The future value of our collections

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Greetings all,
For many years I have just been a lurker/reader of the site. Obviously I (and all of you) are at home a little more than usual. Just wondered what everyones opinion is about where our hobby goes from here? I'm sure most of you (myself included) have thousands invested into plastic toys. As I look at my collection (many MISB/Card Star Wars, Transformers, G.I JOE etc...) I can't help but wonder they are worth no more than a piece of paper right now. Now, by no means am I in this hobby to retire a millionaire but at some point I did have plans to sell some of my more high end pieces one day. This is an unprecedented time that none of us in our lifetime has experienced. I know the absolute last thing I'm thinking about right now is buying toys. Thoughts...
 
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This is an interesting topic, for sure! We all wrote at some point "If the market goes down, I will buy!", but the fact is that it's always a good reason for a falling market, and most will hold off buying toys, or dont have the economy to buy anymore. At the end of the day, it's just plastic and paper item. I have a feeling many would exchange their collection for 70% of market value in a heartbeat if they could in the coming months.

I would say, hang in there if you can. Your enjoyment of your collection will come back in better times. If you need to sell, offer it for a discount that reflects the times, then it might move. There is no shame in taking a loss in these days.

Now if you are in a situation where you job is secure, and your family is doing well, then I think it's a great time for collecting. Some of the most incredible collections were built during recessions or when hobby interest was a at a low. It will also help a lot of collectors that needs to sell.

Take care everyone!
 
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From what I have been tracking and watching. I am finding that many things, figures, playsets and vehicles have actually jumped a bit during the last couple of months. I like to watch pricing and play the games to keep my collection going and upgrading my diaramas. I wish the market was falling a bit.

My kids and I are at home like many and we keep changing around the diaramas and then we think of adding a few things here and there. We price watch and hope to find figures that are affordable or even beater lots of vehicles and parts. It is a little higher priced then it has been.

With this all said, it is a luxury for us. We are lucky with what we are able to do.

Hopefully everyone here is able to stay home and protect themselves and loved ones during this time. Stay safe
 
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Things are uncertain and a bit scary at the moment. I’m sure many of us are concerned about the current state of the world and the stock market.

I don’t have any plans to add to my collection despite all of the “good deals” on FB, but I also don’t have any plans to sell it either. I will just continue to enjoy my collection in its current state and save all of my money for essentials.
 
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I will keep an eye on deals for sure , but not at the risk of hurting my savings or finances.

Tomorrow is uncertain at this point .
Enjoy what you have and enjoy the family around you . This will pass

Tough times don’t last
Tough people do!
 
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Value like beauty is subjective. Love is eternal, enduring. My love of Star Wars and the stuff like toys that go with it are subject only to my own scale of how much something is worth. And in pragmatic terms, collection values generally increase slowly and steadily over time. Unstable periods won't make things less valuable in the long term, my view is on the long term, things will work out okay over time.
 
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Value like beauty is subjective. Love is eternal, enduring. My love of Star Wars and the stuff like toys that go with it are subject only to my own scale of how much something is worth. And in pragmatic terms, collection values generally increase slowly and steadily over time. Unstable periods won't make things less valuable in the long term, my view is on the long term, things will work out okay over time.
Agreed
During the crash of 08 , my HOUSE went to almost worthless and below 50 thousand . I never flinched or worried about the value. The only thing I worried about was making my payments on time in a dead economy. Proud to say I never missed one and still have the house and the value is well past normal .

I guess it’s all about perspective and what your beliefs are .

If times get tough enough to sell, you may want to really look at it and see if it’s worth doing . You may get some money to pay this months bills , but where will you get next months bills ? The answer is almost always not selling . You start a cycle that can’t maintain and you end up selling everything you own . The answers usually fall better to a job you may not like or want , but it will get you through tough times

During the crash I worked every place I could and jobs I hated to do.
 
