STAR WARS Collectibles

December 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, New

STAR WARS Collectibles

There is a renewed interest in all STAR WARS collectibles.

With the release of the latest feature film in the STAR WARS series a bright new light has been cast on all the existing collectibles out there. This includes the merchandise from all the earlier films as well as all the promotional materials.

The latest film release is no different. In fact it has brought a renewed interest in everything STAR WARS.

I started looking into this just recently after hearing from some of the older merchandise holders out there. They have been collecting figurines since the first film…sometimes inadvertently. They didn’t always seek out the merchandise after a film instalment’s release.

Instead they report being given action-figures as gifts. This usually played out with relatives visiting for holidays or birthday celebrations.

It’s those accidental collections that makes this even more amazing. It’s easy to imagine when you stop to think about it. The scenario goes something like this.

A visiting friend or relative might need to pick up a gift for a child’s birthday party. They maybe ask one of their own children about what is on the ‘cool- radar’.  Or they grab a toy from whatever is hot in pop culture for the day.

STAR WARS would have won on both accounts. It was definitely a hot item when they were first released.

If you are one of the lucky collectors of STAR WARS memorabilia, or film merchandise, you’re more than likely sitting on a small fortune. This is one of those golden situations where collecting can pay off like the lottery.

Most of the feedback I’ve received has been about action figures – the small plastic figurines. In some cases these are still in their original clam-shell packages. Some collectors reporting they have dozens of original unopened packages gathering dust in a box.

Even though I wasn’t into  the STAR WARS collectibles back then I still found myself digging around my storage…just in case. I suggest you do the same.

“I found myself looking at STAR WARS collectibles almost by accident”.

Even small low-quality castings with poor finishes are now sought after.

In fact, sometimes it’s that low quality that gives it its character and collectability. There are different ‘issues’ and series to pay attention to but the time is right to profit on all the related pieces. The timing of the latest film release has ratcheted up values across the board on all merchandise.

If you have been stock-piling boxes of old toys now is the time to treasure-hunt for anything related to any of the films in the series. It’s not unheard of to see some of those earliest action figures trading in the thousands of dollars.

I actually found one example that had been quickly appraised at $8000. Keep in mind the action figures I’m referring to were originally sold for $2 – $3 back in the 1970s.

Okay, that brings up something else as well. I mentioned the timing of all this. Because of the new film’s release the hype is building and the collectors are in a great position to benefit. The less clear picture is this, sometimes the hype can ratchet up appraisals that don’t actually pay off. Anyone can give a quick appraisal.

Until it actually sells that appraisal is just a guess.

We usually see a frenzy of merchandise showing up to be sold or appraised. If there were a rush of items for sale it would be the same as anything being traded and the prices could be affected. I haven’t yet heard of any big sales or high bids at auctions so it’s still a little gray.

Will your pieces actually sell for these crazy amounts?

It’s always possible but it’s too early to tell. It will have a lot to do with what the next buyer is willing to pay – as in any exchange. Still, it doesn’t hurt to think strategically. I don’t think this film franchise is anywhere near ending. Which means even more merchandise will be produced. More merchandise being available can take the steam out of the prices for collectibles.

STAR WARS collectibles are sought-after world-wide.

“So you’ve found an action figure in it’s original packaging …now what?”

You need to take stock of exactly you have. Catalogue every detail including the packaging. If it has an original price sticker make sure to leave it intact.  Take some reference pictures from several angles before putting away safely. Now it’s time to get down to researching your STAR WARS collectibles.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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Collectible Vinyl Records

December 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, New

Collectible Vinyl Records

To begin an article on collecting anything you need to take a good look at where it came from …it’s roots. In the case of collectible vinyl records it’s a little difficult because while it’s definitely an activity that’s going strong it’s also one that never experienced a full disappearance. It’s just been flying under the radar for several years.

People have been collecting records since the day they were first pressed. The most dedicated of collectors never really stopped. Their collections have been stored away, quietly growing just waiting for a resurgence in interest and popularity. That time is now here. Ironically the sanitization of current recordings has been the catalyst. It’s created a yearning for the warmth of a vinyl recording.

