MIM never a vintage/collectors item ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jsa0100, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    I had a discussion with a guitarist that claimed that Mexican made guitar/basses would
    never become a collectors item. In contrast to most US made and some Japanese models.
    Some Japanese from the 80's gets a higher price than they did a few years ago.
    And most older US bases from late 70's and 80's are retailing for the same price as new one.
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    What I think is interesting about older MIM instruments (and all Fenders in general) is how some players have modified them. They're excellent platforms for modification.

    From what I've seen of some recent additions to the MIM line, I think they are starting to rival the CIJs in quality.
  3. As all things as they start to end their life cycle and die off, they will become more valuable as times goes by.

    But not ever in the thousands range. Ever.
  4. You'd also need to factor in production figures (which I don't know), but it's a safe bet that a mint MIM will have appreciated in 50 years, assuming there are people left, and they still play electric bass.
  5. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have a couple of MIM Fenders, because they are fine basses and very reasonably priced. I'd be extremely surprised if they were ever considered "vintage" (well, maybe, fifty years from now when everything will by cranked out on automated machinery in Borneo).

    The whole vintage nonsense is constructed around the concept that something the dealer has for sale is somehow, in an undefined way, far superior to what you poor dipwads bought on the internet for $99.95. These undefined differences comprise marketing, so a ten-year-old American Fender is deemed to be far superior to a two-year-old Japanese Fender.

    Whatever. The fact remains that MIM Fenders are a way down the pecking order. Me, I don't mind: I buy instruments to play music on, not to dream of future fortunes or mojo or other pixie dust.

    I'm not saying there aren't differences, or that such differences as exist aren't sometimes important: what is important is to recognize that the "vintage" label is a device for jacking up prices. When you pay for a "collector's item" you're paying extra for an intangible that has no intrinsic value and is not necessarily recoverable.

    Back in the day, all Fenders were made in America, and we all treated 'em like the cleverly constructed tools they are. Now they're made all over Asia (apparently) by clones of the same CNC machines making them in the US, and I guess the our CNC machines are better looking or something than theirs.

    I think that, with the economy tanking, people will come to their senses and buy instruments for their utility. But then, I was always an optimist.:D
  6. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    One thing that would have boosted MIM as a collectors Item.
    Is if they would have made more unique models.
    Giving MIM free hands to also make more expensive models
    would help, like CIJ. However i guess US fender won't make them
    compete with the same segment as US made.
  7. KrispyJones


    Dec 3, 2006
    as strange as it sounds... the mark hoppus bass (made in mexico)
    with his jazz body, p neck and pu and the complete pickguard will be a collecters item one day !!!
  8. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Ask agian in 30 years.

    Too soon to tell.
  9. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    who knows... if he thinks he can say for certain what's going to happen in the future then he should put his clairvoyance to some real use instead of pontificating about guitars

    all I know is that stuff you can barely give away at one time can suddenly become rare & collectable... when I started, 70's Fenders were seen as, well.. yuck... now they go for silly money

    there was a time in the early 60's no-one wanted a 58 Les Paul... now things are slightly different...

    and until Jimi Hendrix came along, no-one was interested in Strats... they were seen as old hat by many people...

    so who knows? all i know is that stuff you say can seem way off the mark given enough time... remember Bill Gates saying no-one would ever need more than 640k of memory (or something)?

    or that dude who said there was not much need for physics any more because everything has already been discovered? this was like, the year before Einstein came out with his theory of relativity

    or the guy from Decca who rejected the Beatles in 1962 with the immortal line "guitar groups are on their way out" :)

    so... your guy might be right, might not be... but if he thinks he can be certain, he's probably wrong
  10. edit** ^^ Damn cowsgomoo beat me to what I was thinking ^^

    Take a look back at the way instruments were precieved when they came out, cost wise... Then look at the way they are precieved now...

    How many of the now vintage US Fenders that were unwanted years ago, know everyone loves them(the post CBS era)... And then you have the CIJ Fenders. When they came out, they were considered the cheap Fender and I am sure most people back then didn't care for them.. Know they are sought after...

    I think it is hard to tell what will happen with the MIM Fenders. They may lay dorment price waise for years... And then some day, someone may take notice of them and kick off a buying trend and then they may become the next sought after vintage... It's hard to tell, you never know..
  11. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Not much to add. "Collectible" is a very imprecise term. Maybe next year some new pop tart will have a hit with a great solo done on an '80s ARP synth and all of a sudden '65 Fender Jazz basses and '58 Les Pauls will be worth no more than fire wood and prices will skyrocket on ARPs. Who knows?

