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Is there really any reason??
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Picture of AWR
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Its all about timing. Micky Mantel last played in 1968 (over 50 years ago) and most of his fans have aged out of collecting. Most of the collectors paying big buck are younger and have much stronger ties to contemporary players - To them Micky Mantel is some old guy who used to play baseball. They NBA has also done a far better job of marketing their players then the other sports so NBA cards are seen as being hip and cool compared to MLB being boring and old.

The market will eventually even out and the NBA non-superstar cards going high will drastically drop in value - same as what happened with MLB (Micky Mantel will always have some value, but other than the all time greats (such as most of the All-Stars in the 70s, 80s, and 90s) now have no real value.

Now I do wonder if the real high value cards will drop or continue to hold their value like other high end collectables (paintings). The new hot artist will demand high prices to start, but eventually most of them drop, while prices for a picasso never seem to drop and continue to hold their value.
 
Posts: 363 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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I believe a mint 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for 5.2 million a couple of weeks ago, so no, not all of his fans have aged out of collecting. Big Grin He is an icon in sports cards and his vintage cards are not manufactured collectibles, which is why his card prices still hold in lower condition and continue to go up in the higher grades.

You can't compare sports cards to non-sport cards, vintage cards to modern cards, base cards to autograph cards. The markets are separate, the rules vary and the collector mentality/focus can be very different.
 
Posts: 8460 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I think that if there is a non-sport comparison to Mickey Mantle cards it may be RDJ in Iron Man -- Iron Man kicked off the MCU, and I believe that in the years to come people will be nostalgic for it -- The first Iron Man is already 13 years old.


So while you can't compare vintage Mantle cards to anything in non-sport cards in my opinion (that 5.2M Mantle just took top spot for sales over Trout's card), I do get your free association of strictly personalities and, for Marvel entertainment celebrities, I agree RDJ is on top.

However if it's just looking in non-sport cards as a whole for the best known popular icon, wouldn't that person more likely be Harrison Ford, be it his autographs on Star Wars or Indy cards?
 
Posts: 8460 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's interesting that you picked 500 as an example of a rare quantity. To me that's a good number to use and my example would be the Comic Images autograph cards which were produced 500 per series. That was a small run for the time and those sets were popular. I bought packs and a box each for the three William Stout and the first four Olivia series but wasn't lucky enough to pull an autograph. I went to shows and didn't see them. I did find an Olivia Medallion card (Best of Olivia) and paid about $25-35 for it.

These days, you can find Olivia's and William Stout's pack-pulled autograph cards though there never seem to be more than just a few of either of theirs available at any given time and that includes the offerings at overly optimistic prices.

The fact that any of those cards come up with any regularity at all is also an indicator that there are fewer collectors than there were in the 90's. I've seen some of the recent Unstoppable dealer promos numbering less than 50 still be available a couple of years later and for less than $50. In the 90's a card like that would have disappeared with very few, if any, reappearing for any price across years.

Some promos that were produced by the thousands (even more than 30,000) are hard to find now because they were seen as very common at the time. They were overlooked and even trashed. It might take years to find one of those too.

As for whether Ebay actually depressed prices, it's yes and no. It's true that buyers look for the lowest price. However, just because items that were hard to find locally and regionally are now more concentrated in one place, that doesn't necessarily mean the prices are in lower ranges than they would have been in the absence of a wide-ranging auction site. We all have our internal gauges for what a card we know about should go for though we can still be surprised sometimes too. The collector in Paris, France or Paris, Texas is unlikely to pay $100 for a card when the mental math works out to more like $35. On the other hand collectors have realized that if a popular card routinely goes for at least $100, they shouldn't wait for a $35 offering if they really want it and should jump on one close to that. It's more than they want to pay but that has become the going rate.

As an extra note, I tend to look for oddball/rare cards and use Ebay and sales sites as an indicator of scarcity. If I don't see a card on Ebay for years, it's reasonable to conclude that it's rare while also taking into consideration whether it's rather obscure even among people who collect that kind of thing. An oddball card inserted only in a lesser-known comic book or given out only at a smaller show in the 90's is going to be rare but demand is also going to be very low in most cases.

Jess



quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

The number of hobby shops still seems drastically smaller to me than it was in the 90s. Perhaps Baseball card shops have fared better, I dunno . . . but the amount of money being spent is mind boggling. Maybe it's all through online sales, but really I don't see that many online sellers either.


I personally believe that ebay may have kept prices down over the years.

How rare and difficult to find would a 500 produced insert/autograph card be pre-online sales?

Conventions, trade mags, local hobby store, bulletin boards, want list swaps among trader groups all rolled up into a one stop shop with protection and security. Many times have I logged into ebay to see 8 or 10 of what I am looking for and tell myself that there are plenty of them......I can bid on this later. This illusion tends to forget that the shelves might be stocked but it is the only store around. How many years could we log in and find an RDJ just sitting out there? It was ALWAYS there!!!

