Anticipating the Value of a Collectible.

Discussion in 'Collecting' started by Darth Venator, Mar 23, 2013.

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  1. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    This is something I've been thinking about for a while now, particularly from looking at some eBay auctions for TVC figures and the related costs - basically, is it possible to anticipate the worth of a collectible?

    I should clarify, I'm not really thinking about error packaging figures, Comic Con exclusives or complete rarities such as Blue Snaggletooth... (Their worth is slightly more obvious) But more, the regular modern day retail lines of recent years.

    An example being the VC12 Darth Sidious - I've seen these selling for £60-£90 online. Another high seller being TVC Gamorrean Guard... But, why? And moreso, could anyone have predicted these figures surge in value?

    I know that markets change frequently - trends often plummet and spike in popularity overnight, and slightly harder to find figures will always sell for that little bit more, but can anyone call it?

    When new lines release in the future (Particularly when VII hits) is it down to sheer luck that certain figures kept MOC increase tenfold - or is there a technique to spotting these gems? (Obscure characters, particular box arts etc)

    I'm not expecting any definitive answers of course, but all opinions are welcome on the topic be it answering my questions or not! I'd like to think this could be an interesting debate :)
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Certainly limited numbered releases (like the Attackus statues and Gentle Giant mini-busts) should appreciate due to their rarity. Then I'd take character popularity into account. I saw the first Boba Fett mini-bust going for silly amounts on eBay.
  3. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    Not including the 'special' collectibles, I agree with character popularity: Luke, Han, Fett, Maul tend to hold & increase their values over time. Or the opposite: the pegwarmers. If nobody wanted them while they were in the store, then there is a strong possibility that down the road they will the be more expensive 'rare' figure simply because nobody bought it when it was available. Also, the size of the figure. The smaller 3.5" are collected by more people, so you will find a bigger aftermarket.

    If there were 1 Gamorrean Guard for each box of 20 figures [I forget how many in a box these days] then he is the one to acquire at the time of release and his value will probably be highest right then and there. While it may hold a bit higher than most down the road, something like that will achieve his greatness immediately and fizzle as time goes on and people want the more popular characters. That was something that played out again with the blue vs. red Imperial Guard around ROTS time.

    I remember the whole jawa plastic cape. It looked cheap compared to the other action figs available at the time. I remember my parents complaining that it was smaller and cheap for the same money. [face_not_talking] Parents! [face_dunno] Once the cloth cape made the scene, everybody bought those while the plastic cape was the pegwarmer. They didn't make that mistake with Yoda later on. They made sure his coat was cloth, he had a squiggly snake and a Gimer stick. They weren't taking chances. ;)
  4. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    So, is there any way to know what number of figures actually turn up in a box? Or is it simply a case of spotting the ratio between characters on the pegs, in relation to the wave? I'd imagine there are some issues with regional availability also, possibly?
  5. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    Well, checking in with rebelscum site is a good place to find out the answer to those questions. Sometimes it is a matter of regional rollout and having to wait, but one can always order an entire box from somewhere. I'm not sure there is a guarantee of which figures and how many of them show up in box. Hence the hunting around for me and many others.
    After many years of collecting most things SW (and some other genres), I can confirm that the best place to put your time and money is into what you like best and not worry about the value later on. That is like playing the lottery for the most part. You're not really investing in SW as a retirement fund, right? As well you shouldn't ;), but if you keep to what makes yourself happy, there is bound to be one or two pieces that are or become more valuable as time passes.
    whostheBossk and Darth Venator like this.
  6. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    You could also look on Entertaiment Earth. They sell waves by the box and usually list what is in the box.
    Darth Venator and J_Girl like this.
  7. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    There ya go, that's what I was talking about. It's been years since I did that and I couldn't think of it.
  8. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    Fear not, I have no intentions of reselling unless I truly had to!

    It was more just a topic that I have limited knowledge on and thought I'd poke around a little to find some answers, the skyrocketing value, people managing to hunt down figures against the odds and how people know product availabilities (to then extort us addicted collectors with on eBay) always intrigued me.

