I have been a Star Trek fan for more years than I’ll care to admit.
It used to be very uncool in the early days to admit to liking the program… a little bit like admitting during the 1970s that you liked the music of Abba.
But as the years pass by, the longevity of early TV programmes and media in general are often bestowed with a rosy glow of affection.
Poor production quality, shaky sets and bad dress sense from original productions are forgiven and overlooked, because these programmes are now part of our shared history.
They have stood the test of time and now deserve to be remembered fondly.
I only have to hear the bold announcement ‘Thunderbirds are go’ to be instantly transported back in time to the opening drumbeat of Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirdsopening credits.
The Christmas following the first screening of Thunderbirds, I was given a Tracy Island play set. The original one is now worth the price of a small car – but only if you kept the box and didn’t play with it (fat chance!).
So, suddenly my brother and I were the Tracy brothers Scott and Virgil, and we knew all the lines, such as: ‘Approaching danger zone, father’; and: ‘F.A.B’.
Come to think of it, that would be a good pub quiz question: I’ll bet you don’t know what ‘F.A.B’ stands for? (See the end for the answer.)
Lines from a TV programme or perhaps lyrics from a song have the ability to whisk you back in time to earlier, happier periods of your life. See if any of these song lyrics take you time-travelling:
‘Take my hand, take my whole life too, but I can’t help falling in love with you.’ – Elvis Presley, Can’t Help Falling In Love.
‘Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy, she’ll beat you if she’s able. You know, the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.’ – The Eagles, Desperado.
‘Heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening. Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughing. Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter.’ – Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.
‘There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain.’ – The Beatles, In My Life.
‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need.’ – The Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
‘We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl year after year.’ – Pink Floyd,Wish You Were Here.
And I think the Moody Blues capture my sentiments here precisely, with their lyric: ‘Thinking is the best way to travel.’
When objects or records from another era send your mind time-travelling, then the very same objects have the makings of a true collectible.
Collectibles are almost always linked to memories and feelings from the past.
The stronger the ability to move you emotionally, the more collectible and valuable items can become – much depending on supply and demand of course.
When collectibles become so embedded in the fabric of our lives, they can further become what I like to call ‘Crossover Collectibles’ – i.e. they start to have a life of their own beyond their original remit. In fact, their very association can add value and boost sales of other totally unrelated products.
Take, for instance, the Haynes motor maintenance manuals. These manuals were named after John Haynes OBE. He wrote and published his very first book in 1956, when he was at school, on building a ‘special’, based on the Austin 7. Hundreds more manuals were to follow.
‘For those who haven’t used a Haynes manual, these are the books aimed at those who want to fix their own vehicles, and which keep qualified mechanics in paid employment putting things right afterwards.’ – Quote, unknown.
You can’t get any more anchored in modern day reality than with a car maintenance manual.
They have become an automotive institution. Yet some of them are quite collectible in their own right.
Some of the most collectible ones have become ‘Crossover Collectibles’, duly influenced from popular cult TV programmes.
Here are some examples of Haynes manuals which are ‘Crossover’ Collectibles:
- Star Wars: Death Star: Owners’ Technical Haynes Manual.
- Thomas the Tank Engine: Owners’ Workshop Haynes Manual.
- Wallace & Gromit: Cracking Contraptions Owners’ Haynes Manual.
- Bob the Builder: Owners’ Haynes Workshop Manual.
- Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise: Owners’ Haynes Manual.
- Thunderbirds Tracy Island & Vehicles: Owners’ Haynes Manual.
The list goes on, and that’s without even touching any of the values of the more serious motor-related Haynes manuals. I would love to continue, but space does not permit here.
However, as I have been hinting in previous newsletters, I will soon have the opportunity – in collaboration with Canonbury Publishing – to reveal in far more depth, the truly profitable nature of collectibles, many of which are hidden in plain view.
My job will be to act as your eyes and ears and to point out exactly where these interesting money-making collectibles can be found.
We are only a few weeks away now from the fruition of this project, so watch this space!
Until next week – ‘Live long and prosper’ (Spock).
Question – What does ‘F.A.B’ stand for?
Answer – ‘Full Acknowledgement of Broadcast’.