How come Starwars didn't skyrocket like other hobbies?!

Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
16
Reaction score
5
I know that prices in the the action figure hobby (Starwars, Gijoe, Transformers, Motu and more) have steadily increased (but compared to video games and cards, it is just a drop in the bucket) in value/price over the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic, all the way up to now. I also collect sports cards and video games and the price hike of action figures, absolutely pales in comparison to cards and video games and it really puzzles me.

I am mainly going to focus on video games here today (although Jordan, Lebron, Doncic, Kobe, Trout, Brady, GOATS, Pokemon, etc cards are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars) of course not all, but definitely a lot of cards are breaking record sales every day and it is the same with video games.

Cards and video games have been selling for 5, 6 and 7 figures over the past year, but most action figures still sell for 3 digits, 4 digits or occasionally a low 5 digit amount for a graded figure, playset or vehicle. I am just baffled as to why the absolute feeding frenzy/madness hasn't also entered the action figure hobby ( I am not saying it would be good or bad thing, but I am just puzzled why the prices haven't also skyrocketed in this beloved hobby)?! The discrepancy in prices just doesn't add up for me. how is it possible that video games in 2 short years have absolutely crushed action figures in value by such an unfathomable difference?

Are there less action figure collectors compared to cards and video game collectors (I thought Starwars collecting was one of the biggest hobbies in the world) out there. Video game collecting used to be very niche and a small community, so what the hell happened in that hobby? some of the video game sales over the past 6 months have been mind-blowing! even a "normal game" like a Nes graded sealed rampage selling for $15,000, this game basically sold more more than almost any Starwars figure out there. A sealed nes super Mario bros 2 selling for $144,000, a sonic the hedgehog genesis first print selling for $438,000, a nes Zelda selling for $788,000, a Mario 64 selling for $1,560,000 and a super Mario bros selling for $2,000,000, a sealed Contra selling for over 100K, Tyson's punchout selling for over 100K and I can go on and on and on with more unbelievable video game sale. The prices for video games have basically cut out the budget collector from the hobby.

What are your guys take on this subject? don't care? perplexed? happy that it hasn't really spread into this hobby? wish action figure prices would also sky rocketing in price? I am compering two total different hobbies? etc.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
3,785
Reaction score
1,717
Location
Atlanta
Yes, as others have mentioned the video game prices have gone up due to a concerted effort to manipulate the market by people associated with video game grading companies and the auction houses that are affiliated with them. Basically, a handful of investors are artificially propping up the game auction prices to make it seem like there is more of a demand than there actually is. This sets a precedent for others to follow and raise their asking price on games across the board. This drives up business for the game grading companies because everyone will rush to get their games graded with high hopes of making big bucks trying to sell and auction their graded games.

As the video that scarfman linked to mentions, the main guy responsible for this was pretty much responsible for the collector coin bubble and crash in the 80's. Looks like he is up to his old tricks again, but with video games this time.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
356
Reaction score
95
As the video that scarfman linked to mentions, the main guy responsible for this was pretty much responsible for the collector coin bubble and crash in the 80's. Looks like he is up to his old tricks again, but with video games this time.
He very recently began to try to impact the film and television memorabilia market as well, by auctioning a fake phaser from the original Star Trek series.
The man needs to be locked up.
 

Dax

Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
3,252
Reaction score
418
In a global economy where money effectively has no value, people look for alternative "investments" by which they can make a return. It's the perfect environment for all sorts of asset bubbles and that includes real estate, ponzi based crypto-currencies and collectables.

