The Official Price Guide To Kiss Collectibles (Book Review)
Released: 2012, ITunes
“You can’t talk about American Metal without talking about Kiss” Sam Dunn, Producer, Metal Evolution. 2011. (Episode Two-Early Metal US)
“Anyone who says Kiss were never Metal doesn´t know what they´re talking about!” Quorthon (Bathory) in a June 1994 interview with Malcolm Dome.
Some people may question the validity of doing a feature on Kiss in the hallowed pages of Metal-Rules.com. Many critics of Kiss who suggest that they are ‘not metal’, tend to focus their arguments on non-musical traits. For example some people complain about Gene’s reality show and his various extra-curricular (ie. non-Kiss) activities. Some people complain about the line-up changes, some people complain about the nature and style of the tours, and many people complain about the commercial nature of the Kiss identity and brand. However, many of those critics, deep down when push comes to shove will admit, however grudgingly, based purely on the music, that Kiss is Metal. Therefore we are proud to present our Kiss feature at Metal-Rules.com. This month in reflection and in celebration of the October 9th release of MONSTER, the 20th studio album by Kiss, our specialty book section, The Library Of Loudness is reviewing seven books about Kiss and by members of Kiss, past and present. This month we review… (listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name)
Criss, Peter – Makeup To Breakup
Floren, Ingo – The Official Price Guide to Kiss Collectibles.
Harris, Larry – Casablanca: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records
Leaf, David & Sharp, Ken – Kiss: Behind The Mask
Simmons, Gene – Sex, Money, Kiss
Sherman, Dale – Black Diamond: The Unauthorized Biography of Kiss
Sherman, Dale – Kiss FAQ
As a bonus here are other books about Kiss we have previously reviewed. Feel free to enjoy the reviews of these Kiss related titles as well.
Frehley, Ace-No Regrets
Moore, Wendy-Into The Void
Prato, Greg-The Eric Carr Story
Simmons, Gene-Kiss And Make Up
THE OFFICIAL PRICE GUIDE TO KISS COLLECTIBLES
This is my very first review of an e-book for Metal-Rules.com. Please note the first part of this review is about my experience with this e-book, than an actual review of the book itself. I got an e-mail from the author, Ingo, saying that the 10th anniversary release of THE OFFICIAL PRICE GUIDE TO KISS COLLECTIBLES was available. I contacted him and asked to review it and I was informed that it is out of print and is only available as an e-book. Fair enough. I decided it was time to try an e-book and besides I really wanted to review this for the Kiss feature. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a long unpleasant exercise in frustration. To start, I don’t own an e-reader and I’m not in the market for one so my options are to download the book on my computer or my phone. I wanted to download it onto my computer so I could actually see the pages clearly.
Ingo was nice enough to send me a free download code but the European code did not work in North America, so I had to buy the book. It was a very good price. Then I had to download the e-reader program. There are many free programs but oddly enough very few to able read a book on your desktop, most of them are for e-readers and phones. Of course, the download didn’t work so I was reduced to downloading a program onto my phone to read the book. Then, temporarily, I couldn’t access my own iTunes account for some reason, yet another frustrating roadblock. So after almost two hours I was finally able to look at the book. I found turning the pages feature to be slow and non-responsive but now at least I can read the damn thing, despite the tiny pictures. The formatting is weak as well with at times a picture on one page and the caption on the other. Another negative is that my version is mostly in black and white. My version consisted of a massive 4534 pages. That is a lot of flipping to do on a phone. Generally, my first e-book experience was an unpleasant one doing little to convince me of the alleged, quality, speed and convenience of this method of reading.
As for the quality of the book itself THE OFFICIAL PRICE GUIDE TO KISS COLLECTIBLES is a magnificent work. It encompasses every aspect of Kiss collectibles you could imagine. The detail is incredible, the subtle differences in printing, down to the centre-ring of the vinyl. Virtually every piece of formal, authorized Kiss merchandise is here, from the albums to rare, satin tour jackets with limited runs. There are many detailed sections about the band, the record labels, promotions, marketing and the nature of collecting. All the crazy stuff that we know and love kiss for is in here; the pinball machine, movie posters, the lunchbox, the comics, stickers, puzzles, games, dolls, toys any number of clothing items and more. If it had Kiss on it, it’s in here. There is also some advice about collecting, good places to (besides the internet) and comments on the collectors market. This book is magnificently comprehensive and of course everything has prices listed for the various levels of condition: Mint, Very Good and Good. Out there, somewhere, someone has most of this stuff!
I will say that the e-book would have an advantage if you were visiting a Kiss Konvention and were comparing process for your collection, you could just pull it out and look up the technical data and price of the item. Of course updating an e-book is easier than reprinting the whole thing every few years as well, but for the most part I’d rather have the actual book sitting on my shelf or coffee table. My final rating of 5/5 reflects the content of the book itself not the e-book experience, which I only rate as a 2/5. We split the difference and get a 3.5.