Any collectors concerned about long-term collection plastic degradation?

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I, until just recently, had a full minty collection of loose/complete 77-85 figures. I was on the fence about selling it all off for the past few years and started noticing some of my last 17 figures starting to yellow a bit. It basically caused me to finally decide to sell. Super concerning how fragile these figures are, even when taken care of really well.

I see collectors putting huge sums of money into MOCs for clear bubbles and whatnot. I wonder what you guys, as collectors, think on this issue? There really is no surefire way to stop yellowing/degradation from happening. I feel like we're hitting a point in time where these toys are at a threshold of not being able to maintain perfection for much longer. 40 years is a loooong time for a plastic toy to exist. What will the next 20 years be like for them?
 
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In 20 years they will be the way they will be. Some will degrade, some won't. There will probably be a premium paid for the ones that last. I get what you are saying "why pay primo bucks for a mint toy that will become un-mint with time no matter what you do". I get it. Some bubbles are going to yellow. Some figures and bubbles are going to fall off the card. That's going to happen. But a lot won't. In 20 years there is still going to be a lot of nice figures; carded, loose, you name it, and they will still be valuable, and there will still be demand. The Next 10 years is going to produce a whole new generation of Star Wars fans, and they are going to want the originals. I have seen posts on this forum on both sides of the issue. The sky is falling, all the plastic is going to degrade and melt away like the T2000 or a minority of figures are going to have issues, but most will be just fine. I worried about it for a short time and realized I don't care. I buy and have my collection to enjoy, not to profit from or leave to anyone as part of my grand estate. It's not part of my retirement plan. So, if they yellow.....so be it. I can't stop it. If you want to collect these toys, you have to pay the market value of today. No one is going to give you a deal because in 20 years it might yellow. That's just not how any of this is going to work. Maybe we all have to accept that perfection isn't possible with a collection. That's O.K. Most old things aren't perfect anyways.
 
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I'm not too concerned. Most plastic degradation is a slow process imo. My figures have aged better than me.
 
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Couldn’t care less , I’m degrading and falling apart and I don’t care because that’s life so why should i care about the toys
 
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1BadMotivator has it right.

Let me ask this of the Chicken Little's of the world.

Are 1960's GI Joe, or even 1959 Barbie's still around? Are many still available in 'mint' shape? The heads and limbs on those dolls have a far weaker plastic than the ABS used in Star Wars figures. I suggest that when those aforementioned lines disappear from existence because they broke down to their base polymer state, THEN worry about the future of our toys. ;)

Ian
 
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1BadMotivator has it right.

Let me ask this of the Chicken Little's of the world.

Are 1960's GI Joe, or even 1959 Barbie's still around? Are many still available in 'mint' shape? The heads and limbs on those dolls have a far weaker plastic than the ABS used in Star Wars figures. I suggest that when those aforementioned lines disappear from existence because they broke down to their base polymer state, THEN worry about the future of our toys. ;)

Ian
I have some mego dolls older than my 77 85 star wars figures. Still looks good to me. And no, I haven't heard any complaints about Barbie number 1. Still highly sought after and worth a ton. Same with the original joes.

Let's not forget about the older plastic bazooka. It still sells high and works fine. And yes, those have springs inside that still maintain the pressure and force of firing their bombs. Pretty sure no star wars figures do that, lol
 
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I think long term, it's probably on all of our minds. I'm on the same page as 1badmotivator and Ian. Some of these things will last forever. Others will probably not hold up so well. I do look at things here and there, and have noticed my Luke Stormtrooper is yellowing more, and the blue arms of my Max Rebo have faded to almost flesh color. Time will tell, I guess. I also look at some of the current values and wonder if I should start selling certain things now, before they degrade.
 
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I, until just recently, had a full minty collection of loose/complete 77-85 figures. I was on the fence about selling it all off for the past few years and started noticing some of my last 17 figures starting to yellow a bit. It basically caused me to finally decide to sell. Super concerning how fragile these figures are, even when taken care of really well.

I see collectors putting huge sums of money into MOCs for clear bubbles and whatnot. I wonder what you guys, as collectors, think on this issue? There really is no surefire way to stop yellowing/degradation from happening. I feel like we're hitting a point in time where these toys are at a threshold of not being able to maintain perfection for much longer. 40 years is a loooong time for a plastic toy to exist. What will the next 20 years be like for them?

oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
What......Are......You......Talking about???? :wtf::hmm::rolleyes:
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
Brain degradation also occurs .
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
Fake news.
 