So what type of records are we are discussing?

Records, or the more accurate ‘recordings’, could be any type of specific sound effect like footsteps.  They could also be historical speeches. They were popular for documenting historical events and general reference.

Recordings were also made from ambient noise. These were a specific niche of a sound effect. An example would be something like waves of water lapping at a beach. But for this article we’ll focus on the musical type of recordings we’re all familiar with.

I began collecting records in the early 70s. There was nothing available at the time except for vinyl records and 8-track tapes. I was in my early teens and a visit to the record store was a weekly ritual. This was something that was always shared with close friends. The highlight of our week would be an outing to the famous Sam The Record Man on Yonge Street in Toronto.

There were several other hole-in-the-wall stores on the strip but Sam’s was definitely the place to be on a Saturday. While you were there could flip through troughs of vinyl record albums. As well as the private and semi-private listening stations you could also hear the latest music playing within the store.

Great visuals were available as well. Not only was there amazing album cover art but the store was full of music related posters and promotional art. And then of course there was the people watching.

We’re a long way past those original pressed vinyl record days. We’ve had 8 track tapes and cassette tapes, which were really more of a physical format change for convenience sake – just think back to the WALKMAN. Any differences in quality was probably not noticeable at least until the tape began to stretch.

“To pursue your passion of collectible vinyl records you’ll need plenty of space”.

The compact disc, commonly referred to as the CD, soon arrived on the scene with it’s scrubbed digital sound. It was smaller, shinier and delivered the purity of the music without the common hiss and pop of a vinyl album. Suddenly we were launched into the future of music listening. It added a bit of tech coolness to music enjoyment.

Music recorded on compact disc also became more portable than ever making discs highly visual as well. Vehicles outfitted with a CD player were somewhat a mark of status. Some people even took to hanging a CD from the rear view mirror.

The message being you were hip and tech savvy.

And who didn’t want to be considered a tech savvy hipster? Suddenly listening to vinyl meant staying home. Not so hip. Vinyl had somehow become old.

There were those folks that loved the sanitized purity of digital sound. But some of those people also embraced the CD as they would embrace the arrival of any new technology. So while the CD was an instant hit with an instant fan base it was a mixed fan base.

Differences between CDs and records went way beyond the technology. The biggest difference was in the social experience surrounding each. Buying and listening to records allowed you to interact with your social circle. A big part of the experience included inviting friends over after school to listen to your latest purchase.

CDs became the staple to a rushed lifestyle. They were satisfactory from a technical point of view so not much reason to stop listening to them. They filled a need just as fast-food is to our diet.

Listening to CDs usually supplemented another activity. You see people everyday at the gym thumbing through their electronic devices. They search a playlist in order to half-listen to a track while running on a treadmill or cranking out another set.

“By comparison going to the record store went way beyond the supplemental listening experience. It actually was part of the experience.”

A few years had passed and I moved out to Oakland California to attend art college. At the time I had a huge crush on graphics and bold hip art. Album cover art fit the bill nicely on several levels. I could spend hours flipping through the racks of albums at my local Sunrise Records in Oakland or San Fran. Taking in the amazing cover art and people watching. This time California – style.

There’s a few considerations regarding collectible vinyl records.

Regardless of what you collect you’ll require space. Physical space designated for your record album collection is no different. Collectors are known for amassing records collections that can number in the hundreds or even thousands.

For any sizeable collection you will need lots of it. That space will also have to be suitable for keeping your collection of vinyl dry, cool and dust-free.

In order to eliminate uneven pressure points records need to be stored standing up, not laying flat. Back then we simply stood our albums within milk crates. They were cheap and always seemed to be available to college students. Probably every student’s first experience with up-cycling. They were the perfect dimension as well as being stackable while offering great support.

Permanent distortion can happen with the slightest amount of pressure or direct sunlight. Which means keeping your collection away from all heat sources. As an aside, I lost my prized T-REX (The Slider) vinyl when, at one of my impromptu gatherings, someone placed it on the floor slightly overlapping a heat register. I guess the furnace kicked in soon after. It didn’t stand a chance. By the time I found it there was a permanent wave in the vinyl.

