Author Topic: Good Toy Line Values These Days?  (Read 560 times)

Offline Brian

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Good Toy Line Values These Days?
« on: November 25, 2008, 09:46 AM »
I thought I'd post this here, since it doesn't strictly apply to Star Wars.  With the recent talk of possibly price increases on things like the Target UBPs (before they are even technically released), as well as other price hikes in various lines throughout this year - are there any action figure/toylines that you feel are still a good value these days?  Many of us remember the days of $4.99 (or even $4.77) Star Wars figures (in modern collecting anyways), where now we are paying up to $8 each, depending on the retailer.  Thankfully places like Target have come to their senses and are at least in the $7 range now, but that is still nearly double what we paid just a few years ago.  Other lines (Marvel Legends, some DC lines, Joes, Indy, etc.) have seemed to see some price increases this year, some worse than others (and thankfully, some - like $15 Legends - have come back to reality).

I can remember picking up Marvel Legends figures for $6.88 when I was first collecting them, and now they run from $10 to $12 or so.  I guess, with the price increases in the 3 3/4" lines like SW, Indy, and Joe the $10 DCUC or Legends figure doesn't seem that bad these days (although we're still often getting less for more).  Its just a sign of the times I guess with the economy and all that, but are there any lines out there these days where you still feel like you're getting what you pay for?  What is the ideal (realistic) price for a 3 3/4" or 6" action figure?

One line that seems like a decent value, but I know next to nobody here is interested in, is the JLU line.  I don't necessarily actively collect these, but I do have a shoebox-sized rubbermaid full of them as I really enjoyed that show (and the rest of the DCAU for that matter).  For some reason our daughter really likes to play with these, which works out ok since they don't necessarily have accessories (and we've taken them away if they do) and they are fairly simply built and sturdy.  Anyways, we've picked up a couple packs this past year - and when you get the 3 or 6 packs, it comes to just over $3 a figure.  I guess that I would consider a value.  Granted, they are simplistic toys, and not nearly as complex as other lines out there - but I don't have a problem with $3 a figure for those.  When the GI Joe line was first released and came in the $4-5 range at WM, that was also a good value I felt.  Even the Indy line dropped to the mid $5 range doesn't seem bad right now, although I'm not looking for any of those at this point.  I have to admit that I don't mind paying the current SW prices either, but I think that is also because $6-something seems so much better than $8.  Anyways, long post for a short question, is there still a good value out there these days?  What prices would make some of your favorite lines a good value?

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Good Toy Line Values These Days?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 09:57 AM »
I'll say it again, as I've said over the past year in many threads: what you're seeing in price increases are largely a reflection of the wavering US economy.  I say that for only one reason - Canadian toy prices are largely stable and haven't changed in years.  That's a reasonable reflection of our economy.  Over the past year our dollar climbed dramatically, but only in relation to the US dollar and not relative to other currencies.  Of late our dollar has dropped (though I think it will climb in time as the boost in the value of the US dollar has been because of a substantial deposit of investments into the US dollar from around the world because of its viewed stability - that money will come back out in the new year probably) but that's probably short term. 

Star Wars figures have been $9.xx for years.  Marvel Legends went from $12.xx to $14.xx only and battle packs or multipacks are largely unchanged.  So from my perspective as a collector in Canada, values haven't really changed much for me in the past 5-6 years at least.  If they were a good value then, they are now.  I will say I was envious of US collectors with the much lower prices and in many instances it was beneficial to get figures from the US as they'd still be cheaper than here with the shipping and customs fees included.  No more though. 

From that perspective though I don't know that I'd consider any toy lines to be good value.  If you like the hobby, great.  I've never thought of this as a profit generating machine, I saw what happened with comics and sports cards, the decline in value in figures was bound to follow in time.  If you like it, buy it.  If you're investing, buy a mattress instead. 

I'll give some credit to Hasbro though - articulation, sculpt and accessories in many cases have improved with the increasing pricepoint.  Everything isn't great, but stuff has come a long way from POTF2 as well.  Well, at least with respect to the SW line.  I still harbor great anger for the IJ, ML lines :P
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Offline Brian

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Re: Good Toy Line Values These Days?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 10:04 AM »
From that perspective though I don't know that I'd consider any toy lines to be good value.  If you like the hobby, great.  I've never thought of this as a profit generating machine, I saw what happened with comics and sports cards, the decline in value in figures was bound to follow in time.  If you like it, buy it.  If you're investing, buy a mattress instead. 

