July General Marketwatch Update

Happy July Space Freaks!

 

I hope everyone is starting to enjoy their summers out there in collector land.  As usual we’ve seen a big uptick in auctions and the summer boom is in full swing on eBay, RebelScum and the Imperial Gunnery.   This month we bring you another round of big auctions from the past few weeks, with some rare, not so rare and readily available items with some interesting ending price results.  It’s a bit heavier then others as I feel bad as we’re book-ending this with two more editorial style updates focused on the reality of prices, trends and some new staple behaviors in the realm of Vintage Star Wars collecting.

 

Seal show – the items that never made it out of the package.

For the Seal Show this month we only have a few items to review.  One of the more notable ones being the Y-Wing which we’ve never had the pleasure to feature before.  Why you may ask, well simply put this is one of the toughest vehicles to find sealed that isn’t in the coveted super rare category with items such as the Cantina Adventure set and the Sandcrawler.   With only a dozen or so graded examples out there you don’t see a sealed version come along very often, and certainly not in the condition which is near perfect in comparison to others that have sold over the past few years.  With what would appear to be a hefty price tag for an ROTJ vehicle this piece is right on the money as C7 versions have sold for $5-600 consistently over the past two years, with this one being the best in at least 5+ years.

Y-Wing C9 – $969

Y-Wing

Y-Wing

 

Moving onto our second sealed auction we have a great example of one of the ESB 6 packs, and in this case the rarer of the two, that being the Red 6 Pack.   We’ve seen these come up in the past and know that they are outnumbered by roughly 10-1 by the Yellow 6 Packs, thus making it much rarer and in all cases demanding a premium in comparison to the Yellow six pack.  This one is particularly nice getting an AFA85 with a price that is out of this world at $7100. This is way above the average price seen and might have been driven up by the extra exposure the item had by being listed with the Yellow 6 pack at the same time.

ESB Red 6-Pack AFA85- $7100

ESB Red 6 Pack

ESB Red 6 Pack AFA85

 

Open to the public? – Loose and Opened items.

Although we only had a few items to cover in the Seal Show that doesn’t carry over to our usually sparse coverage of loose items in Open to the Public.  In fact this month we focus heavily on all things out of the package.

The Vlix is right, is a saying heard many a times on the Vintage Pod, but in this case I’m not sure if the price on this Vlix is right.   What would you pay for an incomplete action figure?   Well a few years back the head (just the head) of a vintage Stretch Lizard (from the original Stretch Armstrong Line) sold for nearly $1000 on eBay.  Here we have a full figure just missing the weapon.   Although the NG grade was ultimately given due to the missing weapon,  it’s still a strange way to treat what something that really doesn’t deserve a grade period.

Vlix – AFA NG – $2500

Vlix NG AFA

Vlix AFA NG

For the remainder of Open to the Public we have four staples from the original toy lines which are today regarded as some of the most coveted of the loose figures to be released.  Four staples of the hobby that all saw great prices realized given they aren’t really rare but the demand is consistently high, given the relative sparseness of availability of the items.

First off we have a standard loose Yak Face, seeing a price of $270.  This shows just how hot the market is these days given that a loose Yak Face would go for roughly $150 consistently in the last few years.

Yak Face Loose- $270

Yak Face Loose

Yak Face Loose

Running down the line we have Blue Snaggletooth, in good condition graded AFA75.  Loose AFA figures have been really hot over the past few years, and with the rarer figures like Blue Snaggletooth we see consistently high prices even with items that are not in the best condition.

Blue Snaggletooth AFA75- $264

Blue Snaggletooth AFA75 Loose

Blue Snag AFA75

Finishing off the section we have two higher grade items that support the previous thoughts on AFA figures and their value today.   However these are on the other side of the condition sphere as we have an 85 and 90 of the two most popular figures from the Droids line seeing prices of $250 and $300 respectively.  Both figures in 85 condition consistently go for $150-200 each, so seeing these prices is pretty impressive.

R2D2 Pop Up Lightsaber Droids – AFA85 – $250

R2D2 Lightsaber AFA85

R2D2 Droids AFA86

C-3PO Droids – AFA90 $300

C-3PO Droids AFA

C-3PO Droids - AFA90

Pete’s Picks – The rare and/or super expensive….

First off we have a great variant for all of you extra sweaty nerds that can’t just be happy with a Lili Ledy removable hood. Here we have the Lili Ledy Jawa with a dark thread stitch, with only  a handful in circulation this is one of the holy grails for Jawa colletors and variant collectors alike. This particular saw quite a premium vs. one that sold earlier this year for around $1700, given the time of year it’s expected to see an increase in price, but with a 36% it’s a bit out of the norm.

Jawa ROTJ Lili Ledy Dark Stiches – $2690

Jawa ROTJ Lili Ledy

Jawa ROTJ Lili Ledy

Whenever we have a chance to highlight a Meccano piece I’m always delighted.  The figures are so unique in that they take a lot of the elements of US carded figures and give it a slight spin and with Meccano I don’t know why, but the square cardbacks always intrigue me.   This particular piece is of one of many collectors favorite figures given that it’s considered by many to be the best molding of a Han Solo figure.  That coupled with the fact that it’s in good condition made this piece jump to the price of $3050 a very nice find and an awesome price.

