Today Is World Toilet Day!


Which is the perfect time for me to tell you that next week on The Collectors Show we will interview Linda Weick of the Plumbing Museum. It is the only museum of its type in the world and is located, ironically in Watertown, MA. It is repleat with tools of the trade, dating back over 200 years.

A photo from inside the New Delhi Toilet museum.

A photo from inside the New Delhi Toilet museum.

There is a toilet museum called The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, located in New Delhi. It was established in 1992 and formally inaugurated on March 19, 1994. We are not sure what the inauguration was like and do not want to pursue this question any further.

To hear The Collectors Show go to http://www.webtalkradio.net or iTunes.

Collecting Nancy Drew Books On The Collectors Show


The first Nancy Drew novel was published in 1930. Copies of the original series are very collectible.

The first Nancy Drew novel was published in 1930. Copies of the original series are very collectible.

This week on the Collectors Show we meet Jennifer Fischer who is an expert on collecting Nancy Drew books. We’ve talked before on the show about collecting books and even collecting old manuscripts but we have never talked about collecting anything this specific. A timeless sleuth, Nancy Drew is smart, capable and plucky independent. She might have been the perfect female “super hero” had she been just a little crazier and worn a cape. Why you ask? Because like other super heroes she has personal tragedy in her background. In her experience was the tragedy of losing her mother and the double tragedy of a father who was a (gasp) lawyer!

So who was she? Nancy Drew was the fictional girl detective/investigator who solved mysteries. Like Jessica Fletcher, but younger. The first books were published in 1930. Of course those led to movies, TV shows and all other types of merchandizing tie-ins. But did you know she was not always as well thought of as she is now?

Nancy Drew was once scorned and rejected by libraries and educators. The early classic Nancy of the 1930s-1940s is bold, independent, fearless, and capable. These were not always qualities welcome or encouraged in girls, quite the opposite. In that sense Nancy was ahead of her time. “Before the 1930s, there weren’t any books with teenage heroines who chased villains down dark alleys,” says our guest Jenn Fisher, author of Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit and Wisdom of Nancy Drew and president of the fan site nancydrewsleuth.com.

The first Nancy Drew book, 1930′s The Secret of the Old Clock, was ghostwritten by Mildred Wirt, who penned 23 Nancy Drew titles as Carolyn Keene—the same pseudonym used today. An original edition can bring $5,000 in mint condition; Wirt’s autograph doubles this copy’s value to $10,000. Eight years after the novel’s debut, the series spawned a movie, Nancy Drew: Detective. A lobby card from that film now sells for up to $800.

With the revisions starting in the 1950s, Nancy is not so outspoken and accepts more help from others making her seem less heroic. Nancy also started traveling throughout the world experiencing exotic adventures and discovering new things; in one adventure she even encounters a flying saucer!

The main Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series progressed through several stages.

The series started with the original 56 volumes of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories from 1930-1979. Beginning in 1959, the original texts of volumes 1-34 were revised and updated for consistency with the later volumes. But skipping ahead a few decades we find that she changes with the times!

The 1970s saw a licensing bonanza with Nancy Drew lunch boxes, a TV show—and this 1973 cookbook we found on eBay, which features a recipe for Sleuth Soup (a dubious mix of tomato juice, whipping cream, and beef broth). Published in 1971, The Crooked Banister reflects America’s then-fascination with futuristic science fiction via a robot on the cover. Books from this decade are more common, pegging the worth of this particular title at $30. The era also spelled the end of the Stratemeyer family’s control of the series, with Simon & Schuster taking over the publishing in 1979. To hear and learn more about Nancy Drew go to www.webtalkradio.net or iTunes.

 

LEADING COLLECTION MANAGEMENT AND HOME INVENTORY SOFTWARE COMPANY, COLLECTIFY LLC, LAUNCHES COLLECTIFY CLOUD


Collectify LLC announced last week at SOFA Chicago the launch of Collectify Cloud, a private Cloud service that allows subscribers to manage their collections and possessions anytime anywhere. Collectify LLC is the only software company to offer a complete solution to collections and home inventory management needs, with their two leading softwares: Collectify™ Collectors’ Edition, and Collectify™ Home Inventory.

Collectify™ Collectors’ Edition allows the cataloguer to choose from 33 pre-defined collection types or customize fields to fit the collection or use.

Collectify™ Collectors’ Edition allows the cataloguer to:

• choose from 33 pre-defined collection types or customize fields to fit the collection or use

• select from 40 template reports or customize

• track the location of objects. If on loan, know when that object will be returned

• document financial and insurance details of the collection

• store appraisals, insurance, catalogs and other documents associated with the objects

• email reports to insurance carriers, brokers, family and friends

• build profiles of artists, manufacturers, framers, restorers, auction houses, and link them to the objects in your collection • store images, sound clips, and videos

• generate an insurance report at the click of a button.

