Why have vintage figure prices jumped so much?

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Maybe 10-11 years ago I put together very nice condition full loose figure sets including all accessories and last 17 figures. If I recall correctly I sold these for $900 each set. I also then liked to buy whatever nice carded ESB Yodas I could find and usually paid (I think) $200 for nice ones. (It's possible I'm not remembering those prices perfectly but I'm pretty sure that's what they were).

I know there have been movies and such since then, but what has contributed the most to the the huge price jump? I recently got back into collecting vintage SW figures and have been surprised where the figures are now. I wish I kept some of those full loose figure sets!
 
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things have gone up maybe 40-50% just in the last six months. There's been a few threads on it. before that it was a just a steady increase of maybe 10-15% a year.

Biggest increases are on potf it seems. Last year I bought an EV9D9 on a beater card for 275.00. now you can t get a loose one for much less than 400. Leia Poncho I could find pretty easily with a non repro gun for around 60-80 last year and cant be found for much less than 150 now.

Its a combination of lots of money in the economy and nowhere to really spend it and people stuck at home trawling ebay for their reminders of happier times. Its in every nerd category (action figures, video games, transformers, etc. though some people say comics are strangely unaffected)
 
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its not just prices either, there's legit many fewer examples available for sale on Ebay of any given item than there used to be...and most are on auction now instead of buy it now because they are just going so sky high
 
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I think this has maybe finally cured me of my lifelong addiction to buying this stuff though (except for the retro stuff thats close enough to the real ones and cheap!)
 
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Those reasons make a lot of sense. I think I actually got back into it for the same "virus" season reasons! Separate of an economy crash, is there any hope these will go back down in the future?
 
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without some sort of crash or contraction probably not anything significant they will just keep going up at a more reasonable rate 8-15% (just like a good stock)
 
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Anything can happen though...hyperinflation could cause them to go up exponentially (think of a 3000 dollar bespin guard lol); however the actual value would be the same because you would have to compare it to what other things you could buy with that 3,000 dollars (maybe a couple bags of groceries if you're lucky)
 
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Really interesting. So it seems we are just at a new floor for vintage figures, and it might not be a great idea to "wait things out" until the prices for especially the higher end stuff start to trend down. I wonder if vintage figures from other lines (like Super Powers, Indiana Jones etc.) have seen the same type of huge growth recently?
 
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Another big factor could simply be that those of us who grew up with the Original Trilogy and the Kenner toy line are in our late-40s through late-50s, maybe even a few in their 60s. So we tend to have more disposable income based on several different life factors (higher paying jobs, grown kids moving out of the house, etc.).

I really don't believe that a kid who was introduced to Star Wars in 2015, with The Force Awakens, is going to be willing to pay thousands of dollars for an AFA-graded 12-back Luke Skywalker. So, once the original generation of Star Wars fans starts to die off, then prices are going to begin to crash hard.
 
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I don't think prices will crash in the future, I have a feeling some form of Star Wars will be around... forever? When future generations of Star Wars fans start earning some bucks in the year 2065, they'll say "These modern figures are cool, but where did they come from, I want the "originals". Nothing, I repeat nothing, will ever compare to the "originals"!
 
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This % increase doesn't just go for loose vintage figures, but really everything vintage .... cardbacks, MOC , MIB , proofs , etc.

Although, loose figures tend to the the least expensive of all things vintage , thus it draws a crowd = more people , more problems , more competition ... etc. etc.
 
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I highly doubt there will be a crash. The figures probably will continue to have an increase for the foreseeable future (pending market crash, significant non-biological world event (e.g., war, total technological breakdown; not covid) etc.). But I think the increase would be more modest as opposed to the current rates.

The Star Wars franchise was the biggest comodity of the two generations (Gen X, Gen Y to use the terms) prior to the milennials.

I think that the prices have increased because of ebay fees becoming higher over the past year or two (and including paypal fees) having an additional expense for sellers. Also, the fewer retailers that pick up and resell some of these items have been asking for ridiculous amounts..
 
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I think it's covid induced. Like others have said it's not just Star Wars. I always have listings on ebay of random junk (clothes,housewares, sports teams paraphernalia). Things that usually sit there for 6 months to a year are selling. There's millions who work at home now. A lot of those jobs have idle time during the day, so people are browsing the internet looking at said junk. Not to mention all the stay at home parenting and unemployed. There's really nothing else I would point to for the recent surge in prices. It's a sellers market right now, unload that junk while the landfill is trending :D.
 