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Just paid my first Mortgage payment two weeks ago, and I am out here working, despite the option of the company closing if I felt uncomfortable. In fact I am the only employee here. The president of the company, and me. We supply Hospitals and Military with Tech... Willing to make sure My house is standing after all this. Especially because the Star Wars room is 90% done.....lol
 
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I was watching and had a snipe bid in for an early bird set. Only had box and tray with loose figs and 1 foot peg .
It sold for a little over 900. I had a snipe bid at 500.
I already own a completed one but figured I would go for this

So I guess prices are certainly affected right now

2 months ago that would have sold for closer to double
 
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Very long winded answer coming. Sorry if it doesn't make much sense.

if I may add my two-cents:

I don't worry about the economic situation globally. Things will eventually balance themselves out. I worry more about resale value on my collection when (or if) I decide to sell. We've all gone through it, we post something on Kijiji or Craigslist, and some dude gives you a crazy low ball offer. That's just today. I am still in high school, and I wonder to myself "who in the future is going to want to buy these"? Eventually, the value will probably fall on the toys. It's a challenge to try and determine when that will happen. In the near future? Not likely. But what about in 20 years? Will I be able to buy figures for $5 a piece at flea markets? Will I be able to sell them for even half of what I payed for them? Who can say? Not me.

Do I think the value is ever going to fall significantly enough to completely devalue an entire collection? No. Someone will always want to but the toys. The movies will always be around. I believe prices will fall back to the prices listed in the first edition of Mark Bellomo's Ultimate Guide. And I think that's the lowest the value will ever go too. So I think I'll do okay if I ever wanted to sell.

Cheers, MasterRizz

PS:
Sending positive vibes to everybody during this time!
 
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That may depend on who reads and comments on your post.

Still in high school.. pretty cool and good for you. I have kids in high school as well. My daughter goes along with the fun of star wars but that's about it. My son is just as crazy as I am when it comes down to it.

The old timers here, (not age but years on forum) will probably tell you you're collecting for the wrong reason IF you are doing this for an investment or return on your investment. But do keep in mind, most of these old timers still have the majority, if not all of their original collections they had as a child. They also are purists and don't have their collections because of values, but because they love the hobby.

Newer members like me may have had a collection for a long period of time before finding forums like these, might tell you close to the same thing.

I can say that worrying about values may push toward the side of investing. It doesn't make you less of a collector and there's nothing wrong with not wanting to lose money . Truth is, anything you buy that's not a necessity item can be considered frivolous. Therefore buying toys, old or new ,star wars or whatever is a frivolous purchase and should be considered to be discretionary or entertainment dollar value only. If that frivolous purchase turns into an item that becomes valuable and way past the amount you paid, great and good for you. If the item value falls to zero, that's fine as well because you bought the item knowing your not using monies dedicated to neccessary items like food, clothing and living expenses.


Bottom line is collect the way you want to collect and spend what ever you feel is ok. If you're looking for investments, I think I would keep looking.

Looking at values when the market is down and people are out of work is probably a bad idea.

Some people will sell because they need money right now. Its unfortunate and I'm hoping none of you here are faced with that decision. If they are selling, let it be the ones that bought because it was a cool idea at the time, and not those that have had their collections from their childhood
 
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I decided a long time ago, that if I looked at something in my collection and saw the $$$ I had tied up in it... then it was time to sell it; because it never truly belonged in my collection. Since then I only buy what holds meaning beyond the monetary value. In the last month I've actually found two of my 'Grails'... things I've wanted for a decade or more, and never thought I'd acquire. I wasn't even sure that one of them existed. Despite the awkward timing, I'm happy to have these pieces in my collection. They actually bring me a bit of joy in a difficult time. For me, that's what Star Wars collecting is about. I've been collecting Star Wars since 1977, when I was 10, and bought my first Star Wars item (still in my collection). My collection just helps take me back to that much simpler time. You can't buy or sell that.
 
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I decided a long time ago, that if I looked at something in my collection and saw the $$$ I had tied up in it... then it was time to sell it; because it never truly belonged in my collection. Since then I only buy what holds meaning beyond the monetary value. In the last month I've actually found two of my 'Grails'... things I've wanted for a decade or more, and never thought I'd acquire. I wasn't even sure that one of them existed. Despite the awkward timing, I'm happy to have these pieces in my collection. They actually bring me a bit of joy in a difficult time. For me, that's what Star Wars collecting is about. I've been collecting Star Wars since 1977, when I was 10, and bought my first Star Wars item (still in my collection). My collection just helps take me back to that much simpler time. You can't buy or sell that.
Can you share a pic?

