eBay Watch: August 2008

August 2008. I’ve tried to focus on some more unusual stuff this month, tried to change things up a bit. And sorry this is late, but I’ve been studying for one of my Apple certification exams, so I haven’t had much spare time. I passed it yesterday though with a score of 98%, so I’m pretty stoked. And the funny thing about August, there were more big-ticket decks in the 70s and 90s sections than in the 80s. Unusual that. Probably a first.

August 2008. I’ve tried to focus on some more unusual stuff this month, tried to change things up a bit. And sorry this is late, but I’ve been studying for one of my Apple certification exams, so I haven’t had much spare time. I passed it yesterday though with a score of 98%, so I’m pretty stoked. And the funny thing about August, there were more big-ticket decks in the 70s and 90s sections than in the 80s. Unusual that. Probably a first.

This month’s Baywatch is fueled by the 25th Anniversary re-release of the first Chameleons album, “Script of the Bridge”. I can’t believe that it’s been a quarter century, and I guess that means I’ve been in the States for that long too, because that album came out when I first got to Champaign in 83. I hurried down to Record Swap and bought it from Charlie. If you’ve never heard The Chameleons then this album is essential, and they’ve remastered it for this release and added some unreleased and live stuff. The remastered tracks sound fantastic: they’ve really beefed and cleaned up the original muddy mix: it is like listening to some of these tracks for the first time. Funnily enough this was not one of my favorite Chameleons albums. I had been watching them live since 1981, and so I knew all of these songs already, plus that’s what the album is: a compilation of most of their early songs. It doesn’t have much cohesion, and the songs don’t flow well together in my opinion. That being said, it’s still a fantastic album, but I do prefer their second album, “What Does Anything Mean, Basically”.

60s, 70s, early 80s.

Somebody just sent me an email about this deck. Sorry I didn’t get back to you, but you can look at this one. It’s the Alva “splatter” from 1979ish, complete with ACS Lite II trucks and red Kryptonics. The top of the deck looks awesome, but underneath it’s showing its age. Not bad though. $536.

And from the same period comes this Alva leopard print. Big difference though: this is a more desirable deck, and it’s NOS. It has rails, but that’s basically it. Man, this thing is awesome. And the price shows how awesome it is: $3,000 with a Buy It Now. If the auction had run its course it might well have gone higher.

You thought that was a lot? Well here’s a Powell Peralta Beamer, again from 1979ish. This thing is a complete with Tracker Extracks and Powell Bones flatbacks, three in yellow and one in orange. It has the original clear die cut pizza grip on top, and original Powell nosebone and tailbone. It has been ridden, but not much as it looks basically super clean. This is a museum piece. How does $3,250 suit you?

And talking of Powell Bones flatbacks, here’s a mint set. You never see these mint, and the used ones I’ve seen have always been the white or yellow color, not this red. But here they are. $202 seems pretty cheap to me actually, and funnily enough the same guy that won the two Alvas above won them. Maybe he’s going to set the leopard Alva up with these.

Now this is a nice display piece. It’s a vintage 1965 Hobie Super Surfer along with Vol 1 #4 of Skateboarder Magazine, and a Hobie sticker, all in a handmade display case. The case has plexiglass over the top, and it looks simply awesome. Who wouldn’t want to have this hanging in their living room? $411.

Here’s a Z-Flex Jay Adams Z-Woody from 1977. It’s never been drilled, and it still has the original die cut griptape. Man, this thing is as cherry as it gets. Very, very nice. $1000.

And talking of Z-flex Jay Adams models, here’s one of his “regular” fiberglass models, but in a very unusual white colorway. The trucks are ACS 651s, and the wheels are original OJs. This thing is totally mint and looks freaking great, and is most unusual. $960. HOWEVER, on reading the feedback, the buyer claims that the deck is fake, so now I’m not sure. Anybody? It looks legit.

