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3rd Party products and future value - A Question

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3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Banjo-Tron » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:51 am

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I've been thinking about what this current run of TF toys will mean to anyone in 20 years. There was a period in the late 1990s when Generation 1 stuff in good condition was worth a lot to the right collector, and this market kind of crumbled with the re-issue of so many old figures in the 2000's (with some notable exceptions). It seems that with the increased expense of oil and manufacturing that the current 'classics' and 'masterpiece' homaging transformers just may the best examples we ever see to reference G1 (in terms of size, articulation, quality etc)

This leads me to believe that CHUG figures will be relatively sought-after in 20 years or so, with more MIB/MOC examples being graded etc. So I'm wondering how 3rd party stuff will fit in to all of this? Will people in 20 years look back on FansProject etc and see them as integral parts of a collection? Or will some of the more maligned Botcon figures outstrip them in terms of desirability? I'm interested because there is no real precedent in regards to Transformers, as the secondary market for these upgrades/figures is still relatively new.

Thoughts? :-B
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby NOS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:46 am

Think 3rd party items will become mythical like unicorns and dragons. One look at FPs Cliffjumper upgrade and how much a non-KO set might run you on ebay is point and case.

Then again, in this day and age we're pretty lucky to be in the 'You had to be there' position as far as Transformers fans go and I have no idea what the market for a Neo G1 collection would be worth to a 20-years-later collector. :-?

Armada / Energon / Cybertron figures might be to them what G1 is to us as that's what they grew up on, maybe? It's hard to say really....
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:37 am

I think it'll go up in value, especially things like Giant / Herc. Oversized KO sets of Bruticus or Devestator are highly sought after. I've even seen a funky KO of Skudge going for $150 at a recent con. And that's just a junky KO, not something made to appeal to collectors like any of the 3rd party kits.

I do think shows like Armada and Energon will have a lasting impact on kids. But those shows have homages; roots in G1. I tend to think that'll draw people to Neo G1 stuff in general, including 3rd party stuff.

But ... it's tough to say. The future's hard to predict. It may be that older collectors are the only ones interested in stuff like City Commander and after this market ages out it may be that Neo G1, and the 3rd party stuff, just fails to appeal. These things are all build on nostalgia. I don't know how many younger TF fans legitimately like the 3rd party stuff.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby mooncake623 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:59 am

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I think there will be little value here in 20 years in terms of the younger fans.. there is really no G1 media for kids to watch these days.. all the third party stuff is for adults and we love it because we grew up with it. Kids these days grew up with the movie line. We as a adult fan base do not like the movie aesthetics but as kids they love it. and in 20 years those would be the toys that will increase in value.

but its not like we're all going to die in 20 years so who knows!
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby RodimalToyota » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:20 am

prices on 3rd party items will consitnently rise, as they have, until re-released.
The FP Cliffy set is a good example of what happens with limited release, and no re-release. Same goes for Expolorer and Munitioner!
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Mkall » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:23 am

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There will always be demand for items that were there "in the beginning" in this case G1 and Diaclone figures will always command a respectable price. And with supplies of legit G1 figure diminishing due to breaks, discolourations, poor care, loss of accessories, etc their prices will probably continue to rise as long as there is an interest in Transformers.

However I do not see 3rd party items faring the same long term. This is in part due to a number of factors, which I shall attempt to explain.
1) They're not Transformers. Yes we can go on until the cows come home about technicalities, FP Defender vs Springer and what-have-you's. Let's not though. We are in the middle of a G1 resurgence where those who grew up with the originals now have the money to invest into their nostalgia. As such we are looking to (re)build our shelves into that dream we wanted as kids, and we're willing to do so by any means necessary, official sources be damned. However in 20 years time, when a collectible afficionado looks at our shelves he will say "Transformer, Transformers, not a Transformers, Transformer, not a Transformers" and so on. Don't believe me? On Antiques Roadshow, there are many times where the expert has said "now this item looks good paired with the others, but it's not actually created by the same source so is pretty much worthless."