I just went to IKEA finally after years of wanting to get a curio. I'm going to set it up this weekend and fill it. Unfortunately it won't be a permanent display because of lack of display room. But I'm tired of not being able to see my stuff and I want to play , dang it. :)
 
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Can you share a pic?

I just went to IKEA finally after years of wanting to get a curio. I'm going to set it up this weekend and fill it. Unfortunately it won't be a permanent display because of lack of display room. But I'm tired of not being able to see my stuff and I want to play , dang it. :)
Sure. I've shared these in other threads, but here's the two 'Grail' item I found recently; both Ralph McQuarrie signed items. My collection is mostly early Star Wars items from the 1970's with a few Empire & Jedi items as well. I'm primarily a Original Trilogy guy.

First one is a signed copy of the very first printing of the Star Wars novelization. I've wanted one for a very long time but didn't have the means early on, then didn't expect anyone else would have him sign a book that's very valuable on its own in good condition.

Secondly, a very early & extremely rare signed lithograph print from a very limited run of 100, offered only at one exhibit in New York City, that Lucas did around the time Star Wars was released... to 'test the waters' of consumer interest in Star Wars art work.

View media item 396508
View media item 396727
 
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I just went to IKEA finally after years of wanting to get a curio. I'm going to set it up this weekend and fill it. Unfortunately it won't be a permanent display because of lack of display room. But I'm tired of not being able to see my stuff and I want to play , dang it. :)
Let's see your curio when its done. :)
 
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Nice ,,,!!

Its sitting in the package and waiting to go. I also ended up getting one tiered stand from Ian. I had some reward points on ebay from Christmas shopping. I had to pay 6 dollars . I decided to buy one.
 
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Sure. I've shared these in other threads, but here's the two 'Grail' item I found recently; both Ralph McQuarrie signed items. My collection is mostly early Star Wars items from the 1970's with a few Empire & Jedi items as well. I'm primarily a Original Trilogy guy.

First one is a signed copy of the very first printing of the Star Wars novelization. I've wanted one for a very long time but didn't have the means early on, then didn't expect anyone else would have him sign a book that's very valuable on its own in good condition.

Secondly, a very early & extremely rare signed lithograph print from a very limited run of 100, offered only at one exhibit in New York City, that Lucas did around the time Star Wars was released... to 'test the waters' of consumer interest in Star Wars art work.

View media item 396508
View media item 396727
That lithograph is really cool!
 
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The old timers here, (not age but years on forum) will probably tell you you're collecting for the wrong reason IF you are doing this for an investment or return on your investment. But do keep in mind, most of these old timers still have the majority, if not all of their original collections they had as a child. They also are purists and don't have their collections because of values, but because they love the hobby.
It's not about years in the hobby; I've been doing this since the '70s, and in my adult years especially, I've always been conscious about ensuring that I'm not sinking my hard-earned money into junk. I don't necessarily need to profit from the sale of something, but I like to know that if I spend $2K on something, I'll at least be able to sell it for that amount in the future...or even just trade it for another $2K item. Sure, there are never guarantees, but there are areas of the hobby that are more secure than others. I adore the toys but I don't think it's a crime to be cognisant of value - it just makes good sense; you can be passionate about your home, and buy it because you love it, and with no intention of ever selling it, but you still want to know that you won't lose on it, should you have to move. No one is critical if you're careful with your finances in other areas, but for some reason, if that extends to your hobby/collection you're apparently in it for the "wrong" reasons. It's almost as though because people spend their disposable income on collecting, that's justification to buy disposable items; wouldn't it be better to have the mindset that you're "investing" in something that you love, and have the best of both worlds: toys you love that actually have value? I don't understand why the love of a hobby and "investing" in a hobby have to be mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I think that like anything in life in which there's monetary value, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know now when to fold 'em. Our collections will recover when we do. In fact, they're a good distraction right now - I'm still working deals during these times to maintain a level of normalcy and because it's something positive I can do from the safety of my own home.

