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|Diamond Card Talk Member|
Someone made the comment, not sure if it was here or in another thread, that when cards fall off the price guides people forget that they were important. I think that's very true.
As card collectors we all have our own preferences and our own areas of expertise, at least we like to think so. For some its a title, or a certain type of card, or a specific period in time, or autographs, or promos, or fill in the blank space. We all have our own ideas of what is a hidden gem and may have little to no knowledge about cards that are not part of what we choose to collect.
As we lose long time card collectors, we are also losing their knowledge. I marvel sometimes when reading certain posts about promo cards and vintage non-sport cards from collectors that have been in the hobby for decades. I've been collecting cards a long time and sometimes I barely know what they are talking about. There are rare cards out there that I would pass up without a second glance.
You can't lose history, no matter what you are talking about. Things have to be documented so that you can at least find information if you are looking for it. If you have no references the following generations just concentrate on what is new and forget the past. I guess that's as good a reason as any to keep publishing non-sport price guides. Not for the pricing, which will get stale anyway, but to recognize important cards and to remember why they are important. Annual guides have to be complete enough to keep passing that information along to new card collectors because they will need it to keep this hobby going or else it will become one big Star Wars card collection.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
Over the years the price guide has been invaluable to me for finding hidden gems that I never even knew existed. For whatever reason I wasn't that familiar with many of the UK sets of the last 10-15 years. I couldn't believe that Patrick McGoohan actually has a Prisoner autograph and Diana Rigg has an Avengers one. And I discovered this purely by chance as I was leafing through the price guide. That's why it's so sad to me that these older, less mainstream/popular sets have to be omitted to save space. If at all possible I'd rather pay a little more to have a few extra pages put in there to make the guide feel a bit more complete. Of course everyone has a different view of what makes a guide "complete". Someone who has no interest in autograph cards may see a price guide as totally lacking whereas I would see it differently.
I love price guides. The Sports Americana price guide by Benjamin really got me interested in Non-Sports back in the early 1990s. Yes, Price Guides tend to drive up prices (if for no other reason, they expand the awareness of certain sets and increase their demand). I enjoy seeing previews of certain sets, reading editorial about them, and learning oddball facts about them. (Like the fact that "Wanted by the FBI" were rounded up and seized by the FBI for copyright reasons.) When you collect certain types of cards, Price Guides are good places to find titles you were not aware of. (That's one of the reasons I always try to put whatever type of series I'm making into the actual title, so people looking for Monsters or Dinosaurs or whatever can find it in the price guide.)
One thing worth mentioning, however, is that most price guides do not drop titles for space. The NSU one does because it's printed bimonthly and the printing costs rack up, along with the postage if they try to include everything. But most book price guides try to include everything in the time frame they claim to encapsulate.
I often thought it would be neat for NSU to publish their price guides in phases throughout the year, in different issues, so as to allow more expansive coverage. So the Jan issue might have all the A-M boxes and sets, then March does N-Z. Then May features all the inserts for the same, July the other half. Then go on to Boxes and wrappers for a special issue (Sept.) Then a Nov/Dec issue for the earlier pre-1950s sets. But I admit, this would be a big undertaking and a lot of work, so it's understandable if they felt it was biting off more than they want to chew. (Although they could then release it all at the end of a year in an annual.) If there was room for another issue, one devoted to foreign series would be great (especially English related series.)
One of the nice things about the internet is that it allows unlimited space. I maintain a site as a price guide/ catalog of all monster cards and try to include everything, including foreign cards. If anyone is interested, that is at www.Monstercards.org
I also wrote an older article covering price guides, and although the prices are out-of-date in these guides, they are still very useful for the reasons described above. It's at:
"Life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease." -Papa Prell
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