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Old 06-10-2013, 03:52 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Some more time has passed and I was curious if anyone is seeing the same trends noted in the previous posts or have things turned around a little?

Any post-peak thoughts on MGB, IM3, Superman, Spellcasters, or any other recent sketch releases?

No agenda here, just curious what people who following this more closely than I am lately are seeing.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:01 PM   #127 (permalink)
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spellcasters and 5finity have been great!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #128 (permalink)
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I don't think there has been an up-turn. IM3 was generally pretty weak and the prices the cards are pulling are even weaker. I picked up a Jason Keith Philips, and Elvin Hernandez, and a Bienifer Flores for $12-$13 each the past week.

The Spellcasters stuff dropped off a bit after a couple of weeks. Good for me, I picked up a really awesome Eric McConnell sketch for under $40! Can't wait to get it. Surely my favorite pick-up of the month so far. A bunch of other really nice sketches sold in the $20-$40 range.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:00 PM   #129 (permalink)
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The Spellcasters stuff dropped off a bit after a couple of weeks. Good for me, I picked up a really awesome Eric McConnell sketch for under $40! Can't wait to get it. Surely my favorite pick-up of the month so far. A bunch of other really nice sketches sold in the $20-$40 range.
Spellcasters has NOT dropped off. I continue to get top dollar for my sketches from a multitude of collectors. On hot, quality items such as that one, I just remain patient and the cards all sell. Only a few "low-end" sketches will not sell, but that is always the case.

IM3 is part of the whole burnout with Marvel sketches. Rittenhouse killed that market long ago. At least UD releases sketches in moderation.

The niche releases continue to do really well (viceroy, marty/boo, harlith, 5finity, axebone, perna). So I am not convinced there is a dropoff in all sketches, just in the ones that are mass produced.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:13 PM   #130 (permalink)
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Spellcasters has NOT dropped off. I continue to get top dollar for my sketches from a multitude of collectors. On hot, quality items such as that one, I just remain patient and the cards all sell. Only a few "low-end" sketches will not sell, but that is always the case.
When you exclude the most sought after artists (Hetrick, Perna, Tan, Glebes, etc...) Spellcasters sketches have been selling at lower prices (maybe 25-35% lower) than they were. In my experiences as a buyer, this is pretty typical, especially for cards sold at low starting auctions. Good for me that not everybody has the patience of Tim. I wasn't really planning on buying (besides APs), but I can't resist some of the prices I'm starting to see.

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IM3 is part of the whole burnout with Marvel sketches. Rittenhouse killed that market long ago. At least UD releases sketches in moderation.

The niche releases continue to do really well (viceroy, marty/boo, harlith, 5finity, axebone, perna). So I am not convinced there is a drop-off in all sketches, just in the ones that are mass produced.
I think the visible concern is the drop-off in price of mediocre sketches. The three I mentioned are decent artists, but nobody highly sought after.

I do agree that the niche releases continue to provide great value.

Tim - Out of curiosity, how would you rank Bombshells compared to similar releases? I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with the 'average' sketch that I saw. Compared to something like Spellcasters, where I thought the 'average' sketch was worth more than the pack it came out of. I can't imagine any dealer that didn't at least double their investment on Spellcasters.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:09 PM   #131 (permalink)
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When I started collecting comics, non-sports cards, paperbacks, and other popular culture material more than 40 years ago, I tried to adhere to one rule: Buy what you like and can afford -- not what happens to be hot at the moment, and you have to pay stupid money for.

That way, you'll generally be happy with what you have, regardless of where the market goes.

Following that rule, I rarely overpay, and, if anything, I end up kicking myself later when I look back at items I sold years ago for a fraction of their value today.

When I started drawing sketch cards last year, I did it for different reasons than most artists. I've never had to draw for a living, so the number of commissions I've drawn in the past four decades can probably be counted on one hand (two at most). I don't do sketches at conventions, and I still have most of my original art (the crappiest of which I destroyed years ago). This means that there's not a lot of my art out there, so if you get one of my sketch cards, it really is a "limited edition."

