The shrink wrap issue (Dark & Hidden Ways: New Records)
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:47 am 
 

Wow, this went really high:

http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... %3AIT&rd=1

Dark and Hidden Ways shrink-wrapped for nearly $200.

... and it looks as if Matt is in for some more shoe shopping.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:49 am 
 

That has been a gaping hole in my collection for some time now, and I just got a little carried away...  I was pissed to have to spend that much, but a few shoes never really hurt anybody...   :o

I found a bunch of shrink wrapped items that I was bidding on and the stuff went through the roof.  (By the way, I do think that shrink wrapped items are very collectible and an asset to any collection.  They are the item in its original form.  Nobody has pawed through it and you can almost see it sitting on the store shelf.  Buy an extra copy if you want to thumb through it!)
I was so pissed that stuff like AC9 was up to $60 that I had to win something!

Well, off to the shoe store...   :cry:


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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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:02 pm 
 

foster1969 wrote:
I found a bunch of shrink wrapped items that I was bidding on and the stuff went through the roof.  (By the way, I do think that shrink wrapped items are very collectible and an asset to any collection.  They are the item in its original form.  Nobody has pawed through it and you can almost see it sitting on the store shelf.  Buy an extra copy if you want to thumb through it!)



How do you know that they are in the original shrink?  Especially with the premium prices people are paying for shrink, I suspect there will only be more and more reshrinking.  Caveat emptor.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:40 pm 
 

I think that there will be very little fake shrink wrapping.  First, you would need to have an unshrinkwrapped module that is in perfect condition.  No rub marks at all.  No finger prints.  No stains.  Then you have to shrinkwrap it to look like old shrinkwrap.  I actually received a reshrunk module one time.  It was obvious.  There were scratches and rubbing on the book UNDER the shrink wrap.  The shrinkwrap wasn't even scratched.  I bid on an auction with no picture.  
The maxim of Caveat Emptor summarizes the rule that a purchaser must examine, judge, and test for himself...  Had I taken the time to ask for a photo, I never would have purchased the item.  Since then, I only bid on items with a picture.  It is pretty easy to tell if an item is in original shrink wrap.  And if it is impossible to tell if it is not original...  it might as well be original!  
And if I find out somebody sold me a re-shrunk item... Caveat venditor!   :wink:


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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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:42 pm 
 

It's true that current shrinkwrapping methods are different from yesteryear and very apparent, but there are still printshops that have the old equipment.  In NYC there are dozens of printshops and it wouldn't be hard to find a few that had the old method still in use.  Under the wrap it is very difficult to tell that an item has not already been opened as long as the outer cover sleeve is excellent condition.  It can also be "cleaned" prior to reshrinking.  The interior is the biggest mystery.  Imagine the surprise when you get a shrinkwrap item, open it, and find pencil marks inside.  That happened to me almost 10 years ago when the market was young and not that profitable.  I imagine with the rising market this trend will continue and be more difficult to detect.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:36 pm 
 

If I were to forge some rare item to make money, I wouldn't re-shrink an old one. I'd make copies of AG modules, or better yet, pre-publication versions of the R-series. That would make me some real money.

It has happened before. Wasn't the "Lost Tamoachan" cover downloaded from the Acaeum and the print-out sold to some collector some years ago?


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:29 pm 
 

Ralf Toth wrote:If I were to forge some rare item to make money, I wouldn't re-shrink an old one. I'd make copies of AG modules, or better yet, pre-publication versions of the R-series. That would make me some real money.

It has happened before. Wasn't the "Lost Tamoachan" cover downloaded from the Acaeum and the print-out sold to some collector some years ago?


That could also be precisely the reason why the "clever" unscrupulous would _not_ do it.  We'd all check that big-ticket auctions with a fine-tooth comb, as would the winner.  Evidently most buyers do not suspect their items could/would be reshrunk on  more typical items and hence do not consider the possibility.  That is precisely the reason why the unscrupulous would do it: to steal in a way that everyone would not suspect.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:50 pm 
 

I agree.  A SWed rarity would automatically draw considerable scrutiny.  Re-SWing a more common item to get a 4X ROI could easily slip by, especially when "newbayers" are involved.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:09 am 
 

Well, the risk is much higher, of course, so is the profit. It all depends on the amount of criminal energy behind the forgery.

Plus, imagine if the buyer of such a forgery found out about it. Now he has spent several hundred $$ on a forged item. Will he admit it? Probably not. Maybe he thinks it would be too embarassing.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:30 am 
 

OK, this is going to be one of the most ridiculously detailed things I've ever posted.  I apologize in advance.
:oops:

I have seen many re-shrinkwrapped products, and I can always tell the difference.  It's not too hard, really, provided you've been opening modules since 1978 or so.  :)  For others, though, if you feel this is a valid concern, then it would be to the Acaeum's benefit if we got together, compared our items, and came up with a "chronology" of TSR shrinkwrap methods as a collector reference.

Here's some of the particulars:

The first phase of TSR shrinkwrap I have experience with is the 1977-1978 stuff.  It's a bit thick, cheap, and not well-suited to the paper product; this one, I think, is the easiest to "fake."  It has a bit of bubbling/corrugation in it, often with frayed little spindles at the corners, and it sometimes warps the product.

