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Thread: Rarity or demand or...? What drives value of MOTUC?

  1. #1
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Rarity or demand or...? What drives value of MOTUC?

    What do you all think dictates what makes some figures more valuable than others? I have my own thoughts, but I'd like to hear what you all think.

    As some examples for comparison...

    Shadow Weaver: Was sub-only, so she had no DOS. Based on behind the scenes tidbits, fan calculations and the aid of the shopping cart glitch, some have speculated MOTUC is now selling around the 7000-7500 mark. If DOS has a small quantity compared to actual sub sales, yet 2012 was a better selling year than 2014, that puts Shadow Weaver at a minimum of 6500? 7000? Yet, MOC, she still fetches around $250.00 on eBay.

    Battle Armor Faker: Part of that TRU 2-pack with Bizarro. It was one of the last 2-packs to be made. And the minimum TRU does on exclusives is 5000 units, based on what we saw in the past with MOTU and with current exclusives from companies like NECA. That MOCU 2-Pack often sells for anywhere from $250.00 to $300.00 on eBay.

    Granamyr: Had a full run. Had DOS. That means it probably had 7000 or more. MIB on eBay, it sells for $150.00 to $200.00.

    Bronze King Grayskull: The first MOTUC release. Based on case counts, there appeared to be 5000 SDCC King Grayskulls made. The ratio of bronze to regular was 1 to 4. That means only 1000 exist. Yet this figure MIB often goes for $250.00 to $300.00 on eBay.

    Fused Keldor Sword: One of the rarest items in MOTUC. Polybagged and exclusive to Power-Con, there was about 1000 of them. But you can still get it bagged on eBay for $20.00 to $30.00. Despite rarity, is the price because it's not a full figure? Or because we got the weapon in halves with Keldor?

    There definitely money to be had in MOTUC. Many figures have retained their value, and there are quite a few that are worth more than the original purchase price. And we're about six years into this line, so it's outstanding for MOTUC to remain so valuable and sought after.

    Yet we have a very limited bronze King Grayskull selling for almost as much as Shadow Weaver who had upwards of 7x as many figures produced. So what drives market value?

    Love to read your thoughts and theories!
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior SonOfHeMan's Avatar
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    Both, of course! Shadow Weaver is the perfect combination of low production numbers and high demand (being an essential character). Your other examples are all variants, so they're not going to appeal to as many people. Except Granamyr, of course. But he was already $100 dos, no?

    Also, higher production run figures like Beast Man that had reissues have enough demand that their prices are pretty high. Again, Beast Man is an essential character (moreso than Shadow Weaver for most, I would wager). There's not a lot of Beastmen for sale at any time. Once people have him in their collections, they tend not to sell him off.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior JakeofEternia's Avatar
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    Definitely both. Rarity can add to secondary market price as well as demand. And as the case with Granamyr, so does starting price. Also when a figure was released plays in. Some of the biggest price tags in the line come on Fisto and Sorceress, who came at a time when the line was selling at it's highest, but the demand is still there. And look at first release Teela, she goes for a lot but came out back near the start of the line. Demand and rarity both combine to dictate the secondary market prices (or value) of a figure.

  4. #4
    Nature's Greatest Wonder Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    I can understand the Keldor sword not going for more. Frankly I'm surprised it even goes for $20 or $30. For that price, you can get the entire Great Unrest weapsons pack which includes Keldors swords. The version in the pack may not be fused together, but if someone wants them to be, it would just require adding some glue.



    For most items it's supply and demand. The more popular characters will go for more if the demand exceeds the secondary market supply. Unfortunately, in most cases doing a second run is not realistic because the amount that Mattel would have to make at minimum would still far exceed the remaining demand.



    I wish Granamyr went for less. Last night my wife accidentally knocked my Granamyr onto the floor, and the joint/clips that hold the tail in place broke. I orderd a replacement on ebay last night for about $190 shipped.


