Heritage Auctions, Jim Halperin and Market Manipulation
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191 posts in this topic

On 8/24/2021 at 1:00 PM, Bird said:

I defer to your opinion as I know you are a game guy

Most of my concerns were over the hiding of information, whether it is who is working for whom or buying companies to bury information, and the rally road stuff (which is covered in other threads)

 

Fair enough, and as I say I only skipped around.

My general comment is that well, people seem to love conspiracy theories.     I've even had some of it pointed at me, as I was on wata's board.    Let me tell you, our involvement was cursory at best, and pre launch only, which was three years ago.    I can tell you first hand that being connected in that way with wata meant zero special treatment.    These are the sorts of relationships the "six o'clock news" squads EXPOSE without bothering to take the time to speak to anyone on the other side to understand what those relationships do or don't mean.    IMO, there are a lot of frivolous assumptions made.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:08 PM, jimjum12 said:

I have a friend, an Industrial Electrician and Maintenance specialist who has already bought and restored close to a dozen Pinball machines and Arcade games. One of the coolest is the Miss Pac Man table console. For me, I remember Centipede and playing it with my first "True Love" ... she whooped my arse almost every time. I myself preferred Pinball, but was never that skilled. GOD BLESS... 

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

pinball is great fun.   Every time you play a game on a machine, you get a slightly different experience than your last game.

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On 8/24/2021 at 10:18 AM, Bird said:

I would destroy any and all at most any game in the 1970s/early 1980s. At the arcade. I ate a free sub every saturday for high score at the local deli, he made me not put a score up until sat morning. changed games, it didn't matter.

Crazy Climber was my jam. Some kid in town was convinced I had the world high score, he saw something on tv and I had beaten that. I was VERY good at that. all that wrist work paid off.

I was a Donkey Kong guy, Congorilla could throw me.

Defender? Come back in 10 minutes.

I was good at asteroids/meteor but there were older kids then who could play forever on a quarter.

Home video never grabbed me. Pinball on atari may have been my favorite (missile command rocked too). I could play that pinball all day long. Real pinball was awesome, the local pharmacy bought the adjacent store and made it a pinball arcade. this was about 1974 and it stayed open about a decade. I loved the Elton John Captain Fantastic pinball machine! I look for that one when I see the new arcade with the old games.
 

 

I never got to the top of the 4th building in crazy climber.  Came close a couple of times but those dreaded girders always got me. Probably my favorite game of that Era! I have a gigantic arcade by me with all the classic games. CC is there. I may need to spend a day playing it.

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:08 PM, jimjum12 said:

I have a friend, an Industrial Electrician

If you own vintage pinball machines, there is no greater friend you can have than a professional electrician lol 

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:14 PM, Bronty said:

If you own vintage pinball machines, there is no greater friend you can have than a professional electrician lol 

He is the Master of the Basket Case :bigsmile: I haven't seen him in a few years, I wonder if he is aware of the notoriety of the vintage gaming market. He works so much overtime, maybe not. GOD BLESS...

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:17 PM, jimjum12 said:

He is the Master of the Basket Case :bigsmile: I haven't seen him in a few years, I wonder if he is aware of the notoriety of the vintage gaming market. He works so much overtime, maybe not. GOD BLESS...

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

Tell him I've got an Addams Family that could use a little TLC if he makes house calls lol

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On 8/24/2021 at 12:12 PM, Bronty said:

Fair enough, and as I say I only skipped around.

My general comment is that well, people seem to love conspiracy theories.     I've even had some of it pointed at me, as I was on wata's board.    Let me tell you, our involvement was cursory at best, and pre launch only, which was three years ago.    I can tell you first hand that being connected in that way with wata meant zero special treatment.    These are the sorts of relationships the "six o'clock news" squads EXPOSE without bothering to take the time to speak to anyone on the other side to understand what those relationships do or don't mean.    IMO, there are a lot of frivolous assumptions made.

 

What did you do as part of the Advisory Board? Do you know if they still have one now?

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:18 PM, Bronty said:

Tell him I've got an Addams Family that could use a little TLC if he makes house calls lol

I'll see if I can find him. He can keep factory machines running that crank out a million parts per shift ... but after I left, I think he did too... I heard to the brewery, but it's harder to get in there than the White House. GOD BLESS...

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:13 PM, Ride the Tiger said:

I never got to the top of the 4th building in crazy climber.  Came close a couple of times but those dreaded girders always got me. Probably my favorite game of that Era! I have a gigantic arcade by me with all the classic games. CC is there. I may need to spend a day playing it.

I get very frustrated by the classic arcade games as the buttons don't seem to work where I go. Defender was a bust due to the failure of some buttons to register. CC needs to be working well or forget it as the margins for error get small. 

