Re: TTR/Sandia/Groom Patches

Message posted by Peter Merlin on February 08, 2014 at 7:22:06 PST:

Patch prices are crazy thanks to eBay. When I deal with other like-minded collectors, we generally sell our full-color patches for $5.00 each and subdued emblems for one or two dollars. That is as close to a "true value" as I can get. I have often paid more - sometimes much more - for patches I wanted but I consider that I am paying $5.00 for the patch, and the remainder for the convenience of adding it to my collection now instead of spending months or years trying to find another one at a lower price. Money is simply a tool, after all.

The "whole Trevor Paglen collection" (God, that's a silly and inappropriate description) should cost no more than $5.00 per patch. They are reproductions, after all, and many are completely unrelated to Area 51. One isn't even a real emblem; it was designed by the publisher to put on the cover of the first edition of the book. Several people have reproduced patches from Trevor's book, and in many cases got the colors quite wrong. On the one hand that is very disappointing because if I am going to buy a repro, I want it to be as accurate as possible. On the other hand, at least I can tell the repros from the originals when I am shopping.

When I talk about my space collectibles I usually say that I am not an autograph collector. I don't feel like one as I mainly concentrate on other things like patches. But, it turns out that I do, in fact, have a very large autograph collection. I don't know if I have all 12 moonwalkers but I certainly have quite a few. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin each signed my Apollo 11 crew portrait when I met them on separate occasions. I missed my initial chance to have Mike Collins sign it, and later ended up having to pay him to sign it at an autograph show. I found that experience quite painful, especially since he doubles his usual $250.00 price when he is completing the set (that is after Neil and Buzz have already signed the item). Thank goodness the Area 51 pilots haven't started charging for their signatures!

I have a manufacturer's display model of the X-15 made by Topping. It has been signed by 11 of the 12 pilots (only Mike Adams is absent) and one launch panel operator (also a research pilot in his own right). It cost me $250.00, which is probably less than the average price for an unsigned Topping X-15 model. I don't know what it is actually worth. That's not something I think about because I'm not planning on parting with it anytime soon.

In Reply to: Re: TTR/Sandia/Groom Patches posted by Gregos on February 07, 2014 at 22:29:29 PST:


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