Amazon Books For Your Reading Needs

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Much Is That Game in the Window?

How Much Is That Game in the Window?
This entry was written by Michael Barnes, posted on January 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm, filed under Editorial, Games and Puzzles, Toys, Dolls, Games and Puzzles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

The first thing I look for when I stroll up someone’s driveway to a yard sale or as I’m rummaging through the detritus of material culture at an antique retailer or thrift store is board games.
Usually, my treasure hunt ends in disappointment as I excavate a ratty, worn-out copy of Trivial Pursuit or an antediluvian edition of Clue with the lead pipe missing. I’m not looking for a board game based on the “Mork & Mindy” TV show, and I’m not in the market for novelty games themed after the fads and trends of decades past—I think I’ll pass on that copy of MC Hammer’s Rap-a-Round, thank you. And no, I don’t particularly care how old that copy of Scrabble is, either.
I am a hobby gamer. I play and write about games, both as a hobby and professionally, and many in the antiques-and-collectibles business might be shocked to hear me say that a lot of the board games I find in their shops are practically worthless to anyone with a serious interest in board games.

3M edition of Acquire
Sure, character-themed games may carry value to certain collectors. Examples of particular rarity or significance might tickle the fancy of someone interested in purchasing a game to stow away in a display case. But the kinds of games other hobby gamers and I are casting the dragnet for are those that we’re actually interested in playing—chiefly nonmainstream strategy games and war games from the 1970s and 1980s. Most of them you’ve probably never heard of, but in the board-gaming community, the arcane might turn out to be the mundane.

There’s no telling how many hobby games have been sold at antiques dealers and secondhand shops for well under their actual value. It was just recently I bought a copy of Dungeon, a 1980 Dungeons and Dragons-style board game, for five bucks at a local antiques shop. The game regularly sells for $50 to $75 in hobby circles and in online auctions.
A friend answered an online classified ad posted by an antiques collector who had gotten his hands on a lot that included several boxes of board games. He was giving them away. My friend picked them up and aside from the almost-condition copy of Dark Tower, an electronic board game from the early 1980s that regularly fetches upward of $200 from hobbyists, the lot included at least $1,000 worth of exceptionally rare war games from classic publishers such as Avalon Hill and SPI. The guy simply thought they were worthless.

Dark Tower

Dark Tower laid out
I have also seen the flip side of the coin where sellers will price older games at outrageous prices seemingly founded solely on the vintage of the item. Last week, I was in a local antiques mall where a dealer had a copy of the 3M-edition of Acquire—a common (but great) game that can be found for around $10 easily. The dealer had it stickered at $60.
Just because a game is old doesn’t mean it is in demand, rare or worth anything to a hobby gamer. Good games do tend to be worth more to players, and that is often reflected in market prices. Of course, finding out what those good games are can be an odyssey into esotericism just as in any other collectibles market.
There is definitely a market for collectible, out-of-print hobby games—I know because I’m part of it. But in order for the uninitiated to assess value properly and to identify trash from treasure, it does require a little research work. A simple survey of online board-games sources and public auction sites might reveal some shockers in terms of value. You may be surprised when that box of games that your nerdy brother used to keep in the closet turns out to be a treasure chest.
WorthPoint—Get the Most from Your Antiques & Collectibles

Friday, January 16, 2009

Paperdoll Review

Home Page - Comprehensive Coverage in the World of Antiques » News » News stories » Creating a cavalcade of cutouts: Paperdoll Review to release nine new classic star paper doll books
Creating a cavalcade of cutouts: Paperdoll Review to release nine new classic star paper doll books
January 14, 2009
Paperdoll Review, well known for offering one of the widest selections of paper dolls via mail order and its website,, announced it will release nine new classic star paper doll books under its publishing imprint, Paper Studio Press.Collecting and cutting out paper dolls, a charming childhood pastime in decades gone by, is regaining popularity with collectors and a new generation of children interested in fashion and a more traditional form of play. The new paper dolls from Paper Studio Press recapture the glorious, glamour days of Hollywood’s Golden Age and will delight paper doll enthusiasts of all ages.The classic stars featured as paper doll books include Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire’s legendary partner; Esther Williams, the movies’ only swimming star; and Jane Powell, the movies’ songbird, all created by top paper doll illustrator, Marilyn Henry. Marilyn also created the currently available paper doll of Marilyn Monroe, perhaps the most iconic star of all time. Other stars getting the paper doll treatment are Betty Hutton, the zany World War II superstar, by Judy M Johnson; and the iconic classics from the silver screen – Greta Garbo, by Norma Lu Meehan, and Marlene Dietrich all designed by renowned fashion expert, David Wolfe. Wolfe will also be creating paper doll books of Phyllis McGuire, lead singer of the sensational sister trio and a fabulous fashionista, and America’s favorite funny lady, Phyllis Diller. Currently available is Wolfe’s paper doll of Marsha Hunt, fashion plate film star of the 1930s and ’40s. Coming in 2009 is a paper doll of Rhonda Fleming, the spectacular flame-haired beauty of ’50s films, illustrated by Norma Lu Meehan.Wolfe is releasing his book, Hollywood Fashions of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. And of course, every “princess at heart” will want to get the vintage styled Cinderella with 17th century costumes, by expert illustrator Brenda Sneathen Mattox.“Paperdoll Review is pleased to have had the chance to work with top illustrators and to make a connection with the stars is really wonderful,” said Jenny Taliadoros, owner of Paperdoll Review and Paper Studio Press. “We are just thrilled that we can celebrate the glamour of Old Hollywood with these highly collectible books.”About Paper Studio Press and Paper Doll ReviewPaper Studio Press, celebrates the style and glamour of paper dolls at the peak of their popularity during Hollywood’s Golden Era through gorgeous reproductions of highly collectible vintage paper doll books, as well as new titles designed to fit in with the paper dolls of yesterday. Paperdoll Review, offers paper dolls of all kinds both online and through an extensive mail order catalog. Offerings including reproductions of vintage paper dolls, movie star paper dolls, fashion paper dolls, paper dolls of families, children, historic figures, and more.Click here to discuss this story and more in the message boards.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top Obama Inaugural Collectibles

