I don't see what the big deal is.
ANY collector community consists of people who save up their birthday money and their work bonuses and fun money and use it to buy guns or stamps or cars or whatever.
Instead of going out to dinner and buying hockey tickets, they just keep focusing their extra money on their hobby.
They're always looking for a deal, so they find bargains, and they put sweat equity into stuff.
After a while, it adds up.
Suppose you caught the bug of collecting Luger pistols. You'd hunt around at gun shows and on gunbroker and so forth and save up $600 and buy one, and the years would pass by and eventually you'd have 20 or 30 of them.
A couple of them you'd get at bargain prices and it would turn out that they're worth a pile of money.
By the time you're 50, you'd have $38,000 worth of Lugers and everyone would scratch their head wondering where you got the money.
When you focus your money and effort into one hobby, year after year, it adds up.
ALSO, collecting type hobbies (unless they're stupid, like beanie babies) USUALLY turn a profit. Unlike buying a boat, which is a huge money pit.
I drove 4 hours and bought a Twilight Zone pin from a guy for $2400 back in the old days. Which seemed crazy expensive when I got it. Now it's worth what? $7000 maybe?
You don't have to go for the high end pins. Some of the 80s pins are really fun. I have a Bally Atlantis and I love it. You'd be amazed how often people pick the Atlantis over the other pins I have.