Stay well,

-M :)
 
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It's not about years in the hobby; I've been doing this since the '70s, and in my adult years especially, I've always been conscious about ensuring that I'm not sinking my hard-earned money into junk. I don't necessarily need to profit from the sale of something, but I like to know that if I spend $2K on something, I'll at least be able to sell it for that amount in the future...or even just trade it for another $2K item. Sure, there are never guarantees, but there are areas of the hobby that are more secure than others. I adore the toys but I don't think it's a crime to be cognisant of value - it just makes good sense; you can be passionate about your home, and buy it because you love it, and with no intention of ever selling it, but you still want to know that you won't lose on it, should you have to move. No one is critical if you're careful with your finances in other areas, but for some reason, if that extends to your hobby/collection you're apparently in it for the "wrong" reasons. It's almost as though because people spend their disposable income on collecting, that's justification to buy disposable items; wouldn't it be better to have the mindset that you're "investing" in something that you love, and have the best of both worlds: toys you love that actually have value? I don't understand why the love of a hobby and "investing" in a hobby have to be mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I think that like anything in life in which there's monetary value, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know now when to fold 'em. Our collections will recover when we do. In fact, they're a good distraction right now - I'm still working deals during these times to maintain a level of normalcy and because it's something positive I can do from the safety of my own home.

Stay well,

-M :)
I think that is exactly what I was trying to say in my above comment. Nice little Kenny Rogers reference!

Cheers,
MasterRizz
 
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It's almost as though because people spend their disposable income on collecting, that's justification to buy disposable items; wouldn't it be better to have the mindset that you're "investing" in something that you love, and have the best of both worlds: toys you love that actually have value? I don't understand why the love of a hobby and "investing" in a hobby have to be mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I think that like anything in life in which there's monetary value, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know now when to fold 'em. Our collections will recover when we do. In fact, they're a good distraction right now - I'm still working deals during these times to maintain a level of normalcy and because it's something positive I can do from the safety of my own home.

Stay well,

-M :)
I agree. There's almost as many ways to collect things, as there are things to collect. I've been collecting since the mid-70's. Before I was collecting Star Wars, I was collecting stamps, coins, and other things. If fact, my first Star Wars collectible started out as just another piece of my already existing jacket patch collection. I was that rare kid that wanted to go to the stamp & coin shop where normally only older folks went. I'd stand at the counter and ask questions and the older gentleman running the shop took the time to answer. I learned a lot each time I visited.

Some people won't spend a penny on their collection; they collect what they find that's free. Others spend everything they can to further their collections. Some people only collect production made items, some only collect things individuals have made, and some only collect things they find in the natural world around them. Some people only collect samples of variations, some are completion-ists & have to collect them all.

That's the beauty of collecting; there's no hard, fast rules. You do it in the way that satisfies you. If someone else gets something out of seeing your collection, that's a bonus. But ultimately, you do it for you. So no one else should ever presume to tell you what to collect or how to do it.

Here's a piece from one of my other collections... Zepplin Mail. I love historical items of interest. This piece from my Zepplin Mail collection was a cover that flew on the very first Zepplin flight from Europe to the US. In 1924, Germany handed over their zepplin 'Z.R. 3' to the United States, as part of WWI reparations. The US then went on to rename it the USS Los Angeles. I've also collected mail from many of the other famous Zepplin's including the Hindenburg. It's another fun and interesting hobby.

 
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I try not to buy something that if need be, I wouldn't get the same dollar figure I put out.

I also wait until the price is right.

That being said. I don't really pay attention to the value of a piece I own. So far I haven't had to sell anything that I didn't want to part with. I buy lots to get a piece I'm missing and sell or trade off the extras. I buy what I would like to put in my collection and once I have it, I'm good.
 
