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X-Men the Movie: Unsigned Storm card
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I am a HUGE X-Men fan and my favorite set of all time is the 2000 Topps X-Men movie release. I have the entire master set along with many extras, but the one card I could never get is the Storm (Halle Berry) unsigned autograph card. It's rumored that there are only a few in existence. That card is now available on the bay for $600. If it was 5-6 years ago, I probably would've bought it. But now I have second thoughts.

1 - Halle Berry has signed for 3 James Bond releases during this time. Her signature is relatively easy to get. For the price of the unsigned card, I could buy all 3 of her autographs with some change leftover.

2 - Counterfeits. Printers have gotten extremely advanced over the years. It's hard enough to spot a fake autograph, but for a card with no signature and no known authentic copies to compare? It might be impossible. I could compare the card stock with another card in the set, but I'd always have doubt. There are no watermarks, numbering, etc. The only thing going for it is that it's not a well known card, so maybe not many fakes out there. I would just have much more peace of mind if I was buying directly from a Topps employee or from Halle Berry herself.

3 - Long term value. Although I don't intend to sell, I don't see a strong future for this card. Halle Berry hasn't been in any big roles lately, she will probably sign more Bond cards, and printers are only going to get better. She also has unsigned cards from the Inkworks Catwoman release, and those don't seem to be selling well at all.

4 - Very few master set collectors left in non-sport. With sketches, short printed parallels, and 1/1 cards, it seems that collecting every single card is no longer desirable. I know I don't have any master sets after 2009 or so. Maybe it's not important anymore? Can I tell myself that? Except I have a printout of this card sitting in my binder to remind me haha.

Anyways, there you have it. The one card that is missing in my favorite set and I can't bring myself to buy it. I am almost hoping that someone else will hit the buy-it-now so that I can forget about it. But it's been sitting there for well over a month, so maybe not. What would you guys do in my situation? Any thoughts on this extremely rare card?
 
Posts: 283 | Location: San Jose, USA | Registered: September 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Buy the Bond autographs.

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Posts: 28192 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I honestly wouldn't go near it if I were you, especially at that price. The card was never released so who knows if or which of these blanks are real or not. And like you said you'd always be wondering about the authenticity even if you owned it. I used to be big into X-Men cards but never had much of a desire for this card. Too much money with too many questions attached. If you already own the official 13 autograph cards I would view that as totally complete (which it would be) and be done with it with zero regrets. Thumb Up
 
Posts: 1978 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK, so I can tell that you really, really want someone to tell you to buy this card because you really, really want it. You are a smart guy who obviously knows all the negatives going in and you still can't help but want to complete that master set with a special card that isn't even counted in a master set. I get it. Wink

Now I can't advise you to buy it because I think of this type of an item as damaged. It was meant to be an autograph card, it has no autograph. In a sane hobby that would make it worthless.

We don't have a sane hobby. Unredeemable redemption cards sometimes sell for way more than the item they were meant to redeem. Stupid, but true. Blank backs and error cards are worth more than the mint cards. Stupid, but true. I do not subscribe to any of it, but others do and there is no denying that there is a market for it.

So first of all, do you have $600 that you would rather spend on this than anything else? If yes . . .

Do you know the reputation of the seller and do you know where he/she got the card? Can you get the price down? If all still seems good . . .

Finally, this is the exceptional situation where I would recommend that the card be run through a grading service while you have a return policy in place. I don't often recommend grading, but you have an expensive card here with a potentially spotty history. You need the documented support of a Beckett or PSA service to ensure that the card is authentic, not just for your own piece of mind, but also to have proof if you ever try to sell it.

Only under that condition, with a certification, would I say that if you must have it, you must have. Big Grin
 
Posts: 7957 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are also unsigned Halle Berry Catwoman cards.
 
Posts: 3107 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I consider unsigned autograph cards more in the category of samples or prototypes. In this case they weren't meant to be released. The only reason they are available is that the company went out of business (leftover stuff that would have been thrown away or given away - Comic Images used to give unsigned autograph cards as sample to some dealers). They are really just incomplete (or unfinished) cards - not part of the set in that way.

