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

 

January Marketwatch General Update – Holiday Review

Marketwatch January 2014 – Holiday Review

Happy New Year Space Freaks,

As we turn the clock on another banner year in the collecting community it’s great to look back at all the great dialogues, conversations and posts that have come up on RS, IG and all the other communities in the vintage Star Wars galaxy.   It was the first full year of anticipation for the Sequel Trilogy, with a Director being named and Social Media buzzing about every detail that was released.    It was a year of Celebration Europe, a great convention scene that showcased more in the world of comics then items from a galaxy far far away, and the announcement for the next Celebration to take place in 2015.

After a four month hiatus we resume our regular coverage of the rare and unique in the Vintage Star Wars community with our regular coverage of the market.   Suffice it to say Michael and I are always looking for ways to refine, update and improve the blog, and our annual round ups of the movies were a step in that direction as it departed us from just focusing on the rare and super high-priced items that we typically cover on the MarketWatch general update.   This year look for us to break out from the monthly schedule and take a more editorial approach to topics, covering such things as the statistics of collecting vintage, AFA75 the most un-coveted- but beloved grade, bargain auctions, and a slew of other topics on buying and selling in the hobby.

But before we get to any of those other topics it’s time to review one of the most robust times of the year to be a collector, the Holidays.

Each year retail sees a massive spike around the Holidays, for most retailers the 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) represents the most significant time of the year in terms of financial performance.  Many organizations see 40% of our revenue performance come in the last three months of the year, that’s a dramatic swing when compared with the first 3 quarters of the year.   It also directly relates to what we see on eBay with a large segment of vintage.

Here are some stats on this past holiday:

  • 1,731,922 = Peak of the number of listings in Toys and Hobbies in 2013 – occurred the 2nd week of December.
  • 1,344,856 = Average number of listings in Toys and Hobbies on eBay in Q3.

Thus we have a 387,066 or 28% increase in total items listed during this season.  Fairly significant, but in equal footing with the increase we’ve seen in years past.

What’s interesting to me about the Holiday season for collectibles is it’s really a crap shoot in terms of prices realized.   Timing is a key factor as a higher percentage of auctions end during non-peak purchase times, (Tuesday-Saturday), but more importantly the customers tend to be a bit more mixed then at other times of the year.    The key reason behind this is gift giving, instead of collectors being the sole purchasers; the market becomes saturated with people buying for collectors.    Thus you have a significant change in purchase patterns driven by factors such as lack of awareness of pricing, less experience with collectible auctions, and scheduling factors given auctions sporadic end dates.

Additionally the types of items that trade well at the holiday shift a bit when compared with other times of the year.   In a lot of cases low price point products tend to see some of the most significant improvement in prices realized, loose figures, more common MOC items are a few good examples.    Here you can see prices double or triple vs. averages throughout the rest of the year.

Another anomaly associated with this as we approach the week prior to X-Mas is that prices go up and up as people try to clamor for last minute gifts for their family and friends.   Strange as it’s a complete shift from retail which sees a general price decrease in the weeks leading up to the Holidays in several product categories.

All in all the Holidays are a great time to be a collector whether you’re buying or selling.  The items are vast and although a lot of more common pieces come on the market, there are always some rare pieces that make their way into the marketplace, to show off a few of these here’s the roundup of the Holiday season.

Holiday Round Up Auctions:

To represent the high end, rare and just down right expensive items available during this Holiday we have 10 auctions to review.   A lot of shock and awe will come with some of these prices, but it’s representative of the market today and the sometimes crazy dollars that people are spending on vintage.    Of the lot my personal favorite is the instant Jawa focus collection, with a MOC 12 Back and two loose figures, a vinyl cape and Lili Ledy figure.      What a great item featuring some really good and sought after pieces.    In addition to that piece there’s a great lineart mailer and a piece I’ve been on the lookout for, Vlix.

