He’s the definition of a mogul. A business magnate. A sports tycoon. And he’s also one of the leading ambassadors of nerd culture and amassing a piece of it all.

How would I describe Ken in the simplest way to a person who isn't aware of him? Let's see, if Indiana Jones was a real person, he'd definitely be in the modern collectibles business. And his main contact would be Ken Goldin. Because Ken has created an empire. He is arguably the world's leading authority on the sports collectibles marketplace. And he is a master at getting the deal done everywhere else.

Since its inception in 2012, Goldin Auctions is on track to become the world’s largest collectibles marketplace. And for solid reason. Ken's idea is simple and effective - find the greatest collectibles in the world and sell them on his floor. A to B with one goal in mind - to consistently beat his own personal record with every new listing. With every new find. Every new relationship.

It was a no-brainer that Netflix took notice and officially crowned Ken as the King of Collectibles in 2023. They gave us 6 episodes of what life is like under the crown of Ken Goldin in that inaugural season.

A lot of us liked what we saw. The show has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Arts & Popular Culture Program Category. And better yet, on June 12th, Netflix will be debuting Season 2 of The King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch. The life of Ken Goldin would be brimming with excitement and business and questions from reporters around the globe.

So it was extra special when I heard that Ken would take time out of his busy schedule to sit and chat with GoCollect. We talked about the state of a few markets, our relationship, our roles as providers of a service to this community, and a little of what to expect in the upcoming season.

Here is that talk --

GoCollect: I want to ask right off the bat, how familiar are you with GoCollect, Ken?

Ken: I’ll give you a little piece of information about that. I have a GoCollect account. I subscribe to your daily emails. And I use my account, you know, because I personally collect CGC comic books. So, when I’m looking for something I’ll go check out the sales history on your site.

GC: That’s outrageous.

K: I may not be the most familiar in the world, but I definitely have a working knowledge of it.

GC: OK, well that works, because I wanted to touch a little on the fact that we share information between our platforms and we have a little bit of a partnership when it comes to delivering a service to this community.

I wanted to hang away from the usual stuff you might be asked right now. I have watched Season 2. It’s off the hook with content. Item after item is grail after grail. I wanted to ask a personal question about some holy grails I heard you talk about over the years. Are you any closer to a Shoeless Joe Jackson piece or a Babe Ruth Red Sox jersey?

K: (chuckles) uh, no. The answer is no to both. I have not found anybody that has an authentic Ruth Red Sox jersey, and as far as Joe Jackson the only thing you can find is cards and autographs, which are very rare. But you can get them. And the holy grail which to me is his confession document, which has probably been destroyed somewhere or an authentic used jersey of his. They have not turned up yet.

GC: Well I detect hope in your voice amongst the odds. And that’s inspiring. Aside from that, stuff that is in appearance right now – your Jordan Logoman that ended on Saturday is outrageous. I think it jumped a million dollars in the last half hour of bidding. You’ve got to be thrilled with that. The sports market is continuously proving itself stronger and stronger.

K: That type of number, a modern day card sale in 2021 wouldn’t be news – a 3 million dollar modern card sale in 2024 is great news. I think it’s great for the industry, I think it’s great for Michael Jordan. You know I felt that this should be, personally.. oh wow, hang on one second, please…

GC: Of course

(After a brief pause Ken returns)

K: My Michael Jordan card is on CNBC right now. As I’m talking to you. It’s literally on CNBC. So I wanted to record it, and I’m going to get that, and, there you go.

K: You know I felt it should be the most valuable Jordan card of all time. I said it was the best. I felt it should be the most expensive, the most valuable, so I am happy that that happened. It nearly became the most valuable basketball card ever to sell at public auction and it just missed that by about 1 or 2 bids.

GC: And still, I love that giddiness you bring to it. You stop everything to film what’s going on.

(We both laugh)

GC: I once heard you say that the modern card market was becoming over-saturated. Is that still an escalating trend, and do you see any surprises with a correction coming?

K: This is the issue with the modern market. I think that for stuff issued prior to 2020, that the correction has happened. If it’s not complete in everything its complete in most things. A  lot of stuff is going back up. Perfect example, a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan, we sold one this weekend for almost 300,000 dollars and I think that was the highest recorded price in the past 2+ years. And that card had gone to as low as probably 120. So I think that’s a positive. But when you look at modern cards, you look at companies like Fanatics and Panini, and here is the problem. A lot of people in the hobby don’t understand this but a lot of people on Wall Street understand it. The concept I have is not just the law of supply and demand, it’s the law of endless supply. Perfect example, the stock market. When you have a strong stock market you know what happens, you get a lot of IPO’s, initial public offerings, and these companies that are privately held say 'Oooh' the market is good it’s a good time to sell stock, and you have a lot of people wanting to by stock, so the stock typically goes up.