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I've seen recently that prices have gone slightly higher, because more people are bored and hence looking at eBay and not forgetting to bid. But as times passes, more jobs are lost and uncertainty creeps up, things will drop (somethings I have seen drop already). A bit like the last economic crisis. This situation might be solved in a few months, and then things should go up to normal, or we might fall in a tremendous recession. It's hard to say. I collect because I like to, and only very, very rarely have kept something because I thought it would go up in value (I bought like x10 Juno Eclipse and Maris Brood for 1 €, and I just kept two for the sake of "if they become very expensive in the future"). After like 5-10 years, I was tired of them getting space (I already had them loose) and so sold them, and I got like 35 $ for each. Not bad but not the reason I want something to take space from my house during a decade.
 
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Secondly, a very early & extremely rare signed lithograph print from a very limited run of 100, offered only at one exhibit in New York City, that Lucas did around the time Star Wars was released... to 'test the waters' of consumer interest in Star Wars art work.

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wow Leif is that a signed supersnipe a new addition to your collection! still kicking myself on missing out on a complete signed set a few year back.
 
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wow Leif is that a signed supersnipe a new addition to your collection! still kicking myself on missing out on a complete signed set a few year back.
Yea! Its was sitting on eBay for at least a few weeks, with a relatively low BIN - $285, and even on 'Offer' option. But once I realized what it was, I wasn't about to make an offer, I just BIN'd it. I could tell it was a full untrimmed Supersnipe print because of the dimensions and the fact that there was about an extra 1" of space below the image portion of the print, compared to the top border. The supersnipes' have 5" of white space below the image, and 4" above.

The seller runs a second hand 'knick knacks' & antiques shop out of New Jersey. So I think they got it as part of someone's estate and just took a quick look online to see what many McQuarrie signed prints go for - the more modern prints available in runs of 2500, etc. Unfortunately it got a tiny scratch in transit. It's barely noticeable but the seller gave me a partial refund of $50. Bummer it took any damage, but I can't complain since I've wanted one for so long, and to get it for $235... still totally worth it. Wouldn't have been able to buy it at full value. Learned a valuable lesson... if you BIN a framed print, make sure they don't ship the glass.

That signed set you saw a few years back... I think I know the back story on that set. It was part of a 'find' a few years back.


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Wow! what I steal! can't believe I didn't see it. And yes never ship with glass it's just not worth it. you're very lucky it only got scratched if the glass broke. That's another reason to use plexiglass.
 
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Star Wars vintage prices have been in decline for over a year now and prices will continue to accelearate to the down side, history shows every single economic slow down brings prices down, in all collecting areas of vintage star wars toys. It works like this,,, the first beaten down vintage SW toys will be the first to recoup prices and the last ones standing, will come on down in price.

does this mean that prices are going to collapse completely? no. You will need a data base such as the one I have to know which prices are fair and in relation to historical prices in the SW vintage collecting world. But if you see prices come in by 20, 30, 40% on the items you want, you want to start buying in those areas. Again. I am not saying all prices are going to ZERO. Nor am I saying prices will get cut to 50% in all areas. There will be serious discounts in some areas, other areas of the hobby might only go down by say, 30% from their peak.

So to advice to new collectors and old is... make a list and start buying now. each and every single down turn is a buying opportunity. I was buying hand over fist in 08-09 and there were collectors giving stuff away. Just look in the archives of this forum and you will see how each and every economic slow down was a GREAT time to be a collector.

Also, stay away from the newer grading companies such as CAS. They have very few items graded in comparison to AFA and collectors will find those pieces illiquid, thus impacting their values on ebay. So if you do bid on CAS, make sure you bid on the low end of the auctions. Also remember, CAS is still a new company, they could disappear at any minute and then their grading value is worthless in the eyes of collectors.

hope that helps!
 
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Star Wars vintage prices have been in decline for over a year now
Only if you are only focused on AFA items, but you fail to ever acknowledge that. I really have not been focused on toys lately (so thing may have changed), but loose figures continue to climb. A Luke Jedi with a blue saber is well over $100 now. A simple green saber is now $75. Leia Endor is now a $60+ figure. A poor condition beater Blue Snags is well past $100. Once $5 -10 figures that are complete, in actual nice condition, go for around $20 these days. They are also becoming far less common than anyone would care to admit. "They made hundreds of thousands." "They're readily available." It simply is not true anymore. I've been searching (on eBay and forums, I do not use Facebook all that much) for certain figures in a certain condition for years. They simply do not come up like they used to.