2) General popularity of the characters. I cannot predict what will happen with the Transformers brand in the next 5 years, let alone 20. I can fairly accurately predict this though; it's that we will always want that from our youth. For most collectors here, that will be pretty much anything G1. In 20 years however, there may be a resurgence of nostalgia for the Transformers movie figures and asthetics, or perhaps for TF: Prime figures and their spawn. The Deluxe Insecitcons that many of us are going ga-ga over? They'll be forgotten. Bumbleblee? He may always speaks in warbles and bleeps. Third Party figures cater specifically to us, and not to future generations.

3) Asthetics. Things are in constant change, it's the nature of the brand. Other toy lines have to stay in similar aesthetics because they always depict a human form. Granted there will be minor fluctuations in facial structure, proportions and detail, but it will always be similar. Transformers are not as restricted. Look at the difference in Optimuses in the last 5 years - Transformers Animated, Transformers the Movies and Transformers Prime - each one is so different that unless you're very loose with your standards, your shelf will not look cohesive with figures from the movie and the shows standing next to one another. The same is true for today's figures vs the Classics that came out in 2005. They work well together, but you can definitely see that they've evolved. In 20 years, assuming there's more Transformers, there will be a New Optimus and Megatron, and Bumblebee will have celebrated the 1000th mold with the name, but the 3rd party figures that we celebrate today will not fit among them.

4) Classics will pass. Whether we like it or not, we will grow older and shift our priorities to other things; be it family, jobs, retirement, sickness, another interest. The demand for Hasbro and the Third Party companies to make things to cater to us will pass. Yes there will be others who will pick up the torch, but their desires will be different. There may be new 3rd party products that will cater to them, and I hope they are as well received then as they are now, but they won't cater to us anymore.

TL;DR: We are romanticizing how things are now and that they will be just as relevant in the future as they are now. They won't. If you want long term stability; collect money, not toys or 3rd party products to supplement those toys.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:39 am

I wonder how ANY toy collection would fare on something like Antiques Road Show 20 years down the road. I don't actually watch that show.

Although, if we're thinking forward, I wonder if G1s themselves will really be worth something that far away in the future. Maybe the main guys, but once the nostalgia wears off will the fans of the Bay movie really care about a G1 Skylinkx?

And, on that note, if we're just thinking about how nostalgia factors into how much these guys are worth, what about the various exclusives? A limited exclusive of Ultra Mammoth may not necessarily mean anything to people who don't care about Ultra Magnus and Beast Wars. That's not going to be anyone's idea of a definitive Ultra Magnus.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby craggy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:50 pm

MKall, you suggest that other toylines styling don't change as much as Transformers do. I'll admit that is true to some extent, but look at GI Joes from 10 years ago, compared to what they are now. Back at the turn of the Century the original 80s construction and style was still very popular in the brand, and even the updated designs of the Joe Vs Cobra line could still look like they belonged with that era of figures. Now, post-25th Anniversary figures, there have been a huge number of changes to the design of the toys, making them far more "realistic". Same sort of thing has happened with superhero toys, although the Marvel Legends line took a big huge step in the right direction early on.

As to the matter at hand, I agree that Classics/Universe/Generations types will probably increase in value and think it is quite likely that many of the more sought after 3rd party items will remain so for collectors in years to come. City Commander still sells well, as do a number of other 3rd party items which were released years ago. The problem comes with competition, and replacements. For a time Henkei Megatron was THE NeoG1 Megs. Then the United version gave folks who missed it a chance to get in on the silvery goodness. Hegemon seems to be widely regarded as the best Megatron out there now for a Classics look, but who is to say that another 3rd party, or Hasbro themselves may not take a look at the character in the future and create an even more definitive version of the character. Same goes for MP01. It was AMAZING when it was first released, but by all accounts, MP10 blows it away. Because the G1 characters and their designs are so iconic, and collectors tend to continue to try and upgrade to the "best" version of a character available for their collection, any newer toys of similar designs or characters might reduce the demand for what we currently see as "must-haves" for our collections.

As to the youth of today...yes, Beast Wars, Armada/Energon/Cybertron and the like may see a resurgence in years to come. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see a new take on some of the more popular characters from these franchises in 10years time, BUT I think the influence of the Michael Bay films will be more noticeable. If we're lucky, for a time it will probably die down a bit with the endless Bumblebees, but there will probably be a very high-quality intricately designed version, possibly with a wee plastic Shia The Beef, around the time all those kids today are getting better paid jobs.

