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"Why Modern ‘Collectible’ Toys Are A Total Scam" Topic

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1,664 hits since 26 Dec 2016
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2016 12:59 p.m. PST

"It's everyone's dream to turn their passion into a career … or at the very least, a way to make major bank. So when the latest batch of Star Wars movies was announced, it wasn't hard to imagine wannabe collectors making plans to buy armfuls of toys and preserve them in metaphorical carbonite until their value skyrocketed.

You might even be tempted to do this yourself. If that's the case, we have some sage advice for you: Don't. It might have worked with the original movies, but it isn't as simple as renting a storage locker and/or avoiding direct eye contact with your parents/partner/landlord for the next several decades anymore…"
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John Treadaway26 Dec 2016 3:14 p.m. PST

Anyone that buys toys as an "investment" is:

A) an idiot/badly financially advised

B) missing the point of toys

So: good. I hope 'investors' lose their shirts.

John T

Ghostrunner26 Dec 2016 4:31 p.m. PST

If you're intent on ignoring us, however, just hope that the new films are good. If they aren't … well, just ask anyone who bought toys associated with, and we hate to keep reminding you of this, the prequel trilogy. It's a common joke to say that Jar-Jar Binks killed our childhoods. For some poor bastards, he probably took their homes too.

Would be hilarious if it probably wasn't true for some poor sod.

desert war Inactive Member26 Dec 2016 5:07 p.m. PST

The reason why my Darth Vader, OBI Wan, and Leia Figures i had as a kid are worth so much in mint and in the box now, that is because all of us kids that had them took them out and did what they were meant for and that was play with them. If he had kept them in the box everyone would have a mint copy and they would be worth oh about $5 USD each

gundog Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2016 8:06 p.m. PST

Anything that is marketed as a "collectible", ISN'T !!!

Rogzombie Fezian26 Dec 2016 9:46 p.m. PST

I was an idiot. I had to downsize and I couldnt pay people to take them. So I gave them to Amvets.

basileus66 Inactive Member26 Dec 2016 11:37 p.m. PST

I see a lot of people like that every day. My shop is dedicated to sell action figures, after all. Some figures become instant classics and now sell for twice or even thrice their original value. Black Series 6" Darth Maul, for example, sold (in Spain, in US was cheaper) for 21.99 euros; no you must pay 70-100 euros if you want it mint in box. And yet you would need to have bought dozens of Darth Mauls to your investement become really interesting, economically speaking; with the caveat, of course, that if you put your dozens of Darth Mauls on sale at the same time in the market, the price will drop.

wminsing Inactive Member27 Dec 2016 6:20 a.m. PST

Yes, of all the things you could get into, Toy Speculation has got to be one of the poorest options. You're gambling on people being nostalgic, having cash to burn, AND losing/destroying/whatever the original toy. There's a market there, but it's not much.

Had cousins who had their parents buy them Beany Babies as an 'investment' in lieu of savings bonds or the like. They finally tossed them about 3 or 4 years ago….


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

I had a friend who decided not to buy insurance for his family, but instead invested in collectible toys. Lots of diecast models, and wargame figures that he painted. Lots of other odds and ends of stuff too. When he retired from his private business, he expected to sell the stuff also.

He had a basement packed with all the stuff. He died suddenly at only 50, leaving the entire assortment of things to be sold by his family on eBay. All the while trying to get by without any insurance. He was expecting to get $10 USD a figure for is painted wargame items and barely got three dollars. The wargame game club Took hundreds of his figures to Historicon flea-market And while we sold $5,000 USD worth, that was about maybe 10% of what it was worth originally.

The moral of the story is don't expect to use collectible toys as your life insurance or retirement fund

Timmo uk27 Dec 2016 1:45 p.m. PST

Some toys are still worth buying as investments. I have made some good returns and I know others in the same market have done so as well. However, I've never considered buying and selling toys as part of any serious long term investment plan but merely a method of part funding my wargame hobby. (We're talking a few hundreds pounds profit here not thousands.)

wminsing Inactive Member27 Dec 2016 3:10 p.m. PST

However, I've never considered buying and selling toys as part of any serious long term investment plan but merely a method of part funding my wargame hobby. (We're talking a few hundreds pounds profit here not thousands.)

Yea as a fun side thing to make a little extra money on the side I think it makes sense; if you're smart about you can probably make money consistently. But unless you're one of those American Picker-style guys and hit the mother lode, it's not paying for your vacation home!


wminsing Inactive Member27 Dec 2016 3:13 p.m. PST

But could you imagine being the toy speculator that assumed that Kylo Ren would be the break-out character of The Force Awakens, for example? Man you would be hosed.


Ewan Hoosami Inactive Member27 Dec 2016 5:18 p.m. PST

Collectibles, stuff investment, I just buy things if I like them or have a gaming use for them. It annoys me no end, when something is cool and limited numbered release and demands an unrealistic launch price. You um and ah, do I or don't I. Then you go yes I'll buy it and then its sitting in a bargain bin 6 months later for 1/4 of that price.

chromedog29 Dec 2016 4:27 p.m. PST

If it's still in the box, no matter how munted, it's a "collectible".

If not, it's a toy.

