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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Geek chic 'in force' in nearly 10 million homes

Press release: 19/11/2015

  • 'Niche' collections now the norm, with one in three households (36%) containing 'geek collectables'
  • Most common items include retro board games, Beanie Babies and train sets, along with graphic novels and retro action figures
  • One in 20 homes hoarding Star Wars memorabilia

Geek culture is in full force when it comes to our keepsakes, with one in three UK households admitting to treasuring their ‘specialist’ collectables, according to LV= home insurance[1].

With the latest Star Wars movie about to hit cinemas, related posters, action figures and models have been revealed as among the most popular ‘geek culture’ items we have stowed away, with one in 20 having such memorabilia in their homes[2].

But it’s not just lightsabers and storm troopers; collectable cuddly toys (11%) comic books (9%), train sets (9%), collectable cards (5%), and miniatures (4%) were also shown to be commonplace. Challenging popular stereotypes, the research found that specialist collectables are not just for the boys – with women making up nearly half of such enthusiasts[3].

Londoners are twice as likely to collect comics or specialist movie memorabilia, with the capital also being the hotspot for hoarding classic toys or working models such as train sets with half of all homes housing such collections. Elsewhere, those in the North East are the most keen on retro board games and the Welsh the keenest on collectable cards[4].

The majority of collections average around £400 with miniatures (£659), train sets/working models (£597) and retro video games and consoles (£503) topping the list of the most valuable items. However for one in 10 enthusiasts (11%) their collections are valued in the thousands.

LV= home insurance is today encouraging enthusiasts across the nation to ensure they’re properly protecting such treasured items by recording extensive collections.

Insurance isn’t just about protecting the family silver – nowadays it’s just as likely to be covering a different kind of precious collection. So remember, whether it’s Star Wars kit or Beanie Babies, collections soon add up, so keep an up-to-date record of your precious item – should the worse happen you can get these replaced as soon as possible.

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= home insurance

Ten Star Wars collectables you could have in YOUR home, courtesy of Kathy Taylor of Vectis Auctions Ltd

  • Vinyl Caped Jawa 3 ¾” figure - Very limited release; hard to find complete. £500-700 (loose)
  • Yak Face 3 ¾” figure - The Holy Grail for all “loose collectors”. £150-200 (loose)
  • Palitoy Death Star Playset - Iconic UK only collectable. £1000-1500
  • X-Wing Fighter - The most recognisable Star Wars space ship. £150-250
  • Carded 12 back Luke Skywalker 3 ¾” figure - First edition of this iconic character. £1000-1200
  • Carded 21 back Boba Fett 3 ¾” figure - First appearance of this iconic character. £2000-3000
  • Boxed Millennium Falcon - Han Solo’s iconic spaceship. £200-300
  • Droids Vlix 3 ¾” figure - Very rare Brazilian Star Wars tie-in figure. £1500-2000 (loose)
  • Carded Darth Vader 12 back 3 ¾” figure - The ultimate bad guy. £1500-2000
  • Star Wars Cinema Release Poster - Nearly all were destroyed. Very hard to find. £1000-1500

LV=’s Guide to protecting your collections

  1. It’s worth checking that your collections are automatically covered under your home contents - and you should let your insurer know if there are items of significant value (£1,500+) in case they need to include as a listed item
  2. To ensure that things can move quickly if your collection is stolen or damaged, keep an up-to-date record of the items in your collection. Taking pictures of items to keep with an accompanying list is always useful
  3. Keep receipts for any purchases but also keep an eye on the modern value where you can and let your insurer know if any of your items spike in value.


1.More than one in three respondents (36%) said they owned collections of one or more of the following items: Retro board games, collectable cuddly toys (Beanie Babies, Care Bears etc.), working models (train sets etc.), comic books/graphic novels, retro video gaming equipment, retro action figures/toys, collectable or trading cards, miniatures for display or gaming, classic Star Wars memorabilia (action figures, posters, models etc.), movie memorabilia (props etc.) or retro movie posters. This is equivalent to 9.6 million households when applied to the 26.7 million households (2014 ONS Households and Families) in the UK – approx. 10 million.

2. Star Wars memorabilia was the 9th most popular category of collectable, with 4% of respondents saying they had collections of such memorabilia (incl. action figures, posters, models etc.).

3. Of those saying they collect such items, nearly half (44%) are women, who are also more likely to collect cuddly toys or retro board games than men.

4. Half of Londoners (50%) report having one or more of the above collections. They’re also twice as likely to have comic collections (18% vs. 9%) or movie memorabilia (7% vs. 4%) are most likely in UK to have working models (13%) or retro action figures (13%). North East residents are biggest fans of retro board games (20% vs. 15%) and Welsh most keen on collectable or trading cards (8% vs. 5%).

Notes to Editors

The research was carried out by ICM Unlimited from 30th September to 2nd October 2015. The total sample size was 2,005 UK adults over 18 years old and was conducted online. Results are weighted to be nationally representative.

For further information please contact:

Nicola Hussey,, 020 8253 5238 / 07468 761 128


LV= employs 6,000 people and serves over 5.7 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.