How to Start a Collection & 50+ Manly Collection Ideas

Collection is all about collecting a group of items that have value in one place, whether it’s aesthetic, sentimental or monetary. It can be anything from something as simple as stamps to more complex like samurai swords. If you’re looking for manly ideas on how to start your own collection and need some inspiration, here are 50+ examples with the best collector-worthy goods out there!

A “collection hobby” is a type of collection that involves collecting items for the purpose of displaying or showing them off. These collections can be anything from model cars to stamps, with many different types of collections including coins and crystals. Read more in detail here: collection hobbies.

Vintage painting illustration boy and older man looking at stamp collection.

Hobbies should be a big part of every man’s life, particularly in an increasingly inert, abstract society. We previously discussed the advantages of having a favorite hobby and provided a list of 45 macho hobbies for men to pursue.

Today, we’ll look at one of the world’s oldest and most popular pastimes: collecting. The practice of collecting goods only for the sake of pleasure dates back to 4,000 B.C., when prehistoric man assembled collections of non-functional stone implements. Collecting became almost entirely a passion of the wealthy as civilization advanced. They’d spend tens of thousands of dollars on paintings and other high-value objects, and they’d even hire agents to do the job for them instead of doing it themselves. As a result, collecting didn’t truly take off as a popular pastime until the mid-nineteenth century. However, collecting became associated with the term “hobby” from that time until the early 1900s. Poor youngsters would follow cigar-smoking men down the street collecting abandoned cigar bands, while the privileged would collect paintings and furnishings. Anyone could participate, and it was even encouraged as part of a child’s education, as we’ll see later. While collecting may not have the same esteem in today’s culture (due in part to programs like Hoarders, which emphasize on the negative sides of the activity), it is still a valuable and enjoyable hobby for men to pursue.

William Buell Sprague, the father of modern collecting.

The father of modern collecting, William Buell Sprague.

William Buell Sprague was the father of collecting as a pastime in America. He came upon an opportunity to obtain 1,500 George Washington signatures when he was 21 years old. In his lifetime, he accumulated almost 100,000 signatures from that beginning point. As a result, he came to create some of the collectors’ ancient “rules” and community customs. While the number of varied goods collected a century ago was rather restricted (autographs, stamps, books, “chromos”), they are now countless, whether they are deemed “junk” (beer cans, phone books, etc.) or items specifically designed for collecting (souvenir spoons, pins, collectible editions of books). Most of the males I know have some form of collection, even if it isn’t always purposeful or deliberate.

Let’s look at how to start a collection and some collector’s tips, as well as how the pastime relates to masculinity.

Collecting and Masculinity: The Thrill of the Hunt

“The notion of the hunt as both a quest for game and a type of game infused collecting with a masculinity that legitimized it as a display of supremacy in a Darwinian world for males in particular.” Hobbies, Steven Gelber

Collecting has been mostly seen as a man’s activity since its inception. Men have a propensity to concentrate focus on solitary jobs and become a bit obsessive in their hobbies, while women are more multi-dimensional and easygoing in their leisure. We like going all out on whatever is in front of us. The male brain also has a proclivity for systemizing, which is ideal for the pastime of collecting — and arranging it. Even the terminology of collecting is masculine: “hunting” for goods, “winning” an item from another collector, and “pursuing” a rare piece.


Part of this is due to the fact that collecting may be seen as a competition in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it is a race to see who can haggle the best, seek the finest, and dig the deepest to discover the rarest item. Second, it’s a competition in which we try to get a competitive advantage over our colleagues. We win recognition as skilled “hunters” (at least from our fellow collectors!) by discovering rare items:

“Many collectors believe that the desire to own a one-of-a-kind item is the underlying motive for the hobby since it makes one the target of jealousy, and being envied is a symbol of success.” Hobbies, Gebler

Being the greatest at a pastime — particularly the traditionally male passion of collecting — may give you a feeling of pride and make you more fascinating and memorable to others in a society where real hunting is no longer a defining activity of masculinity (although it definitely can!).

Furthermore, sociologists have hypothesized that collecting (particularly the excitement of the quest for the next great piece) might produce a sensation comparable to hunting or winning a sports competition. As a result, collecting may rapidly become an obsession. When we come upon a new object, particularly one that is uncommon, we experience a thrill. According to one unnamed book collector from the 1800s:

“Your heart skips a beat, your breath quickens, and you feel hot and chilly all over.”