Possibly one reason Star Wars toys (which have shot up) haven't hit the big bucks, is because enormous quantities of them were produced. There's plenty to go around.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,071
Reaction score
113
Location
East Coast US
vintage star wars is an "old man's" hobby. Collectors are buying for nostalgia which makes them in the 40-50 year old age range. Pokemon cards, and video games are the nostalgia for younger people. It's not atari video games are even mostly NES games (although there are a few key characters) we're talking N64 games selling for crazy prices. Pokemon, N64 nostalgia is the mid 90s. In addition to the manipulation mentioned above, I theorize that there is a small segment of late 20s early 30 year olds with huge bank accounts thanks to crypto currency. These people would have gotten in on the ground floor and made millions and now they're buying back their childhood. I only wish it extended to POTF2 figures
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
16
Reaction score
5
Yep big time fraud. This vid lays out the particulars pretty well.
yeah, all video game collectors know about the Karl Jobst video by now, but after this video came out, Goldin Auctions had their video game auction with games still fetching astronomical prices. A Mario 64 went for $800,000, Sonic the Hedgehog went for $438,000, around 6 games went for over a $100,000. too numerous games to count that sold from from $10,000 to $100,000.

Collector's universe just bought WATA games. They already own PSA and Goldin Auctions, so WATA is no longer strictly affiliated with Heritage Auctions but the prices in the up-coming Heritage's Signature Video Game auction which ends at the end of the month, has some games going for hundreds of thousand of dollars and many 5 figure amounts with 15 days left in the auction! Basically they are going to shatter some previous records when their auction ends.

https://comics.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?Nty=1&Ntk=SI_Titles&Ns=Price|1&N=52+793+794+791+1893+792+2088&Ntt=wata&ic4=SortBy-071515.

This is post Karl Jobst video too. I have also seen prices on Ebay continue to sky rocket for games, so the video has done nothing to slow down prices/collectors entering the hobby and in a strange way, it seems to have brought in even more collectors and higher prices (me shaking my head). I really just don't understand it. Definitely crazy times in many collectible hobbies. Like we all know, Starwars/action figures have went up in price but no where near the craziness of video games and cards.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
16
Reaction score
5
Would I rather have a 12 back Darth Vader A graded AFA 90 or a WATA graded Nes Double Dribble? I would go with the Vader any day of the week, and it would cost like $10,000 less to buy the Vader instead of that Double Dribble Nes game. Let's say that I wanted a Nes Bubble Bobble instead of the Vader, well that would cost me around $40,000 more to buy the Bubble Bobble, instead of a freaking 12 back AFA 90 Vader A card.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
3,785
Reaction score
1,717
Location
Atlanta
yeah, all video game collectors know about the Karl Jobst video by now, but after this video came out, Goldin Auctions had their video game auction with games still fetching astronomical prices. A Mario 64 went for $800,000, Sonic the Hedgehog went for $438,000, around 6 games went for over a $100,000. too numerous games to count that sold from from $10,000 to $100,000.

Collector's universe just bought WATA games. They already own PSA and Goldin Auctions, so WATA is no longer strictly affiliated with Heritage Auctions but the prices in the up-coming Heritage's Signature Video Game auction which ends at the end of the month, has some games going for hundreds of thousand of dollars and many 5 figure amounts with 15 days left in the auction! Basically they are going to shatter some previous records when their auction ends.

https://comics.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?Nty=1&Ntk=SI_Titles&Ns=Price|1&N=52+793+794+791+1893+792+2088&Ntt=wata&ic4=SortBy-071515.

This is post Karl Jobst video too. I have also seen prices on Ebay continue to sky rocket for games, so the video has done nothing to slow down prices/collectors entering the hobby and in a strange way, it seems to have brought in even more collectors and higher prices (me shaking my head). I really just don't understand it. Definitely crazy times in many collectible hobbies. Like we all know, Starwars/action figures have went up in price but no where near the craziness of video games and cards.
That's the thing. You need to look closely at who is actually paying the super high prices for these games. The people paying the crazy high prices have a conflict of interest and are the same people that will benefit from getting the exposure of these extremely high game prices. People that have a vested interest in seeing the grading companies' business increase. They are also luring in speculative investors that know little about the retro game market and are simply looking to cash in on the bubble. Some of the games going for high prices are not even that rare or at least not rare enough to warrant such a high price. The grading companies and auction houses purposely are not publishing population reports that would inform speculators just how many of various games have gone through the grading process. This would seriously effect the actual price someone would be willing to pay for something.

