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"Final Disposition of Your Collection" Topic

30 Posts

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993 hits since 5 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Nov 2017 4:39 p.m. PST

I am sometimes approached by families looking to dispose of the wargaming collections left by a recently deceased relative.

Sadly, in my experience, the loved ones often have unreasonable expectations – that volunteers will gladly spend weekends evaluating the collection, or that the collection will sell for lots of money.

Therefore, I would suggest that each of us should spend some time discussing with our family members the 'true worth' of our collections, and what we would like done with them when we pass on.

People outside of our hobby often see our painted soldiers and imagine they are highly collectible, or think that because we have lavished hundreds of hours of time on our collections, that this adds value to them.

In many cases, you need to let them know that your collection should be given away to friends and local gamers, or sold at a convention flea market for not a lot of money. It brought you a great deal of happiness in your lifetime, but it is probably not a 'pot of gold' or grand inheritance for your family.

I have seen family members become bitter when they discover their inheritance is not going to bring them sudden wealth, or when they feel that gamers are trying to 'cheat them' by offering low amounts for armies and figures.

Therefore, please, evaluate your collection honestly and let your family know in advance.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

I keep meaning to put "photspots" on the plastic covers of the boardgames that are worth more sizable amounts due to topic and scarcity.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 5:19 p.m. PST

All my good stuff was stored together, sadly on the bottom drawers of my closets. So when Harvey came, everything below the 22" waterline that was painted was ruined.

What a waste in man-hours.

Lesson, never keep all your eggs together where they might all be lost at once.

What happens after I'm gone, my nephew has some idea of what figures are worth. He can keep or sell off as many as he wants.


Grelber05 Nov 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

One of our group died last Tuesday, and we're in the process of helping deal with his collection. He found buyers for some things and gave away others before he died. We need to get with his spouse and catalog and photograph the rest and try to get it sold for her. She and his kids are keeping a few figures that he painted to remember him by (we're looking at maybe 5 out of several thousand). He apparently talked with her before he died and let her know there would not be a massive windfall, so she's not expecting that.

Thinking about it, most of his stuff was pretty mainstream. Me, I've got things like Turks and Greeks that probably nobody would want to buy. Yes, I'm starting to worry about that.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 6:34 p.m. PST

The custom among my people is that some reasonably flush member writes the widow a check and then holds a general sale to limit his exposure. In extreme cases, someone sells the collection--in bits and pieces on line if necessary--for a percentage.

I'm working on paring my own down for something easier for my son to handle, and I've discussed dealers, probably buyers and overall value with him.

No guarantee this will work, of course.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian05 Nov 2017 7:39 p.m. PST

I'm holding out to the last minutes

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 8:06 p.m. PST

I've started to cataloge my collection and will soon organize it so my heirs can figure out what's what. I've added dollar amounts to most items to give them an idea of what the unpainted lead was worth.

It's not an easy task.

Captain Avatar05 Nov 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

I'm taking it with me.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 9:58 p.m. PST

So you are telling me that I'm supposed to let my wife know how much money I spent on toys? While I'm still breathing?

Rich Bliss05 Nov 2017 11:19 p.m. PST

My son (age 14) has already asked if I was leaving him my collection after I'm gone. I said "Yes, of course"

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 12:08 a.m. PST

@Der Alte Fritz. Nobody would dream of thinking that. No, they're just saying that a set of typed up, sealed instructions would be a good thing. Only to opened after your death plus 3 days (just in case…)

Black Hat Miniatures06 Nov 2017 3:26 a.m. PST

I had someone the other day say to me that he was worried his wife would sell his collection (of Toy Soldiers in this case) for what he'd told her he'd paid for it…

arthur181506 Nov 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

My will makes reference to a Letter of Wishes, lodged with my lawyer, which I can alter/update whenever I need to, detailing the intended recipients of my figures, books, prints &c.