    Me, I always wonder how many people would fancy a particular model of guitar or bass if not for the hype?
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Another driving factor is availability. Fer instance, there was a huge speculative bubble in comics in the early 90s. People were saying they were better investments than stocks. The problem then was that a single issue might have a print run of several million. Action Comics #1 is so valuable because it's so RARE. Todd McFarlane's Spider-man #1 is not.

    With the proliferation of MIM Fenders (I'd bet they put out more basses in a year than in any five given years of the 70s. Hell, maybe the whole decade), it'll be hard to appreciate in value when the things litter the ground, and you can pick up any one of thousands for $1.50. Meanwhile, you don't really find early 60s P-Basses in every pawn shop in the country.
  13. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    For prices to be really high on a collector's item, whether it's guitars or cars or baseball cards, the item needs to be relatively rare. MIM basses aren't very rare, except, perhaps, certain models.
  14. jmcgliss


    Apr 30, 2007
    In the future it will be illegal to play bass guitars once it's determined that low frequency vibrations endanger the cockroaches that are farmed to generate eco-bio-fuel in their stomachs.

    Oh, and playing music will be universally illegal because record companies have the right to distribute all music before it is played.

    The point is, values may be different in 30-50 years. Further out, there may be no such thing as 120v AC current. Or we'll all be living on the surface of the ocean where the salt air corrodes pickups and haardware. Who knows?

    <snap> back to the question. I've sold "improved" P-basses made from MIM parts in the $400-$450 range, more than the $250-$300 I see stock MIMs selling for used. I see them as good modding platforms and agree that more special models would have added some collectability.
  15. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    When/if they stop making Fenders in Mexico, or start making "regular" Fenders in some other country, almost immediately nostalgia will kick if for those awesome Mexican Fenders, that nobody seemed to realize were awesome when they were ubiquitous and cheap.

    Or, once they get to be 25 or so years old, they will gain some cachet in any event, since that is about the amount of time necessary to infuse any instrument with "mojo". And to be fair, by that point it is likely (as it is with old instruments now) that the ones that survived and were used were the really good ones; the crappy ones will have fallen by the wayside, giving the impression that all instruments from that era were better than they really were (on average).
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    MIMs will never be vintage or collectors. Not because they suck or are mexican but rather because they were mass producted on a huge scale. They will remain common and easy to find even years from now.
  17. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73 Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    It is hard to say what will occur, say 20-50 years down the road (the oldest Fenders, are of course now around 50...). I think three things about this issue:
    a.) 50 years from now, MIMs may certainly be worth thousands.
    b.) The value of the dollar will mean things that cost hundreds of dollars in today's money will cost thousands, years from now- think cost of milk 30 years ago vs today.
    c.) Many things which are 20-50 years old are "collectible" simply because they have simply survived so long. Think about basic tableware and glassware from the Depression era, and other basic, common, everyday items now worth "real" money.

    So, do I think we will get to a point where we will see MIMs running on Ebay, or have asking prices in the thousands? Absolutely. It's just a matter of time. The real question is exactly how much will those things be worth at any one specific point in time. That is impossible to tell. But it's cool to daydream.

    Best to you.
  18. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006

    You can't definitively say that.

    Who would have thought that 80's Fenders and Squiers from Japan would be worth anything, or even 70's P's & J's which were a dime a dozen in the early 80's? Hell, even the better COPIES from Japan get decent money these days. Believe me, the Japanes Fenders were universaly scorned back in the day. You seem to be old enough where you should remember that.

    Sorry, unless you or anyone else, have a crystal ball, you don't have the answer to this one.

    Ask again in 30 years.
  19. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    That want happen.
    I am not saying this because i think it's impossible to make good guitars in Mexico.
    It's because Fender want let them !
    In the 80's Fender needed Fender japan to save the market, but in the 90's the MIJ
    became a thorn in the eyes of Fender USA since they was competing with the American models.
    So in 1997 Fender prohibited Fender Japan to export their products.
    So after 1997 the CIJ series can do what they want.
    In their Stratocasters many of them are equipped with custom shop Texas specials.
    Sure Fender Mexico could do that, but Fender would never let them.
  20. they might not ever become vintage or collectors item, but i have a mim jazz that plays and sounds every bit as well as any american or japanese fender ever could and that was before i modded it.