Han Bespin MOC – Meccano – $3050

Han Bespin MOC Meccano

Han Bespin Meccano MOC

If you’re sick of me covering Mailer sets please let me know, until I get a lot of complaints I’m going to continue to showcase this niche line of items in the hobby.  This particular set is the holy grail of Mailer sets, the 15 pack Lineart ESB set graded AFA85.   It’s so impressive to see these items graded, and one of the few types of collectibles that I think is completely enhanced by the grading process as displaying these is not only difficult without a case, I’ve just never really seen a good way to showcase them period.  This set is such a great item and so epic in appearance, with a price tag of nearly $4500 it has to be one of the most expensive mailer sets to ever hit eBay.

ESB 15 Pack Mailer Set Lineart – AFA86 – $4498

ESB Lineart 15 Pack Mailer Set

15 Pack Mailer Lineart Graded

I won’t spend too much time on this piece given it’s been talked about on the Rebelscum boards in a separate thread.  However I would be hard pressed to not cover a $50K auction for a vintage Zeb Kellock.   Not only would finding a loose version of this be cool given the detail and high desirability of the 2nd generation of Droids and Ewok figures, here we have a carded figure from the line.  In line with some of the Toy Fair samples of carded POTF figure that weren’t released this has to be one of the best preproduction items to hit eBay in recent history.

Zeb Kellock Salesman Sample AFA with CIB – $50K

Zeb Kellock Salesman Sample

Keb Zeblock Salesman Sample

That wraps up our update for this month, check back next month for our normal Monthly Updates for August, and later this month for the second installment of the editorial style “This is Reality, Please Come Back to It” where we cover, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, High Grade AFA and an added section abandoned auctions the new ultra evil in collecting.

Until then, Wampa Wampa;

FB24

 

Advertisements

This is Reality Come Back to it…. Part 1

Happy May June Space Freaks!

It’s been an exciting year for the hobby and collectors across the board, with crazy auctions for unique and rare items, to scandals, to plain great discussions on Rebel Scum and at the Imperial Gunnery.   This has given Michael and myself along with our counterparts on the Chive Cast great fodder to discuss.

But this month I want to take us away from our normal update and focus in on the reality of the new state of collecting, most specifically pricing and the mis-represented status of anomaly auctions, with a feature called, This is reality come back to it…

At first the idea of this article was to document the insane appreciation we’ve seen in the Vintage line over the past few years, via a grid of pricing and conditions that drive it.  However that will have to wait, if not be shelved permanently, as like most pricing grids (guides) they are out of date as soon as they are completed.  Instead I’m going to focus this on a few of the overarching situations where collectors jaws drop to the proverbial ground.  The situations where you have to take a second look and ask yourself, was that an anomaly or is that par for the course in today’s market?

In this month’s article we’ll cover some of the biggest ah-has for today’s collectors in an effort to help level set the community on the reality of some of the most expensive areas of the hobby.   Given all the facets that we could cover this month we’ll just be focusing on the first 3 of 6  with a follow up article along with a New General update coming in Late June.  But let’s cut to the chase and cover 5 of the biggest reality checks when it comes to today’s market.

 

12 Backs – Going Rate

I always hear stories from collectors that have been in the hobby for a lot longer then me state that 12 backs used to be a dime a dozen.   And in the not too distant past that may have been the case, for low grade figures.   However high grade 12 backs

Interesting as there are infinitely more of the first 12 available on Star Wars 12 backs in existence today than on any other cardback, thus showing again rarity and demand are not always directly connected.

–         AFA 12 Back Luke Skywalker = 300+ graded pieces

–         AFA ESB (All Backers) Luke Skywalker = 120 roughly

–         AFA ROTJ (All Backers) Luke Skywalker = 50 roughly

Regardless of their commonality as the most readily available of any Star Wars MOC figures, they continue to drive some of the highest prices of any cardback combination.  Today most 12 backs graded in 80-85 condition drive retails in the $800-1100 range regardless of character.  Of course some characters like Vader have seen AFA85s go for over $2000 in the past year, thus inside this  trend exist certain outliers.

The thing that drives the value in 12 backs is the mis-guided perception that the first release is always the most sought after.  True in  comic books and baseball cards this falsity is mis guided in a toyline that lasted for over 8 years.

Impact of Clear bubble on ROTJ and POTF prices.

The last two lines in the series were the largest and smallest in total quantity of figures  released respectively.  In each series there was a trait that would in years to come define the series from a collectors point of view.   That being the fact that the seals on the figures bubbles improved, but the plastic quality was diminished and thus the vast majority of the figures bubbles turned yellow over time.

When reviewing the AFA database we find that ROTJ MOC graded figures are over 65% yellow, and nearly 80% of POTF figures follow suit with this trait.   That leaves the  minority of each of the series with clear bubbles.   What enhances this is the fact that figures are still “turning” via exposure to sun, heat, moisture, smoke, dust and lack of proper ventilation or storage.   Given that the price of clear bubble figures continues to skyrocket amongst the two lines. In the ROTJ world it can mean a 3-4 times lift in value and with POTF it’s very close with a 3-5 times price increase.

The Reality

POTF Amanaman Yellow AFA80 = $125-150 figure, however with a clear bubble the figure has sold for north of $500 in the last year. With figures like Anakin and Yak Face which are almost non-existent with a clear bubble the prices inflation is even more impressive, given the size of the dollars being talked about and the fact that these two have fewer clear bubble figures by ratio and in absolute value then any of the last 17.

