a lot of lanyards

8 May, 2024

Collectible Lanyards: The Unlikely Treasure Trove

Hey there, lanyard lovers! Today, let's look at a niche but fascinating hobby that's gaining traction – collecting lanyards. Yes, those strap-like accessories that most of us use to hold keys or ID badges can actually be pretty cool collectibles. From events and sports teams to limited-edition releases, lanyards come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, making them a fun and unique item to collect. So, how do you get started?

Why Collect Lanyards?
First off, you might wonder, "Why lanyards?" It might seem a bit quirky at first, but trust me, there’s more to these nifty straps than meets the eye!

A Kaleidoscope of Designs
They are like little rainbows in the world of collectibles. They come in a vast array of colours, designs, and styles. From vibrant hues that can brighten up any room to sleek, sophisticated designs for the more understated collector, there's a lanyard out there for every taste. And let's not forget those featuring witty slogans or eye-catching graphics. It’s like having a mini art gallery!

Showcasing Your Passions
It is a fantastic way to showcase your interests and passions. Are you a die-hard fan of a sports team? Or maybe you've been to a string of concerts and festivals? Each one can represent a piece of your story. They're not just random items; they're personal mementos that reflect your journey and experiences.

Rarity and Exclusivity
Just like with any collectible, the thrill of the hunt can be exhilarating. Some are rare and hard to come by, especially those from one-off events or limited releases. The satisfaction of snagging a rare find adds an extra layer of excitement to lanyard collecting. It's a bit like treasure hunting, but instead of X marking the spot, it’s that exclusive, hard-to-find lanyard.

Practical and Easy to Collect
One of the best things about them is their practicality. Unlike some collectibles that require special conditions for storage or are too delicate to handle frequently, lanyards are sturdy and easy to maintain. They don’t take up much space either. You can hang them, pin them up, or even store them in a neat little box. It’s a hassle-free hobby that won’t have you worrying about things like temperature control or breakage.

Display and Conversation Starters
Imagine having a wall or a special space in your home dedicated to your collection. Each one hanging there, not just as a piece of fabric, but as a conversation starter. When you have guests over, each lanyard tells a story, sparks a memory, or kicks off a discussion. It’s a unique way to decorate and share your experiences with others.

An Evolving Collection
It is always evolving. With new events, teams, and brands popping up all the time, there’s always something new to add to your collection. It’s a hobby that keeps on giving, constantly offering new opportunities to expand your collection and your connections with like-minded enthusiasts.

Types of Collectible Lanyards

Collecting lanyards isn't just about gathering a bunch of straps together; it's about the stories, the passions, and sometimes the exclusivity.

1. Event Lanyards: Memories You Can Wear
Event lanyards are like little time capsules. Each one represents a specific event - be it a music festival, a trade show, or a comic con. They often feature the event's logo, dates, or even a catchy design that encapsulates the essence of the occasion.

What makes these so cherished is the personal connection. They're tangible reminders of an experience - maybe it was your first big concert, a major industry conference where you made significant connections, or a fan convention where you met your favourite artist.

The variety here is immense. From sleek, professional designs for corporate events to funky, colourful ones from music festivals, each lanyard tells its own story. They're conversation starters, memory joggers, and personal mementos all rolled into one.

2. Sports Lanyards: Showing Team Spirit
These go beyond just displaying team colours. They often feature team logos, mascots, and sometimes even the year or season of a particular tournament. They're a way to celebrate big wins, memorable seasons, or just show ongoing support for your favourite team.

For sports fans, they are an extension of their fan experience. Wearing one on game day, or having it as part of a sports memorabilia collection, reinforces that sense of belonging and camaraderie that sports fans cherish.

Whether it’s football, basketball, cricket, or any other sport, there’s likely a lanyard for every team. This variety adds a fun challenge to the collection process, especially for fans who follow multiple sports or teams.

3. Limited-Edition Releases: The Rare Gems
Limited-edition lanyards are the 'special editions' of the lanyard world. They are often released in limited quantities, making them rare and desirable. These could be for a special event, a brand anniversary, or a collaboration between brands.

What sets these apart is the attention to detail in their design. They might feature intricate patterns, special materials, or unique branding elements that aren't found on regular ones.

For collectors, these are the crown jewels. Finding and owning a limited-edition one can be a significant achievement. It’s not just about having something unique; it’s about the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of adding a rare piece to your collection.

4. Corporate Lanyards: A Professional Collectible
These are often overlooked, but they hold significant value, especially for those who appreciate the corporate world. These are usually distributed by companies to their employees, and they often feature the company's logo, colours, and sometimes even motivational slogans or core values.

For those who attend business conferences, trade shows, or networking events, collecting these can be a way to remember the various organisations they've interacted with. It’s like a tangible LinkedIn - each one representing a different professional connection or milestone.

Some are specially designed for major company events, product launches, or brand collaborations. These can be particularly interesting, as they might incorporate unique design elements that reflect a specific campaign or corporate milestone.

5. Artist and Designer Lanyards: Wearable Art
These are where creativity meets functionality. They are often designed by artists or graphic designers, turning an ordinary lanyard into a piece of wearable art. They can feature anything from abstract patterns to detailed illustrations, making them a hit among art enthusiasts.