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There really is no surefire way to stop yellowing/degradation from happening.
There's no guarantees, of course--but there are definitely ways to minimize plastic degradation;

- keep out of sunlight and other UV light--in fact, exclude all light except for when you're actually handling/enjoying the pieces;
- don't store pieces in an acidic environment (ie., cardboard or wooden boxes, PVC plastics, etc.)
- keep temperatures where you store your collection cool;
- keep relative humidity constant, in the range between 35-60%

Plastic degradation is a chemical process, and anything that slows down chemical processes will prolong the life of your collection.
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. And well.. There goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a lili ledy bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

Again, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. After all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
no no no no no
 
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most collectors in their 30's and 40's have to undertsand we will al be long dead before these things melt away . like others have said humidity and uv light is a no no .
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.
No point in wasting money by getting them graded by AFA then is there?
 
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oh yes this is a very serious concern. I think one reason collectors dismiss this notion of the plastic degradation is that the most vocal ones are the ones with big collections who are striving hard to keep their values high on their collections. Also, when they go to sell, they dont want the individual buying from them, to be aware that these toys are akin to ticking time bombs, at any moment, at any time, they are going to fall apart into a goey mess. Imagine buying a storm trooper miscard, paying a large amount and then it starts to melt on you, or it looses its color and turns green.. and well.. there goes your 6,000 dollars.

So everything is falling apart, why pay for a Lili Ledy Bib when the cape can mold or rot on you? You are looking at some serious losses.

AGain, those with big collections are not going to want to disclose this info or talk about it. AFter all, when it comes to selling, that could ruin any deal thy might have.

Then ethical thing to do is collectors put a warning tag or label when they sell their items, stating that plastic degradation is possible, to be aware.

The end is near, the acceleration in the degradation of these toys is running high and there is no stopping it. All bubbles are going to fall off, all plastic figures are going to melt, rot and all bubbles will yellow.

Ok, I've held my tongue for long enough. This IS NOT true for every single carded figure that is out there. If one was left in a humid attic and already yellowed, then yes, it will speed up the process and become brittle and be more prone to cracking and breaking open when force is applied. Carded figures that have been kept out of extreme conditions and sunlight will continue to stay in their current state until exposed to other environments. How do I know this? Because 30 years of collecting has shown me that. Sure, there will be examples that will yellow with a good explanation, but you might not know the origins of who had that figure before you. How did they store it? We're they the original owner? Was this figure sitting in an attic or damp basement before it came into your possession? If you cannot answer these questions, and don't have years of experience, what gives you the right to give people such false information and be a fear monger to new people coming into the hobby?????

Believe that the sky is falling if you choose. But don't expect others to wholeheartedly agree with you in these extreme doomsday scenarios you repeatedly want everyone to get in line with.

Where's the tylenol?

James
 
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Ok, I've held my tongue for long enough. This IS NOT true for every single carded figure that is out there. If one was left in a humid attic and already yellowed, then yes, it will speed up the process and become brittle and be more prone to cracking and breaking open when force is applied. Carded figures that have been kept out of extreme conditions and sunlight will continue to stay in their current state until exposed to other environments. How do I know this? Because 30 years of collecting has shown me that. Sure, there will be examples that will yellow with a good explanation, but you might not know the origins of who had that figure before you. How did they store it? We're they the original owner? Was this figure sitting in an attic or damp basement before it came into your possession? If you cannot answer these questions, and don't have years of experience, what gives you the right to give people such false information and be a fear monger to new people coming into the hobby?????

Believe that the sky is falling if you choose. But don't expect others to wholeheartedly agree with you in these extreme doomsday scenarios you repeatedly want everyone to get in line with.

Where's the tylenol?

James
Hear, hear! Nicely said, thank you. This is getting a bit out of hand. Take care of your figures by using a little common sense and they will look great for many, many years to come.
 
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More importantly, what happens when the generation that grew up with Original Trilogy is dead, say in about 40-50 years time? Could the demand for Kenner stuff cause prices to drop dramatically (but in tandem with whatever plastic degradation happens)?
 
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It will happen to all the SW figures and that's for sure and has started but the end is way off. I suspect the figures death and the Collectible demand will meet up at about the same time. There are so may Odd things about these figures and what is happening to them. EV9-D9 ( from 1984) I have had fall apart right off the card or out of the baggie right in my hand. I have never seen that with any other SW Vintage though. Bubbles have turned yellow on multiple mint carded figures but mostly on ROJ and POTF. And on others right next to them in the same box crystal clear bubble. I own 100's of Vintage SW carded and not one single bubble is yellow on any of them. I do see frosting on a few SW and ESB carded figures (Which is the start of plastic Degradation) but I actually remember seeing some of that when they were only 10 years old. So yes it has started but it's hardly over.
 
