Ghostbusters

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Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:15 pm

Just want to talk here for a second about prices of t206 "ghost" cards.  First point I will make is that these things look putrid.  They are not attractive.  One just sold for 11k in Goodwin.  It has a Sam Crawford ghost image... well, who really cares?  No one who cares at all about baseball is going to want something like this.

Maybe, in ten years, it will be worth a hundred thousand dollars.  Who knows?  People will seemingly pay anything for anything, all with the anticipation that it will be worth even more later on.  But basically I find these cards relatively worthless and can't understand the fascination with them.  Anyone here disagree?
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by sabrjay on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:45 pm

It's called boredom with set. The set is easy enough to put together. Only two cards are truly tough, Wagner, because it requires a silly amount of money, and the Doyle card, which is legitimately rare.

After you've completed the set you either look to other card sets, or start finding reasons to keep adding to your t206 collection. In the late 80s I did a lot of research into different backs and bought them as I found them if they were for sale. Everyone thought I was stupid for caring about factory numbers, etc because, as they all told me, "No cares about the stuff". It only took 25 years, but it happened.

People are generally sheep and will follow whatever the hot trend is. Especially those new to the hobby. t206s have staying power because there is a large enough quantity available to make putting a set together achievable and then you get bored, chase variation, printing errors, etc.

As for me, let them waste their money on t206s. To me, that is so 1980s. I'd rather have card that are better looking and rarer.

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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:34 pm

Yeah, I think that what is driving the whole thing is a few collectors going after the master set.  Imo, it is a pretty cheesy endeavor.  What are you going to do with all those cards?  You can't look at them all, and most of them look the same anyways.

Someone who wants to find one back variation and collect it, that is far more understandable.  Maybe these back prices will have staying power, but my feeling is that once another recession comes there will be a pretty low floor.

Fifteen years ago, t206's were considered a boring set and I thought they were pretty underrated.  But nowadays, they are ridiculously overrated.  The cards just aren't that great, unless you find them in really nice condition (and untrimmed).

You see a lot of other interesting stuff go at affordable, even bargain levels while collectors all chase whatever t206 variation.  There are some really nice sets out there, you just have to have an eye and collect on your own terms.
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by sabrjay on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:54 pm

I'm pretty sure that most of the people chasing printers scrap, ghost prints, etc are fairly new to the hobby, i.e. less than 10 and more likely less than 5 years in. The old timers that did collect unloaded them when prices jumped.

When the market crashes again, t206s will get hammered. Mainly because there are so many and when everyone starts dumping there will be no place for them to go at current prices.

You know the t206 thing is getting stupid when they are literally chasing shades of gray and paying a premium for it.

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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by seablaster on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:28 am

I think you pretty much summarized the notion when you mentioned that people have to collect on their own terms Jamie.

I think these cards are pretty interesting.  Some have a fairly drastic appearance and can be quite fascinating in their own right.  Case in point, Leon's Mullaney or those clear ghost images of Frank Chance.

I agree that chasing subtle variations in color, etc may be taking things a bit far perhaps.  And then you have the resulting spinoff sales pitches where a card with poor registration is being described a ghost as well.  That I could do without.

I think Jay is correct as well, the completion of the set may turn collectors to search for other endeavors i.e.  rare backs and misprints.  

I understand what you are saying about the set being too large to enjoy easily, but we shouldn't fault any collector for collecting what they like.  That is a strong price for that card, but the gentleman who won it is happy with his purchase.  If that is the case, then I would be happy for him.  I think the set registry nonsense is a far more egregious concern as to where volumes of money are spent, but again, collectors can purchase what they want. That's a good thing.
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:54 pm

I think the "as long as you are happy" argument only goes so far... if it didn't make them happy, then they wouldn't do it.  Or at least, they think it makes them happy.  Whether it really makes them happy is subject to debate. Suspect
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by sabrjay on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:02 pm

I don't have a problem with people collecting what they want. My problem lies with them trying to make some small variation/print error/whatever more significant than it really is.

The t205 set is an interesting study in variations. Almost no one collects backs in that set and few backs command a premium, yet there are several variations, most notably the Matty 37-1 error and Wilhelm variations that exist on only one back.

Prior to the variations being hyped, no one paid a premium for those back. The Matty is only a Cycle back, which isn't that tough and rarely commands much of a premium. I knew about that error back in 1982 and no one in the hobby cared because the error existed on only one back. All it took was Lew Lipset hyping it and acting as if it was something new and two ignorant bidders to run up the price and all of the sudden you had an expensive variation.

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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by ullmandds on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:04 pm

While I too think some of these prices are absolutely insane...many find comfort being a part of a group...of flock in some cases.

But who am I to tell someone what they should and shouldn't spend their own money on.

Better to spend 11K on a scrap T206 than 11K on cigarettes.

It's none of my damn business!
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:13 pm

ullmandds wrote:
Better to spend 11K on a scrap T206 than 11K on cigarettes.


