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Gen Con 2004

Our second year in Indianapolis validated the successful transition of the Gen Con game convention and auction from Milwaukee to our new facilities in the heart of Indiana. Auction setup was made easy as we were again located in the Capitol Ballroom of the Westin Hotel. The wonderful convention services staff of the Westin were quick to serve all of the event’s requirements. The percentage of items pre-registered online was up significantly from 2003, making onsite data entry less tedious. The success of this and of our Advanced Partial Payouts™ system make the Gen Con game auction the premiere live game auction in the entire hobby.

Here are some of the statistics from this year’s auction:

  • 598 total registered participants (buyers and sellers).
  • Over 50 regular core staff and new onsite volunteers working the auction.
  • 9,367 items consigned to the auction or auction store.
  • 6,133 items sold onstage or through the auction store.
  • $83,678.75 gross sales generated.
  • $13.64 average selling price per item.
  • The Friday and Saturday evening collector sessions both run past midnight with extreme competition for the rarities consigned to the auction.
  • Auction volunteer “Big Lips” makes a “Big Hit” when he does a “Quick Flip” of three sealed packs of “Summer Magic” boosters putting a fast $1500.00 profit in his pocket.

Here are the top selling items from this year’s auction:

  1. $3400.00     Summer Magic cards (3 packs)
  2. $3000.00     Rod of 7 Parts RPGA tourney manuscript
  3. $1400.00     D&D brown box (nice condition)
  4. $1000.00     Dragon magazine 1-237, StratPreview 1-7, & other misc. similar
  5. $ 710.00     Set of painted FRP minis (Aces Charity Auction speed-painting, proceeds to the Make-a-Wish Foundation)
  6. $ 700.00     Gypsy (RPGA tourney) manuscript
  7. $ 700.00     Original pen & ink art by Larry Elmore (proceeds to the Make-a-Wish Foundation)
  8. $ 700.00     Hand-made Diplomacy set (wood; like the one at Origins that only brought $375)
  9. $ 700.00     Great Bugbear Hunt RPGA tourney manuscript
  10. $ 625.00     Spring Fever RPGA tourney manuscript
  11. $ 600.00     Bigby’s Tomb RPGA tourney manuscript
  12. $ 600.00     Crystal Caste Dice set, Wooly Mammoth (like one at Origins that brought $700)
  13. $ 600.00     D&D brown box (good condition)
  14. $ 500.00     Summer Magic, individual packs (3, price is per pack, then resold an hour later as one lot, #1 above)
  15. $ 450.00     Titan / Gorgonstar, near-mint
  16. $ 420.00     TSR newsletter Random Events set
  17. $ 325.00     Fairy Mound RPGA manuscript (Jim Ward archive)
  18. $ 325.00     R2 Hydell RPGA product, shrink
  19. $ 325.00     Riddle of the Ring, unapproved Tolkien card/boardgame 1983
  20. $ 325.00     Magic collectors’ edition brick/shrink
  21. $ 320.00     Titan / Gorgonstar, condition very good, with Battlelands expansion mixed in
  22. $ 290.00     Talisman Dragons expansion, in box
  23. $ 275.00     Palace Vampire Queen, near mint but no outer folder
  24. $ 260.00     Cthulhu manuscript pre-publication (TSR/AD&D DDG)
  25. $ 260.00     Battlelands of Titan expansion, mint
  26. $ 255.00     RoboRally & all expansions (WotC)
  27. $ 220.00     Blood Bowl Demo/Original 3D display
  28. $ 220.00     Longest Day (Avalon Hill), unpunched
  29. $ 220.00     Shadis magazine #1-5 printer’s paste-ups

Special thanks go out to Jane Zoet for coordinating personnel, housing, food and drinks, and a million bits of minutia over hundreds of hours to make the auction the smooth and successful event that we all love.

Finally, from the entire auction staff, a big thank you to all the participants, regulars and newbies. Without your support the auction would not be the featured traditional Gen Con event that has captured hearts and imagination for decades.

Gen Con SoCal 2003


Yes, that’s right…$95,000.00!

That was the winning bid at the Gen Con So Cal Game Convention auction for an original shipping case (10 sealed display boxes) of the first Magic: The Gathering expansion: Arabian Nights.

A constant stream of visitors to the auction ogled the fantastic display in the showcase. Members of the auction staff were (unsuccessfully) prodded to reveal details regarding this amazing consignment. Did it belong to Peter Adkison, the owner of Gen Con and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast? How could a full case have survived the ten years of collectors’ euphoria and playing this first ever (and very limited) printing of Magic? How many serious bidders were there and what were the prices being discussed? Is it true that Saddam Hussein was caught by triangulation of his cellular telephone as he was bidding on the case?

