Shrinkwrapped or not?
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Poll: A serious collector's items are ...

... in original shrink only. 11%       11%  [ 3 ]
... in mint, but non-shrinked condition. 50%       50%  [ 14 ]
... shrinkwrapped in the high-security storage facility and a double of each shrinked one in mint, non-shrinked condition at home on the bookshelf. 25%       25%  [ 7 ]
... shrinked or non-shrinked - what's the point? 14%       14%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 28

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:32 am 
 

There has been sone discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of shrinkwrapped items on this board. I'll try to sum up a few:

PROS:
- Only a shrinkwrapped item guarantees that nobody has gone through it before and the interior is untouched.
- Shrinkwrapped items are much rarer than none-sw ones. Thus, they are more sought after = more valuable.
- Shrinkwrapped items are cooler than non-shrinked ones. You can impress people more if you have your collection in shrink.

CONS:
- A shrinkwrapped item is not necessarily in mint condition. It could be bent, water-damaged, with mold, or bleached by sunlight.
- You cannot open a sw item and browse through it, read the texts and look at the pictures.
- Non-shrinked items are cooler than shrinked ones. You can show the interior to people and impress them.

Of course, there are more pros and cons. If you know some, please post a reply and let us know.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:33 am 
 

I won't participate in this poll myself, as I am yet undecided. I'd love to see your opinions, though.


- "When the going gets weird, the Weird turn pro."

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:41 am 
 

I'm of the general opinion in life that things are to be used.

If I buy a car for one thousand bucks, it gives me freedom to not really care about it - don't care about scratches - get as much use as possible out of it. If I bought a Ferrari, I would not want to lose those freedoms - I don't want to be restricted and stressed out by a car. So I would treat it in exactly the same way.

I'm not advocating abuse - I wouldn't go out of my way to put scratches on my car - I'd just not get upset if they happened.

Balancing this is a sense of responsibility to rare items. If I personally owned something that I knew there were only a few of in the world - I'd definitely treat it with respect.

Errr so anyway, getting back to shrinkwrap or not - I prefer to actually get items I can use - I'd like to buy an orange B3 that's opened.

Having said that, if I see a bargain on a shrinkwrapped item (say half of what I know it's worth), I'll buy it and keep the shrinkwrap on.

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 7:26 am 
 

Do you buy the shrinkwrapped bargain to use as trade material later or do you keep it in your collection then? If you keep it, will you buy the same item again without shrink sooner or later just to own it without shrink, too? If so, would you do the same for super rare and/or expensive items? Example: Assuming, you don't own the B3 and you're lucky enough to buy one in shrink for half it's value. Will you buy an opened B3 later?

In this case, (legal) PDFs can be helpful, too. In case of the B3, you might just dowload it from WOTC and make a print-out for reading, having the sw in your safe ...


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:12 am 
 

Buying shrinkwrapped for me is an investment. Other than for that reason, I can't see the point in having a shrinkwrapped item. What I enjoy most about D&D is looking at it - especially the maps etc, so pdfs don't do it for me in that respect. I've got a bunch of pdfs but that's more for interest's sake to compare printings etc.

Yes, I would buy an unopened one later.

What I would like is a complete collection non-shrinkwrapped. Any SW copies I'd have would be purely for investment so I wouldn't be concerned about getting a complete set of those, just concentrate on getting bargains and items likely to go up faster over time - ie the rarer stuff. Which means I could have multiple copies.

I still think that the rarer D&D items can only keep going up in price as the years go by.

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:47 am 
 

I agree completely with nev.  I have no use for SW except for resale value.

I would obviously never remove shrinkwrap from a module but what's the fun of just looking at the cover?  I don't want my house overrun with things I can't use and can't even peruse.  Give me mint condition without SW anyday.  

When you're in your 30's, friends don't find your D&D collection cool or impressive regardless of condition.  In fact most of my friends think this hobby is pathetic and sad.  I think they're planning an intervention.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:56 am 
 

Ralf sums up the pros and cons well, but leaves out one of the major cons that makes me shy away from shrinkwrap items most of the time (unless it's from a seller I've known for a long time and trust).  The problem is with the rapidly rising prices in shrinkwrap items compared to non-shrinkwrap means those without scruples are going to reshrink excellent condition items to maximize their profits.  This happened to me firsthand years ago from a famous reseller that is no longer in business.  I bought I2 in the shrink, but seeing that this was almost a decade ago when values were still relatively low and I wanted to read it, I opened the shrink and was shocked to find pencil marks in the module.  Obviously it had been reshrunk... whether it was by the seller or by another person who sold it to the seller, I will never know.  But that's when I swore off shrinkwrap items for good.  The only items I know are certainly orginal shrinkwrap are the ones that I bought for my collection way back when off the hobby store's shelf.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 9:11 pm 
 

SW is way overblown, in my opinion.

Assuming that the item has the original SW, the only thing that it guarantees is that the item has not been read.  This might make some of you cringe, but, with a vast majority of the early items that I purchased the first thing that I did was remove the SW and replace it with a high quality bag & board.  I elected to do so to prevent the potential nasty things that could result from leaving the original SW on, and also, so that I could at least look through the item to make sure it was intact.  Adding to the prior comments on this subject, here's my 2-cents on a few of the potential pitfalls to leaving the SW on that I'm sure some of you have seen.

1. Warpage or bending caused by the SW being too tight.  Especially prevalent on the later releases when TSR was into the "make it cheap mode".

2. Lack of an adequate protection from the environment.  A lot of the SW that was used intentionally contained holes.  While some amount of breathing is good initially as the item is drying, this could also allow moisture, bugs, or mildew to infiltrate the item long-term.

