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

Advertisements

November General Update – The Empire Strikes Back Toyline – Redux

Happy November Space Freaks!

After a lengthy update on the ROTJ line in October we’re ready to keep plugging away on our series by series review.    This month the focus is all things Episode 5 as we take a deep dive into the Empire Strikes Back toy line.    Much like the movie itself this is regarded as one of the best; if not the best series of toys to come out in the original trilogy.    We have a lot of cross over with the original Star Wars series with such favorites as the Falcon and X-Wing being re-branded for the new movie, and newbies such as the At At and Slave 1 that have become fan favorites.    In addition to the main 3 ¾ inch line we also saw some cool and unique concepts that were only seen with the ESB release such as the Micro Series, a Puppet and the infamous Yellow and Red 6 packs.

With so much to choose there are a lot of directions we can go, sadly we don’t have any recent 3-Pack sales and some areas are a bit limited due to lack of sales activity. Thus we are just offering a sample of some of the key items seen with this release from the main areas including, MOC, MISB Boxed Items, Micro Series, Die Cast and a few truly rare and unique items that came up in the market over the past few months.

The post was updated on 12-1-13 in order to incorporate some recent auctions with items from the early part of the Holiday season that weren’t covered in our original post.

 

MOC (Mint on Card Figures)

We kick off our review of the ESB line with the core of the vintage toy line, the figures.   With 27 new figures released for the movie this was the second largest release for any of the Vintage Star Wars toy lines.  Here we saw variations of Hoth and Bespin put on the key leading characters, and an expansion to some great ideas that were missed in the original release such as releasing the generic soldiers and other ancillary but very present staples from the background of the movies.   We saw the first and only double release of a figure based on skin color (Bespin Security Guard), the bounty hunters and of course new characters such as Lando and Yoda.      All in all these moves made the ESB line a great second movement in the Vintage Star Wars toy line.

In our examples this month we find a great variety of items to discuss, all in all the prices on this line remain very strong, especially for higher grade examples. Some of the key highlights include a 21 Back (Rare) Stormtrooper, an Orange Hair Luke Tatooine, and two very high priced items in the form of Han Bespin and Luke Hoth which both saw ending prices above the $1000 mark.

Bespin Guard – White/Asian – AFA85- $192 Bespin Guard (White)

Bespin Guard

Bespin Guard – Black – AFA80 – $720 – Bespin Guard Black

Bespin Guard Blakc

Boba Fett – AFA 80 – $1330 Boba Fett ESB

Boba Fett ESB MOC

Bossk – AFA85 – $430 Bossk AFA85

Bossk AFA85

Darth Vader 47 Back – AFA85 – $355 – Darth Vader ESB MOC

Darth Vader - Yellow

Dengar 41 Back – AFA80 – $225 – Dengar MOC

Dengar

Greedo – AFA85 – $279 – Greedo

Greedo

Han Solo – AFA80 – $469 – Han Solo

Han Solo Small Head ESB MOC

Han Bespin AFA 85 – $1175 Han Bespin

Han Bespin AFA 85

Han Hoth – AFA85 – $717 Han Solo Hoth AFA85

Han Hoth

Han Solo Small Head – AFA80 – $1300 Han Solo Small Head MOC ESB

Han Solo ESB Small Head

Hoth Stormtrooper – AFA85 – $654 Hoth Stormtrooper AFA85

Hoth Stormtrooper

IG-88 – AFA80 – $217 – IG-88 MOC

IG-88

Lando Calrissian – AFA85 – $600 – Lando Calrissian

Lando Original

Leia Organa (Original) – AFA85 – $610 – Leia Organa

Leia Organa White MOC

Luke Bespin – AFA85 – $883 – Luke Bespin Walking

Luke Bespin MOC

Luke Bespin – AFA85Y – $688 – Luke Bespin Later Photo

Luke Bespin Updated Photo

Luke Hoth AFA 85 – $1200 Luke Hoth ESB MOC

Luke Hoth MOC

Luke Tatooine Orange Hair – AFA75 – $2745 Luke Tatooine Orange Hair MOC

Luke Orange Hair

Luke X-Wing 41 Back Canadian – C8 – $676 – Luke X-Wing Pilot

Luke X-wing Canadian

Rebel Soldier – AFA85 – $405 Rebel Soldier AFA85

Rebel Soldier

Stormtrooper 21 Back ESB – AFA80 -$3499 Stormtrooper ESB 21 Back

Stormtrooper Rare 21 back

Stormtrooper Revenge Sticker – C8 – $162 Stormtrooper Revenge Sticker

Stormtrooper Revenge Sticker ESB

Tie Fighter Pilot – AFA85 – $465 Tie Fighter Pilot AFA85

Tie Fighter Pilot

Sand People- AFA85 – $431- Sand People

Tusken Raider

Yoda – AFA85 – $499 – Yoda

Yoda

Zuckuss – AFA85 – $449 – Zuckuss

Zuckuss

Die Cast

The Die Cast line was a short run continuation of the line that started with Episode 4 and carried on through the ESB line. Here we have a quick sampling of some of the key items that were introduced for the ESB line.   Although the line ended with the ESB release, it still remains a favorite of many collectors and is a great off-shoot for those collecting the main toyline.    The highlight in our coverage this month is that of the highly sought after Tie Bomber, a vehicle that was limited to only the die cast line, and therefore it remains a key favorite of collectors.    We have a great example listed below both in terms of condition and selling price, showing strong demand in the market, as much like the A-Wing and Tatooine Skiff this particular item bocks the traditional lines of where a collector may stray in their focuses.