On Saturday night shortly after 9:30pm, after an amazing and poignant introduction of the consignment by Peter Adkison himself (in full costume!), the auction for the case of Arabian Nights “bricks” commenced. There were several proxy bidders who requested that their bids be removed because they wanted to bid in person. The proxy sign was in place onstage for one bidder who was not present. And there was a telephone bidder communicating with an auction staff member.

Lead auctioneer Frank Mentzer began the bidding at a mere $1,000, for which everyone in the room raised their bid cards. Then it got serious. Frank set the bid increments higher as the auction progressed. By the time the bidding reached $70,000, Frank had to admit that he had never seen numbers this high in all the years he has been auctioneering.

The proxy bidder sign onstage dropped after $90,000. The next increment brought the high bid to $95,000. There was a pregnant pause as confirmation was made with the telephone bidder. Yes! That bidder was still in! Once…twice…fair warning…SOLD! The room erupted in cheers!

Teri’s note: I was taking video on my digital camera and got the entire bidding sequence. When Frank shouted “SOLD!”, I turned the camera to pan the room and get a shot of the auction staff member talking to the telephone bidder. My camera ran out of memory right then. I turned my head back to the stage to see Frank’s head down on the table; he was clearly overwhelmed (and I wish I could’ve gotten that photo)! And I later overheard someone say that Peter (sitting in the audience) had turned white with shock!

So indeed, the one absolute that got answered that night was $95,000.00 was paid by a telephone bidder for the extremely rare full case. Scrye magazine, a leading price guide for collectible card games, listed the value in their January 2004 issue as ranging from $67,500.00 to $87,500.00 based on the per-“sealed display” price.

Teri’s note: The next day, we ran into Peter as the convention was winding down. He was still overwhelmed by the previous night’s events, and let us in on a little tidbit. The $95,000 bid was more than what he paid for the entire Arabian Nights print run!

Here are some of the other top prices paid for items in the auction:

  • $550.00  Set of 7 fossilized “Dinosaur Dice” in a lockable wooden display case by Crystal Caste.
  • $220.00  “To the Aid of Falx” RPGA Module R1 in original shrink-wrap.
  • $180.00  “Dune” RPG Hardbound Rules Set by Last Unicorn Games and autographed in person at the auction by the author, Owen Seyler.
  • $165.00  “Talisman” boxed 2nd Ed. by Games Workshop.

With the success of the auction and the great venue chosen by Gen Con LLC, we are certain that next year’s auction will be even bigger and better.

The Gen Con auction staff wishes to thank everyone who attended and made successful the inaugural auction at Gen Con So Cal this year. Special thanks go to Peter Adkison and the entire Gen Con LLC staff for their continued active support for the best game convention auctions anywhere.

Gen Con 2003

The 2003 Gen Con Game Auction was a success in Indianapolis!

Excitement was in the air as the auction staff arrived to host the first-ever Gen Con game auction at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. To say that the new facilities are “large” for Gen Con at the Indiana Convention Center would be an understatement. The convention center is huge, beautiful, and conveniently linked to eight different hotels by way of skywalks.

Several of the outlying hotels hosted events, and the Auction itself was placed in the Capitol Ballroom in the Westin. Again, the Westin is just across the street from the convention center and easily accessible by way of the 2nd floor skywalk.

We were extremely pleased to see many former Milwaukee regulars and Origins auction customers at the first Indy auction.

Here are some of the numbers generated:

  • 637 total registered participants (buyers and sellers).
  • 40 regular auction staff volunteers working the auction.
  • 9,921 items consigned to the auction or auction store.
  • 7,419 items sold in the auction or from the auction store.
  • $77,145.00 gross sales amount.
  • $10.40 average selling price per item.
  • 50 hours of live auctioneering in just four days!
  • Friday night’s collector session runs until 2:00am Saturday!
  • Saturday night’s collector session runs until 1:00am Sunday!
  • The “traveling Kriegspiel” with full provenance (traditionally the last item sold at every Gen Con auction) sells to Jeffrey Lunsford at a record price of $88.00!

