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

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

 

June MarketWatch General Update

Happy June Space Freaks,

For our first MarketWatch update of the summer we have another great round of high end auctions and Star Wars goodness spanning across three movie related toy series as well as the Droids TV series of figures.    June is one of my favorite months for collecting, and not just because those of us in the Northern Hemisphere get to enjoy our summer.   It’s truly about how much excitement is generated in the open market through auctions and other activities as is manifested via:

  1. More auctions – more pieces are sold and available during the months of June-July and August than any other three month period during the year – even the holidays!
  2. Rarities – is it just me or do super-rare and one of a kind items only come out when it’s warm outdoors?  Whether just a coincidence or not, this is the time of the year that we always see some unique and rare items emerge that we see once in a blue moon (the moon itself not the beer of the same nameJ)

With those points in mind let’s review some of the super cool and rare items that hit the market this past month.

Darth Vader DT Loose AFA with COA from CIB – $5232 – Darth Vader DT Auction

Starting off the month of June is a great auction for a DT Darth Vader.  Unlike Luke the number of DT Vader’s is finite in total quantity available. Only being released on a card back as opposed to the early bird mailer it’s truly one of the rarest loose figures in the Star Wars universe.   It’s something that you rarely see come upon eBay and thus when they are available they go for big dollars, much like this particular piece.

Darth Vader Double Telescoping Loose

Boba Fett Droids – AFA90 – $10,200 Boba Fett Droids

Moving from an extremely rare loose figure we now have ourselves an very rare carded figure.   Boba Fett will always demand the most dollars for any character in the Star Wars universe regardless of rarity in a series.    That’s why we see poor example ESB and ROTJ versions of the Fett man rise to the $500+ range consistently in the market.   This piece is the creme dela creme when it comes to Boba Fett figures, seeing more demand than any other cardback in the Movie and TV series for the character.    To top it off you have the absolute best example seen in recent years with a grade of 90 and a clear bubble.   The clear bubble alone drives up the price of this piece $500-1000 in price if not more.   This is truly a stunning site for those that have seen tons of poor grade yellow bubble versions of the figure over the years.    And to our enjoyment one actually came up this month,  Droids Fett #2.

Realizing a price of just north of $4000 this piece shows that condition is truly a huge determining factor in the overall price of the an auction.   Here we see more than a doubling of the value just for a 15 point grade improvement and a clear bubble for an excellent example to a Mint example.    It just shows that those that want the best of the best are more then willing to shell out the dough to pick it up.

On a last note I would like to point out that a graded Fett was recently featured on Toy Hunters.  Although it didn’t show the grade it’s my belief that this was an AFA75 or close in condition.   Given that Jordan turned down an offer of $2000 for the item one has to ask two question:

  • Is there that much variance between show prices and online auction price?   I always thought that shows were more expensive and deals were to be found through eBay, but given that he turned down a figure that sold for over $4K on eBay I’m not so sure this equation holds true.
  • Is Toy Hunter a valid show for showing the value of items?  We’ve seen a few errors pop up, and some believe this is causing more damage to the hobby then good.  Well highlighting vintage is great under estimating prices is very damaging, especially for those that are new to the hobby and get a distorted view of product values.

Droid Boba Fett - AFA 90 May 25

Return of the Jedi Transition Stickers:

Over the past few months we’ve seen several of the Canadian ROTJ Transition figures come up for sale on eBay.   And why not after talking about ROTJ transition stickers a few months back on the Chive Cast Vintage Pod the segment of collecting is on fire with crazy prices realized and more in volume then we’ve seen in years.    The stickers which were applied to ESB MOC figures in Canada create a unique looking MOC with a original look and feel unlike that of the ESB or ROTJ releases in Canada.  This month we have three great examples to showcase, rather than reviewing each piece I’ve given you some specifics and a link to each auction.    

 Chewbacca - ROTJ Transition StickerBoba Fett - MOC Transition ROTJ  Ugnaught

Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back 3-Pack Auctions

One of the staples on the MarketWatch the Star Wars and ESB Figure 3 packs are truly one of the most unique and sought after items in the Star Wars universe.  With 16 in all these items feature iconic packing with vibrant colors that coupled with their rarity puts them in a class of their own in the Star Wars collecting community.   We’ve covered off so many of these sets over the past year, it’s hard to imagine that any slipped through the cracks and didn’t get at least mentioned on one of our MarketWatch segments.    This month we have the pleasure of brining you 5 different sets of figures including the super ultra rare double secret probation Rebel, Imperial and Bespin Sets, all of which went for over $10K.   It’s times like this when I think back to hearing about Jeff Jacob purchasing the run for $60,000, and think man he got a great deal!   As we can see below the numbers have appreciated substantially over the years and I couldn’t see a set of these going for much less then $80-90K.

