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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of btlfannz
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I've often pondered over this whole autograph thing. If Lucy Lawless happens to be downtown in Auckland to promote her latest project and I happen to be in the same neighborhood and get her auto on (say) any single card from one of the base sets, is that worth any less than an official pack-pulled auto?
As it happens Lucy lives local to me and I have seen her in my local supermarket so the above scenario is quite a reality. I can absolutely guarantee that she would not even think of charging for her auto either! The other issue that puts me off the whole genre is authenticity. I grew up in the Beatles era and nearly 80% of all Beatle autos were said to be fake and signed by road managers secretaries, office staff or any one of whoever was hanging around at the time.I wouldn't have a clue what Jennifer Aniston's signature looks like so if I buy one off Ebay, what am I getting? A 13 year old over-testosteroned kid who scrawled her name on her card because that was his fantasy?
What do you auto hunters accept as good provenance when buying an auto?? Anything other than pack-pulled must be a lottery.

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
I've often pondered over this whole autograph thing. If Lucy Lawless happens to be downtown in Auckland to promote her latest project and I happen to be in the same neighborhood and get her auto on (say) any single card from one of the base sets, is that worth any less than an official pack-pulled auto?

What do you auto hunters accept as good provenance when buying an auto??


There's a simply, straight forward answer to that question. The in-person signature you get is absolutely worth less than an official pack-pulled auto. If it's a free autograph without any provenance you will be hard pressed to find anyone willing to buy it off you for more than a couple of bucks. If it's a convention or show autograph that has provenance, such as the ticket stub or a corresponding photo taken with the star, than a collector may be happy to make an offer, but don't be surprised if the offer is lower than what you paid for the item.

It's really pretty logical, at an event you are not just paying for the signed item, but for the opportunity to meet and say Hi to the celebrity. It's also kind of a party atmosphere, so your memories will cost you.

As for that free autograph, you know it's genuine, but how does anyone else? And in both cases, the new buyer does not have the experience of meeting anyone, so why play around with a perhaps questionable signature when you can buy a certified autograph card that has no questions involved?

Years ago certified autograph cards were rare and I used to buy signed sportscards that came from other people's collections. I was careful and knew that they came from true autograph hounds. I checked against known samples and so on. While I wouldn't swear that a few fakes didn't manage to get in there, I would guesstimate that 99% and over of those signatures are authentic.

If I put them all on sale I would probably be lucky to be offered $2 a card. If you don't believe me check eBay, in-person signed cards of old major leaguers are always on sale and no one wants them. Non-sport is more celebrities and there is not so many, but the same principal applies. In-person celebrity autographs on cards or 8x10 have a high ratio of fakes. The bigger the star, the more fakes.

Today I wouldn't touch anything but a certified autograph card, it doesn't matter what provenance is shown me. As for in-person signings, I love them and continue to add them to my collection. But only when I am the person that it is signed in front of and I feel it is worth the extra cost to meet someone I like. That is up to a point of course, some autograph guests should not get the money asked.
 
Posts: 7708 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Tattoox
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You guys can discuss resale value all you like and whether or not the in-person autograph is worth it.

I get them because I want them.

I want to meet the celebrity and have the autograph from them.

Now, if my family wants to sell them when I'm gone, it's all profit to them. Will they break even or make a profit on what I spent? Maybe. There's many professions to authenticate the autograph. And I know when and which shows I got them at.

Cards one would think where pulled from a pack, may not be real either. I own an un-autographed Playmate card. I could have someone sign it and sell it as the real deal.

Like many things, the celebrity autographs are going up in price. I chalk that up to supply and demand, and greedy agents.

I wonder why so many of you keep saying $100. 80% of mine cost between $30-40. A few lower, with the rest mostly around $50. Never paid more than $80. I only know of 4 celebrities charging $100 or more.

I keep pack pulled autographs. I rarely buy any. Never for more than half of what the celebrity is asking. Mainly just to finish a mini-master set. But in recent years have given up on that.

It's like with sketch cards, I'd rather have meet the person and have the money go directly into their hands than pay more just because it came out of a pack. Yes, it has it's own form of COA, but I buy the the art/experience.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I guess the worth of any 'custom' card or item purely comes down to the individual who owns them. And is 'value' intrinsic or purely monetary?

