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

 

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July MarketWatch General Update

Happy July Space Freaks,

With summer in full swing here in the Northern Hemisphere there’s a lot to cover here on the MarketWatch.   Between it being prime season and seeing a general uptick in prices over the course of this year, there are several notable auctions to cover.  This month we cover off a small variety of some of the items that we saw on the market over the last 30 days, including a quick overview on some crazy prices realized on some pristine 12 backs, a few unique and rare auctions including a crazy Luke Bespin figure, and a short overview on a few rarely seen Force Light sabers that hit the market.     All in all it’s a great time to be in the market as a seller, a buyer or a collector as prices are hot and demand is high.    With that let’s get to the meat and bones of this month’s MarketWatch review.

12 Back Auctions

All in all I don’t spend a lot of time on the blog talking about the 12 back series.  Though it represents the Genesis of the toy line, its large production number makes it readily available and thus easily reference-able given the number of MOC figures available in the market.  At any time someone could put together a run of the original 12 within a few weeks if not days, just relying on eBay auctions.   Of course there are exceptions to this rule, including the Double Telescoping Lightsaber release figures.   This month we have two for reference.  First the Double Darth Vader, truly one of the most difficult figures to find MOC, it’s ending price of $30K for an   AFA70 example is the most impressive of this month’s auctions.   With only a handful of examples in existence this is truly the center piece of any collection and proof positive that vintage prices are continuing to rise.

DT Vader MOC – $29999 AFA70 – DT Vader MOC

Vader DT

The second DT figure also kicks off the second exception to the rule that we’ll look at this month surrounding 12 backs and their rarity; that being the rareness of extremely high quality examples in the 12 back line.  As mentioned through numerous posts over the past year condition is still the biggest variable driving price for a particular figure.  When it comes to AFA90 12 Backs we see some incredible prices realized across a broad spectrum of figures.   But let’s cover off the first and previously unnamed second DT Figure – Luke Skywalker – AFA90.  A truly stunning example this particular item is 1 of 3 examples to receive an AFA90. And with that comes an exceptional price of $12,600.  Two months back we covered an 85 example with a $13,500 buy it now price that sold through a best offer.  Given recent changes with eBay we can’t say for sure what the selling price was, but I think it’s safe to say this could be the highest price Luke DT figure to ever sell on eBay

DT Luke MOC – $12600 AFA 90 – DT MOC Luke

Luke DT AFA90

In addition to Luke there were several other AFA90 12 back examples this month that were impressive to say the least.   Right behind Luke was Chewbacca, with a price of $9077 this could have also been in the crazy auction category for the month, but it just shows people really want the first and best example of figures and many will pay  a hefty premium in order to get what they are looking for.  Following the trail we have C-3PO and Han Solo both of which sold for bargain prices in comparison to the aforementioned auctions.

Chewbacca – $9077 – AFA90 – Chewbacca AFA90

Chewbacca 12 back AFA90

C-3PO – $2699 – AFA90 – C-3PO 12 Back AFA 90

C-3PO 12 Back

Han Solo $2600 – AFA90 – Han Solo 12 Back AFA 90

 Han Solo 12 Back

Force Light sabers:

Although not the most sought after of the Vintage Star Wars line our next batch of auctions does fall under the category as some of the most recognizable items from the vintage line, that being The Force Light sabers. It’s always amazed me that any of these survived through the years in loose condition, much less packaged.  I remember whenever I saw them in the stores there were always kids having battles in the aisles and so many were broken before they were ever sold.  Though some did survive they are definitely not common especially in the package.   Thus when I saw three decent auctions comes across this month I just had to share them with the rest of  the community.

ESB Red and Yellow – $150 – ESB Red and Yellow Sabers

Yellow Saber

ROTJ Green MISB Tri-Logo Release C7-  $147- ROTJ Green Force Saber MISB

ROTJGreen MISB

ROTJ Red MISB C8 – $151 – Red – ROTJ Lightsaber

 RedROTJ Saber

Round Up (2 Rarities and a Crazy Auction)

Star Wars 3 Pack – Villain Set – $3729- Villain Set

As most who come to the blog know I’m a sucker for the Vintage 3 Packs.   Thus when I saw this great example of a Villain Set I had to make a mention.   Not only did it go for a great price it’s condition it superior to most examples that I’ve see on market over the past years.

Star Wars Imperial 3 Pack

ESB Red6Pack – $2246 MISB ESB 6 Pack- Red

We’ve seen one of these 6 packs come through earlier this year, but condition was lacking in comparison this example.   By far the rarer of the two 6 packs released for ESB, this red version is still sealed and saw an incredible price realized.   Always a cool item to see come across the market this particular piece may have been my favorite auction this past month.

$(KGrHqJ,!oIFGvmRIfqrBR0ktP1LeQ~~60_3

Luke Bespin ESB Walking – AFA 85 $1200 – Luke Bespin ESB Walking

Now here’s a crazy auction to end our update for July with.    There have been a few threads started across multiple sites like Rebel Scum pointing out incredible prices being seen across Vintage auctions on eBay.   And all in all the threads paint a very accurate picture of what’s been going on with certain pieces seeing incredible price increases in a relatively short period of time.   This Luke Bespin is a great example.   Although one of the favorites of the Vintage Line,  due in part to the short run on this cardbacks artwork, these pieces always hold their value. However when I saw this auction’s ending price I had to make mention that less than a year ago this piece was selling for less than half of this auctions ending price.   We saw C8 examples selling for $2-350 and graded examples selling for $3-500 consistently just last summer.   Thus a doubling of value year over year is quite incredible, but also quite crazy if you ask this collector.

Luke Bespin - Walking

That brings us to the end of our coverage of the market for this month, comeback next month for coverage on a massive run of ROTJ 2 Packs, POTF MOC goodness and a lot more.

Wampa Wampa!