A year is a long time in the world of collecting.......
After what has been a long time away from posting on this blog (with a house move, wedding and baby all happening in the last year) I’m back and into the wonderful world of collectibles once again.
Oddly enough in this time my collecting focus has shifted slightly from the world of comics (although that’s still an area I am involved in) to that of sports cards.
‘Wait? Sports cards - you mean that over saturated market of worthless cardboard’ I hear you cry?
You couldn’t be any further wrong.....
Being a parent is genuinely one of the most rewarding life experiences you can ever have, and in the early throws of this new role you have to be set for night feeds and sleepless nights. Being a night owl this was something I was more than equipped to do. It was on one of these late night sessions that I happened to stumble across some live NBA games on tv and a passion from 25 years ago was reignited.
Watching the games it immediately reminded me of the trading card hobby that dominated my youth, so needless to say I started browsing the NBA, NFL and MLB sports trading card market for a bit of nostalgia but what I found was something completely different.
It’s safe to say the landscape from the mass produced card sets of the 90’s has moved into high end products dominated by the addictive chase of signatures and low numbered print runs of legends and future stars of the sporting world.
There is a real buzz around hot rookies with limited cards changing hands for thousands of dollars. Some boxes of cards cost hundred of dollars containing one pack with just 5 cards but the potential inside them make them worth taking a chance on.
Many of the boxes on sale are out of reach for Joe Public to simply purchase so this is where the fun hobby element of box breaks comes into force. A box break is simply where you buy a team or place in a live opening of a box streamed on Facebook or YouTube and cards pulled for the team you have (or are drawn against) are then yours. Of course certain teams / players can be more pricey than others but that’s down to you as an individual to choose what money you wish to put into it.
Another avenue to go down is the purchasing cards for your collection route via channels such as eBay, Facebook, COMC and Beckett Marketplace. This is where if you decide to collect a certain player or want to try and invest on a player or set you can track down what you need - again some cards are worth much more than others almost immediately whilst others grow or drop in value over time.
With the way technology has advanced cards (much like the comic market) also have grading options so like slabbing a comic book you can also protect your cards by getting them graded via market leaders like PSA and Beckett.
Added to this are the ‘instant’ channels with Topps and Panini offering limited prints and ‘24 hours to purchase’ cards before they are taken off sale forever - some of which are signed by the superstars just adding to the demand.
Redemptions are also now common place in packs where you may find a card you need to redeem a code on. You then wait whilst the card company produce the card or get it signed by the relevant sports star.
The market - it’s safe to say - needs to be studied before diving right in but it’s certainly fascinating.
So with all this being added to this site now will be sports cards posts.
I genuinely believe the market has room to grow further and the buzz of tracking down various cards to add to your set or watching what you have brought into become the ‘hot ticket’ is great fun.
The nostalgia factor will undoubtably play a part in the rise and much like that late night I had a few months ago which hooked me back in others will stumble across it and look to collect once again whilst bringing a whole young generation into the hobby too as their parents get them into the wonderful world of cards.
I will post some of what I’ve been collecting in the coming weeks but for now if you enjoyed this post or are already part of this fascinating market let me know in the comments.
It was back in late 2013 that I was first made aware of the work of Joe Van Wetering when I came across the 'Evolution of McFly' print for sale on the Los Angeles based Gallery 1988 website.
Being a Back to the Future fanatic I knew this was a piece I had to have in my collection as it highlighted the 3 key outfits worn by Marty McFly in the movies - I loved the concept of what had been created and from this I knew I'd be keeping an eye out for other 'Evolutions' prints.
I added 'Evolution of the Duck' (based on the Mighty Ducks Movies) and 'Evolution of Wright' (based on the movies of Edgar Wright) to my collection and then awaited more to be released.
Cut forward to the present day at Gallery1988 and a whole show - titled 'Evolutions' by Joe Van Wetering is running with a selection of 'Must Have' pieces for fans of TV, Film and Sports alike.....
Featuring everyone and everything from Harrison Ford through to Game of Thrones and their 'Evolutions' over time along with being produced in limited numbers there is literally something for every fan of pop culture in this show.
Needless to say - and to follow on from my previous purchases - I have picked up the two Back to the Future focused prints released -
First up comes the 'Evolution of McFly (2)' which puts emphasis once again on the outfits of Marty from the Trilogy.
Coupled with this comes the 'McFly Shoe Study' print that details the footwear of Marty across the movies -
Star Wars fans get the chance to pick up a Boba Fett piece titled 'Fett Family Tree' which would look great in any collection and alongside this comes 'Evolution of the Trooper'
Below are a few of my other favourites from the show......
All prints featured above are on sale now alongside others not shown and can be purchased by clicking on the link below.......