Bespin Set #1Bespin Set #2Rebel Set 3 PackImperial Set 3PackVillian Set 3 Pack

Uzay Emperors Royal Guard – $785 – C3 – Emperors Royal Guard – Uzay

To close off our auctions for this month we end on a high note, well maybe not from a price point.   Here is one of my personal favorites from the ever clever Uzay line.   The line of toys cluttered with random characters that didn’t appear in Star Wars movies and Tie Fighter Pilots pictured with ships that look like a backwards vertical one man cloud car is truly in a class of it’s own even in the ever expansive world of foreign release figures.  And this particular piece offers almost as much fun as some of the more widely known fowls that Uzay perpetuated throughout their shot run.   I don’t know what strikes me as more funny with this particular figure:

  1. The fact that the picture of the Royal Guard shows the figure wearing a cape and holding a staff but the figure didn’t include the cape, or the staff.
  2. The fact that this figure is only Raiders colors away from being a Headman figure.

Uzay Royal Guard

Whichever reason you choose this is truly a fun item to end our June MarketWatch with.

Until next time – Wampa Wampa!

February General Market Watch Updates

Happy February Space Freaks!

Back to our normal schedule for the general Market Watch updates after a month off to discuss the state of the hobby.  Not only did we get to veer off in a fun direction with our January updates but we also got a chance to deliver the message on the Vintage Pod as well.  It was a great experience for Michael and I to spend some time telling our stories and catching up with Skye and Steve directly vs. through email.

This month we find a  diverse selection of items that have popped up over the last 60 days. In addition we have a roundup style review of a large Revenge Proof collection that was put up in single auctions this past month on eBay!

German Parker 3 Pack – Auction Link

Why:  The Parker series have become fan favorites for many reasons, at the core is the fact that they fit into two of the largest areas of growth in our hobby – multi-packs and international.

In addition to this piece being part of two great segments of the hobby it’s just a cool piece in general.   You have a lot going on between the outer packaging and the three figures, which are popular figures in their own right.     A great item at a solid price vs. historic auctions, hopefully we’ll see more Parker products come up for sale in the market this year.

Price: 6 – $1190

Rarity: 7

Parker 3 Pack

Han Solo MISB 12 Inch – Auction Link

Why:  One of the favorites of the 12 inch line the Han Solo figure has seen some strong price appreciation due to it’s relative rarity to the rest of the 12 inch series.  Of course we all know that the 12 inch line was short lived and eventually cut out early in the ESB toy release.  Regardless the series remains a favorite of fans, and in the case of Han here; we have a great example at a premium price.   The figure is overall in great condition and the seller got quite a bit given the relatively poor condition of the box.

Price: 5 – $560

Rarity: 3

Han 12 Inch

ESB MOC Collection – Auction Link

Why:  One of my favorite things to post are large collections, especially when they are MISB or MOC.  In this case we have a great example of 41 of the first 48 figures on ESB card backs.   The thing that I love about auctions like this is how it could afford someone the opportunity to build up their collection with one key swipe.   Literally you have 85% of the ESB MOC series down in one push, but that’s not the real fun part.   The real fun comes in when you see how much you would have paid on average per figure – $178, a great price given the breadth, depth and condition of this collection.

Price: $7300 ($178 per figure)

Rarity: N/A – Collection

ESB Collection MOC

15 Pack Lineart Catalog Mailer – Auction Link

Why:  Over the past few years we’ve seen several examples of some of the rarest mailers up for auction. The category as a whole has become increasingly popular with collectors over the past decade.

In the case of this piece you have one of the rarest and most sought after of the 93 different items that were released through retail catalogs with the original trilogy.

This piece really has it all it’s a high figure count (15), it has popular characters and the thing that pushes this into grail status is the fact that it’s a lineart piece.    Only a few of these sets were released with lineart boxes and it’s really a shame there weren’t more of these given how great the boxes look.

All in all there are a few of these sets out there with 2 graded examples being cased over the years.

Price: 5$898

Rarity: 7

15 Pack Lineart Mailer

Popy Fett – Auction Link

Why:  Here we have a great item for the month of February a Popy Boba Fett.  The Popy figures have always been popular with collectors, but over the last few years their pricing has gone up to reflect their popularity.  In this example we have a graded version that received a 75 overall from AFA.  Thus out of the 5 that have been graded to date this falls on the lower end of the grading scale.   Still a really nice item that I personally think looks great in the case.