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It's a sellers market right now, unload that junk while the landfill is trending :D.
I completely agree! Unload all of the junk that you can!!

I think it's covid induced. ... There's millions who work at home now. A lot of those jobs have idle time during the day, so people are browsing the internet looking at said junk. Not to mention all the stay at home parenting and unemployed.
I guess the COVID situation is more circumstantial/economical/political - I think it has been a double-edged sword. I can't necessarily talk about other countries but in Australia the unemployment rate went from around about 5% to around about 8% (give or take a couple points, depending on sources, etc. etc. yes all the other variables). This has been coupled with a decrease in spending for most things (except for the delivery area of the food industry; again depending on sources; c.f. many in the food industry defaulting, etc.). So the impact of COVID on collectable prices is hard to say... It might have gone up because only those who are able to afford them are buying at the moment?
 
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I completely agree! Unload all of the junk that you can!!



I guess the COVID situation is more circumstantial/economical/political - I think it has been a double-edged sword. I can't necessarily talk about other countries but in Australia the unemployment rate went from around about 5% to around about 8% (give or take a couple points, depending on sources, etc. etc. yes all the other variables). This has been coupled with a decrease in spending for most things (except for the delivery area of the food industry; again depending on sources; c.f. many in the food industry defaulting, etc.). So the impact of COVID on collectable prices is hard to say... It might have gone up because only those who are able to afford them are buying at the moment?
I'm sure there are plenty of unemployed who are in dire straits and don't have money to spend but i'm sure there a lot of people who have money put away or are getting their benefits. I just think overall most families have extra money because they are not spending those extra funds on things like vacations, dining/drinking out, physical retail shopping,etc..
 
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up until a few weeks ago the unemployed in the USA (especially those laid off from lower paying jobs) were making more than theyve ever made in their life. Things may settle down once the unemployment federal stimulus goes away completely. It was 600 a week plus the normal unemployment benefit all the way through July and people are still getting 10-20K deposits from job services and from Small Business Administration from claims that are being paid in arrears. These are things I see with my own eyes as someone who works in financial services in a traditionally economically depressed area (referred to in the industry as LMI: Low to moderate income area) so I'm not just regurgitating some right wing blogger or anything. I'm just stating the facts that I am seeing, not making a value judgment on it as a good or bad thing, but this definitely adds to the pool of cash out there chasing the same goods and services thereby driving up prices
 
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once the 300 dollar new weekly unemployment stimulus goes away (down from 600 through July), student loans cancel their forbearances that are currently in place (that's leaving about 1000 dollars extra in my pocket every month so yay for me on that one), evictions have their restrictions removed, and the credit card companies and lenders stop offering deferments on payments, we should see the prices start to level off...not go down necessarily but we will start to see more product availability and the rate of increase will probably flatten for awhile.

You may see lower prices in brick and mortar establishments than Ebay. Ebay sellers have at least a month to wait for money to come in for auctions to end and funds to be released from paypal so they can wait for fair market prices by and large. As someone who has had a very unhealthy collecting addiction for decades can attest, comic shops and craigslist buyers reap the benefits of desperate people trying to get enough cash to fix their car, pay their bills because they overspent on collectibles (seriously guys it was probably as bad as heroin addiction for me for several decades of my life- probably every 6 months to a year I would buy a complete figure collection then sell it at a 30% of what it cost me because I needed the money).

If you set yourself up as a cash buyer with up to 5K in a warchest and willing to buy complete collections from desperate sellers you can definitely make a killing, keep what you want for yourself and sell the trash to replenish your reserve for the next sucker (like me). I call myself a sucker not because I resent the people that have bought my collections from me at a significant markdown in the past but because like an addict I could not keep from putting myself in that position repeatedly.

Crazy as it sounds, the Retro collection (plus the current ridiculous prices...and maybe just a tad of getting old finally) has helped me stay away from the manic collecting of days past. The figures that I like satisfy that nostalgia and I have just supplemented with a few of my other favorites while avoiding the need to try to complete (since it wouldnt really be complete with "retro" farmboy and luke anyway. Plus, they are worth so little I don't think of them as a source of cash if the need should arise.

