hobbies that’ll cost you more than a coke habit.

Every hobby under the sun has the potential to get expensive.  You know you’ve made the step from novice to enthusiast when you’re willing to drop double the list price for a functionally identical (but limited edition) Performance Center version of a current production S&W, for example.  You know you’ve made the step from enthusiast to collector when you shell out five or ten times the list price of a basic model for a super-rare version thereof.

Case in point: this Parker “51” fountain pen currently on fleaBay.  From the item description (and the $0.01 starting price), it was pretty clear that the owner of that pen had no idea that he had a treasure on his hands.  His “Club 51” model was a very rare dealer reward for selling a lot of pens.  Nobody knows exactly how many were made, but they are extremely scarce in the wild.  Functionally, it’s no different from the “51” in my pen case, but the sterling cap and the engraving on the barrel make it, um, rather more valuable than mine.  As of Thursday evening, it’s up to $1,025, with three days left to go, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the final price went over $2,000.  (A stock “51” sold for $15-ish back in the early 1950s, and you can find user-grade models for well under a hundred bucks.)

And if you think it’s nuts for someone to pay a couple of grand for a pen that won’t write any better than its $50 cousin, think about philatelists, the most dedicated and deep-pocketed of which are willing to spend close to a million bucks on a single stamp with an upside-down airplane, or four million bucks on an envelope with two little stamps on it.

It’s no coincidence that the words “collector” and “crazy” are in close proximity in the OED.


11 thoughts on “hobbies that’ll cost you more than a coke habit.

  1. Assrot says:

    I guess I will refrain from mentioning my gun collection to keep people from knowing how crazy I really am.

    I will say that I am one hell of a collector of guns and seldom buy one less than 50 years old.


  2. note than investor and insane are also within alphabetical spitting distance…

    whether it’s pens, coins, cars, or houses, much of what is termed “collecting” is in fact attempting to cash in…with wildly varying degrees of success. see also “pyramid scheme”.


  3. MarkHB says:

    Intangibles will always be worth more than the materials they’re manifested in. Yer basic Hasselblad V-system camera will set you back a couple of grand, plus maybe another K for a decent lens.

    But just think how much you’d be offered for basically the same camera that’s still sitting there on the Apollo 11 landing site. It’s the same device – in much, much worse condition, I’m sure. You could probably recoup a lot of your round-trip to Luna costs by selling that thing, however.

  4. hecate says:

    Horses can make you broke and/or dead a whole lot quicker than guns.

  5. mts says:

    Even if you held back, photography will make a pauper of you.

  6. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    And how would you know how much a coke habit costs, hmmmMMMM????? LOL. Just kidding.

  7. Chris Byrne says:

    Firearms and shooting Reloading
    Ham radio
    Fine and interesting timepieces
    Boating and sailing
    Dirt riding

    Yeah, I’m screwed

  8. Tabasco2112 says:

    Holy cow, I know this feeling. As if my firearm addiction, um, hobby wasn’t bad enough, I’m now venturing down the NFA road. No matter what, it’s $200 a pop right off the bat.

  9. MarkHB says:

    Try 3D animation. That’ll cost ya.

    Plus side: Never shy of a pimp gaming rig. Or the ability to yutz with security camera footage (the number of CG sheep I’ve comped into cubicles, you wouldn’t believe…)

  10. On a somewhat related note,

    We just got the typewriter down from upstairs to be a decorational object.

    And by typewriter I mean a 1923(?) Remington model 30 in full working condition (other than some hardened rubber on the paper wheels).

    Steampunk, it’s the new antiquing.

  11. MarkHB says:

    Here’s a doozy for ya.

    Movie Prop. Count, one.

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