I only get trading cards or photos/posters signed by actors who attend conventions, so I KNOW these signatures are 100% legit. Being signed in front of me I am more sure of their authenticity than pack-inserted cards.
That said, I do still trust the integrity and authenticity of pack-inserted cards but in the case of my Star Wars and Star Trek cards, they are worth more to me than the pack inserted equivalents because in my eyes there has never been a comprehensive set of either bunch of actors for either franchise that I actually like. In the case of Star Wars in particular, 'official' autograph cards are ridiculously expensive and I cannot abide sticker autographs.
Also, in my case I wouldn't spend the money I spend on Bond cards, for example, on cards for other licences like Trek and Star Wars so these cards represent a significantly more cost-effective and appealing proposition for me. For my customs I have picked cards I liked the look of and I got to meet the actors so these items have a value beyond what I paid for them. It doesn't matter that they probably have absolutely no value to anyone else but me.

As stated already, I am in total agreement that in an ideal world celebs should happily supply their autographs free of charge as the fans are the ones who keep them in business. But I also understand the mentality some celebs have when they would happily provide and autograph for a fan but not to a dealer, or someone who could be a dealer, who doesn't care for them or their work, because the celeb doesn't want their autograph flipped for few quid. If someone is going to make money off of their autographs, why not the person holding the pen?
Also, even though these people are public figures I would feel less comfortable approaching a celeb when they are out and about living their lives, everybody deserves a level of privacy.

So if a celeb has been booked by a convention organiser to make public appearances, I have no problem paying that celeb for their signature if I think the price is reasonable. Beyond the signature you get the peace of mind your autograph is authentic along with a few moments of their time you would never get in real life. For far less than the cost of certified autograph cards you get far more for your money at a show so I really scratch my head when people think its crazy paying for autographs but not little bits of cardboard. Then again, there was a time when I went to shows and walked past celebs at signing tables because I really didn't get it.

But if you like getting autographs yourself, what's the alternative? Hanging about in the rain at film premieres for hours in the often vain hope a celeb may wander over and give you a rushed chicken scratch version of their autograph? We don't all have celebs in the local supermarket! Wink Have you ever approached Lucy Lawless for an auto btlfannz??? I'd be curious to know.

Beyond that, I wouldn't spend good money on autographs online or from autograph 'dealers'. As has been said with the Beatles analogy, there are just too many dodgy items and vendors out there, and unless you have seen it signed in front of you, I'm very skeptical. Its great that we have certified trading cards because the manufacturers actually have their reputation at stake if they were found not to be supplying the genuine article.

That said, I'm going to start trying for some autographs through the mail and will target celebs who are known for being fan-friendly. I guess you'd never know for sure if any returned autographs are secretarials etc. but people who tend to be better signers have more examples of their signature out in the wild for you to compare authenticity. Besides when all you're paying for is postage, its minimal risk to indulge in a hobby and in this case I don't think most fans would need provenance beyond a bit of research.

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Posts: 3001 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another aspect of certified autograph cards that has not yet been discussed here is that the card itself can have a value that enhances the demand above that of just the autograph. That card is part of a set and many collectors are out there trying to complete the set or the autograph list. So they need all the cards.

A pet peeve I always have is when some signer who is minor in nature is short printed and becomes a sort after, higher priced autograph card. That celebrity may have an autograph value at a show signing of say $20, but now this particular autograph card may cost you say $50, not because of the person signing, but because the card is scarce.

I have no problem at all with celebrities cashing in on their autographs. I am not likely to meet them anywhere else but at a paid signing and even if I did, I think I would be too shy to want to bother them, so I would never get an in-person autograph. I do have a problem with greed and if the price is not in line with what an average fan can pay I leave it and think worse of the signer. Not that they care mind you, but it makes me feel better. Wink
 
Posts: 7708 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of btlfannz
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quote:
Originally posted by X:
We don't all have celebs in the local supermarket! Wink Have you ever approached Lucy Lawless for an auto btlfannz??? I'd be curious to know.



In saying no, I have never approached her, requires some insight into the Kiwi approach to celebrity. On the whole the average Kiwi could care less about celebrities and many visiting celebs have commented that they could walk down main street in most New Zealand cities and never be bothered by anyone. A classic example of this is both Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus were both i9n town this week and .....no wait...those two are not indicative of anything (particularly music). Lucy Lawless truly does live just a short distance away from me but it wouldn't enter my mind to 'drop in' or approach her. I just know that she is very much a kiwi girl and would be completely open and natural if I approached her for an auto.