On the other hand, for the completist, every variation of a card in the set that makes it to market is part of the master set and something not meant to be released has its own attraction.

You have to decide how you really categorize the card. Besides worrying about fakes, you would have to consider that there could be more than just a few out there (whatever number Berry was going to sign) - with perhaps the whole lot hoarded in just a few hands.

I have seen some other unsigned autograph cards offered at around $50 and that seemed high to me too. I might go for one in the future after I've picked up other cards, but maybe by then, the sellers will be more in the mood to unload rather than continue waiting for somebody who absolutely has to have that card and has plenty of extra money. I have heard people in other hobbies refer to that kind of buyer as virtually extinct. Even rich people look for bargains these days.



quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
I am a HUGE X-Men fan and my favorite set of all time is the 2000 Topps X-Men movie release. I have the entire master set along with many extras, but the one card I could never get is the Storm (Halle Berry) unsigned autograph card. It's rumored that there are only a few in existence. That card is now available on the bay for $600. If it was 5-6 years ago, I probably would've bought it. But now I have second thoughts.

1 - Halle Berry has signed for 3 James Bond releases during this time. Her signature is relatively easy to get. For the price of the unsigned card, I could buy all 3 of her autographs with some change leftover.

2 - Counterfeits. Printers have gotten extremely advanced over the years. It's hard enough to spot a fake autograph, but for a card with no signature and no known authentic copies to compare? It might be impossible. I could compare the card stock with another card in the set, but I'd always have doubt. There are no watermarks, numbering, etc. The only thing going for it is that it's not a well known card, so maybe not many fakes out there. I would just have much more peace of mind if I was buying directly from a Topps employee or from Halle Berry herself.

3 - Long term value. Although I don't intend to sell, I don't see a strong future for this card. Halle Berry hasn't been in any big roles lately, she will probably sign more Bond cards, and printers are only going to get better. She also has unsigned cards from the Inkworks Catwoman release, and those don't seem to be selling well at all.

4 - Very few master set collectors left in non-sport. With sketches, short printed parallels, and 1/1 cards, it seems that collecting every single card is no longer desirable. I know I don't have any master sets after 2009 or so. Maybe it's not important anymore? Can I tell myself that? Except I have a printout of this card sitting in my binder to remind me haha.

Anyways, there you have it. The one card that is missing in my favorite set and I can't bring myself to buy it. I am almost hoping that someone else will hit the buy-it-now so that I can forget about it. But it's been sitting there for well over a month, so maybe not. What would you guys do in my situation? Any thoughts on this extremely rare card?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: catskilleagle,
 
Posts: 1468 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey Booker, I am also a big fan of the X-Men Movie set, one of the best non-sport auto sets ever IMO and a superb list of signers. My partner and I collected this one - never got Paquin or Singer but I did get Patrick Stewart to sign a blank auto card of his in blue ink!
I'll answer your points in turn:

1. Berry's Bond cards have nothing to do with her X-Men card. You could get one, or all, of her Bond autos but they won't be living in the binder with the other X-Men autos will they? That gap in the collection will always remain. Are you looking for a Halle Berry signature or a Halle Berry X-Men card?

2. Given this card's infamous, albeit documented history, you are not going to get iron clad guarantees on this one. Especially not 16+ years after the set came out. Sorry, there will always be some risk and you'll have to go with your gut. My thoughts? If people really wanted to fake this one, I'm sure we would have seen a lot more by now. As it stands we see the odd one every few years. Looking at the card even from less than ideal images, the condition reassures me in that it looks age appropriate (not mint) and similar to how this series of cards wear. But easy for me to say when it's not my $600.

3. If you wouldn't intend to sell it I don't understand your point on "long term value". This card is as rare as it ever was, more have not surfaced over the years, and the availability of Halle Berry's autograph on Bond cards does not diminish this. If the X-Men card were signed then it would be a different matter entirely but this is not the case. As for the Catwoman card... a terrible performance from a much loathed film. I'd be amazed if it did sell well. And we're ignoring the obvious: the Catwoman film does not have the fanbase that X-Men does. The only question that matters when it comes to value is whether the card is worth it to you now?