Also, the people artificially bidding up these auctions were the same people that were going around buying up all the sealed games at various conventions just before they started to bid up the auctions to these super high prices. This was planned out way ahead of time. The pandemic also added fuel to the fire in that a lot of people started buying more video games because they were stuck at home with nothing to do. So, the demand really did start to go up, and that's when they decided to put even more fuel into the fire and start bidding up auctions to insane prices. It was the perfect time to do it.

They know what they are doing. They just needed to get the snowball started. Now that it's rolling downhill the frenzy is feeding itself.

Just wait. It'll all come crashing down at some point.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
16
Reaction score
5
Very well said and written! Only time will tell what is going to happen, but right now game sales keep breaking previous records on a near monthly basis.

I agree with what you said though, most of these games aren't even that rare (even sealed) and that is the part that I just can't believe. All of these games could have been bought for pennies on the dollar, maybe just 2 years ago, compared to where they are selling at now.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
65
Reaction score
83
Location
USA
The only real rare game that I see that many overlook, is the Atari, Custer's Last Stand. It was an X-rated game where Custer would poke-a-honchas an Indian squaw after passing though a gauntlet of arrows. Most of them were confiscated when released California by adult gaming enthusiasts in the early 80s.

Collecting is only as good as the base that keeps it. Look at Beanie Babies and Pogs. At one time people were nuts for them.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
599
Reaction score
140
Bubbles form and pop. A Dan Marino rookie card was once valued at well over $400 in 80's/90's. Now you can get one for less than that and have it be a gem mint 10. Cal Ripken Ripken, Jr. rookies once sold for hundreds. Now you can get one for a few bucks. A Patrick Roy rookie once sold for well over $300. Now you can get a PSA gem mint Roy for $300. Pennies compared to your tens of thousands examples, but the same.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2001
Messages
3,629
Reaction score
35
I think Star wars and other vintage action figure prices didn't blow up like cards, comics, and video games is because of a couple reasons...

-Those collectors are smarter and more savvy to highs and lows within the market. I also collect MOTU and the highs are kinda like star wars toys.....yes new highs and strong market but not insanity with 6 figure sales.

-The new money coming into the other hobby's are greater with those markets and therefore more FOMO and impulsive spec buys

-those other markets have more social media influencers. You never see a huge number of weekly vintage action figure youtube videos like yo do comics and cards going over recent sales, top 10, etc. Comics and cards have videos like they are stocks. I think vintage actions figures should though and always wondered why there isn't more videos posted but when it does happen, i can expect those new highs in the market. What has given life to some toy lines has been netflix documentaries and shows. The toys that made us episodes did have a huge effect on some lines like WWF figures. After that episode aired along with covid in 2020, LJN WWF was the hottest thing ever. so with the proper influence, vintage star wars and other lines can grow higher in value. A lot of people who make videos are reviewers and people in love with a lot of modern action figure line. Need more vintage influence.

-I've seen star wars grow naturally from new movies and of course Mando really helped. I also see the craziest prices coming from the weird stuff like accessories and parts that new collectors have been chasing to complete vehicles and figures that they once bought incomplete just to "get in" but now with more knowledge they are now chasing to makes things complete and more investment worthy.

the good this out of all of this is star wars is never going away, marvel is never going away, transformers, wrestling is never going away. All these markets keep their "legends" in the limelight like Hulk Hogan, Optimus Prime, etc. I would always invest with the "goats" of action figures if i was only going to have a couple things. just like Spider-Man, Hulk, Michael Jordan, and Mickey Mantle.... He-Man, Vader, Hogan, all those household generational names with never go away.


with all that said... Funko Pops. People seem to think they are the future beanie baby and will eventually suffer the same fate. I don't think Pops are here to stay but they also aren't as silly as beanie babies being that they deal with a lot of pop culture. If Ty ever wanted to get beanie babies popular, they should have a couple popular beanies be sculpted in POP form lol.