Now, you may not like my art, and that's fine. As a collector, I have my own likes and dislikes when it comes to original art. I even have my own likes and dislikes amongst my own sketch cards. I hated some, but thought I hit a few home runs on others. So if you do get one of my better cards and enjoy the art, you may want to hold on to it because odds are I probably won't be drawing anything like it ever again.

I drew sketch cards for the Mars Attacks Heritage set last year because I actually bought the original cards back in 1962, and they kick-started my love of science fiction. I then drew sketch cards for Star Wars Galactic Files Series 1 because when "Star Wars" came out in 1977, it melded my love of science fiction with my love of space exploration, and led to a quantum leap in quality of my science fiction space art. I almost did not participate in doing sketches for Series 2, but relented at the last minute. Because of the tight deadline, about half of my sketches had to be in pencil.

The only other sketch cards I currently have an interest in possibly doing are of Marvel monsters from Marvel's pre-superhero era, circa 1958-1961. And since I know of no plans by any card companies for releasing such a set, in keeping with my rule of "stuff I like," I'll probably draw them for my own amusement.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:16 PM   #132 (permalink)
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The new Thor set seems to have some bargains from some previous high dollar artists.

This Jim Cheung Thor closed at $73 with 14 bids spread out over 10 separate bidders:

2013 UD Marvel Thor The Dark World Sketch 1 1 Jim Cheung | eBay

And I picked up a decent Anthony Tan Thor last week for $50 BIN (which is my first ever card from this artist).
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:54 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Strebs and Tans seem to have dropped a bit. Probably just because they are so readily available these days.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #134 (permalink)
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The new Thor set seems to have some bargains from some previous high dollar artists.

This Jim Cheung Thor closed at $73 with 14 bids spread out over 10 separate bidders:

2013 UD Marvel Thor The Dark World Sketch 1 1 Jim Cheung | eBay

And I picked up a decent Anthony Tan Thor last week for $50 BIN (which is my first ever card from this artist).

I've been seeing Jim Cheung Thor sketch cards and they're not at the same level of his past cards. These seem to be rushed or just not as much time spent on the details as what impressed me in his work in the past.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:26 AM   #135 (permalink)
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Glebes have been dropping as well
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:47 AM   #136 (permalink)
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Default Cheung Thor 2 sketch cards - less pricey

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I've been seeing Jim Cheung Thor sketch cards and they're not at the same level of his past cards. These seem to be rushed or just not as much time spent on the details as what impressed me in his work in the past.
Definitely not as detailed as his cards from Marvel Masterpieces, Marvel Beginnings, Captain America, or from the first Thor release. Even his Fleer Retro cards, although more similar in style to the second Thor series, seemed to have more detail. On some cards, he's added some washed-typed coloring, but lessened the detailing in these last 2 releases with mixed results ... and it seems like the lower prices (under $100) are a byproduct of the less impressive cards.

With that said, it still seems like a good value to add to the personal collection for an original limited-edition piece of art from comic book artist Jim Chueng to me

(I think I should try to pick up a couple while they're still under $100 )
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:18 AM   #137 (permalink)
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Glebes have been dropping as well
In completed auctions I see 2 from Thor that were sold on 12/29/13:

Loki--- $188.19 (28 bids)
Thor --- $178.00 (26 bids)

Both seem pretty high, but were Glebes selling for higher in previos sets? I honestly don't collect them.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #138 (permalink)
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In completed auctions I see 2 from Thor that were sold on 12/29/13:

Loki--- $188.19 (28 bids)
Thor --- $178.00 (26 bids)

Both seem pretty high, but were Glebes selling for higher in previos sets? I honestly don't collect them.
I don't collect them either. Not really in my budget.

I wouldn't say those are atypical though. The value of Glebe cards has been all over the place as long as I've been collecting. Many have sold for $400+, but, especially in recent releases, many of their cards have sold around $200. Again, I suspect it is more a factor of how many cards are in the marketplace. People that are willing to spend $500 on a card become fairly selective about what they buy. As much as they may want to add some Glebes, they aren't fighting over EVERY Glebe. I think the spread on their Bronze Age cards was something like $180-$480 during the first 2 or 3 months of that release. That is a pretty big range.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #139 (permalink)
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I think there's a lot of competition for the best work of the "top shelf" artists, but you don't see people spending a lot of coin on work that's not as great just because of the signature.