I think the last game I enjoyed as it came out was probably Punch Out. My buddy and I would play that at the bowling alley and have a blast. Then I went to college in 1985 and only occasionally went to the arcade and mostly to play football where you rolled the ball to make the guy run. 

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:26 PM, manetteska said:

What did you do as part of the Advisory Board? Do you know if they still have one now?

Just gave some pre launch advice.    Its probably not appropriate for me to give details but mainly around the basics.   What should an 8 grade look like versus a 9, etc.    Nothing scintillating, I can tell you that.

The board never formally met and to my knowledge post launch but prior to the acquisition by the group Turner is involved with, I don't believe there was a board.   May well be one now, post-aquisition, but I couldn't speak to that.

The point is... videos like this tend to assume the worst and not ask questions.   That's no way to arrive at the truth.

Edited by Bronty
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On 8/24/2021 at 11:18 AM, Bird said:

I would destroy any and all at most any game in the 1970s/early 1980s. At the arcade. I ate a free sub every saturday for high score at the local deli, he made me not put a score up until sat morning. changed games, it didn't matter.

Crazy Climber was my jam. Some kid in town was convinced I had the world high score, he saw something on tv and I had beaten that. I was VERY good at that. all that wrist work paid off.

I was a Donkey Kong guy, Congorilla could throw me.

Defender? Come back in 10 minutes.

I was good at asteroids/meteor but there were older kids then who could play forever on a quarter.

Home video never grabbed me. Pinball on atari may have been my favorite (missile command rocked too). I could play that pinball all day long. Real pinball was awesome, the local pharmacy bought the adjacent store and made it a pinball arcade. this was about 1974 and it stayed open about a decade. I loved the Elton John Captain Fantastic pinball machine! I look for that one when I see the new arcade with the old games.
 

 

I could play defender for hours on one quarter

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It's pretty bad for WATA to state that no employee is allowed to have their own games graded for sale and then two of WATA's directors did just that -- with a massive video game haul that they acquired and WATA turned into a pedigreed collection that sold for record prices. Actually, it's not just pretty bad, it's a conflict of interest that wades deep into fraud territory. (I've said this forever about Halperin's financial interest in CGC, back in the day).

For eight years I've been on the board of directors of a museum that has an annual art auction. Each year I have to sign an affidavit stating any and all financial interests related to the museum and if there's a conflict, I'm removed from the board. Clearly, WATA has no such ethical considerations. 

Halperin being an advisor is one thing. These other guys being directors is another, much larger, involvement in the company. 

 

 

 

Edited by MatterEaterLad
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As I see it, when you are starting a grading co in what is at that time a small and poorly funded market, either:

1) you reach out to the community, get to know people, and end up with some perceived conflicts, or

2) you reach out to no one, stay in your bubble, have zero conflicts, and zero chance of success.

You can criticize various things about wata, I don't agree with some of the positions they've taken myself.    But one thing that's really above reproach is the incredible - just superlative - job Deniz did at reaching out not just to the game community but to the world at large to spread the message and get more people interested in collecting games.    They always had the mindset of growing the pie rather than trying to steal someone else's slice of the pie, and I think they did an admirable job of that.

IMO that's the single biggest piece of their success, and its been well earned.   Communicating what is to many people a new hobby and getting them excited about it to a point where they actually take the leap is not an easy thing to do.   Deniz is a terrific communicator and has been a great ambassador.    

You can argue about the look of the case, or the perceived conflict, or the turnaround times, or the definition of pedigree, or whatever floats your boat but credit where credit is due:   they did a phenomenal job in promoting the hobby.    THAT was their focus.   Not this other stuff.

Edited by Bronty
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On 8/24/2021 at 1:15 PM, MatterEaterLad said:

These other guys being directors is another, much larger, involvement in the company. 

They're just doing what CGC did.  CGC said they wouldn't allow employees to commercially buy/sell CGC graded books.  Voila, Haspel is a consultant, not an employee.  

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On 8/24/2021 at 3:05 PM, Transplant said:

They formed a non-profit just to PROMOTE the hobby!  That's so magnanimous.  :baiting:

 

I never said that, obviously its also good business!  So what?  

Never mind, enjoy the conspiracy theories.   I hear the moon landing was faked as well.

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On 8/24/2021 at 3:10 PM, Bronty said:

I never said that, obviously its also good business!  So what?  ,

Never mind, enjoy the conspiracy theories.   I hear the moon landing was faked as well.

So the entire video is a conspiracy (which you haven't watched all the way through) but there are a lot of odd coincidences that the creator accurately points out especially with the coin bubble in the 80s. 

Also, you state you were involved with WATA in the past.  Seems a little hard to be independent in that situation?

Honestly I don't really buy WATA stuff so I don't really have much skin in this game but something smells off with all the companies discussed from an outsider's perspective.  

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