As Kenner Vintage SW collectors "Age Out" will items eventually lose value?

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Many podcasters, commentators, youtubers and collectors have raised the notion that as SW Kenner vintage collectors reach middle age and beyond, the subsequent dumping/selling of their collections onto the market will potentially generally lower values. Also, as younger generations lack the same deep nostalgia for those vintage items, this will in-turn exacerbate the devaluation (similar to the what has happened with baby-boomers-favourites like Pedal Cars, Trainsets etc)

As a 51-year old who has been a lifelong OT/Kenner fan, I see my collection as a symbol of my love and nostalgia for the original SW trilogy - but I would be speaking disingenuously if I didn't think of it partly as a "soft" investment (in as much as I hope my family/children can sell the collection for some reasonably decent money when I'm gone)

What are your thoughts on this subject? Will current high-value items eventually devalue as collectors "age out", or are vintage Kenner SW items - emanating from such a pop-culture juggernaut as they do - immune to it all?...and (without trying to sound too morbid about it) what do you see as the long-term plan for your own collection?
 
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It absolutely will lose value for all the reasons you said.

Just because things are old, doesn't mean they'll retain value. Look at comic books for instance. The first appearance of Spider-Man is always gonna be worth a lot of money. But there are hundreds of books from that same era that are utterly worthless. Things like cowboy comics, romance comics, etc. Once the Boomers are gone, nobody will place any importance on that stuff.

I'm sure certain SW items will retain value, such as carded figures. But loose stuff won't have any appeal to younger generations. They're goof looking by today's standards and there's way way more product out there if you just want say ONE really nice figure of Boba Fett for your collection than settling on a vintage figure.

The other elephant in the room is the fact that this stuff wasn't built to last. We've all seen toys from 30 or 40 years ago start to degrade, start leaking oil, discolor, get a sticky film on them, etc.

It's a lot easier to just dump a big collection of sticky old action figures in the dumpster than trying to sell them on ebay.

My guess is mint condition, well preserved items will retain value, especially MIB stuff, and complete collections. But only serious nerds are gonna want it. Do you know anyone our age or younger that collects vintage tin toys? I don't.

Loose stuff will eventually just be a headache for younger people to deal with and will probably be looked at as garbage.
 
Great topic!
In my opinion the answer is yes. The main reason is the younger generations, especially our kids (I'm a 50 y.o. father to 4 boys) will not actively collect vintage Star Wars toys anymore resulting in the demand for vintage toys decreasing dramatically.
The value we see in those collectibles is closely linked to our nostalgia for our own childhood and the toys we used to play with. Our kids (and the generations after them) don't care about that.
A very small amount of significant items might retain some value but the vast majority of our vintage toys (MOC, MIB, loose, whatever) will be worth peanuts in a couple of decades, regardless of their condition.
 
Great topic!
In my opinion the answer is yes. The main reason is the younger generations, especially our kids (I'm a 50 y.o. father to 4 boys) will not actively collect vintage Star Wars toys anymore resulting in the demand for vintage toys decreasing dramatically.
The value we see in those collectibles is closely linked to our nostalgia for our own childhood and the toys we used to play with. Our kids (and the generations after them) don't care about that.
A very small amount of significant items might retain some value but the vast majority of our vintage toys (MOC, MIB, loose, whatever) will be worth peanuts in a couple of decades, regardless of their condition.
My 13-year old son regards my LED-lit SW cabinet as: "Cringe"
 
Great topic!
In my opinion the answer is yes. The main reason is the younger generations, especially our kids (I'm a 50 y.o. father to 4 boys) will not actively collect vintage Star Wars toys anymore resulting in the demand for vintage toys decreasing dramatically.
The value we see in those collectibles is closely linked to our nostalgia for our own childhood and the toys we used to play with. Our kids (and the generations after them) don't care about that.
A very small amount of significant items might retain some value but the vast majority of our vintage toys (MOC, MIB, loose, whatever) will be worth peanuts in a couple of decades, regardless of their condition.
I completely agree. I'll be 56 next month and while my kids all love SW in general, none of them have any interest in my collection.
 