That's one change I've seen even from when I started buying sketches a little over a year ago.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #140 (permalink)
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I think there's a lot of competition for the best work of the "top shelf" artists, but you don't see people spending a lot of coin on work that's not as great just because of the signature.
That is much more clear than what I wrote. Thanks.

Not to go off track, but... I think this is very much similar to the SW Superfractor discussion. Some of the 'big draws' will go for a lot of money. Lesser characters will still sell decently, because people want to have a superfractor for their collection. I think it is pretty much the same with artists like the Glebes, Acar, Hall, etc... You could say their value is declining, but their best cards are still selling for crazy amounts. Not to say their other cards are bad or poor, they just aren't as good. They sell for less. They still command a premium compared to most cards, because a lot of people would like to have that prized artist in their collection. Slowly, as more people add that top artist to their collection, their lower end cards sell for less and less, allowing people with lower budgets to add those artists to their collection. However, people who are willing to spend $500+ on a single card are still spending that amount of their most desirable cards from each set. Well, those guys and collectors that bust a box and hit the jackpot
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #141 (permalink)
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You have to consider anything that comes out in the last quarter of the year competes with holiday purchasing for other people outside of the hobby that do not collect cards.

Also, I personally believe that when a license is over saturated, no matter how beloved, sales will be a little lower. Not to mention dealers will post sales and sketches off of Ebay before listing there to save on fees. THEN they post. OR they save better sketches for later posting, etc. Lots of little contributing factors.

Plus, there's always an influx of new talent so hot artists on one set, might see a decline in numbers three sets later when someone else new and notable arrives.

Just a few of my two cents
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:26 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Not to mention dealers will post sales and sketches off of Ebay before listing there to save on fees. THEN they post.
Excellent point--with some dealers pre-selling certain characters or artists from their large breaks, I'm sure we never even see a lot of fantastic sketches unless they get resold down the road or know what they originally sold for.

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They sell for less. They still command a premium compared to most cards, because a lot of people would like to have that prized artist in their collection. Slowly, as more people add that top artist to their collection, their lower end cards sell for less and less, allowing people with lower budgets to add those artists to their collection.
This is a great point as well. I thought we might see a bigger influx of new sketch collectors from Retro bringing in a different audience, but it doesn't seem like that really materialized at a significant level.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:17 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Just a few of my two cents
I count three cents On a more serious note though, you are absolutely correct. I know that I usually stop commissioning artists after NY Comic Con (in October) so I don't get too many bills just before Christmas.

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I thought we might see a bigger influx of new sketch collectors from Retro bringing in a different audience, but it doesn't seem like that really materialized at a significant level.
I'm not that surprised though, because the draw from that set was really the inserts. I'm curious how many people that cross over into non-sports for these 'sport-like' releases (GPK Chrome, Marvel Fleer Retro, upcoming SW Chrome Perspectives) stay on the non-sport side after. I get the impression it is a kind of novel thing for them to bust those products, but after they go back to their norm. Just speculation, of course. But when I look at the people that appeared around the time of GPK Chrome, they don't seem to have stuck around (here or GPK UG forum).
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:19 PM   #144 (permalink)
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I recently met two fellows at a local art show that have done work for Topps, 5finity and a few others. I've been trying to get into a set for some time now and they were very nice and gave me a lot of good information.

I don't buy tons of sketch cards and don't follow the trends as closely as others here, but I think the reason prices have (and will continue to) steadily drop is oversaturation.

This is two-fold - oversaturation of characters or subject matter/license (like Rhiannon mentioned) and just general oversaturation of sketch cards in general. There are sketch-focused releases (like 5finity & Viceroy) coming out all the time now and just about every non-sports release has sketches incorporated into the checklist.