Ooh, here’s your classic checkerboard Santa Cruz Steve Olson from the very early 80s. It’s used and a little beaten up as you can see, but it’s still an iconic deck, and this would display beautifully. $699 seems like a fair price. Santa Cruz has just reissued this deck, with the original mold, including wheel wells; so if you can’t afford this price for an original, buy the reissue. Classic.

Mid 1980s

Here we have a Schmitt Stix “All Terrain Vehicle” team deck from 1987. This one is mint and flawless in a stunning cherry red stain. Just looks at this thing! It’s an awesome looking deck that would have been overlooked at the time. Schmitt put out some quality planks that’s for sure. $480. And may I say kudos to the seller. Great looking photographs including this angled shot. You made my job just a little bit easier. . .

Now this one confused the hell out of me. Everybody loves the G7S Blender “coffee guy”, but this basically perfect model went unsold for weeks as the price dropped and dropped. It went off in the end for $385, which is a steal for a board of this quality. It’s complete with Indys and Santa Cruz Bullets. Why so low? Well I guess it’s because this was a “distributor model” Blender that had the G&S logo and a graphic of a blender printed in the pants. Personally I think that adds to the board. Damnit, now I wish I’d bought it. I kept watching it, ready to strike if it dropped anymore, but too late.

Up next we have this rather tasty Sims Buck Smith “one buck” deck from 1989. It’s in a “toxic silver dip”, and does look rather grand I must admit. Neon colors, great screen work. That is one sharp deck. $200 was all it went for.

There was recently a debate on Skullandbones about Gator, or more precisely the Gator “swirl” graphic. Some were of the opinion that skate companies should never use that graphic ever again because of the connotations. I’m of the opinion that he didn’t create the graphic, and he’s not getting any benefit from its use, so why not take it back from him? Anyway, this is a nice example of a later model Gator swirl. It’s been drilled but show little wear. The green and red really pop off of this deck. A nice used example of this deck. $299.

Ah yes, the Skull Skates Hackett “street sicle” from 1989. There is a big market out there for vintage Skull Skates stuff, but this one is well used, and is one of the crappiest shapes that they even put out: the shovel nosed street sicle. The colors are vivid however, and the graphic is decent. It probably displays better than t skated. It went for $198, which is about what I’d expect.

So many of these sell every month that I’m surprised that there is still a market for them. Yup, the Santa Cruz Jason Jessee Neptune, this one in a very nice white dip. The neon graphics really pop off of it. Seriously, there are so many around that I’m surprised that it has kept its value, but apparently it has: $1,500.

This auction is for these two JFA decks: the JFA pig and the shovel nosed Don Lincoln model. They were discovered in a box at the HQ of Placebo Records, and the box is shown in the auction. They have some storage marks, but are basically NOS. Good condition, not perfect. It’s a chance to get 2 rare decks at the same time. Perfect for the JFA fan obviously. $560.

In the debate for worst graphic of all time, this one has to rank near the top. It’s the Sims Lester Kasai “clown” deck from 1985. I don’t know if it’s the stupid shape, the childish graphics or the poor use of colors, but whatever it is, I have always hated this deck. It screams “toy store board” to me. Not to be taken seriously. Crap. $224.

I’ll tell you what, the later period Powell Peralta McGills are jumping in price. Once upon a time it had to be the skull and snake: all of the later decks couldn’t draw flies. Then people discovered the aquarium, and now that sells for big cash. Now we have this one from 1990, the street sized Fish, which is ironic because McGill never really skated street. It looks really bright in the pink stain, and is obviously NOS. Overall it’s a nice looking plank. $228. I guess the Stinger will be next.