The top valued items sold:

  1. $650.00     The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (original tournament module for Winter Con V) by TSR
  2. $625.00     Titan: The Monster Slugathon (with Borderlands Expansion) by Gorganstar
  3. $590.00     Dinosaur Dice: Boxed Presentation Set by Crystal Caste
  4. $550.00     Ten Speed-Painted Figures for the Aces Charity Auction
  5. $500.00     Palace of the Vampire Queen, 1st Printing
  6. $350.00     Magic: The Gathering Revised Edition Sealed Booster Box
  7. $220.00     Tom Wham’s Last Bolotomus Pelt Plush
  8. $185.00     Broadsides & Boarding Parties by Milton Bradley
  9. $180.00     Lizardmen (Boxed Warhammer Army)
  10. $180.00     Dark Tower by Milton Bradley

The auction was smooth as silk thanks to our 40 regular staff members who worked long and hard to ensure a well-run event. Based on this first auction in Indianapolis, we are all looking forward to a long and successful run for the future in this city.

We thank all of our loyal customers for participating in the auction and continuing to make it a highlight event at the Gen Con gaming convention!

Gen Con 2002

The 2002 Gen Con Game Auction set new records across the auction spectrum!

Hopes ran high for a large turnout at the 2002 Gen Con Game Auction. Many factors converged to make this one of, if not the greatest game convention auctions ever! Gen Con was under the new ownership of Peter Adkison, the former CEO of Wizards of the Coast. This was to be the last Gen Con convention in Milwaukee, moreover, the last Gen Con in the state of Wisconsin for the foreseeable future. The auction was finally given its due by being moved into the Midwest Express Convention Center after years of being two blocks away in Kilbourn Hall. All these factors contributed to the overwhelming success of this year’s game auction!

Here are some of the unreal statistics:

  • 870 total registered participants (buyers and sellers)
  • 36 regular auction staff volunteers working the auction
  • 11,007 items consigned to the auction or auction store
  • 8,228 items sold in the auction or from the auction store
  • $105,284.00 gross sales amount
  • $12.80 average selling price per item
  • 49 hours of live auctioneering in just over three days!
  • Friday night’s collector session runs until 3:00am Saturday!
  • The “traveling Kriegspiel” with full provenance sells to William Griffin, age 7, to a standing ovation as the last item sold at a Milwaukee Gen Con game auction!

The top valued items sold:

  1. $1600.00 C2: Ghost Tower of Inverness (original tournament module) by TSR
  2. $1350.00 C1: The Lost Tamoachan (original tournament module) by TSR
  3. $ 800.00 S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (pre-release manuscript) by TSR
  4. $ 750.00 Dungeons & Dragons (brown wood grain box set) by TSR
  5. $ 530.00 Rahasia by Daystar West
  6. $ 525.00 Quest for the Fazzlewood (2nd) by TSR
  7. $ 480.00 RPGA1: Rahasia by TSR
  8. $ 450.00 RPGA2: Black Opal Eye by TSR
  9. $ 380.00 Magic: The Gathering Revised Ed. Sealed booster display by WOTC
  10. $ 375.00 The Ringbearer by Little Soldier

What a fitting goodbye to the City of Milwaukee for the many years of great service to the Gen Con game convention! What a terrific lead-in to Indianapolis in 2003! Hope to see you all there!


Origins 2002

The 2002 Origins Game Auction was another huge success!

After organizing the last six Origins Game Auctions (1997 to 2002), The Weekend Warrior Game Company and the Auction Staff, thank all the many buyers and sellers who continue to make the Origins Game Auction one of the featured events at the entire convention.

After placing the Origins National Gaming Convention at the wonderful Columbus, Ohio Convention Facilities in 1996, GAMA and the host operations groups have continued to grow the convention into one of the premier events in the Adventure Gaming Hobby.

This year, GAMA selected to organize and administer the convention directly without subcontracting the tough job to another company. Luckily GAMA had “Super” Dave Radzik, a well-known name in the industry and experienced convention organizer at the operational helm. Dave did his usual “super” job!

As for the auction…

  • 422 total registered participants (buyers and sellers)
  • 2612 items consigned to the auction
  • 2583 items sold at the auction
  • $36,325.00 gross sales amount
  • $14.08 average selling price per item

The top valued items sold:

  1. $725.00 “Meteorite Dice” Set of 5 (virtually unique) by Crystal Caste
  2. $470.00 “Command Magazine” Issues #1-#44 complete, unpunched
  3. $360.00 “Talisman” 3rd edition set with expansions
  4. $350.00 “Origins Special Package- Warhamster Wiz Kids Style”
  5. $270.00 “Innocence Abroad” Parker Brothers
  6. $220.00 “Campaign for North Africa” SPI unpunched
  7. $220.00 “War Between the States” SPI unpunched
  8. $200.00 “Flying Fortress” Poultron Press
  9. $170.00 “War in Europe” SPI
  10. $155.00 “Korsun Pocket” People’s War Games

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