I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

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I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by General Kahn on Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:18 pm

I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

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The hobby has entered a new era which has left it some what divided, the old and the new. The arrival of new films, new fans, new collectors, illogical collecting and an ever present lack of of knowledge has created a mixing pot of craziness stirred into being by the catalyst that is.... Social Media.

This has been a subject that has risen many times over the last couple of years and has been the focus of some of my recent posts, so I figured that I would expand on this over a series of post which can explore this from different angles.

I addressed the practise of illogical collecting methods here:

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I also addressed the craziness of overspending here:

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Much of the hike in price has clearly been driven by the 'WOW Factor' how many likes a photo of a figure can get has become more important than what the figure in the photo represents. It has become like a drug and Facebook offers an almost instant 'hit' which continues to keep giving as long as people keep hitting 'Like' but eventually the page drowns out the post with new posts and the drug wears off, and a new hit is required, maybe a year or so down the line FB will dredge up the 'memory' and a new wave of likes will flood in as a kind of flash back of a figure probably no longer even owned by the original like junkie. It's a Dark time for the hobby..... But it doesn't have to be!!! What a Face

Everytime I see a figure sell for some ludicrous amount I've found my self saying 'Wow' a lot also but from a different angle, the Alternate WOW Factor! This is where I think back to how much I paid for mine and in many respects the circumstances involving the purchase. I have found that often, the story has been quite interesting, so I figured I'd share a couple with you all and hopefully you guys will share some of your own bargain stories here Very Happy

Patience and knowledge have always been a key factor for me and it has paid off several times and at no real expense to myself.

R5-D4 (Red Bar Variant)

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  • Recent Sale Prices - £175, £192, £217


  • My Price - £6.50


The Story - This figure has become one of the newest to jump into the collecting spotlight and as can be seen above, the recent sales prices are quite insane! I purchased my figure probably about 5 or so years ago now in quite an annoying way. The figures history is a little unknow, we know that it appears to have been a later ROTJ rtelease and in my opinion probably exists in a similar way to the hollow cheeks Tusken Raider, released later on and there fore in fewer numbers.
At the time of my purchase, the variant was known and definately difficult to find, but was also reasonably unknown to an extent which meant that a keen eye could potentially snap one up that had gone unnoticed.
One day I was browsing ebay and had seen a figure of interest and susequently checked the sellers other items and there he was..... one problem, the seller had two R5's for sale and he had used the same picture for both! Both where £6.50 and I only had enough change in my paypal for one (embarrassing I know but I'm broke!) I felt I had to act fast but didn't want to quizz the seller as to which was which as it might have triggered a curiosity and him realising what he had! I was pretty confident that he didn't have two as this was very unlikely so I simply to a gamble and hit buy it now on one of them. It was quite an interesting couyple of days wondering if it would be the one or not when it turned up and thankfully it was and the one from the picture Smile A bit faded and yellowed but it is what it is and it was £6.50 Very Happy

Snowtrooper (The So-Called YPS Figure)

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  • Recent Sales Prices - £106, £115, £170, £182 - Action Force Gun Recent Sales Prices - £66, £80


  • My Price for the two pictured - £4.99


The Story - This figure has also been a high flyer of recent months and a must have regardless of the price 'Wow' figure. There is a local auction house in my home town called Dugglebys and a friend of mine was a regular visitor to the fortnightly sales. One Thursday I recieved a message from her saying that there was some Star Wars stuff there. I figured I'd give it look but didn't expect much at all. The web pic was grainy and didn't reveal much, just 3 boxes with what appeared to be dirty incomplete vehicles. I could see a couple of figures though so figured it was worth a look and only round the corner from my work so the next day I went to the viewing. First thing I saw when I looked in the box was a minty complete China Luke Farmboy, then a Minty complete Obi-Wan.... I soon realised that most of the figures where mint and there were weapons and accessories all over the place, so I did a quick sum up and figured out a price which seemed good to me. That price was £70 and oddly that is the price I paid, well £75 with the comission.
When I got it all home I realised that I had hit gold really, most of thde vehicles where actually pretty much complete and there where some hidden gems, which included the two PBP Snowtroopers pictured above, both minty and with the correct capes and Kenner rifles. The one on the left is literally pure white!
I ended up adding all the vehicles and 25 figures (some missing variants and some upgrades) and also a tone of spare weapons to my collection. All the left over spares I sold for £100 making everything I added basically free, but if you want to disgregard the resale, each item in the box would have worked out at less than a pound.
The Action Force rifle I bought seperately, I simply searched at the source in Action force sales on ebay for a few months, eventually one turned up with no mention of Star Wars and it was £4.99 for the opening bid, I bid and no one else did so that is what I paid Very Happy so basically that became the overall price for the two Wink

