February MarketWatch Overview Monthly Update

Happy February 2014 Space Freaks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boba Fett ROTJ AFA

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

Stormtrooper 48 Back Palitoy

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

Han Solo 48 Back

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

Power Droid 48 Back ROTJ

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

Bespin Guard White 48 Back ROTJ

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

Luke Skywalker ROTJ Tatooine Picture

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


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

Han Solo Glasslite MOC

Open to the public? – Loose and Opened items.

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

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

Lili Ledy Leia Boushh

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

Red Cape Squidhead

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

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

ESB Mailer - 4 Pack Luke Bespin

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

ESB Mailer - 4 Pack Han Hoth

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

Lineart ESB Mailer - 4 Pack


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

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

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

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

Cloud City Playset AFA

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

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

Boba Fett Star Wars AFA

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

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

Han Solo Bespin Revenge Proof

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

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

Wampa Wampa:



February General Market Watch Updates

Happy February Space Freaks!

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

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

German Parker 3 Pack – Auction Link

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

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

Price: 6 – $1190

Rarity: 7

Parker 3 Pack

Han Solo MISB 12 Inch – Auction Link

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

Price: 5 – $560

Rarity: 3

Han 12 Inch

ESB MOC Collection – Auction Link

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

Price: $7300 ($178 per figure)

Rarity: N/A – Collection

ESB Collection MOC

15 Pack Lineart Catalog Mailer – Auction Link

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

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

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

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

Price: 5$898

Rarity: 7

15 Pack Lineart Mailer

Popy Fett – Auction Link

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

Price: $625

Rarity: 6

Popy Fett

Vader Case – Auction Link

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

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

Price: $393

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


3 Pack Leia Han Ben – Hero Collection – Auction Link

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

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

Price: $7000

Rarity: 7

Star Wars ANH 3 Pack - Rebels

Revenge of the Jedi Proof Auctions

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

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

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

Rarity – 6 across the board.

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

Condition – C8.5-9

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

AFA Data on Revenge of the Jedi Proofs:





















Key Auctions Highlights:

Luke Skywalker Tatooine

Boba Fett

Darth Vader

Boba Fett RevengeLuke Revenge TatooineVader Revenge Proof

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