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Thread: Perceived scarcity vs Actual scarcity

  1. #1

    Perceived scarcity vs Actual scarcity

    Since this board remains pretty dead, I figured I'd try to jump start another conversation. This is a spinoff of the "yellow bubble breakdown" thread where the concept of "perceived scarcity" was discussed. In particular, the vinyl caped Jawa was mentioned as a perfect example of being perceived as much more scarce than it actually was, illustrated by AFA population report data. Selling prices for vinyl cape Jawas, carded and loose, continue to remain at very high levels, and may even be climbing.



    The number above represent only a fraction of those still around. There's also a great deal of high grade (85+) MOC's out there. Considering the sales prices for an 85 ($5000+) you'd think they were impossible to find. Loose 85's are also selling for $700+.

    Next up is Blue Snaggletooth.



    That's over 370 graded by AFA, and there's a LOT more than that out there. Yet, put one up for sale and it's likely to be swept up in nanoseconds.

    How about Yak Face?



    I think Joe_O may have summed it up best in the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_O View Post
    To be fair, while you don't see 100 per week or month for sale, how many people here on the RS boards own one? (I would go out on a limb and say 1 in every...8 users in the vintage section? Maybe 1 in every 5?)..Heck there is even one German guy that owns about 10 who limelights them in the AFA section.

    When I looked at the loose VCJ stats a few years ago it dawned on me that the hype surrounding the figure is really all that makes it popular, I guess it's like the Rocket Fett protos, loads known but still sells for a bundle of cash. It's all about perceived rarity and "iconic" toy status in the hobby, these things have been written about in magazines, seen as grails by collectors and generally been over hyped for so many years since collecting took off that the prices are completely out of whack with the actual rarity.

    A similar thing can be said for just about anything else that is deemed to be rare, Blue Snags, Yake Faces..

    Let's face it, it's just "cooler" for the masses to have a VCJ MOC than it is a 1 of 1 known Cromalin or other insanely rare and historical piece of toy history lol - I am glad I don't collect to impress or show off is all I can say!
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  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander Rolotomasi's Avatar
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    I think that collecting is fun when you present your stuff for all to see...not to rub it in someones face but to enjoy all the variations available! We all know nobody will evey own EVERY figure/varient and it is just nice to see things I know I will be unlikey to own myself! I enjoy looking at labors of love and the stories about having these as kids...or about dealing one with an interesting story. There is nothing wrong with owning a nice Grail piece and sharing it with everyone is there? I would love to see a DT Vader..anyone?

    If people try to "show-off or one-up" it is a turn off, to me anyway. I have just started to collect but I am a longtime owner of these wonderful works of art and I find most are in it to have fun, thankfully!!!!


    Sorry about posting here...I think I had several windows open and landed on the wrong one!!! Guess I should have went to bed LOL
    Last edited by Rolotomasi; 03-13-2012 at 06:49 AM. Reason: wrong thread?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rolotomasi View Post
    I think that collecting is fun when you present your stuff for all to see...not to rub it in someones face but to enjoy all the variations available! We all know nobody will evey own EVERY figure/varient and it is just nice to see things I know I will be unlikey to own myself! I enjoy looking at labors of love and the stories about having these as kids...or about dealing one with an interesting story. There is nothing wrong with owning a nice Grail piece and sharing it with everyone is there? I would love to see a DT Vader..anyone?

    If people try to "show-off or one-up" it is a turn off, to me anyway. I have just started to collect but I am a longtime owner of these wonderful works of art and I find most are in it to have fun, thankfully!!!!
    It's a bit early here so maybe I should have got a coffee first but I am not 100% sure your post relates to miss_the_80's topic at all lol

    Back on topic (I think!), thanks for pulling those figures miss_the_80's, I was surprised there are almost as many graded POTF Yak MOCs out there as there are Trilogos although I suppose if I think about it, I never really actively look for POTF Yak MOCS yet still see them on my travels, so it shouldn't shock me that much.

    I wonder if we could guestimate on ungraded numbers of these highlighted figures roughly based on the AFA report..we could probably double those numbers quite easily (if not triple them) if we included ungraded pieces in the count and that's without really counting! (There could be WAY more!)

    We should perhaps enforce discussing your "rarity" on the boards with the inclusion of the text "Yeah and there about 3,429 other ones that look exactly like mine!!" (Only joking )

    I guess in a way this hobby having its iconic figures that maintain value is not a terrible thing, Star Wars will always pull in new blood because its an absolute machine of a franchise and new collectors will all eventually find their own collecting avenue and realise what is rare and what is not, perhaps the magnetic like draw and "mystery" of rocket fetts, vinyl caped Jawas and Yak Faces is what keeps the Vintage hobby ticking over in the world of toy collecting for the average Joe?

    I suppose the flip side to looking at these numbers is that when a figure is incredibly popular there almost needs to be an amazing amount of them out there to satisfy the demand, if everyone suddenly decided they wanted a 1 of 1 piece it would be a little hard to satisfy that huge demand, unless you broke the item and shared it out
    Last edited by Joe_O; 03-13-2012 at 02:42 AM.
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  4. #4
    The thing is, if you want to get your set to a serious set you need those three figures, no matter if loose or carded!