I would take the cigarettes. Twisted Evil
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:17 pm

sabrjay wrote:
The t205 set is an interesting study in variations. Almost no one collects backs in that set and few backs command a premium, yet there are several variations, most notably the Matty 37-1 error and Wilhelm variations that exist on only one back.



This is something that I have also thought of, and that's how I think you can tell that this whole thing really is a bubble... unless you are going to chase t205 rare backs.  I admit that the variations are interesting, but imo prices are crazy considering it is really quite trivial.  But that doesn't mean it will stop.

But overall I just view the t206 as having some nice artwork, yes, but very mass-produced and not that special.  Perfect example is the t206 Plank.  I had the "honor" of viewing that card personally last summer and thought it was hideous.  And it's probably underpriced in relation to the Wagner.  I just think the whole set... meh. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by sabrjay on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:40 pm

The Plank, in general, is usually kind of fuzzy. When it is perfectly registered, it is a stunning card. I've been lucky enough to view one of the finest in existence, and it is stunning. I've also been able to hold in my hand the finest unaltered Wagner. Still, meh. The card has legend and lore, but it's not that great looking.

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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by seablaster on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:55 pm

I honestly feel that individuals purchase cards for a variety of reasons, only one of them being happiness.  My reference to the set registry illustrates this at some level.  If some fellow pays $3000 for a 1974 Topps Mac Scarce PSA 10, pop 1, in order to advance in the set registry, I'll make the leap and suggest that the card isn't making him happy, but his position against his competition is.  The ghosts/scraps have some genuine scarcity unlike the manufactured scarcity of TPG.

Jay, I can understand your frustration with hyped up cards like the 1 loss T205 Matty, but this type of stuff goes on all the time with companies producing consumer products.  I read an eye-opening article years ago in Nat Geo about diamonds and the manipulation of their sale by DeBeers.  The article commented that the Japanese traditionally did not have diamond rings as part of the engagement process.  After a few years of their advertising campaign, boom, now a solid majority of couples purchased them.  It's market manipulation and we see that all the time.  The verbose, overly complimentary style of auction lot descriptions illustrates this.  We make fun of them all the time, yet they continue.

I do agree, the T206 back craze, etc seem to build up steam quite quickly and then prices soften.  T206 is the single most important prewar set.  I think they are as close as any card comes to being completely liquid.

In regard to the Plank, I think you may have seen a 350 series portrait Jamie.  They are definitely not as crisp and their color is not as deep as 150s.  There is a stark contrast.  I like the Plank portrait however.  If you want to talk about a lousy T206 HOFer, we should be talking about Chief Bender's non-portrait card.

I can almost picture Jamie now with 10 Gs worth of cigs.

Pete: "Jamie got pinched."

Jay: "Where?"

Pete: "By the factory, selling cigarettes."



Very Happy
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:19 pm

seablaster wrote:
I can almost picture Jamie now with 10 Gs worth of cigs.

Pete: "Jamie got pinched."

Jay: "Where?"

Pete: "By the factory, selling cigarettes."

Very funny. Very Happy
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Re: Ghostbusters

Post by jbonie on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:49 pm

seablaster wrote:If some fellow pays $3000 for a 1974 Topps Mac Scarce PSA 10, pop 1, in order to advance in the set registry, I'll make the leap and suggest that the card isn't making him happy, but his position against his competition is.  

Right exactly.  It is all status driven.  But there is scarcely any difference between a PSA 9 and PSA 10.  There is no enjoyment factor - it is just a matter of saying that you own something that other people want.  Same for collecting a t206 master set - there is no way it is humanly possible to enjoy all those cards.  You already have all the fronts and all the backs anyways, and getting the combos is pointless because anyways it is impossible to view them at the same time.  The sole purpose is that other people can go, "Wow!  Look at all the cards he has!"  What a shame because there is so much other great stuff that people with that sort of wealth could buy and are missing out on.

seablaster wrote:Jay, I can understand your frustration with hyped up cards like the 1 loss T205 Matty, but this type of stuff goes on all the time with companies producing consumer products.  I read an eye-opening article years ago in Nat Geo about diamonds and the manipulation of their sale by DeBeers.  The article commented that the Japanese traditionally did not have diamond rings as part of the engagement process.  After a few years of their advertising campaign, boom, now a solid majority of couples purchased them.  It's market manipulation and we see that all the time.  The verbose, overly complimentary style of auction lot descriptions illustrates this.  We make fun of them all the time, yet they continue.

Bingo.  It is all marketing.  There is a guy over across the street who is wildly promoting the cards and every time a new collector comes onto the board, he says, "snap into a t206".  The guy is some sort of marketing genius.  I think he got an early start on the ghost images before they became so popular.


seablaster wrote:In regard to the Plank, I think you may have seen a 350 series portrait Jamie.  They are definitely not as crisp and their color is not as deep as 150s.  There is a stark contrast.  I like the Plank portrait however.  If you want to talk about a lousy T206 HOFer, we should be talking about Chief Bender's non-portrait card.

I googled the series 150, and you and Jay are correct, they look a lot more attractive.  The 350 was really  yuck
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