Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Winter 2019 MarketWatch

Pete writes:

 Happy New Year Space Freaks! It’s 2019 and I’m here with your first look at the market in the New Year and how we closed out 2018. Last year was a bit of a mess in the world of Star Wars with split opinions on a saga film along with lackluster or non-existent feedback on the most recent spin-off Solo, it was a bit of an off year for the franchise from a film perspective. Additionally we saw the company reaction, which resulted in the cancelling of a previously announced Boba Fett movie and any other spin-off films that were being developed.  

On the non-film front we had the announcement of the partial slate for the Disney Streaming service that is launching in the coming year. With the ever familiar and popular Clone Wars series returning and the addition of the first ever live action Star Wars series The Mandalorian, fans new and old have something to look forward to.

The lack of progress in the narrative as well as the contrast of generally negative feedback on its primary character-developing channels had an impact on the market as well. We didn’t see fallout on a major scale, but we saw the softening of other segments.  
Outside of the hobby the overall global economic environment was a bit less stable, but nonetheless growing. The economic trends as usual had some impact on the hobby, but it was immaterial at best from a price perspective with more of an impact on volume. Needless to say, with a generally healthy economy in most parts of the world the hobby saw generally good performance this past year.   

With that being said, let’s look at a few things that hit the market as we closed out 2018.


Luke Skywalker Double-Telescoping Lightsaber MOC AFA 75 - $9,100 - eBay listing 
Our first piece has become a staple of the MarketWatch over the years, as we try to incorporate sales of this special piece into the articles whenever one appears. Still by any standard an iconic piece in the Star Wars universe, the rare MOC double-telescoping variant of the series' primary protagonist is as iconic and timeless as the movies themselves. This piece was down significantly from the $12-$15K range we had been seeing on these, however with quite a few coming into the market in the past few years this piece may be losing its luster.

Darth Vader Double-Telescoping Lightsaber Loose CAS 80+ - $6,646 - eBay listing 
In the same vein as our first item, here we have the rarer DT figure of the pair: Darth Vader. With several variations of the double telescoping Vader saber out there, here we have the more traditional version of the saber. Overall a good deal with AFA 85 examples pulling $10K, given the lower grade and the distance between an 80+ and 85 in the eyes collectors I would say that this is about right.

Boba Fett Star Wars 21 Back MOC AFA 80+ - $6,100 eBay listing
Ever popular and in high demand, the 21 back Boba Fett is easily one of the most desirable MOCs of any toyline from 1970-1990.  Here we have a great example of the figure in 80+ condition.  Even with a bit of a light end to the year, this piece managed to pull in a good finish.

Early Bird Set with Double Telescoping Luke C7.5 - $4,800 - eBay listing 
Early Bird Sealed Certificate C8 - $2,538 - eBay listing 
Here we have a pair of Early Bird items: the Certificate and the EB set itself with a DT Luke. These pieces have a wide range in terms of value and tend to follow the overall trends of the market from a price perspective. 

It does seem that some of the Early Bird pieces have lost some of their attractiveness to the general collecting community over the years, at least in terms of public transactions of pieces. This could be due to what seems like better availability and a bit of saturation as next tier items such as the Early Bird display have grown in popularity and demand over the past few years at a strong rate, while certificates and EB sets have fallen off slightly. In both cases here the prices seemed very fair given the condition of the items.

Star Wars 12 Character Header Display AFA 85 - $1,715 - eBay listing
Star Wars Toy Center Shelf Talker Display AFA 85 - $1,371 - eBay listing 
Moving onto another niche in the hobby, we have a few examples of staple display pieces. First, a Star Wars header display with the original 12 characters -- one of the most common header displays and also one of the more shippable/displayable of the series given its relative small size. This particular one did extremely well, especially give the market. Condition was definitely a factor, but the pairing with the shelf talker made for a nice combination. The shelf talk itself was a very nice example as well, but fell short of the header which was surprising seeing headers typically sell for around $1,200 and Toy Center shelf talkers sell for around $1,500. Again, finding an 85 of the header display is more difficult than finding an 85 shelf talker, but the shelf talker definitely fell short of where it would typically.

Lando Calrisian Skiff Guard First Shot Clear Torso AFA 85 - $1,600 - eBay listing  
Another great set of auctions that hit the market in the last part of the year were a series of first shots from the vintage line. Here we have Lando Skiff Guard with a first shot torso and production head and limbs. A popular item to put together from some of the Kenner first shot parts that have been found over the year, I’ve happily come to refer to him as FrankenLando. The seller posted several other pieces as well (including an Admiral Ackbar), all employing a high starting price which eventually was the winning bid in many cases. Price-wise I think this is right on to slightly low, but given the starting price I’m sure a lot of would-be buyers may have passed him up.

Boba Fett / Luke X-Wing Pilot Department Store 2-Pack MISB C8.5 - $1,925 - eBay listing 
Going into one of my favorite areas, we have a very nice example of a great figure combination via a department store multi-pack: Boba Fett with Luke X-Wing. Still sealed and in overall great condition, I’m actually surprised this particular auction didn’t break the $2K mark, but timing was rough on this as December and November tend to be two of the worst months of the year.

21 Figure Bell Display with Boba Fett Offer C8.5 - $8,109 - eBay listing
Then there was one of the tougher displays in the production lineup. The Free Boba Fett Bell is something that holds a great deal of desirability among many collectors out there. A niche item along with most of its display brethren, it’s one of the highest valued items in the series. In this case we see a resulting value of $8,109. Interestingly enough, $7,000 of the final price came via bids in the last 60 seconds. With 18 graded by AFA and several others like this one in collections, these have become more available than they once were. However, they still demand high prices with graded examples fetching into the $10,000 + range. Thus, this result was a great buy for the buyer given they had no AFA premium, and the item itself had some surface and edge wear -- both elements leading to the lowest priced example to sell in recent history.

That’s all for this season! Check back for more MarketWatch and everything vintage here on the Archive.

Wampa Wampa,

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