    Thanks for the answers anyway! Nice insight :)
    J_Girl likes this.
  9. whostheBossk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    I've always just looked for something hard to find "just because". It was a neat collectible and if I sold it, then I could get some $ for it. Plus I had a luxury of driving around for my job so I could always peak in and see what each store had on the shelves (made me feel like a kid again). I would try to find certain figures for me and the ones that I read on these wonderful threads :) that were hard to find. I would then sell the one's that seemed hard to find and make a buck or two, but I never bought every hard figure on the shelf, and left some for others.

    Darth Venator said: "When new lines release in the future (Particularly when VII hits) is it down to sheer luck that certain figures kept MOC increase tenfold - or is there a technique to spotting these gems?"


    Here's my insight: FOR SOME REASON
  10. whostheBossk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    Most collect for just the love of it. Personally I would try to get a figure or two that was hard to find because it was fun and I knew I could always sell it and make a few bucks. I never tried to hord them though. I was lucky enough to snag one at a store because I drove for my job and could get them when they first went on the shelf. Brought out the fun and the kid in me.

    Darth Venator said "When new lines release in the future (Particularly when VII hits) is it down to sheer luck that certain figures kept MOC increase tenfold - or is there a technique to spotting these gems?"

    FOR SOME REASON I feel like they should and maybe will include the figures that Kenner originally wanted to release back in 1985. This line included Atha Prime who's figure was later released as an Imperial Sentinel in Power of the Jedi line. That would be cool.....

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Atha_Prime
  11. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    Yeah, I do it simply because I love to :) I keep a few MOC but not many, and I like to get the odd one signed.
    But they're usually only characters I really like or the side characters that aren't available in hundreds of replications/variants (Porkins, Gunray, Motti to name a few) that I wouldn't wanna sell anyway!

    Biggest problem for me is that my main purchases are Palpatine, and there's not much of him on the shelves these days so its mostly all internet based. Online shopping is just not the same as rummaging through the shelves in Toys r Us! ...I suppose a hectic eBay auction is okay for the adrenalin but still, not half as fun!

    I never knew about that Kenner line but Atha Prime looks pretty boss, will have to look into the line more!
    whostheBossk likes this.
  12. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Rebelscum has put a list up of what's in the case for the 2013 releases. Hit the link to check it out!
  13. Darth Venator Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2013
    star 1
    Nice to see there'll be an even spread of The Black Series. Even though I'll likely be snagging them online, there's always a chance I'll brave the shelves! Not sure whether I'll bother with the 3.75 black series though... Time will tell.

    Nice info to have all the same though :) Thanks for the heads up, LAJ!
  14. Aaronaman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2013
    star 3
    I think the production of the figures from the early days till now have changed so much that the chances of figures reaching the collectible status of the vintage line is never going to happen.....the original line, except for the 1995 Classic Edition Four Pack and the Rocket Firing Fett, hasn't been rereleased onto the market whereas the current line seem to be repackage or reissued on a regular basis, it's taken me years to collect the vintage line but in all honesty I've never had any trouble getting my hands on any current figures, the share number of the figures available cuts out its future collectible status!

    That's why the vintage line is the one and only lol
    Jabba_the_hud likes this.
  15. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Most modern figures will either stay static or go down in value. It is such a different marketplace than it was in the 70's & 80's. Stuff like ebay, kijiji, craiglist, online retailers, none of those existed back then.

    Sometimes, because Hasbro has tended to pack figures 1 per case, you can kinda guess at future values. For instance figures like Darth Revan were a safe bet, as were K'Kruhk, Jacen & Jaina Solo.

    Cloud Car Pilot or Naboo Pilot - those were easy ones to stay away from in terms of secondary market value.

    I used to sell Star Wars figures regularly, from like 1995-2010 or so. But I just found it was way to hit and miss to predict what would stick and what would not. Now I still sell them at conventions, but I'm very selective about what I pick up. I've EU figures to hold some decent value due to Hasbro producing less of them than others. For instance the recent Darth Malgus & Republic Trooper figures have stood up well, selling for around $20 and $30 online respectively.

    Other figures I've seen people interested in of late are the Vintage Ahsoka Tano, Imperial Royal Guard and Pash Cracken(though he has been easier to find). I suspect these figures will remain hot for sometime.
    Last edited by Robimus, Apr 25, 2013
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