On the ROTJ front we see a lot of appreciation in value in 65-77 and 79 backs as they represent the majority of the yellow bubble figures in the market with roughly 80% of these cardbacks being graded yellow. With 48 backs it’s a bit of a different story as the bubbles don’t have the same yellowing tendencies.   Thus the value increase is more comparable of the last ESB releases vs. the rest of the ROTJ or even the POTF line.

Greedo ROTJ Clear Bubble – C8 Prices through history.

  • Tomart’s Price Guide – Outdated Prior to Print = $35-50 top end.
  • Auction in 2004 =  $120
  • Auction in 2014 =  $250

 

Revenge Proofs – Even if there’s 50 estimated to be in existence for each character, there’s something that most prototypes don’t have, a wide base of collectors actually are trying to collect.   This shows with out a shadow of doubt that a mix between rarity and demand exists that is not exclusively based on just the rarity.   Ex, I want to get a sheet of proof cards for my ROTJ collection, do they exist, Yes, are they obtainable, that’s questionable.  Thus I am searching week in and week out for this piece, no because at the end of the day I would have to know someone who had access to the first generation of sales of these items in order to find one, and the chances of finding a one of a kind vintage item is pretty much unattainable for the average collector (someone outside the inner circle) and the legitimacy of some of those pieces is tough to verify.

Being that Revenge of the Jedi proofs are obtainable in many collectors eyes, the Revenge proofs can demand double of what some of their ROTJ or ESB counterparts do, even if they out number those proof series 10-1 in many cases.  Thus we have a relationship between the perceived obtainability of an item that creates more collectors and thus drives up the price more and more regardless if there are 50 examples out there.

A few recent examples include a Boba Fett proof that went for over $3000 last month, Luke Bespin Proofs going for over $1000 and of course Darth Vader revenge proofs

The Reality:

–         Tertiary Background characters such as Bespin Guards, and Lobot demand roughly $200-$300.

–         Secondary characters such as Greedo, Bossk, IG-88 and others usually realize prices of $250-$400.

–         Primary characters – Luke, Leia, Han, and others usually realize prices of $400-$800

–         Anomalies- Rebel Commander, Boba Fett, Vader, Yoda and the two misprints consistently sell for $600-Several Thousand when it comes to the Fett man

That wraps up our update for this month, check back next month for our normal Monthly Updates for June and for the next phase of come back to reality where we cover, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, High Grade AFA.

Until then, Wampa Wampa;

FB24

 

May Mid-Month MW Update

Happy May Space Freaks!

 

Here’s a quick update on some more visible and notable auctions in the April/May time period.  I’ll be posting the “Reality Check” article later this month and this will just serve as a bridge as there were some great pieces that came up over the last 60 days.

 

Unlike our normal layout I just have 7 auctions that I want to cover this month, each unique and notable in their own way.

 

Boba Fett Revenge Proof AFA85 –  $3700

 

Last year we covered the another Revenge of the Jedi Boba Fett proof, remember what that went for…..$1500, not even half of what the most recent Fett Proof sold for earlier this month. Showing us, the even when there’s 50 examples of an item out there, if demand is high enough, crazy prices can be realized.  This one was truly out in left field, but with only a few others selling in the past year it’s hard to scoff at whomever paid up for it, as they obviously needed it.

 

Boba Fett Revenge of the Jedi Proof Card

Boba Fett Revenge

Droids MOC Collection – Midgrade figures – $3300

 

What can I say, this happens every so often and I thought this was worthy of mentioning given the span of figures.  Unlike most MOC Droids sets, this one actually included a MOC Boba Fett which adds quite the premium to a set like this, even with the mid-grade overall condition. Overall awesome deal, as I always say it’s best to buy in bulk!

 

Droids MOC Collection

Droids MOC Collection

Sandcrawler MISB – C8 – $3350

 

Hard to find, especially sealed this was a great piece and one of the only truly rare pieces from the Vintage Line. The price seemed right on given the market as of recent years for similar condition items, and the overall price trend that we’re seeing in the hobby these days.

 

Sandcrawler MISB

Sandcrawler MISB

Unproduced Luke Pitch Coin – $2899

 

Used as a preproduction concept for what the end product was shooting to be, the pitch coins were a good first generation conceptualization of the POTF line of coins.   Only a few seem to be out there and when they come up they demand some pretty high prices.   This was a great example of another great niche that people can get into with the hobby.

 

Luke Skywalker Unproduced Pitch Coin

Luke Pitch Coin - Preproduction

Tusken Raider 12” Boxed Lili Ledy – C7 – $2650

 

A true rarity in the 12” line comes to us from outside of the US, the Tusken Raider Lili Ledy large scale format figure

 

Tusken Raider Large Format 12″ Lili Ledy

 

Tusken Lili Ledy

Walrusman PBP/Poch MOC – C9 – $2175

 

I always like to throw in something from lands far, far away as it this month it comes in the form of Walrusman, yes our old friend Mr. Butt face. Here we have a PBP/POCH piece that is truly rare and unique, the PBP line is one of the most sought after in the Vintage Star Wars Collectors universe.  And given the condition of this example it’s no surprise he went for big dollars.