So where do you find collectible vinyl records?

You may be able to source sellers and retailers that are now adding them to their inventory. They’re still not yet commonplace. I’ve seen sellers set up shop at flea markets and record fairs. Here in Canada I’ve also heard of one seller that travels in an old bus full of vinyl records.

And of course buying online is still always an option. Keep in mind that vinyl can also be re-issued. Finding a great album doesn’t automatically mean it’s original.

Collectible vinyl records are enjoyed mostly by music enthusiasts. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by everyone. You may not see a huge return on your investment, not monetary anyways. What you will be able to experience is a way of life that is almost totally gone nowadays.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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Ideas for collecting Guitars

November 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, The Den

Ideas for Collecting Guitars
If you’re considering ideas for collecting guitars you’d be well advised to plan carefully.

It’s always possible that depending on the niche, you’ll find pseudo-collectors that may not always have a strong knowledge of the collectible. Collectors like this may be strictly in it for the investment.

Or more specifically the return-on-investment …the ROI. Their emotional detachment gives them objectivity. That can definitely a plus for an investor.

What they lack in passion they round-out with strategy. That can actually be a good thing in some cases. This is especially true when the goal is strictly profit.

If you’re considering ideas for collecting guitars be genuine…

What exactly do I mean by that?

I mean be genuinely interested for your own sake. I think collectors are much better off in the end if they have their heart invested, as well as their wallet.

The collector that has a passion for their particular subject does more to keep that niche alive and growing than one inspired only by profit.

Of course profit is important. But I think you would fare just as well or even better by having some genuine passion. Or at least have a guitar-playing background.  Knowing the instrument you’re dealing with is always a smarter way to buy. That’s especially true with guitars.

The emotionally involved collector usually has a playing background which is good for several reasons. It’s the collector who is passionate about guitars that would be better able to recognize deficiencies in the instrument.  They would be more likely to notice a part is missing – or the sound is not quite right.

Collecting anything is a lot easier when you have some emotional involvement. How else will you push yourself to chase down those obscure deals in the middle of nowhere?

Part of what makes any guitar collectible is it’s particular sound or performance quality.

Whether that performance quality is the result of specific materials or the association with a particular craftsman. That could mean anyone from the original concept person to the hands-on craftsman – the builder.

An emotionally motivated collector-player would be better equipped to distinguish all the intangibles as well. Nuances such as a slightly imperfect balance or sound quality. It takes someone musically inclined at this level of collecting. Without some musical background this may put the non-playing collector at a disadvantage.

Think of this in terms of when it comes time to check out an instrument you may be considering. There’s a steep learning curve associated with collecting guitars. It’s not really what you want to be doing while trying to collect.

With time guitar values began to climb according to the guitar’s provenance.

That emergence was based on a mix of historical relevance as well as the physical characteristics of the instrument.

Collectors of musical instruments are generally musicians with deep pockets. Or they may be individuals that at one time were contemplating a musical career.

Most likely they are of the baby boomer generation or older. And now financial stability has enabled them to go back and revisit what may have been an exciting hobby or unfulfilled musical aspiration.

While the guitar collector may not fit within the typical framework of definition for a collector they are still a special breed. They are well equipped to appreciate the art and craftsmanship of a finely produced guitar.

That means the physical attributes of the instrument as well as the quality of it’s performance – no easy task. Which may actually put them in a unique collector category of their own.

In fact their musical background probably makes them a superior judge of the quality and details. Which brings up another point. If you are planning to start a guitar collection, as a non-player, it would be a good idea to at least consult with a musician.

So where is a good place to start?

You can start by deciding on the limits you want to collect within. Some options you have are American-made versus the off-shore models. You could focus on different eras such as the 50s-60s-70s.

Some other points to consider are  electric or acoustic, make and model and of course your budget. It’s also a good time to consider the distance you’re willing to travel for a deal. Or will your focus be online auctions?

Most experts consider guitar collecting to still be in its infancy. But there are still opportunities for collectors in this growing niche. As with any area of collecting we can assume guitars were originally collected based on what people had access to as well as what they could afford.