I agree with what everyone else has said regarding Kenner related items. We've seen it in other kinds of collectibles. Model trains, tin toys, 50s robot wind-ups, Hess Trucks... I could go on and on. The key is nostalgia. Younger generations might still love star wars but there is no nostalgia for the original Kenner line because they didn't play with them. But that doesn't mean all vintage star wars collectibles are in that boat. Posters, autographs, cast & crew items, hell even vhs tapes have a better chance of maintaining their value because either there is no nostalgia to begin with or that nostalgia extends across multiple generations.
 
Once the 80s generation hangs up their collective hats, I can't imagine many will pick up the torch to continue the hobby, unless they have a deep-rooted passion for it, that was perhaps fostered because of a parent that was a collector. The hobby will continue to function based on supply / demand, but as collectors exit, I don't see the demand going anywhere, especially without supporting media. Likewise, fewer kids are into toys, and "age out" themselves at an almost alarming younger age range - so if they don't want the current figures, why would they want the ones we played with decades ago?

This might be a bit morbid, but do most collectors have an exit strategy, to sell everything before they're gone, or leave it to family to deal with that aspect? I can just imagine a guy spending thousands for all these graded figures, and his family drops them off at the Goodwill, where they're sold as paperweights, lol. This is why I'll never pay over $100 for any figure, lol.
 
On the one paw, Star Wars has the big advantage that there is a second generation of kids who grew up with the Prequels (maybe even a third with Clone Wars and Rebels), so the inevitable decline is delayed by a few decades.

On the other... will those kids value the original figures? Or just the 1995+ Hasbro items? Or even later, better figures? And even if so, would it be more than a delay of the decline of the collecting market? Clearly, there is no fourth generation - kids today are not so attached to toys, and the current new Disney material is not so great that somebody would become majorly attached to it, and Hasbro is not issuing enough figures per series that would provide the original immersive worldbuilding anyway - what do you call that, a hattrick against collecting?

The nostalgia factor for Kenner will go away with the original collector generation. The whole "grading" stuff is more or less the attempt to preserve one's childhood under acrylics. The figures do not have any intrinsic value. Once the demand plummets, so will the value of those "collectibles".

And the demand will plummet. Maybe not tomorrow, but given the fact that the original Kenner figures are now in their 5th decade, we're not looking at heirlooms for generations. If the market follows fractal patterns, the demand may even break down before the collectors die out - Beanie Babys for example had a hype, and then one day it was just over. Same for Surprise Egg figures (I remember there was even a dedicated shop around here, bankrupt now) which are now worth pennies if anything. And what do I keep hearing about Funko Pop ...

If anybody collects as investment, the trick will be to find to optimal dropout time. I consider myself lucky that my Kenner stuff is worth nothing, being unpacked, played with and yellowed.
 
I just turned 48. I have no kids, and I honestly don't know if anyone in my family would even want this stuff. I have a feeling it would all get dumped at a yard sale for pennies on the dollar. Part of me is well aware that I have to catalog everything so my wife knows what I have and a value. Another part of me keeps asking myself how much longer am I going to keep collecting? Yet another part of me thinks maybe it's time to start selling it off now. The reality of being middle age is setting in on a lot of us, even though our minds may not want to believe it.

There absolutely could be a time where a $500 Yak Face is worth just a few bucks. As @Mountain Dewback says, the younger generation has no real nostalgia for these toys. With Hasbro re-releasing so many in the "Retro Collection", they look at it as "Why would I pay $50 for this Luke when I can get the Retro for $10?"
 
All is takes is one buyer per dead collector. It’ll drop some, but there always will be people who appreciate the past. It certainly won’t be too many of them (most will live entirely online and live in box apartments), but a few will keep it going. If they don’t, what difference will it make? You’ll be gone. Will the Eiffel Tower still be standing in 500 years? Who cares! Most of each continent will be under water.
 