Personally, I have general grand distaste for the encasing of collectibles (comics, sportcards, toys) trend. However, CAS have established themselves nicely in the hobby thus far. CAS is run by more than just one man who did some questonable things in his past. Many enjoy their services, and heck their cases look a whole lot nicer, too. Always gotta find a way to take a jab, eh?
 
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Vintage Star Wars will always be valuable! We'll soon be trading them for food and other staples in the Apocalypse!
 
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I always figured they would be worth a fraction of what I bought them for once my generation dies off. They’ll probably really start to decline once we are all on a fixed income
 
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Vintage Star Wars will always be valuable! We'll soon be trading them for food and other staples in the Apocalypse!
Gee, that reminds me of how that guy told the Star Wars OT story to the children in that move where revived dragons overran the world. No figures there if I remember correctly, though.
 
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I always figured they would be worth a fraction of what I bought them for once my generation dies off. They’ll probably really start to decline once we are all on a fixed income
I think that's very true for a portion of the population. Some people will keep them until they pass, and their collections will go into their estates. For others who may be collecting for less nostalgic reasons, they will be more likely to sell when they perceive the value dropping with the generation, and their need for additional funds increases. It's a simple fact of collecting - supply & demand... and for vintage Star Wars toys, the supply is far larger than most of us would like to admit. The supply only seems more scarce because of their current high demand. Of course, that's not considering non-production items or condition. There will always be a relatively higher demand for a certain portion of the supply than for the bulk of it.
 
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In all seriousness, I think the original Kenner Star Wars figures will always hold value as they were first for Star Wars, which will not be going anywhere any time soon. And I know supply is not actually scarce or even rare. Just a comment regarding current value and availability. I am glad I got the majority of my collection 8 -10 years ago.
 
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I see Star Wars vintage figures rather mass-produced. On top of this, they are very sturdy, some of the more solid action figures ever made in my opinion, and so very few are lost to breakage. Comparing them with GI Joes or other similar figures, they're rate of survival is much, much higher. When I started collecting on 2008, eBay.uk was simply overflowing with them, and at rather cheap prices. Everytime more people collects them, but that doesn't mean that most of them are not rare, and just demand makes them go up in value.

With the passage of years, the more vintage things are much more appreciated. GI Joes and MOTUs have increased wildly in the last 10 years. I expected that with new lines, vintage collecting would fall, but it seems that most of the collectors prefer the original figures, no matter modern deluxe renditions are readily available.
 

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It is inevitable that eventually they will decline in price. Right now we're in the golden age for collecting and this rings true for many things that have been collected over modern times.

Childhood nostalgia is often a driver for collecting and the children of the 70s and 80s are now in their prime income years. They typically have had children who are now adults themselves, they've paid off their mortgage or nearly so, and they have acquired knowledge and skills that mean they are probably at their peak for producing income. In summary, they have the desire and the means to use money to acquire stuff.

Over the next 40 years this population will leave the workforce, gain a different perspective on life and start to pass away. Consequently,the people with the means and desire to collect will eventually decline, though I think it likely this will take a long time to occur and be quite gradual.

You can look to the collecting hobbies of past generations and see the decline in those. Stamp and Coin collecting, cigarette card collecting and so on. Sure, there's always the outliers setting new price records but the majority of items become less desirable.

One unknown factor is how the items we collect are affected by the decay we are starting to see now. Over the next 40 years will we see the majority of plastic limbs discolour, will we see all bubbles yellow and become cracked? How might that impact the hobby? Will it drive prices up for the dwindling number of pristine items, or will people fear the loss of value and cash out while they can, flooding the market with supply as demand declines? Perhaps the rate of decay will be very minimal and not really have an impact. I would hope so :)
 
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