This was especially true in the days before the Internet.

Online purchases are convenient but they do have pitfalls.

Since you can’t physically hold the guitar how will you know how it plays and sounds? You can see the make and model but even the condition is not 100% apparent through pictures alone.

Do you have confidence in the seller’s ability to communicate every chip, scratch and dent? Will they recognize if the neck is slightly bent or if all the parts are original? You could easily end up being stuck paying $50 to replace something as simple as a non-original screw, depending on the rarity of the model.

Another drawback to dealing online is the bidding-frenzy that can sometimes take place during an auction. You may have your heart set on a purchase only to find the price quickly exceeding your budget. And don’t assume you aren’t a victim of schill bidding – it does happen.

NOTE:Shill bidding is where a third party, sometimes known to the seller, places bids on the same item you may be after in order to artificially drive the price higher. Which in turn may cause you to increase your bid.

While online purchases are made safely everyday the advice here is to be diligent in asking lots of questions and request pictures from every angle. Make use of the internet for research. Check out guitar blogs and guitar forums.

Make sure to ask lots of questions. Experts love to talk about their stuff. Usually the more informed the blogger the more helpful with information.

Once you decide on a niche you need to search for price guides.

With price guides make sure to check the publication dates. Contact appraisers locally and inquire if they charge for bringing a guitar in. Let them know you’re contemplating using their services as you go forward.

Now ask for a ball park estimate on a model of the one you are looking at. Ask for a range of ‘rough to fair’ condition. They may help you out with some quick free advice if they think you’ll be bringing something in for a follow-up.

If you are determined to begin collecting guitars why not think strategically? Look for models that originated off-shore or ‘player’ models from the U.S. While you may dream about that ’59 Sunburst Les Paul, get familiar with affordable models. They may not be as sought after as collectibles but they’ll still have a serious vibe.

“So where does one start to gather ideas for collecting guitars?”

Look for special features and craftsmanship details. Buy yourself  a sleeper, something less popular. and work up to a sought-after collectible version. Remember to buy what you can afford, and of course what you like. Decide on a niche and get passionate about it.

To decide on a niche try to align yourself with something you may be familiar with already.

You may already be passionate or at least familiar with a time period, location, type of music or specific musician. Those answers will steer you towards your starting point when searching for your niche.

As you get more involved with the actual buying and selling of guitars you will invariably meet many experts. Just by getting started and putting yourself out there you are sure to find yourself in the right-place-at-the-right-time for that sweet deal.

At the very least all this should lead to even more ideas for collecting guitars.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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Collecting ROLEX Watches

November 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, The Den

ROLEX Watches

When the subject of luxury time-pieces comes up ROLEX watches may come to mind. But it’s actually much more than that. In the case of the ROLEX brand it goes way beyond luxury.

First off I have to state, I’m a huge fan of the ROLEX brand and their line of watches. And I have been from the time I was quite young. My first exposure to a luxury watch, or a luxury brand at all, was ROLEX.

I remember being heavily influenced by the movies and references to ROLEX watches surfaced now and again. I saw every secret agent or hero as a ROLEX wearer. But my fascination lasted long after I saw behind the curtain of movie fantasy.

Especially as I began to learn more about their engineering. It’s not often I admit to being impressed by a product but when you read through you may understand.

It’s a fascinating story of cutting-edge engineering and a dedication to perfection. Even while writing this article I can’t help but feel I’m still under-stating their achievements.

At the time of this writing the ROLEX brand has just over 100 years of history. Even more incredibly most of their biggest engineering strides took place within their first 50 years of operation. Incredible in itself when you consider some of the turbulent history they have traversed.

Now, that’s not to say they’ve been sitting idle for the second 50 years.  In fact it’s the contrary. They’ve continued to push the limits of engineering to this day. And  ROLEX has never looked back.

It all started in 1905, when the ROLEX brand was founded by Hans Wilsdorf.
At the time the ROLEX brand was being conceived the typical timepiece of the day was a pocket-watch design and not especially reliable.  Hans decided he would create a watch that could be worn on the wrist.

He also believed that precision time-keeping was not only attainable but that the ROLEX brand would achieve it.