Because we know what we have is at least partially unique, collecting generates emotions of pride and ownership that are even stronger than possessing other objects. Everyone has a television, furnishings, and best-selling books; but, not everyone has Brett’s amazing vintage men’s magazine collection. Our accumulated items have a particular place in our hearts and have become some of our most prized things.

Collection pride is difficult to come by in more passive activities such as reading, whittling, or even gardening. While most hobbies offer you a feeling of accomplishment, collecting may actually give you a sense of triumph — as if you’ve successfully hunted down your White Whale — when you find a piece you’ve been looking for your whole life.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Collection?

Enhances organizing abilities. Collectors spend a lot of time with different lists and paperwork that help them arrange their items, which is why collections generally end up in sets (more on that below). It works your brain’s inherent systemizing abilities! Collecting differs from just accumulating in that it requires organization and categorizing. “One who just acquires bits and ends and stows them away in a corner is not a collector,” according to a 1941 textbook. A true collector will go to tremendous lengths to ensure that each item is properly labeled and comprehended.”

Expertise is developed. We’ve discussed the necessity of attaining mastery or knowledge in a certain niche or category previously on AoM. Having a collection allows you to transform into a T-shaped guy. When you begin your collection investigation, you’ll normally start wide and create a foundation of expertise. However, as you explore further into your collection, you’ll discover a speciality and develop your expertise. Who knows, maybe being an expert on antique shaving sets or 19th century pocket knives will lead to an employment opportunity in the future.


This advantage linked to collecting was often targeted towards youngsters. Learning was seen to be a type of collecting in and of itself, particularly in the early 1900s, thus collecting items was a natural extension of merely accumulating knowledge. “Once a youngster begins collecting stamps, toy banks, or little porcelain creatures, the sheer act of collecting becomes an education,” one expert stated in 1928. So, while you gather, keep your kids in mind and include them in the pleasure.

Develops marketable talents. The majority of men prefer to think of themselves as savvy shoppers. But, in reality, we often pay full price and are lured in by low-cost gimmicks at big-box retailers. Collecting is an excellent approach to hone your market skills of negotiating, research, and double-checking that you’re obtaining the appropriate thing. Because trading and bartering are so common in the collectibles industry (more on that below), you’ll soon pick up on those abilities. After successfully haggling for a rare Forest Ranger patch, you’re likely to apply your newfound confidence to additional purchases.

Profitable potential. While owning a collection isn’t the aim, your items may frequently be lucrative. Antiques and other collectibles may be a smart investment, especially when purchased in groups.

What Is the Best Way to Begin a Collection?

Sir Thomas Phillips prominent book collector.

Sir Thomas Phillipps wanted the whole library.

Choose your poison. First and foremost, you must pick what you will gather. Many times, this isn’t a planned decision, but rather something passed down through the family or a random item picked up on a vacation that snowballs into a collection.

It’s OK to choose something that just fascinates you if you don’t already have a collection. If you like reading, books are a logical next step. Antique revolvers are an excellent option for gun collectors. Make sure your selection is wide enough to make searching simple at first, but narrow enough to avoid becoming overwhelming. For example, you don’t want to collect all sports cards since it would be too many; instead, concentrate on a single sport or a certain club or individual. Don’t be like Sir Thomas Phillipps, who determined in the nineteenth century that he wanted a copy of every single written book in the world. (He didn’t quite achieve it, but he did manage to acquire at least 40,000 printed volumes, making him one of history’s most accomplished book collectors.) Instead, limit yourself to first editions or every edition of Jack London’s writings.

Begin with the everyday. When beginning your collection, you should cast a broad net. You should begin with low-value items that will serve as the basis for your collection. You’ll recognize those frequent elements when you work on your assignment (see below). Consider it like a pyramid: you need a base before you can go on to more valuable items.


Make sure you finish your assignment. Do some study on what you’re collecting before going all out. There are nearly always other collectors out there, no matter what the object is. For just about every collection you can think of, there are websites and forums dedicated to it. So go online, do some research, and figure out where to begin. Find out what the core parts are, as well as the Holy Grails, so you can keep an eye out when seeking.

Begin slowly. Many individuals who begin a collection are tempted to go a bit too far straight away. They spend a lot of money, accumulate a lot of goods, and eventually burn out. The benefit of owning a collection is that it can be turned into a “career — starting when you’re a young guy and continuing until you retire” (Gebler). Collecting may easily become an obsession, which is why programs like Hoarders exist. Make it a mission to add a few new items to your collection each year, or pick them up while on vacation. If you’re the obsessive kind, be sure to set some boundaries for yourself.