Slave 1 – AFA85 – $676 Slave 1 Die Cast

Slave 1 Die Cast

Twin Pod Cloud Car – AFA75Y – $132.50 Cloud Car Die Cast AFA75Y

Die Cast Cloud Car

Tie Bomber – AFA80 – $1700 – Tie Bomber Die Cast

 Tie Bomber Die Cast

ESB Micro Series

Along the same lines as the Die Cast series we find the Micro Series (The precursor to Micro Machines) was a novel, but ultimately unsuccessful branching out effort for Kenner.   Looking to capture more market share by a new form factor these are the opposite of the way Kenner tried to augment the original Star Wars release with the large scale 12” figures.    This allowed them to package together a more robust  product offering as these sets included backdrops as well as the mini figures.   Much like the commercial failure of the line, these items aren’t the rarest birds to find sealed today, which prices for many of the smaller sealed sets very palatable at around $40-50 each today.     The larger sets including Hoth and Bespin world see a bit of a premium in comparison to the smaller sets but are still very affordable in comparison with items that had similar price points at the time.

Micro Series Hoth World AFA 85 – $749.99 – Hoth World

$(KGrHqV,!iEE8IY-DE!RBPJH2-J5Kg~~60_3

Bespin World – C8 – $265 – Bespin World

Bespin World Set

Mailers/Figure Sets

When it comes to figure sets and mailers the ESB release had no shortage of items to choose from.    We saw the secret  figure offer (Bossk) and 4-Lom released as single figure mailers, the continuation of the 3-pack line, over 15 Catalog mailer sets and of course the two 6-Pack figure releases.  One of my personal favorite parts of the ESB line the mailers included some huge packs of up to 15 figures with a wide array of the traditional and popular 3 packs.  Unortunately we didn’t see a 15 pack – lineart or anything out in left field come along as of late, but we did manage to find a side by side example of a graded and ungraded version of this ESB 9 Pack Mailer.

ESB Mailer 9 Pack AFA – $1350 – ESB 9 Pack Catalog Mailer

Mailer 10 Pack

ESB Mailer 9 Pack – $499 – ESB 9 Pack Catalog Mailer (Opened)

9 Pack Mailer

ESB Mailer 3 Pack – AFA80 – $356 – ESB Bounty Hunter Mailer AFA

ESB Catalog Mailer 3 Pack

ESB Red 6-Pack Figure Set – $2247 – C8  ESB Red 6-Figure Set MISB

Red 6 Pack ESB MISB

ESB Yellow 6-Pack Figure Set (Opened) – $792 – C7  ESB Yellow 6-Figure Set MIB

 

Yellow 6 Pack Open

3 Packs

In the weeks leading up to December we had two 3-Packs from the ESB line appear on the open market.    Below are the summaries of both examples.   The ESB line of 3 Packs is much like the relationship with the two ESB 12″ Figures that were released, in that they both were short in supply, and thus are the rarest/most expensive of their kind.    The ESB line also did a few things color wise and from a figure combination perspective that were real drivers of it’s overall popularity with the collecting community.

ESB Bespin 3 Pack – C8 MISB – $2075 – ESB Bespin Set

Bespin 3 Pack ESB

ESB Imperial Set – C8.5 MISB – $2549 – ESB Imperial Set

Imperial Set - ESB

12” Figures

With only two figures released in ESB packaging the 12” line wasn’t as robust as the prior movie and was quick lived in terms of shelf life.  Still the two released figures are two of the most desired pieces in the 12 inch line in total.   In addition to these being popular released items, the mock ups, prototypes and proofs for the lines continued figures are simply some of the best pieces when it comes to pre-production items from the Vintage line.

IG-88 UKG85 – $481 – IG-88

IG-88 12 Inch Loose

Boba Fett ESB 12” MISB  – AFA75 – $1125  – Boba Fett 12″ ESB AFA

12 Inch Boba Fett

ESB Boxed Items

Rounding out the ESB release are the vehicles, playsets, cases and 1 puppet that helped re-make those scenes on Hoth, Dagobah and Bespin.   The vehicles from this line are some of the most unique in any toyline ever released, from the giant AT-AT, to Slave 1 and the Cloud Car the toys were as unique and original as anything in the Star Wars universe.    Although we weren’t able to find a sealed AT-AT to review we did track down the remainder of vehicles released in the series, including two examples of Slave 1 that show just how much price can vary auction to auction, even if the items are identical in almost every way.

