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Thread: Toys As An Investment?

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    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    Toys As An Investment?

    Okay, the article is probably a no-brainer (though it rambles a bit), but the thing is... I really did see somebody running a TOYS FOR GOLD business. So you know, this could be an interesting discussion - what does everybody else think?


    http://nerditis.com/2013/05/29/life-...nvest-in-toys/

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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    With the right items sure, I actually run a toy store so for the past 13 years the prices people will pay for certain items is beyond amazing. But of course you have to know what to buy just like any investment
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    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    I don't consider them to be potential investments unless on low clearance prices. Even then, they take up a lot of space and are hard to move.

    On the other hand, it isn't hard to outdo the measly interest rate that banks offer. So, no; I don't consider them to be among the list of great investment ideas.
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    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    Yeah, you can make it your business, but you'd need to be willing to invest the necessary time and money.

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    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    I got boxes and boxes of Toy Biz's Weapon X Wolverine action figures. These things are better than diamond rings! My future financial security is set!

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    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    LOL. Actually, he turned out better than I thought he would. He was a bigtime pegwarmer back in the day; not so easy to get now. I had to settle for a loose one. Corsair was another one. Some of the more common figures from the 90s are not that bad after all.


    Anyway, I tend to view them as lottery tickets. Here is a figure I got for a $1 at TJ Maxx lol.



    Like any other scatch off, he probably won't be worth squat. But I'm willing to "risk" picking them up for that price--since it's not much of a risk at all.
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    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    You also have to factor in the opportunity cost of things like storage or moving expenses.

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    Heroic Warrior Soulgem's Avatar
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    Well, back when Kenner started making Star Wars figures again in the 90s, all the kids who had grown up with the movies were suddenly adult fans - and collectors. They bought multiples of everything, stored it, and completely destroying any potential value. It also mattered that the toys were awful.
    This was also the case for the staction period, when McFarlane toys was all the rage. You can probably get MOC figures now all the way down to series 1 for less than $10.

    I believe we all know what makes something valuable (true - not constructed rarity and quality), so it's really hard to know in advance what's an investment.

    But Lego seems to always increase in price. Sometimes a bit, sometimes a lot.

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    These were $150 and $100 at release.
    Take a look on ebay what they are now.

    Yes, toys can be an investment.
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    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    You also have to factor in the opportunity cost of things like storage or moving expenses.
    The cool thing is you get exposure to different universes that you knew nothing about. So that kind of offsets some of the cost.

    While everyone around you is screaming about the 945th stormtrooper figure that's been produced (and sounding like they're 90 years old in the process), you're out checking out new franchises and seeing what some of the kids today might be into. Very happy I picked up the Redakai figures at Big Lots
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    Evil Collapsing Robot! Zodach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil.Pastel View Post
    I don't consider them to be potential investments unless on low clearance prices.
    Some of the best investments I made were at full price though. You have to be willing to spend a little more sometimes to get the best return on your investment.

  11. #11
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zodach View Post
    Some of the best investments I made were at full price though. You have to be willing to spend a little more sometimes to get the best return on your investment.

    High risk, high reward. It's all a matter of strategy. There's no right or wrong way to do it.
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    Casual Fan slackrguy's Avatar
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    I think if a person is meticulous about preserving the condition of an item, then maybe in the long-term it will pay off.

    Sometimes it seems like the short sell may be more profitable than waiting. A strike while the iron is hot kind of thing.
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    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackrguy View Post
    Sometimes it seems like the short sell may be more profitable than waiting. A strike while the iron is hot kind of thing.
    I think this is particularly true for many toys/collectibles today. MOTUC is a great example. Figures like Spirit of Hordak and Strobo are going for a lot right now due to their temporary and artificial scarcity. I have a feeling once more of them are on the market, their prices will go down.

    I think this even applies to somewhat older MOTUC figures like Teela and Whiplash that are going for more. While the line isn't as 'hot' as it once was, more people have gradually become aware of it, trying to build a collection, so some of those well known characters that were either never reissued or whose reissues are also no longer available have gone up in price.