Boba Fett (Tri-Logo Painted Knee, Painted Dart)

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  • Recent Sale Prices - £192, £205


  • My Price - FREE


The Story - Boba Fett is a desirable character and has always demanded a slight premium, but in recent years, a high premium and the Tri-Logo's have gone through the roof. My example here is the best I've ever seen, card fresh with limbs that have never ever moved and he cost nothing in theory, the reason? He was part of the same auction as described above What a Face

Boba Fett (Taiwan Painted Helmet)

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  • Previous Sale Prices - £900


  • My Price - £40


The Story - This makes me cringe every time I think of it to be honest. Everyone is aware of the infamous LL RR Fett and it was long rummured that a similar thing happened with Tri-Logo Fett's... Well it didn't and only a mere handful exist in the form of non sonic welded factory errors.
Every month I used to have a small budget for Star Wars toys when I got paid, so naturally on the lead up to pay day I'd be looking for things to buy.... trouble is, all the best stuff seems to turn up when I have no cash so I was forever finding myself asking sellers if they didn't mind waiting a few days until payday. My absolute limit was 2 weeks and it was a rpersonal rule I didn't usually break. There was one seller on ebay who didn't mind me doing this and even said he wasn't fussed how long because he knew I was good for it. Anyway, one day I happened to find this chap selling a Tri Fett and one I needed for the paint variations, but it was a week after payday and my budget was gone. It was another 3 weeks before I got paid again. Damn!!! I knew he would mind but I had my rule so I stuck it out, checking everyday to see if it was still there. Back then £40 was a still a reasonably cheap price for a Tri Fett  we're only talking a few years especially considering the condition was excellent. If it would have been the painted dart or unpainted knee figures it would have surely gone.
So I checked everyday for a week and on the last morning when I hit my 2 week boundary I contacted the seller, got the okay and 2 weeks later paid for the figure. When it arrived I noticed the rocket wobble as I took the baggie from the envelope but thought little of it as every Tri-Fett I've ever owned has had a wobbly rocket, even the minty one from earlier. How ever, when I went to take it from the baggie I saw it move upward which struck me as odd and sure enough it came out and there was no weld signs anywhere What a Face  The figure has glue residue on it's sides which suggest it was a non sonic welded error figure that at some point fell apart and the original owner glued it back together again, thankfully not the rocket though Smile
It pains me every day to think that I left it to fate for a whole week before pulling the trigger!!!!

The Moulded Bargain Bunch

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Everything above was purchased from ebay and is simply the result of a Knowledge, a keen eye and patience. White moulded legs Han cost £20 which was about the average price at the time of purchase for a mint complete one, there is the tiniest white speck on his heel and this is what I saw, it was either white plastic or light reflection, I took the gamble and it paid off. Moulded legs Han Hoth $6, bad picture made it hard to tell, but the colour and detail appeared right so I took a 6 Buck gamble and it paid off. Brown moulded body Leia Boushh, $2.50, another bad picture but it's all about the eyes, knowing this paid off. Grwy moulded head Madine, £3, no body cares about Madine but it's not an easy variant to find really.

The £4 Bunch

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I have a friend who used to own a small toy shop in the local market. He would have any figure of worth in a small cabinet, the rest where on a shelf or in a box all priced at £4. Everything you see above came from either the box or the shelf.
The important thing here is to know that a huge amount of later Palitoy cards and Tri-Logo's contained exported PBP figures, so finding them in the U.K. in the wild is common place, you just have to be willing to look!