    Now that I've done that, left over stock will probably show up in the next month or so on Matty.
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  5. #5
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    I think its strictly demand. That and a little bit of crazy. I can't imagine paying those prices for a single figure. The most I've ever paid was $50...for Shadow Weaver actually. The other factor that drives them is what people are willing to pay...especially when worried that if they don't they'll miss out forever. That's what caused the spikes with the Spirit figures and convention "exclusive" figures at least. I still think prices will see a pretty big dip soon with Classics coming to an end and some superior releases likely with the rebranding... (like Teela)

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Stratos*Major's Avatar
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    Demand(subs) = Supply(subs + profit)
    You could also argue that Supply creates the demand, i.e.
    Supply (subs + profit) = Demand (those w/o sub + those with sub + extras)
    Secondary market value = Demand + Supply

    It's all subjective in nonessential items.

    Optick is a great example. He's just a cool figure so his "coolness"/perceived value drives his cost up.

    There is no intrinsic value to these figures. Therefor we can state that it is demand that drives the cost. Supply is what sustains the cost.

  7. #7
    Master of Gardening MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    It is BOTH rarity and demand. However, I think rarity trumps demand. There will be a figure/character that seemingly few people really care about until they find out it's rare. For example, Baby Skeletor usually sells for $150+. I know it's not MOTUC, but it's a perfect example showing people often want something because it is rare.

    Now I personally like Baby Skeletor, but I know there was a lot of talk against it.

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  8. #8
    SoH Supporter He-Dad's Avatar
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    Thw only problem I have with the rare think is that figures made this year and last year definitely had less of made than figures like Teela and Beastman. Yet the prices differences are huge. I know popularity is at play but the figures aren't rare. Any figure made 2008-2012 had higher production numbers than current figures or so we've been told. By those standards the rarity factor is no longer at play as there are more out there. Teela isn't rare. Either is the Sorceress or Fisto when it comes to production numbers. They are more demanded then other figures though.....hence the ridiculous pricing.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior SpiritOfTeela's Avatar
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    Shadow Weaver: Probably the single most demanded Filmation character of all time. Made a time sub numbers were starting to take a dive. Awesome figure. PoP is a huge market (we supported our own sub).

    Battle Armor Faker: This one was because of late-comers, I think. He was available very reasonably until just a couple of years ago. I paid like $40 for mine MOC (and of course opened it). He also was late to that line, so I think distribution wasn't as great as the others (you can still occasionally find the She-ra or Skeletor pack at TRU shoved behind something else).

    Granamyr: I'm not quite so sure they made so many of this, as it was a non-sub item. It's possible. This one is kind of a head-scratcher to me if they really made a large quantity. I always figured it was somewhere around 5K. Also they seemed to have a decent amount of returns because of the tail-snap issue, and I'm willing to bet they had to go beyond "regular CS stock" to get them all replaced. And to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some of these still in Mattel's warehouse - heck, they found new Teela's as recently as last year.

    Bronze King Grayskull: I'm surprised it doesn't go for more. With all the broken ankle ones, I'd put the number of in-tact models even lower. This one never held much appeal to me, especially after we got Spirit of Grayskull - I had considered it before, but Spirit was enough to fill my "statue" needs. I also don't think a lot of folks really consider him a part of MOTUC - more like a one-time item in the scale that inspired the line, and we have multiple other options to get King Grayskull so it really makes him for "every last variant" collectors.

    Fused Keldor Sword: This didn't turn out that rare in the end, as quite a number of folks got fused ones accidentally in the actual Weapons Pak it was intended for. And while it was great for Mattel to throw a bone to a non-SDCC exclusive, since the "non-fused" version looked identical and was widely available, I think only true "completest" collectors need this version. The "non-fused" version, if you are just looking to have one of each item is really sufficient - because you can display it "fused" or apart.