Top Obama Inaugural Collectibles

Superstar Will Smith got teary.
Emily Malcolm, founder of Emily’s List called it “a proud moment in our nation’s history.”
Great Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown deemed it “inspirational.”
There were reports of millions of joyful people dancing in the streets from Bogotá to Naples to Shanghai to Chicago.
Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert slaughtered cows in honor of the occasion.
The Sun (UK) found one weeping German celebrant who said, “In my lifetime, the world’s people have never felt closer.”
Former South African President Nelson Mandela called the event “monumental.”
It “Unleashes a Flood of Hope Worldwide,” proclaimed a New York Times headline.
Obama’s historic inauguration
This is just a tip of the reaction to Barack Obama’s election as 44th president of the United States. On January 20, this man whose mother was a white woman from Kansas and father a black Kenyan will be sworn into office on the steps of the United States Capitol.
It estimated that anywhere from two to five million people will jam Washington, D.C., to witness history being made as the first African-American takes the presidential oath of office.
And without question, the inauguration will produce a raft of collectibles. The question for collectors is how to tell the difference between items that will only have sentimental or commemorative value and those that will be true historical keepsakes.
Luckily, there is a way to tell the difference.

New York Post day after election
The first rule of collectibles is if there are many of them, their value is reduced. When Barack Obama defeated John McCain, scores of newspapers trumpeted historic headlines, some are still being reprinted and sold as commemoratives. Because there are so many of them, their value will be limited. This will be also true for the scores of inaugural newspaper editions.
Conversely, if there are few items, their collectible value will be higher. Lead-crystal vases featuring an engraved inaugural seal from the best glassmakers in the world, for example, will continue as a long-term investment as a historical and highly prized collectible. The sticker price will reflect that, as well.
If you want a head start on long-term collectibles, buy things with the official seal of the 56th Presidential Inauguration Committee. (Some presidents have served more than one term and therefore, have had more than one inauguration.) These are items officially recognized by the only committee chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to oversee and pay for official inaugural events, such as the inaugural balls. Over time, these items, from specially designed pins by renowned artist Ann Hand to glassware, jewelry, posters and all manner of memorabilia, will be the items most collected, and they all will carry the official seal of the committee in their design.

Glass paperweight
Then there is the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies comprised of members from the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who are responsible for the swearing-in ceremonies and the congressional luncheon. The official programs for these events, particularly the swearing-in, will have a clear long-term collectible value. In fact, it is safe to say that the programs for this transformational inaugural will be especially valuable over time.

Inaugural mug
There are other official inaugural items that will be highly sought after by collectors, such as the official inaugural badge. Since 1933, the two dozen or so official police units operating within the District of Columbia have issued specially created police badges for use during the inaugural period. The early ones are very rare, while the more recent ones continue to be highly valued. Press credentials, military items, signage, anything out of the ordinary such as the cardboard No Parking signs attached throughout the city are highly collectible long after the event, too.
“In my store, Political Americana, we are fortunate to have all kinds of inaugural souvenirs from a simple button, badge, lapel pin, tote bag, T-shirt and coffee mug to the official inaugural medal and glassware,” says Jim Warlick, owner of Political Americana and WorthPoint Worthologist for political items. “Our full-scale Oval Office will also provide you with the opportunity to have your picture taken behind a replica of the Oval Office desk the new president will use.”