3. Expanding upon #2, staple rust, mildew, and odors cannot be discerned which would certainly make the item less desirable than a M/NM copy that could be evaluated.

4. Damage caused by inferior SW.  The SW used was not always the best type and could result in discoloration or bonding to the contents over time.

5. And finally, SW does not guarantee that the item is M/NM, correctly printed, and complete!  Most of you have probably seen something out there that was damaged in printing or bound improperly.  I don't think that the value of such an item would be the same as one that was proper produced, does anyone else?

Also, as was mentioned by others, SW can be replaced so easily that paying a premium based on that alone is fraught with the peril.  I have purchased several items that have been re-shrinked.  Some were sold indicating this and others were not…

That being said, I also agree that SW items are still a good investment if acquired for a decent price since there are those that do consider this to be the most desirable feature and few remain in this state since most of these items are, after all, purchased to be read or used.  I would still recommend that they be bagged and boarded in addition to the SW.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:13 pm 
 

Shrinkwrap is put on items to protect them until they are sold. That is why comic bags were invented.
It's similar to a woman. You don't want one that's been handled by hundreds of other people, but a pristine one does you no good, since YOU can't fully enjoy her either. Unless you remove her shrinkwrap, thereby damaging her value to others. But then you get to enjoy the product.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:54 pm 
 

Dude... I hardly feel you're qualified to make comments on the proper care and treatment of the feminine gender.  After all, we've all see your auction history.

:lol:  :lol:


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:00 am 
 

ROFL.........
SW is ok.  But I would rather have an item in good condition that I can go through and look at.



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Post Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:31 am 
 

hmmm... I thought there were much more collectors defending the shrink wrap. I am tempted to remove some plastic material now ...


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:59 pm 
 

We try to have at least one copy in shrink. We also try to collect the different printings in FN or better condition. That gives us one MIS and others to look through and read.

One thing that really sucks is when you receive your "D&D module still sealed in original shrink" in the mail and the seller neglected to state that the shrink is torn or the module is warped from water damage. In most cases I have gotten the seller to make a significant refund. The guy that paid $51 for the AC7 recently on eBay is going to be very upset when he sees that the "corner dink" is actually insect damage and is partially eaten away.

BTW: Keep opening up your shrinked items so ours become more rare. :wink:

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:31 pm 
 

The term MIS (Mint in Shrink) is a misnomer - you may be able to tell it is in great condition but you can't tell if it is *mint* until you open it and look through it carefully.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 10:06 pm 
 

Shrinkwrapped items are valuable because of perceived condition and rarity.  They're beautiful looking, and hard to find, so their value is considerable.

For me, however, their commercial value exceeds their collector interest value, so they are strictly to be sold to make way for more interesting items.

I personally look for D&D collectibles that have interesting content and some provenance.  I feel that when the collector mindset is entirely removed from the player/DM mindset, that the hobby becomes a sterile, passionless exercise in financial speculation.  Such a mentality is better served by speculating on porkbellies and such on Wall Street (and the return is better).
:)

Items that hold value for me often don't interest other people.  I find it much more interesting to look through a thoroughly-annotated, beaten B2 with highlighting and inserted character sheets for "Crogar the Mighty" than I do admiring a B2 on a cardboard header in the shrink.  But what I find interesting isn't always rare, so there are two sides to consider.

Back when I was collecting shrink (~1995), I had about 300 pieces, and then I had a revelation:  Most of these pieces were in the condition they were in because they had been rejected in their prime; no one had wanted them, so they got remaindered, stashed in warehouses, or simply forgotten.  That, combined with the inability to dig in and appreciate them for their content, resulted in me trading them all away.  Do I regret it?  Nope - I got good prices, even compared to the current insanity.  I simply have to remind myself that the reason why I got such good prices was because there are many collectors out there who have an entirely different mindset.  To each his own.
8)

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:11 am 
 

A serious collector's items are ...


...not available elsewhere.  At all.  Stuff like original circulating OD&D pre-publication manuscripts, unpublished materials from a published author's home gaming collection (who wouldn't want to have Gygax's 1e DMG complete with annotations, or Lawrence Schick's Top Secret adventures [which Jason Zavoda has IIRC]), etc.

Shrink is nice and all, but with sufficient money anyone can get a shrink copy of anything.  Seeking the true gems is the thrill for me (not that I'm likely to ever find any...).


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:10 am 
 

Interesting point grodog... I wonder how much Gygax's notebooks from way back would go for... now that's a treasure because it's a one-of-a-kind item.  

Shrinkwrap in this hobby is an illusion because as the stakes get higher financially those without scruples will reshrink to their wallet's content.  Anyone can reshrink an item, therefore shrinkwrap in and of itself adds no extra value.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:32 am 
 

grodog's right - in the last year for example, there has been a series of original manuscripts and art for Call of Cthulhu up for sale (some not even so expensive).  It is *really* interesting to see what the original conceptions behind some well loved game supplements are...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:55 am 
 

Reading through this thread reminded me of a story from my youth.

UMass Amherst: Error Page Not Found

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:00 am 
 

Bravo!

Do you think they made shrink wrapped grapes?   :D


Dere Fritoad, Two badd yoo copped outt so sooon lazt nighgt. Mised som grooovy trps. Hoap th rring thinng wurcs out awrighgt. Peece, Timm  PS Hear ar som outt of sihgt stash I'm laying onn yoo guyz. Must sine off as rush iss cocomcoming ohgodohgod$#%*@!

  
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