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A question of value

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61 comments posted
AMEN Josh.

AMEN Josh.

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 9 March, 2010 - 15:07
Interesting

Josh,

Interesting opening of a discussion here. There's a similar vein going on in a thread about modern vinyl over at Toyboxdx. Perhaps there are some people who are ticked that you're showing off a bunch of high-end toys, but whether I can afford them or not it certainly doesn't affect me that way. I can't really believe any of the folks seeking out this site would feel like that. Really? There are a million sites for Transformers and Star Wars toys out there. It seems to me that if high end toys are not what you're looking for you have plenty of outlets for good info on those lines.

Worth is always about the value YOU place on something. Personally, I *need* an object to have inherent (of what I see as inherent) material worth to somewhat mitigate the actual price of an object. Metal, hard plastic, lots of parts, etc. That all seems far more like something of worth to me. I just can't justify in my mind the cost of most vinyl toys when I actually hold the things in my hand. I just can't. There's just not enough in the look of a thing to make me want to spend the hard-earned dough on them.

Sure, I can say the above, and others will think what I think is worth the money is outlandish as well. $90 (including shipping) for a Takara Brave Advenger? If this was an American widely released toy, I wouldn't ever have paid more than $30-40 for it. But given its age and relative rarity, I felt I was OK with paying that amount. Not happy about it, but OK with it. The fact that I've played with it over and over somewhat justifies the asking price. But even more, for me, the fact that it's large, and has many moving parts makes it seem more worth it. Compare that to a vinyl that's well-nigh a statue (I don't "get" statues and busts and so on either), and weighs perhaps a few ounces... well, I think I make my point about my own tastes.

fujikuro's picture
Posted by fujikuro on 9 March, 2010 - 15:15
Right on. I whole-heartedly

I'm new here to CDX, but Right on. I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said. I'm all for you guys getting free toys, and reviewing them for us! I love the high-end reviews, not despite, but *because* of the fact that I'll never buy that stuff. I'm thinking of Sanjeev's Spazer (which he paid for)-- I mean, talk about living vicariously! But I also think it's within the community's right to bash a toy for being too expensive, which is something that the reviewers don't have to be nearly as sensitive to.

Txos's picture
Posted by Txos on 10 March, 2010 - 12:44
Very interesting commentary,

Very interesting commentary, Josh. And it is something that I am continuously aware of when I make a review of any kind.

When I review a Transformer, I NEVER put it up against something from my Super Sentai/Power Rangers collection because they are two completely different animals- apples and oranges. I rate it only on things from a similar genre that I have personally had in my hands.

And, yes, it does all come down to personal taste- what I like and approve of may [tick] someone else off who is also into the same sub-genre.
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CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 9 March, 2010 - 15:24
is it c10? I love Top Gear.

is it c10?

I love Top Gear. Been watching it for ten years now. The reviews are generally very informative and the guys on the show are knowledgeable enough to compare and contrast in a number of arenas. But they are far from objective in the end. They all have their fetishs and bias and it shows in how they gauge value overall.

In terms of toy "value"? Vintage or new, for me, you pay what you want and are comfortable with. Pretty simple. There is no way to objectively gauge value for everyone. It is a very subjective thing. As you say Josh, you vote with your wallet.

If you spend $5 on a toy and you love it. It is a good value for you. If you spend $5000 on a toy and you love it, it is a good value...for you.

Oh and it is "Aston" Martin . Sorry I am a bit of a car snob. ;-)

joshua fraser's picture
Posted by joshua fraser on 9 March, 2010 - 16:01
One of the this I hate about

One of the this I hate about the market today is how there's all these companies (or sometimes the same company) making toys of the same character. I bought SOC Combattler V and Voltes V, only to feel like a sucker when the improved version came out a few years later. And look at how many transformable Valks are out there (and yet the original Takatoku/Bandai is still one of the best ones out there).

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 9 March, 2010 - 15:50
Can't

Can't help but feel a little responsible for this topic coming up a lot around here (I bring it up too much, i know.) I agree with a lot with what JoshB said here, so I'll keep it short, or at least short by my standards ;)

I agree that it's not fair to compare a $12 mass-market toy to a high-end gokin. But when a high end toy can't get something right (like QC and paint come to mind) that a much cheaper product gets right, it's tough to ignore that- if your $5 Optimus Prime toy has a crooked Autobot symbol, obviously who cares? If your $300 Import-magazine-Exclusive-limited-to-30-pieces Prime has a crooked Autobot symbol, that can be a much more soul-crushing issue. A lot of collectors, myself included, can be pretty harsh on a lot of new products coming out, and I think a little too forgiving on some others, especially when it comes to the show/character. If there's only two or three high-end Space Cobra figures that are available, then when a new one comes out, you're going to be much more forgiving to that figure than a mid-range Macross valkyrie, because there's not much to compare it to.

I think something a lot of people forget too is that you guys have been collecting for years and years. JoshB didn't get all those Diaruggers yesterday... they build up over time. Dave didn't buy all his jumbos in one weekend. Patience and a strict budget allows me to get pretty much whatever I want, despite my low paychecks. If I want a higher-end item, I sell stuff I don't really care about or are easy to find cheap, then the sting to my wallet is quite a bit less, if at all. Trading can work wonders too!

