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Thread: Vintage computer prices.

  1. #1

    Default Vintage computer prices.

    A while back I was thinking of getting a KIM-1 computer. One reason was that I found an article where the KIM could be used in a project to program the MM5204 UV eproms used in my SOL-20. I was about to do it, then I discovered the Eberhard programmer, so I got that instead.

    Looking at KIM-1 boards, they generally appear to sell for around $500 to $1000, which seems a lot when its just a pcb & parts, unlike say a SOL 20 where for a little more you get a case, keyboard & power supply etc. I think some of the KIM-1 boards out there might be replicas, in the same way the Apple 1 pcb got replicated, but I am not sure.

    I recently saw a KIM-1 that comes with a cassette deck and a peripheral pcb, but that has increased the price to nearly $10,000, but it does say make an offer:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1976-MOS-KI...kAAOSwdWBXPKG9


    I wonder why there is such a large price range on these, maybe the very early ones are more collectible/valuable ?

  2. #2
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    Heres the thing, Id LOVE a KIM-1. But they are RARE. They can actually use the tern "RARE" unlike most things on eBay. Yes 10 grande is absurd and unrealistic. But 2 grande or slightly less maybe isn't.

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    Prices on collectables come and go. cf. Beanie Babies and comic books.

  4. #4
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    Ten years or so ago you could pick up a KIM-1 on eBay for under $200. $10k is totally absurd but they have seem to have gone up in price a lot more than some of the other systems of the era.

  5. #5
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    No comment on what a KIM-1 is actually “worth” as a collector’s item, but offhandedly I will observe that it might not be the best ancient computer to actually try to use recreationally today. My vague recollection is the KIM-1 relies on a pair of mask-programmed RRIOT chips that probably are basically irreplaceable. (I think it may be technically possible to use a daughter board with a generic RIOT and an EPROM to make the machine run again, but that would no doubt ding the resale value.)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Prices on collectables come and go. cf. Beanie Babies and comic books.
    high grade comics from the 30s to the 60s _only_ appreciate in value. A trend that began in the early 70s and continues through today. One of the soundest investments there are. Not every comic book qualifies. When I was about 12, my mother's coworker asked me to assess a stack of comics she procured. All but 1 was of the Disney variety, barely worth anything. But in the stack was the 3rd appearance of Antman. I asked if I could have that as "payment". She said yes. It was easily worth 10 - 15 x, maybe 20 - 30 x what the others were. There's this fascination with costumed superhumans. A lot of people growing up read Master of Kung Fu, Rawhide Kid and the like. These also are worth nowhere near what the superhero variety commands.

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    Maybe for some comic books, but not for them all. How are the Beanie Babies doing?

  8. #8
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    Not every coin, baseball card, car, painting, etc. commands a high price. That's besides the point. Of course it's the most rare, most sought after, most inspiring specimens that command excessive value. When I was a kid, the top 3 highest value comics were Marvel #1, Action #1 (first Superman), and Detective #27 (first Batman), in that order. That inverted in the 90s due to the Batman movies, which no one wants anything to do with anymore. Can't tell you what order those 3 occupy these days, but undoubtedly those are still the most valuable 3. And a high grade copy of each will fetch millions.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Maybe for some comic books, but not for them all. How are the Beanie Babies doing?
    The early comic books that are worth a ton of money of they are from a very popular series and are early releases in mint condition. The same goes for early baseball cards.

    The market for most collectables went to hell when companies sold them as collectors and made them in the millions.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  10. #10
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    In the end, collectibles are worth what someone will pay for them. Be it because they want that particular thing for personal reasons and are willing to pay more than the next guy or because they are told it is worth X, it still comes down to what someone is willing to pay.

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