|wikimedia commons image source here|
When I was a stamp collecting kid, the Inverted Jenny was my dream stamp. Not only because it was worth a king's ransom, but because it was rare, difficult to obtain, and distinctive. Only 100 instances are known to exist, all produced due to an error on one fateful day, May 10, 1918. Because of countless stamp collecting and precious object hoarding kids like myself who grew up, a single example is apparently worth north of $800,000. What made it rare was that it was an unusual and distinctive manufacturing defect which sneaked through quality control and made it all the way through the point of sale into the hands of someone who had a feeling he had something special. I never did obtain an Inverted Jenny, but I have just purchased something similar, which I'm hoping may turn out to be worth a few hundred thou itself.
I present to you: the Drooping Marlo! The only one known to exist!
|The Drooping Marlo has three distinctive defects: the very clear droop along its length|
The Drooping Marlo is a Park Tool MT-1 Rescue tool, new out of the package, which was recognizably askew. With Park's excellent warranty I could probably return it, but no way*! I'm holding on to the Drooping Marlo (named after its MT designation, basically) until its value appreciates and I can trade it for an Inverted Jenny. That's my plan, any way.
|A less obvious but still notable droop sideways, too|
|And some roughness and what look like pinch marks along the top edge|
In retrospect, the Drooping Marlo probably would be worth a lot more if I had left it inside its original package. But, I wasn't sure what I had until I took it out and looked at it more closely. It's still in Excellent, uncancelled condition. A mold defect? Or an unmolding mistake?
I wonder how something like this, so visibly obvious, slips through QC. Or, alternatively, maybe it passed quality check, maybe these deviations are not considered quality issues if they don't affect functionality**. For that matter, do they affection functionality? Should I use this thing? Or would it be better to encase it in a glassine envelope after rubbing it lovingly with a few drops of Phil's Tenacious oil for safekeeping, set aside for that future day when a bicycle tool collector, pockets bulging with cash and/or rare lightweight handmade randonneuring frames, comes calling? The Drooping Marlo will appreciate in value rapidly, growing to become a fair 1-for-1 trade for any number of bikes currently parked at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel. I have a feeling it's something special.
*seriously, not going to return it.
**which would surprise me, since I would expect a toolmaker to require that tools sent out for sale are straight, true, and free of noticeable droop