 

Walrusman MOC PBP/POCH

 Walrusman PBP Poch

Boba Fett ROTJ Tatooine Scene – AFA85 Clear – $1461

 

Boba Fett has always been one of the highest demand characters and here we have no exception to the rule.   In what be the most expensive ROTJ MOC auction in recent years we have a perfect example of the Tatooine scene Boba Fett.   With a clear bubble this doesn’t surprise me as the last AFA80 with a clear bubble went for nearly $1200, and as we all know the higher end segment always demands a premium, and with a clear bubble it really pushes the price up as the two piece bubble almost always turns yellow.

 

Boba Fett ROTJ Tatooine AFA85 Clear

 

Boba Fett ROTJ

 

That brings us to the end of our mid month update.

Wampa Wampa,

FB24

March MarketWatch Monthly Overview

Happy March Space Freaks!

This month on the MarketWatch Monthly we have a general update of the market and some of the more notable items that have been up in the market in the February/March timeframe.

Seal show – the items that never made it out of the package.

This month on the Seal Show we have a diverse offering of toys from Electronic games, to staples of the vintage line, to off shoots from the core line of toys and all points in between.   This is a bit of a hodge podge this month, but I hope you enjoy some of the unique items we found on the market.

Our first auction is an interesting piece to feature, the original Atari Return of the Jedi cartridge MISB.   We never really cover these as part of the Vintage line, but I’m officially taking these back and incorporating them into the Vintage lineage going forward, as really this is the evolution of Toys into the digital world.

Atari – Return of the Jedi Cartridge MISB  – C9 – $273 Atari ROTJ Cartridge MISB

ROTJ Atari Cartridge

 

Our second items come as a pair, as they are a quick showcase of two really great items that ended a few weeks back.  Another part of Rebel Scum Emporiums auctions from Q1 these were some of the last auctions to get picked up.  The key piece to mention here is the ESB Tie Fighter, definitely one of the more difficult to find pieces especially in the condition we find it in here.

Darth Vader Diecast Tie Fighter – C9 – $223 Darth Vader Diecast Tie Fighter

Darth Vader MOC TieFighter Diecast

ESB Diecast Tie Fighter – C9 – $599 ESB Diecast Tie Fighter

Tie Fighter ESB Diecast MOC

Moving on down the line we have two great staples of the hobby, the CS version of the Landspeeder and the original SW Millennium Falcon.    The SW Landspeeder is such a great toy and one of the most recognizable in the line.    We saw a good showing on price here as that $300 price tag is right on for an AFA80, worth mentioning once in a while I’m sure we’ll see this piece again on the MW in the coming year.

Landspeeder Collectors Series – AFA80 – $324 Landspeeder AFA 80 CS

Landspeeder MISB CS

Not forgetting our large Corelian ship, we have for I believe the 2nd time only a sealed Falcon for review on the MarketWatch.    Due to it’s size and price finding a sealed Falcon from the original SW release is quite the feet, especially over the past few years as the market has been really dry on this piece.      A great showing on price and an iconic piece overall, the Falcon could be the most recognizable (non-figure) toy in the series

Millennium Falcon SW Sealed – AFA80 – $3800 Millennium Falcon SW AFA80

 Millenium Falcon ANH SW MISB

 

Open to the public? – Loose and Opened items.

Coming off a full update on the loose side of the hobby, we have a very focused update for March with only two auctions getting call outs.

Our first comes off the heels of the Lili Ledy featured items last month.   Given that we were able to feature four of the five extremely popular Lili Ledy Variants, I wanted to showcase the fifth, that being the super rare Red Cloak Bib Fortuna.   This piece has always had a special place in US collectors hearts, as it’s featured in a number of photo samples and even in some production photos, bringing up the question, why didn’t we get the red cape Bib in the states?  Although I can’t speculate on why this occurred, I would venture a guess that between the SWCA.com and Rebel Scum you should be able to do your own research on this piece.   This particular item is graded with a COA from Tom Derby, the retail is a bit high from where I’ve seen these land in the last few years, but still in line with FMV.

Lili Ledy Red Cape Bib Fortuna – AFA85 with COA – $1488 Lili Ledy Red Cape Bib Fortuna with COA

Bib Fortuna Lili Ledy with COA

Following up to our Lili Ledy figure we have another great foreign company example the walking R2D2 from Takara.   Know not only for the Star Wars line Takara is one of the biggest toy producers in the Eastern Hemisphere with hundreds of great lines produced over the years.  Here we have a graded version of the figure receiving an AFA85 overall and a strong price point of $310.

Takara Walking R2-D2 Loose – AFA85 – $310 – Takara Walking R2D2 AFA

Loose walking R2-D2

Pete’s Picks – The rare and/or super expensive….

This month there are three specific auctions I wanted to highlight.  This showcases some of the most unique and most difficult items to find in the hobby.     From a 12” prototype, to a Canadian rarity these are a few of the most unique items show up on the market in the last month.

Leia Organa Bespin 12 Inch Box Prototype – AFA85 – $6000

Leia Bespin 12 Inch Box Prototype= Rare and Expensive

One of the, if not the most sought after item in the 12” Series is the Leia Bespin Figure or for that matter any of the new figures from ESB Large Format release.   With only IG-88 making it shelves all we have of the other items is preproduction and mock ups.  Here we have the box for Leia Bespin, the boxes were truly incredible when it came to the 12” line.   With more images and scenes then their 3” counterparts they made the line more exciting and visually stimulating.    This particular piece was graded with an overall grade of AFA85.  A truly unique item for only the high end collector, it should be noted the price came down from the original listing by $4000.

