections should be personal and reflect your personality.

Why do I collect this other stuff? It’s fun! Tourism plates reflect my traveling bug. The kitchenware speaks to my love of old packaging and graphic design. I also collect cardboard Christmas houses that started as adding to my Grandma’s collection I inherited. In the last few years, I haven’t been buying as much. That’s ok though. A collection doesn’t have to be big or constantly added to for it to be enjoyable and personal.

Your Collection

Every Peanuts collection is unique. Make it your own. Don’t try to keep up with other collectors. You decide what’s worth collecting, not a “limited edition” sticker or a high price tag. A collection is an ever changing assortment of characters that bring you a ray of Happiness. Let it grow with careful nurturing and you’ll enjoy it for many years to come.

Something I didn’t cover? Be sure to send Caren an email at info@collectpeanuts.com.

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