Haute RE Magazine

Collecting the Future

Because Passions Can Be Profitable

According to HSBC, the collectibles market is set to boom. From handbags to holograms, we are all searching for a keepsake that keeps on giving — as an object of pure joy and as an appreciating asset.

Have fun with non-fungibles …

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have been grabbing all the headlines and plenty dollar in the last 18 months. HSBC estimates that 5.4 million NFTs were sold between October 2020 and October 2021, with Christie’s alone auctioning $136 million in value last year. The artist Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days sold for $69.3M USD in March 2021. So the market for digital is taking off. But will it have the staying power of more traditional objects?

… Or be a hard asset

Back in the material world, the market for classic cars is projected to grow from $30.9 billion this year to $43.4 billion in 2024. Aside from a dip in 2019, the HAGI (Historic Automobile Group International Top Index) saw collectible autos grow in value by 265% between 2008 and 2021. 

No room for cars? Maybe handbags, books, whiskies and watches are easier to store. And maybe you’d be surprised to know that handbags outperformed the other categories, growing in value by 83% in the last 10 years, with first-edition books at 42% and watches at 72%. More than 3,500 designer handbags were sold at auction in 2019 and they have their own museum in South Korea — The Simone.

The trick, of course, is to get in when the market is low before everyone else bids up the price. At Haute, we’re constantly on the look-out for the next market mover — and we think we may have spotted it in the collectible toy market. I tracked down entrepreneurial artist Steven Yin to talk about the future of figurines.

Fancy Pants small and large
Blind Followers

Toying with the future

Steven Yin is a streetwear fan with a heartfelt need to care for outsiders like him. That’s why the collectible character that he created in collaboration with artist Dong Jiu has one big eye and one small eye — it’s a sign of his alien status.

Adamash is like me. I have one eye bigger than the other too. I wanted my character to say, It’s OK to be different,” says Yin.

Collecting for good

The backstory of Adamash is one of a space traveler who falls to earth. His first friend is another misfit called Fancy Pants. Wherever this limited-edition duo came from, they are going somewhere fast. Both of Yin’s launches sold out in hours. Each toy comes with an embedded microchip to guarantee authenticity. There’s even talk of a working relationship with Christian Dior in Asia.

For now, Yin hopes to add a philanthropic angle to his toy’s life story, helping spread the message of inclusivity and acceptance.

I’m not really motivated by money. But I do want a voice, to have impact and connect with people, to promote an alternative way of looking at the world. In China right now there’s a drive towards changing your appearance to be like everyone else. For me, Adamash says you should just be yourself.”

Could Adamash be the next BE@RBRICK? At Haute, we’d love to see Steven Yin’s message of hope collect the hearts of more people, one toy at a time. 

Cover Image: Steven Yin: outsider toymaker