Leia Bespin 12 Inch

Anakin Skywalker POTF MOC – AFA80Y – $5500

Anakin Skywalker POTF MOC= Rare and Expensive

Along with Yak Face, the MOC Anakin figure is the only other truly rare MOC from the last 17 release.  With no circulation in the US and most countries abroad, the Anakin figure was released exclusively in Australia.   Thus they are few and far between in terms of availability and especially in good condition.   Want to turn that up a notch, try finding a clear bubble Anakin Skywalker – only 6 exist in the AFA database and most have turned yellow since.

 Anakin MOC POTF

R2-D2 Wind-Up MOC Canadian Version – AFA85 – $5500 

R2-D2 Wind Up Canadian= Rare and Expensive

The Wind-Up R2-D2 is truly unique and another take on everyone’s garbage can shaped droid.    With the majority of these coming overseas from Takara, find a Canadian version is quite rare and as one can see very expensive.    With an overall grade of 85 the price tag is fitting for the R2-D2 focus collector that already has everything R2 already, in fact a certain collector comes to mind when I see this piece in particular, oh let’s say someone with a round room painted like R2…  Anyway a cool piece in great condition at for a boat load of cash is definitely worth mentioning.

MOC R2D2 Walking

That brings us to the end of the March MarketWatch Update.   Next month we’ll have our regular update in a shortened fashion along with an important article on pricing called “This is reality – please come back to it”. A segment that will focus on the average values amongst different categories of items on the market today. Call it a baseline, but it’s really just meant to bring us all to the same page in terms of what true fair market values look like in 2014.

Wampa Wampa:

FB24

 

Toy Hunters 130 MOC Figure Purchase Review

Hey Space Freaks,

I wanted to give you a write up on a transaction that is really one of the highlights of vintage Star Wars collecting in recent history.   That transaction being the large scale sale of 130 figures on the Travel Channel Show Toy Hunters on February 19th 2014.  Jordan the proprietor of the shop, site and all things Hollywood Heroes is an avid collector who has been able to turn his hobby into a retail career,  and now a full length show with nearly three years under its belt.   Luckily for vintage collectors there’s plenty of Star Wars and other similar lines featured on the show.   The deals are interesting to see go down and the breadth of lines represented is pretty impressive.

Recently we saw what is one of the greatest mother load finds in the history of Vintage Star Wars given its size and scope.  Included in the set were 130 vintage mint on card figures, spanning all three movies.   The heart of the set was a Boba Fett ESB figure, 2 Sets of 12 Backs and several other high grade SW, ESB and ROTJ figures.    Jordan paid a couple that had held onto these for several years $15,000 for the set of figures, which has been the center of some controversy with the deal.  Given the span and value of the collection I wanted to take some time and review the transaction and discuss some perspectives on the deal itself as it stands on it’s own in the Vintage community and amongst the deals we’ve seen on the show to date.

Before I go any further I want to say for the record, Toy Hunters is one of my favorite concepts for a show, and I’ve seen every episode to date.  Therefore I have nothing against Jordan,  or the show itself as it’s TV and there’s editing and magic that’s done to make the show work.  Thus I don’t have any issues with the staging aspect of the show as that’s how all reality TV is done these days.   However I do feel it’s in both his direct and the overall networks responsibility to be accurate with what is shown (pricing and condition wise) and not to disparage from the fair market value (FMV)  of items that are shown and directly priced on the show.

The 12 Back set +3 and the Buyer:

I wanted to talk about the deal specifically, most specifically the purchasing side of the large collection as opposed to the sale of the 15 MOC figures for $25,000.  But for sake of giving a few quick background points I did want to touch on it with a few thoughts.

I really don’t see a moral dilemma in the purchase/sale of the 15 MOC figures for $25,000.   Could the buyer have gotten that set for a great deal less;  yes,  but that’s their fault for not spending  a few hours over the course of a few weeks on eBay to get that done for $12-14,000.  Here’s a few examples from the recent past:

Set of 41 SW and ESB MOC Figures – C7-C9 – $11000 – 41 MOC Figure Collection

Set of 12 Back SW Figures – AFA 80+ – $8995 – 12 Back AFA Set All AFA80+

Set of 12 Back SW Figures – AFA75-85 – $10,000 – 12 Back AFA Set

These sets aren’t apples to apples with what we saw on Toy Hunter, but they give us a realistic view of what a single auction can bring in terms of price for a set of the original 12.   I did some digging on the other 3 figures in the purchase as well as what putting a set of 12 backs together has run on average over the past year, and came up with the numbers below as a 2nd reference point for value.

  •          12 Back AFA 85 Set – Average Price = $12,400, with it costing more to put together a set piece by piece as opposed to a            single purchase of 12.
  •          20 Back release Cantina Figures 3 AFA85 – Average Price = $1800

Ultimately people are going to pay a premium for having someone come to their place (boat in this case) and hand deliver a high grade set figures.  I don’t doubt there needing to be a premium at all as it’s a different situation from what most collectors deal with. The figures that received 90’s that were included in the set are 85s at the end of the day from a perception factor.  If he could have gotten what he stated he could for them, he should have sold them separately and used the other examples of C-3PO and Chewy that were in the other set of 12 back.   Ultimately the 90s don’t drive the value of the “set” that much and he would have benefited from selling those as single figures to a focus collector.   If the customer paid what they paid, that’s their fault, as to be honest that deal isn’t really that shady from my perspective.   The sale is what it was , and although I think it’s a bad way to acquire a set of figures to each their own.

