I can remember this collection craze beginning early in my childhood with those beautiful plastic Breyer horse models, which I happily unwrapped every birthday and immediately created a special place on honor on the shelf for the newest steed. Oh, how I wish I had that collection now!
My latest craze has been these German TV tower replicas from the 1950's - 1970's. First stumbled upon on eBay, I have been on a quest to acquire examples of each tower, expertly hand-crafted in solid chrome and brass, sometimes with lucite or jewel adornments, and ranging from 6" to well over 24" in height. I have found conflicting reports on the origin of these beauties - most believe they were crafted by German metal smith students honing their craft, others say they were lathed as models for city planners as tactile examples for possible construction or as mementos for the tower architects and city dignitaries.
Search flea markets for the best prices (I've heard they are common finds at German antique fairs) or battle it out with me on eBay, using key phrase "German TV Tower replica or model" or the German term, "fernsehturm." Prices on eBay range from $50 to over $400 a tower.