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Thread: Starting a Vintage Carded Collection- Where to Begin??? Help!!!

  1. #1

    Starting a Vintage Carded Collection- Where to Begin??? Help!!!

    Having long since finished my loose vintage collection and then moving on to getting any and all original trilogy figures that were re-released on vintage style "Kenner" cards, I am left hungry for more! I can remember how it felt back in 1978 when I got my first 3 figures and have decided to try and build some sort of vintage carded collection. Is eBay the best way to get started? Many of the prices there seem extremely high. Hardly any collectible stores carry vintage carded. Even finding any at Comic Con was hopeless. Help!!!

  2. #2
    Congrats on finishing up the loose set. As for carded figures I recommend you start by deciding if you just want the set or the set on their debut cards or a set on cards from the movie the figure was in, etc etc etc. Next I would start with your favorite figures. The 12 backs are really crazy prices right now so I would wait on those as I think they will come down a bit in the next few years. Take your time and research all completed listing for carded figures and keep a log so you know your prices well. Then be patient and watch for auctions on e-bay and the classified section here. You will find what you want at the price you want. Good luck.
    Always looking for Yoda, Biker Scout, Stormtrooper, Gamorrean Guard and Yak Face items. Especially prototypes and carded figures.

  3. #3
    Best way to buy?

    Here are my suggestions:

    1) Determine your range of interest (which figs which cards, what condition)

    2) Determine the final goal and budget.

    3) Ask friends, neighbors, family, co-workers. Always a good cheap start...

    The good news:

    You own nothing, which is the best way to start, so when looking it will be easy to find "something"

    With the hype, a lot of stuff is being "found"

    Only a small number of items have substantial value in comparison to what is out there.

    If you give a few more details, I can offer suggestions. I have done this a long time. There are 1000's of options, but I'll give recommendations based on answers to above.

  4. #4
    Emperor Ian_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Caledonia, Ontario, Canada

    It has become an expensive hobby out of the price range of many people new to it. I'm glad most of mine was done in the 90's and early 2000's, because if I was starting now, I would probably not be able to do it.

    My suggestion is for best prices and relative safety from scammers, use the classifieds here. Usually (not always) cheaper than ebay, many sellers on here have good reputations, and scams are usually weeded out quickly by many long time members who look out for each other here.

    If condition isn't a major concern, and you only want carded figures with no care on which cards they came on, I suggest getting as many as possible on Return of the Jedi cards. With a few exceptions, they remain the cheapest out there, even for some of the first 12 from 1977/8, and the vast majority of older figures are available on Jedi cards too.


  5. #5
    If I could have had one piece of advice before I started collecting MOC's is that doing some research and understanding cardbacks BEFORE buying will save you money in the long run.

    Ideally you would buy yourself a copy of the Kellerman book - but this isn't an easy job these days either. But there some great website out there, including the Archive.

    As an example I first began collecting the 29 ESB characters on an ESB MOC. I didn't really understand 31 backs v 41 backs v 48 backs etc. I have now gone back and re-purchased some figures as I decided to get certain figures on certain cardbacks. Whilst its now given me something "different" to collect there's a few figures I really could do without having a 2nd variant of (yes I'm looking at you white Bepin Security Guard).

    Perhaps buying a few cardbacks (with figures removed of course) of the different cardbacks is a good way to start and understand which figures and cardbacks you like. It certainly took me buying quite a few figures before the cardback became a consideration.

    In terms of where to buy - Rebelscum is great. Jeff's Collectibles is a great place as well.

    Good luck and have fun - MOC's are a great addition to your collection.
    Last edited by MicroM; 07-07-2013 at 03:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Agree with MicroM. Do A LOT of research! Variations, condition, repros, bubbles, value history, rarity. PM people in here for special info or questions, members here are very very nice and helpful.

    It's hard to know where to start, but just start somewhere. If you later want to change your focus (as I did) you can always trade or sell your cardbacks to fund another focus.

    Good luck with your collecting

  7. #7
    When I started out a few years ago I started with Jedi MOCs. I think it's a good place to start because you can still get deals and pick up nice ungraded figures for 40 dollars or even less with some patience. You'll learn what you like, and you won't get frustrated waiting for specific figures you need to become available, so you can start to accumulate a collection quickly. Reproductions and fakery are also much less prevalent with the Jedi line.

    If money is not so much of a concern POTF can also be a good place to start, as even though they can be costly, there are always plenty of them available. It's easy to tell fakes, you just look for the yellow bubble.

    Star Wars Cards are tougher. As somebody said, 12 backs are expensive right now, and if anything I found the 20/21 backs even tougher to find. Unless you're really patient I could see this getting frustrating quickly.

    Empire cards are somewhat plentiful but there are a lot of different offers so if you don't know what you want it can be a tricky place to start. There's also a wide value gap between the main characters and lamer characters (it can be pricey unless you like collecting imperial commander and ugnaught). I also see a lot of Empire repros/recards, some of which are pretty convincing, so be careful.

    Good luck!
    WTB unpainted micro white Bespin Guard
    Feedback Thread:

  8. #8
    Lots of good advice here. One more thing to keep in mind is how much space you have and how you will display or store what you collect. I wish I kept thought about when I first started. Money comes and goes but space doesn't change unless your willing to move or purge out stuff.

  9. #9
    #1 Determine your collecting goals.

    Are you interested in getting 1 of each figure on a card? Maybe on initial release logo? Do you want to focus on one character? Or just a hodge podge of everything? What condition standard will you set? Without a goal it makes it more difficult but I would start with one nice figure and go from there. Maybe take your favorite character from when you were a kid and get that one to start out. Mine was a Yoda and Luke Bespin because I loved those two when they came out. You don't have to have an instant collection. Part of the fun of this hobby is getting stuff over time and hunting the things you really want down. Good luck to you in your search!

    ICT - Ion-Cannon Technician Class III

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the great advice! Most of my collecting memories last up until the 48 backs. After that, my action figure buying really tailed off. So, I suppose my goal would be to eventually build on those first 48. I want decent carded but not AFA graded ( too expensive!) my only buying experience has either been on eBay or in person. Have you all had good experiences buying here on Rebelscum classifieds? Is it pretty cut & dry? The more I read, the more concerned I get about fakes!

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