With all the recent hype in signed cards. What are your thoughts? A beat up 1st Ed base zard with a signature graded by PSA on the signature is listed at 10k on instagram. I just think that’s really expensive for a card that would grade a 4-5.
Overall I think its a fun option for people interested. You can own something signed by your favorite artists.
As for market value, autographs are just like the cards, rarity matters. There are already some signed arita cards that have no added monetary value.
I am personally not a fan of them and would not pay more for a signed card, but i seem to be the minority with that opinion.
Seems that signatures used to be very wholesome and as of recently its just gross Whatnot StonkDawgggssss trying to pay their rent.
In this hobby, there are a lot of branching paths you can take as you go from buying generic english set cards to a refined and sophisticated niche taste. Autos are definitely a path you could take
It can be pretty frustrating to collect them because it’s not something you can chase as much as it is recognizing and grabbing opportunities as they arise
I love it because you can trace it down to a specific event with a story sometimes to accompany it. I’m an individual that can stare at a painting on and off for hours, sketches are no different. Classy.
I don’t buy signed cards, I don’t feel any attachment to them. At the same time, I love the idea to travel to an event or convention, having the chance to meet the artist and watch him/her autographing your card. I personally got some cards from other TCGs signed in person and it was a beautiful experience.
That being said, getting your Pokemon cards signed these days can be a headache more than anything else, and I wouldn’t do it. People queueing for the only purpose of flipping really ruins the magical experience for the real passionate ones.
I have mixed feelings about signed cards.
- They offer a new way to engage with the hobby
- Signing events create life-long memories
- Sketches are almost always 10/10
- Strong WhatNot/Drip/Flipper energy (all about the $$$)
- Autographs on the secondary market always carry a risk of forgery
- “To Pikachu,” “To Ash,” “To Charizard,” is so cringey
Love signed cards, I love the interaction with the artist like “I especially appreciate your work on this piece” and how each artist does a different kind of signature, placement, maybe a sketch, etc.
I generally like getting signatures when meeting pop culture figures at conventions etc, and cards just hold them really well.
Wish Pokemon signatures were as common as MTG, they often have 5-6 artists at mid-high tier events and some offer sketches, alters, “shadow” signatures with 2 different ink types, etc.
You said everything id say on this so thank you very well written.
Echoing some of the folks above…I like the idea of getting a card signed by an artist I really enjoy, even if the card is a not a “valuable” card in terms of resale value but just one that I personally enjoy. Nearly all the enjoyment I derive from collecting cards are the stories behind the cards themselves, the nostalgia of the ones that got me into collecting, and the ones that just look plain cool. Combining all of those with getting the artist’s signature would be a neat addition (think if we pool together we can get Komiya to do an E4 signing? )
Signatures in my opinion by far require the most amount of research and time being engaged in the community before you should make a purchase. Money aside Its fun, its challenging, and at the end of the day it all pays off in a truly one of a kind item.
Going off topic now but E4 is a great resource for learning about signature collecting, and full of collectors who are more than happy to help you learn about the nuances of each artist.
I loved signed cards, but to me having a sketch is what’s most important to me as that would be original art by the artist.
It’s amazing to think about how the artist that illustrated your card is now signing it and giving you a sketch of that Pokémon.
Growing up as a kid, you would never really think you would have a chance to meet the artist of a card, so when it happens it feels very special.
It’s my favorite part of collecting. I grew up playing in tournaments, and back in 2017 we were trying to figure out how to get more people who liked Pokemon cards to come to a regionals, so we invited Arita to a 2018 event, and it was a game changer for me. My eyes opened up to art and artists and it’s the most meaningful part of my collection.
I’ve done four side-events at Regional Championships now with artists. Toronto will be number five. I’m seeing all the greatness and ugliness up close, and I care a lot.
I totally get the money side of it. It’s a semi-unique addition tied to the person that most directly influenced that card’s creation, and that can be a big value add. The reason these things tend to sell for so much is because the end-buyer actually loves it, or else believes there’s someone else who will pay more, though I believe there is a large genuine end-buyer pool for these.
