Daniel and Robert I appreciate the information on The "Rocketship X-M" cards which I had never heard of. This set got my attention. After a quick wiki search I learned that the movie "Rocketship X-M" (Expedition Moon) was produced in 1950. Then in the '70s, the rights to the film were acquired by Wade Williams, who re-shot some of the special effects. From the images in the Net54 "Gallery", I see the cards feature images from the original release, and also the re-release.
It appears the movie is available for viewing on youtube (also DVD) but I'll have to save that for another day because it is late:)
So of course my next step is to check out eBay for some cards LOL!
I purchased two complete sets (50 cards each) for $11.48 which included shipping ($5.74 a set delivered seller only had 2 sets at this price)
Then I picked up a few unopened wax packs for $2 each delivered ($1.75 plus .25c combined shipping with other purchase from one of my favorite eBay sellers)
Maybe a kid or another adult or a "hipster" will see this movie or youtube video, discover the cards, and make a purchase, keeping our hobby rolling along? I don't have Cable TV, but there are several "over-the-airways" channels that I pick up (like Me-TV) that broadcast all the '60s shows Brady Bunch, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, Partridge Family, Star Trek etc etc etc. It makes me think the demand for these '50s and '60s sets might remain solid.
If money is an issue you shouldn't be COLLECTING anything. We are not the most investment-oriented people to start with because we spend ungodly amounts of time and money on old kids' toys.
As far as the points Patrick makes, I share his experience. I went to boxing about 15 years ago because baseball went so insane price-wise that I could not afford cards I wanted to own and became frustrated. Boxing cards rarely go into four figures and only a handful are into five figures. I recently helped Love of the Game run a boxing auction. 250+ lots, the equivalent of a major baseball card auction. I thought it went well but it isn't baseball cards. A major baseball auction goes nuts, attracts all kinds of bidding action, and huge money is involved. It is a huge ego stroke for anyone who has had a substantial collection for more than 20 years: you look like a hell of an investor simply because you hung in. In the last few years especially, I have seen people cash out to the tune of six and even seven figures on baseball cards. That experience isn't part of any other sport or subject collecting, which is why other sports and non sports are always back of the book.
I also think part of the answer why non sports doesn't perform like baseball is that so many collectors of other areas are refugees from baseball. The other cards are nice and all, but they aren't baseball cards. I have little interest in birds, flags, Martians, war 'nostalgia', etc., regardless of how pretty or affordable the cards are, and that's the core issue: if you aren't a fan of the subject it isn't worth pursuing at any price.
Non sports and other sports will never match the interest of baseball, no matter how much we gloss it. The simple fact is that non sports is a niche that waxes and wanes with relatively small numbers of people entering or exiting the field. It won't die but it won't make collectors wealthy either.
The truth of the matter is that it really saddens me to read this discussion and listen to many of the issues that have been raised.
While run of the mill non sports may in fact be cool, so are run of the mill sports cards. So there is no difference there except for the fact that thousand dollar non sports cards are few and far between, whereas they are much more prevalent in sports cards (particularly baseball cards).
I purchase scarce and unusual items and try and veer away from the run of the mill mainstream non sports. Yes, I do sell the run of the mill too, but I have been buying non sports cards for over 40 years and have a decent inventory. I am just not buying Batman cards, or Monkees cards, or James Bond cards or any similar series. But I will buy Star Trek leaf, Beatles Plaks, Push-Pulls, and similar items. My inventory of those type of cards fluctuates so I am always buying more of them.
I am also buying Big Little Book cards, and Cartoon Adventures, and any series that includes Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy, and Popeye.
Why? Again because I like them and I will always pay top dollar for top condition.
Also, uncut sheets. I rarely bring them to a show these days, but I have lots of them from the 1970s and earlier. Why? Same reason -- I like them. The only true sad thing there is I am not a collector, and have not been one since pre 1976, so someday I will sell them so they do get into the hands of collectors.
But until I do stop buying, and it will NOT be because a small group of collectors have discussed this issue and are satisfied that they conceive the hobby as being dead, it will be because I have just reached an age that I am ready to call it quits.
Hopefully that will not be too soon for me. But I have been enjoying this hobby and sports cards for 41 years.
So please don't let this message and its contents and responses convince you to give up something you truly enjoy to do. I won't.