As my wife has no interest in my hobby/collection, she is quite happy with that arrangement and has no expectation that it will bring her any monetary benefit.

panzerCDR06 Nov 2017 5:41 a.m. PST

My son gets it ALL. Then it's HIS problem.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 6:09 a.m. PST

My wife and daughter know the collection is not worth much. I've left instructions if I get hit by a bus, but assuming I make it to 90 like most of the men in my family I'll start thinning the herd long before then.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 7:34 a.m. PST

A friend of mine passed away with a large figure collection and lots of "collectible cars". He had no life insurance, expecting his family would sell,his collection and live off the proceeds. I helped by selling the figures (raised $5,000 USD in the historicon flea market, but not getting the $10 USD per figure he expected, more like two – three dollars for 25 mm figures). The family spent untold hours trying to sell on eBay. I strongly suggest people have insurance and not expect to gather A living off selling a collection.

For those of you, and me, who have a son to whom we would give our collection, how do we compensate for our daughters. Leave them our house and cars and money? Give everybody equal shares, and expect the son or sons to buy out out the girls?

Extra crispy, how do you know the bus is not going to hit you tomorrow :(

olicana06 Nov 2017 7:55 a.m. PST

Grave goods. In the next world I want to be a force to be reckoned with.

Note to self: Collect some 'modern period' stuff.

On a more serious note, when it comes to leaving collections to make money, I think wargame collections are probably best willed to those who will use them (whether that is family or wargame friends) with a request that they 'help' the bereaved as they may.

Scott MacPhee06 Nov 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

It all goes to my son. He can decide what to do with it.

Sergeant Paper06 Nov 2017 10:05 a.m. PST

It can go to my brother, who games. If he's gone, and i am, well, I will not care…

Timbo W06 Nov 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

Mine is destined for a couple of friends, but I'm not sure what happens if they pop off first!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 11:15 a.m. PST

My family has been warned that my collection is pretty worthless to anyone but me. I've been collecting since 1995. I've known the (worthless) value of my collection since 1998. I have no illusions about their true monetary value.

Selling them off, online, is more work than they are worth. I sincerely hope someone gets some use out of them, if even they are dropped off at the Goodwill Store, I'd be happy about that, as opposed to just going in the trash… Cheers!

andysyk06 Nov 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

I wonder if they could all be melted down to form a coffin….

Oberlindes Sol LIC06 Nov 2017 4:10 p.m. PST

No one in my family believes that my stuff is worth anything. It's good to keep expectations realistic.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2017 4:20 p.m. PST

My sons will take some, the local club guys can take some and I have a few of you fellow TMPers who are on my gift list

Pat Ripley Fezian06 Nov 2017 6:47 p.m. PST

I've currently got mine packed away for a move. If they disappeared on the way the only person who would notice would be me. They'll likely end up in the bin when i'm gone. No skin off my nose.

It can be tricky dealing with deceased estates especially people you might have known. I was speaking to a neighbor who lays carpet and a widow had asked him to go through and remove carpet laying gear from one of his contemporaries. Most ended up in the bin but it was quite sobering for him to do.

Old Wolfman07 Nov 2017 7:58 a.m. PST

I hope I can leave my gaming stuff to gamers I know.

gamershs Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 12:15 a.m. PST

My friend died last year and he left his collection to me. My problem is that his collection had about 25,000 individual items (figures, ships, tanks, aircraft, starships etc). To make it more interesting my collection has about 25,000 items.

Would like to thin the collection but haven't figured where to start.

RudyNelson09 Nov 2017 8:47 p.m. PST

I went through this a few years ago when I was about to have opened heart surgery. The cracked me open and placed an artificial heart valve in me.
So I left instruction who was to get what to sell or reclaim ownership.
Still today, I wonder about starting to sale my collections of books and new and used games. As well as the store stock of miniatures and terrain.
2018 may be the year that I begin to sell everything..

Lost Wolf09 Nov 2017 9:55 p.m. PST

My wife told me it's going to the curb the minute she gets back from the funeral. Guys I game with plan to drop by soon thereafter 8>)

Great War Ace Inactive Member10 Nov 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

I've "willed" that my children divide up my stuff, and get rid of the rest of it. I don't care if it winds up at Deseret Industries.

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