Author Topic: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards  (Read 1469 times)

Offline JediMAC

  • Pretty in Pink
  • Retired Staff Member
  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14572
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« on: May 4, 2004, 04:53 PM »
After procrastinating for well over a year now on starting my vintage carded collection, I'm finally getting a little bit closer now.  I was looking through some boxes of old vintage stuff, and to my surprise I discovered that I have a MOMC POTF Imperial Gunner (punched), and a couple ROTJ figures already carded as well.  I must have picked them up at some collecting conventions in the late 80's/early 90's, and just totally forgotten.  Whoopee! I'm really rollin' now...  

Anyway, my questions are as follows: What differences in cost/value and scarcity can I expect to encounter if I decide to go for unpunched cards, instead of punched ones?  What's the general consensus among vintage collectors on the issue - do folks think much less of punched cards as opposed to unpunched ones?  Would they bring shame to my collection later on, once I knew better?  Do people ever mix and match between the two?  Would it be worth the premium (whatever that is) to go solely for unpunched pieces?  Is it safe to assume that punched cards don't technically affect the condition rating of the card?  Is a carded figure considered "less complete" without the punch?  Not that I care much for AFA, but do they grade any lower for a card that's been punched, all other things being equal?

Also, for what it's worth, I'm strongly considering just going for the first 21 carded figures from ANH only (or at least for starters), since those hold the most nostalgic meaning to me.  Great memories with those, as that's where it all started for me as a kid.  Considering the older age and greater popularity of the first 21 ANH figures, are those considerably tougher to find unpunched than the later figures, or are they relatively the same as the rest of the vintage line, or even easier since they were often sold in those tray displays?

Also, I just had the chance to examine a number of carded vintage figures last week when I got together with Jared and Deanpaul at Puzzle Zoo in Santa Monica.  They had about 50 carded figures up on the wall for sale, and I noticed upon closer inspection of the card punch areas is that about a quarter of the punched cards had horrible "perforation marks" leftover where the punch was made, whereas the majority of the punched areas looked perfectly clean/smooth.

The ones with the jagged perforated edge leftovers (for lack of a better description) were definitely an eyesore, and something that I would probably never want to add to my collection.  Is this something that I should always be sure to ask sellers/traders about, when the cards they're offering are punched?  Do you guys concern yourselves much with this issue?  Based on the card punches that I saw, I would almost have a hard time grading the eyesore perforated pieces the same as the ones with a clean/smooth punch.  It seemed that the bad perforations were mostly limited to the 20/21 backs and early ESB cards.  Anyone know if that's the general rule of thumb, or do the unattractive perforations run throughout the course of the line?

Sorry for a million questions there!   :P  Bonus points to anyone who answers them all...  Thanks for the knowledge and any insight fellas!

Offline E.Z.

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 184
  • Montreal, Quebec
    • View Profile
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #1 on: May 4, 2004, 05:15 PM »
Matt, it sounds like you answered your own questions. Punched will probably not work for you.  If it is an issue now in any form of your collecting habits it will only grow worse later and drive you crazy when you look at your stuff and analyze each figures punch.  When I was doing the carded thing last year all my figures had to be unpunched with no stickers or cracks to the bubble.

It's kind of like collectors who hate stickers on the card (me), every once in a while I'd get a card with one on and it would stick out like a sore thumb and drive me nuts. I'd either have to try to take it off or sell it. Not worth the trouble imo.

Go with unpunched sweetness man!  ;D

-Shawn

P.S, Sorry I didn't actually answer any of your questions!  :P

Shawn

Offline JediMAC

  • Pretty in Pink
  • Retired Staff Member
  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14572
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #2 on: May 4, 2004, 06:01 PM »
Thanks Shawn.  I'm of course looking for people's personal opinions on the matter as well, so your comments definitely fit that bill.  I asked the same question over at GH, and a couple of the vintage fellas over there said that punched cards weren't a big deal at all, and most of them had a mixture of both punched and unpunched.  I think I could possibly do that myself, but the punches would have to be the nice clean ones, rather than the jagged perforated nasty crap I saw on some figures at that shop last week.

Guess I'll just have to specifically inquire on the matter whenever I'm looking into buying a new figure.   :-\  Going stickerless (and offerless) myself.  Did you go premiere card for everyone too?

Offline stormie

  • Jedi Padawan
  • *
  • Posts: 630
  • MBW/NGW/CMW
    • View Profile
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #3 on: May 5, 2004, 01:16 PM »
Sounds like some lofty, yet fun goals, Matt! Vintage MOC is so much fun.

