Saturday, October 29, 2016

A most wanted set comes to me!

That's not something that happens too often, where a set I really want finds me, instead of me making the effort to find it!

This past Saturday, October 22nd, my model club, the Hudson Valley Historical Miniatures Guild, held our annual show. One of the vendors there buys collections and I've purchased quite a few things from him before- both models and cards. In fact, I almost completed my 1952 Wings Friend or Foe set from him, bringing me to under 30 of the 200 cards missing, I believe. All the 1955 Rails & Sails, 1959 Sicle Air Force, and most of the 1953-54 World On Wheels cards I have came from him too. But, this year, I wasn't expecting to get any cards from him...mainly because I had already cleaned him out on what I needed, and he hasn't brought in any in several years now. (The last time he had any cards was 2013).

While I'm working on judging the figures at the show, we had a slight break in the action, and he walks up to me with these cards. He wanted $20 for the foursome and I didn't really have to think about it- I was more than willing to pay that for these cards, even though they are graded. I've never really talked about graded cards too much on the blog, but briefly:

It's a sham. (I wish I had thought of it!) . They charge you to do something that any collector who's been collecting more than a day or two should be able to do with their own eyes...and I'm not totally convinced- actually pretty sure, in fact- that they purposely undergrade cards hoping that the clueless owner will resubmit it, meaning they get paid twice to do the exact same thing. They also charge you a sliding scale based on what THEY say the retail price of the card is...yeah, nothing shady there.

Here's a shot that shows the two leftmost cards better.

The one good thing about graded cards- I've been putting them on my stacks of cards waiting to be scanned when I have my high powered fan on, and it keeps them from blowing away.

That's the only good thing I can think it provides.

When I find my hobby saw (It disappeared, as my tools sometimes have a tendency of doing as I have no real good place to work, and have to move everything every time I want to work on a model) you can bet money that I will be cutting these out of the current holders they came in. I might even make a video of doing it and post it to the blog.

For now, they will continue to act as a paperweight every night.

But let me talk about the cards themselves.

I was never really into airplanes all that much...until I joined the club mentioned above. I started building things that were not cars...all kinds of things. Now I find that I tend to enjoy doing aircraft and figures more than I do cars, although I'm not particularly good at it. I got a couple of books about aircraft and I really enjoyed it. I soon began collecting airplane cards, and this set, 1956 Topps Jets, was one I really wanted. I have tried several times to acquire cards from this set. In fact, it's the set I've tried to add to my collection the longest and kept coming up short. Three times I've bid on cards from this set on Ebay and been outbid. No other set had eluded me so, in fact, it's the ONLY set that's happened with- even though they are fairly common, and in truth didn't sell for all that much when I lost, the fact is- I lost. Any other set I've been trying to add via ebay purchases, if I lost the first one, I was usually able to pick up a different card, or even the same card from a different seller, the same day.

Granted, money has been a little tight and I have not looked for these on there in over a year. When I do go on Ebay I tend to lose focus...there are so many great cards that I want to add to my collection (and then blog about!) that it's hard to remember why I went to Ebay to look anyway.

Either way, I finally have 4 cards from this set, and it's been on my wantlist since 2010, when I found out it existed (the year I got back into non-sports after doing only sports from circa 1996-09).

What I never really mentioned, though, is that it was the #1 most wanted set from non-sports missing from my collection, especially after I added 1938's Horrors of War and 1966's Batman sets back in September.

My #1 most wanted Non-sports set now is probably 1952 Topps Look N See, but I constantly find new sets I had never heard about, especially in the Tobacco era. So Look N See would be the one I've heard about, but maybe the true most wanted is not even known to me yet.

Editorial note: I wrote up this post about the airplane cards about 2 AM on Saturday October 29th. Later in the day I visited my local vintage dealer and what did he have but 7 cards from the Look n See set! Expect a post about them this week! Now I have no idea what my most wanted non-sport set is. I'll try and figure it out so I can discuss it in my Look N See post.

Thanks for reading!


  1. That really was a case of being in the right place at the right time! Worked out perfectly for you.

    1. Sure did! As I've said many times, being in the right place at the right time is the main factor in how I was able to have such a good collection.

  2. When my brothers and I received a bunch of '50s cards from my dad's work friend, there were some non-sports cards in the lot. Included were some of those '56 Jets cards. Even though I had no interest in planes, I liked them, because they were mini-sized and actual photographs. I don't know what I did with the few I had. Probably sold them.

    1. You're lucky! I never stopped to think about the fact that these included photos and not drawings. Hmm, makes me wonder if any vehicle sets before this did...that could give it even more historical importance. I'll have to research it (and I love doing research)

  3. I despise graded cards. I dont have much choice but to buy/trade over the internet. I cannot tell you how many times a received a "Mint" or "like new" card with a bent or some other damage that is not visible on a photo or scan, but sending something back for refund from Hungary defeats the purpose. I have only bought 1 graded card before, but I can see myself buying more just so I can avoid being fooled by dishonest sellers/traders. They are coming out of the case as soon as I got my hands on the of course.

    1. Hopefully that would solve the issues for you...they do provide some protection and shipping internationally is always a bit rough on packages from my personal experience. Probably from the customs process.