The Collector's Guide to The Galaxy by Golisto

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The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy

Created in 2020.

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About the book


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A Beginners Guide To Toy Collecting

About Golisto

Page 09 A Beginners Guide to Video Game Collecting

Page 18 A Beginners Guide to Comic Book Collecting

Page 24 A Beginners Guide to Vinyl Collecting • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 2

Page of contents

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About the book

Yam Yu, Vintage Toy Collecor "It's the hunt. It's the feeling you get when you acquire a hard-to-find or rare piece. But most importantly, it's the nostalgia that comes with finding what you seek."

How do I get started as a collector? What do I look for? Where do I find it? Whether it’s video games, comic books or toys getting started as a collector can seem like a daunting task. Fear notwe’re here to help. We’ve consolidated out knowledge into a selection of guides to help get you started. From collecting terms to storage options to insider tips-we've got you covered.

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golisto • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 3



A Beginners Guide To Toy Collecting

"When I look at all these pieces in my collection, it can remind me of many things. It can remind me of a movie that I've seen, it can remind me of my childhood, and it can inspire me."

Ever since the Toyhunter series aired in 2012 toy collecting

- Roger Daniel Alcoce

For beginners, the light is not quite so dark at the end of the

toys has shifted into the mainstream. Nowadays more and more people are seeking out the ghosts of toys past to re-capture a snippet of their childhood. Some say this helps normalize a much maligned part of culture while others contest that this makes the entire process of collecting toys more expensive and out of reach for beginners.

toy collecting tunnel as it may seem. You may be wondering where to start, what to start with and how to get started and to help answer a few of these questions, we’ve compiled a handy guide to getting things going. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 4

Step 1: Determining why you are collecting

Collecting Toys for Investment If you are considering collecting for investment most toy collectors will tell you it is really not worthwhile and that it is

The first thing to establish is why it is you are col-

not in the spirit of the hobby. A toy that is worth 200USD now

lecting. Do you want a piece of your childhood

could be worth half of that in a couple of years time.

back? Are you collecting for investment? Or do you simply just love toys? There are many different rea-

Nevertheless it is worthwhile knowing the value of toys and

sons to start and although some may not have the

what can cause changes in the market. Often, value is deter-

same reason as you none of these are the wrong

mined by how relevant a franchise is able to stay. The value


of toys can skyrocket as a result of a reboot of a franchise, a new movie or similar events but that doesn't mean that any one toy will stay valuable as a result of this. Collecting for investment can be expensive, risky and unpredictable. Instead focus your energy on the rewards that toy collecting brings, whether that is finding a rare item you’ve been hunting for a while or tracking down the last action figure to complete a toy line. You never know you might end up with a collection that turned out to be a good investment - just don’t start out with this as the end goal.. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 5

Step 2: What are you going to collect? Most, but not all, collectors begin collecting toys out of nostalgia. It means you can finally own that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sewer set you never got for Christmas or re capture the simple excitement you felt staring up at rows and rows of action figures in the toy aisle. Picking a toy line that doesn't cost the earth is an easy way to start. It is easy to build a collection of classics such as Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quickly and without breaking the bank - depending on what grade you want to collect them in of course. Due to shows such as Toy Hunter these lines are more expensive than they used to be. Start with a few key pieces, perhaps the ones you always wanted as a child, or replacing the ones you

Where to Buy

had as a child, then build from there. Don't buy in

Now that you have the terminology it's time to start buying.

bulk and always pay attention to key toy collecting

Many guides online will tell you to hit eBay but many collec-


tors are turning their backs on the increasingly frustrating

Making a list, checking it twice

big-name sellers market in favor of other means.