Much like limited-edition releases, these are often produced in limited quantities. Owning one can feel like having an exclusive piece of art. They’re especially popular at art shows, galleries, or designer pop-up shops.

For collectors who appreciate art and design, they can be a delightful addition to their collection. Each one is a testament to the artist's vision and creativity, often telling a story or conveying a message through its design.

Starting Your Collection

Starting a lanyard collection

Jumping into the world of lanyard collecting is not just exciting, but also a unique way to capture memories and express your interests.

Keep an Eye Out for Events
The more diverse events you attend, the more varied your collection will be. Whether it’s a local music festival, a tech conference, or a community gathering, each event offers a unique lanyard. Think of each one as a memento of the experience.

Preserve the Condition
When you get one at an event, try to keep it in good condition. This might mean wearing it carefully during the event and storing it safely afterwards. Remember, the better the condition, the more valuable it is in your collection.

Capture the Story
Consider jotting down a few notes about the event – like the date, place, and what made it special. This personal touch adds an extra layer of meaning to your collection.

Find Your Community
Online forums, social media groups, and local collector communities are great places to meet fellow enthusiasts. Platforms like Reddit, Facebook, or dedicated collector websites can be goldmines.

Trade and Exchange
These communities are ideal for trading. Maybe you have a duplicate one, or you’re looking for a specific one to complete a set. Trading with others can be a fun and effective way to grow your collection.

Learn from Experienced Collectors
Seasoned collectors can offer invaluable advice on maintaining your collection, finding rare pieces, and even valuing your lanyards.

Quality Matters
A well-made one can stand the test of time. Look for durable materials and good craftsmanship. Well-stitched lanyards with vibrant, unfaded colours are usually signs of quality.

Chase the Unique
Unique designs, limited runs, and ones from significant or historic events often become the highlights of a collection. They're not just collectibles; they’re conversation starters.

Get Creative with Display
How you display them can be as creative as the collection itself. A bulletin board allows for easy rearranging, while custom frames can turn your collection into a wall art.

Protect While Displaying
Ensure that the way you display your lanyards doesn’t expose them to damage. Keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent fading, and consider using display methods that don’t involve pinching or piercing the fabric.

Make it Accessible
If you like to share stories about them, keep your display in a place where guests can easily see and admire them. A living room or a home office can be perfect spots.

Starting a collection is about more than just gathering items; it’s about celebrating experiences, connecting with like-minded people, and enjoying the thrill of the hunt. With a bit of effort and a lot of passion, yours can grow into a fascinating and meaningful hobby. So, keep an eye out for your next event, connect with fellow collectors, seek out quality and uniqueness, and think about how best to display your growing collection. 

Tips for Collecting

Embarking on the journey of lanyard collecting is not just about accumulating items; it's about curating a collection that has both personal and potential monetary value. Here’s some additional insight into each of the key tips for collecting:

1. Condition Matters
The condition of a lanyard significantly impacts its value. To keep them in top shape, handle them with care. Avoid unnecessary folding or crumpling, and keep them away from moisture or direct sunlight, which can cause fading or deterioration.

- Cleaning Tips: If it gets dirty, clean it gently. For fabric ones, a mild soap and water solution usually works, but be careful with printed areas as they might be prone to fading. Let them air dry completely before storing.

- Storage Solutions: Consider storing them in a way that preserves their shape and print. Flat storage in drawers or using specialised lanyard folders can be effective. For long-term storage, acid-free materials can prevent degradation.

2. Document Your Collection
Create a log or database for your collection. This can include details like the date you acquired each one, the event or organisation it represents, and any personal stories or experiences linked to it. Digital records can be easily updated and backed up.

- Photographic Documentation: Take high-quality photos of them. This not only helps in documenting their condition over time but can also be useful for insurance purposes or if you plan to trade or sell parts of your collection.

Sharing Your Stories: Consider creating a blog or social media page for your collection. This not only allows you to document your journey but also share it with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.

3. Set a Focus
Decide what you’re most passionate about. For example, if you love music, you might focus on collecting ones from music festivals and concerts. This focus can make your collection more cohesive and personally rewarding.

Remember, your focus can evolve over time. Don’t be afraid to redefine your collection as your interests change or as you discover new aspects.

4. Budget Wisely
Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your collection annually or monthly. This helps prevent overspending, especially when tempted by rare or limited-edition ones.

- Allocate for Special Finds: You might come across a must-have one that’s rare or more expensive. Having a 'special finds' budget can allow you to splurge occasionally without guilt or financial strain.

- Track Your Spending: Keep a record of your expenses. This will not only help you stay within budget but also give you insight into the value of your collection over time.

Wrapping Up
Collecting lanyards is a fun, unique, and relatively easy hobby to get into. It's all about celebrating your interests and experiences, and there's a whole community out there to share it with. So, next time you're at an event and you get one, think twice before tossing it in the drawer. Who knows, it might just be the start of a fantastic new collection! Happy collecting! 

The Lanyards Only Team