2004 Year in Review covering 2003By Roy More, ISCA #0020L
Its been another year so its time to reflect and think about what has happened in the hobby and where it is going. This continues to be a great hobby: good items, good history, good feelings and good research.
Historically there has been a legitimacy to these collectibles as they were not issued as collectibles but as program materials and recognition items. One can?t say that about baseball cards or many other collectibles. I say historically because this may be changing. There are appearing more items that are made or targeted towards collectors. These are usually offered at exorbitant prices and profits.
More people participating in the hobby but in general they are less informed. Most collectors have entered (or in many cases re-entered the hobby) in the past 5 years
For quite some time now, I have defined ?old? as something that came out before one began collecting. For such a collector, it is hard to distinguish from the 1990 75th anniv. Of OA flap issue and the 1 per life, no trade issue from the 1960s.
Increased interest in more than just the badges. More interest in the history. In other collecting areas this might be called ephemera ? program passes, meeting minutes, membership cards, etc. Although all Scouting collectibles might be referred to as ephemera as they are off-shoots of the Scouting program.TORs
Seem to be declining if poorly run Expensive to travel outside your area. Dallas is good NOAC show was in 72,000 sf Large display area This year?s NOAC TOR was a shorter than 2002 which seemed to work better. Due to the lack of adequate facilities in the NOAC city of Ames, Iowa the TOR was held in Des Moines. It worked ok this time. The last time this occurred we were in Indianapolis and NOAC was at Bloomington it did not work out as there were competing TORs. I believe those who participated in this TOR viewed it as a success although attendance by contingents was down. 2006 NOAC is in Lansing, Michigan where we should be able to have adequate in town facilities. We hope to see you there.
With NOAC moving to a Saturday start, less interest in the TOR even though there is no NOAC program to speak of Regional shows Can be solid if the sponsors focus on the customers. If the sponsors are ?in it for the money? then the results may be mixed. (Before someone flames me I recognize that no TOR organizer makes meaningful money if they factor in the hours they spend but clearly some organizers have that as a primary focus when I think customers should be the first consideration.)Ebay
Tends to grow at 1 item per day. Three dealers account for about 20% of the listings (The Scout Patch Auction, Brushcreek Trading, and Streamwood) Average price pretty low I don't know if it is just Boy Scout collectibles but it is wild to see 15 bids on a lot and it is only to $10.51. Talk about days of old when patches were bid up at $0.25 at a time. I'm not sure what this says about the bidders. Roughly 60% of the items sell which also means close to half don?t. Golden age for collectibles Buyer beware ? E.g. Silver Beaver type 1 ? wrong pendant, wrong pin. E.g 2 ? OA put into the title of things that aren?t OA.. E.g. 3 ? putting ?come on? patches that aren?t what they are (a solid embroidered Philturn patch that is actually a patch cut-out from the center of an annivsersary patch). Cheap patches and ridiculous shipping charges ($0.37 patch with $3.00 handling) ?Hitch hiker? offering of Scout patches Impersonal No education To Snipe or not Snipe - who does it help? Senior/experienced collectors. Actually would prefer bid-offs thus making it true auctions. Ebay's format, although there is some economic theory behind it that says it leads to fair pricing, I believe under sells rare or rarely seen items. The format works to the advantage of experienced buyers as they have a better sense of value. Because the systems are out there, I can't deny their existence.Category review
OA Merged lodge issues Post merger there is a general closing of the values between the restricted issues and the common issues. Provenance and certification Dangerous territory for new issues to be offered up for more than anything else from the lodge. E.G. 147 delegate item being offered at MB greater than anything else from the lodge.Shoulder Wear
CSPs ? Cool
JSPs ? Flat ? depends upon council
Red and Whites (and other pre-CSPs) More four figure ($1,000+) items than any other area of shoulder wear and may be a greater proportion than any other collectible area. Community strips Fakes beginning to surface.Insignia
Can?t find enough quality items Can?t find enough vintage items ?Odd? cloth items are dramatically under appreciated. Merit badges are the only area, fine twills, where there has been a distinction for a period of time (still relatively short period). Fine twills are going for 10 times their original estimate.Merit badges
Squares ? Sizzling for best issues and teens; flat elsewhere
Fine twills and wide crimp ? If accurately described, sizzling. Many Wide Crimps offered aren?tRank
Eagles ? Solid/flat
Silver Awards - Solid
Combined ranks - SizzlingJamborees
World JamboreesVery hot All years All items US National Jamborees
Felts ? Sizzling to solid.
Embroidered ? Sizzling to solid Geographical biasHigh Adventure Bases
Philmont - Solid
Sea Base ? Limited action
Region 7 and Region 10 ? Limited actionRegion patches
Original 12 ? Up from prior years
Old 6 ? Solid, more than expected
Current 4 ? Not much history yet