If you don't have an encyclopedic memory it might

First get to know your local toy collecting community, hit toy

be a good idea to keep a list of what you are look-

fairs, join Facebook groups and forums. If you establish a

ing for. When faced with a sea of tables at a toy fair

strong collecting network dealers may well end up coming to

it happens very often that your brain will go into

you with something they know you are looking for.

overdrive and all the 2nd wave Masters of the Universe figures you thought you would walk home

eBay can be useful if you want something quickly and aren't

with will suddenly blur into a plastic mass.

feeling up for the thrill of the hunt. Just be aware that eBay value is rarely indicative of the market, how much a seller

There has been an influx in bootlegs from china

thinks an item is worth doesn't surmount to how much some-

over the past few years. If a deal seems too good to

thing is actually worth.

be true, it probably is. But this is mainly a problem with newer lines, like NECAʼs Con exclusive TMNT

Above all it is important to remember that toy collecting is a

toys and other exclusives. It can also be a problem

hobby and it is supposed to be fun and rewarding. If at any

with rare/expensive vinyl toys like KAWS and Mu-

point this ceases to be the case - re evaluate your reasons for

tant Vinyl Hardcore.

collecting in the first place. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 6

Toy Collecting Dictionary Toy collecting has its own lingo. It is a must that you commit these to memory as it can help you to get exactly what you are looking for and know what you are buying. An A-Z of toy collecting terms to memorize

Articulation - the movable parts of a toy such as arm joints, leg joints etc. Bootleg - a non official toy that can sometimes look identical to the real deal Complete - retaining original parts-but not 100% complete so may be missing some items. Custom - a toy that has been repainted or reimagined by an artist Killin' teh lien! - a phrase of debatable origin which is used when a toy company does something which the fans think might destroy the toy line. KO - Knock off. A poorly made copy of an existing toy. These are usually cheaply made by a large toy company but can sometimes be as good as the original. Loose - a toy without it's original packaging. MIB - Stands for Mint In Box. A toy that has never been removed from its original packaging. MISB - Mint In Sealed Box. MOC - Mint On Card. A toy that is still on its cardback. MOSC - Mint On Sealed Card. A toy that is still sealed on its cardback. Re-paint - a toy that is the same as another toy but in a different color way Re-mould - a toy which is almost exactly the same as another toy but has a

few parts that are different, such as a new sword. The Masters of the Universe toys are arguably re-moulds of each other as a lot of different characters are made from the same parts.Retro - something which is 'vintage inspired'. Can also be used when something is trendy or cool. Sniper - A person who lurks on Ebay and doesn't bid until the very last second. Scalper - The arch enemy of a toy collector. This person will buy toys in bulk from a shop and then place them on Ebay. Variant - A variation of a toy in a line which is produced in small numbers to make it more exclusive and therefore, collectible. Vintage - an original. Generally something over 20 years old. Wave - a set of toys released all at once.

A Beginners Guide to Video Game Collecting



"It’s the thrill of the search, design, and nostalgia. It’s the thrill of searching for the games that’s missing in my collection. The design of the machines and the retro cover art of the games. I just think it’s all cool.The nostalgia of playing the same games I played as a kid. For me, that’s the very essence of nostalgia."

The main issue with collecting video games is, as with most collecting hobbies- space to house your collection. Games and consoles take up a lot of space, especially if they are boxed. So, ask yourself these questions first: do you have this space? Does your significant other support your decision? Do you have the money to support the hobby in the long run? If you answered yes to all of the above then you can start thinking about what you are going to collect.

- Michael Westergaard Gudmann • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 9

The answer to this question you will likely find

Just like when you were a child and you declared

through nostalgia. Do you have a burning desire

allegiance to Sega, Nintendo or Sony a simple

to finally complete super ghouls and ghosts? Do

way to approach video game collecting is to pick

you want to become a tetris master? Or maybe you

one of these companies and dedicate yourself to

want to recapture the feeling of playing Sonic with

collecting those first.

your siblings and hogging the controller. Whatever the reason we’re here to help you get started on

Which one should you pick as a starting point?

your quest.

Xbox + Playstation If you are considering starting with either of these it is certainly an easy road to take. Most people who were former Playstation and X box owners see the disc format as entirely disposable. The sheer volume of titles produced (There are almost 4,000 Ps2 games for example) and the amount of units sold means the games are quite simply everywhere and you can often pick up most titles for anywhere between $5-10. Owing to the sheer magnitude of titles out there for both X Box and Playstation and easier way to manage what to buy is prioritising one of the following.

Beat em up? Find your niche and start from there. Classics - This is a common start for most collectors.

It can be helpful to pick one specific goal and stick to it until you are satisfied enough with your collection that you can branch out to something new.

Genre - Are you into survival horror? Platform?

