Infomercials shown on late night television define problems we never knew we had and then suggest a product that supposedly solves it. My infomercials draw attention to the experience of collecting by focusing on the personal satisfaction achieved through collecting. They offer substitute products that could bring a similar sense of fulfilment that collectors experience when they acquire a new item. Various brands of collectibles sell display cases that use graphics or voids to mark the spot for a specific action figure. The joy of placing that object in a perfectly suited spot almost forces the collector to buy every toy in the series. Marketers are in control of rising action figure sales while collectors are given the impression that they are in control over their collections, and perhaps their lives.
Cheap collectibles (also known as manufactured collectibles) are objects made for one purpose only: to be collected. It could seem that the decision to purchase a collectible is only influenced by a peer or through a random find at a flea market, but in a lot of cases marketing has stepped in. Fake limited edition buttons try to persuade consumers to buy quickly; misleading articles on the rising value of a certain collectible promise instant profits; eBay alerts remind potential buyers of auctions about to close: all these incentives awaken competitiveness, just like a video of someone opening of new package of Pokémon cards on YouTube wets the appetite of other collectors.