Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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Crumm
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Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Crumm »

Hi all.

I started collecting seriously about four years ago after harbouring the desire to do so for about 10 years before that (Thought about it a lot, just never got around to getting started, too busy with work, having a kid etc.).

Anyway, when I first started up I knew there would be "sticking point" figures from a price perspective, ones that it would take me longer to acquire (Mostly some of the last 17, Luke Stormtrooper, Pop-up R2D2, Yak, Amanaman etc.).

Which was fine, I was fully prepared to enter this as a marathon and not a sprint. However, with how things are just lately, I am starting to think that my loose run will never be completed, which is a bit of a shame really.

My question to you guys is: Do you think we are currently in a price bubble due to worldwide circumstances? do you think things will level out or even come back down once lockdowns lift and life gets more back to normal?

How do you see the future of our hobby panning out? will the genuine collectors now be permanently priced out?

What are your thoughts on the exhorbitant prices? do you think that when toy-fairs re-open their doors we will be able to find bargains again etc?

Part of the problem I can forsee is that if someone has paid the huge amounts which figures are currently changing hands at, then surely they won't want re-sell at less? which will keep the prices high?

There will always be a market for Vintage, it just makes me wonder where it will go.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts guys.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by maxf »

The world is in an asset bubble - not just Star Wars.... look at street art, guitars, vintage watches, classic cars, houses etc etc. Money is cheap at the moment and the middle aged workers now have more disposable income and are spending it.

Bubbles don’t necessarily have to pop, I think this one will keep going - some things will deflate slightly and ebb and flow, but the people who think there will be a big pop are generally the ones hoping for one.

So, Star Wars might deflate a bit, but not a chance we’ll go back to 2014 levels imo.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by TheJabbaWookie »

Prices are crazy. Star Wars tracker shows that a mint loose 96 run was approx £3.9K just before lockdown, down from £4.5K at peak prices in May 2017. However, the same run is approximately £6.5-7.5K now with prices escalating all the time.

There are a few factors for this:
- people with greater disposable income as they are unable to go on holiday, go to the pub, restaurants etc
- people with more time on their hands as they are on furlough or are away from the prying eyes of their boss so can afford to watch the live auctions and search eBay
- people aren’t able to go to toy fairs, echo live, farthest from so are missing buying and have excess cash they would of saved up throughout the year
- a new group of people have entered the hobby during lockdown and due to the above three points have excess money and time on their hands, are unaware of market prices, have a want everything now mentality and are willing to spend whatever without researching it and are being taken advantage of by sellers and traders

I reckon this is unsustainable in the long term and we will see prices come down eventually.

Do I think they’ll come down to pre-lockdown prices?
Don’t think so, so we’d better get used to paying £210 for a Warok :lol: :cry:
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Robstyley »

Crumm wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:49 pm
Anyway, when I first started up I knew there would be "sticking point" figures from a price perspective, ones that it would take me longer to acquire (Mostly some of the last 17, Luke Stormtrooper, Pop-up R2D2, Yak, Amanaman etc.).

Which was fine, I was fully prepared to enter this as a marathon and not a sprint. However, with how things are just lately, I am starting to think that my loose run will never be completed, which is a bit of a shame really.
Mate I feel for you. It would be tough starting now or even just short the last 17 if going for a full set. I started collecting 12 years ago and acquired my loose set slowly over a long time. The prices started to get a bit crazy as I was nearing the end but still had several last 17 to get. I remember paying £180 for a mint Yak with no weapon and thinking, this is serious money now. It’s all hindsight, I should have gone for some of them earlier. Saying that I paid peanuts for EV9 and a couple of others and only £90 for a complete mint Gunner, the blaster is that price now. I could have bought a mint Blue Snag in 2014 for £150... I passed. I still need a lightsaber for Pop up R2 and a Warok bow so it’s not 100% finished. I prob won’t find them because of the price, unless I’m very lucky. This has been discussed a lot, it’s supply and demand. A lot of new guys collecting, thousands and thousands more than 5 years ago. These items have run out, they are all in collections. Some of these items and accessories just won’t come up for sale that often. Therefore when they do big money is asked. The explosion of Facebook groups and new selling formats also adds to the increased exposure and competition for sales. What I had to do and my advice would be, be patient. I had to pick up a few figures without accessories or buy complete just for an accessory then sell the rest on. Hustle a bit, buy and sell etc, but you can get there. I don’t expect prices to come down but they must plateau, at some point. I’ve always been able to find something to collect that’s fun and affordable. Like cardbacks 👍
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Diamond76 »

Yes the prices will come down.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by theforceuk »

Diamond76 wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:42 pm
Yes the prices will come down.
I agree pretty much why I'm not buying much at the moment.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Wreck-It Ralph »

I think there is a chance there could be a price correction in the future as most working people and even some of those that have been furloughed are in a position where they have more disposable income, I would imagine if things normalise and people are able to go on holiday or go to restaraunts that will take some of the heat out of the market as people will be spending their money on hospitality and travel and will therefore have less to spend on toys.

If the Furlough scheme ends in September as is planned then we may see a rise in unemployment, this could start in July as employers will have to pay 10% of Furlough rising to 20% in August and September. We are already seeing a permanent negative effect on retail combined with offices working from home which will take its effect on hospitality especially within the city centres.

So if all of the above happens then yes prices could drop. It’s important to remember that not everything has increased there have been some significant drops in some collectible cars and certain types of older art.

