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Did you know... that unlike other hobbies, there are no widely accepted grading services in movie paper collecting (Part II of II)

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Added: 09/08/2014

In Part I of this article (run last week) I discussed how in almost every collectible hobby (coins, stamps, comic books, baseball cards, etc) there are "grading services" which take valuable collectibles and encase them in some protective sleeve or slab, and also provide a grade of the exact condition that item is in. I also discussed the pluses and minuses of grading services, and ended Part I by asking "Should there be a widely accepted grading service for the movie poster hobby, and exactly how would that work?".

Here are MY thoughts on this. First off, you could never have proper grading of movie paper unless the items are completely encased in a sealed package of some sort. This is because you could never trust that the certificate went with THAT item unless it was encased within the package, for anyone could easily switch the proper item for a lesser (or a restored) example. Even when items ARE encased, who is to say someone has not doctored the packaging (by opening it and switching the item) and then re-sealing it? In these days of multi-million dollar comic books, there is certainly enough profit motive to undertake this. And before anyone says it couldn't be done, just look how many fakes of multi-million dollar fine art paintings there are!

So how would "completely encased the item in a sealed package of some sort" work? In the case of lobby cards and stills, this is already being done, exactly as it is with comic books and baseball cards, by encasing them in a hard mylar sleeve, that has a grading certificate in with the item. But I don't like the way this is being done! The people who do the "slabbing", as it is called, put the grading certificate alongside the edge of the item. But since lobby cards and stills are commonly displayed on a wall, I would put the grading certificate on the back of the item instead. I would them create a line of standard frames that would perfectly hold slabbed lobby cards and stills, so one would just have to "pop them in" the back of the frame and hang them on the wall (no glass or Plexiglas would be required, because the mylar would serve that function).

But that brings up an added problem! Ideally a slabbed lobby card or still could NEVER be displayed, because light can easily cause them to fade (a little or a lot)! But most of the fun of owning quality lobby cards or stills is getting to see them, so I don't think that would go over well in the hobby!

And what about posters? They would be extremely cumbersome to display in rigid sleeves that were sealed, and that would greatly up the cost of shipping them, PLUS they could STILL get damaged even in very large sleeves, and even more so than with lobby cards or stills, you would have the problem of never displaying them! So I don't see how grading of movie posters can ever achieve widespread acceptance throughout the hobby, and I have many reservations about widespread acceptance of grading of  lobby cards or stills as well.

But I have been wrong many times before, and I may well be completely wrong on this subject as well! What do YOU think?

See Also:
Did you know... that unlike other hobbies, there are no widely accepted grading services in movie paper collecting (Part I of II)?
Did you know... that our condition grading system is different from that used by all other auctions?
Did you know... that you should not attempt to repair posters yourself?


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