No Money in Collectibles, Part 2 [11/24/00]

Unlike with comic books, the toy market for collectibles still runs strong, but for different reasons. With the comics market, a flooding of materials into the market has really caused a gradual decline of return. When it comes to the toy market, though, an influx of new toys has changed how collectibility is viewed.

In the 1990's, Todd McFarland, comic book artist and writer, wanted quality action figures based on his comic, Spawn. To do so, he created his own toy line. The figures were a large size, well detailed and came with a number of extra items. But, the most important thing was that they were hard to find, which instantly made them collectible. Early on, the Malebolgia figure was extremely hard to find and went for anywhere from $50 to $100.

Because McFarland literally raised the bar of quality and style for figures, there became a definitive line between good and bad toys. Which were collectible and which would become bargain toys. A number of upstart companies began to make quality figures. But it wasn't just the quality, it was the quantity. Low production runs and variants made what was coming out worth more. Finding the figures you wanted was sometimes an adventure.

Once toys became collectible again, another force came into play: Imports. Cases of Japanese Toys flooded import shops, comic shops and video game stores. These came with a hefty price and the promise of rarity. The return for the import market still remains to be seen, though. Most of us who've invested in that market hope that it'll be worth the time and trouble.

Of course, this isn't to say that toys today are anywhere close to the toys of twenty years ago. If you were lucky enough to store away the original line of Star Wars figures (still in package), then you really don't need to worry about a retirement nest-egg.

- - Vane


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Darth Vader
If you have one of these two (Vader, Maleboglia), then keep a hold of them. They're worth a good bit.