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  1. This acetate overlay could be a replacement.
  2. I have one of those unopened sets. I probably paid $250 for it. There is a scarce series of modules from the early 1980s that were played at conventions...saw a set go for a few grand recently (not on eBay). A plain Jane sealed red box basic set from 1983 recently went for $1600. Have seen numerous shrinkwrapped modules sell in the multiple hundreds, even close to a grand, even the later modules like L2 The Assassin's Knot (a copy sold recently for $393). A G1-2-3 Against the Giants module with tattered shrinkwrap sold for $565 recently, like 10x+ prices from a few years ago. Early woodgrain sets have soared in price. If the prices don't seem crazy, even if they were cheaper before...well, that's kind of the point! Even with D&D and modern sports cards being as hot as they are now, if you roll into these hobbies now with vintage OA collector money, you will be a BSD (at least outside of the crazy refractor/relic/parallel segment of sports cards). Oh, and I forgot to mention - a week ago, Metropolis announced that it is getting into D&D collectibles in a big way. I wonder if my telling Vincent about all the D&D stuff I've been buying had anything to do with that.
  3. I'm not a D&D expert by any means, but, from my shallow dive into the market, I can tell you that the category has been rising in price in recent years due to Ready Player One, Stranger Things, etc. (there have also been recent comics like Die and The Realm - not the '80s comic of the same name for the latter) rekindling nostalgic interest in the game. But, as with sports cards and other collectibles, the pandemic/lockdown has turbocharged the D&D market with bored nostalgia seekers stuck at home with trillions of dollars of fiscal and monetary stimulus doled out and a reduced menu of things to spend it on (not to minimize the very real plight of the bottom 60% of the country that is really suffering these days). As such, everything is a lot more expensive than it was a year ago. Shrinkwrapped vintage modules and sets in particular have gone ballistic from what I've seen, as well as the early woodgrain and white box sets of the original game. I had already procured 4 of the 5 main original AD&D hardcovers and a number of basic & expert sets (from 1978, 1980, 1983) prior to 2020. During the lockdown, I procured a late printing of the white box set (1977), the one AD&D hardcover I was missing (Deities & Demigods), and all 31 of the modules from the early 1980s that were published in the specific style/format that I remember most nostalgically (no real interest in collecting the original monochrome modules that came before or the more modern-looking modules that came after). At this point, I have everything and a bit more from the D&D world that pushes my nostalgic buttons; I'm hoping to pick up one more thing to round out my collection, but, then I'm going to call it a day in terms of D&D collecting. That said, I want to organize at some point a big D&D campaign on Zoom (maybe even hiring a third-party Dungeon Master if necessary) - collecting stuff is great, but, I actually want to experience the thrill of playing the game again at least one more time.
  4. Well, there was that puff piece that came out before the last Heritage auction, touting that Frazetta recreation's potential to eclipse the $5.4 million record set by Egyptian Queen. It turned out to be 100% hot air and had nothing to do with dropping hints as to the reserve price or where a guaranteed sale had been pre-arranged.
  5. We live in interesting times... This new article sheds light on why everyone has gone card crazy in 2020, providing perspectives from industry executives, shop owners and lapsed collectors who have come back into the fold this year: "It has been absolutely insane" - trading card industry has boomed during the pandemic So, while there is certainly no shortage of flippers and speculators in the hobby, an unprecedented return of old collectors into the hobby this year due to boredom and looking back at more wistful times is largely responsible for the triple-digit gains in sales this year. “You put a pack in someone’s hand and it doesn’t matter whether you’re 4 years old or 40 years old,” Howarth said. “If you happen to find a player you love, or a team that you love, you’re ecstatic. That’s the power of the trading card, and the fact that people have been able to find that again and a piece of happiness and elation during this crazy time where you’re freaking out over everything, I’m glad this is a good distraction. I think that’s really cool.” And it's not just the cards themselves and the thrill of opening packs - I have other friends & acquaintances who have gotten back into the hobby this year as well, and we've all become better friends bonding over cards and following sports. We've even done some box breaks over Zoom and sent each other cards and such. Not the worst way to pass the time these days. I have made probably over a hundred transactions in cards this year, so, the thrill and excitement is non-stop. All of those purchases combined would maybe equal one A-/B+ Byrne X-Men page. Which, don't get me wrong, I'd love to get another Byrne X-Men page, but, it wouldn't be nearly as exciting as the constant stream of goodies filling up my mailbox, feeling more vested in the sport and thus following it more closely, and bonding/socializing with friends and strangers on Zoom and social media over the hobby.
  6. You can get photos and stats on the Internet, but, you won't get the design element of the cards, some of which is really top notch these days. And the tangible things like autographs and relics you obviously can't get. You can still consume the photos and stats/info on a card even if there is the Internet, much as you can still consume a physical comic book even though it's all available digitally these days. The card execs have also tapped into the same part of the brain that responds to gambling with all the numbered/different colored parallel cards and the like; it's just super fun to rip through packs and boxes, even though it's mostly a sucker's game. People also display their cards and booklets and relics and such - in fact, I have some display stuff arriving soon so I can decorate my home office with some of the stuff I'm buying. And, my rediscovered interest in cards has really ignited my long dormant interest in baseball (I've only been a casual fan since the 1994 strike after being a huuuuuuuge fan of baseball and baseball history before that), so that's been a huge bonus. Some elements of the hobby are stupid, much as some elements of the OA hobby are stupid. But, I think it's been hella fun for far less money than the higher-end vintage OA that I've been collecting for the past 18 years. Everything I've spent on cards probably totals one A- level Bronze Age cover these days, and I've bought TONS of cool stuff since getting back into the hobby, getting dozens of packages a week in the mail these days.