I picked up a very-used old Matchbox Adventure 2000 "Raider command" at a flea market for $15. USD It needed tracks, but the canopies were intact, the wheels attached and working (and a set of 1/35 half track treads fit it).

A "Collectibles" dealer was also there. He had one in box (box was munted, cellophane all but perished, box torn and squashed. The landcruiser part had a smashed windscreen, and it was also missing tracks and the missile.).
He wanted $90 USD for it.

Part time gamer02 Jan 2017 1:04 a.m. PST

Well its really only a "Scam" IF you buy into the word, "Collectable", as if someone did 'in depth Supply/Demand research" on these items.

I have always believed the advice I have heard even on "the Antique's Roadshow".
It went something like this:
"Dont buy things specifically as an investment, buy those things You Like. Then enjoy them and hope for the best."

Regarding 'the Roadshow", some rerun episodes, say a show from 1995 for example, the item in question was listed around $8,000 USD at that time.
THEN, an 'update' appears at the bottom of the screen, showing the current year. Some items did increase, however almost as many LOST value over the years since they were orginally valued.

Supply / Deamned, there are NO guarantee's.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa02 Jan 2017 2:55 p.m. PST

I'm sure like alot of gamer's, I wish I'd taken out and splurged my interest free student loan on MTG, revised edition, Antiquities, Legends, etc, but not Fallen Empires… Or bought a dozen copies of the Dune RPG! But 2020 hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The original Star Wars toys are valuable because the films are popular enough to have a following, with obsessive collectors, and the power of nostalgia. And the reason why MIB / MIP Star Wars toys are relatively rare is because they're toys! Most kids consumed them as they did any other toy of the time. Assuming Star War's holds its place in pop culture for the next 20 – 30 years my guess is that 'collectible' ranges designed to be kept mint won't be the big appreciators in value – it'll be the crap thats consumed and disgarded – and therefore hard to get hold of in mint condition!

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member04 Jan 2017 5:29 a.m. PST

I think it's very hard to predict what will have collectible status 10 or 20 years from now. So it's always a gamble …

If everyone would know about the value of something in the future, Britains toy soldiers would never have been used as toys and the wargaming hobby would never have been started.

arthur181504 Jan 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

Or HG Wells would have decided to use dice to determine casualties from fire instead of actually shooting metal screws at his toy soldiers?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jan 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

Apparently the MAKERS of 'collectable toys' aren't immune from wishful thinking either. Years back I was in Toys R Us shopping for Christmas gifts for my daughters. In the doll section there were rows and rows of boxes of so-called collectable dolls. All made in China, all labeled as "numbered collectible dolls" and all with the same serial number on the boxes :) But it was the dolls that were really funny. "Honeymooners" dolls? Ralph and Norton and Alice and Trixie? Or the American Presidents set with Herbert Hoover? I don't imagine they sold very many of those :)

Part time gamer06 Jan 2017 5:50 a.m. PST

I think *ROU hit the nail on the head.

The real "Collectable" Toys are just that, the ones we bought, played with, enjoyed and over time either lost, or just out grew or got bored with and tossed out.
As a result, few if any can even be found, let alone in Mint condition.
THERE is the real deciding factor of its collectable value.

cosmicbank07 Jan 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

Does this mean I am not rich??

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 11:19 a.m. PST



Queen Catherine Inactive Member20 Jan 2017 8:23 a.m. PST

In the process of downsizing, my parents issued an edict – all our stuff in their house was going in the dumpster unless we rescued it.

I took away my:
Star Wars action figures and Death Star plastic playset, all heavily played with, some damaged, dirty, etc.

GI Joe items, which were quite heavily used, with many parts missing, dirty, etc.

And finally, my Star Trek USS Enterprise bridge, with working transporter and several figs, some missing bits, including an arm, etc.

As a favor to Dad, I took away his Lionel train set from the 1940s/50s. We had stopped using it many years prior since it was a fire / shock hazard.

Eventually, without a lot of enthusiasm since I didn't think it was worth anything, I sold all of it on eBay. I took many detailed pictures, described everything accurately, and did good job with the auctions. I listed them at my minimum, $20 USD, which I won't put up an auction for less.

All sold for hundreds of dollars, despite the damage, dirt, missing parts, etc.

I was blown away. I asked the winners "why?"
The train set was a Christmas gift from a daughter to her dad, as they were trying to complete a layout for him.

All the toy stuff was bought by collectors who said that they'd tidy them up, make complete sets of what they could, sell/trade the duplicates.

Not bad for an unexpected windfall, but they were stored for about 30 years.

All this to say, "it all depends".

Clays Russians Inactive Member29 Jan 2017 7:51 p.m. PST

Yep, to pay a doctors bill about 18 years ago I sold my 1966 Japanese GIJoe which was complete except the first 10mil of the point of the bayonet, even had the medal. Guy gave me 400$!!!!

Queen Catherine Inactive Member31 Jan 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

best $400 USD I ever spent – I expect it to be worth at least, oh, $405 USD by now.

Tacitus31 Jan 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

I'm no prude, but I guess I expect more from professional journalism. That guy has a potty mouth. Interesting info, though. Thanks for the link, Tango.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 9:17 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile)


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