The playsets for the ESB line were unique in their own way as well, the generic white plastic of the Hoth Turret  and Attack base sets is simply one of the coolest simple concepts ever made in toys.   Neither are rare and neither are really well adapted from the movies, but anyone who had these as a kid is usually quick to callout how much they were used to recreate scenes from the movies.    Additionally in this series we saw the release of three cardboard backed scenes in the Rebel Command Center, Cloud City (Sears Exclusive), and the Hoth Ice Planet playset, all takes in some way on the original Land of Jawas concept.    With a full representation of Yoda’s Hovel, via the Dagobah playset all the worlds of Empire Strikes Back were released as a backdrop for the action figures themselves.

In addition to the playsets and vehicles the ESB release saw the release of a few vinyl carrying cases both with unique and captivating artwork.   But the most iconic case from the line has to be the release of the Darth Vader carrying case which is one of the most iconic symbols of the vintage toyline as a whole, released with three variations we have two represented below for your review.

Dagobah Playset with Accessories – C8 – $405 – Dagobah

Dagobah with Backpack

Darth Vaders Star Destroyer – $1500ish – AFA80 Darth Vaders Star Destroyer

Darth Vaders Star Destroyer MISB

Hoth Ice Planet – C8 – $836 – Hoth Ice Planet

Hoth Ice Planet

Hoth Wampa – U85 – $426 – Wampa

Hoth Wampa

Laser Rifle – C8 – $449 – Laser Rifle

Laser Rifle

Millennium Falcon – $1026 – AFA75 Millennium Falcon ESB MISB

Millenium Falcon MISB AFA75

Rebel Command Center (Opened) – C8 – $510 – Rebel Command Center

Rebel Command Center

Scout Walker – $293 – Scout Walker

Scout Walker

Slave 1 AFA 80 – $1100 – Slave 1

Slave 1 MISB

Snowspeeder Pink Box – C8 – $519 – Snowspeeder Pink Box

Snowspeeder Pink Box

Taun Taun – C8 – $326 – Tauntaun

Tauntaun

Taun Taun Split Belly – C8 –  $355 – Tauntaun Split Belly

Tauntaun Split Belly

Tie Fighter Original – $1136 – Tie Fighter ESB

Tie Fighter ESB

Twin Pod Cloud Car Special Offer Foreign Release – $1200 C6 Twin Pod Cloud Car

Twin Pod Cloud Car Special Offer Foreign Release

Vader Case Special Edition – AFA85 – $792 – Darth Vader Special Edition – Luke Yoda Vader

Vader Case Special Edition

ESB Vinyl Case – C9 MISB – $438 – ESB Vinyl Case MISB

ESB Vinyl Case

Yoda Hand Puppet – U85 – $405 – Yoda Puppet

Yoda Puppet

Pete’s Picks November – The Unique and Rare

Tough to classify but ultimately key items to discuss we have a few truly rare pieces to round out this month’s review.   So rare and so unique that we had to pull them out of the rest of the update and give these 3  items a focused section.

Jawa 21 Back Proof Card AFA80 – Jawa ESB 21 Back Proof

I think this and any ESB proof cards are unique and cool in their own way, there’s an interesting mix of cardback pre-production items available from the series, but with sporadic patterns of demand and price.  This piece is great as it’s one of the earliest pieces, it’s of a figure from the original 12 and therefore I think this was par for the course or just shy of where it should have been in terms of price.  Definitely worth mentioning given the overall rarity of ESB pre-production on the open market these days.

Jawa ESB Proof

Action Figure Display Stand with Figures – C8 – $8499 – Action Figure Display Stand MISB ESB

Here we have a truly rare piece by any measure of the word.   This is simply a once in a long while item to find in the market, and is therefore the first item in our highlights section.  Very basic but very high demand, this piece had a very short existence as it was shortly produced but not distributed, and thus has extremely high demand amongst hard-core collectors.    Based on AFA data there only appears to be one sealed graded example and one Q-Graded example, making this one of rarest from the Star Wars line period. This data isn’t all encompassing as there are loose examples that have surfaced in addition to what we see here.  A very cool item overall given the array of popular figures, and with it’s lack of distribution it’s simply not discussed in great magnitude, but nonetheless it’s one of the best sales we’ve seen on eBay in the past few years.

Display Stand with Figures

Yoda Harbert MOC $7835 – AFA 70 – Yoda Harbert ESB

As usual we have a very rare foreign release figure to look at this month, this one from one of our favorite series, the Harbert Line.   Yoda himself is a high demand figure for the ESB line, but coupled with the rarity and high demand of the Harbert series this particular item is off the chart, really when have you ever seen anything AFA70 go for nearly $8000 on eBay?

Yoda Harbert MOC

Luke Skywalker Hoth Prototype – Unpainted – $1499 – Luke Hoth Prototype

Underrated in terms of price this is my personal favorite this month, as these unpainted prototypes continue to grow in value due to the finite amount in the market and the fact that pre-production collectors gravitate towards actual toy prototypes more so than even proofs.    Luke Hoth being a favorite of many collectors it’s difficult to figure out why this particular item didn’t fare better in the market, with my assessment being that this could have been perceived a risk due to the lack of documentation, and for all intensive purposes a relatively new seller on eBay.

