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What is wrong with our hobby???!

CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,877 admin
I have been reading a bunch of comics during the pandemic and got an itch to look at what an x-men no 1 might cost.  Well the highest graded copies are close to $100k and the lowest are going for around $1000 (missing pages!)

There are currently 5000+ graded copies... This book is from 1963!

What is wrong with our hobby??? You would think the greatest movies ever with low population posters would match these. 

I mean I know we argue the rarity of say Mad Max but even if there are 300 copies out there - that is a drop in the bucket compared to comics. AND the new flock to these art prints (I’m guilt of buying them..)

Wonder if it’s lack of availability in mass quantities make it commercially unattractive. Basically, you can only buy what you see.

I’m stumped. Sports cards too! Mike Trout RC from 2011 sell for $3-4K... They made 20,000 of them...

Rant over...

That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...


  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,577 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
    Nothing is wrong with our hobby I reckon.

    I think its a bit different.
    Kids collected and loved comics and cards.
    When the kids grow up they want to get back what they had.

    Movie posters...hmmm, dunno many kids that collect movie posters.
    Sure we had movies that  we loved growing up, but after we acquire the few we really cherish, we are done usually.
    Posters are hard.  You have to be able to store them, display them.

    You can get containers and the like to store comics and cards...Who has walls to display 100 posters?

    Those who want a few nice ones for their theatre room are happy with 20 buck repros...

    I think a few with a love of film or art or both, venture into posters more fully, but I think we are a select few.
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    edited August 13
    1) The biggest problem is that several very large sellers openly sell repros as originals, ripping off hundreds or thousands of potential new collectors each year. They openly sell on eBay, and NO ONE does anything about it, including eBay. To many of us old-timers it is easy to tell fakes from originals. It would likely help if posters came with COAs simply declaring them originals, but you can't "slab" one-sheets, so how do you know the COA belongs to a specific poster, short of DNA tags and the like, which have been tried and failed.

    2) The second biggest problem is that many desirable items are incredibly rare. Yes, if you want to collect 1960s on posters, for the most part every one is obtainable and the only question is the price, as is true in baseball cards and comic books.

    But for most desirable 1950s and older posters, you CAN'T buy many of them no matter how much you are willing to pay, and that surely turns off many would-be new collectors.

    This "lack of supply" also means a massive shortage of dealers of older material. Dealers have no easy way to replenish their stock of older material, so there is a constant problem of not many dealers with a reasonable stock of vintage material that is TRULY desirable.  In comics or baseball cards, there is a massive flow of older material entering those hobbies from people finding them in their attics. This is hardly ever true for posters.

    And of course there are display issues, as Ves points out, and massive restoration issues. Many auctions are all too happy to sell heavily restored items as having "minor fold and border wear", and the newer collectors who get stuck with those likely exit the hobby as fast as the ones who got ripped off by a repro seller.

    Every week we are sent a number of repros as consignments by people who were sold them as originals. This is a GIANT problem in the hobby that is being ignored.
    We ( hold 3,000 auctions every other week + 6 major auctions a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here:
  • darolodarolo Member Posts: 41 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Movie poster collecting is also much more diverse, I would say any comic any collector would desire Superman no 1 or X-Men no 1 but those who want a first printing Star Wars or the Thing probably don't give a hoot for a Bette Davis poster at any price let alone at 5 figures. I look often enough at dealer web site listings and they have attractive vintage pre-1950 material but much of it is there year after year and it's either overpriced or the market for it is small, and only going to get smaller unless the hobby gets much larger. All the You Tube videos of people showing off their posters - they are all for 1950s and onward collections, and more especially 1970s and later. A 1970 poster now is definitely vintage for new collectors.
  • PanchoPancho Member Posts: 674 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    I don't know if it's as simple as availability. True, there are ample examples of some key comics and cards out there, but there are certainly other 'grail' items that a collector may have to spends years to track down - which is the same for posters. Similarly, some of the most expensive baseball cards and comics are 70, 80+ years old - making it unlikely that most collectors are recapturing their youth. Key comics (eg. origin issues) have been reprinted numerous times for those who just want to read them, but that doesn't effect the price of the originals.

    I think it really comes down to a numbers game. Our hobby just isn't anywhere as big as these others! Look here: 

    The 1952 Topps set is hugely popular and PSA have graded more than 250,000 cards from that set - including nearly 1,400 examples of Mickey Mantle.

    And that's just one company's numbers!

    As a contrast - Bruce, probably the largest poster site online, has auctioned less than 200 one sheets for The Godfather in nearly 2 decades.

    We even have a thread on here about only known copies of a poster. It's safe to say we deal with far rarer items and I think that why the number of people in the hobby is less, which in turns decreases demand / prices.
  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,877 admin
    I feel like our hobby is a sleeping giant... One day people are going to wake up and realize that they are paying $$$$ for a copy of Spider-Man 300 (first appearance of venom) when there have been almost 20,000 of them graded just by one company. Basically everyone has one and you could get one at anytime. The irony is that comic collectors use movies to speculate on comic values. 

    In contrast the most desirable comic in the world is Action Comics No. 1 and there have been only 72 graded by CGC. So maybe 100 copies graded and another 100 hiding?

    What are some premium titles that could have a known population around 100 or less...?

    And why don’t they sell for six and seven figures...  We just haven’t done a good job of making our hobby an attractive investment... People buy comics and cards thinking investment. 

    Hell even the home theater nerds buy fake posters.  

    I think we are in a good spot in terms of scarcity. How do we wake people up?
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,262 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    What is wrong with our hobby??? You would think the greatest movies ever with low population posters would match these. 
    I don't think there is anything wrong with our hobby. High prices shouldn't be the major indicator. Many, many thousands of movies have been made over the years and that means a hugely diverse range of collectors that is steadily growing. There have been quite a lot of collectors and dealers who have amassed a mountain of material over the years and those collections are gradually appearing on the marketplace as the collectors get older. Some of these collections include high end titles that have not been seen for sale before so there may be some big prices coming soon. I think that the hobby will continue to grow and prosper (despite some rumors of troubled waters ahead).

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