Here we have hat I like to call “the eBay special”. A used complete that you’ve never seen before. It’s a Zorlac Metallica deck, but set up with 3 sets of trucks and 6 wheels for some unknown reason. I have no idea why somebody would do this: it looks like a half-track troop carrier they used in WWII! The back trucks are Gullwings and the front trick is Ozi (?). The auction is based in Australia, so I assume it was an Aussie brand. The wheels are Ratbones. Not only does it have 3 trucks and 6 wheels, it also has nose and tail guard, rails, short rails, 3 copers and a lapper, making this perhaps the heaviest skateboard ever put together. When doing a grind, which back truck would grind first? Assuming you could actually get this board anywhere near the coping that is. . . . Anyway, the person buying this got a steal, because the whole thing sold for $85. Hell, stripped down the deck alone is worth at least $300. It looks to be in great shape.

Now, you might know this Steve Rocco graphic as being his first on his version of SMA, which later became World. However, he actually came up with this graphic in his last days at Sims, and a few decks were actually produced. This is one of them, a Sims Steve Rocco from 1987. Not mint, but in pretty good used condition. Very, very rare. $660.

Here’s a Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp “eye” from 1989. It’s a typical Roskopp face themed graphic, but there is something about this deck that makes it better than the other ones IMHO. It would have been cool if they’d done a left and right eye so you could mount them side-by-side. Then maybe a nose and a mouth deck so hung as a set they’d make a face. Hold up, get SC on the line, I’ve just had a million dollar idea!!!! $875.

Now there are a million Santa Cruz Salba tigers out there, but most are on wood stain. Dipped tigers are more rare and collectible, and this purple dip is no exception. I really like it. The yellow flames really pop on the purple: it outlines everything much better than the wood stain does. $1,115.

Now here’s one you don’t see every day. It’s an Uncle Wiggley John Schultes deck from 1987. It’s John’s first deck, and was on the typical Uncle Wiggley blend of epoxy and glass. They made some tough decks. Unused but was drilled for a nose guard apparently, so the “near mint” claim by the seller isn’t quite accurate. The graphic of the faces appears to be reversed here. $300.

OK, this deck might hypnotize you, or at least make you dizzy. It’s a Santa Cruz Road/Street deck from around 1984. The amazing graphics scream 1980s. Man, the guys screening this must have come out half blind by the end! That’s some amazing detailed work there. That’s a very intricate graphic for a team deck. $250.

Here we have a Powell Peralta “skull and sword” team model from 1984. It had been Ray “Bones” Rodriguez’s graphic, but he left so they kept it for a team deck instead, and rightly so because it’s one of the most classic graphics of all time. This one is close to mint, and although not as rare as the Ray Rodriguez model, it’s still a superb piece. $1,200.

Finally from the 80s this month we have this Madrid “thruster” model from 1983. Yes, the graphic is crappy, but it’s crappy in a great way. It’s from a time when graphics were only starting to become a big deal, and companies sometimes put simple graphics of skate tricks of the day on there. That is the case with this Madrid deck. The skater looks like he’s mid frontside rock, which is reason enough to buy it. At the time you’d have completely ignored this deck in the skate shop, but now it’s a charming reminder of a simpler time. $180.

90s-today

Some really expensive decks went off from the 90s this month, and like I’ve said before, decks from the 90s are really exploding in value. First up is this Ricky Carmichael X Games 14 deck. It’s a Powell mini logo deck hand painted by Ricky Carmichael. Who? I know, I asked the same thing too. I guess he’s a motocross legend. Motocross fanes around the country are holding their heads in disbelief right now, but there’s just as many if not more out there who have no idea who this chap is. Anyway, people must really value his stuff, because this deck went for $860.

A reader or two have remarked that I don’t put enough H-Street decks in, so here’s one for you guys. It’s a H-Street Colby Carter “cactus” from 1990/91. I really like the split wood stain, and the graphic is great too. That’s a sharp looking deck. $285.

And from just a couple of years ago we have this set of 5 decks from Enjoi. Jason Adams stenciled the decks, and they obviously jumped the gun a little by putting Hilary on there. Whoops! Now that might be a collector’s item in years to come! Or she might end up being President at some point anyway. It’s a great looking set whatever your political affiliation happens to be. $200. Seems like s steal. I’d jump on this one.