Hans was true to his word on both accounts. The wristwatch style was not only created first by ROLEX but in 1914 his development had received a Class A Precision Certificate from the Kew Observatory of Great Britain. This was the first time such a distinction had been granted to anything other than a marine chronometer.

“ROLEX watches were now synonymous with precision”.

ROLEX pushed forward.
If that was the only benchmark of this product it would have been a great accomplishment but ROLEX had continued to push forward. In 1926 they had succeeded in creating a hermetically sealed case for the wristwatch. This led to the world’s first waterproof designed timepiece and the Oyster line was born.

To prove their claims of being water tight the Oyster was worn throughout a long-distance swim across the English Channel. It was 10 hours after she began that the swimmer emerged. Her ROLEX Oyster was then scrutinized and found to be in perfect working condition. What followed was a full-page ad in the Daily Mail. This published testimonial was a marketing first.

Something we take for granted in our modern automatic watch is the self-winding mechanism. But this feat of engineering genius was invented and patented by ROLEX back in 1931.

During the world’s first flight over Mount Everest in 1933 all crew members wore ROLEX watches. As exciting as that must have been for the watchmaker it was still just the beginning.

The year was 1935.
One of the fastest drivers in the world at the time was Sir Malcolm Campbell. He already had a string of record breaking land speed trials. His latest was 300 miles per hour (485 km per hour), while wearing his ROLEX Oyster.

He followed his latest record by penning a testimonial letter to the watch maker. Could this have been one of the first celebrity endorsements? This too was published becoming part of the marketing campaign.

The next development of note was in 1945. Again for a feature we take for granted today. The datejust – the tiny calendar ‘day’ – visible on the dial. It was another first for the self-winding watch.

So far, ROLEX  had ventured into the oceans and the skies. The hostile terrain of Everest was next. In 1953, Sir John Hunt and all of the expedition team members were wearing their ROLEX watches as they reached the summit. The brand status was now iconic.

Even with those bigger than life accomplishments and professional associations the watchmaker was just getting started. In 1953 we saw the introduction of the Submariner model.

ROLEX had once again pushed the engineering envelope by developing a model that was now waterproof to 300 feet (100 metres). Being designed for divers, the bezel was now able to rotate allowing divers to track how long they had been under.

As the 1950s continued to unfold so did the introduction to the jet age.
Inter-continental flights were now a reality. As pilots and travelers crossed time zones it became necessary to track those changes. The watchmaker, always with an eye to the future, introduced the GMT Master in 1955.

Specific to the needs of the professional pilot, the GMT Master displayed both day and night time hours on the bezel. This became the official watch of several airlines including Pan Am.

It was only 1956 when the next new feature appeared. The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date arrived. Along with all the other features this model now had not only the date but the day of the week on the dial. The watch was available only in platinum or 18 kt gold. Elegance was now on the table.

The scientific community now took notice.
It followed with a report that an Oyster model was able to resist magnetic interference of up to 1,000 gauss. As tested and reported by the European Organization For Nuclear Research (CERN). In 1956 the Oyster MILGAUSS had arrived.

Note: CERN is the world’s leading institution when it comes to solving mysteries of the universe. They host the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator.

By the 50s ROLEX watches were considered specialty tools for the greatest achievers.

While the world’s boldest individuals conquered the planet, so too the watchmaker with it’s philosophy of perfection.
It was 1967 when the Oyster Sea Dweller made it’s debut. The model was specifically engineered to address the demands of professional deep-sea diving.

This newest design could remain waterproof to 610 metres. The engineers also considered the forces of the decompression chamber. The watch was fitted with a special gas release valve to prevent damage during a diver’s decompression.

As more of the world was being explored ROLEX watches were there each step of the way. Explorers were navigating the earth’s poles and it’s secrets below the surface.

In 1971 the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II met the challenge. It was developed with a 24 hour dial. Exactly what one would need while exploring the planet, or below it, where you can’t distinguish day from night.

A new Sea Dweller.
In 1978 the company had re-visited their waterproof benchmark and surpassed it. The Sea Dweller 4000 set the new waterproof limit at 1220 metres / 4,000 feet.

