off topic: I'm interested in the science of collecting
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I think that we collectors are a different breed. I've collected things my whole life. Right now it is mainly comics.  But at one point or another it has been Comics,coins, big little books, bottle caps, movie VHS tapes(then on to DVD's), fossils, pencils, stamps, baseball cards, football cards, board games, muscle cars, posters, paperback books and I'm sure I've left some forgotten things out.

I almost believe it is a genetic thing as my sister collects Batman/Batgirl themed items and my brother had collected things too over the years. 

As the years seem to go by faster and the hair gets grayer, I find myself dedicating my time to mainly comics. 

Now I'll have to go and see what the French philosopher, mentioned earlier, says about collecting things. Probably will say we are all nuts. Well we may appear that way to non-collecting (boring) people.

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For the most part, I never sell anything - though a surprise expense can shake loose something from time to time.

The part that I struggle with is how to explain myself to myself when I ask:  "Would I buy this comic for the amount of money it costs today?"

The answer is usually "No" because I bought the book for less years ago. 

So, I know that if I had the choice between holding the current value in my hand as cash or spending that amount to buy the book today, I would choose cash

But I am currently holding the comic in my hands, and I don't choose to sell (get the cash) for exact amount of money - when I just said I would choose cash.

Why, self, why? hm

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I started collecting because I always loved reading comics and I learned that they could be worth more than they cost.   That was in 1974 or so. 

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2 minutes ago, theCapraAegagrus said:
21 minutes ago, valiantman said:

...Why, self, why? hm

Brain, to self:

tenor.gif

The yellow one is the SUN! :kidaround:

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it would be interesting to see responses to this same theme in a hobby such as coin or stamp collecting, which are apparently not very lucrative anymore. i may be wrong, but as a former coin collector, that market really has past its prime, and i never saw young guys at coin shows. 

like most of you, i am a collector at heart. but i think it's important to note that with collecting comics, we can tell ourselves, and our partners, that it's a good use of time and money, since many comics appreciate in value over time, and are liquid, i could never devote the amount of time and $ to any collecting passion that i knew would lose lots of $ over time. comics were my first love as a kid and they're also a good investment, at least the ones i like. the perfect combo for me.

my vintage photo collection didnt cost me much and i dont spend too much time on it either. 

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I think at the core, is we as humans want things. Things that are not necessities but that we can have to just say we have them. For some people, having 1-2 things is great...like 2 classic cars. For some, it is much more. 

It is also interesting to think about collecting from a male versus female perspective. I know there are female collectors but waaaay fewer. I think that is true for most collectibles, even things ne might associate a woman with collecting, like Barbies. Pretty sure that while that may be a bit more even comparing men to women who collect, that there is still a large amount of men who collect Barbies.

Maybe the female brain does not have this attachment? Or maybe they do, it just most often is applied to things that others wouldn't think of as being collectible (like clothing). Again, that is a generalization. But I feel it holds true, else why would such a stereotype come into existence? It would be interesting to know what parts of the brain affect this and why it is (seemingly) more present in men and even to be present at all it seems to not affect as many people. Or maybe it does if your definition of collecting is broad...

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Are comics the most commonly collected item? Will it fade or does it reach enough people to make it something that could last a long time?

Collectible things definitely come and go. Example, Western stuff and dolls. My grandma collected dolls in the 80s and it was a hot market. When she passed, however, most of what she collected was worthless. The people collecting dolls shrunk drastically. Similarly with Western stuff, although I would argue it is still stronger than dolls. 

My guess would be dolls aren't viewed the same anymore. They are mass produced and in terms of "cool" toys for kids, they are low on the bar whereas back in the 40's-70's, getting a doll was a big deal. So it makes sense that people would love them as they aged. However, most of those people are gone now and the amount of people picking up the hobby is very small.

I think it is why video games is growing. Video games are huge and so the history of them has grown, thus people wanting games that were even before their time. Plus, people who were kids in the 80s have money now to spend. I think this is a collecting hobby that can sustain because video games are still a thing. You may not have the boom you have now but I think enough kids now (8-16 year olds) might still like video games when they are in their 30s and might eventually gravitate backwards to games before their time (kind of like how there are a lot of "younger" collectors seeking Golden and Silver and Bronze Age books that were well before their time). 