Start with the biggest, key titles and expand from there. THPS2, Call of Duty, Tekken - you can’t really go wrong. Rarity - As with any collectible there are plenty of rare titles out there if your collecting dreams are full of the thrill of the hunt then make a list, prioritize and most importantly-don’t overstretch your budget. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 10

Sega Sega was always the more punk rock of the 90s consoles and as a result it has some truly iconic and bizarre titles to explore. Full of Nintendo castoffs and bloodily going where no Nintendo game had gone before you can find all sorts of

Nintendo Both Snes and N64 are popular consoles to start collecting these days as the generation who enjoyed them the first time round are now old enough to be nostalgic about the late 80s/90s. Nintendo have also produced some of the most classic titles of all time and every new collector wants to have them in their collection as a result. This essentially means most places you are looking at spending at least $40 for a copy of Mario Kart 64 loose and as much as $100 for Mario Party 3 complete.

weird and wonderful titles. (Seaman anyone?) Alongside this Sega boasts stone cold classics such as Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and the Sonic the Hedgehog series all of which can be easily found and very affordable. Sega can also be a fun console to collect due to its imaginative range of pioneering accessories. With everything from 3D Glasses for the Master System to the laser tag game Sega Lock On there is a wealth of accessories that don’t quite work to choose from.

Many N64 collectors either start with the consoles themselves and then a few core games while others aim to own every official game released on the platform- at only 296 titles this isnt an unreachable goal. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 11

Where do I buy video games?

Buying online and conventions

As with most collectibles the best way to source

Check the grade (see collecting terms below) and know what

items is to buy local. Seek out and get to know local

you are looking for. Do you want to collect boxed games?

dealers, and collectors, who might want to trade or

Loose cartridges? Are they for playing as well as owning?

can help you repair controllers and faulty cartridg-

Once you know this, buying online is easy. eBay can be a risky

es if you cannot do it yourself.

place to buy as many sellers are not collectors themselves and perhaps haven’t tested the games before listing online. Instead seek out Facebook groups and go to conventions in your country. Either of these things can help you buy something specific or stumble upon something new you hadn't expected to find. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 12

Video Game Collecting Dictionary Video Game collecting has its own lingo. It is a must that you commit these to memory as it can help you to get exactly what you are looking for and know what you are buying. An A-Z of Video Game collecting terms to memorize.

3 Screw - Specific NES term. A cartridge that has been assembled using 3 screws. (Rev-A/Revision-A) 5 Screw - Another NES specific term. A cartridge which has been assembled using 5 screws (No Rev-A) Artist - The person behind the games original box artwork Baggie - A plastic bag which most cartridge games were originally packed in. Black Box - The original first line of NES games came in black plastic boxes Board - Circuit board. Cart - Abbreviation for game cartridge Certification ID - Number that corresponds to a specific game certified by Wata CIB - Complete In Box Clamshell - Plastic game box type that snaps open and shut e.g Sega Megadrive games Color touch - Ink applied to a video game box or manual after manufacturing to cover up defects Competition Cartridge - Usually limited to a specific country/region, this is a game that has been used in a competition Console - Video game system (normally for use with a TV) Counterfeit - Game components created by someone other than the original publisher to closely resemble the original with the intent of selling the item deceitfully as an original

Country of Origin - A game component's location of production Crease - Fold in a manual or box that may or may not break the color printed on the fold Database ID - Number that corresponds to a particular game in the Wata database Details - Basic historical significance of a game listed on Wata's matrix code and printed on games with 3D labels Disc - Alternate medium of a cartridge game; one that is contained on a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/etc Donor/Recycled - Used original game components salvaged for use in another project, usually a homebrew or reproduction game Dust cover/Sleeve - Piece that comes with some cartridge games used for storage and to prevent dust and damage to the pin connectors of the exposed circuit board Endlabel - Part of the label on some cartridge games the wraps around the end and makes the game title visible when stacked Error - A factory flaw or mistake that is not a variant, but is unique and unintentional Exclusive - Variant of a game that is only available though a specific channel Factory Sealed/Sealed - Video game which remains in the same sealed condition as it was when it left the factory Fiber (%) - Recycled material percentage listed on some Nintendo boxes creating a minor variant First-party - Game components made by the company who manufactured the system the game is made to play on Foil - Metallic printing on certain variant game components Game Component - Main pieces that compromise a CIB, the Cart, Manual and Box Game Specific Insert (GSI) - Insert, such as a poster or map, that is specific to only one game. GSIs are not required but are desirable, as they add value to a CIB Grade Details - Information listed on Wata's matrix code and 3D labels containing component grades, seal rating, and other notes pertinent to a game's condition Grading/Certification - Process of impartially and professionally assessing a game's authenticity, contents and condition and assigning a grade using fair, objective standards. Grading includes component grades for CIB game submissions Grading Scale - Numerical scale used to quantify the condition of a video game. Wata's scale goes