Obama inaugural T-shirt
Mary Brenneman, WorthPoint content director, sees significance in collectibles beyond their collecting value. “I find it fascinating that collectibles can serve as harbingers.”
She points out that Warlick predicted back in the spring of 2008 that Obama would win the election because his collectibles were outselling Hillary Clinton’s and John McCain’s combined.
So be you Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Independent, now’s the time to look to the future and search out Obama inauguration collectibles.
WorthPoint-Get the Most from Your Antiques & Collectibles
SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Top Obama Inaugural Collectibles", url: "" });
This entry was written by ThomasCarrier, posted on January 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm, filed under Books, Paper and Magazines, Clothing (Historic), Editorial, Jewelry, Textiles, Clothing and Accessories, Watches & Accessories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Home Page - Comprehensive Coverage in the World of Antiques » Features » Postcards » Top 10 New Year’s resolutions
Top 10 New Year’s resolutions
December 16, 2008by Don Preziosi

New Year's resolutions are fun to illustrate - and collect - on postcards.
It is that time of the year when people make New Year’s resolutions and publications make all sorts of lists: best, worst, favorites and so on, usually consisting of ten items. Why not combine the two and explore the postcard possibilities of illustrating them? The history of New Year’s resolutions supposedly goes back to 153 B.C. when the Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. Janus was always portrayed with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back, which enabled him to look backward and forward at the same time. Logically, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. Whether Janus wanted to lose weight and quit smoking is not known!In addition to losing weight and quitting smoking, certain resolutions are on many of the ten favorite resolution lists that I consulted. Quitting drinking, getting out of debt, getting fit, and getting a new job are also perennial favorites. Here’s my somewhat cynical take on ten popular resolutions and postcards of various genres and eras that might be used to illustrate them.1. LOSE WEIGHT: This is the “biggie,” especially since New Year’s Eve is the culmination of the overindulgent holiday season. There is no shortage of postcards showing rather large people that could be used for this resolution. The calorically challenged lady on this Argentinean postcard seems to have somewhat unrealistic expectations. The odds are that she, like most of us, will need to repeat this resolution annually. Time to seriously consider salads, sweetie!2. QUIT SMOKING: One would think by now that all the negative publicity about smoking would have eliminated this as one of the most popular resolutions because fewer and fewer people seem to be smokers. Not so – it is still way up on the list of most common resolutions. So if you’re still smoking, take a look at the billboard on this card! “TOBACCO – The deadly enemy of the human brain. The foe of human progress. The subtle destroyer of youthfull (sic) virtue. The menace of the Christian church. The universal fire hazard.” I could have chosen a postcard I have showing the diseased lung of an ex-smoker (ex as in expired), but I thought I would spare you.3. QUIT DRINKING: As the man at the bar on this 1950s comic postcard advises his fellow imbiber, “It’s easy to quit drinking – I’ve done it hundreds of times!” This is another topic with an abundance of postcard possibilities. The drunk is always good for a laugh. I suspect that if quitting drinking is high on your list and you are like this guy, a good rehab facility and/or Alcoholics Anonymous may have a more lasting effect than the typical resolution. Here’s to your health.4. GET OUT OF DEBT: If you’re like the cowering chap on this circa 1905 comic postcard, the person approaching you with his hand held out is looking for the “green” you owe him, not a greeting. Debt can be debilitating. Low on dough? Start singing. “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work we go.” Maybe resolution number five should be higher on your list.5. GET A NEW JOB: Do you want to end up like the two elderly sisters on this circa 1910 real photo postcard who are folding and boxing Grace-Mae hosiery? During their 54 years of service in this mill they have boxed and folded 71,280,000 pairs of stockings. If not, check out resolution six.6. GET A BETTER EDUCATION OR LEARN SOMETHING NEW: Many schools have issued postcards over the years, but the National School of Meat Cutting in Toledo, Ohio has a slogan that almost guarantees employment “People must eat.” My guess is that a meat-cutting career also pays better than boxing and folding 71 million pairs of stockings. 7. WORK ON YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH: A circa 1908 real photo postcard shows James E. Warfield concentrating on his spiritual growth. Rally Day cards (postcards that encourage church attendance) would be an obvious choice for this resolution, but there is something about Mr. Warfield’s piety that is irresistible. Do you suppose he’s praying for a new barber?8. GET FIT – EXERCISE: This guy is no dumbbell when it comes to fitness. “Francie” seems to have this resolution well in hand. Unfortunately there is no info on this postcard that might shed some additional light on Francie’s motives. But he does have a faux leopard-skin exercise suit to die for!9. TAKE A TRIP: John DeLion and Herman Dehm billed themselves as “Trans-continental Pushmobile Tourists” on this 1912 postcard. This is probably not the kind of trip most of us have in mind, but hey, with the price of gas rising, these guys sure were ahead of their time when it comes to getting good mileage. And resolute they must be to fulfill their version of this resolution.10. SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY: Walter Wellman is the artist responsible for this image of “The Whole Damm Family” They’re not just spending time as a family, they’re having a wonderful time traveling in the “Damm Family Trailer.” Even “The Damm Mut (sic)” is joining in the fun with I.B. Damm, Helen Damm, May B. Damm, and Will B. Damm. The Damm (or Dam) family was a favorite of comic postcard artists for many decades. If none of these resolutions resonate with you, maybe you can resolve to organize, weed, exhibit, share or archive your postcard collection. Happy postcard collecting in 2009!