I do think soon that funko could have an issue with their pops since they have been avoiding a lot of rights/likeness costs with each pop because of their bland style and look. Usually when a company makes a lot of money with a certain product, there is some out there looking to put the kabash on everything
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
Messages
2,756
Reaction score
83
Location
California
** Great youtube video ^^

Let me preface this to say that 1. I'm a vintage SW collector for several years now ( I don't collect everything , just what I can afford and what I enjoy collecting) , and 2. I also dabble /collect baseball cards (not everything, just players I enjoyed watching while growing up and/or 1909 - 1970 players /teams that I know are significant in the history of MLB).

Vintage SW is where it's at (value wise ... collecting wise) , due to all of the collectors that support it year after year ( the last 20-30 years mainly) . I don't see any manipulation going on, but vintage SW does make it to auction houses ... and that's the choice of the owner/ collector of the pieces that show up at auction houses every so often. I will say the economy does directly affect the value of vintage SW collectables (i.e. a certain proof card could have been had for $300 in 2010 during the Great Recession , as opposed to now the same proof card is probably worth 10-15 times that amount.

Baseball card collecting , this has been going on for the longest time .... '40's ... '50's more avidly ... but even turn of the century early 1900's. The strength of baseball card collecting again is in the people /collectors who collect them (not auction houses ). It's historic Americana at the backbone of ball card collecting (any sport really, but mainly baseball since it's the earliest) , of real people (players) who play the game, live a life, and have a relationship to their fans /teamates /family (these are REAL people, who have character flaws, and can get injured !!) . On a week to week, day to day bases, pro sports has a social bond /tie that other fellow collectors enjoy talking about their favorite team(s) and/or players with other fellow fans /collectors. It's hard for me as a SW collector and movie fan, to talk with other SW collectors /movie fans about midiclorians /Clone Wars/ Jar Jar / why Aniken did what he did/ why Emperor Palpatine seems to always say "Goooood" ( whether they're avid SW fans /collectors, or not). These SW characters were dreamt up by Lucas , they aren't REAL people / creatures, but at least Lucas had the foresight to make certain characters with character flaws (Aniken, Han Solo, ... Palpatine) .

The jury is still out on Trout ( he got off to a great first 5 year start) . 310 homers , 1400 hits at 30 yrs old and plays for a losing team. He's hit a injury bug the last 5 years off/ on , and he probably has about 10-11 more years to play (as you get older, it tends to be your average numbers go down post 35 yrs old), and tends to be you get injured more so as you get older ( perfect example is Griffey Jr.). He should make 400 homers , but will he make 500 homers ?? That's the magical number, is 500 homers. If ... if he can reach 500 homers , and even upper 2000 hits ( 2700-2900) and (the big kicker) if he can be on a winning team to earn a WS ring , then certainly he'll make the HOF. Until then, his baseball card /collectables value is all speculative .

The main cards that I prefer to collect (newer the last 10 years would be Topps 206 , and harder to find Stadium Club cards). I distinctly remember in 1991 Stadium Club came out, great photos , great finished product. Topps rules the roost in baseball cards ... really ever since their start in '52. Also key /historic HOF such as Nolan Ryan, Seaver, Carlton, Rickey Henderson , Mays, Aaron, Yastrzemski, Clemente, Campanella , Yogi Berra , Bench=. the Real deal (almost super human ball players that are properly valued, and as such collectors time and time again go after their material ) . Also, T206 tobacco cards from 1909-1911 (not all players or backings , just certain players /teams that I enjoy collecting) , but they are essentially ball cards + Artwork all rolled into one !!