from 0.5 to 10.0 with 23 levels Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits/Player's Choice/Etc. - Refers to low price reprints of a system's best selling games to drive more sales, creating unique variants Hack - A game that is created by altering an existing game's code, usually to create unique characters or levels with the same basic gameplay mechanics Handheld - A portable video game system, convenient for travel Hangtab - Video game box manufactured with die cuts on the back to hang the game on a hook for display or sale, characteristic of early NES boxes. Also refers to a thick plastic sticker placed on the back of a game for the same purpose Homebrew - Video game made by an individual or small group as a passion-driven endeavor. Homebrew games are released in limited quantities through non-commercial/retail channels Incorrect Married Part (IMP) - A game component that is from a different title or print variant than the one it is included with Inner Box - A structural or centering piece that holds the contents inside a game's box Insert - Various pieces originally included inside a game's box outside of the cart, disc or manual. Kiosk Demo - Game used at store kiosks for demonstration purposes Label - Sticker placed on a cartridge to identify a game. Also used to describe the information portion of a Wata holder Licensed - Game made under licensed and approval of the console's manufacturer Loose - Cartridge only; without other game components Longbox - Box variant type named for it's extended length compared to most standard box sizes Manual - Instruction booklet included with a game which explains how the game is played; also called instructions Married - CIB game with one or more components which came from different copies of the same game Mock-up - Item made by a game publisher to preview the finished product for internal review or promotional purposes. Typically refers to a box NES - Nintendo Entertainment System NES-GP - (Game Pak (NES-GP) variant designation seen on the back of NES Black Box games

NES TM/R - Variant designation referring to the trademarking of the word "Nintendo Entertainment System" on the front of NES Black Box games Not For Resale (NFR) - Specifically branded game or box, usually intended for kiosk demos, system pack-ins, or promotional use Pack-in - A game variant that was made specifically for inclusion with a game system or other peripheral Pedigree - A game that comes from a recognized collection with exceptional provenance, quality, size or other unique outliers Population - The number of known examples of a game or specified variant, usually filtered by state or grade Port - Conversion of a game originally developed for a different console Promotional Copy - Game designated as a premium for a specific reason as a giveaway or redemption option Prototype - Cartridge made by a game publisher for internal development and testing purposes Publisher - Company that releases a game for sale; may be the same or different from the company who developed the game Publisher Specific Insert (PSI) - Insert included by a game's publisher for a series of games that they have released Ramp - SNES cart design directly below label on front, open face Rating - An evaluation of a game's content by the ESRB, the VRC, or other game rating board to act as a buyer's guide for parents and consumers Raw - A video game that has not been certified Region - The country of release and compatibility for a game, not to be confused with country of origin or where the parts were made Reproduction (Repro) - Game components created by someone other than the game's publisher to offer a cheaper substitute for the original, or fantasy pieces of games not released in different markets. All have minor differences from the original Restoration - Video game component with material added (including color) to improve its appearance or repair damage Rev-A - Revision A, denoting Nintendo's change from a 5 screw cartridge design to a 3 screw design on NES game components