GALLERY1988 - Joe Van Wetering 'Evolutions'
As mentioned previously all prints featured are limited editions so get them whilst you can!
A truly fantastic series and I am delighted that a whole show dedicated to them is in place!
Be sure to follow Joe on Twitter on - @joevw and also check out his site - www.joevw.com
Today kicks off a fantastic few months of Back to the Future related activity for me.
2015 was always going to be a key year for any fan of the film franchise - with yesterday (July 3rd) being the 30th anniversary of the original movies release and October 21st being 'the date' Marty travels to in the future in Part 2.
Needless to say there are numerous events taking place - and below I highlight some of these.
Back to the Future - Live in Concert
Tonight at the Royal Albert Hall - Back to the Future - Live in Concert takes place.
This event sees the film screened in the iconic setting with the movie score being performed by a live orchestra.
It promises to be a unique experience and a memorable evening!
Tickets for this can still be purchased at -
London Film & Comic Con
On July 17th - July 19th London Film & Comic Con hosts a truly remarkable chance to meet stars from the film series as they run 'Return to the Future'.
Guests including Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd will be in attendance!
I brought tickets for this event many months ago and my only problem for this weekend now is what to get signed!
The event will also see numerous talks by the cast and you can be pretty sure those with sellers tables at the event will be selling Back to the Future related items!
Saturday tickets are now sold out however Friday & Sunday dates are still on sale.
Check out the site below for more details -
We're Going Back
Finally in October its time for 'We're going Back'
This is pretty much any Back to the Future fans dream event.
Set in various locations in the Los Angeles area from Wednesday 21st October thru Sunday 25th October there are a host of events going on - not limited to -
Details on this one can be found at -
This is the year to be a Back to the Future fan and I know I've only covered a few things that are going on.
If you know of more feel free to post them in the comments section!
Here's to a fantastic few months!!
Come lunchtime it's not unusual for me to escape the office and take a stroll around the city centre of Birmingham - a few weeks back I did that and stumbled across the movie set of post-apocalyptic sci-fi zombie thriller 'She Who Brings Gifts'
The feature film which will star Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton is being shot in various locations across the Midlands so I spent a bit of time with the crowds who had gathered to watch a scene being filmed and then carried on my normal walk.
Cut forward to today and streets were once again closed off with more filming taking place......
I decided to take a few shots of bits that were left on the street after filming - the results of which can be seen below.
The film isn't set to be released until 2016 however I'm already looking forward to seeing it and spoting places that I recognise from my lunchtime walks.
There's no denying that seeing a movie being filmed made my Monday a little better - it's not everyday you see a zombie lying on the floor in the city centre.....
Any story behind this?
Recently I was made aware of a site that offered a monthly dose of collectables delivered right to your door.....
The site in question - Lootcrate
Being a fan of movies, comics and all things pop culture related I knew I had to give it a try - and I'm glad I did!
Ordering at the start of the year I was kept informed by emails on what was going to be on the way with hints and sneak peaks being sent to me. Every month there is a different theme and this months 'crate' was titled 'rewind' - which ultimately was a look at geek & gaming past.
What's great about Lootcrate is they ship to various destinations across the globe - UK included so I was delighted to get back from work tonight and see my parcel waiting for me. Opening it up the first item was instantly something I was delighted to have..... A Voltron T-Shirt!
Voltron was a 1980's animated tv show that screams pop culture so this item will be worn - it's a cool piece to own!
Next out of the box came some retro 8-Bit glasses - they are certainly different but worth a wear! Roll on the summer eh?
Pulled out next was a comic note book - interestingly something that lets you doodle and create your own comic too! Quirky!
Now - my job involves me going to meetings and what I opened up next made me smile. A small box with 'black tie geek' on was opened and inside - the coolest of cool space invaders tie!!
This will be worn - and clients will be impressed!
Following up from this came an item that will join my desk toy collection.....
An exclusive Lootcrate 10-Doh figure.
You can't see from the picture below but these figures inspired by NES game cartridges have arms and legs and make any desk a bit more lively!
Finally on the back of the Star Wars #1 comic release came an exclusive Lootcrate copy of the book! Consider this bagged - boarded and now sat in my collection (the original I brought only last week so the variant can stay sealed away)
There's a nice book with a few articles in too - so all in all a very successful haul! :)
Needless to say I am now a subscriber - roll on the end of next month - I can't wait to see what goodies I get!!
Lootcrate can be signed up for at - www.lootcrate.com
2015 is always a year I've looked forward to.
Readers of this blog will know how much I love the Back to the Future trilogy and 2015 sees not only the 30th anniversary of the original film but is also the year Marty and Doc (with Jennifer in tow) travel forward to in the 2nd movie. We've still got a few months to see flying cars and hoverboards become a reality but it goes without saying October 21st of this year will be a special day for fans of the film!