Luke Hoth Prototype

That wraps up our update for this month, be sure to check back for all of our upcoming episodes on figures and the general updates for the following months:

  • December – Star Wars Episode 4 Series Review.
  • January – Holiday Round Up
  • February – State of the Hobby 2014

Wampa Wampa!

Episode 45: Bespin Security Guard

39810: Bespin Security Guard

I recall Skye and Steve renaming the figure as “Asian Security Guard”. I must say it seemed  appropriate given the look Kenner gave to the figure. The loose AFA figures use the term “curved Mustache” – they really should have gone with “fu manchu”. Anyway I’m sure the guys will have plenty of Debate-D8 on this month’s show around the name…

He’s a figure I recall owning – though not with any particular fondness (though I do recall he easily held that Bespin blaster, and that was always a plus as an 8 year old:)). I know there’s been a few good limelights on Rebelscum of him, so there is some love in the community for him.

On my first scan through the market I didn’t find too many carded examples of the Bespin Security Guard. But when you try a few different search terms I managed to unearthed quite a few.

I found most of his carded variations, including all the 48 backs (ESB and ROTJ). So we came close to putting a full run together – and for a fairly cheap price – if the Asian Security Guard is your kind of figure. Graded MOC’s were very rare, and the ungraded MOC’s were not in great condition at all. I also have included a few loose graded figures – which highlight the price movements across different grades.

Based on the low prices I’d dare say he hasn’t benefited from the price rises we have seen across the market this year.

Here’s what we found:

Empire Strikes Back cardbacks

31A AFA80 NM (C80/B85/F80) $195.50 – eBay link

31A AFA80

31A AFA80

31A ungraded $51 – eBay link

31A cardback
31A ungraded

31A ungraded

31A cardback

31A cardback

32A ungraded – Clear Bubble $69 – eBay link

32A front

32A front

32A cardback

32A cardback

Further sale that reinforces that this guy can be bought fairly cheap….

32A ungraded – Clear bubble $52 – eBay link

32A front

32A front

32A cardback

32A cardback

41E ungraded $40.88 – eBay link

41E cardback

41E cardback

41E cardback

41E ungraded cardfront

41E ungraded cardfront

47A ungraded – Yellowed bubble $20.50 – eBay link

47A front

47A front

47A cardback

47A cardback

48A AFA80 NM (C80/B85/F85) approx $200 – eBay link

48A AFA80

48A AFA80

48B ungraded $40 – eBay link

48B ungraded

48B ungraded

48B ungraded cardback48C ungraded $63 – eBay link

48C ungraded

48C ungraded

48C ungraded back

48C ungraded side

Return of the Jedi cardback

48D ungraded $34.99 – eBay link

48D ungraded

48D ungraded

48D figure 48D back

77 ungraded $39 – eBay link

rotj 77 bubble

77 ungraded with Coin offer

77 ungraded with Coin offer

Loose Graded figures

I haven’t focused on the loose graded figures for a few months, but thought it was time to re-focus on these. I think the graded loose figures look very nice – and I specifically steered away from any “U” grades. This series of auctions help show the premium (or discount if you look at ti the other way) for the same figure at different grades.

The gold pipping on the jacket is obviously one of (if not the) key driver of the score. You wonder if CGA / AFA keep images of the figures and scores they give out, which they then can compare when grading new figures. I must admit the AFA90 figure looks very nice (it also helps that the seller took a great picture).

All three were described as ‘curved mustache” and again I think the AFA90 version looks the best, with a very solid fu manchu. But given the price differential between the AFA90 and AFA80 – I’m not sure which one I would liked to own :

AFA90 NM/MT+ $99.99 – eBay link

AFA90 NM/MT+

AFA90 NM/MT+

AFA85 $46.38 – eBay link

AFA85

AFA85

AFA80 NM $21.51 – eBay link

AFA80

AFA80

Return of the Jedi Summer Round Up

MarketWatch General Update – Series Review 2013 – Return of the Jedi

Welcome to the second edition of the end of Summer Round up, this installment focusing on Return of the Jedi. Though we haven’t kept up with our original plans for the schedule we’re still trying to get these published as close as we can.

Tough, tough, tough topic, when you talk about scope there’s nothing more difficult than trying to pull together a comprehensive review of the Return of the Jedi toy line.  Let’s just cover the basic numbers, 90 MOC versions including variants (with 4 main backers 48, 65, 77 and 79), 30+ Boxed Items Play sets-Vehicles-Creatures-Mini Rigs-Large Toys, 4 Mailers, 26 Catalog Multipacks, 100+ versions of 2 Packs, the Plush Series, not to mention the 50 figure proofs and several large proofs released for the Revenge series.  However we didn’t see a few things in this release that we did with Empire or Star Wars.  The 12”   Large Format figures we’re never  tried out in the market, nor were the-Packs continued, additionally nothing was produced from a die-cast perspective.  Still the breadth of this line makes it difficult to be comprehensive.

