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What makes this Big Bertha so desirable?

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Steve

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I know it's old , but a person could really save some bucks if he painted a brand-new (much cheaper) Bertha to look like the old one. It might be cool to show off in it's original packaging, but this thing's up to 84 bucks. What am I missing?

Maybe it's just me.

S..
 

teflonrocketry1

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Its all about collecting, convincing someone that and old object has some intrinsic value so they can/will buy it at an inflated retail price!

Now that's business!

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

Stymye

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2 out of 10 people have driven the price way up and it has a long way to go...
 

rabidsheeep

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its the same thing with antiques

why is the 300 year old kettle that has a crack 4000 dollars? i can get one that i can actually fill with water for 20...
 

BobH48

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And it's not even an original Big Bertha that came with a balsa nose cone.

Go figure?
 

Stymye

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I thought they were always plastic?
 

rokitflite

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You grew up in the 70's. Your first model rocket kit was the Big Bertha that you bought packaged just like that. You and your Dad put it together and have a grand old time at it. Time passes, the Bertha ends up in a tree, you go away to college. Years later you get a job where you make a very decent salary. You get onto Ebay and you see your very first rocket and all the memories associated with it come rushing back. Original or not THAT kit means something to you and you buy it. Thats how many things on Ebay get bid up as high as they do...
 

BobH48

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Originally posted by stymye
I thought they were always plastic?
Nope,

The first and only Big Bertha that I bought had a balsa nose cone.

I never bought another because I still have it.

I think I bought it in 1967.

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/rockets/catalogs/estes67/67est26.html

Mine is painted to look like the catalog picture.

I don't remember Estes having any plastic nose cones. They came along during the time I was out of the hobby.
 

jflis

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It's a "capturing your childhood" thing. Your hope with an auction like this is that you find at least *two* people with steady jobs who had this a their very first rocket. That's fat city :)

As for plastic/balsa nose cones, it is interesting to note that Estes *started* with plastic nose cones, then went balsa, then back to plastic :)

Their first nose cones were cone shaped items that they could find already in production for other things (I think one was the cover for a crayon shapener). Then when they wanted to make their own custom shapes, plastic was prohibitively expensive so they went balsa.

Once they had enough capital and volume to justify the initial expense, they went back to plastic so that they could get a nose cone made for pennies
 

rokitflite

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Jim always did have a way of explainin' things so as I could understand them.
 

TheRadiator

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Must be sentimental value. I can scratch-build a Big Bertha with a BNC cheaper than I can buy a new kit at Hungate's.
 

Steve

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Originally posted by rokitflite
You grew up in the 70's. Your first model rocket kit was the Big Bertha that you bought packaged just like that. You and your Dad put it together and have a grand old time at it. Time passes, the Bertha ends up in a tree, you go away to college. Years later you get a job where you make a very decent salary. You get onto Ebay and you see your very first rocket and all the memories associated with it come rushing back. Original or not THAT kit means something to you and you buy it. Thats how many things on Ebay get bid up as high as they do...
I think that's as good an explanation as any. I suppose I'm looking at it from the perspective of one who browses ebay just about every day, and is patient (and cheap) enough to wait for a better deal. As opposed to someone whose emotions overtakes their otherwise good economic sense.

Anyway, the price was up high enough to spark my curiosity as to whether or not there was something unusual about this particular model.
What can I say - I digs the trivia. (Like the balsa/plastic nosecone thingy above :))

S..
 

rokitflite

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Hi Bushrat,
Here is another way I rationalize spending alot on a rocket kit on Ebay. I bid on alot of stuff on Ebay and I have alot of stuff to sell. The most I ever paid for a kit was an old Estes Gemini Titan that I fell in love with when I came across it in an old 1969 catalog. Well, people would consider it crazy that I bid $500 for it (I got it for $305). I have several Cinerocs and I would have gladly traded one for the Gemini Titan kit. So, I put a Cineroc up right after the Titan. I got the Titan for $305, the Cineroc sold for $295. So I look at it as I got the Titan for a Cineroc plus $10. I figure I basically traded it.
 

TheRadiator

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Originally posted by Bushrat
As opposed to someone whose emotions overtakes their otherwise good economic sense.
I'm not so sure some folks on eBay HAVE good economic sense! Just lotsa money to throw around. Nothing like trying to snipe an auction only to be beat by the current high bidder's bid.
 

GlennW

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Personally, I never was a fan of the Bertha, it's just an ugly rocket to me no matter what the paint scheme.

Glenn
 

sandman

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Glenn,

Its ugliness is it's charm.

Look at the VW beetle...an outright ugly car but it outsold the model T...they even reissued it!
 

Steward

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I never understood... until now... why I wanted mine to stay white... Now I do....

When I was young and I couln't afford one... they were white...

Thanks guys... another Stewism mystery solved...!!!
 