I don't collect Mickey Mantle cards, due to : 1. I believe his values to be way.... way too high, relative to other HOF . 2. he was an alcoholic , and I don't believe that to be a positive role model for anyone, especially kids!!! Your health is your wealth !! Even Mickey came out later in life and essentially said " I wish I would have taken better care of my health, if I would've known how long I could have played without pain and/or lived for. I give Mick some props for coming out in public and saying that for the record , but I still choose not to collect his pieces.

** Look at 1993 Derek Jeter UD SP foil cards value on ebay .... just crazy, given how many there are out there in collectors hands. Great example of a high demand card ( HOF / great player) , yet there are lots of them in collectors hands. Should have bought them back in '93-'95 at card shows, etc.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
1,532
I still think Star Wars DID blow up. Prices are utterly insane. Just because if, for example, baseball cards blew up more, that just indicates to me that there's more baseball fans than Star Wars fans.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
1,532
with all that said... Funko Pops. People seem to think they are the future beanie baby and will eventually suffer the same fate. I don't think Pops are here to stay but they also aren't as silly as beanie babies being that they deal with a lot of pop culture. If Ty ever wanted to get beanie babies popular, they should have a couple popular beanies be sculpted in POP form lol.

I do think soon that funko could have an issue with their pops since they have been avoiding a lot of rights/likeness costs with each pop because of their bland style and look. Usually when a company makes a lot of money with a certain product, there is some out there looking to put the kabash on everything
Beanie Babies serve a utilitarian purpose, as playthings. Kids still like to play with them to this day. I'm not seeing that with Funko's endless bobble-head lines.
 

Lex

Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
2,015
Reaction score
15
Location
Finland
Just because if, for example, baseball cards blew up more, that just indicates to me that there's more baseball fans than Star Wars fans.
I have a very hard time believing that there are more collecting baseball fans in the US than collecting SW fans worldwide. No one cares about baseball outside US.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
1,532
I have a very hard time believing that there are more collecting baseball fans in the US than collecting SW fans worldwide. No one cares about baseball outside US.
I don’t like sports. But my impression is that Japan at least cares about baseball.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
12,738
Reaction score
2,458
I tend to agree that SW did indeed blow up, especially when you factor in the prices on modern as well. In many cases, on the harder to find vintage Kenner, I've noticed the prices staying high. I bought a loose Imperial Dignitary less than 2 years ago for $70, in great condition, and the same figure goes for around $125 now, just based on some completed auctions. I remember when they were closer to $200 not too long ago - so its leveling out, but still higher than it should probably be. Modern is what I find outrageous, because some loose figures from 10 years ago are going for hundreds of dollars. That all boils down to demand though, Hasbro wont be revisiting them, and most of the figures are in collections, so they wont be going anywhere. The main reason those prices are even achieved is because of the hype surrounding some lines / figures and newer collectors want in on what we've been enjoying for decades in some cases. Hype in any collectible market can be used to artificially inflate prices and are often rampant with outright fraud. A lot of that is due to the consumers buying in on it - and you can all judge their mental capacity for yourselves. As collectors though, we can help reduce that in our own corner of the market, to make sure cons aren't ripping off current and future collectors.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
599
Reaction score
140
Boogles my mind how ungraded Ahsoka Tano TVC regularly sells for $500 - $1000 and more sometimes. They actually did revisit it, but prices still rise. There are many other TVC figures that go for more than vintage Kenner figures as well.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
29
Reaction score
8
Location
Sydney, Australia
This graph is probably one of the most accurate things that I have come across. It can generalise to all markets (property, collecting, sh*tcoin).
Most things - like video games - will follow a similar trend (over a long term period of time).

It just depends on how high the Mean (slope) increase is and over what time frame (could be months like bitcoin, could be years, etc.). The factors that other's have mentioned (@Adam_L for example) play a significant roll... Times of war also significantly affect values.
 

Attachments

  • stages_bubble.png
    stages_bubble.png
    49.2 KB · Views: 5
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
217
Reaction score
57
Buy now before the book of Fett comes out. He will only go up. Don’t get priced out.

Ugh.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Top