In truth 2015 looks set to be Back to the Future fans dream year. For starters July 17th - 19th in London sees London Film & Comic Con host a variety of stars of the film with Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Claudia Wells and James Tolkan to name only a handful of those attending! Tickets and details can be found on - http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com
It's set to be a spectacular event with fans from across the globe attending! I already have my tickets and now have the dilemma on what to get signed (hoverboard / poster / artwork leading the way)
Food for the event should be good too - as long as we can buy a hydrated pizza on the day! ;)
Of course it's not only the London event that's happening!
Plans are in place for the 'we're going back' event - I was unable to attend the 25th anniversary however this one is becoming more of a possibility for me to go to. Details of this event can be found on - http://www.weregoingback.com
Let's also not forget that secret cinema are taking Hill Valley Stateside this year too after a successful London run last year.
Alongside all of this you have to hope Universal Studios might do something special in October however nothing has been announced yet!
This year WILL be the year for all BTTF fans.
Away from Back to the Future and into another collecting realm we also have another anniversary - that of WWF Hasbro as they become 25 years old.
The line still remains a favourite of many today with those rediscovering their youth and those who never stopped collecting.
What's great about this line is that items are still being discovered to this day. Only a couple of months back more rare 2-up heads were unearthed - infact 2014 saw more discoveries than ever.
Personally I can't see 2015 seeing as many rare items coming into the market but you never know.....
So what are my collecting goals for 2015?
Well - Back to the Future remains at the top my list. There's no better time to collect than now and any chance to obtain promo items - in particular clocks - will be taken.
Props from the film are always on my list too.
WWF Hasbro items will also be tracked however at present my collection seems somewhat complete unless more super rare items come up for sale.
I will continue to collect comics - I've got a new collecting passion for the Walking Dead so I have a plan to try and pick this series up (but am aware of the cost implications)
With a USA trip potentially set for October - 2015 should be fun!
I wish everyone reading this a fantastic New Year and look forward to hearing from you all and seeing your findings.
For the last 2 years I have been working on this site and adding to it as I blog about the items I pick up during my 'Adventures in Collecting' however starting from today the site will go down a new path.
You will now notice that alongside the 'Blog' page you will see the headings for Comics, Toys and Movie Props where I will post articles and links to these subjects.
As always I appreciate feedback so feel free to drop me a line on the 'Contact Us' page - equally if you want to contribute to the site do the same.
Sometimes I will blog and go on for ages about an item - other times I will blog a few lines just because an item is special to me. On this occasion its the latter......
For some time now I have been after a Smoke Tree Ranch Logo Pin - however being limited to just 500 and the fact it sold out almost instantly made my mission close to impossible. My links to Smoke Tree go back nearly 15 years now and despite not being a 'Pin' collector this one was a must have.
I finally - after months of searching - got the chance to get one off eBay.
This is now the second Disney Pin I own with the Smoke Tree Logo on - the other - a Woody from Toy Story one purchased last year.
Chances are the Smoke Tree Logo pin will get rarer as the years go on - however even if prices hit top dollar I have no plans to sell mine - some collectibles just need to be kept......
As always the hunt for items continues - I may not have as much time as I used to for finding bits and pieces on eBay however when I do find an item I want I make sure there is a reminder in my calendar to pick it up.
This was the case with a recent purchase which saw me acquire an item I had never seen before - a display from the Back to the Future Happy Meal series (including toys).
McDonalds Happy Meals are a great collecting area with demand on popular lines on eBay seeing top prices - Despicable Me Minions and Smurfs are recent examples of lines that people want.
In 1992 McDonalds decided to launch a collection which tied in with the animated series of the classic movie Back to the Future.
Marty, Doc, Jules, Vern and Einstein all got the Happy Meal treatment.
Interestingly the Doc toy actually got pulled from the line due to the fact the wheels could come off the DeLorean easily and thus was classed as a choking hazard - this however didn't stop thousands of these already being sold so they don't prove too hard to find even now.
Picking up this item saw me get into a slight bidding war - and there is no denying its seen better days however regardless my plan will be to put it into a display case and keep safe from further damage.
A few close up shots from the item are below -
These toys can be picked up on auction sites and at car boots even now - the Happy Meal boxes from them can also be found - however I haven't seen a display like this sold before - I am not even sure if any others even exist?
Sometimes, even if the item is a bit beat up, it has to be brought.
These kind of things don't show up too often, and I have learnt from past experience don't regret on missing out for the sake of a couple of pounds!
I'd love to hear from other McDonalds Happy Meal collectors about what lines they collect and if they have been able to obtain ex-display models at all......