In the history of non-sports cards the last 10 or 20 years has produced them in some of the smallest numbers available. Maybe the hobby is finally waking up to that?
 
Posts: 2090 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:

So while you can't compare vintage Mantle cards to anything in non-sport cards in my opinion (that 5.2M Mantle just took top spot for sales over Trout's card), I do get your free association of strictly personalities and, for Marvel entertainment celebrities, I agree RDJ is on top.

However if it's just looking in non-sport cards as a whole for the best known popular icon, wouldn't that person more likely be Harrison Ford, be it his autographs on Star Wars or Indy cards?


You can't argue with Harrison Ford.

I was more future looking from the other guy's comparison of Marvel Universe I to '52 Topps. . .

It is complex to me. . .

I see Spider-man as a comic book hero first, so in my mind his early comics will always be of more interest than his 1990s cards, so saying the 1991 Marvel cards are comparable to Amazing Fantasy 15 is ludacris to me.

RDJ as Iron Man though doesn't have that history rooted in another collectible. Also to my knowledge the Iron Man RA cards haven't taken off. . . if/when they do take off the already pricey, and scarce RDJ autograph cards could really go crazy. Of course I'm biased as I am an autograph card collector.

I also see the entertainment card market as segmented. There are collectors who collect multiple 'segments' of the hobby, but there are also a significant number of people who stay in specific segments, or perhaps are really collectors of something else, but collect the entertainment card segment attached to their main hobby. There are lot of small segments -- like maybe you only collect Star Trek cards or James Bond cards, but there are some segments that have sort of matured or evolved beyond 'standard' entertainment card collectors.

Here are some examples:

Star Wars -- I think there are a lot of Star Wars card collectors who don't collect any other cards. They may collect other Star Wars collectibles, but they only collect SW cards.

Garbage Pail Kids -- GPK is definitely it's own segment, this is somewhat opposite of Star Wars in that GPK collectors are pushing the demand outwards from cards to other merchandise. There are a lot of GPK collectors who only collect GPK.

Vintage Card Collectors (I'm guessing you could break this down further, but I'm not well versed in vintage).

These evolved segments support much higher pricing for 'base' cards, they often chase specific individual base cards -- i.e. 'star' cards, often are willing to pay more for parallel cards, graded cards, etc.

Back to the point -- I believe that Star Wars cards -- and Harrison Ford card by proxy (although obviously Indy Jones still exists) have kind of already evolved. That isn't to say the pricing won't significantly fluctuate -- but I kind of think if Ford was going to be the '52 Mantle comparison that would have already happened.

Marvel is interesting as it hasn't evolved. It also likely collects segments within itself -- i.e. comic based set collectors vs TV/Movie based collectors.

Perhaps the Marvel segment is evolving now, but I tend to think the current interest in Marvel cards is really speculator based.

The growth in the Star Wars/GPK and Vintage segments was measured and sustained. What we are seeing now with Marvel looks like a bubble.

I think that is partially due to SW and GPK being pretty concise in the early years, which makes it easy for collectors to coalesce around the 1977 Star Wars releases and the GPK Series 1 release.

Marvel Cards are all over the place -- people are chasing the MU1 (Impel) set, but there isn't a clear reason why that set should be 'the' set -- there were dozens of Marvel sets created before MU1 all the way back to the 1960s. People are saying that they are chasing MU1 for nostalgia, but based on the questions they are asking it is very obvious they don't know a thing about Marvel cards -- so I am not buying nostalgia.

Iron Man 1 however is the clear start of the MCU. In addition to that it contains some of the most sought after chase cards in the hobby with autographs of RDJ, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, Clark Gregg and Jon Favreau in addition to Iron Man Armor prop cards.

It is entirely possible that I am way off base on this. . . but it just sort of makes sense to me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: webjon,
 
Posts: 4793 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, I see those too. In some cases, the seller doesn't really want to sell but is willing to let go of something if someone is willing to pay a crazy price. In others, the seller doesn't do the homework of learning the market but is afraid of "selling too cheap." I have checked in on items that were priced too high, and sometimes, over a year or two, the item disappears with no sale recorded. A couple of times, just by asking about a long-sitting item or lots of items, the seller has made me an offer without me asking. They realize they weren't sitting on a valuable hoard and are willing to take a reasonable amount.