Steve, I appreciate your position and don't think anyone was suggesting that people stop collecting whatever they like. That said, the reality is that non-sports, like boxing, hockey, soccer, wrestling, etc., is a niche market overall, with many smaller pockets of interest from Star Trek geeks or James Bond fantasists, and so on. It has never been a big ticket market and it probably never will be. To many who are used to the easy sales and high prices of baseball or football, that is a real splash of cold water. It isn't easy to sell nonsports for a premium, especially mainstream postwar in less than PSA 9-10 condition. That doesn't mean the market is 'dead'; I've visited your table at every National and Marty's too, and I know you do just fine. But what it does mean is that inventory will turn slowly as compared to sports and people who are used to seeing 'action' and wringing top dollar from cards are going to see a slow, backwater kind of commerce where top dollars are hard to come by. I had a similar experience over the summer when I finally decided to part with the last of my Bond Bread James Bond labels. I'd sold them before for $200+ each, but that was pre-2008. I eventually sold them at the National for a fraction of what I hoped to get for them. You just don't see that happening with rare items like regionals in baseball. It was very disappointing for me, but that's the risk you take when you buy into a field where you aren't an expert. What it will do is put you off of spending much on these items. I know that if I stumble across a nonsports collection, my expectations of it are going to be substantially reduced.
This message has been edited by boxingcardman on Jan 6, 2017 8:41 PM
AH-Ha. Now you have actually hit on a segment of the hobby that may in fact be almost non-existent. Bread labels. Most of the heavy hitters have passed, and some of those that are left really don't have the capital to afford purchasing what they really seek. I keep on hand hundreds of different types of bread labels, and always have Tom Corbetts, James Bonds, Actors/Addresses, Baseball, Football and Basketball. Over the past 10 years interest has dwindled even though they are spectacular examples of a really tough collectible. I do have frequent contact with some of the remaining bread label collectors who touch base with me every year.
I just wasn't paying full attention when you snatched those Bond bread labels on the Hakes auction (I was actually on a cruise) and made a killing on them. It was a great find but that was then and this is now. Their current value is now based on how few collectors out there are really seeking them; not many. But next time you pick up some and they are 100% complete, contact me. I am a glutton for punishment.
How about silks? Another really tough collectible that is rather cold, as most of the heavy hitters there have all but vanished. I keep a large selection of all types, yet they sell very slowly.
But once again, that does not bother me in the least. I bought them all because I personally like Bread Labels and Silks.
I have the "Rocketship X-M" soundtrack by Ferde Grofe. It's a seventies pressing, but the music may've been done in Grofe's most popular period: the 1950s. He, in fact, conducted some of the earliest Gershwin concert pieces (in the thirties and forties), and was thought to've continued that style of American classical begun by the short-lived Gershwin.
Nowadays that sentiment is given to more nuanced composers such as Copland and Glass. Grofe, by turns, is considered almost kitsch; his pieces for the 1964 World's Fair, for instance, or his most famous piece, "The Grand Canyon Suite," all pretty much serve as expressions of the "regime," and are very much reinforcements of the waning postwar American Dream. By the seventies, Grofe is relegated to banal Hollywood film soundtracks, which is where I assume this score for "Rocketship" came from. I have a soft-spot for all them, though, especially his "Hudson River Suite," as I live in New York City and drive down along the Hudson all the time.
There are definitely some aspects of the hobby that are slow these days. I think this is pretty true for many collectibles across the spectrum. But "dead", not if my ebay bidding over the past month is any indication. I can't seem to win anything. I am always 2nd high bidder (or farther down). Even on certain items I feel I am being moderately aggressive on.
(Sorry I am making some of the board members here pay more for their stuff - HA!)
Todd, I hear you. I am often the next highest bidder too, unless I really just don't want to lose that item. You have probably been there too where you just bid way too much to get an item and wind up winning it for either way too much or sometimes way too little. You just never know.
But how can the hobby be dead if we all seem to be having the same luck?
What's really being said is that there are three markets, one of which is thriving and two of which are floundering. Rare and high quality in-demand cards are still driving the market. Low grade cards from common sets are tanking, because there is so much common stuff out there that there is a race to the bottom. And some segments of the market are hurting because they're at the fringes and certain players are no longer chasing those cards.
Well, I tried to win 20 raw mid (around 3-5.5) grade auctions yesterday and ended up with zero from that seller. Some went for a bunch. Looks like there is renewed interest in the set.
Luckily I used my first snipe software bid to win a rare set of Indian Chiefs cards, so I'm not too disappointed. Thanks to those that recommended I start the chiefs sets.
"Is the non sport market dead"? I'm not sure but if the #3 ranked Hogan's Heroes set goes for $3782 w/ buyers premium I wonder. That's no easy set in any condition, yet alone #3 on the registry, and not including grading fees. All of the rest of the non sport lots in Mile High auction, altho not in great condition went for very little. I think it is what it always has been, non sports brings little money unless its very high grade PSA graded 8 and above. Limited interest from a limited collector base.