The Yacht Master debuted in 1992. It reconfirmed the watchmaker’s association with the open sea. It was also the first time a watch in the Oyster collection had been made available in three sizes.

With most of the planet’s environments having been studied or challenged, ROLEX now looked within for improvement. Advancements in efficiency and craftsmanship soon followed. It was 2000 when the company re-engineered the 4130 movement. They had reduced the total number of parts to just 290 – far less than the standard chronograph.

The year was now 2007.
In answer to the needs of competitive yachtsmen the watchmaker created the Yacht Master II. The newest model utilized the same rotating bezel but described it as a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory. The new feature allowed for time-saving and race winning calculations.

The quest for perfection pushed ahead.
And just a year later, in 2008, the ROLEX Deep Sea arrived. The tolerances for pressure were incredible. A new innovation referred to as a ring-lock system allowed for pressures of 3 tonnes on the crystal itself. This watch could travel more than 100 times the depth any human could survive.

ROLEX watches were now firmly associated with sportsmen and the spirit of adventure.

A watch for the world traveler.
The Oyster Perpetual Sky Dweller was introduced in 2012. The dual time-zones were a design cornerstone. It also required only a single date adjustment per year. Convenience and perfection.

When you take a moment to consider some of the engineering feats ROLEX watches have displayed, it’s hard to not be impressed. So many features that today we consider standard were actually developed at times of limited resource and harsh historical periods. Yet the brand not only endured but they pushed forward. They scaled every challenge and delivered an engineering masterpiece. All that and they still had room to become a luxury watch as well.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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7 Tips for Comic Book Collecting

October 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, Spotlight

Comic Book Collecting

The long list of items that people collect nowadays can include items that are commonly known as well as those items almost unheard of. To give you an idea of what’s common think in terms of coins, stamps, lighters and pocket knives. Items one might use on a daily basis.

Even among those more day-to-day common items there are choices that rise to the top in popularity. Comic books are a good example. And when it comes to comic book collecting the sky really is the limit.

Comic book collecting first gained momentum during the 1960s.
While all collectibles are at the mercy of the market’s ebb and flow comics have continued to grow in popularity. This continued growth over the years has driven the quality and the prices paid for comics continually higher.

True enthusiasts might remember a particular comic. It was the story of the Yellow Kid in Hogans Alley. It was published in two leading newspapers in 1895. Now considered to be the first ever comic strip in history. Since then comic characters have continued to rise from the creative minds of writers and talented illustrators.

Comic book collections grew mostly through trading and shows.
And those growth vehicles were fuelled by the relatively still low costs and availability. Comic books were affordable for everyone.

Some individuals took their collections to even greater heights. They would amass hundreds of issues over the years – sometimes duplicate copies of the same issue. While most people collected for the sheer enjoyment some others began to realize the potential for gain. This occurred after newspapers naturally began to feature stories on comic book collecting and their economic values.

However many collectors were still misguided on what was appropriate to collect. Whether you collect for fun or for profit there are some points you may wish to consider.
Read on for 7 tips for comic book collecting.

1. Pick a comic book title that interests you and start your collection from there.

Picking the comic book to collect is crucial. Good comic book titles are associated with popularity. For novice collectors a good place to start would be with titles from DC Comics and Marvel Comics. These are the two largest comic book publishers.

A collector may also view magazine lists such as the Wizard Magazine for the 100 best-selling comic books. Do not stick to one comic book title.

Most will agree comic book collecting is not just about money.

Related titles also become hot pursuits for collectors. For example, Spiderman related titles will also do well in the market especially if they were featured as lead characters in the original Spiderman issues.
2. Look for titles that are not popularly known to the public but are considered valuable to collectors. For example Marvel Legends. Famous illustrators have more than one featured work. Their other comic works will also offer good collectability. Though their other works may not be well known to readers.

3. Remember to buy different covers of one comic book issue.
Some publishers release more than one cover version for a comic book issue to increase market sales.

4. First issues and first appearances are sure to increase in value over time.
Certain comic book titles such as the Amazing Spiderman may offer first appearances, or introduce, other characters. An example would be The Punisher. The worth of these titles is significantly higher than that of others.

