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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:35 am 
 

One of the players in my campaign is 19. He asked me yesterday why I have so many out-of-print and rare RPG items. I explained the whole collecting thing to him, and he said it was a bad investment. His reasoning:

Most of the people collecting stuuf are 30-50. Some collect for nostalgia, some for investment and use. HIS generation, however, has no interest as a whole in 1st edition stuff, since they never really were exposed to it. They know 3rd edition. So his opinion is that if we hold on to old RPG items too long, they will actually devaluate, since the collecting age group will diminish, therefore demand will as well. Opinions?


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:59 am 
 

Interesting thoughts.  If we take the same idea, but step back a generation or three to the hardcore wargamers/boardgamers of the 60s and 70s or so, I think we'll see that argument fail.  



For example, Avalon Hill's Titan regularly commands eBay $80-$120 prices today.  The original print runs from Tramp go for $120-$180 or more.  

Similalry, Milton Bradley's Dark Tower has only increased in value in the 20+ years since its release:  EX working sets with spare parts sell for $250+.  Similar examples abound.  



Perhaps your 19-year-old would argue that we're the folks (the Acaeum collecting community, aged c. 30-sh to 45-ish??) who are buying these games---the next generation who were exposed at conventions, by older siblings, uncles, direct purchase, etc.  I'm just not sure that's the case, though:  there are still a LOT of old wargamers out there with $$ to spend, and younger collectors like Mike Kuo are in the market for product too.  Fewer 1e collectors may appear in each of the generations following us, but I still don't see that necessarily detracting from the value of a collection:  there were still only 1000 1st edition OD&D woodgrain boxes produced, and that number's never going to change....


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:07 am 
 

That was exactly my argument. His point was that if the money spent on a collection was invested, it would earn much more interest than the collection itself would when sold. He was looking at it purely from a financial standpoint.


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 9:00 am 
 

He was looking at it purely from a financial standpoint


From a purely financial standpoint, the money I've invested in my collection probably doesn't make sense (especially in my wife's opinion - the money would be better spent on shoes for her...). However, if you factor in the intangibles, like quality-of-life enhancement, nostalgia and sheer enjoyment, it makes lots of sense. At least that's the argument I use. I'm not in this for financial rewards, but because I enjoy it.



I also think that Allan's example of the wargame market is absolutely right. The market there doesn't show any signs of slowing down, even though there aren't as many young people coming on board. Prices continue to rise and there are always buyers for rare items.



It's like anything else - there will always be someone ready to buy a particularly rare or valuable item. Even though the bottom has fallen out of the comic book market, the really valuable items still sell.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:16 am 
 

What does a 1st issue Superman go for nowadays?

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:21 am 
 

150k USD+


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:11 pm 
 

zander wrote:
He was looking at it purely from a financial standpoint


From a purely financial standpoint, the money I've invested in my collection probably doesn't make sense (especially in my wife's opinion - the money would be better spent on shoes for her...). However, if you factor in the intangibles, like quality-of-life enhancement, nostalgia and sheer enjoyment, it makes lots of sense. At least that's the argument I use. I'm not in this for financial rewards, but because I enjoy it.





You hit the nail on the head for me as well.  If I wanted to make a good investment, I'd sink all this money into real estate.  I collect because I enjoy the items I buy.  If the collecting market collapsed, I'd still be very happy with my collection.  If anyone is in this to get a cash reward in 30 years down the line then they are most probably making a big mistake.  Collect because you enjoy the hobby.  

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:38 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:One of the players in my campaign is 19. He asked me yesterday why I have so many out-of-print and rare RPG items. I explained the whole collecting thing to him, and he said it was a bad investment. His reasoning:

Most of the people collecting stuuf are 30-50. Some collect for nostalgia, some for investment and use. HIS generation, however, has no interest as a whole in 1st edition stuff, since they never really were exposed to it. They know 3rd edition. So his opinion is that if we hold on to old RPG items too long, they will actually devaluate, since the collecting age group will diminish, therefore demand will as well. Opinions?




