Hobby Musings: Historic Autographs Prime Has Historic HairHobby Musings: Historic Autographs Prime Has Historic Hair – Historic Autographs has made its place in the hobby by creating a wide variety of sport and non-sport premium autographs. With Prime though, they brought something a little different. In addition to randomly inserted premium cut autographs, collectors should also be on the lookout for cards that include authentic hair samples of historical figures. Each box contains three DNA hair cards or two DNA hair cards and one autograph. To find out more about what went into this product, I had the chance to catch up with company founder Kevin Heffner.

KS: Kevin, Prime is unique among your products in that most of the hit cards are based around authentic hair examples of various historical figures. What inspired you to come up with the product? 
KH: It may seem a bit morbid in today’s society, but collecting hair used to be as common as collecting autographs. Many would keep locks of hair as treasured mementos of those they lost or just of famous people. Historic Autographs wanted to bring the idea of collecting an actual “piece” of those they look up to as a viable alternative to collecting autographs and pieces of garments.

KS: The hair subjects include ex-presidents and notable figures like Napoleon Bonaparte and Marilyn Monroe. How did you decide on the checklist? 
KH: Collectability and availability. Finding authentic locks of hair is a long and difficult process, and HA researches all hair that we obtain to make sure we have the best provenance to back it up.

KS: Where did you acquire the hair sample assets to make the product with?
Historic Autographs gets hair from multiple sources, including the Guinness World Record hair collection of John Reznikoff (of University Archives) and reputable auction houses. All the provenance of the locks that HA purchases is available on our website for those who want reassurance.

KS: How did you ensure the authenticity of the hair samples?
The back of each card will inform the collector whether the hair is from the Reznikoff collection. If it is not from that collection, then the information and authenticity can be found on our website.

KS: Who was the hardest hair sample to acquire for Prime?
The toughest may be those that are more modern such as Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley. This is due to the fact that people stopped collecting hair a century ago.

KS: Hair cards have been done in the trading card world before. That being said, what is the market like for these kinds of cards? 
KH: Yes, there were some hair cards produced over the past few decades in the market. However, HA’s intention with Prime was to make the idea of having an actual “piece” of one of these important subjects a niche of the collecting world like patch cards. No one has done what we have done, on the scale that we have done it.

KS: Aside from the hair cards, there are also cut autograph cards that can be found. Who are some of the top signatures in it?
Most of the autographs in Prime are amazing. There are many US Presidents such as Taft, Hoover, FDR, Reagan, Fillmore, Harding and Van Buren. But there are also some obscure names like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Stephen Girard. Most people will recognize the big names like Roberto Clemente, Jackie Kennedy, Thurman Munson and Charles Lindbergh.

Hobby Musings: Historic Autographs Prime Has Historic HairKS: Aside from Prime, you’ve also had The Washington Chronicles release recently. What more can you tell me about that product?
That product’s title tells the story; it is a chronicle of the life of George Washington. The product has many great inserts and relic cards, including NINE autograph cards – three of which are last name only, but come with a hair included in the card. There are pieces of the documents that Washington touched, and a myriad of other fun things but most of all, it is informative. Still, everyone wants to get one of those autographs cards because Washington’s signature now pulls in $20K.

KS: Something you’re offering on your website is the ability to buy products directly like Famous Americans. Out of everything you’re offering, if you could pick one, what would you recommend to collectors?
I will always recommend that collectors buy what they will enjoy. If collecting is not fun, then it is not collecting. At the National, many of those that buy the HA products describe the joy in opening the packs and reading the cards, learning new things and having fun. How many times do we see people opening sports cards packs and never even looking at the base cards. They often throw the cards away and keep only a few items from the box. I want HA collectors to want to keep everything they get and enjoy it for a long time.

KS: What does Historic have coming in the product pipeline in the near future?
Most people want to know that the next Civil War product is on its way, and it is, but we are also getting out the following products – Gilded Age, 1918: End of the Great War, Originals (a smaller version than what we usually do), the Mob 2 and Famous American 2. All should be out by the end of the year.

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Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Kelsey Schroyer

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