Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Year in Review and a look ahead in 2012

Well another year has come and gone, and once again it's been a great fulfilling year collecting-wise. Card-Wise some of my bigger adds included rookies of Pistol Pete Oscar Robertson, Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, and George Gervin, Autographs of Derek Jeter, and Albert Pujols, and Bowman Chrome auto rookies of Felix Hernandez, Ryan Braun, and Evan Longoria. I also sold my first ever Michael Jordan card, something I thought I'd never do (it was the 96-97 Slam Cam for a almost $180). I also added quite a bit to my game used collection and decided to part ways with my McFarlane Sports Figures Collection. Here's a few main events that took place in 2011.

Emergence of my Game Used Collection/De-emphasizing my Card Collection- These two go hand in hand pretty much. My card hobby has survived many different "diversions" throughout the years. Coin collecting, Starting Lineup Figures, Pogs, but at the end of the day, my main focus would always return to cards and those other hobbies faded away. After 21 years though, I'm really feeling like my excitement for cards has dwindled down considerably and there are many factors for this. The first is Panini and their exclusive NBA License. The NBA is my bread and butter, because basketball is my favorite sport. The majority of my collection focuses on basketball, and when Upper Deck and Topps lost their basketball license to Panini, I couldn't be more upset. I've tried, but I'm just not a fan of Panini. To me their cards seem cheap (there are a couple of exceptions of course) and I just can't get into any of their products. No MJ and Lebron is huge too. At first, it forced me to go back in to 90's and vintage, and I was still full force cards the first half of the year. Then I started really to expand my game used collection and it took a life of it's own. I ended 2010 with a bang adding three awesome additions to my collection.not one of them was a card. Two game used jerseys (Shaq and Dirk) and a Ty Cobb PSA/DNA certified signed check.  In late 2009, I got my first taste of Game Used Memorabilia, which was a game used Yankees/Mariners baseball from the 2000 ALCS. In 2010, the Alex Rodriguez game used bat, became my first full piece of memorabilia, followed by a Kevin Garnett Game Used Jersey. In 2011, I really started adding more pieces, including some amazing pieces like a Miguel Cabrera Autographed Game Used Bat, Albert Pujols Game Used Bat, Dwyane Wade Autographed Game Used Jersey, Paul Pierce Game Used Jersey, and more. The more I get into Game Used, the less cards excite me, because the majority of cards are based on game used swatches and patches and logomen etc. How can I get excited about a tiny swatch when I can get the full thing? The only game used cards that interest me now are still your hall of fame players that I'll never be able to afford full size memorabilia of (i.e. Mantle, Ruth, Chamberlain, etc). I really scaled down the 2nd half of 2011 on cards, in fact since August, I've bought maybe 6 cards total, a far cry from what I am used to buying. Will cards stay second fiddle in 2012 or will my game used hobby subside like other hobbies have before? Only time will tell.

Selling Off My McFarlane Collection- I'm currently doing a series of posts on my Starting Lineup collection, which is ironic, cause I'm getting rid of my McFarlane Figure  collection which is basically a modern version of SLU's. Starting Lineups were such a huge part of my childhood, that I think I really tried hard to make McFarlane Figures be my new SLU's. It was just never the same though. One, was the price point, SLU's typically retailed for $7.99 at the most, while McFarlane Figures range from $9.99 all the way to $14.99 or even more depending on what Toys R' Us you go to. The cost at retail was so bad, I just started buying cases online, which totally takes the fun out of it. "The Chase" is what made Starting Lineups so awesome, the thrill of the hunt so to speak. Also, when I collected lineups EVERYONE carried them. Target, Toys R' Us, Wal Mart, K-Mart, hell even HEB. Today, not every Wal-Mart carries them, and really the only store that does around here is Toys R'Us and they are so overpriced it's not worth buying them. I tried but couldn't recreate the magic so I decided to jump ship and sell off my McFarlanes. Outside of chase pieces, they don't really have much secondary value, so I figure to recoup what I can and move on. It just proves that nothing really can ever take the place of Starting Lineups.

What does the future hold in 2012? Who knows really? Here are some predictions I believe will happen.

More focus on vintage cards- I did more than I usually do last year, but I think with my current disinterest in current cards for the most part, I might focus on picking up some hall of fame rookies. Guys like Wilt, Johnny Unitas, Nolan Ryan, etc.

More Selling off of my Cards- I definitely think I'll be doing more selling, and looking to consolidate my collection. For example do I need 5 Carmelo Anthony autos? I might look to sell them and pickup one of Melo's best rookies like his Ultimate Collection/SPX. I definitely think I'll be making less card purchases, but the ones I do will be worthwhile. Quality over quantity might be my collecting motto of 2012.

More Expansion on my Game Used Collection- I think my main focus will still be Game Used in 2012. Unless somehow UD gets their BBall license back, I just won't be too interested in current cards and I really love the closer connection you get with full game used memorabilia.

Every year I ask if this is the year where I grow tired of collecting, where I just sell everything and be done with this hobby. I'm not there yet by a long shot yet, but I do think I'm slowing down a little, especially on the card side of things. Who knows though, we'll see what 2012 brings.  Hope everyone had a great 2011, and here's to a great 2012!

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