I'll give some credit to Hasbro though - articulation, sculpt and accessories in many cases have improved with the increasing pricepoint.  Everything isn't great, but stuff has come a long way from POTF2 as well.  Well, at least with respect to the SW line.  I still harbor great anger for the IJ, ML lines :P

Excellent points Brent, and I see what you're saying about toy line (SW in particular) value.  I think you've said it a number of times here on the forums, but most of us would really be better off in the long run waiting things out and buying later - for much lower prices.  I'm looking at a situation next year where I don't know that I'll be able to preorder these big waves of figures anymore (which, as a side note, seems like places like BBTS are just doing larger case sets for the first TLC wave) - and I'm not sure why I'm so worried about missing out.  If I have patience, things should show up eventually - or maybe even be cheaper later on.  Its always seemed like things disappear so quickly, so I've often taken the "buy it when I see it" mentality with many things.

Also, like you said, Hasbro's Star Wars figures for the most part are worlds better than the POTF2 days.  Not that all of those figures were horrible, but the line overall has taken on a much better look with sculpt, paint, articulation, etc.  Very rarely is there an awful "new" figure anymore, and it seemed like there used to be a "stinker" in every wave a few years ago.  Personally, I'm pretty happy with Hasbro's SW line overall (although I'm sure none of us would mind a return to $5 pricing, but that's likely long gone) - it just gets a little difficult to keep up with sometimes.  If they'd slow on the releases per year a bit, the $6.94 price point (or $7.99) wouldn't sting quite as badly.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Good Toy Line Values These Days?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 10:33 AM »
1:18 military figures are THE value as far as action figures go...  $5 or $7 gets you a pretty wide variety of value.  $5 can get you a figure with multiple arms/legs/parts and tons of gear.  $7 can get you a paratrooper with full removable jump gear and a working cloth parachute.  $8 can get you a 2-pack of figures with extra arms and such...  To me there's not much comparable out there at all to the 1:18 military toy lines.

Check out a FOV figure at Target, a 21st Cent. Toys figure at WM or TRU, and a BBI figure at TRu next time you're in...  They're all incredible.
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Offline efranks

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Re: Good Toy Line Values These Days?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 04:33 PM »
I've always thought that the Ben 10 line of figures seemed like a good value. They run about $5.99 and all the various aliens stay in good rotation on the shelves as well as being upgraded when new powers are added on the TV show. There are some accessories available and they look to be good toys.

I'd also agree with Jesse, the various 1:18 military lines are pretty affordable, including the cheap 3.75" Wal-Mart brand stuff (I'm forgetting the manufacturer right now).

JLU stuff has been a good deal IMO.  I like the look and style, they match up with the animation very well, they're sturdy and really do make good toys, not just collectibles.  And outside Star Wars and maybe GI Joe, it's one of the most diverse lines of action figures around.  They get away with a pretty standard male body and that gives them the opportunity to do figures that other lines wouldn't think about.  Plus those 3-packs are a heckuva deal.

  I think the Star Wars line is a mixed bag.  With WM and Target both down in the $6.90 range it's better than the $8 we saw for a couple of months.  I think the Clone Wars line is well worth that price with one or two exceptions.  The TLC is also mostly worth it and with the build-a-droid promotion I've even picked up one or two figures I didn't care for just to get the last piece I've needed on a droid.  The Saga Legends line, though, meh.  I'd be happy to see that go and have H concentrate on the TLC and CW lines instead.

The vehicle line is still worth the price even at the new $21.99 point, at least on the new vehicles (I have trouble justifying another Jedi Starfighter repaint at that price, however), but I'm less inclined to buy the Battle Packs now that the price went up and the figure count dropped to 4.  Comic packs are still a pretty good deal for new figures/characters and a comic but I admit to buying fewer and fewer of these going forward.  How many Vader repaints do I really need just to get one new character?  I didn't buy either the AT-TE or the BMF and I likely won't due to price and lack of storage space but I do thank Hasbro for doing them. 

The Titanium line is probably one of the worst values. The price keeps going up and up and the repaint releases are way out of hand.  The lack of actual metal on some models makes "die cast" almost false advertising.  And they get my vote for the most ridiculous packaging ever invented.  I think the line succeeds in spite of Hasbro.

  The GI Joe line is a decent line with the $15 vehicles and the $20 BP's being the best deals.  The figures are mostly a good buy even with all the reused parts.  I'd just rather see more new characters than more Duke and Snake Eyes figures.

   E...
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