Franklin Silverstone, Chairman and CEO of Collectify, commented: “We opted to go with a private Cloud service because of the extra layer of security it offers over the public Cloud – especially with all the recent security breaches that have occurred with web-browser based Clouds. Our clients’ data security is of the utmost importance to us.”

About the company:Based in Connecticut and Montreal, Collectify LLC was founded byFranklin Silverstone in 1993. Widely acknowledged as an innovator in thefield of professional inventory and renowned for the quality of theirsoftware, the firm provides Collectify™ Home Inventory Edition software aswell as its original product, Collectify™ Collector’s Edition software. Withmore than four decades of art, antiques, appraisal and auction businessexperience, Silverstone was formerly a senior partner of PhillipsAuctioneers, London, Head of Fine Art for all Phillips auctions rooms andSenior Partner in the US and Canada. He is curator for Charles R.Bronfman, the founder and owner of Franklin Silverstone LLC, and pastcurator of The Claridge Collection, Canada’s premier decorative artscollection.http://www.collectifycloud.com

Star Wars 12-Back Collection Value Increases 108,233%


Note: Brian Semling of Brian’s Toys was a guest on The Collectors Show on August 18, 2014. You can go back and listen to the interview with Brian at http://www.webtalkradio.net or iTunes.

The “Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index”  reflects the retail value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures in near mint to mint condition. The original total retail value of these 12 toys was $24.00, or $2.00 per action figure in 1978 and has grown to a retail value of $26,000.00 in 2014.

Brian's Toys 12 Back Set Index tracks the value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures over time. The first design of the card back (above) featured all 12 original Star Wars action figures, thus resulting in the term "12 back".

Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index tracks the value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures over time. The first design of the card back (above) featured all 12 original Star Wars action figures, thus resulting in the term “12 back”.

The first 12 Star Wars characters to be released as action figures were Ben Kenobi, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Death Squad Commander, Han Solo, Jawa, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Sand People, and Stormtrooper. They are referred to as “12 Backs” because their packaging shows these first 12 figures pictured on the back of the cardboard packaging. These figures are valuable because they are rare, sought after by avid collectors, and in pristine condition, which includes the original packaging. While we are aware that market prices fluctuate and the value of many collectibles will never return a profit of this size, big gains are possible for knowledgeable collectors.  

Collect What You Love

Owner, Brian Semling, was an avid Star Wars collector before he went into business in 1994. He has leveraged his knowledge about collecting Star Wars Action Figures into the largest such business of its kind, with over $5 million in business in 2013. “Most people collect Star Wars Action Figures because they love the characters and the movies and those are absolutely the right reasons to collect,” Brian has said. “But the potential for profits from a collection like this is certainly noteworthy and possible for collectors and news that we wanted to share.”

Assessing Condition

Owning old or even well preserved action figures is not enough. To assess and protect the condition of vintage action figures, Brian’s Toys turns to “Action Figure Authority” who is the recognized leader in the field of grading toys, to act as a reliable third party expert who could give an unbiased assessment of the item’s condition. Upon grading the collection, Action Figure Authority encased the toys in a museum quality tamper-proof acrylic case. On their 100-point scale, Action Figure Authority assigns each item an overall condition.

The chart above illustrates the rise in value of the original “Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index” to reflect the retail value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures for toys in near mint to mint condition.  The values from 1978 to 2014 have increased an average of 108,233%. Individual figure value increases are detailed in the second chart. For the years 2000 and prior, a grade condition of C-9+ was used to determine the index value. After 2000, an AFA overall grade of 85 was used.

The chart above illustrates the rise in value of the original “Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index” to reflect the retail value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures for toys in near mint to mint condition. The values from 1978 to 2014 have increased an average of 108,233%. Individual figure value increases are detailed in the second chart. For the years 2000 and prior, a grade condition of C-9+ was used to determine the index value. After 2000, an AFA overall grade of 85 was used.

For the index, Brian’s Toys chose a condition level of overall AFA (Action Figure Authority) 85, with sub-grades of the card, bubble, and figure of 85 as well.* An AFA 85 figure with an unpunched card is very clean and an acceptable condition to almost any collector. However, while overall AFA 95’s and 100’s do not generally exist, overall AFA 90’s do exist and the value of the 12 Back figures in AFA 90 condition is approximately double the value of an AFA 85. Also, we have chosen the 12 standard release figures, not including more valuable variants like the Jawa with the plastic “vinyl” cape versus the more common cloth cape.  The index reflects 12 figures that a collector in 1978 could have obtained with relative ease and applies  a reasonably high condition standard. The value of the index climbs 100-300% from the standard index if one assumes an extraordinary condition of AFA 90 along with rarer early release versions of the packaging.