    Overall, I think there are several factors:

    1) Unlike the narrative going a couple of years ago, since Grayskull we've proved that the audience wasn't "tapped" - people really said "If you want MOTUC you already know about it, it's been all over ToyArk" and don't realize that not everyone reads ToyArk. I collect toys but mostly Star Wars, so I only go to Star Wars sites. The only way I discovered MOTUC was accidentally while searching for vintage on eBay. Even then, I saw the initial figures and until you look closely, they didn't look much different than the commemorative ones. But then the "new" characters started showing up - once I saw Adora, and realized it wasn't a really well done custom, I bit. You hear that story over and over, even up until now.

    2) Hoarding. The amount of people who have hoarded these figures, can't be under estimated. Those that have multiple subs, those that keep one MOC, one loose, one extra...people are sitting on HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of figures. That's why the prices are going to drop once new stuff stops coming out, those folks are gonna go, "Why do I need to have two rooms of my house full of little white boxes?" Less demand, more product available - yes, the elites will always remain more expensive (the above figures and a few others) but the prices for MOTUC have already peaked. If you watch eBay closely, the "sold" prices not "buy it now" listings that remain unsold, the peak was really in 2014. You may look and see only a Shadow Weaver available for $250, but one can be had for far less if you watch the site for a week. Same with Teela - she was absolutely unpucrchasable at any price at one point, now if you look you can get her at half what she was going for when she hit the top price.

    3) DR sucks. I don't think we can underestimate the number of folks who have jumped ship and buy third party, increasing demand.

    4) Lots and lots of people refused to sub for 20ish figures knowing they only wanted five or six. And that five or six that people wanted were largely the same five or six. The ones that sit and rot and people are lucky to break even on are far more numerous than the ones that go for twice the price or more. Heck, people practically give away the 3-packs compared to what they cost.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior SonOfHeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritOfTeela View Post
    2) Hoarding.
    I think you might be overestimating this factor. From everything we know, the vast majority of subscribers only have one sub. Sure, there's plenty of people on this board with multiples, but we are the hardest of the hardcore.

  11. #11
    Master of Shapeways He-bro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonOfHeMan View Post
    I think you might be overestimating this factor. From everything we know, the vast majority of subscribers only have one sub. Sure, there's plenty of people on this board with multiples, but we are the hardest of the hardcore.
    I think with the early figures like beast Man there are less from all of us customizing large numbers of them. I personally customized 3 of them. King Hsssss Should be expensive too, I customized like close to 18 of them. King Grayskull (red cape) I've customized like 9 of them.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Blaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    It is BOTH rarity and demand. However, I think rarity trumps demand. There will be a figure/character that seemingly few people really care about until they find out it's rare. For example, Baby Skeletor usually sells for $150+. I know it's not MOTUC, but it's a perfect example showing people often want something because it is rare.

    Now I personally like Baby Skeletor, but I know there was a lot of talk against it.
    Well, you pose in interesting question Val, speaking on my perception of the market and my own experience buying and of course selling toys, I believe as most have said it is rarity and demand that drives the cost of a piece. This is not how things are for me personally however, (but I promise I will get to that in the second paragraph.)As far as the market goes, it is true what you just said about because something is rare then it automatically precludes it's inherent value. For me personally I don't care if Baby Skeletor farts diamonds I think it's a hideous figure and a dumb concept. But going back to supply, and demand or rarity and demand. I'll start with this. Back in 07' @ SDCC there were tons and I mean tons of electronic King Greyskull figures available at the Matty booth with out having to "wait in line" for a ticket on Sunday. Me being the speculator I am I bought as many as I could afford primarily because I was going to fudge that figure in with my 200x collection and stactions. I was pleasantly surprised and so was my bank account that I was able to sell each one for 80-120 the following year. I believe that King Greyskull was initially not rare, they must have made 1000's, I'd even guess Mattel has a few palettes floating around out there somewhere. But the success of the new line drove up the market value of the figure, and so everyone just had to have the figure that started it all. Shadow Weaver I believe may be a different beast, she satisfied many kinds of markets and demographics. First lets start with good old Scooter's perceived "scare tactics" (the fandoms words Scott not necessarily mine) and we took his word set in firm stone, "Mattel will never ever make the 2012 Shadow Weaver exclusive again, as that is unfair to those that subscribed that year". We read into that as would anyone and I'm pretty sure they chose the deeper maroon red not because it was a horseman/design choice but because they plan on re-releasing her in a more bright red filmation deco. Trust and believe that toy companies are extremely cheap and will not lose money from one mold that will never be used and only the smallest quantity made. Not buying it, nope, no way no how. Shadow Weaver in any release is not done. However getting back on track, she was an exclusive, she was made in smaller quantities, she was POP, she is Horde, she is filmation, she was in almost every episode of the old She-ra cartoon, and has been demanded since 1986. All of that makes her a very very desirable figure.