The next phase was the "flaky" stuff that was easier to tear, less likely to warp, and quicker to fray at the corners.  This was used mostly to wrap pastel modules and such, 1978-1979.  Some collectors erroneously believe that if you see a series of horizontal wrinkle-creases on the cover of a shrink pastel, then the item has been reshrinked.  This is not the case - I saw many 1979 modules being taking out of the TSR shipping box and put on the store shelves, and they had those creases.  I believe they were caused by the module covers coming out on the printing rollers.

The third shrink phase I can identify as different is the "hole" type.  This stuff is "glassier," less opaque, and of higher quality.  It tends to tear at the corners, but not as easily as the earlier stuff.  When it does tear, though, it tends to keep on going in a slightly curving seam.  Its distinguishing mark is usually one or more "breathing holes," circular, a little less than 1/4" in size.  I believe these were made mostly from 1980-1983, unfortunately I sold my last examples a couple weeks ago and don't have one in front of me.

The fourth phase is the "seam" - much like the above, but with a very noticeable seam in the back that was intended to make the module easier to open.  This stuff is a bit thicker, but much like the above.  All of the examples I have are, interestingly, D&D, not AD&D, from 1984-1988.  (X4, X5, B10, X10, etc.)  It may have been printed later than that; in the late 80s-early 90s, I was out of the hobby.

The stuff from 1995-present is pretty much unchanged, but of higher quality.  It looks cheaper, but is actually thicker.  But warping at the corners or a slight curve overall are both more prominent problems.

Has anyone noticed any other variants I'm missing?  Does anyone have experience with 1974-1976 shrink?

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:36 am 
 

OK this proves to become interesting. I've changed the name of this thread in case of further replies.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:52 am 
 

Great work darkseraphim!  This should be a full-blown essay in the Acaeum library with detailed scans of examples.  This resource  would be a boon to collectors for years to come and make it harder on the shrink "forgers."  Though, as Ralf said, if the criminal intent is clever and perseverant enough nothing may stop them.  <sigh>

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:32 am 
 

Well, here's an interesting dilemma to consider.  

What if a collector had an original shrink, and the shrink was damaged to the point that it was essentially falling off.  I own only about eight shrinked items IIRC, and four of my "shrink" items are copies of Rob Kuntz's Creations Unlimited Maze of Zayene modules:  the shrink on at least two of them has split at the sides and you can easily slip the module in/out and/or put the shrink to it's final rest with one or two more judicious inches of opening.  

What's wrong with the collector reshrinking it if the item is still in like-new, fresh-out-of-the-shrink condition?  I.e., does the value of the collectible object reside in it's wrapper, or in the object itself?  

If the collector chose to sell the book, and advised that it had been bought shrinked, then reshrinked either a) to replace bad shrink, or b) to inspect the shrink item to validate that it's not a forgery (as with the old lots of orange B3s, for example), how would you feel about that?  

This is a theoretical query on my part; all of the stuff that I'm planning to sell/trade soon isn't shrinked and hasn't been for many years :D


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:44 am 
 

Allan, I think it would be blasphemous to put another shrinkwrap on it. It wanted to be free. It wanted to be held, admired, revered. If the plastic falls off, it wants to be flipped through its pages. Let it have it's way - don't re-shrink it!!! It has earned its freedom.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:15 pm 
 

What's wrong with the collector reshrinking it if the item is still in like-new, fresh-out-of-the-shrink condition?


well why do we not photocopy it when it's mint and like new, like this if the book is damaged some times after, you will able to sell the photocopy !
it's exactly the same logic.

if the shrink is damaged, well it's damaged, that s not a big affair, and the book is still 'like new', that's why original shrink are rare !

and what is the limit? I have a module which is like new? so i can shrink it ! and well this one which have only few wear marks too, it's near mint ! oh and this excellent condition too, it's so near mint :)

Why do you not shrink the shrink? it will protect it better and you will able to sell it for more !

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:02 pm 
 

Keep the SW on the item even if it is falling off.  It will increase the value.  If it's really bad perhaps a little tape to hold it together, as long as you don't get any residue on the item!  As I've recommended before, I would definitely bag and board it, even if the SW is intact.  The trend in the past was that even if the original SW was opened, the item tended to go for about the same as an intact SW item - I'm not sure if that still applies though, in light of recent events.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:23 pm 
 

Well, I'm glad that info helped a little.
8)

Now all we need is for some of the shrinkwrap-collecting heavyweights to weigh in - someone see if burntwire and pitttbulll have anything to add, since I'm sure they have a more diverse selection of shrinkwrap on hand than I do.
8O

  

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:41 am 
 

I've kept all the origiaol shrink with my modules, I slit the bottoms of the shrink slide em out, when I've finished I slide em back in..

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 5:17 am 
 

Dude, you're kidding, right?


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:19 am 
 

I've kept all the origiaol shrink with my modules, I slit the bottoms of the shrink slide em out, when I've finished I slide em back in..


Yeah, quite a few people do that...

I've been burned a couple of times by sellers who "forgot" to mention that the item has spent a good majority of its life outside the "original shrink".  

If you're going to take the damn thing out of the wrapper, leave it off!  Bag it and board it afterwards to protect it!   :x


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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