11 August 2014

What eBay Hath Wrought 101: The Seedy Underbelly of the Allen & Ginter Bootleg Black Market

I've got searches set up for a lot of different stuff on eBay, so I can get a quick overview of stuff I like on my front page. A little while back I saw an auction pop up for a 2008 Allen & Ginter Spider-Man mini. I couldn't recall that Spider-Man ever made into an Allen & Ginter set, so I clicked the link to check it out. Some seller had posted a bunch of the Munnatawket-back custom minis that were made famous by Nachos Grande. I can't seem to find his posts about them, but he is included in the set and has some connection to the guy who made the cards. I am not sure if he commissioned the set or helped to come up with the idea or what, exactly. But they exist and he was somehow involved.

I put in bids on the Spider-Man card and a handful of others, but I was in the middle of a nap or something when all of the auctions closed and I missed out on everything but the Russell Wilson card. I did see the closing prices on some of the cards, which to me seemed nuts for custom cards. The guy had a Derek Jeter that went for nearly $40. Several other stars from various sports (Wayne Gretzky, Dirk Nowitzki) went in the $6-10 range. Kate Upton's custom card went for over $20. And I think the Spider-Man card sold for about $7. There is a fair amount of design work that went into these and I would imagine the market for them is somewhat limited past the first couple runs that are made, but it sure seems like a good motivator to learn some skills with the modern equivalent of MS Paint and churn out a few customs of my own, mostly focusing on that Derek Jeter dude.

The seller was kind enough to throw a couple of extras in with my shipment. Tom Brady was the biggest surprise, as the seller probably could have got a couple bucks out of it in an auction. Sonny Gray was a nice addition from the A's. I don't have any feelings one way or the other on Christian Yelich.

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