Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Collector's Log: Stardate 198203.16

A few more entries from my 1982 logs.

Time Out was the arcade in the local shopping mall.  Full size machines down either side.  I remember it looked a lot like this one...

That place was a short drive from where we lived, so we didn't frequent it as much as the Putt Putt, which we could walk to.  They used to take movie ticket stubs and give you free games, until that day.

I'm pretty sure there was a Waxie Maxie's record store right next to the arcade back then.  That's why I knew about the price of 45rpm records going up to a whopping $1.50.  I guess it's come full circle now that you can get a digital copy of one song for about a buck these days.  I wasn't quite into hard rock yet, so this is the kind of thing I'd pick up occasionally...

Not sure what kind of box I used for my '81 football, but it was probably either a cheese box or something else I found around the house.  More on those later.

I actually have played Monopoly recently.  My friend in Delaware had a version of the game that used the streets and attractions of their home town.  It was fun, but I never win.

Big thing here is the 1982 Topps baseball set.  The shop in Hanover that was my regular outlet didn't sell me factory sealed sets, but hand collated ones in regular white boxes.  I'm thinking I ordered them on Jan 30, and got them March 13.

I always sorted my sets in teams.  They just looked better with all the team colors together.  It would be team cards and checklists first, then big stars, then the manager, then the rest of the players.  The multi-player rookies would go at the end.  If there was an update set, those singles would go right up front behind the team card.  (This was the case in '82 eventually.)

The total number of new cards went up that year to a figure that stayed rather steady for a little while.  The Topps set was 792, and Donruss and Fleer stablilized at 660 each.

Billy and I pooled some dupes and set up our "flea market" to sell cards.  We weren't at any public location, but rather in his townhouse basement rec room.  Surprisingly, there were several kids from around the neighborhood who stopped by the few times we did it.

You can see that it was still the time where price guides were actually relevant.  We had put some cards at too low a price.  Somewhere around here I have my first Beckett Price Guide book.  It's probably one of the first few editions they put out. 
Not my book, but the current one in '82.

I do have my copy of this pocket sized guide (shown below) from 1984.  There were a whole series of "Official" price guides for different hobbies put out in that era.  This one is not actually written by Beckett or Sport Americana though.  It's by House of Collectibles in Tampa, Florida.

The earliest "Official" guide by Beckett that I could find was from '87 and looked similar.

Of course, by then, it was twice as thick a book.

They became irrelevant sometime around the turn of the century maybe?  I didn't jump back in til 2004, so I'm not sure.  I recall I had that mindset before I knew about COMC, etc. but I guess eBay was the main source of card commerce that became the reference point.   I do harken back to the day when eBay organized the card section by sport and year and company so it was really easy to search for anything.  Then one year they reverted back to the default parameters of Era (either side of 1980), Original or Reprint (irrelevant 90% of the time), Attributes (no longer relevant), Condition, and Price.  That works for antiques, but not very well for cards.

Anyway, this was an historical post, not a commerce commentary.  Until next time....


  1. I remember buying the pocket sized price guides at the book fair every year. Wish I would have held onto them for nostalgic sake.

  2. I love that page for March 9th! Do you by chance remember how much the 45's were before they went up to $1.50?

    1. Not a clue. They were probably 99¢ at some point earlier.

  3. Oh man, I remember a local Time Out arcade, too. The entrance wasn't as groovy as that one, though.