The AiPT! staff discusses the prices of toys and collectibles.
The price of toys is always a hot topic. These days there is something out there for every collector, young and old. The big question is how big is your wallet to get what your heart desires? You can hit up a Target and grab something simple as a Funko Pop! or a higher value collectible from NECA. Online is where you will find the heavy hitters ranging from replica props to expensive but attractive statues.
The sky is the limit as long as you have the cash. I have seen people purchase a collectible over paying a bill, which left me asking “What the hell are you thinking?” People do crazy things. We all do when it comes to collecting. So I asked:
What are your thoughts on the price of toys and collectibles today? Quality demands a price. Does the price persuade you from many purchases? And how do accessories play a part?
Dave: This is a tough question since I think what you’re willing to pay varies based on what is available, but also quality. I’ve bought a few Hot Toys figures that are $100 or even $200 plus in price. The quality is insane. Both were figures you can’t get anywhere else so the price was right. But then, if you have a Marvel Legends figure for $20 that’s about as good as something you can get for $80 it’s a no brainer to go for the cheaper model.
A good example of price differences around one figure is the Thor: Ragnarok Hulk. I did a lot of research and the character is being made from a variety of companies. The funny thing is they’re all nearly the same generally in the look, but the quality is so different. Hot Toyz has one, Marvel Select has one, and Mezco Toyz as well just to name three. Across these I did some research and the Mezco figure was the winner because the cloth and leather quality was so good and the price was far less than other models (though it was still high). For $120 dollars that Hulk seemed worth it even if you can get a rather cool looking, but slightly unfinished in comparison version from Marvel Select. The price is $100 dollars more than the Select, but it just looks so much better in comparison.
It has gotten to the point where expectations are so high for higher priced toys I’m not sure how these companies continue to profit. When Hot Toyz puts out a $200+ dollar Wonder Woman with no seams but about the same size as a regular figure you have to look at it because it’s changing the game. It’s not so much about the accessories anymore, but about the realism. Toys more than ever look realistic and even lower priced brands like Marvel Legends institute a laser cut technology that can make their toys look like the actors. Just look at the Ant-Man figure and you’ll see.
Forrest: For me, it’s all about aesthetic and functionality. Hyper-real human figures quickly fall into the uncanny valley and I feel weird about having, let alone posing, a statue or figure that looks exactly like Paul Rudd, Ant-Man gear notwithstanding, in my house so I’m not out here fiending for $200-500 pieces. But, if a manufacturer can capture the look or feel of something unique and in high quality, like NECA’s line of Xenomorphs based on Kenner’s original creations — sure, I’ll shell out some cash for them, anywhere from $20-150. Especially so, because in that case they’re well sculpted, menacing, and a hell of a lot more sturdy than their Kenner ancestors. The same goes for the newer waves of Marvel Legends, Play Arts Kai, etc.
The more unique, posable, and unlikely a figure is to be made, the more I’m drawn to it. Similarly, I’m aware that manufactures won’t keep making those kinds of items if customers inclined like myself won’t keep paying for them, so I overdraw my account to support the craft. That means picking up multiples of some Marvel Legends characters because I like the different costumes (I have both X-23s), keeping an eye on whatever iteration of Godzilla is out, refreshing Square Enix’s site for the newest Final Fantasy Kais, and whatever else catches my fancy.
It’s fun and rewarding busywork to track down and eventually see that somewhere someone has decided your favorite one-shot costume is worthy of a figure, you might as well be willing to support that decision so they keep being made. It doesn’t hurt that most of them (if you’re picking the right manufacturers like Dave highlighted above) look absolutely fantastic lining your walls.
Dog: I wouldn’t really call myself a toy collector. I got into comics through the ’90s trading cards (a more common story that I’d at first thought), which I’d spread out in front of me to see all the different, cool characters and what their aesthetics were like matched up with each other.
Now that we live in the golden age of super hero figures, it’s pretty much the same for me. I just want some example of as many of my favorite characters as possible, so I can put them all together. Sometimes my faves are still too obscure for that (poor Swarm!), but sometimes I have to choose.
And I usually end up choosing whatever’s cheapest. It’s weird; I gripe about Taskmaster’s cape or the re-use of Marvel Legends weapons, but these figures are still of a quality I couldn’t have dreamed of when I was a teenager. And for only 20 bucks! What’s there to complain about?
Maybe it’s that, if it were feasible, I’d prefer to buy statues. I know that idea gets a lot of hate around here, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not imaginative enough to do anything interesting with action figures. Give me a nicely sculpted chunk of plastic with an artistic vision and call it a day!
But man are those things expensive. That’s why I like Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery statues. Good quality, reasonable size, and only $45. I say that though I don’t yet own any, but Carnage is coming soon, and that blade hand is calling to me.
So honestly, what I do most often is combine my lack of imagination and my cheapness and just get some Heroclix. WizKids thinks outside the box and does make a lot of niche characters for their collectible miniatures game, and the common ones you can pick up for less than a buck. I’m a simple man, with a small living room! And I can make cool groups like this!
David H: The price of a toy/collectible is usually the first thing that I look at. I love my collections, but I have too many. I like video games, comics, DVDs, and toys. So I definitely base my purchases on pricing first. There are moments when there is something I absolutely have to have and will splurge, but its rare.
Accessories are a big factor for me as well. I love the Marvel Legends series, but I want cool accessories in the package that I’m about to drop $20.00. The BAF isn’t a big deal to me, I want items that belong to the respective characters. A good example is Domino. I grabbed her when Deadpool 2 released and she came with two purple guns. Purple guns? Couldn’t they have been black or silver? Minor gripes, but I like a bit of realism too.
I am a big Star Wars collector and have had to calm myself down a lot from buying repeat figures. Some were nice to have a couple of times, but now it is pretty much the same peg-warmers that wouldn’t sell sealed into the latest movie release packaging. I’m not biting on that!
Quality will always demand a premium. I just do my best to pick up the pieces that I will know in the future I will be happy to have. I no longer jump on the hottest piece because everyone wants one only for the value to end up plummeting. Collect on your own terms!