Meccano Ugnaught MOC – Purple Smock – C7ish – $4000 – Meccano Ugnaught MOC

Ugnaught Meccano Purple Smock MOC

Yak Face and Anakin Skywalker MOC Lot – C8 – $5700 – Yak Face and Anakin POTF MOC Lot

Yak Anakin Lot

ESB 3-Pack Imperial Set – C8 – $3549 – ESB Imperial Set 3 Pack

Imperial Set ESB 3 Pack

Vlix Loose AFA75 – $3150 – Vlix Loose AFA

Vlix AFA Loose

Lot of 26 MOC Figures (All Yellow Bubble ESB, ROTJ and POTF, but included Luke Stormtrooper, Han Variant Jedi and a few other mid price point figures – Overall $3000 ($115 a Figure) – 26 Figure MOC Lot

Figure Lot 1 Image 5 Figure Lot 1 Image 4 Figure Lot 1 Image 1 Figure Lot 1 Image 2 Figure Lot 1 Image 3

Jawa Figure Lot – Lili Ledy Loose – 80, Vinyl Cape Loose – 85, MOC 12 Back – 75 – $2600 –  Jawa Figure Lot

Jawa Collection

Eastern European  MTV-7 MIB – $2074 –  MTV-7

MTV-7 Meccano

ESB Lineart Catalog Mailer 15 Figure Set – $1810 – ESB Lineart 15 Figure Catalog Mailer

Lineart Mailer 15 Pack Set

European 4 Pack (MOC) – C8 – $1791 – MOC 4 Pack

MOC 4 Pack

Glasslite Snowtrooper with COA – AFA80 – $708 – Glasslite Snowtrooper with COA

Snowtrooper Glasslite with COA AFA

That’s it for this month Space Freaks, keep checking back for more updates from the Sandcrawler.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts on upcoming topics for us to cover please send them to ChiveCastMarketwatch@Gmail.com, or send Mike or I a message on Rebelscum.com.

Wampa Wampa;

FB24

May Marketwatch General Update

Happy May (Okay early June) Space Freaks! As Spring turns to Summer we have a great line up of high end and rare auctions on this month’s general Marketwatch update.    I mention the change of the seasons because it truly signifies a change in the market as well.   Spring is typically one of the slowest times of the years in terms of overall transactions and variety of available pieces.  It’s easy to say that there is greater focus on selling and buying from June to August given the number of auctions and drastic upward trend in prices realized.   Thus we start my favorite season of the year, this my friends is hunting season for us!  Before we see the turn it’s amazing to see some of  the great deals for items that have hit the market in late April and May.   Across the board we saw great deals on items that seldom come up on the market as well as some staples of the hobby that saw great deals for buyers in the market. One set of auctions that I’ve neglected to touch on was the series listed by a seller on eBay with the username Earlyretiree, very aptly put if this was truly someone that had been storing these through a number of years.   I’ve copied a link to the auctions here –Early Retiree Auctions   You can see for yourself some of the great items that were up at one time, this was  a very cool and infrequent occurrence, although prices seemed  to wane on the high side. We really had to narrow down the items for this month to a handful of individual auctions, each of which is unique in its own way.  With that I hope you enjoy the findings.

Han Solo Bespin ESB Spain – $5611 – Han Solo Bespin – Spanish Wow, another piece of Spanish goodness for us to savor.  This particular piece along with it’s other Spanish brethren fetched seem to be fetching hefty retails as of late; and this one is no exception at $5611.  Quite the nice appreciation from the 200 Pesetas  this would have gone for at retail back in the 1980s.

Han Solo Bespin - Spain

Han Solo Hoth – Spanish – $4500 or less…. – Han Solo Hoth To go along with our Spanish Han Bespin auction, we have the same Spanish version but this time for Han Hoth.   Like the aforementioned auction this item saw a BIN price of $4500, with an actual price that more then likely wasn’t too far off the mark.   Both of which eclipsed the selling price of the Luke Jedi version we covered in April.  Leaving all of us to wish we grew up in Barcelona in the 1980s.

Han Hoth - Spain

Chewbacca Palitoy – AFA75 – $5549 –  Chewbacca Palitoy One of the highest price Palitoy MOC auctions of recent past, this Chewbacca saw an incredible price realized.   Rare and in high demand, this piece is one of the most difficult MOCs for focus collectors to find.  Chewbacca while a fan favorite doesn’t seem to command the prices that we see with several other characters such as Fett and Vader, but this example was definitely the exception to the rule.  A great piece with a great character that lead to an incredible price.