Seal Rating - Wata's grade assessment for a factory seal that covers a game's box Seam (Description) - The characteristic type or method used in the manufacturer's factory seal for a given game (H-Seam, Y-Seam, V-Seam, etc.) Shell - Casing of the cartridge which houses the circuit board that runs the video game's program Slab - Certified video game in a case or holder Slot - SNES cart design directly below label on front, slotted SNES - Super Nintendo Entertainment System SOQ - Seal of Quality; usually relating to Nintendo's various forms of them used on NES games (Round SOQ, Oval SOQ TM, Oval SOQ R) Standard Insert - Insert that is included by the manufacturer inside games both published by first and third party companies across many titles State - Wata certifies games in 3 states - Sealed (factory sealed), CIB (complete in box), or Cart (loose cartridge) Sticker Seal - Alternative method of sealing game rather that shrink wrap, the box is sealed with a small sticker Styrofoam Block - Piece of Styrofoam inside a video game box that ensures the contents do not shift System - Console, portable or platform on which a game is compatible to play on Test Cart - Non-retail cartridge used by repair sites to test video game components Third-party - Game components made by a company other than the manufacturer of the system the game is made to play on Unlicensed - Game made without the approval or licensing of the console's manufacturer Unreleased - Game that was partially or fully developed, but never commercially released, either in a specific region or at all Variant - Many games were produced over several years. Minor and even major changes were made to game components over time. Each one of these changes is a variant. Some games have no variants and others can have 10 or more known variants Year - Original year of release for a game title, filtered by Region and Publisher



A Beginners Guide to Comic Book Collecting "I think of my collection as a time-capsule, as well as a celebration of my favourite hero. I like to think that in 40 years, I’ll have twenty-something collectors looking at my display and being astounded by all the goodies." - Ian Petriga, Batman Collector

Comic book collecting is one of the most popular collecting pastimes that exists. This is most likely because, as with vinyl, one inadvertently ends up as a collector simply through buying, consuming, enjoying and then repeating this process until naturally a collection starts forming. A common mistake that occurs when buying comics is that if you enjoy them then you must become a collector. This is largely due to the 1990s which told the world that the stream of limited editions and first issues were going to be worth so much you could buy a sports car and retire at 40. Time has proven that this way of thinking is entirely fantasist unless you have something that is truly rare. That isnt to say that a collection is worth nothing if you have the right amount of patience, a fair budget and a decent knowledge then it is possible to amass something. Above everything else it is worthwhile remembering that collecting comics should have worth to you. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 18

Seek out local comic book shops Most collectors can remember the first time they walked into a comic book shop and the feeling that it gave them and for many that feeling returns each time they set foot in a comic book store. Being surrounded by comic books can help in-

Getting started - pick an author, character or an artist Hero or villain? Burns or Lee? Clowes or Ditko? An easy way to get started is to pick something specific and dedicate yourself to it-in the long run this will help you have something that is complete. Maybe you are itching to own everything a certain villain makes an appearance in or fancy having an epic Charles Burns collection.

spire you as a collector and can help to get to know the local comic book community. There are many comic book store locator pages available (mostly UK and US only) so it is easier than ever to find the nearest store to you. Online buying If you are searching for something specific the easiest way is of course buying online. Seek out and support independent businesses and find out which one works for you. A really

This will undoubtedly help you set collecting goals,

helpful tool many online comic stores have are something

boundaries and a budget. Comic Book collecting

called pull lists. This is where a store sets aside a number of

can be an expensive hobby if you are not careful.

issues for you and then either posts them all at once or are


available for you to pick up in store. Buying in Bulk

Where can I buy my comic books?

If you are eager to have a collection asap then there are plen-

Once you have decided what you are going to col-

is only really worthwhile if it's cheap and it is a specific run

lect you can start thinking about where you are go-

you are looking for. Don’t buy mystery boxes from eBay this

ing to collect them from.

will most likely result in you owning a bunch of comics you

ty of people selling bulk comic comic book collections. This

don’t want and don’t have space for all for the sake of finding a hidden gem. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 19

How Do I Store My Comic Book Collection? Any serious comic book collectors will tell you that one of the main priorities you should have when you begin collecting is finding a safe Comic Bags Comic Bags are an essential buy when starting a comic book collection. They are essentially nylon sleeves with boards inside that can be bought in bulk for next to nothing. These sleeves help protect your comics from liquid damage and possible tearing while the boards inside prevent potential bending.