In summary, market prices will flatten (not go down) once economic support starts to dissipate as long as it happens gradually. But if you set yourself as someone who has plenty of cash to buy a whole collection within a day for desperate sellers you can get nice pieces for yourself far below market prices. I found most of my buyers on Craigslist the last few times I did this and they gave me closer to 50% of market price where comic shops only pay 20-30% depending on if its rare stuff or not because they have to pay the rent and employees
 
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I think this has maybe finally cured me of my lifelong addiction to buying this stuff though (except for the retro stuff thats close enough to the real ones and cheap!)
It's helped me as well.
There are still some budget ROTJ MOC's around, but have long since given up hope of getting any others.
I moved into finding bubbles and cards to do reseals for myself, but these are also expensive now.

I also have my childhood stuff which also helps.

I'm more of a 'if i come across something at an affordable price' kind of collector now.
And the Retro Collection.
 
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I had been hoping to find a nice loose Luke Poncho a couple years ago but the $100 plus price tag was a little too steep for my budget. Now I see they are in the $350 price range. It looks like I have to be satisfied with what I have, the prices are just crazy.
 
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Meh. Prices will come down. This is a bit of a bubble I think. Either it'll burst (unlikely) or gradually deflate by having prices rise slower than inflation.
 
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It's well documented that prices are climbing.

We've been saying prices will go down all along and you dont have to look any farther than reading above this comment

Most figures will go down to the 15 to 20 dollar range . The hard to gets won't.
 
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I dont know about "most" but incomplete decent condition figures from ESB and ROTJ for the most part should fall in that range, if you add any original accessories though I dont see that ever happening. You can always find beaters for less than 10 bucks even now
 
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I think things like weapons, accessories, parts are becoming more scarce. I've got about 50 saved searches for various items on ebay and it's been tumbleweeds with results for awhile.
 
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I don't think prices will crash in the future, I have a feeling some form of Star Wars will be around... forever?
Well, saying that the market is going to crash doesn't mean that it's going to go down to zero. It just means that it will correct itself at some point. My prediction is that point when those of us who were old enough to have played with the vintage Kenner toys, while they were brand new, have died off in significant numbers.

There might be a few new collectors who will want to track down the 1970s and 1980s toys, but I don't believe they will be equal to the number of Baby-Boomer/GenX toy collectors who are buying this stuff up today because they have a real childhood connection with it. Sure Star Wars will likely be around for a while and the Original Trilogy isn't likely to be forgotten within the next few generations, but that doesn't mean that demand for the merchandise won't go down at some point. A 20-25% reduction in prices would still be considered a "crash" as far as markets go.
 
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I am one of two Marx collectors under 50 that I know. Prices on my Marx dinosaur toys are crashing pretty hard.
 
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$4k to $7k for a 21-back Fett ( SW or ESB) , not even in the greatest of condition. Someones smokin' the real good stuff , buying pieces for that kind of money
 
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I also meant to say ( and I don't think anyone had mentioned it in this thread) , but there is also the influence of other collectors ( Comic, Sports cards , etc) selling their collections for however many thousands of dollars , and moving their money to vintage toys. It's basically impossible to know say per month, how many people slowly get out of Sports card collecting, and move their money to vintage Toy collecting . However if you look PSA graded reports on what certain cards sold for, even 3 years ago versus what they're selling for now in 2020 , there is a pretty good jump in price (could be as high as 20-40% higher now)
 
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$200 “when they even come up for sale” Marxes are down to like $17 and sitting around unsold. Marx was the Kenner of baby boomers.

When Gen X starts downsizing to go to nursing homes watch out.
 
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$200 “when they even come up for sale” Marxes are down to like $17 and sitting around unsold. Marx was the Kenner of baby boomers.

When Gen X starts downsizing to go to nursing homes watch out.
As long as Star Wars/Disney is in business I don't see the interest in vintage waning even beyond our times. Disney is the best at marketing, so I foresee generations and generations of new lifetime fans. Now that SW is attached to Disney, there's no doubts that vintage items will always be sought after just like everything vintage Disney.
 
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As long as Star Wars/Disney is in business I don't see the interest in vintage waning even beyond our times. Disney is the best at marketing, so I foresee generations and generations of new lifetime fans. Now that SW is attached to Disney, there's no doubts that vintage items will always be sought after just like everything vintage Disney.
Those have been going down in price too. I don't even bother trying to resell vintage Disneyanna from 2nd hand stores anymore. The completed listings for things like "vintage mickey mouse figure" or "Marx Disney" are pretty depressing. There's a few deep pocketed true completists out there but it's the rank and file nostalgiast who drives prices.
 
