Collectibility: The ultimate premium test

It's hard to know where to look when you walk into Frank Clark's office at HYPN in Toronto. There's stuff everywhere, all clamouring for attention: A plush Alf, a bevy of hockey cards, commemorative Blue Jays coins, Mayor McCheese and the...

It’s hard to know where to look when you walk into Frank Clark’s office at HYPN in Toronto. There’s stuff everywhere, all clamouring for attention: A plush Alf, a bevy of hockey cards, commemorative Blue Jays coins, Mayor McCheese and the Hamburgler, Fox Mulder and aliens, and more than a few renditions of Bart Simpson.

‘I was raised on ’60s pop culture, I’m a collector, period,’ says the 47-year-old media buyer/planner, whose desk has a plaque from MoneySense magazine that says he’s actually the Leader of the

Free World.

‘One is one, two’s a pair, three means you have to collect. You know: need it, got it. A lot of times people give me stuff, but I’ve bought more Kraft Dinner and McDonald’s hashbrowns for hockey cards than I care to admit.’ He says he’s sometimes more entranced by a product’s package than what’s inside. ‘Look at this white plastic toilet – when I bought it, it had gum in it, but I threw that out.’

Clark says he does it for the fun of it – he’s not looking to get complete sets of anything. ‘You know the saying, ‘The one who dies with the most toys wins’? I’m trying my darndest to win.’ Asked what his most cherished thing is, after much deliberation he points to an election pin that says ‘Mandela for President.’ A friend brought it back for him from South Africa.

‘I have a two-bedroom apartment,’ Clark says, ‘but I tell people it’s actually a one-bedroom with a walk-in closet, to display all my stuff… and I don’t like to dust.’