I just turned 48. I have no kids, and I honestly don't know if anyone in my family would even want this stuff. I have a feeling it would all get dumped at a yard sale for pennies on the dollar. Part of me is well aware that I have to catalog everything so my wife knows what I have and a value. Another part of me keeps asking myself how much longer am I going to keep collecting? Yet another part of me thinks maybe it's time to start selling it off now. The reality of being middle age is setting in on a lot of us, even though our minds may not want to believe it.

There absolutely could be a time where a $500 Yak Face is worth just a few bucks. As @Mountain Dewback says, the younger generation has no real nostalgia for these toys. With Hasbro re-releasing so many in the "Retro Collection", they look at it as "Why would I pay $50 for this Luke when I can get the Retro for $10?"
I catalogue my collection extensively (some might say obsessively), with annually updated ball-park eBay valuations so my wife/children may have a good idea for re-sale in my absence. That said: Who can accurately predict the ultimate re-sale scenario? The lead-up to The Force Awakens/Sequel Trilogy saw an insane increase in vintage sales values. Will there be a similar excitement and subsequent price "bump" around the 50th anniversary of A New Hope in 2027 or some of the upcoming Disney movie announcements?
 
All is takes is one buyer per dead collector.
One new buyer, I'd say. If the potential buyer is a collector already, chances are high that they already have much of the stuff that the deceased collector leaves behind, so unless the figures in question are graded better, or the buyer is an army builder, no sale. It would require a certain degree of obsessiveness to buy one's 24th graded Yak Face imprisoned behind acrylics, and while there doubtlessly are such people, I don't believe they're the norm.

Lucasfilm better start creating new dedicated fans soon. Just churning out mediocre content will not suffice in the long run.
 
One new buyer, I'd say. If the potential buyer is a collector already, chances are high that they already have much of the stuff that the deceased collector leaves behind, so unless the figures in question are graded better, or the buyer is an army builder, no sale. It would require a certain degree of obsessiveness to buy one's 24th graded Yak Face imprisoned behind acrylics, and while there doubtlessly are such people, I don't believe they're the norm.

Lucasfilm better start creating new dedicated fans soon. Just churning out mediocre content will not suffice in the long run.
It's interesting as recently I have been selling all of my modern Vintage Collection / Retro / Black Series items off, with the thought that the "solid" collectible/investible (and personally for me the most nostalgically connective) items to hold on to are the vintage Kenner items. Perhaps the reality for the more recent generations is that something like a VC64 Revenge logo Slave Leia is more coveted than a 31-A Back Hoth Stormtrooper?
 
It's interesting as recently I have been selling all of my modern Vintage Collection / Retro / Black Series items off, with the thought that the "solid" collectible/investible (and personally for me the most nostalgically connective) items to hold on to are the vintage Kenner items. Perhaps the reality for the more recent generations is that something like a VC64 Revenge logo Slave Leia is more coveted than a 31-A Back Hoth Stormtrooper?
That is entirely possible. Nostalgia evolves in our minds through the memory of what a toy is connected to, not through the toy itself. There are toys we play with for a while, and then set aside, never to think about them any more (and sometimes your parents dig them out and swoon about how cute you were playing with this and that, but that's their memory and their emotion and not yours, and you just shake your head and go on with your life because that toy is done). And there are toys you remember later on, and you stop by the toy store window to look at its newest incarnation and imagine how you felt as a kid and how happy you would have been to own this new stuff - but still, you don't go and buy it again, because other interests have taken over your mind, maybe you used to build with Lego and now you build a garage so things may be still connected but you don't need that toy any more.

And then there are the toys that stay with you because they are anchored in the most powerful memories. You remember sitting with your father in the theater, and there were heroes on the silver screen and knights with lightsabers and spaceships, and it was double awesome because your mom only ever took you to Disney animations. And the next day he went shopping with you and bought you an X-Wing and a Luke, and you still know how it smelled strongly like plastic when you ripped open the bubble. You played with your dad (when he was around and not watching footy) and your brother although your brother was little and didn't see the movie yet but you told him everything and he got to be a Jawa. And all was well with the world, in a way it would never be again. You would return to that happy place when the real world was awful, and since it was in your mind, it would never ever go away, and those figures are the forever anchor that help you remember.