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I don't hate Disney but they're due for a serious contraction...I'm sure I'm not alone in not being able to motivate myself to watch the 2nd part of Endgame, and I even liked the first part quite a bit, its like a switch flipped and I've reached my lifetime quota of superhero movies. I only have disney + to watch Mandalorian which i just rewatched most of last week for maybe the third time.

I'm just too lazy to figure out how to cancel the subsription in between seasons of Mandalorian. Maybe if the Cassian Andor series is good I wont feel like its as much of a waste.
 
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Have you seen how much admission costs for a single person to get into Disneyland now a days ??!!:eek:
 
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Have you seen how much admission costs for a single person to get into Disneyland now a days ??!!:eek:
It's gone up a fair bit against inflation. In the 90's an annual pass was around $250. A five day pass was like $230... So even though we were poor we'd go twice a year. Buy an annual pass, go in July, then next year go in August. Inflation would carry that to like $375. Sure there's more to see at WDW now... but I think an annual pass is over a grand now. There's not that much more to see!

You hit a point where the more money you have, the less each dollar means. Some people are so far down that spectrum, they can't meaningfully distinguish between $350 and $1200. Those are the guests WDW wants, because they will also not distinguish between paying market prices for a can of Coke, vs. a can of Coke that's several dollars above market price.

Rich people, oddly enough, on average, don't understand money as well as poor people. For example, one study asked people (re-worded in many ways, and hidden among unrelated questions) if they'd trade X minutes of their time for Y dollars. There's no right or wrong answer but the better you understand money, the more consistently you'll answer if 10 minutes is worth $5 to you. The more money people made, the less consistently they answered.

Queuing someone who doesn't understand the phrase on average to call me out with an anecdote...
 
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Rich people (often times got inherited most of their dollars) and/or worked for it over 20+ years , usually pay a financial consultant / investor (i.e. Bernie Madoff) money, to then invest their money. They trust in someone else, to handle their money day to day, thus they don't fully understand what a dollar is really worth (what it can buy, etc) . "In god we trust" , that is on our US money , however is a $20 bill really worth $20 ?!? It says "In God We Trust", so there isn't any questioning religion or that statement for that matter. Why mix god /religion with money ?
 
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Right... it's a way to buck any kind of Economic downturn in the economy (recession) . Use god/ religion as a crutch / shield. Well, 9/11 happened, and off that major historical event there was a mini recession 6-9 months later in 2002. Then the 2007-2011 Great Recession , couldn't stop that one. Now, we're in the COVID economic times ... what now, what next ?? I'm already hearing : "Cleanliness is next to Godliness " echoing ....
 
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@Adam_L It was added to our current incarnation of money and the pledge of allegiance in Cold War times, to identify us in opposition to the officially atheist "communist" countries. I use quotes cause there was nothing about their economic system or government that you would accurately predict from reading Das Kapital. Has nothing to do with avoiding responsibility for the economy. Purely about tribal identity.

As for whether or not $20 is worth [thing commonly priced at $20], that's a subject I've gone into elsethreads. All currencies, regardless of what they are, are based on trust and imagination. Even precious metals.
 
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@Adam_L It was added to our current incarnation of money and the pledge of allegiance in Cold War times, to identify us in opposition to the officially atheist "communist" countries. I use quotes cause there was nothing about their economic system or government that you would accurately predict from reading Das Kapital. Has nothing to do with avoiding responsibility for the economy. Purely about tribal identity.
It's politically motivated , yet politics and religion were used/mixed so the economy as a whole has some glue to stick. I get the tribal identity part of what you said, but that's a bit too Uggga-boooga primitive thinking, like cave man days. Wake up, smell the coffee Unkle Sam.

Also, meant to say the 9/11 happening , sorry to say it but not sure what info/news really came out after the fact , but if you think about it I do believe 9/11 had a ripple effect into the Great Recession starting '07-'08 . Economists ... or somebody could blame it on something else, but the price of crude oil was spiking then in 2007 , early 2008 .... and again Politics took a dump on the global economic supply/demand chain.

I blame politics, for a lot of this Tom foolery going on
 
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