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It will happen to all the SW figures and that's for sure and has started but the end is way off. I suspect the figures death and the Collectible demand will meet up at about the same time. There are so may Odd things about these figures and what is happening to them. EV9-D9 ( from 1984) I have had fall apart right off the card or out of the baggie right in my hand. I have never seen that with any other SW Vintage though. <snip>
This is a design flaw, though. I read a rather detailed article/post about how EV-9D9 was designed/molded. It was quite a good read; do not recall where. There is a an internal 'part' that causes the arm to break.

And, yes, this fear mongering is out hand, indeed.
 
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This is a design flaw, though. I read a rather detailed article/post about how EV-9D9 was designed/molded. It was quite a good read; do not recall where. There is a an internal 'part' that causes the arm to break.

And, yes, this fear mongering is out hand, indeed.

True it is a slight Design Flaw, but if you look at one with the Arms off on the inside you can see what is going on.The part inside that holds Both arms attached is literally dry Rotting (Plastic Disintegrating) and the arms just fall off because the plastic gives way as it breaks down. Even sealed on the card new will not protect them from the arms falling off.
 
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More importantly, what happens when the generation that grew up with Original Trilogy is dead, say in about 40-50 years time? Could the demand for Kenner stuff cause prices to drop dramatically (but in tandem with whatever plastic degradation happens)?
Well, as has been mentioned by everyone, degradation of the plastics is happening and at an alarming rate.There are more and more yellow bubbles on cards that didnt have it as much, there are many Tri-logo cards with broken or yellow bubbles now showing up on ebay and even Kay Bee ROTJ 2-packs are showing many yellow bubbles, lifting bubbles.

When you look at these auctions, prices get cut in half or more. So that 1,000 dollar MOC is now going for 500 or less.

Then as you say, die in a dying generation and well, the amount of buyers will drop, demand will die down, Disney is basically watering down SW going forward, and we have the perfect storm for dark days ahead.

Sadly, there is no way around bubbles breaking, going yellow and figures melting away, plastic decomposing. I suppose those who engage in selling SW vintage toys will try and paint a different story, but its clear why they would, they are making money on selling SW vintage toys.
 
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The only thing remotely alarming is your trolling Alex Scamming Blaha. By your analysis everyone and everything in the world are facing dark days ahead, be it 10 or 10000 years from now. No one is saying degradation has not or is not continuing to occur, we in the hobby have seen it since pretty much the beginning, much like your mental status.

Well, as has been mentioned by everyone, degradation of the plastics is happening and at an alarming rate.There are more and more yellow bubbles on cards that didnt have it as much, there are many Tri-logo cards with broken or yellow bubbles now showing up on ebay and even Kay Bee ROTJ 2-packs are showing many yellow bubbles, lifting bubbles.

When you look at these auctions, prices get cut in half or more. So that 1,000 dollar MOC is now going for 500 or less.

Then as you say, die in a dying generation and well, the amount of buyers will drop, demand will die down, Disney is basically watering down SW going forward, and we have the perfect storm for dark days ahead.

Sadly, there is no way around bubbles breaking, going yellow and figures melting away, plastic decomposing. I suppose those who engage in selling SW vintage toys will try and paint a different story, but its clear why they would, they are making money on selling SW vintage toys.
 
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I'm not too worried. POTF are **** yellow and people still love them. Only bubbles that are falling off are the ones that was not properly sealed in the first place, and stress over time, shipping and so on. Nicely heat sealed ones seem to hold up. There are items older and SW, heat sealed, that are still no sign of lifting.
A person at FB posted a group shot of the worst degraded figures in his collection, it looked surprisingly fun all together.
Our items will not disappear, but they will change.

Biggest issue for me is shipping. Yellow bubbles are more brittle and figure will easily pop out, if not bomb proof packing. And of course grading is a problem for MOCs.
 
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I pulled out my childhood vintage figures last night, and was surprised to see my shorty white robe Luke is starting to yellow. It had been in a cold, dark basement for 35 years, then I moved him to a warmer climate (no extreme temps and not exposed to light) about 3 years ago. No yellowing until now. Oh well, that's the nature of the business.
 
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