Other Collection Recommendations

Work in groups. Collectors have naturally gathered and sorted their objects into sets since collecting started as a pastime. Remember William Sprague, the above-mentioned autograph collector? He gathered the first comprehensive collection of Declaration of Independence signers’ signatures. He also acquired the signatures of every officer from every country that participated in the Revolutionary War, which is incredible. If you’re a football card collector, strive to get one of each Hall of Fame member. If you’re a record collector, strive to get a copy of every platinum-certified album. This brings your collection into focus and makes adding new items a little simpler. You know exactly what you want and may enjoy the satisfaction of generating and checking things off a detailed shopping list.

Find your area of expertise. You’ll very certainly wind up with a more specialized niche than you began with as you grow your collection (or even immediately when you start, depending on the circumstances). Instead of collecting die-cast models, you’ll start collecting 1/16th scale toy farm tractors from the 1970s and earlier (like my grandpa). If you’re a book collector, instead of collecting whatever you can get your hands on, you may specialize on classic Western literature or become an expert on Papa Hemingway. Consider what type of specialty you can carve out as you expand your collection – presumably, it’ll be something you naturally gravitate toward rather than something you choose at random.

Cabinet of Curiosities” painting by Domenico Remps, 17th century.

Domenico Remps’ artwork “Cabinet of Curiosities,” 17th century.

Display. The exhibition of collections has long been a part of the enjoyment of them. “Curiosity cabinets” have been used to showcase one’s collection of trinkets obtained from all over the globe since the 1600s. Traditionally, natural history materials such as rocks, fossils, and plants were stored in these cabinets. In any case, the concept of showcasing one’s collection became popular.


You don’t simply put something in a closet to keep it safe when you collect it. You organize your football cards in a neat binder with specific sleeves so that others may enjoy and look over them. Your souvenir spoons are displayed in a custom cabinet, and your antique cowboy hats are hung in your office or garage. Come up with a unique technique to show off your collection to prospective admirers, as if they’re visiting a museum — it’ll be a terrific discussion starter. As your collection increases, you may narrow down your display to just the most valuable items (going overboard with your display will make you seem insane).

Be a vendor on occasion. The author of Mantiques, Eric Bradley, proposes that every “collector should be a salesperson” and sell pieces of his collection on a regular basis. He claims that this avoids hoarding and is “the simplest method to invest in your collection while keeping it separate from your money.”

Trading. Let us return to William Buell Sprague for one last time. He never paid for or sold an autograph since he didn’t agree with Bradley’s attitude from on high. He did, however, engage in a lot of trading with other collectors. Part of building your collection is purchasing items just for the purpose of exchanging. Perhaps you’ll buy two or three of a certain item with the intention of exchanging the surplus. In reality, rather than buying and selling, many collectibles events (more on that below) center on exchanging. Trading is the lifeblood of the collectibles industry, whether it’s at flea markets or on Craigslist.

Teddy Theodore Roosevelt taxidermy trophy room.

Theodore Roosevelt was fascinated by all “curiosities and living creatures” as a child. He gathered a sizable collection of insects and creatures, which he taxidermied and displayed in his bedroom’s “Roosevelt Museum of Natural History.” He methodically catalogued and indexed the specimens in his collection, and based on his observations and studies, he wrote extensive natural histories for each one. His passion for zoology grew throughout his life, and he progressed to gathering far greater wildlife, such as the creatures seen above, which he killed on an African safari and presented to the National Museum of Natural History for exhibition and instruction.

Get to know the tales. When you get a new item for your collection, do all you can to learn about it’s history. While an antique coin is great, it’s much better when you know about the period it was struck in, the design’s history, and when and why it was withdrawn from normal circulation. Although you may not always be able to locate information on specific goods, particularly those purchased from antique shops, you can nearly always learn about the historical period or how others utilized similar items.

Or maybe you’ll discover some of your own tales while collecting, since some of the finest collections are born out of personal experiences. My collection of brewery drink coasters was not amassed by rummaging through the trash at pubs, but by visiting different breweries with my wife and friends on a regular basis. I gather along the road as I go through life’s experiences.


Being able to tell others about your collection is one of the most enjoyable aspects of collecting. Learn as much as you can about the history and tales of your artifacts, and you’ll have a lot more pleasure telling your kids and grandchildren about them.

Where to Look for Items

As we previously covered, the excitement of the chase is a big part of what makes collecting so enjoyable. Instead of sitting on your buttocks watching movies in your underwear on a weekend, you may be out and about looking for the next item to add to your collection.