    And thats where the cat bites its tail: Because of the remaining high prices these three pieces will always be the last you are missing when you start up building a set. And thats why these pieces will stay high in prices and will always sell in seconds!

    Nobody likes to say: "Hi, Im Mr.X and I collect Star Wars. I have a full set only missing VC Jawa, Blue Snag and Yak."
    And nobody would answer: "I totally see where you coming from...these are so much overpriced these days! I dont go for them either till prices match their real numbers out there!!"

    A serious collector has a full set...or the aim to build up a full set!


    Dieter can build now 10 complete sets....LOL:


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    Last edited by Wbobafett; 03-13-2012 at 01:06 AM.

  5. #5
    I have another question. Im not so involved or educated in collecting MOCs or AFAd MOCs, so its maybe a stupid question.

    There is 6x 95 graded VC Jawas?? Can it be that Afa also pushes these?? I mean I never saw a 95 graded card.....on any character!!!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Wbobafett View Post
    I have another question. Im not so involved or educated in collecting MOCs or AFAd MOCs, so its maybe a stupid question.

    There is 6x 95 graded VC Jawas?? Can it be that Afa also pushes these?? I mean I never saw a 95 graded card.....on any character!!!
    I donīt think AFA pushes these. There are 2 known AFA 100 vintage MOCs, a Takara C-3PO and Kenner 12-Back Tusken Raider and surely more AFA 95 MOCs. But keep in mind that the 2 AFA 100 MOCs were graded single tier and by one person. I donīt think we will ever see a vintage AFA 100 MOC within the 3-tier system.

    http://forum.rebelscum.com/t1023797/

    Last edited by Lafos; 03-13-2012 at 01:50 AM.
    9 holy grails in a row

    Looking for Imperial Commander stuff

  7. #7
    Grr trying again
    Last edited by Joe_O; 03-13-2012 at 03:12 AM.
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  8. #8
    I am having a lot of trouble with this stupid quick reply/go advanced thing on RS lately, once you start putting in links and using quotes then post it all goes berserk and bunches your text up..I am giving up with the above post so I hope its legible (take a pause when you get to a full stop!) - tried to clean it up twice and it ballsed up both times


    Edit- Yay got it to work below! Sorry not trying to up my post count mods it's your forums fault
    Last edited by Joe_O; 03-13-2012 at 03:14 AM.
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  9. #9
    The thing is, if you want to get your set to a serious set you need those three figures, no matter if loose or carded! A serious collector has a full set...or the aim to build up a full set!
    I don't have a DT figure or a VCJ so does that mean I am not serious?


    Honestly though I can see your point, they are seen as the pinnacles of loose collecting and people usually start with loose sets so it makes sense to get them to make things feel complete. I guess I was lucky (?) to have been incredibly lazy with my loose collection the second time around so while I was picking them up I got involved in other areas of collecting which really interest me much more than loose figures (In fact I still haven't completed that set, they are all just sitting in a box in my house!)

    Going back to MOC for a moment, if we were to look at the prices that AFA 85 VCJ MOC figures sell or have sold for ($5000+ right?) and another area of collecting things might fall into perspective.

    Not sure if everyone here remembers Henry Wong's hardcopy sale in 2011 - http://forum.rebelscum.com/t1061091/He very kindly gave us some great after sale statistics:

    So to start, 15 offerors generated over 59 offers in total. The total number of separate offers(sometimes generated by the same offeror) was 29 for Luke Jedi, 5 for Nien Numb, 13 for Admiral Ackbar, 5 for King Gornesh, and 7 for Paploo. The average offer price on each figure was as follows: Luke Jedi - $4887.93, Nien Numb - $2970, Admiral Ackbar - $ 2196.15, King Gornesh - $1840, Paploo - $2314.28. (With the winning offers obviously higher than these values). Taking away character distinction the average offer price for just a Hard Copy in this sale was $2841.67
    I don't know about everyone else but if we are talking about spending thousands of dollars on toys, I would rather own a piece that is very likely a one off or at least one of a handful (I can only think of a few hardcopies that exist in multiples but even when they do its usually 2 or 3 only)

    So, I definitely think it depends on the way you look at collecting and what you consider rare or enjoy collecting (perhaps its all down to what you appreciate looking at more as well) there are people that are happier to spend $5k on mint condition figures that you can find each week on ebay and then there are people that are happier to spend the same amount of money (or less) on truly rare production pieces or pre production things like photoart, hardcopies and cromalins.

    Personally I do still collect production pieces so this is not a pre production vs production point of view, it's just that for me if I were to drop that amount of money on something I would want it to be very, very special and there are plenty of examples of toys that frequently reach those prices that just aren't.
    Happy buyers, happy sellers >> RS Feedback
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  10. #10
    This is an excellent thread, and the figures presented are interesting.
    However I think we need to put this into perspective and measure their current graded population count against the other characters in the series. This is really the only way to tell whether they are perceived to be harder to find or not. I am sure once you see the population count of other figures, lets say a sample of the first 21, you will find that a figure like a Vinyl Jawa is much harder to find.
    The population report may indicate that there are many surviving samples, but also take the grade into consideration which makes all the difference too.
    www.actcollector.com
    Alex Katsoulis
    WANTED Boba Fett 47-back Production like proof,
    65-back Revenge of the Jedi cromalin, 92-back POTF cromalin

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