Since the beginning of comic book publishing companies that owned the characters sought to profit from different products outside the comics themselves. There have been tons of products they’ve introduced over the years, from rings, costumes, movie serials, action figures and even collectible figures or statues.
Collectible Figure Values
I have to admit, I thought the collectible figure/statue was just another way to separate a fool from his money, and for the vast majority it is. The prices can be high for what in the end is a mass produced piece of plastic. If you enjoy the piece then and feel you’ve paid a fair price, then by all means enjoy it. But I did receive a surprise with a figure I was looking at and I want to talk today about a couple of ways to play this market. Let’s start with my quest for a certain figure.
My Quest for Captain America
One of my favorite characters has always been Captain America. I don’t know if it’s my past in the Air Force or what, but I’ve always been fascinated by the character and especially his WW II comic books and appearance. There’s a certain nostalgia and innocence of a time long since past. I was looking to have a unique decoration in my office other than the typical selection of planes I accumulated over the years when the Sideshow Captain America Exclusive caught my eye. Since I wasn’t involved in the statue market I was a little surprised by the $279.99 price tag. Take a look at the video below to see what I’m talking about.
In the end I didn’t splurge for the Captain America, hoping to find it on E-bay in the future for a reduced price. I’ll get to that later. Well, I did eventually find it on E-bay, at a much higher price! As of this writing (July 7, 2013) the only copy I can find is going for a whopping $2999.99! Ouch!
Exclusive Example: Iron Man
My experience with the Captain America has put me on the lookout for what is working in the collectible figure market. The latest example is the Hot Toys Sideshow Exclusive Edition of the Iron Man Mark VII from the latest Avengers movie. You can see the Hot Toys Iron Man Exclusive by clicking on the link, but unfortunately it is sold out. This sold via preorder for $249.95 but is now going for about $450-$500 on E-bay.
Right now I’m concentrating on the “exclusive” models. These seem to have the best chance of making the profits I illustrate above. If I were to speculate on these this is where I would focus my effort. The non-exclusive issues are a different matter.
Collectible Figures and Statues for the Collector
If you’re a true collector and don’t care about future price increases I’d stay away from the exclusive issues. If you are willing to wait a little bit you can find most statues for a significant discount to the original price. Typically if you go to Sideshow or another seller and find a statue you want is in stock, it’s worth it to visit E-bay and see what you can find. A recent example is the Sideshow Boba Fett selling for $179.99 from their site sold for $117.50 on the Bay. If you do want an exclusive for whatever reason, my advice is don’t wait and lock in that pre-order! Learn from my experience.
I’ll be adding collectible figures to the comic book related merchandise I track on the website.