    Now going on my personal tastes and what drives my market are the following. First and foremost I am a toy collector, so the toys I collect must have good quality, a fair price, and most important a nostalgic connection to me that plays somewhat on my childhood. Also a toy has more and more value to me the bigger the hole in my collection that it fills. I can use this as an example and I hope Prince Adams dad doesn't hate me because I've been sharing a sub with him, but when Queen Angella came out, she was the last piece I needed to feel I have my own complete essential collection. Because I care most about the old He-man and She-Ra cartoons, that's what means something to me personally. So I got Angella for just a few dollars more than cost but I would've paid well over a hundred dollars for her because that's how much she is worth to me. Second example, I am/was collecting every transformer reissued,vintage, KO or otherwise released in the 84-87 era, and the new Platinum edition Trypticon is the last piece I need to complete my collection, he is selling for 225.00 shipped from Japan. I'd spend quite a bit more actually so I'm ok with the price. Then there are the things that are "rare" or valuable, such as Spirit of Hordak, or the Goddess figures, and for me I see two lazy repaints, that have no personal value or connection to me. I see a toy company trying to cheap us out on charging full price for a redo, it's not worth retail imho. However goddess goes for a bit because of her new role in the comics and some folks just love them some strawberry Hordak. So demand Val is also intrinsic to the individual. Some of my friends don't believe that this line will ever tank fully in secondary market value, but as with most lines that end they do inevitably dry up a bit at first. I,e,.. World of Springfield Simpsons and most star wars lines.
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    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    What drives value of MOTUC?
    The need...the need for speed!

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    Heroic Warrior MaxPower's Avatar
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    When you mentioned the Fused Sword I immediately thought of two other rare items.

    IMP Chest goes for around $25.00 on Ebay... it is rare and SDCC exclusive.

    Also there was a GOLDEN POWER SWORD accessory with the He Man DVD Box set. I don't know how much that goes for but it is part of the Classics line.


    I think it is just a drive to be complete. Complete is in the eye of the beholder. You don't need bronze King Grayskull to be complete if you have another version of that same character... to some.
    But for Shadow Weaver that is the ONLY way to get that character. So even though she has a higher quantity of figures made she is rarer as a character to own. If you were to combine all the versions of King Grayskull it would greatly outnumber Shadow Weaver.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior
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    Let's not forget nostalgia as a factor. Nor should we forget that the sub arrangement came in way after the line started. The sub forced us into different buying habits. For example, if we wanted figures for army building, it meant buying more subs because we couldn't rely on DOS availability. This has resulted in hoarding - not completely through choice but necessity.

    In the early days it wasn't clear if we'd even see six figures in total. The approach to collecting has shifted since then. Remember how we used to think of MOTUC in terms of factions? Well we still have our favourites, but we've generally mellowed into more completist territory.

    I have over two hundred unopened boxes. Some of those include the rare ones, but a good chunk of those are ones I don't rate particularly highly. I didn't acquire them with the aim of selling on, but all the extras from the subs mean I may do that eventually.

