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Did you know... WHY vintage movie posters are SO much more rare than ANY other collectible, and yet they mostly sell for far less

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Added: 08/02/2021

Anyone who has collected vintage movie paper for any length of time quickly sees that the "rarity level" is MANY TIMES greater than that of ANY other collectible! What do I mean? For example, if you wanted to buy the most valuable comic books, baseball cards, coins, etc, it can be done in a day, because just about EVERYTHING is constantly "for sale" in those hobbies, and it is just a question of how much you are willing to pay!

But in movie paper, there are TONS of specific items where you CAN'T buy them NO MATTER WHAT, for one of two reasons! One is because there are literally NO examples of that items known to exist, or more often, there are only one or two or three examples known, and the people who currently own them will not sell them at any price! And say you wanted to get (for example) one example each of every issue of Superman comics ever made. Even those you could have in a few days (again, it would just a question of how much you are willing to pay).

But in movie paper, this is not at all true. Say you wanted to get (for example) one example each of every single lobby card made for all of Humphrey Bogart movies. There is a VERY long time collector, John Myhre (a multiple Oscar winner), who has been trying to finish this collection for DECADES, and he is still missing two of the cards (and they don't seem to exist). And this is far from an isolated example. Lots and lots of movie paper collectors have items on their "want list" that have never been located even one time.

You would THINK this massive rarity difference would have caused great vintage movie paper to sell for FAR more than any of those other collectibles, but actually just the opposite is the case. The best comic books, trading cards, coins, stamps, etc all sell in the millions of dollars each, and that is many times more expensive that the best movie posters.

And FAR more people the world over can relate to movie posters than any of those other collectible items, because EVERYONE grew up watching movies! I firmly believe the day is coming soon when vintage movie paper will see a DRAMATIC price rise (maybe to the levels of those other collectibles) and then so many people will say "If only I had known"!

And why is it that movie paper is SO many times more rare than the other collectibles? A very long time collector (Bob Brooks, who sadly seems to have passed away) wrote the following to me in 2008 (and it applies just as much today as it did then):

"Collecting is ALL about rarity. But, sports cards and coins and stamps and comics and paper money AREN'T rare... Movie posters are... It's NOT the same thing.

Sports cards:
quantity - millions of each card
issued - close to mint
meant to be collected
slight damage with use
available to the general public
typical display method - protects and does no damage

Stamps:
quantity - up to tens or hundreds of millions of each stamp
issued - mint
(somewhat) meant to be collected
damaged with use
available to the general public
typical display method - protects and does no damage
 
Coins:
quantity - up to tens or hundreds of millions of each coin
issued - mint
(somewhat) meant to be collected
slight damage with use
available to the general public
typical display method - protects and does no damage
 
Comics:
quantity - up to hundreds of thousands or millions of each comic
issued - close to mint
meant to be collected
minimal damage with use
available to the general public
typical display method - protects and does no damage
 
Paper Money:
quantity - up to tens of millions of each bill
issued - mint
(somewhat) meant to be collected
slight damage with use
available to the general public
typical display method - protects and does no damage
 
Notice how there were huge amounts of each produced, and each was saved in massive quantities (including insane amounts of mint state or near-mint state examples of each item).
 
Now, here is where we see the very important differences from movie posters.
 
Movie Posters:
quantity - only THOUSANDS of each poster
issued -mostly folded
NOT meant to be collected
mostly destroyed after use
NOT available to the general public at all in any way
NOT saved in massive quantities
     - Bob Brooks"


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