The 130 Figure Purchase – My first challenge.

The grander challenge and main thing I wanted to highlight was the sale of figures as a whole.   This is where I start to see some challenges in the transaction and the issues I see are two fold:

  1.        Representation of pricing of the figures both on the front end and the sale.
  2.        The perceived lack of value in the rest of the figures in the deal that weren’t part of the 12 back sets.

If I look at the purchase itself I break it down into components and the value of the components to come up with my challenges on the value of the set vs. what was paid.

12 Backs +3

Given that he took $25,000 just for the set of 12 backs + the 3 Cantina figures, if the $15,000 was just for the one set of 12 backs and the three Cantina figures, he would have broken even on that alone.   That would have included his travel, lodging, the $1400 AFA bill (Submitting all as archival with S+H), and $5000 grand in his pocket with ease.    Thus there’s no underestimating that this was a massive deal for him, and one that paid off big time just in the scope of what we saw sold on camera in the one scene.

The rest of the 12 Backs

With $5000 in his pocket on the first part of the breakdown we are going to be talking mainly about the size of the pot enlarging from here on in.    Given we have another full set of AFA graded 12 backs we can estimate another $9-10,000 in sales from that set.   Assuming he submitted this set as archival he would have rung up another $1150 thus bringing his profit total to $13850 on the high side ($5000+$8850).

Given this the profit rate for the sale as a whole is just under 50% which isn’t too far off from where he and other buyers typically try to shoot for when buying toys from individuals.  Thus when you look at these 25 figures, what was sold and what we can easily and safely assume the others will sell for you have what can be considered a great and fair find, just amazing unto itself.

Oh, but then there’s just the small detail of the 103 OTHER MOC FIGURES THAT COULD EASILY BE WORTH TWICE WHAT THE 12 BACK SETS WERE!!!!!!   Okay I calmed down, I just needed to scream for a second there.   I understand that the people “did there research” and priced it appropriate to what they thought it was worth.   However I do think when you add the other figures into the equation there is no doubting this wasn’t a good score; it was a steal, and it’s not good for the hobby on a grand scale.

The other 106 figures…..

The perception of value to a large audience is the biggest issue here as it distorts the reality of value of certain items while inflating the values on other items.

I think the only thing that could make this appear better is if we knew the details:

  1.        What was the transaction, i.e. what was the final after they’d received the additional check?
  2.        What figures on what cardbacks?
  3.        What were the grades?

From there you can get a true read on the situation, i.e. are we talking additional profits of $10,000 or $50,000?

However I doubt that will ever be available, so let’s just go with what we see in terms of other figures, and see if we can come up with a baseline of what the rest of the collection was worth.

ESB – Boba Fett, Landox2, Lobot , Leia Hoth, Dengar, Leia Bespin + Variant, Imp Stormtrooper Hoth, IG-88, Cloud Car Pilot, 2-Ugnaughts, Yoda, Bossk, Rebel Commander – $7700

ROTJ Clear – Imp Stormtrooper Hoth, Teebo, 8D8, Klaatu, 2-Pack Madine/Han Trench, Luke Jedi,  Squidhead, Gamorrean Guard, B-Wing Pilot – $850

ROTJ Yellow – Teebo , Chief Chirpa, General Madine, Klaatu,  At-St Driver, Rebel Commandox2,Weequay,  Nikto, Klaatu Skiff – $450

POTF – Luke Stormtrooper – $500

That gives us a grand total of $9500 which I believe is a conservative estimate on eBay in a no reserve auction.

With 36 MOC figures represented here, we can assume that this is a fair representation of the rest of the collection in terms of value and distribution of characters.   We can assume this is roughly 1/3 of the value and thus we can estimate the total value of the additional 106 figure to be roughly $28,500 conservatively

That brings the grand total of what I think they could take away on this is roughly $40,000 not a bad hall for some old toys.    It’s quite the profit rate and I will leave you to form your own opinion about that, as I don’t think it would be completely out of line if he sent them more after the fact.   At the end of the day there’s nothing legally wrong and morals are different person to person so I won’t argue any points on this part of the deal either and leave up to you to form your own thoughts on the profit side of the equation.

Why this is an important topic.

Why do I personally think this is an important topic to discuss?  Well the first aspect is perception and the other is perception’s direct impact on our hobby.    You will hear me say time and time again on the MarketWatch that I don’t think that value is the key reason to collect, and I don’t think most people think of their collections as assets as much as a hobby.    However there is an inherent value to what we collect, and it’s important to understand what that value is and to ensure that it’s represented fairly and consistently amongst other collectors.   In this case we have a pretty gross case of variance in actual value between what you could get something for; and what you pay for when something is hand delivered to you.  What we didn’t get, and is fairly damning to the hobby is an accurate value of any of the other items, and thus the overall perception that they weren’t worth anything.

I was once told by a one of the VPs in my company that “Perception is Reality”, although I’ve never agreed with that, I did get the thrust of what he was trying to say.   That being that what others perceive to be real is real in their-own minds until proven different.    Thus perception is one of the core issues that comes up when I think about the deal itself and the effect it may on the hobby in the short or long run.