  7. As far as baseball goes, Topps has an exclusive license from MLB, so, Topps and Bowman (owned by Topps) cards are the only ones that can feature the team names and logos. As such, they have a virtual monopoly on baseball cards. Panini/Donruss is Topps' biggest competitor and also releases several baseball card lines. They have high production values (e.g., thick, glossy cardstock), but, all the logos are airbrushed out and there are no team names, just the city name, so, Fernando Tatis Jr.'s cards will just say "San Diego" instead of "San Diego Padres" and the "SD" on his hat will be airbrushed away. This is obviously sub-optimal and a non-starter for many collectors. Panini has the licenses for the NFL and NBA; Topps doesn't even compete there. For soccer, Topps has some of the licenses and Panini has some of the others and both are major players in that sport. Topps recently got the license for Formula 1 and is releasing an inaugural set in January (it also has the UFC and WWE, I believe). Upper Deck I think may have an NHL license, but, I see that Topps is producing 2020-21 NHL cards so I don't know if Upper Deck lost the license or if licenses are non-exclusive in that sport.
  8. More on the nostalgia factor...every single card below is from a 2020 Topps set (and it's the tip of the iceberg). Every player featured below is retired (several are deceased) with the exception of Gavin Lux (but who features in a card appropriating the 1955 Bowman design). Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
  9. Oh, and I forgot to mention - Topps re-uses its old designs every year to create parallel and insert cards for their main sets, and also for entire separate sets. In 2020, they re-used the 1985 Topps design for their flagship baseball set, while their Heritage series re-used the 1971 design and their Archives set re-used the 1956, 1974 and 2002 designs. So, yeah, even on new cards - the Nostalgia-O-Meter is cranked up to 11. The card companies aren't stupid - they know how to rope in the aging nostalgia seekers looking for Nolan Ryan or Dale Murphy-signed cards, as well as the younger fans/flippers/gamblers speculating on Luis Robert and Ronald Acuna Jr. My hat's off to Topps - when I heard that former Disney CEO Michael Eisner and private equity interests were buying the company years ago, I thought they were flushing their money down the toilet on a dead business. Instead, they totally revamped the entire business plan of the hobby and are laughing all the way to the bank these days by giving people exactly what they want.
  10. Topps fills up almost every single one of its new sets with numerous vintage players, most of whom sign hundreds/thousands of cards a year for the numerous sets that Topps puts out. 2020 sets have included everyone from Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Ted Williams (all deceased, obviously) to probably more than a hundred retired-but-still living players - everyone from Sandy Koufax to Carl Yastrzemski to Rod Carew to Reggie Jackson to Jose Canseco to Ken Griffey Jr. to Tom Glavine to Mariano Rivera. Heck, I pulled a Vern Law (he's 90 years old!!) autographed card from a 2020 Topps pack recently. The overwhelming majority of things I collect have limited flip potential. There's no reason for a recently produced, say, autographed Cal Ripken Jr or Wade Boggs card to increase markedly in value over any kind of shorter timeframe - I just like the really well-designed, high production value cards they are producing of my favorite players, both from the past and the present. For example, look at the checklist for and photos from the 2020 Topps Definitive Collection - the majority of this beautifully-designed, high end set (every card is autographed and/or has a swatch of jersey embedded in it) is retired superstars, with a generous helping of today's superstars and highly touted rookies. I would say that cards from the many sets like these that Topps produces are highly representative of what I like to collect.
  11. 90% personal collection out of interest in the product/sports/players/history/nostalgia 10% longer-term speculation for fun 0% flip-driven speculation
  12. I'm like one auction win away from completing my D&D collection. After that, it's going to be 95% sports cards, 5% OA I think.
  13. Yah, it popped up 2 or 3 years ago IIRC and has changed hands a couple of times (that I am aware of) since then.
  14. There aren't too many artists that I've wanted, never managed to get, and am now OK with it. Maybe Steranko (Nick Fury), Simonson (Thor...I have a sketch, but, have never owned a published piece), Kevin Eastman (TMNT) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen...again, I own a sketch, but, have somehow never owned a page from the series). More common are artists which I used to own, don't own anymore, and am OK with that. These include: Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Alberto Vargas, Todd McFarlane, Earl Norem, Gonzalo Mayo, Gabriele Dell'Otto, John Romita Sr. (pencils - I still own a cover inked by him), Wally Wood, Mike Ploog, Mort Kunstler, Steve Lightle, Mike Mignola, Stan Goldberg, Tom Chantrell, Kent Williams, Nick Cardy, Steve Epting and Bernie Wrightson, among others. Not that I would turn away a great opportunity to get, say, a nice Wrightson piece if it fell into my lap, but, I'm not actively searching for any art from either of the above artist lists these days, and am not counting on ever owning any art by these artists again (now being several years past my peak collecting days and in a multi-year process of paring down my collection by (ideally) about a third from its peak size).
  15. Right next to the framed divorce papers?