Sunday, March 7, 2010

Clues to Collecting #6

Question: Since this post was about some differences that occur in Nancy Drew PC's, I thought this would be a good place to ask my question. I've noticed that many 1962 first printings of the ND PC books seem to have good quality covers that are shinier than later matte covers and stay cleaner. Also, the colors are very intense. These books are really beautiful!

However, I do have some first printing PC's from 1962 that are VERY dull and dark looking. Even though they are in excellent condition as far as wear and tear goes, and they appear to be clean, the cover is not as smooth as the shinier ones, it has a rough feel to it, it is dull, and kind of foxed (I guess) throughout, so that all the colors appear darker and subdued. There usually are some brown spots but not many, just a general "browning" on these covers. The inside pages are fine. The color difference on the spine is amazing. The shinier covers are still bright yellow, while the dull covers are yellowish-brown. They aren't faded from being exposed to too much sunlight, they are "browned".

Is there any explanation for the difference since they are all first printings from 1962? I have two Ringmaster's Secret books, and they both have the same dull covers.

Answer: I know that different materials were used for some of the printings from the early 1960s. As far as I know, the same bindery in Kingsport, Tennessee was used for all of the 1960s Nancy Drew books. They must have had different suppliers for the boards, etc., and some of the suppliers had poor quality materials.

The $1 box edition PCs tend to have the bad materials. They tend to have really heavy wear and discoloration because the materials used were shoddy.

The book club edition PCs (the ones that have the blank yellow back covers and are stated book club editions on the title pages) are almost always found in horrible shape. I don't even like the book club edition PCs very much because of how horrible they usually look. They tend to be foxed, have stains all over the covers, and have heavy wear to the edges of the boards.

I don't have a definite answer, but different materials were used to build the books, and certain printings are the ones that got the materials that were of poor quality.

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Question: Have you ever seen a Nancy Drew picture cover book with red ink on the top of the pages instead of blue? In a lot that I bought recently, I received a copy of Bungalow (latest cover art) like this. It lists to Cookbook and Double Jinx on the back, so it must be a 70's printing. No internal lists. This was a first for me and I haven't been able to find any reference to this abnormality anywhere. I wonder if it's "RARE"? ;)

Answer: I think it is just volumes 1, 2, and 3 that had the red ink on the top page edges for perhaps one printing in the 1970s. There are some special boxed sets from the 1970s that have a purple Halloween-type design one them, and I think the books came from those boxed sets. Here are some pictures from the Nancy Drew Sleuth website:

Boxed Set

Another Boxed Set

I own a copy of the second boxed set, and the books have the red ink on the top page edges. This is why I think the books with the red ink originally came from these boxed sets. I have once or twice found one of the books mixed in with regular editions like you did.

Since the books probably had just one printing, they are definitely scarce. People do collect them. I don't think the books alone are worth much more than an ordinary copy, unless they are still with the original boxed set. The boxed sets have sometimes sold for $50 or more each. It is possible to get a bargain for one of the boxed sets by searching carefully.

Now if you were going to sell them on eBay, you would say that they are "extremely, unbelievably RARE" and "never before seen by anyone." ;)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

My copies in the boxed set you referenced, are not red-topped. They are books 1-3 but they list to Crocodile Island for 1 and 2 and then Parchment for 3.

But I believe those "haunted house" boxes were used over a period of time so the books inside may vary.

Jenn:)