A kid today might make similar memories, but they don't get a Vintage Kenner figure; their anchor would be whatever is in stores, which may very well be a TVC figure. Or perhaps (sadly) they may not experience any attachment to a movie because the movies were only on TV and the advertising industry successfully managed to chop up any film into ad-compatible bites and there is very little excitement left with those ruins of movies. So the kid switched to computer games for their immersive experience and Super Mario or Fortnite will be their fond forever place.

When you talk to your parents, and they happen to still have a toy of their own, they will have those memories connected to it, but for you, it is entirely meaningless. That tin train, that box car, that autographed photo of Errol Flynn don't mean anything to you. You can't even imagine that this stuff is worth anything (and most likely it isn't, not anymore, not these days), and once you inherit it, unless an ancient collector offers you a sum, it will end up at the thrift store, at the flea market, or on the trash heap. Those memories are gone, those happy places are dead, and what remains has no intrinsic value and offers no nostalgia to you.

Same will happen to Star Wars stuff sooner or later. Since there is still new content being produced, there will always be some new fans, but for younger people the Kenner figures already have only abstract meaning as predecessors of what they grew up with. And many new fans will not be interested in those specific toys (at least not to the point where they would spend huge sums on them) because they started a collection with Episode I or with Clone Wars toys. Some may buy Kenner Vintage as investment seeing that the prices went up for so long, but it's a fragile bubble. Every once in a while, an older person may enter the market because they rediscover Star Wars for themselves, but that is not an inexhaustible reservoir of customers.

And sure, there are now Retro figures to quench the nostalgia for many. It's just not the same situation as in 1977, so if someone really wants to "invest" through Kenner Vintage, they better guess right when the prices are maxed out.
 
Some vintage collectibles from other franchises that predate Star Wars have managed to transcend generations. Vintage Mickey Mouse and James Bond are just a couple of examples. Are those markets really being driven by collectors that grew up with that stuff as kids? I don't think so. I would say Star Wars has more in common with those examples than it does with the likes of Beanie Babies or model trains.
 
That is entirely possible. Nostalgia evolves in our minds through the memory of what a toy is connected to, not through the toy itself. There are toys we play with for a while, and then set aside, never to think about them any more (and sometimes your parents dig them out and swoon about how cute you were playing with this and that, but that's their memory and their emotion and not yours, and you just shake your head and go on with your life because that toy is done). And there are toys you remember later on, and you stop by the toy store window to look at its newest incarnation and imagine how you felt as a kid and how happy you would have been to own this new stuff - but still, you don't go and buy it again, because other interests have taken over your mind, maybe you used to build with Lego and now you build a garage so things may be still connected but you don't need that toy any more.

And then there are the toys that stay with you because they are anchored in the most powerful memories. You remember sitting with your father in the theater, and there were heroes on the silver screen and knights with lightsabers and spaceships, and it was double awesome because your mom only ever took you to Disney animations. And the next day he went shopping with you and bought you an X-Wing and a Luke, and you still know how it smelled strongly like plastic when you ripped open the bubble. You played with your dad (when he was around and not watching footy) and your brother although your brother was little and didn't see the movie yet but you told him everything and he got to be a Jawa. And all was well with the world, in a way it would never be again. You would return to that happy place when the real world was awful, and since it was in your mind, it would never ever go away, and those figures are the forever anchor that help you remember.

A kid today might make similar memories, but they don't get a Vintage Kenner figure; their anchor would be whatever is in stores, which may very well be a TVC figure. Or perhaps (sadly) they may not experience any attachment to a movie because the movies were only on TV and the advertising industry successfully managed to chop up any film into ad-compatible bites and there is very little excitement left with those ruins of movies. So the kid switched to computer games for their immersive experience and Super Mario or Fortnite will be their fond forever place.

