As an adult, the former school teacher would spend his lunches and breaks selling collectibles on the Internet.
"I found out I was making more money selling vintage items on the Internet and at flea markets than teaching all day," Orfin said.
So 13 years ago, Orfin started Nowhere Toys in Warren, a shop specializing in collectibles such as vinyl records, television show memorabilia, vintage lunchboxes and most importantly, toys.
A train robot, one of Orfin’s favorite toys, is shown. “This was another toy I?wish I never sold,”?Orfin said.
"People like to buy what they remember from their childhood," Orfin said. "You can have a toy that was made in 1985 that is worth more than one that was made in 1925. It's a generational thing because people buy toys and collectibles that they remember from their past versus something grandpa had. It doesn't mean that what grandpa had wasn't valuable, but people like to buy what they remember playing with."
Suellen Blasdell, of Antiques On-Line in Canfield, noted that this is true of items other than toys as well. What was inexpensive in the 1960s might be worth a lot today.
"These items are a lot more collectible than what people think," Blasdell said. "A good example would be paintings and artwork by the pop artist Peter Max. Today, if you go to buy Peter Max's artwork, they would be expensive. His art was inexpensive in the 1960s, and no one thought that it was collectible. That is the reason his art is collectible today."
However, according to collector Jack Brannan of Warren, people should collect for the fun of it, not for the potential value of the collection.
"I like to suggest to people to collect something that you really enjoy instead of just collecting something that you think you will make you money," Brannan said.
Brannan has been collecting vintage Pez dispensers and tin lunchboxes for 14 years, mostly from the 1960s to early 1980s. He said that he owns about 350 to 400 Pez dispensers.
"I chose collecting as a hobby because like many people, I have an inner child," he said. "I like to go back to when there was a time when I had no responsibilities, and it was a very comfortable and a simple time."
Television also influences people's collections.
"People are really influenced by all of these shows such as 'Pawn Stars Las Vegas' and 'Antiques Roadshow.' Everyone wants to find a special piece that will make them rich," said Maria Van Tilburg, owner of the Joshua Tree of Boardman.
She said that her best seller is furniture mainly from the mid-century postmodern era of the 1960s and 1970s. She attributes this to the popularity of the AMC television series 'Mad Men.'
"These Danish Modern and the mid-century modern styles are what new designers are using today, but mixing it with an early antique look," Van Tilburg said. "People also like the over-the-top glitzy, early British style, and I attribute that to the television series 'Downton Abbey.'"
Orfin said that often times, collectors will acquire doubles of one item and sell their doubles to enhance their collection.
"A lot of people today buy and sell to support their hobby," he said. "For example, when we started out, we bought every Star Wars collectible we could have, but we had to sell our doubles to buy the more rarer items. Most collectors like to complete their collection and they want everything that was made in that field or hobby they are collecting."
However, collectors should beware of trendy items.
Blasdell said that when an item is mass-produced, it goes down in value.
"With Hummel figurines, there was a point in time in the 1970s where buying a Hummel figurine was expensive," she said. "This is because the company was not producing many Hummel figurines at the time. Then over time, they made so many Hummel figurines that it reduced the value of them."
Another example from the late 1990s was Beanie Babies.
"People were standing in line to by Beanie Babies because they thought they were valuable," Blasdell said. "They became worthless because they made so many of them."
Brannan said that the 1970s and 1980s Star Wars figures that are sealed on card are collectible today because they are rare.
"I remember when I was a kid, I used to play with Star Wars figures," Brannan said. "There are so many Star Wars figures that were made during the 1970s and 1980s, but the ones that are sealed on card and not taken out of the package are more valuable."