Monday, May 30, 2016

Collecting For Value vs. Just Getting Cool Pieces

Recently, due to life events, I had to look at my various collections and estimate a value to them.  I have never been one to collect as an investment and rarely worry about the actual value of the pieces in my collections. Due to that mentality, I have large collections that do not have much financial value to them. They look impressive and massive, but I would have hard time making in real money off of selling them.

With-in that I have a handful of valuable pieces, but nothing outrageous or life changing in value. If I had any of those pieces, I would have a hard time justifying keeping it in my collection. Yet I know people who are first and foremost concerned with the value of the collection. I have had people look at my collection and instantly assume it is valuable and are often surprised when I tell them that is not a priority for me.

I would rather have interesting pieces with some story behind them than just valuable pieces.

One of my favorite interesting pieces to show people is my vintage inappropriate C-3PO card.


It is a mystery as to how this card got approved for production, but it did. No one knows just what was going on, but it looks like part of the costume was falling out of place when the picture was taken. Once it was realized that the picture was a little suggestive, an airbrushed version was released. However, this is a case where the less rare, original version is actually in higher demand than the rarer airbrushed version.

I have both in my collection.

I won them in an auction about 18 years ago, for less than $20 for the set of two.  When I was trying to value some of my pieces I went on-line to see what they were going for now and saw them on ebay for minimum of $30 each, with some auctions asking for $100 or more for the inappropriate version. So this is one case where I picked up a piece because I thought it interesting, and it ended up becoming more valuable. I blame the increase in value to the internet, as it was not too commonly known outside of diehard collectors until the internet came along and allowed for knowledge of the card to spread.

But for every inappropriate C-3PO level collectable I have in  my collection, I have a good hundred or so pieces that are so not in demand that I would have a hard time giving them away, many of which are interesting to me even if no one else desires them.

One of my biggest value loses would be the Star Wars Franklin Mint Chess Set.

Each piece was $20, so I will let you figure out the end all cost to complete.  You got two pieces every other month until you completed it, if you stayed with it that long. Complete sets are not that common really, but there is no real demand for the set. It is not close to being worth what I paid for it, but it is still a nice looking piece to have on display.

When you collect for the enjoyment of collecting, it becomes very hit and miss in the value of the pieces, but that has never been my concern.  I would rather have an interesting collection above a valuable one. If the pieces end up being valuable, cool, but no big deal as I don't really have any desire to sell off any of my collections.

In the end I can honestly say I have enjoyed acquiring the pieces in my collections and that to me is what the heart of collecting should be about.