Comic boxes Another good way of storing comic book is in comic book boxes or ‘bins’. These can range from very affordable to pricey depending on the material. There are plenty of designs available in plastic, wood or cardboard and can help keep an order to your collection while also keeping them safe if they have to go into storage. Find more tips on how to organize your collection on Golisto → Every collector must memorize the specific grading terms. Once these are committed to memory, buying will be easier, faster and you can tell if you are getting a good deal or are

Tip - Some comic book backing boards contain

being scammed.

acid and over time this can damage the pages. To avoid this ask the specific dealer if they buy acid free boards as there won't be anything on the board itself that indicates this. If they don’t know, ask for the brand or to see the original packaging. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 20

Comic Book Collecting Dictionary Comic Book collecting has its own lingo. It is a must that you commit these to memory as it can help you to get exactly what you are looking for and know what you are buying. An A-Z of Comic Book collecting terms to memorize.

Single Issue – This is the serial magazine-style format of a comic. Generally, 20-32 pages of a story but sometimes can be more, with some being up to 100 pages. These are generally numbered in chronological order eg. Issue #5 Prestige Edition – These are comics that are generally 48-64 pages long that have a thin spine Digital Comics – Editions of comics that can be viewed on computer screens, tablets or mobile phones Digital First – This is where a comic is released in a digital format first then later in print Collected Edition – This is where multiple single issues are collected to create a whole story or set of stories, often collecting 5-6 single issues •

Trade Paperback (TPB) – This is the most common kind of collected edition where it is usually collecting 5-8 single issues. It is in a paperback format and can be often referred to as a “trade”.

Digest – These are collected editions that are smaller in height and length. The most popular comics in this format are All Ages comics and Manga.

Hardcover (HC) – Similar to a Trade Paperback but the cover has a very thick stock just like a hardcover novel. Sometimes these collected editions can collect more single issues than Trade Paperbacks, with 12 issues common.

Omnibus – These are very large hardcover collections. These collections can can be 25+ singles issues collected. Often these collect entire series or a creative run on a comic series.

Graphic Novel – Often a fancier term for collected edition but can also be used to describe an OGN. Essentially any comic that is bounded like a book. Some people use the term graphic novel to make the comic book medium sound more serious.

Original Graphic Novel (OGN) – This is a comic book that comes out in the trade paperback/ hardcover format without being in the serial single issue format beforehand.

Variant Cover – A variant cover is an alternative cover of a single issue. Most of the time it includes the art of a different artist and are often fewer of these available. Incentive Cover – A variant cover in which the retailer has to order x amount of a cover to redeem the variant cover. For example the retailer might need to or 10, 25, 50 or maybe even 100 of the regular cover to be eligible to order the variant. Limited Series/Mini-series – This is a comic series that has a set number of issues. Most commonly it is 6 issues but it will often vary depending on the story. The series has a beginning, middle and an end. Maxi-series – A maxi-series is a longer mini-series generally 12 issues or longer but often each publisher has a different definition. Often mini-series of 12 issues duration has been referred to as maxi-series. Annual – An over-sized special of a comic book that is released in addition to the regular comics in that series. One-shot – A story that is contained to a single issue. Webcomic – Comics that are made for viewing on the Internet This could be in a comic strip format or as an on-going narrative. Mini-comic – A comic that is smaller than the conventional comic book size. Generally, these comics are handmade with a DIY ethos and have small print runs. Zine – Self-published and often handmade comic or magazine. Popular in subcultures. Floppies – A slang term for the single issue comic. Called so as it is used with floppy paper

Comic Book Grading Mint Condition – An undamaged comic that is perfect in condition Near Mint (NM) – An almost perfect comic. Perhaps with a very small blemish or very slight amount of damage Very Fine (VF) – Slightly more damaged than near mint. More blemishes and damage but still in a good condition generally Fine (FN) – A comic with a more noticeable amount of wear Very Good (VG) – .In okay condition but with substantial wear Good – Has a lot of wear but is still readable Fair – Has a great deal of wear Poor – Very damaged comic. Most likely almost unreadable Key Issue – Usually a very collectable comic with an important event in them e.g first appearance or death



A Beginners Guide to Vinyl Collecting As with toy collecting, there can be many different ways of and reasons for collecting vinyl. Do you want to own as many of your favourite albums as possible? Is your collection focused around a specific genre or artist? Are you only interested in first pressings? Depending on these things the approach to collecting can vary wildly. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 24