There is a reason that very few toy lines were progressive like the Kenner Vintage Star Wars series, and I don’t define progressive as anything to do with it being a ground breaking line, rather I mean it was one of the few toy lines to produce toys for the previous movie’s figures during a sequel’s toy run, and in this case build to the collect all 79 motif.  It’s expensive to maintain, there usually is a rate of diminishing returns, and overall it’s just not the best business decision if you’re trying to achieve scale or efficiencies.     That’s why you don’t see this strategy carried out in many lines today.

Revenge of the Jedi

The only place to start with this post is the genesis of the line; that being the Revenge of the Jedi pre-production items.   With some strong availability and wide breadth the Revenge of the Jedi proofs are a favorite of many collectors.  Given that we ran through an entire review of a large lot of proofs we’ll just reference the massive collection that was up for auction this past year, via our earlier post seen here February MarketWatch – General.

Boxed Items:

The ROTJ series was packed with a plethora of items, and to kick things off we’ll take a look at all things cardboard with 8 corners.   The boxed items, specifically vehicles, play sets and other figure related item are a major part of the ROTJ release.   There was a wide diversification of items released with the Return of the Jedi series, you had the continuation of some staples, like the Falcon, and X-Wing, the reintroduction to a few Star Wars era items via the Collectors series, and of course a slew of unique items to the period to reflect Jabba’s Palace to the Ewok Village.   Suffice it to say this particular release had a lot to choose from, depending on which planet you wanted to recreate in your basement or backyard.

Vehicles: At At  – $825 – AFA80Q – ROTJ At At

One of the most iconic toys in the series was the AT AT, it appears for only a brief second in ROTJ however due to the popularity in the ESB line they continued this sku into the series for a short run.   More rare then it’s ESB counterpart the ROTJ box is a love it or hate situation, most fans are still more apt to go after the traditional Hoth version, but some collectors swear that the ROTJ version is one of the best.  There’s not a lot of lukewarm feelings here, no pun intended.  Here we have a Q graded item that went  for market value.  Although a MISB ROTJ At At pulls in on average $1000-1500, this is a great alternative for someone who still wants that museum look without having to drop as much cash.

AT AT 80Q

Tie Interceptor $450 – ROTJ Tie Interceptor MISB One of the few new “Vehicles” for ROTJ and one of the coolest in the series the Tie Interceptor finished off the three movie run for the Tie series of vehicles.   In this case we have a good price for a really nice item, but right inline with Market Value.

Tie Interceptor

Tie Interceptor – $675 – AFA85Tie Interceptor Moving on we have a graded version of the item, with a grade of 85 this was right in line with market value, and maybe even a bit low in comparison to some historical auctions.

Tie Interceptor AFA85  

Y-Wing – $511 – AFA80Y-Wing Another new addition to the Vehicle line up for ROTJ was the ever popular Y-Wing.   Seen in the first movie we didn’t get the actual vehicle until 1983 in toy version.    This to date is one of the toughest vehicles to find sealed in the ROTJ line with under 20 graded examples out in the market.    Overall a good price for an AFA80, however the buyer now has the item listed for $1299 on their website:(

Y-Wing

ROTJ Millennium Falcon – $1500ish – AFA 80ROTJ Falcon AFA 80 Our second re-released item from the Vehicle line up is the Falcon.   This is the 3rd version of the Falcon to be released from an artwork perspective.   Showcasing the unreleased sandstorm scene from ROTJ, this lasts as one of my personal favorites pieces of artwork in the Star Wars toy line.  A great item and a fairly high price given AFA80 examples tend to draw closer to the $1000-1200 mark.

Falcon ROTJ

ROTJ X-Wing – $899 –AFA80ROTJ X-Wing The last of the vehicles covered this month could be the most surprising from a price perspective.    Here we find an AFA80 X-Wing Fighter – Battle Damaged, with a price tag of $899.  Even though  we see a hefty price tag it’s actually on par for this particular piece.  For some reason the X-Wing remains in short supply in comparison to most of the other items in the release, the same can be said to some extent for the Battle Damaged Tie Fighter.   There are only a handful of examples 80 and up to date, in the case of the X-Wing, the AFA75 is truly the AFA80 as it seems to be the fat middle of the grading band.  A very cool piece and something we may not see in this condition again.

X-Wing Battle Damage MISB ROTJ AFA80

Figure Sets/Cases/Play sets

Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band MISB – AFA75 – $324 – Sy Snootles and the Rebo Band A fan favorite the Rebo Band set it one of the best items from the ROTJ release.   Two versions were made with variations on the instruments/microphone stands.    Here we have the more common version with silver microphones and a black flute.  In very good condition (AFA 75)  this item did drive a  good price for either side as it’s right on par with recent auctions. I chose this one in particular as it also had a clear bubble, which is really important on this item if you want to see the artwork that is used in the backdrop of the figures.