Here’s another split stain on the bottom of a deck. This time it’s on a Fishlips Gator “7-11” deck. Yes it was Gator’s last deck before he went officially batshit crazy. The top is even better: it’s a tri-stain! The owner of Fishlips was another victim of Gator’s madness. He had everything he owned leveraged on signing Gator and releasing this deck. Gator went bonkers and the owner lost it all.

Hook-Ups decks used to be kind of a dirty joke. Collectors had them but purely for the Benny Hill factor. Now believe it or not they are actually jumping in value. A few went off in August, but here’s two examples, because basically they all feature the same booby chick but in different outfits. The top Firehouse Girl deck went for $270, and the Space Hoes deck below it went for $257. Sooner or later these will break the $500 barrier, and boob lovers everywhere will rejoice.

And here’s the deck that started the whole Hook Ups phenomenon. It’s a World Industries Jeremy Klein “dream girl” from 1991. As Klein says in Disposable, “I love Asian chicks, so the dream girl graphic pretty much reflects what I’m into.” SO into it in fact that he started Hook-ups a couple of years later. This really nice example is NOS, and looks exceptional on the dark wood stain. $800.

Here we have a Blind Guy Mariano “Accidental Gun Death” from 1992. The deck is featured prominently on the Preface page of Disposable, and is one of those infamous graphics from the early 90s. Completely and utterly taboo in every respect, but still eye catching and thought provoking nonetheless. A 90s classic for sure, and the price tag underlines that: $2,801.

And here’s another taboo subject portrayed on a skateboard graphic. It’s the 101 Natas “boom” graphic from 1991. It portrays the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding, and has the famous tagline “Oops” in the lower right hand corner. Virtually impossible to find mint or even close to it. This well used model went for $800, and that actually seems cheap. These hardly ever come around in any condition. It’s been copied a few times, but the original is still the best.

And here’s another rare one. It’s a Blind Jordan Richter “safety first” deck from 1992. The graphic shows how to put on a condom, and then shows the dirty deed, and the condom coming off afterwards. Personally I think it’s totally juvenile, but I guess it’s a highly sought after deck. $2,610.

And here’s another Blind deck from the same seller. This one is the Rudy Johnson “Olde English 40” deck from 1992. The deck features a graphic of a discarded bottle of Olde English and the subsequent car crash. Again, obvious and juvenile, but coveted by some to the tune of $1,100. Man that seller made a killing. The Mariano, the Richter and the Johnson. That’s a swift $6,500 from three decks. Nice.

Assorted Crap & Reissues!

Yes this Designarium Natas “kitten” redo only came out a couple of years ago. Yes they are hand signed and numbered by the man himself. Yes they are already worth $255.

OK, so you’ve got an old t-shirt from the early 80s. It’s been washed a billion times; it’s faded, stretched out and funky. Throw it out? Hell no. Put it on eBay. Then you might be $361 richer like this lucky fellow. Now, this is a rare t-shirt, and it might have only been given out to Powell team members It has 2 bombs on the sleeve, and supposedly that was a mark of “rank”. Still, you’ve paid $361 for this smelly old rag. What do you do with it now? Certainly not wear it. Put it in frame? Probably not. I’m betting it gets folded up and put in a draw.

This is a pretty decent sticker collection. I see a Natas sticker, Hawk, G&S, Bones dealer, Mike Vallely, Ken Park, Remy Stratton, Steve Saiz, Buck Smith. Fifty-six pieces in all for $202. Deal or no deal? You make the call.

And finally this month we have this hideous pair of Vans high tops from the 80s. Recently discovered in an old skateboard store they’ve just seen the light of day. You can see why they were ignored by the skater of the day, because frankly they are ridiculous, but these days people will buy anything “vintage”. $400. God help us all. . . .

See ya next month.

-Neil

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