Which artists did you like but never represented in your collection, and now you're okay with that, and why?
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3 minutes ago, vodou said:

Question: How much of sports cards is actual interest in the hobby/product and how much is flip-driven ripeness potentiality?

I mean "your personal interest" - not the current market itself. Hoping for an honest answer.

90% personal collection out of interest in the product/sports/players/history/nostalgia

10% longer-term speculation for fun

0% flip-driven speculation

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3 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

90% personal collection out of interest in the product/sports/players/history/nostalgia

And you get that with "new product"? Or speculation with "new" helps fund/justify vintage? Asking because I know you follow vintage (from posts here) but also follow new (from posts here).  Not sure where history/nostalgia comes in for "new" product?

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41 minutes ago, vodou said:

And you get that with "new product"? Or speculation with "new" helps fund/justify vintage? Asking because I know you follow vintage (from posts here) but also follow new (from posts here).  Not sure where history/nostalgia comes in for "new" product?

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. :luhv: 

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. 

Edited by delekkerste

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1 hour ago, delekkerste said:

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. :luhv: 

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. 

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. 

Edited by delekkerste

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Scrap of uniform, chip of helmet added to manufactured collectibles? And here I thought comic art people were nutty.

Makes me think of the old Elvis stories of people keeping his old tissues, which then always makes me think of this...


:)

Edited by ESeffinga

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10 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

Scrap of uniform, chip of helmet added to manufactured collectibles?

"Game used" is something I completely understand.

Cutting them up to sell packs loaded with "the commons"...less so (from an honoring history perspective, of course, as a business: Mo' Money! Mo' Money!!)

12 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

And here I thought comic art people were nutty.

Blank covers to be turned into sketch covers. Same difference.

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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. :cloud9: 

1450533404_2020cards.thumb.jpg.ec1d0c56ff42edcc8bf9d32064bb1c63.jpg

Edited by delekkerste

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35 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

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. 

Dumb question (possibly), but waaaay back when i dabbled in baseball cards as a kid, there were multiple companies putting out product.  Topps was always the biggest player, but you also had Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck, etc.  

Giving the booming market for cards, has anyone else jumped in the game?  It strikes me as something with a relatively low barrier to entry.  Or does Topps have an exclusivity deal with the League that has everyone else locked out?

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8 minutes ago, ShallowDan said:

Dumb question (possibly), but waaaay back when i dabbled in baseball cards as a kid, there were multiple companies putting out product.  Topps was always the biggest player, but you also had Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck, etc.  

Giving the booming market for cards, has anyone else jumped in the game?  It strikes me as something with a relatively low barrier to entry.  Or does Topps have an exclusivity deal with the League that has everyone else locked out?

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. 

Edited by delekkerste

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18 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

This is obviously sub-optimal and a non-starter for many collectors.  

Yes, real turnoff.

Just a comment on myself here, but when I collected comics - I read them. And when I collected sports cards - I read them. In both cases, the object itself served a primary purpose separate from the collecting of the object. You consumed the comic as a piece of short fiction. You consumed the card as a color photo on the front (photo as art even?) and the stats and anecdotes, jokes, trivia, whatever...on the back, part of the player/team history and nostalgia for the history of the sport. All good. But now: internet. Does the card "product" serve any other purpose than being a collectible? I think not. And that's before we even get to the price "today" being an obvious barrier to entry on lunch money (not spent on lunch!), allowance or funds acquired shooting newspapers (huh? what are those?!!) at your neighbor's door or mowing their lawn. Perhaps I'm being Debbie Downer here, sorry if that's the case, but I struggle with justifying collecting something (myself) solely based on it being A Collectible.

44 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

 

1450533404_2020cards.thumb.jpg.ec1d0c56ff42edcc8bf9d32064bb1c63.jpg

Nice pictures!

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Fwiw, it can still be a lot of fun reading the backs of cards, esp. from a historical angle (with vintage) and a player evolution angle (with modern).  Some of the super excited descriptions for early Trout cards are a real hoot, for example.

On a different note, a downer for sports cards as a collectibles investment (vs., say, OA) is that value is totally dependent on how/if a player is remembered.  Trimpe is no Kirby, but his IH 181 cover is immortal for as long as Wolvie "exists."

Basically, there's no "historical significance" aspect with 99.9% of sports cards independent of the player; Honus Wagner a rare exception.  Which is why I sense that many vintage cards (and all cards eventually become vintage) actually lose / will lose value over time as all but the legendary players are gradually forgotten.

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40 minutes ago, vodou said:

Yes, real turnoff.

Just a comment on myself here, but when I collected comics - I read them. And when I collected sports cards - I read them. In both cases, the object itself served a primary purpose separate from the collecting of the object. You consumed the comic as a piece of short fiction. You consumed the card as a color photo on the front (photo as art even?) and the stats and anecdotes, jokes, trivia, whatever...on the back, part of the player/team history and nostalgia for the history of the sport. All good. But now: internet. Does the card "product" serve any other purpose than being a collectible? I think not. And that's before we even get to the price "today" being an obvious barrier to entry on lunch money (not spent on lunch!), allowance or funds acquired shooting newspapers (huh? what are those?!!) at your neighbor's door or mowing their lawn. Perhaps I'm being Debbie Downer here, sorry if that's the case, but I struggle with justifying collecting something (myself) solely based on it being A Collectible

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. :cloud9: 

Edited by delekkerste

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1 hour ago, delekkerste said:

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. :cloud9: 

Your point previous to the above quote re: signatures and designs does speak to a certain uniqueness and appeal to artistic aesthetic, I get that. However, what strikes me now and I find awfully interesting too is that many years ago you and I traded words, perhaps in parallel to other posters or maybe directly to each other regarding how rarely (never?) does a collector climb the ladder of being a hobbyist up, then ride it back down or step backwards in a meaningful way. The example I gave then was someone going back and buying up all the best marbles or something, after collecting comic art. But that's what you've done here, you've gone from "world of 1/1" back to the "world of many multiples". I don't believe I've ever seen that before.

