I just finished writing the post below & my brain is officially fried. This post starts off in one place and completely ends up in another, so I apologize in advance to those who get annoyed.
Remember the card show I attended a few weekends ago? Well... I saved my best find for today's post:
2000 Pacific Prism Prospects "Holographic Mirror" # Isaac Bruce (#'d 57/75)
Beckett lists this card at $10... but of course that doesn't mean anything... especially since I picked this copy for a whopping 10¢. Yep... 10 pennies. It's flippin' serial numbered to 75.
Wow... cardboard "values" just aren't the same as they used to be. And neither are the words "scarce" or "rare".
Wish I could find this card for 10¢!
Do you remember back in 1990, when Pro Set randomly inserted 10,000 Lombardi Trophy holograms into their wax boxes? Ten thousand. A number in today's hobby that seems astronomic... but back then was considered "rare".
Obviously, it's simply a case of "supply" vs. "demand". Back in the early 90's... there were 5... 10... maybe 20 times the amount of card collectors there are now. Collectors saw the values of '81 Topps Montana rookies soaring though the roof and figured their Dan McGwire rookies would do the same... and so the card market boomed.
Then the walls came tumbling down. Maybe too many collectors got burned and have walked away from the hobby. Maybe kids these days would rather play Modern Warfare 3 or hang out on Facebook, instead of busting packs.
Either way, the number of collectors in the hobby is nowhere near what it once was. In other words, "demand" has dropped... which means "values" have also fallen too.
Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about...
I recently saw a one of a kind printing plate of Isaac Bruce sell on eBay for $1.76 (free shipping). Insane right? It's impossible to get any rarer than this. And it's not like Isaac Bruce is a common. He has the 7th most receptions in NFL history and the 3rd most receiving yards. On top of that... he has 91 receiving touchdowns... which ranks him 10th all-time.
It makes me wonder whether or not the pieces of cardboard I purchase are destined to fade into obscurity like Kenner Starting Lineups, Beanie Babies, & Pogs.
Well at least the Lombardi Trophy hologram still commands big money.
So what do you think?
What do you think the future holds for this hobby?
Is collecting cardboard a dying hobby?
Regardless if the cardboard future is "dark" or "bright"... I'm in it for the long haul. I've definitely cut back in spending since my collecting days of yore. But that doesn't mean that these pieces of cardboard with pictures of grown men on them aren't a huge part of my "happy place".
Have a great day... and sayonara!
So... I understand that some of you might feel that I'm focusing too much on "value"... and not enough about the pieces of cardboard themselves & the joy they bring to all of us.
Well.. I wholeheartedly assure you that this isn't the case. It's been years since I purchased cards for the sake of "investment". But at the same time... this particular collector isn't independently wealthy. I'm living on a teacher's salary... and can't afford to just throw away money. Maybe I need to look at it as I'm "investing" in my "happiness"?
By the way... if you can believe it... this post was originally part of my Cheap Cool Cards series. That's what happens when you suffer from ADD.