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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BTW, I added Randy Bowen's (the sculptor) autograph last month.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by btlfannz:
In saying no, I have never approached her, requires some insight into the Kiwi approach to celebrity. On the whole the average Kiwi could care less about celebrities and many visiting celebs have commented that they could walk down main street in most New Zealand cities and never be bothered by anyone. A classic example of this is both Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus were both i9n town this week and .....no wait...those two are not indicative of anything (particularly music). Lucy Lawless truly does live just a short distance away from me but it wouldn't enter my mind to 'drop in' or approach her. I just know that she is very much a kiwi girl and would be completely open and natural if I approached her for an auto.


You may think that now Bill, but until you try you don't know how you will be received by Lucy Lawless. If you are lucky it will go as you expect, if not it would be a big disappointment.

I for one would be very hestiate to approach any celebrity during a private routine and ask for a free autograph. I would be afraid of refusal and honestly, what might you do if a total stranger started chatting you up?

I guess that's why I don't mind paying at private signings. No fear of rejection. Big Grin
 
Posts: 7708 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Tattoox
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Originally posted by Raven:
quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
In saying no, I have never approached her, requires some insight into the Kiwi approach to celebrity. On the whole the average Kiwi could care less about celebrities and many visiting celebs have commented that they could walk down main street in most New Zealand cities and never be bothered by anyone. A classic example of this is both Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus were both i9n town this week and .....no wait...those two are not indicative of anything (particularly music). Lucy Lawless truly does live just a short distance away from me but it wouldn't enter my mind to 'drop in' or approach her. I just know that she is very much a kiwi girl and would be completely open and natural if I approached her for an auto.


You may think that now Bill, but until you try you don't know how you will be received by Lucy Lawless. If you are lucky it will go as you expect, if not it would be a big disappointment.

I for one would be very hestiate to approach any celebrity during a private routine and ask for a free autograph. I would be afraid of refusal and honestly, what might you do if a total stranger started chatting you up?

I guess that's why I don't mind paying at private signings. No fear of rejection. Big Grin

I would also fear the rejection, but would at least say high and then maybe on another encounter ask for an auto.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw Gene Simons (Kiss) at SDCC one year. My cousin was doing some direct work writing) for him and the band. I stopped him on the floor to introduce myself, totally shuned, said he had no idea (he said) who my cousin was. Talk about rejection!
 
Posts: 457 | Location: Raleigh | Registered: April 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Silver Card Talk Member
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Originally posted by John Tirohn:
I saw Gene Simons (Kiss) at SDCC one year. My cousin was doing some direct work writing) for him and the band. I stopped him on the floor to introduce myself, totally shuned, said he had no idea (he said) who my cousin was. Talk about rejection!

Don't feel bad, I don't know who your cousin is either. Wink

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Speaking of KISS, I have picture discs, cards, and lunchboxes signed by Ken Kelley.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Tattoox:
Speaking of KISS, I have picture discs, cards, and lunchboxes signed by Ken Kelley.

Ken Kelly the FPG fantasy artist was a member of KISS??? Wow! I never knew that!! I mean I knew that Jack Kirby was once a Rolling Stone but just the same......

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
quote:
Originally posted by Tattoox:
Speaking of KISS, I have picture discs, cards, and lunchboxes signed by Ken Kelley.

Ken Kelly the FPG fantasy artist was a member of KISS??? Wow! I never knew that!! I mean I knew that Jack Kirby was once a Rolling Stone but just the same......


Yes he was, if you consider the fact that he did the art work for two of their album covers. And while I was at it, I got a Boba Fett sketch.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First actor autographed piece of original art.


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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those are nice sketches. Smile

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Posts: 28072 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by wolfie:
Those are nice sketches. Smile


Thanks. Alison did a fantastic job on these. I can't remember if I had commissioned the Heroes one before hand. I'm getting too old for this...
Anyway, I had left my X-Files sheet at home. 100 miles out before I realized it. So I got the Jewel Stait Firefly from Alison and had Jewel signed it. Last year I got Jewel's on my XF sheet.

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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's my other Star Trek plate. Got it autographed at DragonCon several years ago. Not all the Star Trek guests that where there. Just the ones I wanted and could fit into our budget.



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Posts: 1619 | Location: Oregon | Registered: August 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Added two of the most iconic Bond Girls on their Bond Girls Are Forever inserts. Had to get Shirley Eaton in gold paint pen!

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Posts: 3001 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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