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15 hours ago, vodou said:

Your point previous to the above quote re: signatures and designs does speak to a certain uniqueness and appeal to artistic aesthetic, I get that. However, what strikes me now and I find awfully interesting too is that many years ago you and I traded words, perhaps in parallel to other posters or maybe directly to each other regarding how rarely (never?) does a collector climb the ladder of being a hobbyist up, then ride it back down or step backwards in a meaningful way. The example I gave then was someone going back and buying up all the best marbles or something, after collecting comic art. But that's what you've done here, you've gone from "world of 1/1" back to the "world of many multiples". I don't believe I've ever seen that before.

We live in interesting times... :juggle:

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. :cloud9: 

Edited by delekkerste

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21 hours ago, delekkerste said:

90% personal collection out of interest in the product/sports/players/history/nostalgia

10% longer-term speculation for fun

0% flip-driven speculation

I think you might be one of the rarer variants of the collector mindset I've typified to the reawakening happening in Sportscard collecting.

90% are a combination of persuadables who have been listening way too closely, and hanging on ever word coming from Gary Vaynerchuk on making money from sportscards. And people who are seeking out everything related to Jordan after The Last Dance documentary aired.  Some of this is also contingent on the passing of Kobe, and LeBron adding another championship and MVP to his resume. And if you're still not convinced, then consider that Mike Trout RC selling for 3.8M as being fishy ;)

10% are doing it for fun, and or adults reliving the thrill of opening packs, vicariously through their kids

Edited by comicwiz

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1 hour ago, comicwiz said:

I think you might be one of the rarer variants of the collector mindset I've typified to the reawakening happening in Sportscard collecting.

90% are a combination of persuadables who have been listening way too closely, and hanging on ever word coming from Gary Vaynerchuk on making money from sportscards. And people who are seeking out everything related to Jordan after The Last Dance documentary aired.  Some of this is also contingent on the passing of Kobe, and LeBron adding another championship and MVP to his resume. And if you're still not convinced, then consider that Mike Trout RC selling for 3.8M as being fishy ;)

10% are doing it for fun, and or adults reliving the thrill of opening packs, vicariously through their kids

My oldest boy worked at a toy and card store in early 2000s, and got sucked into spending some of his paycheck on cards.

I should check with him if it ever paid off.  Doubtful.

I bought a shoebox of 1950s cards in the early 1970s, and most are not worth the time and cost of trying to grade, or resell raw.

Comic books are a little better, for me.  Sluggish, but reliable.  David

Image.jpg

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I'm actually cool with owning GA comics by Everett without needing to own his GA OA.  Although in an alternate universe, I'd be crazy enough to spend 6 figures on MC1 or MMC2 OA, if not the right Frazetta painting.  

Looking hard at that Kevin Durant rookie superfractor which wife fancies will go into home/child expenses some day.  Newp, sorry wifey.  I'm ready for my new nickname to be ExitNutz.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 12:12 PM, delekkerste said:

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. 

The throwback cards are cool, but I also dig the crazy subsets and variants like Chrome, refractors, patch cards, 3d or lenticular, etc. And of course there are the 1/1 things like printing plates that are pretty great. And yeah, the memorabilia and autographs, too. And those Topps NOW cards usually have neat moments and fit that "limited time only" mold.

On 10/13/2020 at 1:27 PM, vodou said:

Yes, real turnoff.

Just a comment on myself here, but when I collected comics - I read them. And when I collected sports cards - I read them. In both cases, the object itself served a primary purpose separate from the collecting of the object. You consumed the comic as a piece of short fiction. You consumed the card as a color photo on the front (photo as art even?) and the stats and anecdotes, jokes, trivia, whatever...on the back, part of the player/team history and nostalgia for the history of the sport. All good. But now: internet. Does the card "product" serve any other purpose than being a collectible? I think not. And that's before we even get to the price "today" being an obvious barrier to entry on lunch money (not spent on lunch!), allowance or funds acquired shooting newspapers (huh? what are those?!!) at your neighbor's door or mowing their lawn. Perhaps I'm being Debbie Downer here, sorry if that's the case, but I struggle with justifying collecting something (myself) solely based on it being A Collectible.

Nice pictures!

Collecting and what people do with their collections of anything is similar to artwork collecting, no? You don't do much with art besides look at it most of the time. Even if someone doesn't read stats or bios on a card (though some do), they often do look at their favorite cards, players, and teams I think. I've mentioned it in another topic I think, but I sorta collect baseball cards now. I collected them big time as a kid, but now I play Fantasy Baseball with friends every year, and I like to get cards for each player on my team. And I keep it up all season, meaning when I drop and add players, I'll get cards for my new players and move the dropped players to a different part of my notebook. I don't collect like @delekkerste does by any stretch, but my Fantasy notebooks hit a lot of nostalgic points for me. Seeing cards in a binder, watching the season and collecting "my" players as I watch them live earning points for me, and trying to pick up fun cards. I'll buy a few packs each year, dig through my collection for veterans I already have cards for, and hunt down cool singles on the internet. A few years ago Topps did a Garbage Pail Kids MLB crossover subset. I also used to collect GPK, so of course I had to get the GPK card of my player. That cost me around $50. Anyhow, on a practical level, getting cards of MILB callups and rookies I draft helps me see their faces and recognize them when I see them on TV.

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When will BB use technology to call balls and strikes?

I have some old BB cards from 1974 or so - have them in those binder pocket pages - in the back of a notebook with comics!

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