Rebo Band AFA

Jabba the Hutt – $395 – AFA80 – Jabba the Hutt AFA 80 One of the more popular characters in the movie came to the toy line in a very unique way, via a play set vs. a cardback.  The Jabba the Hutt play set is a well-made replication of the scene from Return of the Jedi.  This version was priced a bit high, and didn’t get any interest from the collecting community.   Still a very nice example and easily a $300 item in this condition.

Jabba the Hutt

Darth Vader Case – $139.50  ROTJ Darth Vader Figure Case MISB The Darth Vader Case was such a staple of the ESB line and to this day is instantly recognizable by the general populous that it was no surprise to see it show up in the ROTJ release.   Although this was a short lived run for the item, due to the C-3PO Case.  Several made it through in sealed packages.  Here we have a very nice example with a price that’s right on for the quality.

Darth Vader Case

Scout Pistol – $180 – C8 – Scout Pistol MISB The Scout Pistol was another spot on replication from the movie, along the with Green Lightsaber it was the only new large scale toy for ROTJ, as all other items from the era  were released in previous toy lines.   Here we have a great example for a good price as these seem to average around $200 sealed.

Scout Pistol MISB

ROTJ Lightsaber Green AFA80 – $450 Est – ROTJ Force Lightsaber AFA80 Green Here we have a great MISB graded example of an item we discussed a few months back.  The Force Lightsaber example we see here went for a strong price, the grading alone would run about $150, and there are only a few Green graded examples out here.

Green Lightsaber AFA

 

 

Mailers – Standard and Multi Pack 8-Pack Catalog Mailer – Open with sealed bags – $382 – 8 Pack Catalog Mailer As mentioned in the intro there were 26 catalog mailers to be released in conjunction with the ROTJ toy line.   Here we have one of the few large 8-Packs containing a great selection of characters across a few movies.  An average price for something in great condition overall, a  really nice grab for someone.

ROTJ Mailer 8 Pack

 

8 Pack Graded Mailer Sealed –  $556 – UKG85 – UKG ROTJ 8 Pack Sealed Very hard to find are the mailers that are still sealed and in the case of this one, in extremely good condition as well.  There are few examples out there of this piece graded, but only a few are still sealed like this version, rather then getting it U Graded a lot of collectors go this route and just opt for the display version.   A really strong price for this piece, which was in great condition overall. When it comes to Mailers I did want to take a second to mention the four single figure releases related to ROTJ.   They are plentiful, but still great items to collect, below I’ve listed a little bit about the going rates I’ve seen over the past summer of 2013, values are not graded.  Grading costs run $30-$100 depending on the number of pieces in the mailer. Graded Mailer 8 Pack

Admiral Ackbar, came in multiple versions, the more pieces of paperwork, the higher the value.  Going rate $30-70 depending on condition, again more pieces = more money!

Nien Nunb, pretty standard with just the catalog, these particular items goes for roughly $25 on average for a very good example.

Emperor, much like Nien Nunb he mainly just came with a catalog, thus usually just three pieces to the set.  This past summer he average a price of about $15-20, you can also find him sealed for relatively cheap as well.

Anakin Skywalker, per capita the most expensive of the mailers, it’s mainly due to the scarcity vs. the others, in most cases about 6:1 to the other three.  It’s lack of MOC release in the US and association with the POTF line drive this piece up to an average of about $30-40 for the three piece set.  

Figures MOC:

When it comes to the ROTJ release figures were plentiful. As mentioned previously there were 4 main releases in the United States, the 48 Back with Nien Nunb offer, 65 Back, 77 Back and 79 Back.  At the heart the rarity goes from 79 backs, to 48 backs to 77 and finishing with 65 backs which were the most plentiful in pure units produced.  The 79 back release was somewhat limited as you can see via the Kellerman matrices.  The release was really just The series saw a strange phenomenon that would carry over into the POTF line; that being the eventual yellowing of the figures bubbles.    All in all just from a grading perspective nearly 80%  of ROTJ figures had issues with their bubbles yellowing. The series saw 7 figures re-released with new photos for the packaging, along with other variants such as Luke’s Hair Color, Han’s Lapel, Biker Scout’s Mask, and Luke’s Lightsaber.   Thus all in all there was a lot out there in terms of just MOC variants (90 to be exact).

Here we have a sampling of the figures released on ROTJ Cardbacks, overall we mixed up some AFA figures with non-graded MOCs, we tried to keep this limited to just clear MOC figures, but let in a few tinted cards where we needed.   You can see a lot of breadth here, but what really surprises me are some of the price swings.   Some of these were incredible bargains and a few saw nice premiums for the sellers.  Because of the number of items I’ve just stuck to some basic information, the figure, condition, price, grading disposition, a link, and a few words on each.

