Toy Show Dealer Scams

Discussion in 'Collecting' started by threepeeo, Aug 1, 2011.

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  1. threepeeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    This past weekend we attended the TF Con/80's Toy Expo in Toronto.
    One dealer had a table full of vintage Star Wars toys. One item in particular caught my interest. It was the Imperial Shuttle, which I have always wanted but am leary of lofty shipping and handling prices, not to mention taxes and duties when buying from the US. Anyway, the dealer was eager to show me the stamp date of '84 to verify the shuttle as vintage. But the thing was that it had the 'aged/worn' paint job. At the time, I didn't know what to make of it. I asked if it was complete (I haven't memorized the shuttle parts and I wasn't expecting to find one anyway) and he said he was almost 100% certain it was 100% complete. Then we discussed the mysterious paint job and he said another dealer was willing to buy it off of him at the end of the day because he thought the paint job meant it was a rare prototype from 1984 that never got produced and would therefore be worth many hundreds of dollars. He wasn't sure himself. But all he knew was that he'd "never seen one of these things go for less than 250 on ebay." Wow. Or not? His asking price was 150. I was confused because the 'rare prototype' also had signs of serious playwear, which surprised me. He told me he aquired it at a garage sale in the US for 90 dollars. I told him I'd offer him 100. His answer was that if he didn't sell it by the end of the day he'd do my price. (but what about that other dealer who offered him the 150 if it didn't sell?). Well it wasn't there at the end of the day, and the dealer delightfully told me he sold it for his asking price. My loss? No, my gain.
    WHAT A SCAM. Yes, I now know it was the 2002 FAO Swartz release that had the Kenner date stamp on it (as they all did). The same one that sells NEW for less than that on ebay. Rare prototype my &%#. And stupid me, if only I'd thought to check for the electronics. I think just seeing the shuttle in Canada caused me a bit of delirium. Thankfully it didn't end with me buying it. Lesson learned: do your research. By the way, the dealer was very nice, for what it's worth. I just can't imagine that a guy selling only vintage Star Wars "didn't know" the story on this shuttle.
  2. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Great catch - glad you didn't buy the 2002 Shuttle for that price. It sounds like the guy was trying to rip you off, or he was ignorant of what he had (which was highly unlikely).

    With all of the SW merchandise out there, it's tough to know what's what. As you mentioned, some of the re-releases of older toys by Kenner/Hasbro that came out from 1995-on (POTF2-on) do have the old '70's/'80's date stamps since they used the older molds. However, I'm actually very glad that these vehicles were re-released since buying the original vintage versions is quite expensive these days. IMHO, these re-releases are, for the most part, superior to the original versions - comparing the '80's DV Tie Fighter to the far superior POTF2 version from '97 is a great example of this.
  3. threepeeo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    You're right. And I may end up getting the later version of the shuttle instead, but not a used one for that price. I just wish the later one had electronics.
  4. firesaber Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2006
    star 3
    Like any industry there are scammers unfortunately. You did good not too buy. Too many people make an impulse buy on crap pitch or false claims without educating themselves a little bit about the things they are looking to buy. For the money you could end up spending for some items it's very good to know the product/item intimately.
  5. mrc681 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Great no buy. My must have is also the Imperial Shuttle, I don't know what it is, but I've always loved it and wanted one.
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