March MarketWatch Monthly Overview

Happy March Space Freaks!

This month on the MarketWatch Monthly we have a general update of the market and some of the more notable items that have been up in the market in the February/March timeframe.

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

This month on the Seal Show we have a diverse offering of toys from Electronic games, to staples of the vintage line, to off shoots from the core line of toys and all points in between.   This is a bit of a hodge podge this month, but I hope you enjoy some of the unique items we found on the market.

Our first auction is an interesting piece to feature, the original Atari Return of the Jedi cartridge MISB.   We never really cover these as part of the Vintage line, but I’m officially taking these back and incorporating them into the Vintage lineage going forward, as really this is the evolution of Toys into the digital world.

Atari – Return of the Jedi Cartridge MISB  – C9 – $273 Atari ROTJ Cartridge MISB

ROTJ Atari Cartridge

 

Our second items come as a pair, as they are a quick showcase of two really great items that ended a few weeks back.  Another part of Rebel Scum Emporiums auctions from Q1 these were some of the last auctions to get picked up.  The key piece to mention here is the ESB Tie Fighter, definitely one of the more difficult to find pieces especially in the condition we find it in here.

Darth Vader Diecast Tie Fighter – C9 – $223 Darth Vader Diecast Tie Fighter

Darth Vader MOC TieFighter Diecast

ESB Diecast Tie Fighter – C9 – $599 ESB Diecast Tie Fighter

Tie Fighter ESB Diecast MOC

Moving on down the line we have two great staples of the hobby, the CS version of the Landspeeder and the original SW Millennium Falcon.    The SW Landspeeder is such a great toy and one of the most recognizable in the line.    We saw a good showing on price here as that $300 price tag is right on for an AFA80, worth mentioning once in a while I’m sure we’ll see this piece again on the MW in the coming year.

Landspeeder Collectors Series – AFA80 – $324 Landspeeder AFA 80 CS

Landspeeder MISB CS

Not forgetting our large Corelian ship, we have for I believe the 2nd time only a sealed Falcon for review on the MarketWatch.    Due to it’s size and price finding a sealed Falcon from the original SW release is quite the feet, especially over the past few years as the market has been really dry on this piece.      A great showing on price and an iconic piece overall, the Falcon could be the most recognizable (non-figure) toy in the series

Millennium Falcon SW Sealed – AFA80 – $3800 Millennium Falcon SW AFA80

 Millenium Falcon ANH SW MISB

 

Open to the public? – Loose and Opened items.

Coming off a full update on the loose side of the hobby, we have a very focused update for March with only two auctions getting call outs.

Our first comes off the heels of the Lili Ledy featured items last month.   Given that we were able to feature four of the five extremely popular Lili Ledy Variants, I wanted to showcase the fifth, that being the super rare Red Cloak Bib Fortuna.   This piece has always had a special place in US collectors hearts, as it’s featured in a number of photo samples and even in some production photos, bringing up the question, why didn’t we get the red cape Bib in the states?  Although I can’t speculate on why this occurred, I would venture a guess that between the SWCA.com and Rebel Scum you should be able to do your own research on this piece.   This particular item is graded with a COA from Tom Derby, the retail is a bit high from where I’ve seen these land in the last few years, but still in line with FMV.

Lili Ledy Red Cape Bib Fortuna – AFA85 with COA – $1488 Lili Ledy Red Cape Bib Fortuna with COA

Bib Fortuna Lili Ledy with COA

Following up to our Lili Ledy figure we have another great foreign company example the walking R2D2 from Takara.   Know not only for the Star Wars line Takara is one of the biggest toy producers in the Eastern Hemisphere with hundreds of great lines produced over the years.  Here we have a graded version of the figure receiving an AFA85 overall and a strong price point of $310.

Takara Walking R2-D2 Loose – AFA85 – $310 – Takara Walking R2D2 AFA

Loose walking R2-D2

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

This month there are three specific auctions I wanted to highlight.  This showcases some of the most unique and most difficult items to find in the hobby.     From a 12” prototype, to a Canadian rarity these are a few of the most unique items show up on the market in the last month.

Leia Organa Bespin 12 Inch Box Prototype – AFA85 – $6000

Leia Bespin 12 Inch Box Prototype= Rare and Expensive

One of the, if not the most sought after item in the 12” Series is the Leia Bespin Figure or for that matter any of the new figures from ESB Large Format release.   With only IG-88 making it shelves all we have of the other items is preproduction and mock ups.  Here we have the box for Leia Bespin, the boxes were truly incredible when it came to the 12” line.   With more images and scenes then their 3” counterparts they made the line more exciting and visually stimulating.    This particular piece was graded with an overall grade of AFA85.  A truly unique item for only the high end collector, it should be noted the price came down from the original listing by $4000.

Leia Bespin 12 Inch

Anakin Skywalker POTF MOC – AFA80Y – $5500

Anakin Skywalker POTF MOC= Rare and Expensive

Along with Yak Face, the MOC Anakin figure is the only other truly rare MOC from the last 17 release.  With no circulation in the US and most countries abroad, the Anakin figure was released exclusively in Australia.   Thus they are few and far between in terms of availability and especially in good condition.   Want to turn that up a notch, try finding a clear bubble Anakin Skywalker – only 6 exist in the AFA database and most have turned yellow since.

 Anakin MOC POTF

R2-D2 Wind-Up MOC Canadian Version – AFA85 – $5500 

R2-D2 Wind Up Canadian= Rare and Expensive

The Wind-Up R2-D2 is truly unique and another take on everyone’s garbage can shaped droid.    With the majority of these coming overseas from Takara, find a Canadian version is quite rare and as one can see very expensive.    With an overall grade of 85 the price tag is fitting for the R2-D2 focus collector that already has everything R2 already, in fact a certain collector comes to mind when I see this piece in particular, oh let’s say someone with a round room painted like R2…  Anyway a cool piece in great condition at for a boat load of cash is definitely worth mentioning.

MOC R2D2 Walking

That brings us to the end of the March MarketWatch Update.   Next month we’ll have our regular update in a shortened fashion along with an important article on pricing called “This is reality – please come back to it”. A segment that will focus on the average values amongst different categories of items on the market today. Call it a baseline, but it’s really just meant to bring us all to the same page in terms of what true fair market values look like in 2014.

Wampa Wampa:

FB24

 

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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