I'd also expect that aspects from all these iterations of the TF Brand will be included or will influence the ongoing design and direction of the franchise as we move on. We already see that with Airachnid in Prime, who is clearly inspired by Blackarania, who many of the kids who say the 2007 movie, and whom the show is aimed at will never have even heard of.

Finally, as to there being no G1 media to advertise the original characters any more...well, there is the IDW comics. The designs are kind of different depending who is drawing, but there's little denying the current books are definitely more based on the G1 story and characters than any other series, with very little inclusions from other eras. Now, as to whether any kids are actually reading those comics, that's a completely different question.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Mkall » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:16 pm

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craggy wrote:MKall, you suggest that other toylines styling don't change as much as Transformers do. I'll admit that is true to some extent, but look at GI Joes from 10 years ago, compared to what they are now. Back at the turn of the Century the original 80s construction and style was still very popular in the brand, and even the updated designs of the Joe Vs Cobra line could still look like they belonged with that era of figures. Now, post-25th Anniversary figures, there have been a huge number of changes to the design of the toys, making them far more "realistic". Same sort of thing has happened with superhero toys, although the Marvel Legends line took a big huge step in the right direction early on.

I will admit that was my weakest point in my argument. Perhaps a better argument could be made that Transformers are prone to more drastic changes over a shorter period of time compared to other toylines?
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby craggy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:51 pm

Mkall wrote:
craggy wrote:MKall, you suggest that other toylines styling don't change as much as Transformers do. I'll admit that is true to some extent, but look at GI Joes from 10 years ago, compared to what they are now. Back at the turn of the Century the original 80s construction and style was still very popular in the brand, and even the updated designs of the Joe Vs Cobra line could still look like they belonged with that era of figures. Now, post-25th Anniversary figures, there have been a huge number of changes to the design of the toys, making them far more "realistic". Same sort of thing has happened with superhero toys, although the Marvel Legends line took a big huge step in the right direction early on.

I will admit that was my weakest point in my argument. Perhaps a better argument could be made that Transformers are prone to more drastic changes over a shorter period of time compared to other toylines?

well, that's definitely right!
there's still wiggle room though. I mean, even Optimus Primal was still clearly an Optimus/good guy leader in his head design from the outset of Beast Wars quite drastic aesthetic change. If he was a human we'd see him as having a new outfit, but still very similar face.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Banjo-Tron » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:40 am

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Wow, these responses have been very interesting to read. I just want to point out that I don't collect for financial reasons at all and don't have MIB stuff really. I think Mkall is right with what he says about people discarding them as non-TFs in the future. I'm imagining tweed-jacketed experts running their magnifying glasses over brittle figures in 50 years time, looking for that all-important Hasbro/Takara trademark.

"Hmmm, you can clearly see that this faction symbol is actually a reproduction sticker of some sort, probably the work of a Canadian company from the early 2000s. I'm afraid this - what did you say it was? 'Giant' is worth nothing. Moving on, I can see you have a 'Bruticus Maximus' figure, but unfortunately the original accessories have been lost and someone has used non-transformers to augment it. Now a complete set with all of the original accessories would be worth 10 times what this is.

Now, this is the piece I'm really interested in. What we have here is an original 'Bumblebee' from the very first live action 'Transformers' film, which was of course directed by the multiple-oscar winning visionary Michael Bay, and starred Emperor LaBoeuf when he was better-known as an actor, and not the leader of the known universe. I've seen examples in this condition go for £500, which coincidentally is the price of one litre of petrol"
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Rated X » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:50 am

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I dont think the values of 3rd party or Botcon stuff will increase much. Collectors treasure them and none never go missing in action. It's Hasbro stuff that goes up in value because kids destroy half of them in existance.
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Re: 3rd Party products and future value - A Question

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:56 am

I can't see TFs ever being appraised by people at some auction house :lol:.

I suppose it's doubtful most TFs will be worth anything, let alone 3rd party figures. I'm reminded just how many TFs are marked way, way down at cons. Just look at how little the average Best Wars figure goes for at a con.

But this situation is pretty unprecedented. Not only a kid's franchise lasting so long and having a 3rd party market to support it, but also the internet as a factor. If the G1 toons have ingrained themselves on us this much it's impossible to tell what kind of nostalgia factor things like comics, wikis, and message boards will have on people.
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