Where Can I Buy Vinyl? For many vinyl collectors visiting local record shops

On the other hand, though, look out for bootlegs. In some

regularly is a logical part of daily life - and seeking

cases unofficial bootlegs can be fun (especially if they con-

out new shops is an inescapable part of travelling.

tain material that isn’t officially released), but in many cases

In a physical used record shop you are the most

they are just poor quality versions of something where you’d

likely to find something you didn’t expect. To many

be better off spending a little bit more on an official pressing.

people it’s more inspiring to be surrounded by re-

Also, there’s the issue of bootlegs not supporting the artists,

cords in real life, rather than scrolling through a

even if this is a lesser concern in the used market.

list online. Here you can also immediately see for yourself what condition the record is in, meet oth-

If you’re looking for a very specific record, the easiest way is

er collectors and so on. Often there is a particular

of course to find it online. Discogs is the main online portal

community surrounding a local record shop.

for buying and selling of used records, but it’s also controversial because it can be seen as having driven the prices up. You

A good tip is to always check the “new arrivals” sec-

can search for a particular record (and be very specific about

tions first - and to check them often. This is where

pressing, condition etc. if you want) and find it among a huge

the real gems tend to be - typically snatched up be-

database of private sellers and record shops. Of course many

fore they even hit the regular shelves.

record shops also have websites of their own, and there are even many strictly online record shops.

If you find a record that you want, but which is out of your budget, check if it’s because it’s a first press-

Most sellers, online or physical, cross-reference prices now, so

ing or an otherwise rare edition. Maybe there will be

unfortunately you are less likely to find that perfect bargain

a different version that’s within your range.

than you used to be. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 25

Getting to know the local community As with most things, the most fun way to collect is

Take part in the debates, get to know people and pay attention

to actively take part in the community. Apart from

to what is being traded or put up for sale. In these places

being physically present at record shops, fairs,

people will be more likely to part with a rare record for a good

festivals and wherever else music and records are

price, because they know that it goes to a truly appreciative

found, there are still online communities - be that

home - rather than through a more anonymous Discogs-deal.

in Facebook groups or dedicated online forums. Whether you’re into original Northern Soul singles, a specific long lost indie label, underground death metal - or simply music and records in general there will be a forum or a Facebook group for it. • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 26

Vinyl Collecting Dictionary Vinyl collecting has its own lingo. It is a must that you commit these to memory as it can help you to get exactly what you are looking for and know what you are buying. An A-Z of Vinyl collecting terms to memorize.

7’’ (Inch) - The smallest size of a record. This is usually a single recorded at 45rpm but some EP’s are also in this format. 10’’ (Inch) - Usually an EP (Extended play) with around 3-4 tracks. Albums exist in this format too but are less common with newer records. CC - Cut Corner. A practice formerly used to record stores to indicate a discounted record. CH - Cut Hole. A record that has a hole punctured into the sleeve. Another practice formerly used to mark a discounted record. GF - (Gatefold) A record that folds open (usually on the outside) HQ - 180 (High Quality 180) A record which weighs 180 grams. This high quality type of record offers a finer sound with reduced noise. M - (Mono) A record recorded using one sound channel. If you own Rubber Soul on Mono fx and have a broken speaker you might only be able to hear The Beatles backing music but no vocals. This generally tends to exist only on recordings made before the late 1960s (at the latest). Reissue - Not the original pressing. Usually pressed on heavier vinyl if a modern reissue. S - (Stereo) A recording/ mixing made using a two channel SOC - Sticker on cover TP - (Test Pressing) A pressing given directly to the recording artist/band White Label - This usually denotes that the record is a promo only copy

Conclusion As with any hobby, collecting is supposed to be fun, inspiring and give a sense of accomplishment. No matter if you are collecting Ghost World comics or Kenner action figures it is important to know your limitations and set achievable goals. It is always worthwhile having a holy grail but the road to finding it can be just as rewarding as finding the item itself. If your first edition's only policy is giving you sleepless

"I guess that's what I love the most about collecting. It's obtaining these pieces that stimulate me, motivate me, inspire me, and brings me happiness. These things are an integral part of this environment in here, where I can decompress, get away from everything, and just relax."

nights -maybe reconsider. - Roger Daniel Alcocer Above all have fun and happy collecting! • The Collectors Guide to the Galaxy • Page 28

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