Price: $625

Rarity: 6

Popy Fett

Vader Case – Auction Link

Why:  Sometimes people grade their items for display purposes, but in this case I’m hoping preservation was at the core of the reasons why it went on the trip down to Georgia. As the old cardboard on these items start to deteriorate, grading or casing in general is good solution to prevent further deterioration.

Regardless of my opinion on the overall appeal of this item, I can see some logical thought processes that led to this outcome.     The item is cool in that it’s still case sealed and the packaging is in great shape. However it’s plain cardboard and thus doesn’t attract a lot of collectors due to the physical appeal.  Overall this was in-line with what I would expect for a going rate, but tough to read due to the overall lack of comparison to other auctions.

Price: $393

Rarity: 7/8 – Tough to gauge just not many examples out there.

VADERCASE

3 Pack Leia Han Ben – Hero Collection – Auction Link

Why: 3 Packs are always great items to see come up for auction, but this one was especially nice.   Going for a cool $7K this baby is one of the only examples of this 3 Pack to come up in recent history.  One thing is certain about the 3-Packs, they remain as popular and in as high demand as anything from the original trilogy toy line.    I always par-lae the popularity of this series with that of Boba Fett as a character in the original trilogy as neither got a lot of shelf/screen time but both remain extremely popular in the Star Wars universe.

This piece was in great shape (AFA 80), and ultimately went for a price which I thought was a bit low given other recent auctions.  However this is the down season (January-April) for vintage Star Wars, so one could see this as inline given the time of year.

Price: $7000

Rarity: 7

Star Wars ANH 3 Pack - Rebels

Revenge of the Jedi Proof Auctions

All of the items were generally similar in condition, all ungraded examples and the list of items was substantial.  The items generally went for just below what I would classify as fair market value.   The core reason I think we saw such a swing below the line was due to the fact that this seller was new to eBay.  Thus the higher demand items were closer to FMV, while the lower demand characters were sold at just below the line.  This is fairly common when you have someone who doesn’t have a reputation selling off items such as proofs, there were some real steals here if you were putting together a Revenge run or even picking up a single item for a focus collection.

The only major exceptions I saw to this were Darth Vader which was up substantially to FMV of roughly $400-$600 in previous auctions.   There were a few that were up slightly to the current market, let’s say 10-20% or so, including Chewbacca, Jawa, Luke/Han Hoth and Luke Bespin.  But with overall trends showing some growth in value these may be new norms given increased interest in the franchise.

The proofs went in a few waves with a lot being sold during the second week of listings, including some of more expensive items such as Luke Tatooine, Darth Vader and Boba Fett.

Rarity – 6 across the board.

Price –  3 ($165) on the low end to 6 ($1428) on the high end.

Condition – C8.5-9

  1. Boba Fett – $1423
  2. Luke Skywalker – $499
  3. Luke Skywalker Hoth – $425
  4. Han Solo Hoth – $425
  5. Luke Skywalker Bespin – $425
  6. Chewbacca – $385
  7. C-3PO Removable Limbs – $365
  8. Hammerhead – $225
  9. R2-D2 Sensorscope – $295
  10.  Imperial Commander – $185
  11. Lobot – $185
  12. Black Bespin Security Guard – $165
  13.  Jawa- $305
  14.  Ugnaught – $165
  15. Bossk – $251.50
  16. Dengar – $249
  17. Lando – $349
  18. White – Bespin Security Guard – $195
  19. At At Driver – $199
  20. At At Commander – $249
  21. Darth Vader- $1009
  22. Stormtrooper – $326
  23. Rebel Soldier -$199
  24. 4-Lom – $249
  25. Walrusman – $199
  26.  Tusken Raider $249
  27.  R5-D4 – $217
  28. Tie Fighter Pilot – $203
  29.  Power Droid – $199
  30.  Death Star Droid – $169
  31.  2-1B – $202.50
  32.  FX-7 $202.50
  33.  Cloud Car Pilot $202.50
  34.  IG-88 – $199
  35.  Hoth Stormtrooper – $205

AFA Data on Revenge of the Jedi Proofs:

Grade

Qty.-Clear

 100

 0

 95

 3

 90

 102

 85

 388

 80

 118

 75

 14

 70

 7

 60

 2

Totals:

634

Key Auctions Highlights:

Luke Skywalker Tatooine

Boba Fett

Darth Vader

Boba Fett RevengeLuke Revenge TatooineVader Revenge Proof

Well that wraps up the review for the month of February 2013, please take a chance to review Michael’s review of Luke Bespin and the IG-88 highlights from last month.  Coming up in March we’ll have a review of the results of some unique items from the John Kellerman collection via our friend Jeff at Jeff’s Collectibles, as well as highlights of the February market as whole.