    But I think some time after the line eventually ends, you will have people who dump their collections because they don't consider simply having a collection to be 'fun' if there's nothing more to add to it (I don't fully understand this mentality, but there are people who have it), or who just get bored with it and decide they no longer need it. The combination of the line 'cooling off' and some people no longer wanting their figures will bring prices down on several of them, I think.

    There may be a few that hold a larger value. I can see Shadow Weaver and Bronze King Grayskull continuing to command higher prices.

    But if you look at the 200X line, aside from a few harder to find figures like Keldor, Faker, and Snake Armor He-Man, most of the figures from that line can be found rather cheap, including the secondary characters that were often hard to find at retail.


    I think this is going to continue to be the case with many modern collectibles, where aside from a few truly rare items, most of those that ever come to command a high value will only do so during a temporary situation where the item or line is 'hot' and the item in question is scarce compared to the demand. But when things cool off, it's pretty much all over short of something else coming along to stir interest back up... and even then it can be hit and miss as to which items will even command a high value when the property becomes hot again (i.e. certain MOTUC figures commanding high values now while their 200X counterparts do not).
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    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    Let's just say that all the $100 D&D minis are now worth maybe $20-$30, except for those gigantic figures that were inconvenient for stores to stock.

    Yeah, timing is everything.

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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    I think this is particularly true for many toys/collectibles today. MOTUC is a great example. Figures like Spirit of Hordak and Strobo are going for a lot right now due to their temporary and artificial scarcity. I have a feeling once more of them are on the market, their prices will go down.

    I think this even applies to somewhat older MOTUC figures like Teela and Whiplash that are going for more. While the line isn't as 'hot' as it once was, more people have gradually become aware of it, trying to build a collection, so some of those well known characters that were either never reissued or whose reissues are also no longer available have gone up in price.

    But I think some time after the line eventually ends, you will have people who dump their collections because they don't consider simply having a collection to be 'fun' if there's nothing more to add to it (I don't fully understand this mentality, but there are people who have it), or who just get bored with it and decide they no longer need it. The combination of the line 'cooling off' and some people no longer wanting their figures will bring prices down on several of them, I think.

    There may be a few that hold a larger value. I can see Shadow Weaver and Bronze King Grayskull continuing to command higher prices.

    But if you look at the 200X line, aside from a few harder to find figures like Keldor, Faker, and Snake Armor He-Man, most of the figures from that line can be found rather cheap, including the secondary characters that were often hard to find at retail.


    I think this is going to continue to be the case with many modern collectibles, where aside from a few truly rare items, most of those that ever come to command a high value will only do so during a temporary situation where the item or line is 'hot' and the item in question is scarce compared to the demand. But when things cool off, it's pretty much all over short of something else coming along to stir interest back up... and even then it can be hit and miss as to which items will even command a high value when the property becomes hot again (i.e. certain MOTUC figures commanding high values now while their 200X counterparts do not).
    Yeah you just proved my earlier point, those same principles and conditions apply to the stock market as well (when news hits stocks jump and people sell for great profit) as well as any kind of market (whether it be real estate, stocks, investments, art, etc).

    So to me its no different then any other for profit profession, you have to know what you are doing, have a good sense of the market and have a little luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil.Pastel View Post
    High risk, high reward. It's all a matter of strategy. There's no right or wrong way to do it.
    Well there is a wrong way to do it, if you do it long enough you at least learn what NOT to buy in certain lines
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  16. #16
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Well there is a wrong way to do it, if you do it long enough you at least learn what NOT to buy in certain lines
    LOL. You have to understand the line you are collecting from. It isn't a terrible idea to buy Masterpiece Transformers at regular price (as far as I know), but it's a really bad idea to pay full price for Bot Shots at TRU

    I agree with Dynamo; with MOTUC, it seems like you basically have an aging fan base. So the number of people who want them is more likely to go down than up. And since they cost pretty much (compared to say a $6 clearance Lion-O), your losses can mount in a hurry.
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  17. #17
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    Sealed Lego sets. After they retire, they can go for big bucks a few years later.

