Well, I've reached a new level of malaise with the modern toy market. I'm getting an odd feeling that the present day toy market is becoming like the comic and card industry was in the early 90s. What I mean by that is that in the early 90's comics started doing multiple covers and various other promotions. The effect of this was that collectors bought all variants, so greater numbers were produced to meet demand. Folks would look at their price guides, and see good prices so they kept throwing more $ into it. This artificially inflated the market. Price guides are what shops are selling figures for. In my experience, shops will try to rape you, because they have to pay rent, employees, etc. 90% of the stuff at my local shops doesn't move. It's over priced for folks who are willing to splurge. eBay has always been a fairer marketplace because you have hundreds of folks looking at what you're selling, anf therfore prices reach averages. While on eBay you can't actually see the figure physically to grade it, you do get a median price which is far lower than any guide. Thus, since the creation of eBay, local shops have suffered somewhat.
There seems to be WAY too many variations and chase figures. What's to prevent the companies from controling the supply and demand cycle of these chase and variants??? If I wanted to sell multiples of a toy, and I were in the industry, why not just reduce the quality control to increase the errors??? Thus, I have collectors buying 2 or more versions of a figure that they would normally only buy 1 of. Great sales strategy, huh???
Another problem is that our pesent day crappy economy has reduced the amount of $ in most folks pockets. When higher dollar items (ie. Master Replica) and limited # stuff comes out, the online retailers absorb a fair quantity of it, and the average Joe collector doesn't. So, since retailers have it, they try to initially sell it at a profit. No buyers mean price reductions, payment plans, etc. Since the shops control the price guide figures, the prices become artificially manipulated.
If you don't mess with comics, let me assur eyou that you would be very lucky to get cover price for most of these. I've decided to stay away from any line that offers exclusives, foreign imports, chase figures, and any other marketed hype crap. I'd love to pick up the new South Park figures, but advertising all of the rare figures and exclusives doesn't really sell the idea to me. I don't want to collect something that I'm going to have to scoutr the ends of the Earth, and pay top dollar for!!! The things I like about vintage figures is that thy can'r make more, and the return is not so shakey.