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Joined: 05-14-2012 20:11:50
Messages: 17

Recently I had noticed that my non-CGC graded collection of Famous Monsters of Filmland had dropped in value from over $20,000 to just over $14,000. However, the prices of the same magazines if CGC graded/slabbed remained the same or even rose.

It would appear that Nostomania has deliberately lowered non-CGC graded prices of FM in order to force collectors to get them graded by CGC. This is very disconcerting and about as phony as it gets. If a CGC graded/slabbed copy of FM #1 in 9.2/NM- is valued at $5,710, why should my non-CGC graded copy in 9.2/NM- be worth only $889. I understand that there should be a certain premium for CGC slabbed material, but over six times difference in price is ludicrous.

Machinations such as this create grave doubts in the objectivity of Nostomania. Unfortunately, as far as FM is concerned there are no other places to go to check pricing.

- Mike



Joined: 04-22-2008 18:56:00
Messages: 274

Nothing phony here Mike, nothing crooked every with Nosto, and I'm not afraid to point out just how crooked this business can be unfortunately. I wouldn't sweat the fluctuations too much just now - my guess is your collection value change is more attributable to a few flaws in our pricing algorithms which we have (hopefully) fixed relating to adjusting pricing on titles where sales data is sparse. In short, if you see something that does not look right, let's discuss and we will do our best to fix it or find an explanation if the numbers are indeed accurate. We think Famous Monsters will tighten up next quarter - we have new sales recorded for early issues, both slabbed and unslabbed.

Joined: 05-10-2008 19:26:48
Messages: 8


There is another matter that you may not be considering in regards to your Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines. The matter of desirability and popularity. The original Warren FM with Uncle Forry behind it and the Dynacom issues that Ray Ferry put out were wonderful magazines. The newest version is a terrible magazine in my opinion and does not honor the original vision at all. It has become more of a gore-porn magazine now with loathsome variant covers. This does not help drive new collectors to seek out the classic back issues and sales have dropped remarkably from ten and even five years ago. Remember the warehouse find? I keep track of FM sales and have watched prices come down ever since Uncle Forry died. Most buyers today do not even know who Forrest Ackerman is anymore? I met the man on two occasions and it was such a thrill for me! This is a fact and not price manipulating. The demand is down.

Another factor is the Classic Monsters themselves. The popularity of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and all the classic monsters in general rises and falls each decade. In fact, the classic monster market is very, very small overall. We are a passionate group but a fly speck compared to other genres. This is also a fact and not manipulation. I love the classic Universal Studios monsters as much as anyone but not enough to make others feel the same way. The classic monsters die off every so often...but not forever.

Still another factor is believability. You believe your FM #1 is a blazing 9.2. I might even believe that but will a potential buyer believe you? Most likely no. High grade copies of these magazines from issues #1 thru the 20's are legitimately scarce. Sellers trying to move their books on Ebay find out the hard way that buyers are highly skeptical. That is where CGC comes in very handy. Whether you like CGC of not, they offer non-partial grading that is widely accepted as the standard. A slabbed copy graded a 9.2 will be accepted as such and will sell for a higher amount than a non slabbed copy. And yes, potentially five to six times higher! This is not price manipulation but a sales fact. Nostomania does not have any say in what buyers pay for their books. We just gather the data and present it to you. Like it or not but please do not suggest fraud of any kind. You yourself could have influenced Nosto prices by what you pay for your books. Consider that.

Still another factor is the 9.2 grade itself. Or high-grade copies in general. There are collectors out there who seek out the best and brightest copies. I am one of them or I had been in the past. This is also a small group within the FM buyers. The larger group of buyers seek out and are quite happy with battered, coupon cut, tape on spine or coverless copies. They actually want to read and flip thru their copies. A blinding high-grade copy or one trapped inside a shiny case has no appeal to one who wants to actually read the book. Or share the pictures with his or her children. Your 9.2 is just too nice for most buyers believe it or not and the sales data reflects this. I have found myself, that I would rather have a lower grade copy to sell as they do sell and for higher prices proportionately.

We are a funny lot us comic book collectors. We expect to pay pennies on the dollar for our books at a convention or online. With frenzied fingers we look up the "guide" values and then expect our collections to be worth staggering amounts. Retirement amounts. How many times do we pay $2.00 for a $20.00 book and expect it to be worth $20.00? Nostomania tells us the truth in that said book is indeed worth $2.00 and we should know that! If it was "worth" $20.00, we would happily pay that amount. The "Overrated" price guide has been lying to us for years. I prefer to hear truth myself. I no longer consider what a book is worth in regards to any guide. I buy what I like and factor the price in secondarily. Once the value of the book is top priority, collecting comic books becomes dangerous and way less fun. If you were hoping to cash in on your FM #1, I believe you missed the window as that window closed over five years ago. There will never be a Famous Monsters of Filmland movie to drive up the false hype like the Guardians of the Galaxy movie did.

I like my FM #1 just because its my FM #1 and a part of the complete run that I have put together. It's a nice and solid 5.0. It doesn't matter what I paid for it or what any guide says it's worth when it comes time to sell it as I have no control over that. I just hope that there will still be someone to sell it to? Anyone? Some of these books are scarce. What is even scarcer are people willing to shell out big bucks to own them. The further we move in years from the original buying generation, the less interest there is and will be. People forget why they should like some of these things and collect them? Have you?
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