    But it won't be until years after the line ends. I don't really see the point in trying to sell right now. And no, Teela, Fisto and the other scarce ones won't be sold, because they're the ones I have least of, so my position matches the rarity situation we're talking about here.

    I still firmly believe that reissues are needed and would make a mint for Mattel. And if that happens, we'll have to completely re-evaluate what's rare and what isn't.
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  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior whitespyders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    It is BOTH rarity and demand. However, I think rarity trumps demand. There will be a figure/character that seemingly few people really care about until they find out it's rare. For example, Baby Skeletor usually sells for $150+. I know it's not MOTUC, but it's a perfect example showing people often want something because it is rare.

    Now I personally like Baby Skeletor, but I know there was a lot of talk against it.
    Baby Skelly is awesome!
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior Spikor1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonOfHeMan View Post
    I think you might be overestimating this factor. From everything we know, the vast majority of subscribers only have one sub. Sure, there's plenty of people on this board with multiples, but we are the hardest of the hardcore.
    I actually think lots of subbers have more than one, they all did it to 'help the sub go through' there are probably as many that have one sub as those that have more than one.
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior CanadaClassics's Avatar
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    I am amazed how many figures are moving into the $100 club...now STINKOR????

    I was actually going to pick up a set of four cases and put my four favorites (Tung Lashor / Scorpia / Stinkor and Spikor) into them on display in my toy room...but not for $100 for Stinkor!

    ...as much as everyone may have their favorites...the VINTAGE 80's figures are what drives this line...which is really not going to be good when sub time comes up very soon...there are none left...unless Matty changes its expectations in selling the new 2016 line...whatever is shown at SDCC will be the final figures...
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    It's funny how having just a few extra examples of a figure for sale on ebay can drive prices much lower, though. Prices are pretty volatile.
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  20. #20
    Widget Morgan's Avatar
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    Sought after characters
    Limited quantities
    Limited availability

    That should drive prices up nicely.

  21. #21
    Court Magician BeholdtheVision's Avatar
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    As a new collector, it is extremely daunting to even try to complete one faction. I've decided the only faction I even have a shot at finishing is PoP, but it's just so hard to get some of them at a reasonable price. Any advice for me?

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior SonOfHeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeholdtheVision View Post
    As a new collector, it is extremely daunting to even try to complete one faction. I've decided the only faction I even have a shot at finishing is PoP, but it's just so hard to get some of them at a reasonable price. Any advice for me?
    I know this topic has been covered before in more detail (maybe someone can find a link?), but the main thing is PATIENCE. You can go out right now and drop a bunch of money on eBay, but if you're patient, you will find much better deals. Keep an eye on the marketplace here on this board. Also, check out some of the Facebook groups (like Colleck-Tor) that allow sales. Check any local toy/comic shops that might be in your area, as the demand in your local area might be lower (and therefore prices lower). Be prepared to buy big lots instead of lots of individual figures. The overall price per figure will be much lower, and you can sell/trade any extras if you want.

  23. #23
    Court Magician BeholdtheVision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonOfHeMan View Post
    I know this topic has been covered before in more detail (maybe someone can find a link?), but the main thing is PATIENCE. You can go out right now and drop a bunch of money on eBay, but if you're patient, you will find much better deals. Keep an eye on the marketplace here on this board. Also, check out some of the Facebook groups (like Colleck-Tor) that allow sales. Check any local toy/comic shops that might be in your area, as the demand in your local area might be lower (and therefore prices lower). Be prepared to buy big lots instead of lots of individual figures. The overall price per figure will be much lower, and you can sell/trade any extras if you want.
    Yeah, I am kind of distraught because I lost the perfectvauction and it feels like I'll never have such a good chance again. How does the marketplace woek- do you just use PayPal and pm adressses?

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