I like comics' chances. Until something else comes along, I think they are a constant we can rely on for a loooong time. Kind of like how certain mythical characters have survived thousands of years with the tales that were told about them, superheroes should be similar. 

 

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51 minutes ago, comicginger1789 said:

Are comics the most commonly collected item? Will it fade or does it reach enough people to make it something that could last a long time?

Collectible things definitely come and go. Example, Western stuff and dolls. My grandma collected dolls in the 80s and it was a hot market. When she passed, however, most of what she collected was worthless. The people collecting dolls shrunk drastically. Similarly with Western stuff, although I would argue it is still stronger than dolls. 

My guess would be dolls aren't viewed the same anymore. They are mass produced and in terms of "cool" toys for kids, they are low on the bar whereas back in the 40's-70's, getting a doll was a big deal. So it makes sense that people would love them as they aged. However, most of those people are gone now and the amount of people picking up the hobby is very small.

I think it is why video games is growing. Video games are huge and so the history of them has grown, thus people wanting games that were even before their time. Plus, people who were kids in the 80s have money now to spend. I think this is a collecting hobby that can sustain because video games are still a thing. You may not have the boom you have now but I think enough kids now (8-16 year olds) might still like video games when they are in their 30s and might eventually gravitate backwards to games before their time (kind of like how there are a lot of "younger" collectors seeking Golden and Silver and Bronze Age books that were well before their time). 

I like comics' chances. Until something else comes along, I think they are a constant we can rely on for a loooong time. Kind of like how certain mythical characters have survived thousands of years with the tales that were told about them, superheroes should be similar. 

 

With respect to what you said and what Alex Gross said, here's some food for thought.

I'm very "into" the science of collecting.  Not just the psychology, but especially the "how do I pick out something that might actually make me some money" angle. 

I once even considered taking all of my ideas to youtube, but I'm glad I didn't.  There's a guy on there who calls himself "Reserved Investments".  Look him up.  He's so good, IMHO, that I no longer feel the need to try to launch a youtube channel because I'm confident he's doing it at least as well as I could, and (not surprisingly), barely has 3,000 followers after working at it for some time.  In summary, he proved to me that very few people care about the science behind collecting.  Hence, there is no need for me to attempt launching a channel.

OK, I digressed there, but I'm driving at a point.

The guy is good. And he makes great points.  He makes the case that there are certain collectibles that are nostalgic only to a single generation.  Your grandma's dolls are an example.  A great example might be something like Howdy Doody memorabilia.   Or maybe Beatles memorabilia.  OK, the Beatles stuff might be valuable now, but like Howdy Doody collectibles, they will have their day, and then they will fade.  In general, all pop culture stuff does this, though IMHO, comics won't fade until long after many of us are dead (I have reasons for this, but there's already too much info in this post). 

Anyway....and this is IMPORTANT...it will fade.

So the point Reserved Investments guy makes (I think his name is Shawn) is that coins and currency are some of the few collectibles that are multigenerational.  Well selected coins or currency are slow to rise, but the good stuff does indeed rise, and it will keep rising (albeit slower), long after we're dead.

Oh, and something else.  Some collectibles have what they refer to as "dark ages".  A good example are Lego.  People who played with Lego stopped doing it as teens and young adults, but some circle back to it years later.  Those people came out of their dark ages.  I've always tried to look at the age of collectors as validation that coins or currency was "going to die", but I see now that lead to false assumptions.  Now when I go on youtube, I see most of the collectors are younger than me.  OK, so it's youtube and that's a young environment, but there are young youtubers with successful channels, and they are clearly talking to somebody, right? 

FWIW, I've picked up, and put down coin and currency collecting a few times each on average.  And I can testify that this last go-around, I did see that prices rose.  It's hard to see while you're doing it, because it's only like 5% or so, but if you do it for a while, and then come back to it years later, you can see the change.  Some of it is due to inflation.  Some is genuine "real" growth.  And that has me collecting coins and currency again, though not as actively as my other pop culture pursuits like comics and video games.  I want my kids to keep the coins and currency but sell the comics.

