Author Topic: Scalpers in the old days?  (Read 1040 times)

Offline Jon

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Scalpers in the old days?
« on: August 24, 2005, 12:08 PM »
Since I was ..like 7/8 when ANH was released I just bought SW toys for play.

I'm wondering if there was any older veteran collectors out there (who were actually collecting the SW(not opening)) could tell me if Scalpers existed back then. I know there wasn't internet, so I'm wondering ...Did these geeks exist to pick up several copies of figs to resell them at comic book stores, consignment stores,  and flea market booths for a higher than store price(profit)?

I'm curious about this....

Offline jokabofe

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 11:49 PM »
Well, I'm about the same age as you, maybe a year or two older... but from memory I can recall finding every figure when I wanted to get it. I remember having the entire collection, plus a small army of stormtroopers. So I would have to say that comparing my finding stuff back then to finding stuff now (which is pretty much a joke  ::) ), there were no such things as "scalpers".

But I would also say no mostly because I don't think people really knew that this stuff was going to be worth anything 20+ years later on.

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2005, 11:54 PM »
I was able to find every figure at retail back in the day.  It was tougher to find some figures, but you did find them.  I actually remember rifling through the pegs looking for Yoda back in 1980 and I was able to find him.  Damn, I miss Child World!  One of the best toy stores EVER!
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Offline Jon

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2005, 01:26 AM »
Yeah, I did have tons of stuff..death star playset, droids factory..tie, xwing all the figs- so..I guess there wasn't a scalping market then.....Was it Sears Or Pennies that had the mail away figs?...got all of them in my stocking one year(blue snags).

Guess the Internet really changed things

Offline CorranHorn

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 02:19 AM »
Though I don't have any first hand experience, I would guess "scalpers" for vintage Star Wars toys likely did not start to appear until after the "Star Wars" line ended in 1980. With toys now showing up in ESB packaging, there is the possibility that someone thought to themselves,  "hey, they're no longer making the toys in this kind of packaging, I bet I can get some good money for em!"

That's totally a guess on my end, just based on the fact that some people obviously had the foresight in 78 and 79 to save toys in sealed and mint packaging. So perhaps some of them thought to make the quick buck with the release of the ESB line.

On a personal note, it wasn't until around 1989 or so when I first saw what we now call vintage SW toys, being sold for more than retail at a comic book shop.

Offline Mike Mensinger

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2005, 03:06 PM »
As others have stated, I cannot recall scalping problems existing back in the day. Granted, I too was a kid back then, so I probably wouldn't have realized it, but I feel pretty strongly that it wasn't a problem during that era. Possibly the first time I can remember comic shops selling newer toys at inflated prices was around 1989 when Toy Biz launched their Batman line to coincide with the film's release. In general, I think the very early 90's were an awakening period where people started viewing modern toys as having collectible value.

-Mike

Offline Jon

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2005, 05:55 PM »
AND the internet coincided as a place to market them

Offline Mike Mensinger

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Re: Scalpers in the old days?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2005, 11:21 PM »
I defintely think the internet has provided additional venues for selling modern collectibles at higher than retail prices, but make no mistake about it that toy shows, comic stores, and comic conventions afforded people an equal opportunity to engage in this practice.

-Mike