Going Down a Collectibles Rabbit Hole


There’s a gaggle of about 10 those who I’ve been friends with since 1995. We were all young professionals back then, starting out in our first jobs and attempting to navigate life as best we could. The undeniable fact that we’ve all stayed in contact and remained friends for this long is remarkable. The undeniable fact that our text chain could be very lively on a each day basis is completely amazing. And I’m blessed to be a part of this incredible group. 

One in every of these friends was visiting his mom recently and decided to undergo a few of his old stuff. As he sorted his old belongings, he unearthed an Atari 130XE (circa 1985) in mint condition and a “Mad’s Vastly Overrated Al Jaffee” comic book in pretty good condition.

When he shared his finds, we had a pleasant trip down memory lane. Most individuals know Atari as a video game pioneer. The Atari 2600, which I played on as a child, ushered within the video game era. But most individuals don’t know Atari also made computers back within the day.

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Atari used to compete with IBM, Tandy, AT&T, Compaq, and others in the house computer space. Our phones today are significantly more powerful and easier to make use of than those computers. But I still miss them. Those old machines were easy but powerful. And should you could master the operating system and the varied keyboard shortcuts, you would do some things almost as quickly and simply as you possibly can with today’s computers.

Because Atari is such an iconic brand, I wondered if there could be a marketplace for an Atari computer in mint condition — especially considering an unboxed “first edition” Apple iPhone sold for greater than $63,000 at an auction earlier this yr.

So I hopped on to eBay to go searching. The excellent news is there may be a market for traditional computers. The bad news is the unboxed machines are selling for under $325 to $500. Not bad. But definitely not $63,000!

After happening the Atari rabbit hole, I made a decision to look into the Mad comic book. Al Jaffee passed away last month on the age of 102. Sometimes, when someone as iconic as Jaffee dies, it sparks renewed interest of their work.

A fast search showed that the comic was being sold for anywhere from $15 to $30. I did see one version of a signed Al Jaffee first edition Vastly Overrated comic selling for $500. But that was the outlier.

Although my friend isn’t going to strike it wealthy together with his finds, I actually enjoyed looking into each items. It’s why I like collectibles. The history behind each item we own — no matter value — may be fascinating.

Plus, you never know what’s going to drive a market. In 1995, the concept of anyone paying greater than a couple of hundred bucks for Apple collectibles would have been laughable. Now, there’s a market.

Perhaps in the longer term, a crazy hot Atari market develops or people begin to understand the true genius of Al Jaffee and costs begin to rise. Then the worth of my friend’s pieces will soar.

But when it doesn’t occur — and it probably won’t — neither my friend nor I actually care. The nostalgia trip we shared over the Atari computer and Mad comic was priceless. Each brought us joy again. Anything greater than that’s just gravy.


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