Steve

Edited by Westy Steve

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On 10/20/2020 at 9:12 AM, wilbil said:

parent, sibling, peer and neighbor influence at a young age is the trigger.

I bought my comics at corner store having never seen them before or ever saw anyone reading them.  None of my friends read comics, nor parents or siblings.  It was something I discovered myself and was the lone comic collector until 12th grade when I met another guy who read comics.

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I've always assumed that the drive to collect is associated with a misfiring of a genetic instinct to hunt and gather. Since we are no longer forced to hunt and kill and store food longterm, our minds need somewhere to release that genetic imperative. Therefore, we mentally ascribe value to certain objects, whether due to nostalgia or what have you, and then feel the need to accumulate and protect them, as a resource.

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33 minutes ago, F For Fake said:

I've always assumed that the drive to collect is associated with a misfiring of a genetic instinct to hunt and gather. Since we are no longer forced to hunt and kill and store food longterm, our minds need somewhere to release that genetic imperative. Therefore, we mentally ascribe value to certain objects, whether due to nostalgia or what have you, and then feel the need to accumulate and protect them, as a resource.

technically you can eat comic books in a pinch.

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1 hour ago, Westy Steve said:

 

Anyway....and this is IMPORTANT...it will fade.

 

totally agree, of course. it's a question of when, which has also been discussed ad nauseum on these boards. but i see that being a ways off. i'd still keep some comics, but i do often wonder how attached i will be to my AF15 if prices start really dropping on all key comics in general and i get the impression that the market is dying off, like with stamps. i dont imagine that happening until i am maybe quite old, if i get there. (spare me the point that af15 may have dropped recently, thats not my point. i'm talking about the whole field dying.)

i stopped collecting coins because i love comics way more, and wanted to spend my time there. plus, comics have proven to be better investments for me, with some exceptions of,course. (1995 china gold panda 1/2)

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In terms of comics as a collectible, I think it’s a safer hobby now than ever before. Hollywood has committed to adapting characters from not just the big guys but also independent companies. And with comics still coming out and having great content, that leaves new things to be adapted for tv or a movie. It’s just so large that it seems to be a safe bet, provided you do a decent bit of research into what comic collectors go for. There are enough tried and true books that only take money to buy.

Now collecting to stay with or even ahead of the market is scary and risky and really, if that’s someone’s angle that’s fine but I appreciate people who do that but also know their stuff too and have read the characters. I think getting into comics for the investment only is silly unless you take the time to read (be it floppies or digital or omnibuses or whatever) and actually know the characters.

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1 minute ago, Ken Aldred said:

If you’re collecting mementos that remind you of a happy, carefree time that really existed for you, back as a kid,  then that to me is fairly healthy reminiscence; stimulating a warm, euphoric response involving actual, positive events from years ago. 

This :cloud9:

Saved me a lot of typing, thanks :)

 

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1 minute ago, MR SigS said:

This :cloud9:

Saved me a lot of typing, thanks :)

 

Happy to oblige.  There's such a broad spectrum of experience. :smile:

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I think collecting is an impulse.  I have collected one thing or another my whole life.  

My mom does too.  Not sure if my collecting is learned behavior.  I'm guessing it is a hereditary brain structure.  Like diarrhea: it runs in your genes.

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My mom and dad never collected comics. But dad did have a random drawer of hot wheels he picked up from time to time in the 90s. I dunno if you can call it a collection but he had about fifty and they were a mix of cars he liked and just ones he thought was cool. He also had a small collection (maybe 10-15) of antique rifles. So perhaps it is something genetic??

My dads mother also collected dolls and had an entire room filled with them in their old farmhouse. I’m surprised I was never creeped out by it. Musta been close to 500 if not more.

Edited by comicginger1789

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4 hours ago, MR SigS said:

This :cloud9:

Saved me a lot of typing, thanks :)

 

Seconded, same here  :cloud9:

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