So the traditional Yiddish saying goes. And for collectors of Merry Mushrooms, the casual act of picking up our favorite fungi is now a full-blown hobby.
As a habit, I would buy Merry Mushrooms as I found them, rarely giving the price a second thought. But I always wondered just how many of these mushrooms are there? About this time last year, in April 2020, I embarked to make a list of all the Merry Mushrooms to help me collect them all. That list became the book, A Collector's Guide to Merry Mushrooms. I figured maybe other collectors might find it useful, too.
Over the past year, I've watched in disbelief as my casual collectable became super desirable but in low supply, the economic formula for skyrocketing prices. For many, this habit is now a hobby. For me, I've spent money beyond just buying Merry Mushrooms. I've spent money on this website, printing drafts of my book, ordering proofs, a laptop and ergonomic mouse, social media ads, display materials for my collection. Definitely a hobby, wouldn't you say?
But why are Merry Mushrooms becoming so collectable? Maybe it's the color, design, quality, and the sheer variety of items- the same things that drove their popularity the first time. Or perhaps it's because 1970s and 1980s items are officially collectable/nostalgic, spurred by the dissolution of Sears, a mainstay for so many for so long. If you'd like, there are plenty of rabbit holes to check out the psychological, socio-political, and historical analysis of nostalgia, collecting, and fashion/trend cycles.
Whatever the true reasons, we still love our Merry Mushrooms. Here are recent high priced sales on eBay that show just how far some collectors will go. Granted, most of these items are quite rare, but it's still amazing to see the prices! Were you one of the lucky winners?
Curtains are always hot items, but this was a complete set of valance, swags, and tiers that sold Buy It Now.
It exists! I gasped seeing this listed and was prepared to bid for the knife block that was only offered in 1983. My heart sank as the price rose above $200, then $300. I didn't see the final price until later that day. Wow!
There are two mills, one coffee (larger) and one pepper (smaller). Though measurements weren't in the description, the cone on top identified this as the pepper mill, available 1982-1983. These do come up for auction from time to time, but this is the highest it's sold for recently.
Drinking glasses are more common place, but this is the complete original set of 24 in the original box.
The Kitchen Secretary, available 1975-1978, also shows up occasionally but, again, this is the highest sold price yet.
This was another one that made me giddy! The Spin Canister, 1971-1972, set is harder to find- if the lid or one container got broken, the whole set would likely be deemed unusable. A complete set with the plastic swivel tray is even rarer.
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