Warning: This article exemplifies the pot calling the kettle black.
I am a collector. I have spent way too much money on way too much stuff, but I am not alone. I think it’s fair to say that collectors, in general, are borderline insane. There really is no logical reason to spend thousands of dollars on a tiny plastic trinket, but we do — well, I don’t but, but then again, I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, but if I did, well…
The other day, Howie Decker wrote about how he couldn’t be friends with someone who would spend $150 on an ugly nutcracker. Fortunately, it was a Voltron nutcracker, because if it was a Batman design, I might have been tempted to un-friend Howie, which would have made me sad. I have no doubt that there is a Voltron collector out there with this nutcracker sitting in his wish list, just waiting for the funds to buy it.
Not too long ago, I was watching an auction on eBay, for no other reason than I wanted to see the level of insanity it reached. After a bidding war with 21 bids, someone spent over $200 on this tiny piece of cardboard — not a ticket stub, or an autograph — just a small rectangular piece of corrugated cardboard. This was used as a packing filler in a Corgi Batmobile die cast car produced in the 60’s. (If you have hundreds of dollars to spend on a packing material, I have rolls of bubble wrap and bags of styrofoam peanuts to show you.)
Hake’s has one of those Corgi Batmobiles up for bid now, with a current price of $869, and yes, it includes the cardboard insert. Being a completist has got to be hard on the wallet and the psyche. Can you imagine owning this car, the box, and the instructions, but that little strip of cardboard is missing. How bitter of a pill would it be to have to spend $200+ to complete the package? I think I would just take an X-acto blade to an Amazon box and call it close.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am a collector, and I have spent a fair amount of money on stupid things, but if I start spending hundreds of dollars on packing inserts, I may need an intervention. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever bought to complete your collection?
Yep, $200 for a folded piece of cardboard is borderline insane. I can’t say I have ever spent any large sum of money to complete anything mostly because I am not a completist. I can say I have spent too much money on random stuff, though never anything over $100. I tend to get excited by a particular line or figure and seek it out even if it is outside of my normal collecting habits. For instance this morning I had a 20% off coupon for TRU and what did I buy? A gold version of Optimus Prime. Wife is not gonna be happy.
Ha! I’ve been staring at that same coupon in my inbox. I keep going back to the NECA Bioshock Infinite Patriot figure even though I have no interest in anything related to it — it’s just a really great looking figure!
Stacey Rader says
20% off coupon you say? And payday comes this week? Hello, giant Godzilla toy!
Go get him!
That’s funny. Recently we looked up Corgi inserts on Ebay. Some of the prices are really crazy. The little round inserts that went on the roof of some of the vehicles that are the equivalent of the chopped off end of a paper towel roll, can bring hundreds as well.
I think I may have a new business idea… 😉
Rich - Nerd Nook says
Wow, that is a bit out there to spend that kind of money for piece of cardboard. Lucky for me I stick to mint on card collecting so my items are always completed when I buy them. I guess I can’t judge the guy who shelled out that cash. Just a few weeks ago I watched a documentary on Netflix about “Bronies”. They are basically men who are fans of My a Little Pony. I don’t get it but hey whatever blows your hair back right? 😉
Hello Mr. Kettle. 😉
Rich - Nerd Nook says
Hey come on, don’t most 30 something’s get their kicks from old toys?! 😉
The Toy Box says
I’ll put it this way – If I had all the other pieces to this item above with the exception of the backer, and I spent minimal money on the rest of the above, then yeah, I’d buy this backer, throw it in with mine and resell the entire thing for $900.00. Profit of $700.00 – I’ll take that!
I can see doing that. But I don’t think I could ever part with one of these, complete or not.
Wow. That is absolutely nuts.
I’m not really a completist but, I did go through a period where I was just buying random superhero related items on eBay. One of the weirder items was 4 Rolls of Animated (BTAS) style ‘Batman and Robin’ wallpaper border. I don’t really care for that movie and I have no plans to use it. Why I spent the money on it is a little beyond me.
Been there. many. many. times. 😉
Matt K says
You know, you read something like this and you think these people must be nuts. But after a little self-reflection, I think you’re right about all collectors being a little nuts. I would not spend $200 on a piece of cardboard, but I would spend $5 here and $10 there on, let’s say, a helmet for that MASK figure or a staff for that MOTU figure. You better believe that adds up over time, probable near $200 over a few months.
Mike Gutierrez says
When you read something like this, you start to question how sane is our beloved hobby. Then I start to realize that I am out of work, yet I’m considering dropping 200.00 plus on a Hot Toys Adam West Batman figure and that’s when I realize I’m not so sane after all.
But it would be so cool!!! 😉
Dex (@Dex1138) says
How do you even verify a piece of cardboard is authentic and not a reproduction? lol
I was wondering the same thing.
Clive C ollier says
I agree that the prices of these cardboard inserts is crazy but collectors will be pay silly amounts just to complete their set.
I on the other hand offer the insert and packing rings for all the 60s models for only a few Dollars/£ and I can honestly say they are as good as the originals!! You would never know the difference !!! I would never sell them as original but one chap bought one from me recently and thought I had put an original in the post to him rather than the reproduction ring and packing card… He then went on to buy 20 of them from me … Great business for me I just wouldn’t want to think he was passing them off as originals and flooding the market.
It took me over 2 years, yes 2 years !! to source the card and find a company that would cut the rings that small for me, but now I sell quite a few to existing customers so all is good. Anything for Corgi packing wise I can do … so if anyone is interested then please let me know..
I saw dollar signs in your eyes Brian lol But sorry mate I have beaten you to it !!lol
Ha! Keep at it Clive, I know you do top notch work. 🙂