One guy thought he really had something rare because he couldn't find it on Ebay and it hadn't been there for the previous three months. It was a "Lost in Space" card you could get only in a certain edition of a 1993 comic book. He put it out for $1000. Months later, he got more reasonable at $500. I lost track of it after that because I got one for about 50 cents when a comic book collector was liquidating a pile of comics and comic book cards. It's actually more of a $5 (maybe $10?) card.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by Logan:
For a lot of cards on eBay I simply feel the "Buy It Now" prices are too high. There are plenty of cards there that I would buy in a second if the price was reasonable - not even a good deal for me, the buyer - just reasonable, the going rate. But too many sellers have pie in the sky prices. I think that keeps a lot of sales from happening just as much as a lack of interest. Anything you see sitting at those "Buy It Now" prices is almost always higher than the same item would sell for at auction - and a lot of times drastically so.
 
Posts: 2090 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I also see the entertainment card market as segmented. There are collectors who collect multiple 'segments' of the hobby, but there are also a significant number of people who stay in specific segments, or perhaps are really collectors of something else, but collect the entertainment card segment attached to their main hobby. There are lot of small segments -- like maybe you only collect Star Trek cards or James Bond cards, but there are some segments that have sort of matured or evolved beyond 'standard' entertainment card collectors.

Back to the point -- I believe that Star Wars cards -- and Harrison Ford card by proxy (although obviously Indy Jones still exists) have kind of already evolved. That isn't to say the pricing won't significantly fluctuate -- but I kind of think if Ford was going to be the '52 Mantle comparison that would have already happened.


Some good observations in that whole post from a particular viewpoint. I think the top excerpt is very true and is just one of the huge differences between sports cards and non-sports card collectors. With sports cards, you have basically only 4 major pro sports and if you collect baseball, or football, or basketball, or hockey, you can have some specific preferences, but most card collectors still have a broad interest in the sport of choice as a whole and an interest in current statistics and league activity.

With non-sport cards there are so many more choices and ways to break up the market just by the product titles and topics alone. It is a plethora of subjects and some are extremely obscure and don't even try to be popular. Indeed there are non-sport card collectors who only want to specialize in cards no one has ever heard of. Big Grin The main crossovers between the two markets that attract dual collectors have been the bigger franchises like Star Wars, GPK and the comic related Marvel and DC universes. But other titles may have little attraction for sports card collectors and I think that non-sport card collectors generally seem to show even less interest in the sports world. So yes, entertainment cards get divided up in lots of ways that a major sport does not.

As for Ford, his autograph cards were in the 5 figures before he became more accessible. Then they dropped to 4 figures for certain ones. All of his autograph cards are manufactured collectibles in the sense that they were short printed from the start. None of his cards are vintage. I'm certain that none of his autograph cards have ever been destroyed, or even mishandled. His cards that count would only be the premium hits, not even the first Star Wars base cards really.

In those ways, Ford's cards can never be to the non-sport hobby what Mantle's cards are to the sports card hobby. But as a celebrity, I do think he would be the best comparison for a general acceptance by non-sport card collectors. His autograph card prices have dropped a bit since the supply has increased. I think it will come back up eventually and maybe with some crazy grading top a sales list someday. Maybe not Mantle millions, but the top of non-sport autographs anyway. Smile
 
Posts: 8460 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cardaddict
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Since I can't find the RDJ thread (I wish there was a search function here), I will post this observation here:

Right now on E-Bay there are 3 Robert Downey Jr. autograph cards listed, both in and out of the Iron Man suit, for $10,000, $15,000 and $15,000, with a total of 80 watchers.

In the completed listings, an Iron Man suit autograph listed at $10,000 sold for Best Offer (I wonder what the offer was?)

That's a lot of moola!
 
Posts: 2305 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raj
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quote:
Originally posted by cardaddict:
Since I can't find the RDJ thread (I wish there was a search function here), I will post this observation here:

Right now on E-Bay there are 3 Robert Downey Jr. autograph cards listed, both in and out of the Iron Man suit, for $10,000, $15,000 and $15,000, with a total of 80 watchers.

In the completed listings, an Iron Man suit autograph listed at $10,000 sold for Best Offer (I wonder what the offer was?)

That's a lot of moola!


Following some of the instructions on the watchcount.com site, it looks like the card sold for $5000.
 
Posts: 3161 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Aha! Thanks! Still not bad.
 
Posts: 2305 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Steve,

There is a search function. It's "Find" on the blue bar on the left side that goes from left to right: Go, New, Find, Notify, Tools, and Reply. I think it's been there since the beginning of the universe.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by cardaddict:
Since I can't find the RDJ thread (I wish there was a search function here), I will post this observation here:

Right now on E-Bay there are 3 Robert Downey Jr. autograph cards listed, both in and out of the Iron Man suit, for $10,000, $15,000 and $15,000, with a total of 80 watchers.

In the completed listings, an Iron Man suit autograph listed at $10,000 sold for Best Offer (I wonder what the offer was?)

That's a lot of moola!
 
Posts: 2090 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Picture of cardaddict
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Well, whaddaya know?
That's what I get for arriving here just after the beginning of the universe!
 
Posts: 2305 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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