Assessing Value and Historical Trends

The Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index reflects retail pricing for the year indicated in AFA 85 unpunched condition.  The value of this set had reached $2,025.00 by October 1995.  By January 2000, this set had climbed to $5600.00.  In April 2005 the 12 Back Set had ascended to $12,200.00.  After a leveling off in value after the Great Recession, the set has more recently raced ahead to a value in September 2014 of $26,000.00.  The individual figures ranged from $100.00 for a C-3PO to $400.00 for a Han Solo in 1995 to $1,500.00 for a Death Squad Commander to $3,500.00 for a Luke Skywalker in 2014.  The variant Vinyl Cape Jawa, not included in the Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index, has climbed from $2.00 in 1978 to $4000.00 in 2000 to $12,000.00 in 2014.

The chart above illustrates the rise in value of the original “Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index” to reflect the retail value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures for toys in near mint to mint condition.  The values from 1978 to 2014 have increased an average of 108,233%. Individual figure value increases are detailed in the second chart. For the years 2000 and prior, a grade condition of C-9+ was used to determine the index value. After 2000, an AFA overall grade of 85 was used.

Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index tracks the value of the original 12 Star Wars action figures over time. The first design of the card back (above) featured all 12 original Star Wars action figures, thus resulting in the term “12 back”.

Each figure is still factory sealed in its original packaging, and has been encased in an acrylic display case to be graded and preserved. All 12 are seen here.

*  The prices in this article reflect an overall condition grade of 85 from AFA, with sub-grades of the card, bubble, and figure of 85. Also, the values indicated assume the packaging has no price stickers and is unpunched, meaning the hole used to display the item is still intact.. Finally, the values used for Brian’s Toys 12 Back Set Index are for the more common 12 Back-B or 12 Back-C. 12 Back-A figures will typically be valued 40-60% higher than 12 Back-B and 12 Back-C figures.

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Board Game Collecting Art, Graphics and Designers


On The Collectors Show (www.webtalkradio.net) we discussed the art and its contribution to collecting Ouija Boards on the program earlier this year. So I wondered if the same driver might be present for those who collect board games. The answer I got from Sarah Reed, who has over 200 board games in her collection, was yes but…

There is a lot of visual appeal to board games, especially with games like

Castles of Burgundy is a game designed by Stefan Feld.

Castles of Burgundy is a game designed by Stefan Feld.

Monopoly that have so many different themes borrowed from popular culture. But according to Sarah Reed, collectors are more likely to follow certain game designers rather than a certain artist.

Sarah told us that designers who include Uwe Rosenberg, Stefan Feld, and Rheiner Knizia design and introduce 2 or 3 games a year. Games from these designers are so collectible that collectors buy them out and create a shortage, driving the prices up. Reiner Knizia emphasises that he is a game designer, not a game publisher. “Designing games and publishing games are two very different disciplines.

The designer creates the original game with its theme, its game system, and its principal components, delivering a complete single prototype to the publisher,” Knizia stated. Rosenberg is well known for the development of innovative card game mechanisms. A point of his work are the research-intensive games, that have peculiar historical events as their theme, and games that deal with clichés about men and women.Feld has a growing collection of boardgames he has designed and is considered one of the great designers of the Eurogame genre. We’ll talk about what a “Eurogame” is tomorrow.

Who Collects Board Games and Why


This week on The Collectors Show we learn about collecting board games with Sarah Reed. Sarah has over 200 board games in her own collection and it continues to grow. She also invents board games and gives us a very detailed description of the process involved to invent, test, and produce a board game including on line resources that will allow the prospective inventor the opportunity to produce a prototype game. It seems that self publishing is the way to go for most game inventors. The big toy and game producers plan years in advance and are not a practical option for most people.

Once humans got their survival needs handled, they (we) had time for leisure and games. Board games tumblr_inline_mko1qoxEcy1qz4rgpbrought order and organization to leisure time. And for people who live in difficult climates, finding entertaining diversions inside the home made and continue to make board games a practical diversion. The advent of computer based games caused some people to forget about board games. And I wondered if they permanently replaced board games. The answer was no. There are lots of new and engaging board games for a new generation of players including “King of Tokyo” pictured above.

Isolation

Humans are social creatures. And for all the technology and animation, computer based games and game platforms do not bring people into close proximity with each other. Even team/multi player games require people to be separated and is not the same as people being together around the same table. Humans are social creatures and board games give us the chance to be together.

Board games create the opportunity to socialize with family and friends and to even meet new friends.  Sarah did not think the move back to board games was a backlash against computer based games, but more a case of the pendulum swinging back the other way. Computer games are not going away but neither are board games.

Who plays board games? The people who played board games as kids are more likely to play them as an adult.

To hear the interview with Sarah Reed go to http://www.webtalkradio.net or iTunes.

 

 

The Collectors Show Media Coverage About Breaking Bad and Toys R Us


Two hundred and forty media outlets with a potential audience of readers, listeners, and viewers of 151, 024,400 carried The Collectors Show news release about this week’s program.

To listen to our interview with Daniel Pickett of Action Figure Insider, go to http://www.webtalkradio.net or iTunes.