This is a very interesting thought. I am in this 'business' because I want to complete (at a reasonable price, unless I am deadly set on some item such as the Wee Warriors modules of Cougarrinard) my collection and secondly for making money selling items here in Italy. My customers are largely the 20-30s crowd, the ones having problems scraping enough money to buy the English Companion Set in the '80s at the hefty sum of 40,000 lires (20 euros today) and now, with a job and disposable income, well, getting some satisfactions. I know, I'm one of them  :D . The younger fans I see at the store are not interested at all in the Classic D&D products on the shelf and so I suppose they will not be biten by the collectors bug - perhaps they will be for Third Edition stuff  8O. I don't know if in ten or twenty years the D&D/AD&D books will lose value - I'm convinced there will be always enough interest to make them worthy of some money. About the Superman comparison, well, I think that Superman is an American pop culture icon, immediately recognizable by non fans and surely enjoying advantages from this in price terms for its own products. D&D is not such a largely recognized icon, I think.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:44 am 
 

It will be interesting to see where this hobby goes.  It could end up like coin collecting, where the base of collecters just keeps getting smaller and older, and eventually dies out....have you ever been to a coin show?  You can't find one person under 50 years old...a boring hobby (IMO).

  It could end up like pulp collecting.  Young people nowadays have never seen a pulp, don't know what pulps are, but are vaguely familiar with the concept due to movies, etc.  When they see a pulp, or buy their first one, something about the medium catches the imagination. Once again, you do have a lot of older collectors selling the same stuff to each other, but I think there is enough of an influx of newer collectors each year to keep this hobby alive.  The problem here is the shape of the pulps themselves...in another 25 years is there going to be anything to collect, or will they have all fallen apart?

    Of course, comic collecting has it's ups and downs, but generally is now publically accepted and comic book conventions are well attended by every age group.  For the older collector, they can pick up the books of their youth, and if they happen to have some older books can actually make some money.  For the younger collector, there is always the chance that the new book off the shelf may be worth quite a bit just 2-3 years down the road (For example Ultimate Spiderman #1 which just hit the shelves a few years ago is already going for what, like $50?  sheesh!).  

    RPG collecting isn't really like any of these, but has some elements of each.  It's more of a closed hobby, since not everyone games or even understands the concept, or if they do may think it's weird and want nothing to do with it.  So, the core rare items in the hobby, unlike say a Spiderman #1, will only be worth something to the hard-core collector.  You have to have at least a basic knowledge of games to know if a module is worth $1 or $100.  By comparison, if I find a gold coin from 1930 I know it's worth something without knowing a thing about collecting coins.  When someone finds an old D&D module, they don't have a clue of it's worth unless they are in the hobby itself.  They would look at a Wee Warriors module the same way I would look at a one of a kind Beanie Baby...I guess that could also help a lot of collectors, I know myself I've come upon some rares due to someone dumping his collection at a used bookstore not knowing what it was worth.  But in general, D&D collecting will never have a large following.

    I personally think that due to the closed nature of RPGs that the items will continue to mostly be worth something only to insiders of the game.  And, when and if roleplaying games or D&D either quits publishing or goes out of style, I think the value will plummet.  The one avenue the hobby has for expansion is overseas....a ton of my buyers are from Europe, Japan, etc.  They never saw the products when they were first released, and because of the internet are only just getting a chance to buy a lot of the items they have been looking for.  Don't be surprised if a lot of the rare stuff ends up in a personal bookshelf in Brazil or Italy in the next few years!



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Post Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:59 am 
 

Badmike wrote: The one avenue the hobby has for expansion is overseas....a ton of my buyers are from Europe, Japan, etc.  They never saw the products when they were first released, and because of the internet are only just getting a chance to buy a lot of the items they have been looking for.  Don't be surprised if a lot of the rare stuff ends up in a personal bookshelf in Brazil or Italy in the next few years!

Mike b.