4. What do you care what other collectors are doing? Do you want a master set of this one or not? You wouldn't be buying a card like this for anyone but yourself.
Ultimately some will say this card is not part of the set so don't worry about it. But whether people like it or not, some got out there. What other set does this card belong to? It's not on the 'official checklist' but it is an official card released unofficially!
If Rittenhouse printed up some Sean Connery auto cards that never got signed, and they got on the market, I'd be all over it. But then again I consider unreleased cards, redemption cards etc. as part of master sets.

If X-Men The Movie truly is your favourite set ever, I say go for it. But ONLY if the price is worth it to YOU.
 
Posts: 3024 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is one of those weird cards where you know the history. The card was to be destroyed yet a few copies "made it out the backdoor" of Topps. To me any card that is not to be "released" like this card is not part of the set.
600 bucks is a lot of money for a card like this. Do yourself a favor buy one of her James Bond autos. Make a little caption card that reads "Hallie Berry played storm and add it into your X-men collection.
 
Posts: 5659 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for all the replies. It was good to hear opinions from both X-Men collectors and other non-sport collectors. There were some good points made, including a few that I had not even thought about. The comment about an unsigned card being "incomplete" makes complete sense to me. I would compare it to buying a costume card that's missing the swatch.

So, when I first learned about the existence of this card, I wanted to buy it to one day *gasp* get it signed by Halle Berry in person. Now that she's signed for several other properties, its hard to justify not only the card purchase, but the time/effort it takes to obtain that signature (along with the risk of never getting it signed). Instead of being the ONLY Halle Berry autograph in town, there are now many others readily available, albeit as a different character. So it's a good question: Do I want a Halle Berry autograph? Or a "Storm" autograph? And the answer is both. But I want it to be an official certified card. Buying the blank and getting it signed is the closest I'll ever get. But is it worth it?

At $600, the answer for me at this point in time is no. If it goes down in price, then I might consider the risk. But without any type of authentication, I'm fearful of finding out it's fake. There's nothing worse than holding on to a treasured card, only to find out years later that it's a counterfeit. And it's equally unnerving to own a real card but having continuous doubts about it.

So I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Maybe some day I'll be fortunate enough to have both the card and the authenticity.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: San Jose, USA | Registered: September 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For a good many years Halle Berry was consistently listed in the top 3 of the worst celebrities for autograph requests. Virtually everything on the market was a fake because she simply would not sign for anyone. She is not as hot now, but I have no reason to believe that her decision to sign Bond cards makes her anymore personally accessible. To expect that she would autograph a blank X-Men card at anything other than a paid private signing, which I'm not sure she has done yet, is a heavy lift.

As I said, a grading service should be able to provide authentication for a bit more money if that is the main concern, but that's only if you are buying the card to enhance your master set. If the plan hinges on getting her autograph, you are probably better off forgetting about it in MHO.
 
Posts: 7957 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
For a good many years Halle Berry was consistently listed in the top 3 of the worst celebrities for autograph requests. Virtually everything on the market was a fake because she simply would not sign for anyone. She is not as hot now, but I have no reason to believe that her decision to sign Bond cards makes her anymore personally accessible. To expect that she would autograph a blank X-Men card at anything other than a paid private signing, which I'm not sure she has done yet, is a heavy lift.

As I said, a grading service should be able to provide authentication for a bit more money if that is the main concern, but that's only if you are buying the card to enhance your master set. If the plan hinges on getting her autograph, you are probably better off forgetting about it in MHO.


I will admit that getting Halle Berry's signature in person is difficult. I bought a Catwoman unsigned card years ago for the same purpose. However, I do think that she's more accessible now than in the past. Just last year in 2015, she hosted a panel at San Diego Comic Con. A friend of mine was attending the show, but he wasn't able to make it to her panel in time. I'm not sure if she was signing autographs, but I do know she has signed at SDCC previously, so I wouldn't doubt it. Worst case scenario, I would still have an unsigned card, which I don't mind. It's just not as awesome as it could be.