  • Antiquarian shops. When it comes to antique shops, the trick is to take your time. Only the most valuable and pricey goods will be found if you swiftly check the shelves and displays. Make careful to go through every box and case because you’re likely to unearth some hidden gems. To discover retailers in your region, go to
  • eBay. The beauty of eBay is that you may frequently find precisely what you’re searching for in a matter of minutes, rather than years. It takes away part of the joy of the search, but getting what you want at the price you want frequently requires a lot of digging and bargaining. One disadvantage is that you can’t completely check a piece before purchasing it, so you can’t be certain that what you see in photos is what you’ll receive.
  • Craigslist. Craigslist is another online alternative, and one that I like a bit more. You’re looking for products online, but you’re also dealing locally and checking them before making a purchase.
  • Garage/estate sales are a common occurrence. People sometimes have no clue how much something is worth or how valuable it is, so these sales are typically the finest prices you’ll discover. The ideal time to shop these bargains is when they first open on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Sundays, on the other hand, should not be overlooked; in my experience, many people would offer half-priced items on Sundays in order to clear out their inventory. Also keep an eye out for local garage sales – those weekends when a community organizes and invites everyone in the neighborhood to hold a garage sale at the same time.
  • Flea markets are a lot of fun. Recently, open-air marketplaces have seen a revival. Many flea markets are becoming more consumer-oriented, with permanent facilities that include toilets and food choices. While the accommodations may be finer in certain cases, the appeal of the flea market remains: the excitement of the search, bargaining with merchants, and maybe even making some deals.
  • Shows for collectors. Nowadays, most collectibles have “shows” or conventions. They’re essentially a large gathering of like-minded collectors who get together to acquire new items (typically by trade, but often through old-fashioned cash exchanges), develop more experience in the area, and just form a community with other collectors. It’s as simple as Google your collectable + “show” (for example, “stamp shows” or “beer collectible show”) to find shows for your collection.

50+ Manly Collection Concepts

There are several goods that you may gather. Below are a few objects that guys, both young and elderly, have accumulated throughout the years. Because new products aren’t unusual or distinctive, it’s usually always more enjoyable (and lucrative) to collect vintage and antique objects than than new ones when it comes to collectibles. Start researching and diving in if anything piques your curiosity.


  • The use of alcohol is prohibited (rare beer, whiskey, wine, etc.)
  • Shaving accessories from the past
  • Art
  • Autographs
  • Insignias (police, firemen, etc.)
  • Brewery collectibles/beer cans
  • Games for the table
  • Books
  • Business cards are used to promote a company.
  • Buttons for campaigns
  • Chips from a casino
  • Coins for challenge
  • Bands that play cigars
  • Boxes for cigarettes
  • Clocks
  • Banks for coins
  • Coins
  • Bottles of cologne
  • Comics
  • Models made of die-cast metal (cars, farm equipment, military vehicles, etc.)
  • coasters for drinks
  • Lures for fishing
  • Money from another country
  • Fossils
  • Fountain pens are a kind of pen that has a
  • Guns
  • Hats
  • Journals
  • Keychains
  • Keys
  • Plates de permis
  • Lighters
  • Lunch sacks
  • Magazines
  • Maps/globes
  • Marbles
  • Matchbooks
  • Mugs
  • Instruments of music
  • Neckties/bowties
  • Oil cans
  • Patches
  • Photographs
  • Cards to be played
  • Pocketknives
  • Postcards
  • Posters are a kind of advertisement (concert, movie, etc.)
  • Records
  • Pipes for smoking
  • Spoons as souvenirs
  • Sports trading cards
  • Memorabilia from sports
  • Signs/advertisements made of tin
  • Tools
  • Toys
  • Stamps
  • Watches



Collections are a fun and easy way to show your personality. You can also start a collection for something that you like, or even just to make it easier to shop. With so many options available, we’ve compiled 50+ manly collection ideas that will help you get started. Reference: collection ideas for couples.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a person start collection?

A: You must buy a minimum of 10 songs in order to start your collection. After that, you are free to collect as many or as few songs from the library of music available on Beat Saber PSVR.

How do I make a collection?

A: For those who do not know, a collection is just Beat Sabers equivalent of the playlist. When you make one for yourself or want to share your favorite songs with others, it can be done in either two ways: 1) Uploading videos onto YouTube and then collecting them into a playlist on Spotify 2) Using an online station that allows users to broadcast their music (such as Apple Music).

What are good collections starting?

A: There are tons of great collections to start with. One good place is the Beat Saber Official Soundtrack, which has a few amazing songs that you can find on Spotify or YouTube.

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