I think the loose figure market is tough as the majority of items are sold publicly which means benchmarks are constantly being set resulting in rising prices. No one has a clue in the MOC market as the majority of sales are private which means prices could actually be going down and no one would know!
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Diamond76 »

theforceuk wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:05 pm
Diamond76 wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:42 pm
Yes the prices will come down.
I agree pretty much why I'm not buying much at the moment.
It’s very sensible to keep the old wallet closed. I am just buying the retro collection new from SWAF.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by lejackal »

I had little appetite for a loose run at 3k, I really don’t want one at 7k :lol:

Honestly though, the current state of the market has had me on the verge of selling up completely (not for the cash, I’ve nothing of value really) but because it’s getting silly. How I feel now is probably how the longer term collectors felt circa 2012/14 when twats like me entered the market. The irony of that isn’t lost on me.

I’ve thinned my Star Wars stuff down to one shelf, I’ve bought other childhood favourites and rekindled my love for Transformers (thanks Netflix). I’m also enjoying retro gaming a good bit and whilst there have been increases in all the areas I enjoy I find for the most part I can still get stuff I want at reasonable prices.

None of which answers the question so I’ll have to say yes, I think we’re in a bit of a bubble, however, no more be who has spunked the aforementioned 7k on a loose run is going to want a loss when they sell.

Oh, and in case they’re reading this:

paying 80 quid for a stormtrooper isn’t clever, it makes you a fucking moron and the seller a greedy cunt

Happy Tuesday everyone
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by Wreck-It Ralph »

I think it is important to remember that lots of people are not thinking straight at the moment due to the mental strain caused by the Pandemic, even if you have not been affected financially by the Pandemic most people have had their everyday life turned upside down with home schooling, long periods of social isolation from friends and family with the only escape being online. How these vast changes to our social structure affect our behaviour is unknown, some people will save for the veiled storm which may lay ahead others will Spend, Spend, Spend as it is their way of coping with the current situation. People are very unpredictable at the moment, I would not make any permanent decisions on your collection until the Pandemic ends as only then you will know whether we are in a bubble or whether this is the new normal.
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by edd_jedi »

Despite the fact many of you are aware I do not like high prices, I think it's also worth mentioning that it's easy to assume that everyone paying these high prices are lazy rich people who want things NOW and are willing to pay whatever it takes, and yes there are a few of those, but I know a lot of people (myself included) who have on occasion paid high prices for things because they were desperate to own them. Many collectors make sacrifices to buy these expensive pieces, whether that be selling other things to offset the cost, driving a 15 year old car like me, or missing holidays etc.

So I just want to point out that you can still be a 'genuine collector' and pay high prices for things. There are some items in my collection that I wouldn't sell for any price, even though in today's market I could probably make 10x what I paid for them. I don't think that makes me greedy or selfish, I just love the items and want to keep them. I also bet there are people who really want to keep things, but are made offers they cannot refuse due to their circumstances (if/when times get tough for me, the collection will be the first thing to go.)
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by edd_jedi »

To answer your question, I've been collecting for over 25 years now and generally prices have steadily risen. However knowledge is power in this hobby, as there are things that have stalled or even fallen in price over the years, so you can't generalise and say all Star Wars collectables have risen rapidly in value. In fact I would hazard a guess that with inflation taken into account, a loose Yak Face is probably worth about the same now as it was in the 90s? The equivalent of £50-100 back then.

And nobody really knows what will happen in the future. It's been widely publicised that Elvis memorabilia is dropping in value because of the age of the people who collected it (many are now passing away, and there is not a new generation buying it.) Star Wars will only continue to grow if current collectors and Disney continue to nurture the 'new breed.' Otherwise, it will die with us!
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by jayums »

I reckon there will always be demand for minty Mocs and MISBs, and other harder to find stuff. They are pop culture history and there will always be enough collectors for genuine rarities and the cream of the crop.

Another question is how long will the things survive. The idea that they've been around for 40 years and still look fine is a fallacy as plastic degrading so far as the eye can see can happen relatively rapidly (just research early plastic items held in museums!), although I guess they might well out last modern figures which are made of much more easily biodegradeable plastics.

Most loosies might be in demand, but there really isn't a shortage of supply. I can't remember not being able to find a figure that I wanted for sale somewhere. IMO I cannot see loose prices holding up over the next couple of decades. The childhood connection plays a big part in collecting and I've not met many vintage SW collectors who weren't children of the 70/80s. The safest thing to do is to pay what something is worth to you and how much pleasure you will get from owning it in the here and now. If you buy something and then feel guilty or worry about money, or fret about what it could be worth in 20 years, that sounds like a rather depressing hobby to me!
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by theforceuk »

edd_jedi wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:54 am
Despite the fact many of you are aware I do not like high prices, I think it's also worth mentioning that it's easy to assume that everyone paying these high prices are lazy rich people who want things NOW and are willing to pay whatever it takes, and yes there are a few of those, but I know a lot of people (myself included) who have on occasion paid high prices for things because they were desperate to own them. Many collectors make sacrifices to buy these expensive pieces, whether that be selling other things to offset the cost, driving a 15 year old car like me, or missing holidays etc.

So I just want to point out that you can still be a 'genuine collector' and pay high prices for things. There are some items in my collection that I wouldn't sell for any price, even though in today's market I could probably make 10x what I paid for them. I don't think that makes me greedy or selfish, I just love the items and want to keep them. I also bet there are people who really want to keep things, but are made offers they cannot refuse due to their circumstances (if/when times get tough for me, the collection will be the first thing to go.)
£80 for a stormtrooper is still bonkers!
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Re: Do you think we are currently in a bubble?

Post by edd_jedi »

theforceuk wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:14 pm
£80 for a stormtrooper is still bonkers!
Yes agreed that would definitely fall into the lazy/impatient/rich category!
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