For what I can say, Mike is absolutely true. In Italy 90% of collectors are people looking to complete Gazetteers collections or module collections, but just the classic series such as B, X, CM and M. There is a small minority with significant purchasing power chasing everything D&D (myself included) and the only way we can do is courtesy of EBay. In the Dark Age before Internet and EBay, how could we know how many D&D products were released in the US? I remember years ago making my very first EBay search for the M1 Blizzard Pass and being literally awed in seeing so many of them! When I discovered The Acaeum, I was amazed, literally amazed (especially amazed for the prices of something, considering the fact we were all convinced here that the Orange B3 was the most rare and collectible D&D product ever  :oops: ) and I decided to start my own web site. If the Americans can do it, why shouldn't an Italian attempt too :D ? Albeit I'd like to see Italian collectors buying just from me  :wink: , I noticed an increasing number of my countrymen on EBay (did you remember the AC5 auction ending at $ 100  8O ? Well, that's an Italian but I wonder of I should be proud or embarassed... :?: ) and I'm sure the info on my site has given quite a good contribution on this. Then there are French, German and (very privileged) British collectors too...

  

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:33 am 
 

If the Americans can do it, why shouldn't an Italian attempt too :D ? Albeit I'd like to see Italian collectors buying just from me  :wink: , I noticed an increasing number of my countrymen on EBay (did you remember the AC5 auction ending at $ 100  8O ? Well, that's an Italian but I wonder of I should be proud or embarassed... :?: ) and I'm sure the info on my site has given quite a good contribution on this. Then there are French, German and (very privileged) British collectors too...




    Let's hear it for the Italians!!!!!  I have to say, Italy is a huge growing customer base...a ton of my Ebay sales are to Italy now.  I don't know why the suddenly upsurge in Italian buyers, the same thing happened to Japan a few years ago when every other bidder was from Japan.  Now they are all from Italy!  I have to say that your information is probably helping EBay sales, an informed public is one that will spend to get what they want...if you don't know it exists, you don't know you want it...or something like that.  So keep up the good work, I've got a bunch of AC5s I need to sell..... :D



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Post Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 4:02 am 
 

Badmike wrote: I have to say that your information is probably helping EBay sales, an informed public is one that will spend to get what they want...if you don't know it exists, you don't know you want it...or something like that.  So keep up the good work, I've got a bunch of AC5s I need to sell..... :D

Mike B.


Ehm, Mike, I attempted to send you an e-mail message regarding the Classifieds but it was bounced back. Could you kindly send a message to [email protected]?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:41 pm 
 

Howdy All,



Hey I just got back from Disney World! Now what am I going to do? Go to the Acaeum, of course!



Deadlord36 wrote:That was exactly my argument. His point was that if the money spent on a collection was invested, it would earn much more interest than the collection itself would when sold. He was looking at it purely from a financial standpoint.




Yeah, but you can't kick a bunch of newby players in the butt with your 401k now can ya'? G1 is a lot more fun than IRA!



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Post Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:29 pm 
 

Howdies, new poster here, but I thought I'd chime in.....



I never started collecting OAD&D items for anything else but the sheer enjoyment of having a hobby that was rewarding to me.  Items go down in value......I could personally care less.  The first ever DM's guide I bought holds more value to me than anything I currently own.  Why?  Lots of reasons, but one's that can never be equated in a valid $ argument.  

My point?......If you truely enjoy collecting, I guess it's the same as everything else....



It's all in the eye of the beholder (Please the Excuse pun)



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Post Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:53 am 
 

drmwalkr wrote: The first ever DM's guide I bought holds more value to me than anything I curreently own.  Why?  Lots of reasons, but one's that can naver be equated in a valid $ argument.  

Christian


I agree in full. I really treasure the very first ever D&D English book I have bought, the B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond, still full of Italian words above the English text to better understand what the module was saying. I still remember myself, barely 18, spending nights with an English - Italian dictionary, attempting to figure out everything. Sniff...  :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:52 pm 
 

I agree, of course. There is a difference between COLLECTING and INVESTING. Collectors will pay more than an item's worth sometimes, in order to have it. Investors always pay less.

So, does that make Cougarretard and other resellers collectors or investors? Investors would be my guess. Short-term.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:08 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I agree, of course. There is a difference between COLLECTING and INVESTING. Collectors will pay more than an item's worth sometimes, in order to have it. Investors always pay less.

So, does that make Cougarretard and other resellers collectors or investors? Investors would be my guess. Short-term.




Well, there are people falling in both categories  8O . I'm one of them  :wink: .

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:09 am 
 

Me too. I like reading the stuff but I've also bought some for investment. I'm talking about items like Tsojconth. A rare item like that will always be in demand.

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