Search found 698 matches

by hammr7
Fri May 07, 2004 5:53 pm
Forum: Card Structure and Integrity
Topic: 1998 World Championship Filler Card
Replies: 51
Views: 21935

Re: 1998 World Championship Filler Card

Iamca, Where do you live?   I would think we can find someone reputable and knowledgable, and local to you, who would be glad to perform the authentication. They would do it for the opportunity to investigate something as uncommon as you claim.  The meeting can take place someplace safe an...
by hammr7
Sat May 01, 2004 8:25 pm
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

Lets not confuse collecters with players.  Collectors want one of each card from each set (or in my case, four of each card from each set).  Players want four of a card, unless its restricted, and don't care what set or sets they are from.   If a player sees a new printing of Underwor...
by hammr7
Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:31 pm
Forum: Item Value and Availability
Topic: Value: 1996 PT Collector Set?
Replies: 11
Views: 5246

Re: Value: 1996 PT Collector Set?You

While they are pretty hard to find, they don't command much money (at least on eBay).  The last three opened sets I saw went for between $60 and $85, including shipping.
by hammr7
Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:46 am
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

Please understand that I would NEVER expect proxies to be legal replacements in "authorized" tournaments, unless the player had the real cards.  My main goals are: 1.  Encouraging more T1 play through  a collector-friendly set of cards that can become the ONLY allowable proxies for re...
by hammr7
Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:07 am
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

I respectfully disagree for the following reasons:

The recent resurgence in Magic pricing has coincided with both the soaring Euro and renewed interest in T1.  This has been discussed on this and other forums, but is generally acknowledged to be the result of the earliest and most hard-core players now having the $$$ to get the cards they always wanted.  There have also been discussions about many players tiring of trying to keep up with the T2 environment and its constantly changing cards.  This may be the single biggest reason why people ultimately quit competitive playing.  T1 is much more stable, so long as competitive cards are accessible.

The T1 resurgence has been supported by an increasing number of unofficial tournaments, often with P9 prizes.  Most of these tournaments are allowing a limited number of proxies in a players deck to make more decks competitive.  I'd like to see the continued resurgence in T1, as I think it will help the entire hobby.  Unfortunately, this won't happen without proxies, as there aren’t enough of the key cards.  Some are already lost, and collectors further restrict the format (i.e. "graded" PSA cards that will never again be played).  The proxies are necessary to keep these tournaments open to a reasonable number of players.  At present, many T2 players feel uncomfortable in the T1 environment.  Some reasons have to do with lack of experience in the T1 environment, but others include embarrassment over bad proxies and uneasiness over purchasing counterfeit cards to use as proxies.

Wizards now states that ALL third-party reproductions of their cards are bad, including homemade proxies for personal use.  Their response seeks to protect their property rights, while promoting new sales, since none of their current revenue is from T1.  If enforced, it means no proxy tournaments, and a general stagnation or collapse of the competitive T1 format.  Unfortunately, Wizards has problems enforcing their claim, allowing the many proxies, and associated rip-offs, to proliferate.  Official proxies could remedy this situation.

The key to why proxies are different than tokens (and therefor need to be made by Wizards) is that proxies must substitute for real cards, including copyrighted elements, whereas tokens are manifestations of little beads.  Wizards has no problem with tokens so long as they don't get involved in copyrighted or trademarked components (like the early Jun Minagashi tokens).  Wizards has no intellectual property rights over a goblin, or squirrel, or angel, so anyone can produce these.  Wizards, however, is the only legal source of a Black Lotus, so they would be the only legal source of a “legalâ€￾ Lotus proxy.  I can promise you that Wizards would never outsource this.

Proxies would be a product that Wizards could make money off of if they did it right. I wouldn’t want the proxies to be like the blank cards in some of the World Championship decks.  Instead, I would like to see them constructed like any other Magic offering.  They would be high quality, easily recognizable, and good for the uses already described.  Collectors would want them, but they shouldn't be overwhelmingly difficult to get.  Think of pricing and rarity similar to Unglued or Portal rather than Unlimited.  

The results of "official" proxies would be a broadening of casual and quasi-legal T1 play.  This would likely enhance the T2 and extended formats, by allowing current players more reasonable access to the older formats.  T2 would remain the official big-money "pro" format.  But most importantly, the need for proxies would be met in a manner that eliminates third party proxies, and therefore eliminating the cover used by counterfeiters.  Fraudulent copies would serve no legitimate purpose, so the stigma against them would increase.

Official proxies should not adversely affect the pricing of key cards.  Collectors would certainly recognize the difference, so their pricing expectations wouldn’t change.  Players would realize that proxies couldn’t replace real cards in any official tournaments (unless the player also had real copies).   If you look at recent re-releases of real cards like Underworld Dreams, the impact on the original issue hasn’t been major.  Granted, this card isn’t as rare or expensive as any P9.  While the new version is relatively cheap, the Legends printing is holding it’s own.  An argument can be made that the proxies would ultimately lead to higher prices for the original cards, as a larger audience would become familiar with their capabilities, and would then want “realâ€￾ copies.  The one set that might see a price decline would be Collector’s Edition, since they are now often utilized as proxies.
by hammr7
Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:15 am
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

There are two main reasons why counterfeit cards exist.   1.  Typically well-made copies, to rip off unsuspecting players and collectors by passing them off as real. 2.  As basic or well-made copies to use as proxies.   At present, based upon the Wizards statement, there is no di...
by hammr7
Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:38 am
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