JStarStar

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As far as why this particular kit is drawing big bids, it has to be on the perceived rarity of the original hang tag packaging (along with the P.T. Barnum factor. :rolleyes: ).

Since Big Berthas are readily available at just about any rocket shop in the nation, and I don't think there's much danger Estes is gonna delete it from the lineup (I'd guess it's probably still among their top 6-8 sellers), there really isn't much "rarity" to the kit itself. Plus I bet about 90 percent of all serious rocketeers could scratch-build a Bertha from the raw parts in about 45 minutes tops from sheer memory.

It's quick and a snap to build, you can finish it however you like and if you take reasonable care, it comes out looking good. It is great for classes and demos because it is so big, flies low and slow, and allows everyone to see what exactly does happen to a rocket in flight.

I built my first Bertha in 1968, and flew it for about three years, until the nose cone and body tube snapped back into each other too many times. Too many bites out of the balsa cone, and dents in the body tube... blah. Sometime in some basement cleaning, it got crunched, and that was the end of that.

Now, I've got a brand new edition of the Bertha Family ... Baby, Big and Bigger... down in the basement. All built up, gloss black and silver cones, ready to rip.

Gonna whip up some custom decals to stick on 'em. Why not?? LOL. :D

I suppose the next steps would be a Mini-Bertha (13mm BT-5 motor mount in a BT-55 body, about 15" long), a Micro-Bertha (MMX motor mount in a BT-20 body, about 10"). .. :eek: :eek:
 

Micromeister

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Glen:
I'm with you, I never cared for the design of the "Big Bertha" those honkin nasty huge fins always bothered me.. I think my first "model rocket" was a centuri Javlin. I could be wrong it was a good month and a half ago;) I think the first 'bertha" I build was a Super Big Bertha in about 1990, then a few years later for some club contest a pair of clones, one in flourescent Blue just for fun, and the other a body filling test bed (Yellow& Red), with a twist-lock motor mount to allow flying from A-D12 motors. Then of coarse a BT-5 micro-max downscale. We flew a section meet a couple years ago where all the events had to be flown with a baby bertha. I have one un-painted:(
 

rokitflite

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My guess is that most of the folks who are poopooing the whole Ebay/Bertha value thing would not be doing so if THEY had some older Big Bertha kits to sell!:D
 

Steve

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Originally posted by rokitflite
My guess is that most of the folks who are poopooing the whole Ebay/Bertha value thing would not be doing so if THEY had some older Big Bertha kits to sell!:D
Believe me - I wish I had some kits that would sell for that much. :)

I think sandman's right about the model's ugliness being it's charm. It's not futuristic, or slick-looking like some others - but it came out in what, the mid 60's? (Even earlier, if you count the Ranger). I won't argue that it's not ugly, but it's size and shape make it a good outlet for some creative decorating - if you're into that. To each his own...

S..
 

adrian

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Show that to someone after they've had a few beers. Don't tell them it's modified. :D

I've got a Big Bertha, but it's also modified. The black and white stripes aren't roll bars, they're helicopter blades. It can also have the blades taped in place, the pop-rivets round the nose removed, and recover on a standard parachute.

Which means I've got a full set of decals for the Estes black Bertha scheme. Make me an offer I can't refuse. :D
 

Initiator001

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I didn't pick up a Big Bertha kit until 1985-86. It's still in the bag.

I DID buy an Astron Ranger kit from Estes direct when they were being closed out back in 1971 or 72. It was built but has yet to see a launch pad. :)
 

rokitflite

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All of you who are not Bertha fans can blame this guy in the picture who is launching THE ORIGINAL Big Bertha...
 

KarlD

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Originally posted by rokitflite
All of you who are not Bertha fans can blame this guy in the picture who is launching THE ORIGINAL Big Bertha...
We Big Bertha fans love this man!
 

Stymye

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It may not be pretty but a stock bertha on a stock motor is simply a great flyer, slow and fun to watch for demos.
 

TheRadiator

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Originally posted by stymye
It may not be pretty but a stock bertha on a stock motor is simply a great flyer, slow and fun to watch for demos.
On the contrary I would argue that the Big Bertha IS a pretty rocket! It's as lovable as those old shark-fin Cadillacs from the 50's!
 

KarlD

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Originally posted by TheRadiator
On the contrary I would argue that the Big Bertha IS a pretty rocket! It's as lovable as those old shark-fin Cadillacs from the 50's!
I Agree!!

The Big Bertha always had a 50's retro look to her. Kinda like the rockets on the old Sci-Fi mags of the time. Everybody in rocketry recognizes that profile!
 

Super Sabre

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Originally posted by rokitflite
All of you who are not Bertha fans can blame this guy in the picture who is launching THE ORIGINAL Big Bertha...
Can someone provide some information about this picture ? Is this Vern Estes ? Is this really the first Big Bertha ? Year photo taken ?




Thanks for any info provided !!

SS
 

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