Sticking with the future of collectng topics...
Long term I think we're going to see a slow demise (If we haven't already) of the traditional brick and mortar stores in ALL categories, not just toy/toy collecting. I think for many reasons...mainly technology and I think the country is going to strugle for a bit becasue of it. Collecting will slow a bi..for a sot while, prices will fall slightly across the board, and slowly after some years will begin to rise. Distribution, the numbers game, production,etc. will all remain a struggle for some time.
Electronics, video games will continue to dominate and become even more prevalent, both leading to fewer companies producing "toys" and fewer companies producing non-electronic/tech rlated "toys" in the future. Therefore the tradtional mediums we're used to now and in the past...action figures, comic boks, etc.will eventually become more collectible, and possibly a thing of the past to some degree (I don't think things like traditional toys like dolls, comics, board games, bikes, etc. will ever go completely away, but we'll see much less being produced.
I think as technology and population increases, the globalization of collectibles will also increase. Foriegn countries are becoming more predominant when it comes to collecting (look back jus 30 years ago or in the 70's...anyone buy/sell/trade with anyone in Germany or China ?? How many action figures were YOU sending to Denmark?) Even once the internet and Ebay came about... in the beginning I didn't see too many folks from foregn countries at all, and NOTHING like I see today. Lots of countries want what the western world has to offer. When I was in college foriegn kids used to fill thier suitcases with Levi jeans... in some countries collectibles may not be as big now but I bet they wll be in the futue, an steadily grow. Eventually I think this will dry up supply. Vintage items will contine to rise, and probably skyrocket eventually, as the kids today get into the hobby as well things that ae moder TODAY wll also be hihly coveted. New to us today will be old when the kids tday get older and into collecting.
It's a natura tendancy for u to want everythin and want it NOW. Relax, look at the long term bi picture.
As the world changes...sports collectibles used to be the big hing when I as a kid..today techies love Star Wars...and what do we see more than ever TECHIES everywere you go. More jobs in the technology segment means more dollars to techies, more dollars to techies, IT departments, etc. mans more dollars for SW colectibles.
Yeah, I gotta say the future looks prett bright. Pretty safe bet with SW these days.
Buy up...but be smart about it and don't forget to take care of your priorities... and try to have some fun.