So come on folks, I can't be the only one who has scored some bargains? Let's see what you have Very Happy

Also..... if you enjoyed this post, please, please please LIKE AND SHARE IT!!!! cheeky cheeky cheeky

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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by the89thchris on Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:35 pm

I think I'm just old enough that I'm not part of the problem lol I spent a lot of money on POTFII and I'm really proud of my essentially worthless yet complete Shadows of the Empire and expanded universe lines. I actually avoided vintage Kenner till last year because I ignorantly assumed that it was even more expensive than it is lol
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by Commander Clint on Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:39 am

Alex, A great second part to your article. cheers

I remember picking up my LL GG complete for about $10 & I was the only bidder at the time.  The way the seller had photographed & had it listed, it looked like a regular Kenner GG.  It wasn't until the vary last picture, that I noticed the coo stamp, and it was half covered.  It might have come off of a MIM card, but it came with a LL axe. cheers

I also got 1 of my blue snags, it was from a bulk lot of figures.  Probably averaged $3 - $4 for it.  It came with a few other nice figures & a lot of beaters.

There was also a nice dark brown boot Luke Bespin & a pale face Dengar, that I picked up cheap from some bearded Englishman, a few years back. cheeky
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by ourchickenshack on Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:51 pm

Yep , a little patience and knowing what your looking for goes a long way towards scoring bargains cyclops

I have found tons of bargains over the years by looking on Ebay for poorly described listings that are either uncommon variants or a rare figure(s) mixed in with large lots .

My most recent example would be the Molded Brown Torso Boushh that I just gave Clint for his pumpkin carving prize Wink It was a poorly described Ebay figure that I ended up being the only bidder on - 99 cents w/ $3.00 shipping , a whopping $3.99 total cheeky Although it didn't have the helmet or gun when I bought it , $3.99 is still a pretty good deal cheers


A couple of my best scores have been pure luck . Once I found a vinyl cape jawa in a large lot I purchased and in another lot I found a DT Luke . What was so cool was that I had no idea either figure was in the lots I had bought because they weren't even visible in the auction photos jaw
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by hellhippie on Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:42 pm

great thread and some monster scores guys ... sadly I only have one that comes to mind but it was cool nonetheless

probably 20 years ago me and my buddy lou who was also a collector used to hop in my car and drive to obscure little toy and comic shops for full day trips . it was fun but a lot of effort that sometimes paid off , sometimes didn't . we came upon a "collectible " shop in Connecticut that wasn't even where we were headed which was about a 200 mile drive from our houses . we get inside and this guy has tons of rare megos and obscure dolls EVERYWHERE . I mean wall to wall . I ask if he has any star wars and he says he doesn't deal in that "shit" . too common he says but tells us we are free to look in the boxes he has under the shelves of beater toys . 2- 5 bucks each . ok we start digging and my buddy pulls up a dt luke !!!!  im super pissed and jealous . whatever I keep looking and behold a blue snaggletooth in pretty decent shape . now im not a condition fanatic but that have to be decent . he was in great shape . I got him for 2$ and even found his gun in another box for 25 cents .

my buddy gets to the register and the guy says wow hes gonna cost ya didn't realize I had a star wars rarity in there . 10$ . done and done . so while my dt luke cost me 150 back in the day , that day me and lou scored a blue snag and a dt luke for 12.25$
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by Ian_C on Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:20 pm

Nice deals guys.

I agree, that some of the crazy prices these days are unnecessary, and if you keep looking, eventually you'll find a deal.

Here's a few of mine.

Brown hair Luke , R2 w/ lightsaber, and hollow cheeks Tusken were all found complete and 100% authentic in poorly listed lots. Those deals are hard to find now, because everyone knows to scour those listings these days.

I have had FOUR DT Luke's over the years, all from ebay, all legit, and the most I paid was around $140 for a large lot he was in. Cheapest were the figure I recognized with a tip just a little too short for $21, and the saber itself stuck in the arm of a Vader listed with a pic that showed no tip at all, but inside the listing were several pics of the inner filament fully pulled out. Nervous watching that one, but it ended with me as the only bidder, at $9.99.

Best score was a DT Vader. I saw a massive lot with really poor, blurry photos. Had a ton of figures in it, I believe around 150 figures, with tons of multiples of first 12 figures. One of the Vader's had what looked like a black spot at the tip of the saber, which to me looked like it was hollow. Didn't want to take a chance on letting the seller know, or post my question and tip off others, so I kept quiet. I figured the lot, if it was a normal Vader, was worth around $800 at the time, so I took a gamble, knowing if I was wrong, I'd be able to recover my funds. Won it for around $750, and sold off one of my DT Luke's to pay for it (I think it was my $21 Luke I let go for this). Sure enough, when it arrived, the Vader was a DT, missing the inner filament, and I had it authenticated by Bill McBride. The best part? I sold off the other figures, and actually made back a little extra, around $20 or so, which covered what I spent on the Luke. So, I spent $21 on a DT Luke, sold it for around $750, spent $800 on the lot with Vader, and sold the extras for about $820. Working out the math, after spending a total of $821, but bringing in a total of about $1570 for the Luke and the extras in the lot, I ended up essentially being paid $750 to give a free DT Vader a home. Smile

