Similarly to fans of films, TV programmes, and music, avid gamers can often be seen wearing branded merchandise for their favourite franchise. And with the eagerly awaited releases of the GTA remastered trilogy a few days ago (November 11th), Battlefield 2041 on November 19th and Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker on the 7th of December, gamers are feeling the hype for their favourite franchises more than ever. But keen collectors may be wondering which gaming franchises have the most valuable merchandise

Set on finding out, the financial experts at money.co.uk sorted through nearly 30,000 items of video game merchandise from 50 of the most popular gaming franchises in order to determine the most expensive gaming merchandise, and the franchises that might be worth investing in.  

Money.co.uk took the median price of items from the following categories for each franchise and totalled them in order to determine the most expensive merch collections: collectibles, keychains, mugs, pins, posters, and t-shirts. 

The results are as follows: 

 

Game franchise 

Most expensive category – median price (£) 

Total collection cost – 1 item per category (£) 

#1 

Grand Theft Auto 

Collectibles – £131.76 

£226.47 

#2 

The Witcher 

Collectibles – £147.90 

£224.58 

#3 

Metal Gear Solid 

Collectibles – £56.86 

£152.40 

#4 

Super Mario 

T-shirts – £43.99 

£120.92 

#5 

Halo 

Collectibles – £48.52 

£120.71 

#6 

Far Cry 

Collectibles – £32.63 

£115.91 

#7 

Assassin’s Creed 

Collectibles – £24.02 

£99.99 

#8 

Borderlands 

Collectibles – £31.41 

£98.81 

#9 

Tom Clancy’s 

Posters – £22.50 

£97.71 

#10 

God of War 

Keychains – £31.73 

£96.97 

GTA collectibles analysed in the study included a signed GTA5 collector’s edition which costs £299.95 on eBay, and a framed poster, game and guidebook set for £49.99 on Etsy

The second most valuable franchise is The Witcher merchandise. Buying an item from each category would cost an average of £224.58 – just under £2 less than a GTA set. Buying a collectible Witcher item would cost more than a GTA collectible, with a whopping median price tag of £147.90

The Witcher collectibles included a complete The Witcher III Wild Hunt collector’s set, complete with a statue, box, soundtrack, medallion, artbook, steelbook, cloth map and game for £299.90 on eBay

Ranking third, and significantly cheaper than the first two collections, is Metal Gear Solid. A full Metal Gear Solid set would cost, on average, £152.40. Some of the priciest items analysed included a £770 original release poster from 1998 on Etsy, and a £645 model kit on Etsy

Fourth most expensive is Super Mario with an average total cost of £120.92. The most expensive Mario item is a t-shirt, with a median price of £43.99. Costly items included a £30 Mario pipe mug on Etsy, and a book of original sheet music costing just under £500 on eBay

Fifth is Halo, only 21p cheaper than a Super Mario collection, with an average collection costing £120.71. Items analysed included a £79 3D printed master chief controller holder on Etsy, and a Halo logo emblem for £133 on eBay

Money.co.uk can also reveal the most expensive franchise in each category: 

Category 

Most expensive game franchise 

Game franchise’s median price 

Collectibles 

The Witcher 

£147.90 

Keychains 

God of War 

£31.73 

Mugs 

Tom Clancy’s 

£19.64 

Pins 

Grand Theft Auto 

£29.38 

Posters 

Metal Gear Solid 

£37.43 

T-shirts 

Super Mario 

£43.99 

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, commented on the findings: 

“When it comes to collecting, it’s always important to assess the true value of items. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to sell, knowing the value of your items will help you make the most of your collection for years to come.  

“If the items you collect are particularly valuable, it may be worth taking out extra insurance on them and checking what your current home insurance policy covers as there may be caps or limits for collections on a normal policy. 

“Looking into collectors, or collectibles, insurance will help ensure that in the case of damage or theft, the costs and years of time that went into completing your collection won’t go to waste. 

“Here are some tips for protecting different types of collections: 

  1. Paper-based collections such as cards or stamps need to be kept away from moisture and excessive light. It could be worth using a dehumidifier nearby to make sure the air around the collection couldn’t be leading to damp or mould. 
  2. Clothing collections can be affected by pests such as moths. Make sure to regularly check on your collection and make sure it’s in a clean and dust-free environment. 
  3. Collections containing metal such as keychains, pins and coins can be subject to rust or corrosion. Moisture and salt can accelerate this process, so again keeping a dry environment will help, as well as using gloves or making sure your hands are clean and dry before touching will help mitigate any risks.” 

Methodology: 

  1. Money.co.uk wanted to find out which video game franchise’s merchandise is the most valuable. 
  2. To do so, they sourced a list of the 50 most popular video games based on Wikipedia’s list of best-selling video game franchises. 
  3. Then, each game was searched on eBay and data for 28,593 products was scraped and categorised by game, item type, price, condition, product type and brand. 
  4. A manual search on Etsy was also carried out for each game franchise to filter out any irrelevant results, and this data was combined with the original eBay dataset. 
  5. The results were then cleaned and sorted by game and product into six categories: collectibles, keychains, mugs, pins/badges, posters and t-shirts.  
  6. A minimum threshold of 5 products per category was implemented, and a price for each category per game was ascertained based on the median price of the combined eBay and Etsy data. 
  7. A total of 10 games were then found to have insufficient data and had to be ruled out at this stage. 
  8. The total cost to buy one item from each category for each game franchise was then calculated in order to determine the most valuable game merchandise. 
  9. Data was collected in GBP, and exchanged to USD and Euros on November 3rd 2021. Exchange rates are correct as of then, but subject to change.