Wither the Merchandise?

I've been pondering the future of enjoyable collectible stuff for fans.

You know what I'm talking about.  The plastic collectibles, plushies, bobbleheads, etc. 

I've been wondering what the economic future of these is, to be frank.  Little useless trinkets may be fun and collectible, but in a touch economy, I figure they're going to get less and less attention (and as I expect it to be years for the economy to recover, this could be awhile).  There's far more payoff in a rare video, a neat book, etc. than something that presents no other use than ownership.

So I wonder if the collectibles are going to take a hit in the geekonomy and the fannish economy.

This is a casual speculation, but these collectibles form the basis of some specialty stories, they're big at conventions, etc.  This would in turn affect the social experience of fans as stores close, change focus, etc.

Just some idle, geekonomic speculation.

– Steven Savage