. Chewy Palitoy

Popy Factory Sealed Figure Set of 12 – $5225 – Popy Sealed Figure Set When it comes down to my favorites auction of the month, I have no problem singling out this auction for a set of Popy figures sealed as a set from Takara.  A line that has truly grown in popularity over the years, the Popy line of figures is truly a unique line given its spread of distribution and the fact that it’s one of the only successful “boxed figure” lines.   This particular set features some of the most popular figures from the vintage line in sealed package straight from the factory.   A truly unique item that I couldn’t find on the SWCA or through any of my auction history, thus this could be a one of a kind item.  However I’m hesitant to give it that title given every time I state that a new example comes up within a year:)

Takara Set Factory Sealed

Luke Skywalker Double Telescoping MOC – AFA85 –  $13,500 – Luke Double Telescoping MOC Auction Keeping up with high end MOC auctions we move into the highest price item of the month.   Although we’ve banished the loose figure to the HOF, the MOC version of Luke Skywalker with a Double Telescoping Lightsaber will remain a featured item when we see them arrive on the open market.    This particular item is in pristine condition with an overall grade of AFA 85, which helped this item realize a  price of $13K+.    The carded Double Telescoping Lightsaber figures are quite the rarity in the overall scheme of Vintage Star Wars.   Along with Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader (Both rarer in DT format), this piece is truly a grail to a many collectors and fans alike.   Thus it’s important to document and showcase this item for future reference.    Maybe we’ll see one pass the $15K mark in the near future.

Luke Double Telescoping2

Jawa Vinyl Cape – AFA85  – $5900 – Jawa Vinyl Cape MOC Auction Not too far from the HOF the Vinyl Cape Jawa has become a regular on the MarketWatch, between the rarity, the demand and the price it gets covered quite often and this may signal the last time as it’s the third appearance on the Marketwatch in the last year.   Regardless it’s always nice to highlight a VC Jawa on the MarketWatch update, and with that let’s push this one to the Hall of Fame!

Jawa Vinyl

ESB Vinyl Case – AFA 85 – $560 – ESB Vinyl Case One of my personal favorites the Empire Strikes Back has several personal favorites when it comes to releases unique to that movie.   You have the introduction of the At At and Scout Walker, Slave 1 and so many unique backdrops that were made into toy associated items.  Something associated with each release is the vinyl carrying case with imagery from the movie on the front. This particular one does an incredible job at capturing all of the unique situations that we saw unfold in Empire.   The artwork is exceptional in detail and truly one of the best cases put out by Kenner during the vintage run.   This one sold for a fairly high price given the market this time of year, however it’s a high grade example and other AFA80 examples have seen prices of $300+ in the past few years.

Empire Strikes Back Carrying Case

ROTJ 3 Pack Darth Stormtroopers – ROTJ Catalog Mailer – Darth/Stormtroopers I wanted to quickly highlight this piece as it’s one of the rare occasions when we have something of this rarity come up on the market twice in a one year span of time.  The original auction last summer went for $1375, quite a bit more than what we have here.   However this supports a few ideas about selling and buying in the hobby:

  1. Timing of auction is everything (Seasonally and Hourly/Daily)
  • Seasonality – Here we see an item sold in the Spring (Down Season) vs. Summer (High Point)
  • Day of week = Thursday one of the worst days of the week to sell based on historic prices realized.
  • Time of day = Not the worst considering it was in the afternoon in the states, but later in the evening would have been best.
  1. Niche markets and ultra-rare items like this have some volatility.
  • More than anything what I want to land with this point is fairly simple, it’s rare, one of the rarest things to come up on eBay in the last year.   But rarity isn’t always a good thing as this also limits the number of people who would bid on this.  In this case the collecting community that would purchase an item like this is fairly limited to focus collectors and mailer collectors for the most part and thus there is greater volatility in pricing as one of the few collectors who would spend big dollars on this item
  1. Condition is everything and the difference between the best of the best and 2nd best is quite a rather large span.
  • Simply put there aren’t many variations in condition but the tape is yellow and the box is a little more beat up then the example we saw last year.    Thus I wouldn’t put this as the main driver of variance in price between the two auctions, but it definitely impacts the price overall.   This auction probably isn’t the best example to support this point I wanted to convey, but what I want to convey is that the price difference between an 85 and 90  is consistently greater than that of the price variance between and 85 and 80.   And when you’re dealing with high demand examples this holds true as well.

All of these components work together to the advantage or disadvantage of the seller/buyer depending on which side of the coin you’re on.   And they’re key to the environment that we collect in, thus if you take nothing else away from this update (outside of the great items), take these three points to heart.

  1. The time (Season-Day-Hour) that you sell an auction has a tremendous impact on the price.
  2. The price variance from the best condition to 2nd best condition is usually the biggest price variance in terms of overall condition.
  3. Niche items have more volatility in pricing due to the limited number of collectors in the market.

ROTJ 3 Pack Darth and Stormtroopers

Check back next month later this month as we review some high grade examples of some of the most sought after pieces in the world of Vintage Star Wars collecting, a few ESB and SW 3-Packs and a pair of AFA90 Droids Boba Fett figures. Wampa Wampa