I do get a bit upset of the selling price of the 12 back set when I think about it in relationship to the perceived value of the rest of the figures, that being $0.   It is clear that there is one challenge with Jordan and that is the consistency in which is represents some of his pricing as he’s always one to lowball and dismiss value when on the purchasing side, $15,000 or $115 per figure.  However from what we saw on the show prices realized included:

  •          Teebo Yellow Bubble $150
  •          Yoda ESB $700
  •          3 Cantina Figures  $5000
  •          12 Back Set $20,000

That averages to be $1520 a figure, thus a bit off from what we saw on the front end of the purchase.   Given we’ve already touched on a few comparisons for the 15 figure transaction I won’t rehash those.   But here is one name we should remember when we think about this situation, Boba Fett.   There was a cherry un-punched ESB Boba Fett that was basically dismissed and thrown in with the other non-Star Wars figures.   Another strike as it’s probably the most valuable figure (pre-grading) in the lot.    This one just brought up bad memories of the ROTJ Boba Fett on from a few years ago that was listed for $25 when it probably would have pulled $5-650 easily on eBay.

If you’re out of touch with eBay which is FMV then fine, but don’t go stating values like their FMV, say this is worth 50% of what I can get at a convention or in my store.  There’s a difference between the two avenues,  and eBay and boards like Rebel Scum and Imperial Gunnery are much more suitable and realistic medium for transactions in this day and age.  Thus we can use these channels as FMV without issue as the community is setting the price.

Here lies the core issue on this particular side of the two challenges I had with transaction, and where I have somewhat of a personal issue with the deal.  That issue being the fact that they had no problem shooting for the moon with their off the cuff appraisal of the $6500 AFA90 Chewy, the $2500 AFA90 C-3PO, or the Hammerhead, Greedo and Snaggletooth that sold for $5000.  All of these were really far off the mark and it shows a crazy disparity in terms of pricing.   The AFA90s should get a premium, but we’re talking $1500-2500 for Chewy as he brings $800-1000 any month of the year on eBay as an AFA85, on C-3PO similar not too far off at $1500 for an AFA90 as an 85 brings $6-800 consistently.   But when it comes to valuing the other items given the overall transaction value, it’s like they have no value, when in fact they were where the majority of the money could have been made.   Thus there’s a huge gap between what he’s valuing things at on the front side and where that retail actually ends up at the end of the day.  This amplifies the issue of perception more than anything as it shows a disparagement in pricing on a grand level.

So in the end inconsistency in price and perception in value are the two challenges I have with a purchase that has caught a lot of attention in the Vintage community.   Nothing more from my perspective on the negative side of the equation, as I don’t want that to overshadow the greatness of the deal in terms of scale and visibility for the hobby.  As at the end of the day regardless of details of the transaction it will be perceived as a high point for the hobby and will hopefully lead to other Star Wars items on Toy Hunters over the coming years.

Wampa Wampa

FB24

February MarketWatch Overview Monthly Update

Happy February 2014 Space Freaks!

This month on the MarketWatch Monthly Update we’ll touch on a subject we introduced last year, The Economic State of the Hobby.    In addition we’ll showcase the new format of the MarketWatch Monthly Update with the reoccurring sections we’ll be featuring this year, Open to the Public, The Seal Show, and Pete’s Picks.

So last year I proposed a big question, “how do we measure the economic state of our hobby?” I gave a few things that I think are really critical to the hobby from an economic standpoint, and would be driving factors at the long and short term outlook for the hobby:

  • Appreciation of items over time
  • Demographic trends
  • General Collection Trends (Toys, Action Figures, Vintage vs. Modern etc)

A year later I don’t think there’s that much of a difference in how you can we should be looking at the economic future of the hobby.   At this point there are a lot of factors that will impact the hobby on a more macro scale, the main one being the release of another set of movies.    This will be the biggest driving factor in terms of growth of the hobby in totality as it will be attracting new collectors in, and driving the prices up.    Not a bad situation for a current vintage collector, but for those who are still enamored with finding new acquisitions it will be a tough market in the coming years. 

The change will be welcomed by most as the expansion of the hobby from its evolution in the early days, to the Celebrations of years past has lead to greater knowledge amongst collectors, relationships and a grander appreciate of the hobby on a global scale.

Like a game of musical chairs we are in a hobby of diminishing supply and each new collector brings new opportunity for growth of the hobby, but also fewer items to go around.  Long term this may result in a plateauing or downturn in fair market values if lack of supply drives more collectors out of the hobby.   Do I think we’re there or will be in the near future, NO.  The supplies of production as fortunately when a toyline makes a run of 7-8 years there’s plenty of variety and supply for the general collector.

So a year later the market is still very hot, not much of a change year over year, maybe up 5-10% as we were already seeing incredibly high prices of items in the Sumer of 2012.   The hobby remains one of the biggest in terms of toy collectors and is growing at a strong pace given the strong demographic and age diversity of collectors on a global scale.

Seal show – the items that never made it out of the package.

For the first time we segment the show based on whether it’s open or sealed. A pretty cut and dry aspect that separates collectors and collections.   With the only variant being the last segment, what the MW Monthly Update has become known for, the rare and expensive.  My hope is to get the highlights focused more on the two major segments of collectors out there, with price and rarity diversity, while still giving a few high priced and rare highlights each month via our closing segments.    Please let us know what you think of the new formats.

