A survey has confirmed what long queues for seemingly worthless trinkets have suggested for years: Hongkongers are hooked on collecting. Almost half of us have the habit, with stamps and cartoon figurines the most popular. AC Nielsen interviewed 1,021 people aged 15 to 54 in September, finding 47 per cent were collectors. 'The collectibles range from mass items like photos of movie stars, cartoon figurines and stamps to more pricey goodies like watches,' AC Nielsen director Amy Lee said. 'We may be amazed by the long queues for redemption campaigns of special collectibles launched by marketers from time to time, but judging by the number of years people have kept the collection habit, they are hooked.' The study also reveals Hongkongers spend an average of $3,698 on collectibles a year. And men are more willing to open their pockets, spending $4,430 on average a year, 41 per cent more than women. The biggest proportion, 18 per cent, are stamp collectors, but two categories involving cartoon characters account for 27 per cent. Fifteen per cent said they collected cartoon figurines, while 12 per cent collected badges and magnets bearing cartoon characters' icons. Philatelists are the most committed, having spent an average of more than 13 years collecting stamps, followed by ticket and watch collectors, who have spent more than 10 years on the hobby. Among collectors of cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse is the favourite, with 12 per cent focusing on him. Doraemon, a cartoon robot cat created in Japan, came a close second, with one in every 10 Hongkongers choosing the character as their favourite.