Many of us enjoy collecting things. From baseball cards to thimbles, collections can be a great way to have fun, learn organizational skills, and – perhaps in the very long term – collect something of value that could someday turn into needed cash.

When it comes to Disney, there is a huge array of things you can collect. From the simple and inexpensive – like pressed pennies that require an investment of 51 cents each, to the vast and potentially expensive like Disney trading pins, Vinylmation, or porcelain figurines.

Starting a collection doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult.  Here are five things to think about when considering a collection for your kids.

Collecting Disney merchandise can be fun - if you plan for it.

Collecting Disney merchandise can be fun – if you plan for it.

1 – Age

If your child is a preschooler, you will probably be doing most of the work. You will create the collection for your kid;  but if they are a bit older, they can take on more of the responsibility – deciding what to collect, living within a budget, and selecting items to add to their collection. No matter how young or old your child is, you will play a part in the collection process whether it is paying out extra money for chores that will turn into the collection budget, or waiting in the store as they contemplate their next purchase. If possible, get yourself mentally on-board so that the whole process is more fun for you too.

2 – Purpose

For the smallest kids, the purpose will probably be purely fun, but for kids who are a bit older, you might consider the potential value that the collection could bring in time. That might mean that you have rules about not playing (too much) with the collection, or keeping the boxes in perfect shape. If you set out and share a purpose up front, there won’t be any mistakes on how you handle the collection.

3 – Storage

Some collections are small and sturdy, like pressed pennies, while others are delicate like porcelain figures. Whatever the collection, you will need some way to store it and potentially display it. There are storage books for things like trading pins and even pressed pennies. Book shelves are great for Vinylmations and figurines.  Either way, your storage mechanism should match well with your purpose. Open book shelves will invite little hands to play with items, while sealed boxes are better at preserving a collectible for the future.

Think ahead about how you will store your collection.

Think ahead about how you will store your collection.

4 – Cost

This is one area where you will probably want to set a budget and stick to it. Between visits to Disney World and perusing Ebay, you could easily spend a fortune on nearly any kind of collection. Discuss how your child can earn money for the collection and how much they can spend, where, and when.

5 – Completion

Are you or your child someone who likes to wrap up all lose ends and close things out? Are you a completion-ist? For some collectibles there are a (relatively) small number of total items like pressed pennies. For others, you would likely go broke if you tried to collect everything. Disney has created literally thousands upon thousands of different kinds of trading pins, so amassing a complete collection is unlikely. However, there are some collectibles where you can easily collect all of a series – like the Vinylmation Urban Series #6.

Do your kids enjoy collecting Disney merchandise?  Any tips?