This month we have a short run of ROTJ sealed MOC figures.  I chose this selection as it was a good month for high quality items in the series and here we have a full sampling of what good ROTJ figures fetch these days. A lot of these have clear bubbles which drives up pricing drastically for the series.  I think most of these are par for the course in terms of value vs. historical trend.  As usual with MOC items the character really drives the value, and we’re lucky enough to have some of the rarer ROTJ figures including several SW release characters that you seldom see in good condition.

Boba Fett ROTJ MOC – AFA80Y – $559 – Boba Fett AFA 80

Boba Fett ROTJ AFA

Stormtrooper 48 Back Kenner with Palitoy Sticker – AFA80 – $202 – Stormtrooper 48 Back Palitoy

Stormtrooper 48 Back Palitoy

Han Solo ROTJ MOC 48 Back – AFA85 – $371 – Han Solo 48 Back

Han Solo 48 Back

Power Droid ROTJ MOC 48 Back – AFA85 – $256 – Power Droid

Power Droid 48 Back ROTJ

Bespin Guard ROTJ MOC 48 Back – AFA80 – $150 – Bespin Guard 48 Back

Bespin Guard White 48 Back ROTJ

Luke Skywalker ROTJ MOC – AFA80 – $401 – Luke Skywalker Tatooine ROTJ

Luke Skywalker ROTJ Tatooine Picture

Yoda ROTJ MOC – AFA80 – $222 – Yoda ROTJ MOC

Yoda ROTJ MOC

Han Solo Glasslite – C6 – $242 – Han Solo Glasslite MOC

Han Solo Glasslite MOC

Open to the public? – Loose and Opened items.

This moth we have a focused loose update with a set of three Lili Ledy Figures and a set of 3 Catalog Mailers.  Across the board prices are up as these are two extremely hot niches in the hobby.   Loose LL figures are at an all time high, even compared with other vintage items.  Catalog mailers has always been a unique niche and with focus collecting at an all time high we really are seeing some crazy prices out there.  The most notable is the 4-Pack ESB Lineart Set that is missing three figures but saw an incredible price realized, why? It’s RARE, we may never see another on market for years to come, thus the interest in an incomplete piece.

Lili Ledy Boushh – C9 – $293   – Lili Ledy Boushh

Lili Ledy Leia Boushh

Lili Ledy Red Cape Squidhead – C9 – $265   – Lili Ledy Red Cape Squidhead

Red Cape Squidhead

Lili Ledy Orange Cape Squidhead – C9 – $282   – Lili Ledy Orange Cape Squidhead

Catalog Mailer 4 Pack – C8 – $809 – ESB Catalog Mailer 4 Pack

ESB Mailer - 4 Pack Luke Bespin

Catalog Mailer 4 Pack – C8 – $465 – ESB Catalog Mailer 4 Pack #2

ESB Mailer - 4 Pack Han Hoth

ESB Lineart Mailer Missing 3 of 4 figures – $1550 – C8 (Packaging and Catalog) – ESB Lineart Incomplete Catalog Mailer

Lineart ESB Mailer - 4 Pack

 

Pete’s Picks – The rare and/or super expensive….

This month there are three specific auctions I wanted to highlight.  They show a bit of diversity in collecting for some items that are relatively rare and one that’s just in really high demand.  Each of our 3 items this month was picked for a unique reason and each is ultimately cool in its own way.

Cloud City – AFA85 – $2247 – Cloud City AFA 85 = Rare and Expensive

The set is simply one of the coolest pieces of cardboard to ever be produced in my mind, thus I’m always a bit biased as I love this piece.   A tough to find piece, it’s extremely difficult to find sealed, with only a few existing in collections that are of this quality today.   The pieces short supply is represented by some quick AFA data as roughly 10 graded examples exist and only a few that received an 85.   A great idea that I wished would have extended into ROTJ with a Cardboard Imperial Bunker or Sarlacc Pit.

Cloud City Playset AFA

Boba Fett SW MOC – AFA85 – $5200 – Boba Fett SW MOC = Expensive

Fett drives prices like no other, not even Vader comes close to seeing costs as high as sought after Fett pieces.   This shows this theory in kind, this is an astounding price even for a SW back Fett, thus we had to showcase a top end price for a staple in the line.  What’s crazy is that this is par for the course with some of today’s prices as AFA85 SW Fetts are seeing prices of  $4500-5000 on eBay.

Boba Fett Star Wars AFA

Han Solo Bespin Revenge Proof  – AFA85 – $590   – Han Bespin Revenge Proof = Not Common

With Revenge proofs we see no more than 50 of each character, if you were to try and translate that to rarity of carded figures for any of the series/character combinations you would be astounded how rare Revenge proofs tend to appear.   Thus we’ve included a Han Bespin that is par for the course to a little high given where Revenge proofs and that character specifically have performed over time.

Han Solo Bespin Revenge Proof

Overall the economic state of the hobby is one of the few things in the world that is looking up and up, we see values increasing, we see interest getting larger and ultimately we see economic factors that support that vintage will not only continue to be relevant; but that it will thrive in the coming years.  With the stock market returning less and less to shareholders and our 401Ks, investing in vintage may be one of the best places to “invest” your money.

Let me finish by saying, I know that the primary focus of most collectors isn’t to invest into Star Wars and get more out of it in the long run.   This is at the core of why this segment continues to grow, as people have an emotional attachment and investment into their collections, the memories, the thoughts and the good feelings we get from our hobby are really at the heart of why, this hobby will continue to thrive in the near and long term future.

Wampa Wampa:

FB24