Community => Other Toy Lines => Topic started by: Hung Solow on June 18, 2003, 11:51 AM

Title: the present toy market
Post by: Hung Solow on June 18, 2003, 11:51 AM
   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.
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: JoshEEE on June 18, 2003, 01:28 PM
While I share your views that the artificial inflation of toy prices and "values" is ridiculous, I truly believe it's only that way for the people that choose to be victims of the people who would take it there.

There are ways to fight this behavior:

1. Don't be an obsessive completist. I don't go hunting for every mis-painted, mis-numbered or incorrectly packed figure. Sure, I'll try to find the two different hair colors of an Endor Soldier for army building....but I don't give a rip about which one has some stupid cardboard insert and which one doesn't.  If you ARE a can still redefine what "Complete" means to you. Do you HAVE to have every numbering and packaging variation, or just one of every figure? When you buy the stupid variations for 3 or 6 times encourage the people selling this stuff.

Which brings us to....

2. I refuse to buy figures from scalpers of any kind. I don't buy from scalpers on the web, at shops or at shows. doesn't hurt their business....but I'm putting MY money where my mouth is, and not spending it on scalped products. If you hate the way things are going....don't patronize the people that take it there. Plain and simple. There are other ways (like these boards) to get your HTF figures.

3.  I only buy what I need. I NEVER buy to re-sell or to save for a later increase in value. I've done that in the past, and I now believe it's fruitless and wrong. This way, I help control the problem on my end as well.

4.  PATIENCE. You don't have to have it NOW. You WILL find it later. In the rare instance the value skyrockets, you'll be punished, but 9 times out of 10...the prices go down....not up. Overall, the patient person will get all the figures they ever wanted.....much cheaper than the one that buys all the pre-releases on Ebay or at hobby shops.

Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: Morgbug on June 18, 2003, 01:43 PM
Having been through the comic book mill in the early to mid nineties, I hear you Hung.  Same happened for cards and the same will happen to all the stuff around now too.  

I am absolutely stunned by the price drops within the last year for SW figs from Ep I and POTF2.  Sure, the occasional piece is more rare and thus more expensive, but anyone besides me regret rushing out during episode I (or II for that matter) and making sure you had lots of Maul figures?  At full retail?  Yikes.  

I agree with a lot of what Josh said, patience in particular.  The occasional odd piece will be tough (hello, Dark Trooper >:() but the rest is easy.  Even for vintage, so long as it's loose, prices seem to have come down.  I base this on conversations I've had with Dale, where I've scored some figures for less than he paid only a year ago.  

I also think that the manufacturers are suffering delusions of grandeur in most cases.  Toy collecting will be replaced by something else.  The scalpers will move on.  The collecting community isn't that large and if you collect for collecting sake, rather than resale purposes you should be happy.

As happened with comic books and cards (and beanie babies and cabbage patch kids and...) if you want to make money, sell it sooner rather than later.  

I mean jeez, I just paid $4.46 for a Mint Reek beast :o from a retail outlet.  I scored my Riddell Vader helmet (thanks Matt) for less than retail.  With a little luck I'll get another for less than retail, one at or near retail and then pay through the nose to get the other two.  My guess is that I'll get all five for around $300 US.  Not far off regular retail (around $50 US IIRC).  Pretty cool by me.  
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: Vator on June 18, 2003, 04:51 PM
Well,I have a friend who didn't have a lot of money,and wanted to buy some of my loose vintage figure,and I sold 4 of them to him for $15(I even threw in a Commtech Vader,because some ones got to lead that death squad commander!)and it felt good.Scalpers suck,period.
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: Darth Broem on June 18, 2003, 05:27 PM
I usually just wait it to buy stuff at the stores and if not there then at a show up north from me.  I don't have anything from 2003 I don't believe.  That's because I never find a thing at stores here.  However, if I really, truly had to get a figure I'd go to the classifieds or trade boards here or at Rebelscum.  
I finally caved in and asked to buy an Ephant Mon here.  I was expecting to be asked to pay at least $15 if anyone had it at all.  The person sold it to me for $5 and $1 for non-priority shipping.  I'm not saying you will get that good of a deal but it sure beats waiting until local retailers to get them in.  
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: RJP on June 18, 2003, 06:12 PM
It's sad to see my fellow collectors bummed out about toys and such but in the end if you do it for the love of collecting and the fun of friendship you will prevail  :-*
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: Hung Solow on June 18, 2003, 10:58 PM
I hear what your saying, but I don't buy the whole "I don't care if they're worth anything" rap.  I don't buy the philosophy of "I just collect because they make me happy" either.  Happiness is a chemical reaction created in your brain.  It can be triggered by a number of stimuli.  If you didn't care about the value, then why not give them to needy children???  I firmly believe that whenever a person spends $, they expect some sort of return.  It's an investment.  If this wasn't true, then you'd see people driving down the streets, throwing fists full of $ out the windows.  I have a respect for the value of a $.  I work for my loot, so I don't just want to throw it away.  Nor do I want to spend it on something that I would never be able to resell.
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: Morgbug on June 19, 2003, 12:08 AM
I'm confused.  Yeah, some of this stuff is worth money, but if that's all it was about, or even in part, I'd dump my toyfare Vader in a second.  Send it out to be AFA graded and all that.  But I haven't.  

I like collecting for the sake of collecting.  Conversation, the hunt, trading, making new friends.  Some of the stuff I have is worth more, true, and getting it is the hunt.  

I've been through the comic craze with the delusions of making money.  Had I any brains at all at the time I would have sold it all nearly immediately, say three months after it was issued.  I have retail value $10,000 worth of comics that I could maybe, MAYBE get $1000 for.  And that includes the nice minty stuff like Amazing Spiderman 300.  

I stopped worrying about the value some time ago.  
Title: Re: the present toy market
Post by: 10incher on June 2, 2005, 11:25 AM
This is the exact reason why I only collect figures from the 80s and older.