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    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Most toys made from the early 90s and onward have no value and usually don't go for more than original retail- without even a price bump for inflation. If it sold for $5 back then, expect it to go for $5 today. Rarer stuff that sold poorly can be hard to find, but still might not command any great retail value because it's hard to get a high price when maybe 2 or 3 people are nostalgic over it and it may be years before you can sell the thing.

  20. #20
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    Most toys made from the early 90s and onward have no value and usually don't go for more than original retail- without even a price bump for inflation. If it sold for $5 back then, expect it to go for $5 today. Rarer stuff that sold poorly can be hard to find, but still might not command any great retail value because it's hard to get a high price when maybe 2 or 3 people are nostalgic over it and it may be years before you can sell the thing.

    Which is exactly why they only qualify as potential investments on clearance

    If you picked up Toy Biz X-men for $2 -- and I remember buying a lot of them for $2 at Odd Lots, LOL -- you didn't have much to lose. Same goes for swamp thing, cadillacs and dinosaurs, tick, biker mice, and a million other lines that collected dust.

    I know there's a comic shop near my house that sells the early Spawn figures for like $8
    Last edited by Phil.Pastel; May 29, 2013 at 11:22pm.
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  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    The toys for gold guy is very angry with me. He just made the argument that "Trading gold (value) for toys (no value) is no different than trading money (value) for toys (no value.)"

    And like... I know WHY what he said is wrong, but I can't seem to actually put it in words. Help, here. We have somebody who's not doing anythig illegal, but it's very unethical and is taking advantage of innocent people, including friends of mine.

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior atlas0413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    Okay, the article is probably a no-brainer (though it rambles a bit), but the thing is... I really did see somebody running a TOYS FOR GOLD business. So you know, this could be an interesting discussion - what does everybody else think?


    http://nerditis.com/2013/05/29/life-...nvest-in-toys/
    I love this article, it sums up my sentiments exactly.

    I purchase toys because i want to "play with them", you know - pose them, look at them etc. I aso prefer to buy moc and then open them up so i have nice clean toys. Heck, even rare expensive stuff i have opened up inc. Bronze KG, The bulls from the 4H, and ALL my motuc. Everything gets opened.
    Seeing how a lot of people have this mentality that they can make money by keeping and selling toys later it just means that later there will be more of them moc so having the reverse effect with the value going down.

    There is a guy here in Australia that keeps telling me MOTUC is his child's university fund. He has been hoarding it all and i expect when the line ends he will be getting an unpleasant surprise as prices drop.

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlas0413 View Post
    There is a guy here in Australia that keeps telling me MOTUC is his child's university fund. He has been hoarding it all and i expect when the line ends he will be getting an unpleasant surprise as prices drop.
    This just blows my mind. He should look at how the 200X figures are doing on the secondary market. There's nothing really worth "investing" in because, over time, the market will dry up as collectors die off. The only real way to make money is by flipping - buy stuff cheap for $ that you know is worth $$$.
    Hey, if you want to wallow in the negative, go nuts. Sure, things arenít absolutely perfect, and people passionate about a property can get all keyed up about things. But I donít collect toys to be miserable. So Iíd rather think about the things that do excite me
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  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    I'd feel sorry for his child... but he's got toys to play with!

    But I feel sorry for him.

  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior atlas0413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    I'd feel sorry for his child... but he's got toys to play with!

    But I feel sorry for him.
    Yeah, I never thought about that, this kid is going to have an AWESOME time, he's going to have 2 or 3 full sets of MOTUC to bash around. All my girls got was he-man, she-ra and the Black Friday sale throwaways (but they love them all the same).

    I must admit though that I have one or two toys that I have held onto that are rare and worth a silly amount of money now, but can't seem to let them go.

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