Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Cereal Promotion

In 1978, select boxes of Cookie Crisp cereal had Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys paint books as premiums.  There are six different paint books.

The Cursed Jewels
The Eerie Castle

The Mad Scientist
The Sea Monsters
The Secret Cave
The Visitors from Tomorrow

I have never tried very hard to find the paint books, just because it has never been a priority.  Nevertheless, I do have a couple of them.

The Cookie Crisp cereal boxes with the paint book promotion are extremely scarce and very expensive.  I don't know what the current value is, but I suspect that the cereal boxes are still worth several hundred dollars each in the current market.  They are about impossible to find and would have been a good candidate for my blog post on the "Ten Rarest Nancy Drew Books and Collectibles."

Image from the Nancy Drew Sleuth blog

The above image is of one of the Cookie Crisp boxes and is from Jennifer Fisher's blog.  Please note that I am Jennifer White.

Recently, I spotted a partial cereal box with the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys promotion on eBay.  I almost didn't click on the listing because the seller placed a large white box with "EBAY" inside the image, which made it look not interesting.  Who is interested in something called "EBAY"? 

Someone had cut out the part of the box that contained the promotion, and the seller had that part of the box up for sale.  I immediately decided that I wanted to purchase this item.  I kept expecting other people to bid, but in the end, I was the only bidder on the auction and was able to purchase the partial box at a total cost of $5.74 including shipping.

Partial cereal box on eBay

Even though I only have part of the box, I believe that I got a bargain.

Since the paint books have never been a priority, I would never be someone who would pay hundreds of dollars for an intact cereal box.  It's just not that important to me.  However, getting a partial cereal box for less than $10 is perfect!

You will notice two bids on the auction, but both bids were me.  I bid at the beginning to keep the listing from being closed early.  I bid my true maximum at the very end of the auction.  I kept wondering why nobody else bid on the auction.  I have several ideas.

The seller's big white box placed over the image may have kept people from noticing the cereal box.  I almost scrolled past the image, and then quickly realized that I needed to take a closer look.  I'm glad I did.

Some people may have noticed the auction but chose not to bid because the cereal box was not complete.  I always take the view that I would rather have an imperfect rare collectible than go without having that rare collectible for years in hopes of getting one that is perfect.  Items like this are always worth buying, especially when they are cheap.

The auction closed on Sunday, December 1, which was over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  More than likely, a number of people did not notice the auction due to being distracted by the holiday.

Notice that my partial cereal box has a blue background and that Jennifer Fisher's box has a black background, so variations in the boxes exist.

1 comment:

keeline said...

In years past when the economy was strong and eBay encouraged individual sellers posting interesting things, the Thanksgiving weekend was a prime time to have an auction end. A lot of people would do casual searches of eBay to look up nostalgic items remembered during the Thanksgiving dinner.

For example, one year we thought about the aluminum Christmas trees mentioned in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and sure enough there were several (with and without color wheels) on eBay.

Over the years we've found prizes because of unusual searches and persistence that just happened to have little or no competition.

A piece of original art for a portion of Disneyland called Frontierland was overlooked because of a seller's misspelling to "Fontierland" and little other text.

A notepaper or cigarette metal souvenir from the 1939 NY World's Fair had only one other minimum bid. It was interesting because it was bought by Leslie McFarlane with his name and address copied from his handwriting. The other bid was from a series collector who put a "placeholder" bid on it and forgot to come back.

We once saw a paper dress advertising several 1970 20th Century-Fox films (including Tom Swift) go very high. We saw one again years later. Fortunately, the seller did not use the magic words of "paper dress" that would have brought buyers out of the woodworks. These ephemeral items have quite a following and what could have been four figures was only two. I was nervous waiting for that item to arrive.

Some sellers are afraid that their photos (slavish reproduction work not eligible for new copyright protection) will be copied for other auctions or blogs or price guide sites. Instead of putting a subtle watermark with Photoshop, they slap a giant thing like this to brand it saying "I'd rather not sell this item or let you see its potential flaws."

Once you get one of something, it's only a matter of time before relevance and good luck brings another one before you. This strange phenomenon is one of the reasons I'm willing to buy a low-condition copy of a scarce item. The chance to upgrade often presents itself. Some collectors want to buy any title once and they deny themselves this opportunity.