As for PSA authentication, I don't really think it's reliable for non-sport cards. I would trust their opinion for current and vintage sports cards, for example, a Michael Jordan Fleer rookie, because that's their specialty. There are many copies to compare to and they know exactly what to look for. For non-sports, I just don't feel it's their focus, so it wouldn't alleviate my concerns.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: San Jose, USA | Registered: September 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I've got one. I paid a lot for it, but less than half of $600 if I recall correctly. Since I'm a completist (or was anyway) it's a must have for me.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
As for PSA authentication, I don't really think it's reliable for non-sport cards. I would trust their opinion for current and vintage sports cards, for example, a Michael Jordan Fleer rookie, because that's their specialty. There are many copies to compare to and they know exactly what to look for. For non-sports, I just don't feel it's their focus, so it wouldn't alleviate my concerns.


I am not a big fan of relying on services to authenticate uncertified autographs, but when it comes to confirming the legitimacy of a trading card, well I could be wrong, but I would think that Beckett or PSA graders should be able to do it. I don't think it would make a difference if it was a sport or non-sport title, although I'm sure they do more sports cards. Still you just have to have a sample card in the product to confirm things like card stock, weight, size, color, etc.

Even if they never graded an unsigned Berry X-Men, it should match all the other autograph cards in the set, it just won't have an autograph. Big Grin It's a moot point because you don't want a slabbed card anyway, but if they couldn't determine if it was genuine or fake it wouldn't say much for the experts. I would like to think that they can. Wink
 
Posts: 7957 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Let's say you find this card for $20-50 at a show or online sometime soon. You might jump on that. Even then, I would advise you not to get it signed even if that becomes a possibility in the future. This connects to your interest in longterm value. If you were able to get it signed, and then if your future-self decided to sell it years later, you might have a problem because collectors are going to remember that she didn't sign X-Men nor Catwoman cards back in the old days and declare it a fake. There might be some interest from people who knew you had a card signed by her and recognize it as that but it would have more of a customer base as the unsigned card. Some people already dislike cards that were not designed to be signed but get signed at shows after they are released. They think of them as getting defaced.

In any case the card's going rate is probably not going to reach the value of the current asking price. An unsigned autograph card just doesn't have the broad appeal to kick it into the stratosphere. It's the kind of card for people who like promos, blank-backs (and blank-back promos), and errors - the cards you weren't supposed to like. It makes me wonder if the seller actually likes having it but will gladly unload it if someone is willing to pay the "crazy price."




quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
For a good many years Halle Berry was consistently listed in the top 3 of the worst celebrities for autograph requests. Virtually everything on the market was a fake because she simply would not sign for anyone. She is not as hot now, but I have no reason to believe that her decision to sign Bond cards makes her anymore personally accessible. To expect that she would autograph a blank X-Men card at anything other than a paid private signing, which I'm not sure she has done yet, is a heavy lift.

As I said, a grading service should be able to provide authentication for a bit more money if that is the main concern, but that's only if you are buying the card to enhance your master set. If the plan hinges on getting her autograph, you are probably better off forgetting about it in MHO.


I will admit that getting Halle Berry's signature in person is difficult. I bought a Catwoman unsigned card years ago for the same purpose. However, I do think that she's more accessible now than in the past. Just last year in 2015, she hosted a panel at San Diego Comic Con. A friend of mine was attending the show, but he wasn't able to make it to her panel in time. I'm not sure if she was signing autographs, but I do know she has signed at SDCC previously, so I wouldn't doubt it. Worst case scenario, I would still have an unsigned card, which I don't mind. It's just not as awesome as it could be.

As for PSA authentication, I don't really think it's reliable for non-sport cards. I would trust their opinion for current and vintage sports cards, for example, a Michael Jordan Fleer rookie, because that's their specialty. There are many copies to compare to and they know exactly what to look for. For non-sports, I just don't feel it's their focus, so it wouldn't alleviate my concerns.
 
Posts: 1468 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To add to my earlier comments Booker, as much as I like the card and the idea of having it complete the superb X-Men set, I do think the asking price is too high. Who knows how much this seller may let it go for now or in future, or if another may well pop up for a lot less. It is such a random card I can a realistically see someone asking $300 if they actually want to sell it. Bit more of a buyer's market for unusual items like these.

