CAVEAT COLLECTOR; NEWCOMERS TOLD TO BE CAREFUL IN MEMENTO MARKET.Byline: Dave McNary Daily News Staff Writer
Max Himmelstein has two words of advice for neophyte ne·o·phyte
1. A recent convert to a belief; a proselyte.
2. A beginner or novice: a neophyte at politics.
a. Roman Catholic Church A newly ordained priest. collectors looking to make a killing in the memorabilia market - slow down.
``People come into my store and want to buy everything in the store,'' says Himmelstein, owner of Valley Baseball Card for the past 17 years. ``I always tell them to take their time. Otherwise, they'll get tired of what they bought and come back in six months trying to sell it back.''
Currently, more than three dozen retailers in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. sell collectibles, with more than half offering sports items and the rest specializing in areas such as movie-star autographs and posters, records, plates, postcards and Barbies.
The choices can be overwhelming. For example, sports cards' sales jumped from 250 million in 1988 to 1.2 billion in 1991, when the speculative boom in cards peaked. Sales have been sliding ever since, but card companies have hardly given up and will have printed about 600 million cards this year.
Additionally, many of the companies have resorted to gimmickry gim·mick·ry
n. pl. gim·mick·ries
1. An array or abundance of gimmicks.
2. The use of gimmicks.
Noun 1. to make their brands stand out amid declining profits at such leading players as Topps Co. and Marvel Entertainment Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) is an American entertainment company.
The company traces its origins to the May 1933 publication of Western Supernovel Magazine. Group. Some of these include packaging in tin cans tin cans
put on car of newlyweds leaving ceremony. [Am. Cult.: Misc.]
See : Marriage , swatches from a player's jersey used in a game, chrome-plated cards, CD-ROMs that review a player's career and packs that contain at least one card guaranteed to contain an actual autograph.
``My basic advice has always been to collect what you like, whether it's valuable or not,'' says Bob Brill, owner of KC Kings in Ventura and a consultant to a variety of trading card companies. ``If you collect what you like and it becomes valuable, then you really win. If it doesn't, well, so what?''
With so many different items available, it pays to proceed cautiously rather than plunging forward. ``I tell people who are starting out to go to a hobby store A hobby store is a place dedicated to the selling of things that people usually employ for their personal satisfaction. Hobby stores were traditionally popular with men and children, but today many hobby stores today cater to women's interests too. rather than buy from a catalog or a show, because you'll be getting advice from someone who's in business to stay in the business,'' Brill says.
Currently, the most popular collectibles are autographed sports cards, usually priced $10 and up. Among the most sought-after signatures of current stars - the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Dodgers' Mike Piazza Michael Joseph Piazza (born September 4, 1968 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) is an American Major League Baseball player who currently plays for the Oakland Athletics. He began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played for the Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres , the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant (born July 23 1978 and the Chicago Bulls' ) is an American All-Star shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Michael Jordan This article is about the former basketball player. For other uses, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation).
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player. .
Retired or deceased stars who still sell well include Joe DiMaggio Noun 1. Joe DiMaggio - United States professional baseball player noted for his batting ability (1914-1999)
DiMaggio, Joseph Paul DiMaggio , Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. Items bearing DiMaggio's signature continue to be in strong demand, such as $1,200 for an autographed bat and $350 for an autographed fielder's glove. At a recent local show, it cost fans a $175 fee merely to present an item for autographing to the Yankee Clipper.
Movie star autographs tend to command prices in the $50 to $75 range, although that depends greatly on how willing a star is to sign. Robert DeNiro's reluctance to give out autographs makes his signature far more valuable than most, Brill points out.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Mostly, beginning collectors are told to use common sense. Some pointers:
Find a dealer you can trust. ``It pays to look for someone who's been in the business long enough to get a good reputation,'' says veteran card trader Max Himmelstein.
Obtain certificates of authenticity for autographs such as those supplied by Upper Deck Authenticated and The Scoreboard. ``As things get more valuable, counterfeits come into the market,'' Himmelstein notes. Brill estimates that 40 to 50 percent of autographs sold are likely to be bogus.
Once you become knowledgeable, go to a show where you can meet the star. ``You know the autograph that you've gotten is the real thing and meeting a legend face-to-face is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'' Brill advises.
?13- Dave McNary
Autographed player uniforms are a leading item for collectors, with Michael Jordan's Upper Deck Authenticated special edition jerseys fetching the top prices.
Framed 1984-85 Bulls retro jersey, $3,300
Framed 1995-96 Bulls black jersey for 72-10 record, $3,200
Unframed ``Space Jam'' jersey, $3,000
Unframed November 1994 retirement jersey, $3,000
There are 11 baseball cards currently worth at least $2,500.Prices are for high range of sales
Babe Ruth, 1949 Leaf, $2,500
Mickey Mantle, 1951 Bowman, $8,000
Willie Mays, 1951 Bowman, $3,200
Willie Mays, 1952 Topps, $2,500
Mickey Mantle, 1953 Bowman, $3,000
Mickey Mantle, 1953 Topps, $3,000
Willie Mays, 1953 Topps, $2,700
Ted Williams, 1954 Bowman, $4,600
Cal Ripken Jr., 1993 Finest Refractor refractor: see telescope. , $2,300
Ken Griffey Jr., 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold, $4,000
Cal Ripken Jr., 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold, $2,500
Source: Beckett Baseball Monthly
4 Photos, 3 Boxes, Chart
Photo: (1--3--Color) no caption (Baseball Cards)
(4--Color) no caption (Michael Jordan)
Box: (1) KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (See Text)
(2) Jordan Rules (See Text)
(3) HOT PROPERTY (See Text)
Chart: BOOM AND BUST In economics, the term boom and bust refers to the movement of an economy through economic cycles. The Boom-Bust economic cycle
According to most economists, an economic boom is typically characterized by an increased level of economic output (GDP), a corresponding