4-Lom MOC C8 – $53 – 4-Lom ROTJ MOC

At At Commander – AFA85Y – $120 – At At Commander AFA ROTJ

At At Commander MOC AFA85Y

At At Driver – AFA80 – $180 – At At Driver MOC AFA80

At At Driver ROTJ AFA 85 – $170 – At At Driver ROTJ AFA

At At Driver ROTJ MOC – $85 – ROTJ AT AT Driver MOC

At AT Driver ROTJ   ROTJ At At Driver   AtAtDriver MOC

Ben Kenobi – $133 – AFA80 – ROTJ Ben Kenobi

Ben Kenobi AFA80 Bib Fortuna Lily Ledy(s) – $255 – C5 – Bib Fortuna Lily Ledy Biker Scout – AFA80Y – $113 – Biker Scout AFA

Biker Scout AFA

Boba Fett- 48 Back MOC AFA75 – $531 – ROTJ Boba Fett 48 Back MOC

Boba Fett ROTJ 48 Back – $799 – AFA80 – ROTJ Boba Fett

Boba Fett ROTJ 48 Back AFA 75   Boba Fett ROTJ 48 Back AFA 80

Bossk MOC – C9 –  $150 – Bossk MOC Here’s a great example of Bossk, near the top of the mark in terms of condition this version saw a strong showing with a price of $150, thus supporting the hypothesis that people will pay big dollars for clear bubbles and great condition items.

Bossk MOC ROTJ

Chewbacca – C9 – $135 – Chewbacca ROTJ 48 Back Chewy is always a fan favorite and here we have to toughest of the ROTJ MOCs to find, that being the 48 back.  Here we saw a good price for a figure that typically is the middle of the road when it comes to the ending price.

Cloud Car48 Back – $109 – ROTJ Cloud Car Pilot

Cloud Car Pilot

Darth Vader – C9 – $145 – Darth Vader

Darth Vader MOC C9

Death Star Droid – C9 – $113 – Death Star Droid ROTJ

Emperors Royal Guard  – AFA80 – $209 – Emperors Royal Guard AFA80

ERG MOC

ERG – Clipper – $380 AFA85 – ROTJ Emperors Royal Guard MOC Clipper Just to shake things up a bit we have included one foreign item from the ROTJ line up.   This ERG clipper went for a large sum of money but that’s how things go in the Clipper world.   Always popular with collectors the Royal Guard could be the best figure released in the ROTJ series.

General Madine – $66 – C8.5 – General Madine

Greedo – 48 Back – AFA75 $190 – ROTJ Greedo 48 Back MOC Although he was killed in the first hour of the first movie, Greedo remains a favorite figure of many collectors today, myself included.   Here we have a 48 back with a grade of 75.   Like most of the 48 backs there isn’t  a vast number of any figure in the series readily available, with most figures having less then 10 examples graded throughout the years. Greedo

Han Bespin MOC – $127 – Han Bespin 48 Back MOC

Han Bespin 48 Back MOC

Han Solo MOC 65 Back – AFA80 – $232 – Han Solo Alt Photo AFA 80

Han Solo Alt Photo AFA80

Hoth Stormtrooper – AFA75 – $112 – Hoth Stormtrooper

Hoth Stormtrooper- C9

Imperial Commander – AFA 80Y- $113 – Imperial Commander

Imperial Commander AFA

Lando Calrissian – AFA80 – $220 – Lando Calrissian MOC AFA80 The Lando man saw a great price realized on this AFA80 clear bubble auction, it’s funny as I believe I bought mine (ungraded) for around $50, and it was graded am 80 clear eventually as well.   A great looking piece and an awesome price for the seller.

Lando AFA80

Leia Hoth 48 Back – C5 – $150 – Leia Hoth ROTJ 48 Back

Leia Hoth 48 Back

Luke Gunner – $229 – C7 – ROTJ Luke Skywalker Gunner MOC

Luke Gunner

Luke X-Wing ROTJ AFA85 – $362 – Luke X-Wing

Luke X-Wing ROTJ

Princess Leia Organa 48 Back – C7 – $244 (Resold at $204) – Princess Leia Organa 48 Back Sometimes basic logic doesn’t come into play in the world of figure collecting.   The ROTJ release of the original Leia figure is the rarest of any of the three movies, with the 48 back being an exceptionally difficult item to find.   However here we have one that sold for an extremely reasonable price.   Condition could be the issue, however most of the 48 back Leia figures graded and in MOC circulation are in extremely poor condition, thus I’m not really sure why this didn’t pull in the average price of $400 at least.

Leia Original 48 Back

R5-D4 – $66 – C8 – ROTJ R5-D4 MOC R5-D4 ROTJ AFA85 – $170 – R5-D4 ROTJ AFA R5-D4 ROTJ MOC – C8 – $66 – R5-D4 ROTJ MOC r5-d4 MOC ROTJ   R5D4 ROTJ AFA 85   R5-D4 ROTJ MOC

Rebel Commando- AFA85 – $149 – Rebel Commando MOC A very nice example and one of the few AFA85 figures that we’ve seen this month, the Rebel Commando, along with Klaatu, Weequay (See below) and a few other ROTJ release figures have consistently been seeing top dollar for good examples as good quality versions of these figures are tough to come by.