If the cards are definitely "proxy" cards, then they wouldn't be legal on their own.  They could be used as inexpensive fillers in the casual "proxy" tournaments, or they could be used in place of real cards in real tournaments, so long as you could produce the real cards to show you qualified ...
by hammr7
Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:56 am
Forum: Misprints and Packaging Errors
Topic: New official article about magic counterfeits
Replies: 39
Views: 16045

Re: New official article about magic counterfeits

You may be right with regards to unopened material, as Wizards seems to be pushing local authorized dealers.  Their attack on Asian counterfeiters is pretty accurate, based on my limited experience.  Given that we, as knowledgable collectors, are sometimes burned, I think it fair that they...
by hammr7
Tue Apr 27, 2004 6:46 am
Forum: Searching, Buying, Paying, Shipping, Storing
Topic: Question about shady ebay bidding
Replies: 9
Views: 4611

Re: Question about shady ebay bidding

The only way to know what someone else is bidding is to bid in small increments until you get to where the current high bid is less than the minimum increment over yours.  For example, if I bid $24.00 and the high bid is $24.12, then I know that is the other bidder's max bid, becuase otherwise ...
by hammr7
Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:55 am
Forum: Item Value and Availability
Topic: Locating hard-to-find-cards
Replies: 2
Views: 2310

Re: Locating hard-to-find-cards

One thing you can try is giving a wish list to big sellers.  They get to see a lot more opportunities than any regular collector, and many of them have enough connections to claim they can find "any" card.  You can start with the usual retailers (like some you named).  Any eBay seller...
by hammr7
Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:26 am
Forum: Card Structure and Integrity
Topic: Grading of Magic cards
Replies: 16
Views: 8880

Re: Grading of Magic cards

Since those rolling marks were common in the set, I would likely grade it "Near Mint" and describe the mark.   PSA, if they graded in the same manner as they do for Baseball cards, would likely give it an "excellent" grade unless they were real familiar with Magic production idiosynchresis. &nb...
by hammr7
Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:00 am
Forum: Item Value and Availability
Topic: ebay: alpha mox artist proofs!!
Replies: 14
Views: 6609

Re: ebay: alpha mox artist proofs!!

I saw the auction and just assumed that the card had the corners trimmed.  It was a common thing to do, and in a sleeve it could certainly be used in casual play.
by hammr7
Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:49 pm
Forum: Card Structure and Integrity
Topic: Grading of Magic cards
Replies: 16
Views: 8880

Re: Grading of Magic cards

I think you are confusing "grading" with "valuation". Grading tends to be based upon factual, verifiable, and repeatable characteristics.  These characteristics likely transcend the specific collectible group.  So a "mint" baseball card has approximately the same characteristics as a "mint...
by hammr7
Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:17 pm
Forum: Card Structure and Integrity
Topic: Grading of Magic cards
Replies: 16
Views: 8880

Re: Grading of Magic cards

By most grading schemes, major print defects lower the grade just like wear and mishandling.  In sportscards, a miscut would automatically be "poor" condition, a crease would limit a card to "very good" or less, and edge chipping (depending upon the extent) would limit a card to a maximim grade...
by hammr7
Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:59 pm
Forum: Card Structure and Integrity
Topic: Grading of Magic cards
Replies: 16
Views: 8880

Re: Grading of Magic cards

Part 2 of 2

2.      Brap’s Magic Stuff (brapsmagic on eBay) One of the largest Magic sellers on eBay, with a feedback rating of 10,000+, 21,000+ total positive feedbacks(including a few from me), and a 99.9% positive ratio.

MINT: perfect card (unplayed, good print, well-centered)-I only give this rating to a card that I personally took from a pack and put into a sleeve.

NEAR MINT (NM): looks the same as mint to the naked eye (unplayed, good print, well-centered), but I didn't personally put it from pack to sleeve.

VERY FINE TO NM: card has one or two very small nicks on one edge or a very small mark on a face.

VERY FINE: very light play evident.

FINE: card is played but not heavily.

In most grading schemes there are lower grades.  The consensus is usually

GOOD: card has seen heavy play, but no damage other than extensive wear.  This usually means whitening on most or all edges and corners, some rounding of the corners, and possibly a few minor creases.  These cards normally need to be sleeved for play.

FAIR or POOR: cards have some major damage, including rips or tears, holes, major creases and major stains.  These cards definitely need to be sleeved, and are normally not collected or sold unless they are extremely rare and valuable.

Many sellers and collectors try to “upgradeâ€￾ cards that are between two grades.  For cards that are no longer “Near Mintâ€￾ but exceed (in the seller’s assessment) the “Fineâ€￾ grading.  You often see “Very Fine to Near Mintâ€￾ (in Brap’s grading scale above), “Excellent to Near Mintâ€￾, or the more recent “Near Mint minus (NrMt-)â€￾ grades.  All would fit in between Near Mint and Fine on the Scrye scale.

Some sellers use an “Excellentâ€￾ grade between Fine and Near Mint.  This comes from collectors who have experience with sports cards, since historically such collectibles have included it. Such grade scales include Poor, Good, Very Good, Fine, Very Fine, Excellent, Excellent to Near Mint, Near Mint, Mint, and Gem Mint.  If PSA-type grading becomes popular with Magic cards, and if PSA’s Magic grading is consistent with Sports card grading, then this will likely become the standard grading scale.  The PSA site or any of the numerous baseball card sites (like Beckett) have details of these grading scales.

Please note that many sellers explicitly provide alternate grading schemes that they follow.   If they clearly state the specifics of their own grades, then those grades apply to any purchase.  So if buying from someone new, it pays to ask first.  Otherwise you might not be able to argue condition if what you receive isn’t what you expected.