However, when it is a bear market, when the market is not right, you will see almost no IPO's come out because the companies know that if I go to sell my stock right now - 1) it will go down, and 2) the appetite for it will not be great. And therefore I may value my company at 2-billion and when I take it public as an IPO in a bad market I may only get 750-million for it. So they self police. So you don't see a lot of IPO's in a bad market. That is not the way the trading card manufacturers work.

Panini has a license for I think at least 2 more years, Fanatics for another 20. So in a bad market, you know, I can't fault Panini because they're just going out and trying to make every last penny before they lose their license. But Fanatics and Topps they have a 20-year contract, so for me, if it is a bad market you need to limit the supply drastically. And that's how they police it and care for it. To me, when I look at the modern market, I will know that the ultra-modern market - which is the stuff issued in the last year - I will know that market is healthy again when new wax products come out and they are the same or higher price 30, 60, or 90 days after the release date instead of being dramatically lower. From 2009 through literally 2000-mid-21 that was the case. Those people bought those products and they were higher 30, 60 and 90 days after they came out. Since then, the highest point for all these prices is the day it came out, or a week before it came out, you know, in pre-sales. So when you see that trend reverse and the newly issued product goes up instead of down, that is when you can have a successful re-entry into the ultra-modern market.

GC: We saw the same thing across many hobbies, too. Anyone who’s watched Season 1 or really knows you knows you have the desire to break the mold of being just a sports aficionado. And knowing you’ve checked out GoCollect over the years, we can sympathize in that we’ve been striving to be much, much more than just a comic book price guide. What you’re going through on screen by bringing more and more hobbies to the table is like a live-action metaphor for the entire collecting community, because a collector typically has multiple different hobbies they pursue.

K: Well let me just say that to someone who has watched Season 2, I imagine that everybody who collects comic books and pop culture items – anybody who felt left out of Season 1 – is certainly not going to feel left out of Season 2.

Funny enough, in Season 1 I actually filmed 2 comic book related scenes which didn’t make the cut. One of them was me in a deal for a couple of high end books, and the other one was with Danielle (Nerdy Girl) in my office filming a scene with someone else, and her scene didn’t make it. But when I was at comic con after we shot I said to her, hey, you’re filming with me right now, and it’s not getting cut.

GC: Good for you both. She hustles, she deserves that screen time. So with all of this crossover happening between collectibles, I want to know what the biggest surprise would be that is sitting on your mantle right now?

K: Ooooh, OK. That would surprise people? So anyone who has watched my Instagram Live knows I have a row of comic books behind me. I have a Flash Comics 1, an Avengers 1, an X-Men 1, a nice group of books. People who follow me know I’ve always been an X-men fan, I used to buy and sell them when I was in college. Some books that would be worth considerably more now today. That’s why I have a very high-grade X-men run. But I think the most interesting would probably be either Star Wars or historical.

For Star Wars, I was the age. I was young enough to see the original ’77 in a movie theatre. I remember when Return of the Jedi came out, I and a group of friends we all forged doctors notes and we all left school early to go watch it! So Star Wars is definitely big for me, but the other thing I think is very interesting – I don’t know if you guys cover this space yet – I think historical is very interesting. And when I mean historical I’m talking specifically major US history, whether that is Einstein or Houdini like we just sold, or more specifically George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin especially, all the original founding fathers – because in 2026 we have USA 250 – and a lot of people haven’t heard that slogan yet, but that’s the 250th anniversary of our country, and I think that is going to bring out a lot of nostalgia and a great opportunity to buy stuff now and sell it in 2026.

GC: Yes, no doubt. Stock up. That brings up another question regarding cross-hobby collecting. It seems almost like a math equation – if one collector is secretly into many fields, then it’s likely that everyone is in fact a secret collector of at least one thing who just hasn’t had that passion drawn out of them yet. Maybe they haven’t been hit with a proper dose of nostalgia, or maybe they don’t even realize they collect already. How would you draw out a hidden passion from someone you meet in order to get the right collectible in their hands ?

K: Well look, with sports its easiest. You can find a sports fan or a favorite team in a person, and maybe they’re wearing a throwback jersey of let’s say Pete Rose – I would say, you know, you can own something that player has actually worn, or own something that player has signed. So I think that sports fans are the easiest to convert. And that’s why toys have a much more wide spread distribution than comics. Think about how many more people in the Marvel universe, how many more people own action figures, and toys, which to the vast public is a toy – but to us – if it's sealed, the right edition, the right limit, it’s a collectible as well. So I would think that those people would be easy to covert as well.

To me, look, all collectibles - whether it’s sports, whether it’s movies, comic books, whether it’s historical, they all capture a moment in time. And that’s why video games took off because it was just so nostalgic for people. You had people like Nintendo 64! NES System! Blah, blah, blah.. I remember playing this!