Putting on my non-Stormtrooper-centric thinking cap, I'd say that you shouldn't have much trouble finding the first 21. However, finding them in unpunched, unstickered condition will run you a little higher monetarily. If you're looking for specific cardbacks only, that's where you might run into trouble. Some of the 21 backs (both SW and ESB) are mighty rare (especially that dang Stormtrooper! :P).

I wouldn't be concerned about what other people think of your collection. As long as you like it, that's all that matters. In fact I don't recall ever hearing or reading someone criticizing someone else's collection for being mixed punched/unpunched, stickered, mixed conditions, only C-3s, etc. (unless, of course, they were just trying to be a jerk). I mix and match condition, punched/unpunched, price stickers, and offers (of course). I mainly just concentrate on the condition of the figure and bubble and the overall presentation of the card. I have some pretty crappy cards, too, but they were the only examples of that particular cardback that I had come across, so it wasn't a big deal.

As for the ugly punches, I know what you're talking about. However, I don't know of any general rule as to what time period the ugly punches were found. I have them throughout my collection. But if you're going for unpunched, this is kind of a moot point, now.

If you're a little impatient about getting all 21, you might want to do what I hear other collectors sometimes doing. They buy the figures/card that they want regardless of condition. They then continuously search for better condition examples to upgrade and sell off the lower grades. This way, they always have a complete collection, but are still engaged in "the search." This might be easier on the wallet, but when has collecting ever been "easy on the wallet?"  :P

If you haven't done so, I would also suggest getting a copy of John Kellerman's book. It lists just about every single cardback/figure from the vintage line and a bunch of other stuff. Definitely a must for a collector of vintage MOC.

Again, sounds like some fun ahead for you!  :)

standing by the Lake of Gennesaret
walking along the Sea of Galilee

Cancer, indeed, sucks.

Offline JediMAC

  • Pretty in Pink
  • Retired Staff Member
  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 14572
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #4 on: May 5, 2004, 01:42 PM »
Thanks Bob, and I've definitely got Kellerman's book in my SW library already!  Great reference source.   8)

I'll definitely be collecting "what I like", that's for sure.  But what my obsessive compulsive perfectionist butt usually likes is top quality C-9+ kind of stuff when it comes to carded.  I know that I'd prefer to just get all MOMC unpunched cards ideally, but I don't know how well that would work out both financially (since they cost more) as well as availability wise.  So I'm just trying to gauge other vintage collectors theories on what's really mint when it comes to these punch areas, which I have very little knowledge about.  Might help me to loosen up my stringent guidelines just a bit, which would make things a little easier and a tad more fun...   ;)

I'm very patient though, so once I finally get going, it will be a slow and painstaking process finding specific pieces that will be just right for my collection.  I'm aiming for all the initial cardbacks for each figure as well, so I'd have to get the original 12 on 12 backs, the next 8 on 20 backs, and the Fett (is he on a 20 or 21 back?  Don't recall).

My buddy actually has a beautiful specimen of this Fett on the ANH card.  He dropped about a G on in around 5 years ago, and it's just so pretty to look at when I go over to his house.  So pretty...

Thanks again for the insight!

Offline E.Z.

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 184
  • Montreal, Quebec
    • View Profile
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #5 on: May 5, 2004, 01:46 PM »
Guess I'll just have to specifically inquire on the matter whenever I'm looking into buying a new figure.   :-\  Going stickerless (and offerless) myself.  Did you go premiere card for everyone too?


I guess that's why I suggested you go unpunched, so as to avoid the hassle of finding nicely punched figures. There are still a ton of unpunched figures around, so for me it was an easy choice. Then again punched figures remind me of the figures being on a store shelf at one point and that in itself brings more nostalgia. Anyways your probably bettter off collecting both seeing as how you already own several punched. To answer one of your questions. I never really noticed a price difference to a major degree on either. UP was just a bit harder to find.

I was going premiere cardback, stickerless, offerless, and C9+. Needless to say it became quite hard to be pleased and very expensive. I dropped carded all together about 6 months ago and went on a loose rampage. Bad news... I'm getting the bug for carded again. I started by picking up a couple MOC LJN wrestlers, and the first was Mr.Fugi. Vintage MOTU and Star Wars MOC are really looking good right about now as well. Control, I need control.  :P
Shawn

Offline bobafett14

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 477
    • View Profile
    • Pennsylvania Star Wars Collectors Society
Re: Questions on punched vs. unpunched cards
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2004, 11:34 AM »
I'm in the same boat, I found that recently more and more of my ROTJ carded are unpunched, so all of a sudden, a ROTJ unpunched collection is sticking out in my mind.

Won't turn a good deal away punched or not, but unpunched just has that nice clean look to it.
Star Wars and toy Collector since 1978(age 7).  currently over 6,500 SW items in my personal collection. Collect modern/vintage and everything in-between ;^)