5. Look for comic books worth purchasing in different places and events. Certain comic conventions have been held around the globe for collectors. These events offer good deals for certain comic book titles. The most famous of which is the San Diego Comic Convention held in the United States.

Online purchasing could be a viable option. But as with any collecting there are pros and cons to every method of finding comics for your collection. Regarding online purchasing, while convenient, there are down sides to that as well. Not only is comic book condition hard to determine accurately but you’ll now have to deal with additional charges such as shipping.

6. Trading is also a good means of expanding your collection. This is especially true when you have more than one copy of a certain issue. When trading always confirm the value of the comic book you are pursuing. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is a good source for old comic book titles.

7. Be diligent in preserving your comic books. The condition of the comic book will have a strong bearing on its value. Comic book conditions will range from Very Poor to New / Mint. Be sure to assess the condition of the comic books accurately.

NOTE: Collectors may purchase mylar sleeves to preserve or display comic books safely. Stackable book boxes are also available for storing your comic book collection all-together.

“The comic book industry experienced a decline during the 1990s..
Long-time collectors have since become more careful. Reprints of coveted titles such as the original issues of Superman and Captain America have been released in the market. Some bearing labels as first editions.

“Despite the difficulties comic book collecting still attracts a large number of people.”

They do it simply to meet like-minded people. The break-away from the stress of everyday life is just a bonus. Just as how a hobby should be.

Here’s a couple of great urls for you. The first one offers free comic book downloads. The second one tells you where you can find free comic book giveaways around the U.S. Good luck and enjoy.

http://HelloComic.com
http://FreeComicBookDay.com

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com
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Collectible Figurines 101

October 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Collectibles, How To

Collectible Figurines
In collectible figurines 101 we scratch the surface of this fascinating market. I encourage you to look into all the sub-genres of collectible figurines as well. For now, here is an overview.
The earliest of discovered figures were mainly depictions of gods and deities.

Some would be used routinely in religious or for ceremonial purposes. Others were reserved for specific occasions. For example, a figurine of the “pregnant Venus” , given as a gift, implied the wish for a successful fertility, for the recipient.

Another important type of figurine includes the Olmec figurine. The term “Olmec” is used to describe a number of archetypal statuettes produced by inhabitants of Mesoamerica bearing the hallmarks of the Olmec culture. These figurines were made from terracotta, serpentine, nephrite, jade, basalt and other priceless gems.

These collectible figurines could be used for a variety of purposes.

Other types of Olmec figurines are ..

Transformation Figurines
These figurines contained figures transforming from human to animal and vice versa.

Naturalistic Figurines
These include naturalistically portrayed human figures, but with a big face, huge bust or exaggerated legs.

Fetal Style Figurines
These figurines are mainly fetus figures depicting infanticide and infant sacrifices.

By collecting a variety of figurines from different periods you will come to learn about the specific culture, as well as the spirit of that Age.

Figurines of female characters have continued to be very popular.

A great many were created as gifts for wedding ceremonies and other rituals. The figurines could also be used to amuse children, who spent much of their time playing with them as the earliest version of dolls.

Some of these collectible figurines served a secondary purpose.

“With society ever-changing collectible figurines have changed significantly as well.”

While those figurines were predominantly carved from wood or stone, as mold-making technology evolved, you would see figurines being cast in various metals.

We have already mentioned technology and the change in materials used. But the most notable change took hold in the figurine’s stature and theme. It would not be unusual to now find depictions of politicians and royalty.

It’s not unusual to find figurines being produced from an additional array of materials.

We’ve by now all seen plastic, ceramic and crystal and vinyl figurines. The last one being common for children. We are probably all familiar with the term action-figure.

Probably less-known are terms like, inaction-figure or ‘staction-figure’. These are obviously a twist on the word “action”. They are used to refer to figurines without movable parts while action-figures have moveable parts.

In all these cases the collectible figurines are generally depictions of comic book characters and fictional Super Heroes. Each type of figurine has deep sub-categories that are extremely interesting. I will be adding as many articles as possible as time passes.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

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