This is kind of a sideways comparison but remember back in the mid-90's when the first game-used jersey cards were coming out in sports releases? They were an amazing, rare pull - not to mention the idea of an actual GAME-USED piece of jersey embedded in a card was pretty novel. Nowadays, when folks pull a jersey card instead of a low-numbered autograph, they are just disappointed. I think the same analogy goes for sketches - the idea of getting a HAND-DRAWN original piece of art in a pack of cards was mind-blowing to me a few years ago. Now, folks tear into a box just looking for their promised sketch, and if its not full-color or a sought-after artist, its a disappointment. We always want more.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:19 PM   #145 (permalink)
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I'm not that surprised though, because the draw from that set was really the inserts. I'm curious how many people that cross over into non-sports for these 'sport-like' releases (GPK Chrome, Marvel Fleer Retro, upcoming SW Chrome Perspectives) stay on the non-sport side after. I get the impression it is a kind of novel thing for them to bust those products, but after they go back to their norm. Just speculation, of course. But when I look at the people that appeared around the time of GPK Chrome, they don't seem to have stuck around (here or GPK UG forum).
I thought it might have more of an effect like Premier did just through getting sketches in the hands of people not previously very familiar with them. I know of a few guys who still buy a lot that were brought in with Premier (in fact I know one extremely well ).
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:23 PM   #146 (permalink)
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hehe... I know that guy too
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:10 AM   #147 (permalink)
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This thread really is great reading. I collect Star Wars and James Bond cards, and from time to time over the last 5-6 years I have taken breaks from the hobby due to other priorities in my life. Each time I come back, I am always interested in the changes that have taken place. My last break was all through 2012, but I came back early last year and was pretty shocked at the evolution and changes in the market. This is what I noticed;

- Over saturation of subject matter through multiple sets in shorter spaces of time. In the short term it might make the companies money, but longer term it's damaging the industry and hobby.
- Increase in the cost of boxes/cases, literally for some franchises doubling overnight from a price point of circa 4-500$ a case to $1000+. At a time of a global economic slowdown this has pushed people away.
- An apparent (could be anecdotal) big reduction in case breaks. I remember back in the days of Star Wars 30th and Star Wars Galaxy 4, we had like 30-40 pages of set chatter and breaks on various fan forums, by now, some releases you are lucky if you get a couple of pages. I therefore do wonder where all the stock is sometimes, is it dealers only?
- This brings me on to my next point, I used to think back in the days of Galaxy 4 etc, that dealers must make a killing when one card can bring you half the cost of the case, or sometimes even more. Now I wonder how they make any money whatsoever at the high pre-order price points. Are they buying it a lot lower?, I don't understand!
- In terms of card values, certain sets and artists are still holding up well. Again going back to Star Wars and Bond that I understand well, a strong Star Wars 30th sketch by say Adam Hughes or Rafael Kayanan will still pull in $500-750 no problem. By the same token, if you have a Brosnan auto, Famke Jansen, Ursula Andress etc, these cards hold up incredibly well also as there are only a finite amount of cards for that image, film etc, often well under 200. Where we struggle is in common/average sketches, autos, relics, etc. These cards seem to have collapsed to 5-10$ each max, and given this is what's in a huge proportion of boxes, the risk/reward on a $100 box just doesn't feel like its worth it.
- I have also noticed that some big collectors have left the hobby, and whilst new collectors inevitably join up, the higher buy in means I get the feeling this isn't balanced, damaging the long term stability.

In short, it's a combination of factors, and we probably have to fall even further before things get better. I still think there is a future here, but we need less releases, a more realistic price point and more innovation.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:40 AM   #148 (permalink)
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- Over saturation of subject matter through multiple sets in shorter spaces of time. In the short term it might make the companies money, but longer term it's damaging the industry and hobby.
I pretty much agree, especially with this point. I think this is a huge issue across the trading card hobby, well beyond sketch cards. The comic sets which have been most successful over the past two years were Marvel Premier and Marvel Fleer Retro. These were both very innovative, compared to the likes of Marvel Beginnings, Women of Marvel, Marvel Bronze Age, Marvel Greatest Battles, DC New 52, Batman: The Legend, Walking Dead Comic s1, etc... Fewer releases with more innovation will improve the health of these brands significantly.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:18 PM   #149 (permalink)
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And a Cheung Iron Man from the Thor set just closed at $67 ... Item 310832485292.

He definitely didn't put in the same level of detail (ie crosshatching) that he did in previous sets.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:25 PM   #150 (permalink)
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I was watching that Iron man by Cheung. I was wondering if it would get near $100. It's good for the collectors who want a Cheung, but then again you're not getting what has made his cards special (details) in the past.
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