The thing to remember is that these autographs are tied to an individual who generally cares about how their autograph is treated, despite selling the autograph to the recipient. Could be chalked up to a cultural facet, which is partly why I’m strictly a black hole for anything artist-related and refuse purchase offers.
If I were to push for anything while acknowledging the value, it would be increased sensitivity around autograph sales. You have to understand that while these can be a commodity, it has the potential to cause hurt.
One last point – I don’t personally have strong feelings about personalizations beyond wanting to do what the artist wants. I would love for the artists to have the freedom to sign the way they wish, personalization or not. With that said, I’ll enforce every guideline we’re beholden to.
HOT TAKE WARNING
I have never and will never buy a signed card. If I don’t get the autograph myself, with personalization toward me, then it’s worthless to me. I look at autographed cards without personalization the same way I look at blank checks: they are dangerous as hell, and should never leave the hands of the person who signed it.
When it comes to personalized signatures, I think they’re priceless. If an artist signs a card “To: JoshsPkmnCollection” and draws an Oddish on it, that card is immediately one of the most valuable cards in my collection. Not because of monetary value, but because it has personal value to me. That card is now almost worthless to any other collector in the world, because they can no longer relate to that card. Sure there may be the meta collectors that love the backstories behind personalized signature cards, and those after the truly coveted grail of Oddish with a signature designated to JoshsPkmnCollection, but those only raise value to very specific people and tank the value for most.
When the artist signs a card and puts nothing more than their name on it, it feels to me like they don’t care. The card has been altered with no personalization, no good backstory, and you gain nothing unique from looking at it when compared to every other signature that artist has ever done. That is a much different story when looking at personalized signatures, because no two cards will be the same, and they all tell a unique tale. If 300 people go to a card signing and every card has the exact same signature, what’s unique about it? If you and a friend go to a signing event and bring the same card, will you remember which card was signed for you and which card was signed for your friend?
I think the hobby would be better off if people transitioned to only collecting personalized signatures, and caring about the experiences to get there more than the money. If everyone only cares about getting signed by the biggest artist and then selling their card on ebay for st0nkz, then we’ve lost sight of what collecting is all about. One of the greatest things about collecting is that no two people collect the exact same things, and there’s a huge thrill of the hunt. It’s all about the journey and the stories behind them. If you’ve got a million dollars and buy every artist signature you ever wanted in a PSA 10 within a week, did you have fun? What stories do you have to tell about your collection? Was it worth all that money? Compare that to the kid with a $3 Oddish card who flew to Japan to get a personalized signature from his favorite artist. Who’s happier at the end of the day?
They are cool, but not really for me. I think its stupid and disrespectful that people have used signature cards as a way to stonk recently. We all know the scummy things people have done just to make some quick cash, and it ruins the overall experience for me.
I think the personalizations are fine and prefer seeing them on cards than not.
Hey, some of us really like our English set cards and take offense to insinuations that we are unrefined and unsophisticated.
Some might view that bit of black scribble from an auto as an unsophisticated alteration.
I do agree that autos are one of many paths one can take, and that’s great for anyone that finds joy in collecting them. I definitely don’t see them as a product of a more refined collecting taste, but I guess I just don’t really view anything in the hobby through that lens.
I don’t see the point in getting cards autographed, especially rare ones. To me a signed card is a clean one less in existence and a damaged one, it doesn’t matter who signed it. I understand the value of an autograph and its significance for the collector, but to me is a separate thing from the card itself. I see the point of getting the slab or another card accessory being signed instead, as well of a piece of paper or a blank card, that’s a far better solution to me.
The majority of my collection is wotc so I’m a fellow English degenerate.
What I mean when I say it’s a “refined taste” is that no one really comes into this hobby collecting signed cards right out of the gate. It’s something that you grow to like over time and it becomes a sort of acquired taste. Similar to miscuts or serial number ex era variants or japanese prize cards
It’s not that one of these is better than the other, it’s just that learning to like certain niches of this hobby sometimes is its own journey whereas wotc or modern English is way more of an entry point