If I had the card and had the chance to have Berry sign it, I would totally go for it. I would not be interested in the slightest if it 'devalued' an already impossible to value card. If signed it would almost definitely be the only one in existence and would be so cool to have.

Like I said earlier, I had Stewart sign a blank in blue ink. Does it matter that I took one more blank 'out of circulation' when I never intended to sell it?
But if I did want to sell it, would a blank that people think could be fake be more desirable than a signed card they could also think is fake?

Ultimately I got a card that:
- I did not doubt the authenticity of the stock when compared to other X-Men autos and I know is a 100% legit signature signed in front of me (which is more reassuring than ANY pack pulled card)
- cost a lot less than the pack-inserted equivalent
- matches the rest of the auto set better than the pack-inserted card that used a thick gold paint pen that varied greatly in quality
- is a neat variant that could be the only one out there



I think these blanks offer a cool means for collectors to expand their collections in unique ways, if you're more relaxed about that sort of thing of course!
 
Posts: 3024 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
[As for PSA authentication, I don't really think it's reliable for non-sport cards. I would trust their opinion for current and vintage sports cards, for example, a Michael Jordan Fleer rookie, because that's their specialty. There are many copies to compare to and they know exactly what to look for. For non-sports, I just don't feel it's their focus, so it wouldn't alleviate my concerns.


They have over 9400 non-sports sets graded and in their PSA Set Registry, in additions to 1000's of other individual cards graded. Not even sure how you can back up that ridiculous statement..
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Rochester, NY | Registered: September 09, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by X:



This is a great looking card. Thank you for sharing. I bet it looks very nice next to the other X-Men autographs.

I wonder how rare the blank autograph cards are. We know that Storm is limited to just a few copies. I own the Bryan Singer blank, which seems to be the most common one. Professor X and Rogue show up on the bay once in a while. It makes sense that the short-printed autographs have blanks leftover. But one time, I remember seeing a Wolverine blank, which is odd since he's a common for the set. It makes me wonder if someone was crazy enough to erase the signature to sell as blank.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: San Jose, USA | Registered: September 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by boadster:
quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
[As for PSA authentication, I don't really think it's reliable for non-sport cards. I would trust their opinion for current and vintage sports cards, for example, a Michael Jordan Fleer rookie, because that's their specialty. There are many copies to compare to and they know exactly what to look for. For non-sports, I just don't feel it's their focus, so it wouldn't alleviate my concerns.


They have over 9400 non-sports sets graded and in their PSA Set Registry, in additions to 1000's of other individual cards graded. Not even sure how you can back up that ridiculous statement..


It's really just a matter of opinion. I never looked into any of the numbers, nor do I claim to be correct either. I just don't trust grading companies authenticating non-sports cards. I remember seeing fake Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Garner, and Johnny Depp autos getting slabbed. I understand they didn't authenticate the signatures back then, but how did the card itself pass? I don't think I have ever seen a blank for any of those cards.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: San Jose, USA | Registered: September 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Booker:
quote:
Originally posted by X:



This is a great looking card. Thank you for sharing. I bet it looks very nice next to the other X-Men autographs.

I wonder how rare the blank autograph cards are. We know that Storm is limited to just a few copies. I own the Bryan Singer blank, which seems to be the most common one. Professor X and Rogue show up on the bay once in a while. It makes sense that the short-printed autographs have blanks leftover. But one time, I remember seeing a Wolverine blank, which is odd since he's a common for the set. It makes me wonder if someone was crazy enough to erase the signature to sell as blank.


Thanks Booker it did look good with the others but I no longer have the card. My (ex)partner collected the X-Men series but I gifted it her as I would rather it stayed with the collection she painstakingly pieced together with all the other neat items like the rare Topps fold-out sell sheets for X1 and X2 and the rare X2 foils and plastic chase cards.
But I did replace it with this:



With the blanks, after Berry, I would say Paquin is the rarest, showing up a bit less than Stewart.
I think if anyone was erasing signatures it may end up stripping the really high gloss finish these cards have.
 
Posts: 3024 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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