And then the fact that people are and were paying big money for sealed copies of those video games they used as a kid had people just going wild, so I think that it’s really the idea of nostalgia, it’s the idea of recapture your youth. And then with Babe Ruth it’s not like someone is recapturing their youth with Babe Ruth, or Ben Franklin. But it’s capturing a moment in time and owning your own little piece of history.

GC: I like that. That’s beautiful. Another thing I really liked watching Season 2 and Season 1 was the organic family feel of what’s happening on screen. Obviously, it’s a family run business, your name is on the logo. The way you and your daughter interact and the fact that most reality shows stage the kind of interactions where the ‘son doesn’t want to work for Dad but then he comes back and does work for Dad’ kind of thing. But I felt that you and your daughter have the kind of relationship where you’re letting the whole family explore this new fame together. It doesn't feel like it's being orchestrated by the network. Are there any struggles when it comes to balancing the family and the cameras?

K: Well my wife has some rules and thus far we have not had any cameras in the house. OK. She has not been on the show. She is not necessarily looking forward to being on the show. But I've got an older daughter that would be perfect for the show, you know. She works for Sony music, she's Laura's older sister, and her job is talent acquisition, so she actually signs artists to her label. So you think, wow, she actually knows some of the people that I work with. She has tried to sign Steve Aoki. I put her in touch with Steve Aoki. Now that she has seen Season 1, Season 2, I don't know, she might come on.

K: But the difference between her and Laura is that Laura is very interested in sports. And I once took her to a private singing of the New York Giants when she was young. She was a big Giants fan in an Eagles family. And she was with me when I started Goldin Auctions - when Goldin Auctions was founded. I literally had stuff at my house and I've got, like, some old family photos where I'm sitting in my basement, and I'm sorting cards and she's sitting right there with me. And she has always been fascinated with the high end collectibles. So, our relationship is literally the way you see it on the show.

K: She didn't even realize we were filming, that first introduction to Laura, when she came out of my private bathroom. She literally did not know that was going to make the cut and that would be the introduction to her. The flip side - I credit the entire reason anybody knows me on social media to her. She's the one who signed me up for Instagram, I didn't have an Instagram account, and she logged me in, and my very first post was not written by me it was written by her. And it said, it had a picture of her and it said, 'here is Laura, my favorite child!' and it's still the first post til this very day.

K: The reason I got hobby-famous was because of Paul, my son. We were on Covid lockdown so his school was shut down and we had home schooling. And I basically told him, that every day you are locked in I will buy a box of cards and we will open it. He started filming himself pretending he's on like, ESPN Sports Centre, opening up the cards. And we decided to go live on Instagram during the lockdown for about 90 days in a row. We went live opening a box of cards, like 90 boxes, and people all around the world they're like, oh my God, look at this father and his son.

K: And Paul was a smart ass. He knew all the players. So Topps in 2021, Topps had him at the virtual opening party for their opening day - for the Topps Rip Party and he was one of the rippers. And when they opened all the packs he was criticizing the players. Ha ha. One was Evan Longoria, and he's like 'Evan Longoria. Bad contract. Not worth the money!' And Evan Longoria took a screenshot of that and posted it, tagged me and called me on it, and so he (Paul) got me most of my initial followers on social media. And I probably would not be on social media if it were not for him. And so I try to have him on the show whenever possible.

GC: Kid's say the darndest things. A few videos you could see he was actually schooling you. And so something else that could come up in say, Season 3, is I bet you're probably going to touch on your new relationship with eBay. I have to imagine there will be a Season 3 already, and it would be likely we'll see more of that relationship by then. Is there anything on the record you could add about what is going on between you and eBay?

K: So basically, we hope to get Season 3. We were renewed petty quickly for Season 2. Which is I think, from top to bottom, more fascinating, better production, and I say that knowing that I'm going to the Emmy's next week. Our show is up for an Emmy. I am definitely the first person from the hobby who will be presenting an Emmy. They asked me to present 3 awards at the daytime Emmy's, which is a big honor.

K: As for eBay, it was announced that eBay acquired Goldin, and what that means is, it doesn't change anything for Goldin in the way Goldin does it's business. Goldin dot com is still Goldin dot com. I still run it. I'm the CEO. That's not gonna change. But we certainly have a larger marketing budget now, and we have access to 130 million people around the world who buy on eBay, about 35 or 40 million of them have bought collectibles in the past 2 years. That's a lot of people and that's potentially a bigger audience for the show. And the categories that eBay has been successful in that we haven't yet are things like watches, like sneakers, things that we will probably get into stronger. And I look at eBay like I look at a big brother, and you know, help add a little power where I need to boost my business. And you know they have offices all over the world. So you may see me in Australia, or Japan in Season 3, for example.

GC: Well we look at you like a big brother, too. I had a little fantasy where maybe you’re shooting a scene for Season 3 and the camera happens to walk in your office, and you’re sitting at your desk on GoCollect, doing your research… maybe we can chat more about that soon.

K: Sounds good.

Season 2 of The King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch debuts on June 12th on Netflix