When you talk to your parents, and they happen to still have a toy of their own, they will have those memories connected to it, but for you, it is entirely meaningless. That tin train, that box car, that autographed photo of Errol Flynn don't mean anything to you. You can't even imagine that this stuff is worth anything (and most likely it isn't, not anymore, not these days), and once you inherit it, unless an ancient collector offers you a sum, it will end up at the thrift store, at the flea market, or on the trash heap. Those memories are gone, those happy places are dead, and what remains has no intrinsic value and offers no nostalgia to you.

Same will happen to Star Wars stuff sooner or later. Since there is still new content being produced, there will always be some new fans, but for younger people the Kenner figures already have only abstract meaning as predecessors of what they grew up with. And many new fans will not be interested in those specific toys (at least not to the point where they would spend huge sums on them) because they started a collection with Episode I or with Clone Wars toys. Some may buy Kenner Vintage as investment seeing that the prices went up for so long, but it's a fragile bubble. Every once in a while, an older person may enter the market because they rediscover Star Wars for themselves, but that is not an inexhaustible reservoir of customers.

And sure, there are now Retro figures to quench the nostalgia for many. It's just not the same situation as in 1977, so if someone really wants to "invest" through Kenner Vintage, they better guess right when the prices are maxed out.
Beautifully said!
 
Yes, now is the time to sell your Vintage Star Wars collections before the bottom drops out!
Pm me if you have anything preproduction, store displays, early bird items, special offers, multi packs, 12 backs, sealed boxed, POTF, droids etc…
Right now collectors who grew up with Kenner should be in their 50's, early 60's at best (if they were older, they probably were into cars and girls at the time). Someone who caught up with SW in the 1980's or early 90's (who would buy used Kenner toys because Hasbro hadn't started the new line yet) may be as young as 40 right now.

If life expectancy has dropped so much that we'd need to worry about the market collapsing right now, we'd have a more grave set of worries, I suppose...

(I know it was a joke but let's keep things in perspective before someone really starts selling all their stuff...)
 
Right now collectors who grew up with Kenner should be in their 50's, early 60's at best (if they were older, they probably were into cars and girls at the time). Someone who caught up with SW in the 1980's or early 90's (who would buy used Kenner toys because Hasbro hadn't started the new line yet) may be as young as 40 right now.

If life expectancy has dropped so much that we'd need to worry about the market collapsing right now, we'd have a more grave set of worries, I suppose...

(I know it was a joke but let's keep things in perspective before someone really starts selling all their stuff...)
Lol
 
I’ve seen what happened to the model train people…
Those who survive (& are of reasonable financial health) will have great kick butt collections.
 
I catalogue my collection extensively (some might say obsessively), with annually updated ball-park eBay valuations so my wife/children may have a good idea for re-sale in my absence. That said: Who can accurately predict the ultimate re-sale scenario? The lead-up to The Force Awakens/Sequel Trilogy saw an insane increase in vintage sales values. Will there be a similar excitement and subsequent price "bump" around the 50th anniversary of A New Hope in 2027 or some of the upcoming Disney movie announcements?

Wellll . . . there was a lot of initial excitement because we all had our own ideas about just how great the continuation of Star Wars could be! Renewed excitement. Well, we all know how that went. :rolleyes: And Disney continues, for the most part, to deliver stinkers. Now there are rumors that they want to reboot Star Wars for a modern audience (I know, I know, they've been swirling for a long, long while, but there supposedly is a speck of truth now?).

I think vintage Kenner will extend a little farther than what most think. It is a cultural icon, and a lot of fans like to have the first appearances, the origins, of things. They will not be so much looked at as toys as they are simply collectibles.
 
I’m sure all the mid to low grade stuff that’s piled up in people’s collection rooms will drop significantly in value. There is tons of it out there and eventually the market will be flooded with it as people start downsizing or start dying off. Also, as said plastic deviation, tape drying up, bubbles falling off will all affect value.

The super nice high end stuff or prototype items will hold more value due to scarcity. I don’t see the younger generations paying silly money for things they didn’t grow up playing with.
 
Full-time professional graders and full-time professional resellers add a lot to the expense of this hobby. If only nostalgics were buying these things the price would drop by 50% or more right now.