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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by grinchy on Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:15 pm

great thread Alexander, really enjoyed reading the bargains you guys have picked up, i'm still very much a novice so don't have any bargains to share yet, I'm glad I have most of the figures I'm after, as prices are a bit mad these days, I only have a couple of the obvious variants, hope to pick up some more in the coming year
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by Ian_C on Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:48 am

grinchy wrote:great thread Alexander, really enjoyed reading the bargains you guys have picked up, i'm still very much a novice so don't have any bargains to share yet, I'm glad I have most of the figures I'm after, as prices are a bit mad these days, I only have a couple of the obvious variants, hope to pick up some more in the coming year

Hey Ian, yeah, some of us have posted some killer scores, but most of us have also been doing this for years. I got back into it in 1995 when I decided to try and complete my childhood collection, so the deals in my case have occurred over a more than 20 year span in the hobby. They're not that common, far less so in this day and age.

What are you still looking for?

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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by grinchy on Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:17 pm

Hey Ian
I've been collecting for around ten years now, just picking up what I liked the look of, luckily enough I got most of my childhood figures back a few years ago which is nice to have again.
I still need some of the last seventeen, which as you know are the most expensive ones, I'm not in a hurry though I know I'll get them eventually, variants wise I only have a couple, brown and blonde haired luke bespin for instance, again i only got those in a lot of beaters on ebay, they look nice in the display so i'm happy with them
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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by Ian_C on Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:28 am

Yeah, unfortunately, any of the POTF figures outside of Anakin are pretty expensive. Some are getting ridiculous, like R2, Yak, and Luke Stormtrooper.

I don't think I have any major variants left for sale, so I doubt I could help you. Good luck with the quest!

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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by General Kahn on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:27 am

DT Luke's, DT Vaders, Blue Snags???? Jesus guys! I guess living over the pond certainly has it's bargain benefits! What a Face

Over here it's the PBP export market that pops up the occaional nice score because we got so many of them, Tri Fett's etc. there are lots here, but they stand out in ebay auctions, but can be found at toy shops, car boot sales etc.

For thos of you who saw my Facebook Jabba's Court interview, you will have seen me explain about this bunch of Spaniards and how I came to own them.....

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I'll explain again on here, because it is to me, the true passion of the hobby..... But you'll have to wait for I WANT IT ALL, AND I WANT IT NOW.... Part 4 to read that Wink

For now though I'll give you another run of kind of bargains....

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This bunch of Lovely Ledy's all, in many respects came at good prices compared to todays market. But they also represent some of the high end purchase of mine.

The first on the left is the infamous blonde Imperio Contraatca figure, aside from the slightest scuff on the saber hilt it is otherwise mint. This was an ebay score that cost £50. It was advertised as such, had several good pictures, it was just look I guess and also before the big Ledy boom. He was unarmed also.
The one on the far right is the standard Ledy an cost about £80 at the time but again he is absolutely mint and complete. This was my first ever Ledy figure and came from Ozio, it's simple you pay for quality and assurance and still a bargain compared to todays market.

The one in the middle falls into a very different catagory. I guess some people reading this thread may also ask.... "But what's the most you've ever spent on a figure"
Well, this would be it, £300! The thing is though that this is the first of the Luke Bespin Retorno transition figures ever discovered and is currently one of only two absolutely confirmed examples. Although I didn't make the discovery (Ozio Very Happy  ) I did help a little in helping confirm it which is kinda cool. The thing here is, that even £300 in my opinion is an absolute bargain, because no matter which way you look at it, this figure represents the rarist production variant ever produced! Only 2, possibly 3 so far! That's far rarer than any DT figure, Poch figure, other LL figures, Jesus, there are even more RF Prototype Fett's out there than this, the same goes for many first shots, so by comparrison, it's probably the bargain of the century and also a lot less than half the sale price of the second one found What a Face

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Re: I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! - Part II - The Alternate WOW Factor

Post by the89thchris on Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:45 am

$9 DT Vader is like one of those EBay stories that you can't imagine happening these days lol great score Ian.
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