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gerryfortin
03-27-2009, 05:01 AM
Hi Everyone,

I'm going to have some free time this weekend (in China) and would like to make a proposal for building an Estest "K" Kit Collection Registry. Now you are probably wondering what this is about? Can you imagine that we would have a common method to track our Estes K Kit collections and publicly show the collection?

The registry concept is taken from numismatics (coin collecting) whereby a person can "register" his collection on the web and compete with other collectors for bragging rights as to who has the most indepth (complete) and highest quality collectables.

I've seen a number of responses in the kit collection thread that highlights large quantities of vintage Estes kits that are stored away. Collection registry takes a different approach. A specific set or collecting objective is defined and collectors try to complete that set by having one of every required collectable. In our case, I'm working on a collection registry for the Estes "K" Kits. These are the kits produced from 1961 through 1973. Only kits marked as "K" would qualify. A complete set of "K" kits might have up to 59-63 different kits depending if you want to include the Phamton 7B, Farside X, Omega 52P and Apogee and Apogee II separately. No later kits with the combination catalog numbers K-28/1228, for example, could be included. Only true kits that are "K" vintage can be listed in this collection registry.

Please take a look at the attached excel spreadsheet. This sheet was designed as an input template for a BAR's serious collection. You might think the spreadsheet is complicated and yes, it is but I hope to explain the whole registry concept and how it works.

Collections are evaluated (or for competition) by three parameters;

1. % completion of the collection
2. The average state of preservation of the kits in the collection
3. A collection rating based on the kits in the collection and their preservation.

OK.... #1 is very easy to understand. It is the total number of collection entries divided by the number of required kits to have a complete collection.

For checking the average state of preservation, I've defined three states of preservation for the kits as these K kits are really tough to find and even having an opened kit is quite the accomplishment if you are a serious collector.

3 Points for Gem Kit; Original Colors, Round Tubes, Balso Not Completely Separated
2 Points for Unopend Kit; Fading of Colors, Scuffing of Bag, Free Kit Sticker
1 Point for Opened Kit but All Contents are Present

For calculating a set rating, we need to decide if some kits are more difficult to collect than others. In coin collecting this is definitely the case and my 1+ years of watching kits on eBay tells me the same holds true for early Estes kits. So I'm proposing a rarity scale as follows;

3 - Rare; Appears on eBay once every 1-2 years
2- Difficult; Appears on eBay within 1 year
1- Common; Easy to locate on eBay

So if you look at the spreadsheet closely, I've made an initial attempt at setting rarity levels for each of the K kits. As a newbie among all of you senior BARs, this is probably suicide but I do have a thick skin when trying to advance a new idea. Following is my first attempt at rating the rarity of the K kits. Please comment on potential adjustments.

Estes K Kit No. Rarity Weight Kit Name

1 2 Scout
2 2 Mark
3 2 Space Plane
4 3 Streak
5 3 Apogee
5 1 Apogee 2
6 1 Ranger
7 2 Phantom
7B 1 Phantom With Fins and Engine
8 1 Sky Hook
9 2 Spaceman
10 2 Cobra
11 2 WAC Corporal
12 2 Farside
12X 3 Farside - X
13 1 Falcon
14 1 Drifter
15 2 Sprite
16 2 Delta
17 2 Aerobee 300
18 1 X-Ray
19 1 Invader
20 1 Mars Snooper
21 2 Gemini Titan
22 2 V-2
23 2 Big Bertha
24 1 Gyroc
25 1 Alpha
26 2 Arcas
27 2 Honest John
28 1 Thor Agena-B
29 1 Saturn 1B
30 2 Little Joe II
31 2 Star Blazer
32 2 Starlight
33 2 Trident
34 2 Nighthawk
35 1 Constellation
36 1 Saturn V
37 3 Scrambler
38 2 Avenger
39 2 Semi-Scale Saturn V
40 1 Midget
41 2 Mercury Redstone
42 3 Orbital Transport
43 2 Mars Lander
44 3 Birdie
45 1 Beta
46 2 Shrike
47 1 Cherokee-D
48 1 Bandit
49 1 Sprint
50 2 Interceptor
51 2 Sandhawk
52 1 Omega
52P 1 Omega With Payload
53 1 Stinger
54 3 Saros
55 2 Goblin
56 2 Alpha III
57 3 Sky Dart
58 2 Demon
59 3 SPEV

Enough said for now. Please look at the spreadsheet as this would be an input template to me. I will build a registry module this weekend so BARS can post their collections. The attached excel template currently assumes a complete set with each kit being a gem. Then the set rating would be an incredible 300 points with an avg state of preservation of 3 and 100% complete. I will submit my collection to the template this weekend and post it as the intial set in the registry so everyone can get an idea of the concept. You can also look at the Registry link on my seateddimevarieties.com website to understand where the html module will come from.

Please don't think you will have to do all the calculations. Just input your kits by state of preservation and I will do the rest (after you email me the completed template) by posting your collection on an Estes K Kit Registry on my BAR page.

