Michael Joseph Jackson first set foot on the American pop-music stage in 1969, when, at the tender age of 11, he was the front man (or child) for the Jackson 5. A solo career followed in 1971, culminating in 1982 with the world’s best-selling record of all time, Thriller. The winner of 13 Grammy Awards, Jackson was one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

Throughout his career, Michael Jackson collectibles gave fans a chance to connect with their hero. Buttons and pinbacks promoting albums like Thriller and Bad are some of the most affordable collectibles, with lapel pins being only a modest step up in cost.

For vinyl record hounds, Jackson records of note include the 45s of his first recording with the Jackson 5, a tune called “Big Boy,” with “You’ve Changed” on the B-side. Other 45s of note include his 1972 hit for the movie “Ben” and the 1983 collaboration with former Beatle Paul McCartney titled “Say Say Say.” Also collectible are sealed LPs of Off the Wall and Thriller.

Jackson’s image was perhaps the most prized items for loyal Jackson fans. In 1984, the sports-card company Topps produced Michael Jackson trading cards, as did O-Pee-Chee. In 1986, Disney put Jackson’s image on Captain EO watches, buttons, plush toys, and other items to celebrate the opening at Disneyland of the Francis Ford Coppola directed and George Lucas produced 3-D film of the same name—Captain EO ran at various Disney parks between 1986 until 1998.

Dolls and action figures were another big Jackson collectible category, particularly the Thriller dolls from the mid-1980s.

Signed photographs can be problematic as collectibles because they are so easy to forge, but there are plenty of them out there, including charming 8x10 black-and-whites from the King of Pop’s early days as the lead singer for the Jackson 5.


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