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The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Collected Scenes of Collectors’ Collections

Chamblee Teachers and Students Discuss Their Obsessions
Some of the writer’s collection of records (not “vinyls”). Photo by Amalee McWaters

Everyone has items they cherish, from old comic books to dusty rocks collected on long hikes. Whether for visual appeal or sentimental value, many students and teachers alike at Chamblee High School have collectibles—while some serve as aesthetic decorations on shelves or desktops, others are treasured more deeply, often for their roots or the nostalgia they bring.  Recently, on TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms, there has been a trend in small collectible trinkets like Sonny Angels, Smiski dolls, Funko Pops, and other miniatures, primarily figurines. 

Some students have been collecting more trendy items since they were young, long before the trends arose.

“I found out about Funko Pops in about fifth grade, and I have been collecting them since then,” said Addison Lyons (‘26), who now has nearly two dozen figures.

However, collections like this can get quite expensive, with each plastic Funko toy figurine costing around $15, ranging to hundreds for avid collectors willing to spend top dollar.

Some of Addison Lyons’ collection of Funko figures. Submitted photo

“Funko comes out with different characters at different times, and they won’t always have the characters you want. So you have to look on Amazon or other secondary sources, and most times, they’re gonna sell it for a lot higher prices, and it’s going to be more expensive,” said Lyons. “It sometimes gets really hard to collect [Funkos] because of the prices. The average is around $12, which is crazy for a little doll. And it just gets to be too much.”

Some of her figurines are still sealed in their original box, while others have been opened and are more visibly displayed.

“I like Star Wars more, so most of those are open so I can display more of them,” said Lyons. “And my Marvel characters are still in boxes because I don’t like them as much.”

Some other collections, however, can be significantly cheaper. Such as those that come from nature. 

“I like to collect many things you’d see in nature, like acorns, pine cones, and sometimes rocks and stones,” said Sarai McClinton (’25). “I mainly collect them because I don’t go outside as often as I like and just like to bring some of nature into my house. I also like smaller things.”

However, there are avid collectors of more practical everyday objects for their visual and nostalgic appeal.

“I collect various items that pique my interest in learning about them, such as watches. But others, I just like the look. Otherwise, I like collecting things because it feels like I have a goal to work towards, like a purpose,” said Jackson Finch (‘26). “Watches are my most special collectibles because I grew up around them; my dad also collects them and has shown them since I was a kid.”

Another nostalgic item to collect is mementos from vacations like keychains or other small items to take back home.

“I also collect keychains on vacation so I can remember the places I’ve been. Every time I go on holiday, I try to buy a keychain to remember that trip. I can’t always because some vacation spots make them more expensive. I have one from Las Vegas, Cancun, LA, etc., and I keep them in a jewelry box in my room,” said McClinton.

Items from vacations, like shells, can become gifts for friends and family. 

“If I go on holiday to a beachy place, I collect seashells, and sometimes I’ll paint them and give them as gifts,” added McClinton.

For many, collections can be a happy medium between their larger interests and serve as placeholders with similar appeal.

“I collect things that connect to my interests, like Hot Wheels. I love cars and learning about how they work, and I love tiny things, so Hot Wheels is the perfect medium for my two interests: cars and collecting,” said Finch.

With the rise of innovative technology, many music mediums have gone out of style. However, physical mediums bring back a deep connection to the music for avid listeners and can form the motivation for a collection.

“I like [records] as a physical medium but also as a physical possession,” said Fred Avett, an English teacher at Chamblee High School. “I grew up listening to records. I could hold them in my hands and see the album or read the liner notes. Flipping the record over is a more active listening process than just setting Apple Music to play for six hours.”

The rarity of certain items can also create a sense of desirability for a specific album or song.

“A lot of what I collect is very limited edition, it’s handmade or printed by hand. And there’s a certain desirability to me, those kinds of things. There may only be 100 of them, or even fewer, perhaps,” added Avett.

The satisfaction a collection can bring you can often be gratifying for many of the collectors at Chamblee.

“I like to collect things because it gives me a sense of achievement when you are building a large collection of items that bring you a source of happiness. It’s cool to say you have a massive collection something and be able to show it off,” said Lyons. “Like other people collect baseballs, baseball cards, pictures, or art. It’s cool to say that you’ve spent all your money on something.”

The moral of collections can be defined by the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Any item can be collected and cherished and may have different values for each person. Some are collected solely for visual appeal, while others are mementos of certain times, people, or places. Anything can be collected, and almost every Chamblee student and teacher has items they hold close to their heart.

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Amalee McWaters
Amalee McWaters, Staff Writer
Amalee McWaters (‘26) is a sophomore and Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she sees herself studying journalism at university in Austria. Her three favorite things are music, fashion, and journalism.
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