Rebel Commando

Snaggletooth – $92 – C8 – ROTJ Snaggletooth

Snaggletooth ROTJ MOC

Squid head Lily Ledy – ROTJ AFA 85 – $622 – Squidhead Lili Ledy AFA

Stormtrooper – $106 – ROTJ Stormtrooper MOC

Stormtrooper – 79 Back – $130- Stormtrooper MOC

Stormtrooper ROTJ   Stormtrooper 79 Back

Vader Pointing MOC – $76 – ROTJ Darth Vader MOC Varient

Vader Pointing MOC

Weequay – AFA85 –  $190 – ROTJ Weequay MOC

Weequay

Wicket MOC 77 Back – AFA – $239 – Yoda Alt Photo AFA 80 Our only Ewok figure this month, here we have a great example of Wicket. Probably the most sought after of the Ewoks, he demands a top price, in this case right on the money at $239 for an AFA80.   He’s particularly very difficult to find with a clear bubble, close in difficulty to Emperor or the Rancor Keeper. Wicket AFA 85

Yoda ROTJ Clipper – C9 Clear- $560 – Yoda ROTJ Clipper

2 Packs This could be referred to as the Summer of the 2-Pack, not to be confused with the Summer of Tupac.   Droves of the ROTJ 2-Packs hit the market this summer, with nearly 20 represented below for your review.   One of the most unloved items of the Vintage Kenner line, this was basically a clearance strategy for the overstock figures that Kenner was holding onto towards the end of the ROTJ toy run.    Plagued by dented and cracked bubbles, card backs with generic artwork and blank backs, this was Kenner Star Wars on the cheap.  However those that survived in good condition have homes amongst focus collectors and see strong prices especially for certain figure combinations.

Ackbar Leia – $152 – ROTJ 2-Pack Admiral Ackbar Princess Leia Organa

Ackbar Leia 2 Pack

Bib Fortuna Ackbar – $222  ROTJ 2-Pack Bib Fortuna Admiral Ackbar The first of four 2-Packs featuring Bib Fortuna as our left character in the bundle is also the most expensive and in the best overall condition.      Condition is important to some for these items, as in recent history the highest grade ever given to a 2-Pack was an AFA75.

bibackbar2pack

Bib Fortuna Boushh – $138 ROTJ 2-Pack Bib Fortuna Boushh

bibboushh2pack

Bib Fortuna B-Wing 2-Pack – $204 ROTJ 2-Pack Bib Fortuna B-Wing Pilot

Bib Fortuna C-3PO – $202 ROTJ 2-Pack Bib Fortuna C-3PO

Bib3po2pack

C3PO Boushh Two Pack – $171 – ROTJ 2-Pack C-3PO Boushh

c3poboushh2pack

Gamorean Guard Leia – $128 ROTJ 2-Pack Gamorean Guard Princess Leia Organa

Gamguardleia2pack

Greedo – Squid – $152  ROTJ 2-Pack Greedo Squidhead

SquidGreedo2Pack

Greedo Gamorean Guard – $207 ROTJ 2-Pack Greedo Gamorean Guard

GamGreedo2Pack

IG-88 Darth Vader – $436  ROTJ 2-Pack IG-88 Darth Vader I think one of the biggest groups of collectors who pick up 2-Packs are character focus collectors, they make a nice addition to a character collection and a bit of randomness given there really was no rhyme or reason for how these were thrown together.

 

 

Logray C-3PO – $202 ROTJ 2-Pack Logray C-3PO

lograyc3po2pack

Logray Boushh – $202 ROTJ 2-Pack Logray Boushh

Logray Boush2pack

Luke Original Bib Fortuna – $410 – ROTJ 2-Pack Luke Skywalker Bib Fortuna Nearing the end of our list we find a very rare item, that being the inclusion of Luke Tatooine in a 2-Pack, along with Yoda he is one of the toughest to find in a 2-Pack from this series, in part due to the fact that these were overstock figures and both Luke and Yoda were such popular figures in the main release. Luke Bib 2 Pack

Snowtrooper Han Trench Coat – 2 Pack $141 – ROTJ 2-Pack Snowtrooper Han Solo Trench Coat Hoth Trooper - Han Trench Coat 2 Pack

Plush Line

The plush line was an extension for Kenner to try and reach a new demographic with the series.   The line was however not as successful as initially hoped, and thus a lot of overstock made it into the collectors market and made these items fairly common.  Unloved items for sure,  but worthy of mentioning here.

Wicket the Ewok – Plush Figure with tag – $80 – Wicket Plush

Wicket

Paploo the Ewok – Plush Figure Boxed – $46 – Paploo the Ewok

Paploo

Wiley the Ewok – Plush Figure with Tag and Bag – $31 – Wiley the Ewok Plush

Wiley

Proof Sheet – Plush Line Tags – $130 – ROTJ Proof Sheet – Ewok Plush Tags One of my personal favorites from this past Summer is the Ewok Plush Line Proof Sheet.  Featuring the tags for several of the Ewok Figures, this has a unique factor to it that I think embodies a lot of key Kenner Vintage line elements.

Proof Sheet Ewok

That about does it for this update on the ROTJ line and how well it sold this past summer, we hope you enjoy the deep dive.

Until next time, Wampa Wampa!

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!

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