It is obvious that I have too much time on my hands during weekends in China. It is decision to either work on my website or to spend time in bars with the local natives. I'm a married man so the answer is obvious.......

OK, let the comments fly!

mojo1986
03-27-2009, 07:18 AM
Gerry, an interesting concept, but do you have any idea how much work you are taking on? I have a few thoughts............

1) Rarity Scale.............you need to rethink the numbers for the various kits. The Invader is one of the toughest kits to find and is definitely not a 1 (try a 3). The Orbital Transport is easy to acquire and should be a 1, not a 3.

2) Kit Varieties.............for a given K kit there can be a number of varieties depending on its year of manufacture. So an Astron Scout, which was produced from 1961 to 1985, can appear as a pre-hangtag kit or with one of a number of different hangtags. To a collector these are all unique kits. Some are very rare, others much more common.

My initial thought is that this is a large undertaking (maybe larger than you had forseen) but that it would be of benefit to collectors. I know for a fact that there are a number of collectors using this forum on a regular basis that are very proud of their collections. Your spreadsheet would add a new dimension to their collecting activities and would allow them to properly catalog what they have. And such a database would certainly be good to have for insurance purposes. So, I say 'go for it', although I think you need some refinements based on my comments above.

Have fun in China!

Joe

gerryfortin
03-27-2009, 04:39 PM
Gerry, an interesting concept, but do you have any idea how much work you are taking on? I have a few thoughts............

1) Rarity Scale.............you need to rethink the numbers for the various kits. The Invader is one of the toughest kits to find and is definitely not a 1 (try a 3). The Orbital Transport is easy to acquire and should be a 1, not a 3.

2) Kit Varieties.............for a given K kit there can be a number of varieties depending on its year of manufacture. So an Astron Scout, which was produced from 1961 to 1985, can appear as a pre-hangtag kit or with one of a number of different hangtags. To a collector these are all unique kits. Some are very rare, others much more common.



Joe...I do need help from folks on the forum to reach consensus on the rarity ratings. Please remember that I am a relative newbie to Estes kit collecting but bring a methodology from the numismatic world to the field. I hope others can look at the list and make comments. Probably the best approach is to post the list on the www.seateddimevarieties.com/BAR/home.htm page and wait for responses from the forum members. This IS NOW DONE and incorporated Joe's feedback on the Invader kit rarity.

As for the varieties based on years of manufacture, yes you are correct. Since I do not have a reference set myself, it is difficult to attempt a more precise collection registry at this time. I propose we exclude the varieties for this first attempt and add more detailed sets later on if folks participate.

As for the amount of time this will take, yes I am aware of the workload based on what was built for Liberty Seated Dimes portion of my website. I see the possibilities for organizing Estes kit collecting as an additional focus items for BARs and will try to bring about. What else is there to do during the weekends?

Thanks for the feedback

Gerry

gerryfortin
03-27-2009, 10:42 PM
The Estes K kit collection registry is already built and can be viewed at http://www.seateddimevarieties.com/BAR/kkits/kkit_index.htm

Inputs requested and also some initial collections would be nice....

gerryfortin
04-05-2009, 09:26 PM
So far there has been no response to the concept of collection registry....any reasons why? One guess is that folks don't treat their rocket collections like a Lincoln penny date and mintmark set where you try to collect one example of each in a Whitman folder. So the concept of collecting a fixed set of kits to complete a collection may be new. Would appreciate some responses...... Probably few people keep detailed records like myself (and Leo - the Leisure Website)

I've been thinking about other possible collection registry sets;

- Gooneybirds
- Scale models regardless of vintage
- True exotic designs, the golden age of Estes rocket designs
- Multi stage kits throughout Estes kit history

mojo1986
04-06-2009, 07:22 AM
Gerry, it's possible that some collectors are too modest to publicly state what they have in their collections. Others may not want to publicly divulge the size of a collection because of the money it represents.............why take a chance of attracting the interest of thieves, or the IRS? But I'm sure many collectors would find value in a template that listed, for example, Estes K-kits, so that they could conveniently keep track of their own collections.

Joe

gerryfortin
04-07-2009, 12:15 AM
Gerry, it's possible that some collectors are too modest to publicly state what they have in their collections. Others may not want to publicly divulge the size of a collection because of the money it represents.............why take a chance of attracting the interest of thieves, or the IRS? But I'm sure many collectors would find value in a template that listed, for example, Estes K-kits, so that they could conveniently keep track of their own collections.

Joe

Joe, you do raise some good points. Collectors do not have to list their names with collections. One common practice in numismatics is labeling a collection, "The Ohio Collection", for example so the owner can remain anonymous.

In another thread, several individuals were not shy about linking pics of their collections.

My belief is that it takes a lot of time and energy to build a catalog of the kits that one has stored away. A ready made template is always useful. When time does allow, I will try to build templates for the scale and exotic Estest kits.