Updated October 24, 2018
Decorating the house for Halloween has grown to be second only to decorating for Christmas. Halloween items date back to the early 1900s – decorations and costumes made from crepe paper, candy containers and jack-o-lanterns from Germany, painted tin noisemakers, and paper lanterns. These vintage Halloween collectibles are scarce because they were used and thrown out. They sell for high prices. But collectors who love Halloween should be on the prowl for decorations with fun graphics that will be future collectibles. Here are five things (spookier than spiders) to look for now that will be sought-for and pricey collectibles in 25 years:
1. Special holiday bottles and cans. Look for soft drinks sold in spooky containers. Last year, Crush soda had three Halloween flavors — Gruesome Grape, Spooky Strawberry and Orange Ogre, that came in limited edition plastic bottles with scary faces, perfect for Halloween parties. And Jones Soda had two limited edition Halloween flavors, Caramel Apple and Blood Orange, in cans with portraits of a zombie and a vampire. Fanta is also known for its Halloween packaging. Pictured is this year’s Fanta, advertising wickedly delicious “flavors that thrill.” If you saved those cans, good for you! Enjoy this year’s Halloween soft drinks – it’s a special occasion – and keep the bottles and cans.
2. Plastic “stuff” – colorful 1950s and ’60s candy containers, figures, and jack-o-lanterns are inexpensive and easy to find. Look for hard plastic holiday-themed candy containers made by the E. Rosen Co. of Rhode Island, also known as Rosbro Plastics and the School House Candy Co. The candy containers are no longer made, but they’re charming and plentiful. Keep an eye out for contemporary plastic decorations with good design. Enjoy the candy – and keep the containers.
3. Zombies and vampires. There was a time when Halloween wasn’t about REALLY scary things like zombies and gruesome headless monsters. But tombstones and skeletons aren’t spooky enough anymore – since zombies and vampires became popular TV and movie creatures. Look for plastic, rubber, or resin decorations like the zombie-hand candleholder. Scare guests now – and save for later.
4. Jewelry. Charm bracelets with pumpkins, bats, and black cats; jointed skeleton earrings decorated with rhinestones, and spider rings of all kinds are fun and easy to find. Wear now – and save for later.
5. Motion- or voice-activated figures that light up or emit scary sounds and music. Have you ever jumped out of your skin when a fake witch screamed, crept, or crouched when you walked past? Life-sized pumpkin men, witches, vampires, black cats – even just body parts like crawly hands – can be found in any degree of “fun scary.” Startle neighbors now – and save for later.
And save the paper or plastic masks, costumes, treat bags, and dolls as low-priced future collectibles to enjoy each October. Check out our Pinterest Halloween Board and watch Terry Kovel discuss her favorite Halloween collectibles on YouTube.
Article originally appeared on October 23, 2014 and updated on October 24, 2018.