Hasbro and even 90’s Kenner did nothing to create a real SW toy culture the way 70’s/80’s Kenner did so that’s gonna affect the nostalgia quite a bit more than whatever Disney does in my opinion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, seeing the wave of the six or so currently available figures on the back of a card is nothing compared to seeing “Collect all 76!”.

We’re not actually nostalgic for Kenner toys: we’re nostalgic for the freedom from responsibility and the blissful ignorance of being a child. And we’re nostalgic for the presence of the long-dead in houses and other places we’ll never return to. But 80’s Kenner managed to create something that could attach itself to our psyches so we now hold onto it as being totemic of childhood. In a way that other toys of the era didn’t. Even other highly sought after toy lines of the era don’t routinely command the same kind of prices as Star Wars among collectors right now. I don’t think MOTU, Transformers or GIJ:ARAH have the equivalents of a vinyl caped Jawa, Yak Face, DT Luke, or Blue Snaggletooth which, in the right condition, are fetching prices akin to cars or real estate. And Kenner Star Wars has not just one such thing but several!

Prices will eventually go way down. In 30 years, Red Bar R5 or Hollow Tusken won't be worth much more than a regular one. The flipside to this is, no one will know to list "red bar R5": you'll have to painfully, slowly search for them if you want them. Low end items will be thrown away or donated instead of listed in 30 years. Partly because time will have damaged them so much, no one would want them.
 
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I doubt it. The reality is 35 years from now, they are still going to be the original Star Wars figures. Its 40 years later and we have an entire Retro dedicated to them. The vehicles are some of the best toys ever made. The Falcon design is as iconic as the American Flag at this point. The toys are still playable to a younger generation for those of us who have a ton of beaters. Look at Barbie, she is going to be around til the end of time. I expect the same with Star Wars. I get that after the pandemic there is a drop from the inflated prices, but I don't think we will see a 1977 in the box Darth Vader sell for $10. Prices will drop a bit here and there, but plunge. No, that is a specular market tactic to lower the value so when it does spike, they have the advantage. Its a good conversation to have, but I think there are some bad actors out there in the collecting world who like to tamper with the market.
 
I doubt it. The reality is 35 years from now, they are still going to be the original Star Wars figures. Its 40 years later and we have an entire Retro dedicated to them. The vehicles are some of the best toys ever made. The Falcon design is as iconic as the American Flag at this point. The toys are still playable to a younger generation for those of us who have a ton of beaters. Look at Barbie, she is going to be around til the end of time. I expect the same with Star Wars. I get that after the pandemic there is a drop from the inflated prices, but I don't think we will see a 1977 in the box Darth Vader sell for $10. Prices will drop a bit here and there, but plunge. No, that is a specular market tactic to lower the value so when it does spike, they have the advantage. Its a good conversation to have, but I think there are some bad actors out there in the collecting world who like to tamper with the market.
A sealed 12-back won’t plummet. But a loose red bar R5 might.
 
I don't think a sealed 12-back will plummet as well but there will be a point in the future where they are handed down to children of collectors, relatives and friends that don't really care about them and would rather have the money. So they will eventually be many more for sale and that is when prices I believe will begin to fall.
 
That’s profound. That whole website absolutely is scary as all living ****. Now I’m depressed! 😱
 
My vinyl caped jawa will probably be worth a few pounds if that in 15-20 years time. Most vintage collectors are in here are in there 40s i would imagine when were 60+ I can guarantee as our health declines we wont he collecting vintage starwars neither will our children they will have no interest.
 
Most English speakers quote (or usually, slightly misquote) Shakespeare every day without knowing it. So, it could be many centuries before people stop quoting Star Wars.

And misquoting Star Wars! "Luke, I am your father!"

So many are shocked/amazed to hear what it actually is and swear he says "Luke."
 
I know. I was joking.
Were you? I dimly remember that several scripts existed for this scene so nothing would leak (or at least expose the leaker), and one of these scripts actually accused Obi-Wan of the deed. (Easy to dub since Vader doesn't need much lip-sync.)

Or maybe I have a serious Mandela here.
 
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