I am starting to get more and more into Jumbos the last few months, but haven't bought anything yet. I have three specific vintage ones that I want, and I've told myself that I'm just not going to pay more than a certain realistic price for them. There's one I've been looking for almost daily for two years! Sure I might miss out on some stuff that I will be waiting years to see again for sale, but I'm not going to stop collecting, so I have time, if the price is too rich for my blood. Maybe next month, I'll see another one for $100 more and decide now is the time to jump. Who knows!

I'm also not going into it with completely false hopes, like a vintage villain for $50... I find that is a lot of what happens to folks, they get a good deal at first then realize how much others are really paying for these things, they get caught up in finding deals and false expectations of how much these things really cost. It totally happened to me when I started collecting Henshin Cyborg a while ago.

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 9 March, 2010 - 16:30
I agree, for the price of a

I agree, for the price of a high end toy, defects should be non-existent. When something like that happens, we'll call it out. But questionable design choices, that can be a tough one to call. Sometimes it's a decision made on the part of the designer due to them going for a certain look or something.

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 9 March, 2010 - 19:01
Thank you. This is a point

Thank you.

This is a point I've tried to articulate elsewhere on other discussion boards, but I never had the practical numbers to back it up, and that Cyclone number really pries the eyelids wiiiide open.

You're right - it's easy to crap all over a company that produces a collectible for what they *didn't* do, but the fact that you can hold it in your hands is a triumph for not just the manufacturer, but the collector as well. There's a time and a place to bring out the knives of criticism, and I try to only reserve it for defects and other similar mis-steps. As an example - I'm cranky over my Toynami Vinyl Battlepod not bending at the knees - but only because that's what was pictured in the promotional material, and on the box itself. But looking up at it right now, it's a total joy to behold, and I'm happy that I've got it.

It's difficult to engage Fandom with logic, because fandom springs from our hearts, and not so much our heads. And no company is ever going to be able to tackle it head on, so it's really for the best to self-check yourself before you pull a Comic Book Guy.

Thanks for the discussion. It's a good head-check.

http://sinthetik.com - Full Frontal Nerdity

SushiSpook's picture
Posted by SushiSpook on 9 March, 2010 - 16:38
Hmm...

I feel I might have been one of the instigators for this article, so I might as well chime in.
First off, I know Josh has paid for his share of high end toys, as most of us do in this hobby. I'm not blaming anyone of anything.

However, the Jumbo review struck an uneasy chord with me, because it raises an ethical dilemma. Perhaps it was because I may have been a journo major at some point long ago, but free things are a bad influence on an article. I think the Mazinger stood out sorely because of its price range, but, assuming that these pieces were provided by Angolz free of charge, I would feel the same about the Saint Seiya and Macross F toys. I mean, after the review is done these go right into the collection right? Or, if funds are needed toys or other expenses, do they go on the auction block?
I'm getting a little off track, so let me use an example from another hobby I enjoy, video gaming. The several gaming blogs I frequent have noted on several occasions that they receive free review copies of games. And then they still buy the game. Depending on the policy of the blog any games or swag received get given away to the readers (Kotaku and Joystiq both do this). I mean, there's an idea, have some contests! (Of course, because I'm mentioning it, I would never enter one of these theoretical contests because ethical reasons, natch.)

The issue isn't that a service wouldn't be provided if these toys weren't donated. As Josh said, had he not been given the Jumbo, he would have bought it, and then we'd still get the same positive review. Would there be fewer reviews? Maybe, maybe not. At the same time, someone is buying these toys, that someone just needs to review it.

I'm not trying to be preachy, CDX is Josh's and he's free to run it however he likes. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't come back. I also want to add that for me, price has nothing to do with playability. If I can't take it out of the box, I don't want it. Will I be flying my Jumbo Stormtrooper around the room? Hell yes.

tl:dr version: Do the Top Gear guys get to keep the car?

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 9 March, 2010 - 16:52
Its

It's many times a lot different for movies and video game press.

A friend used to write video game and movie reviews for a newspaper. They usually get the game disc, which is marked not-for-resale and often is just a cd-r or blank disc, and are required to send the disc back to the PR firm or company within a set amount of time (usually 2-3 weeks.) Same thing for movies. Maybe my info is out of date, I haven't seen him in 2-3yrs ;)

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 9 March, 2010 - 17:07
Well, I'm not talking so

Well, I'm not talking so much early builds and pre-release copies. From my (admittedly casual) experience when there's something they get that can be given away, it's given away.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 9 March, 2010 - 18:19
We've dealt with video game

We've dealt with video game companies in the past, and they can be very particular. One difference here is that we are usually given items from retailers. In the case of Angolz, they are paying for their advertising space with toys. Now, they could pay cash, but then we would just turn around and buy the toys. So we just request toys from them that we would normally buy, and it saves the step of them sending cash, and then us turning around and buying them. These retailers don't usually send items we didn't ask about. Manufacturers, on the other hand, send items strictly as samples.

After the review, the reviewer gets to keep the toys, should they want to. They can sell them as well, although we generally ask that they not sell them on cdx, and that they wait a period. None of the reviewers derive any income from the work they do, so that is their payment.

As for giveaways, we've done them in the past, and we'll do them again in the future, but it ends up being a lot of work when our efforts are better spent elsewhere.

I doubt Top Gear gets to keep the cars, but then again, they get PAID to do their job.

Anyway, SpaceRunaway, I do appreciate your comments, and I want to be transparent with the readers about how we go about our business. I did post this in lieu of a response to your comment, but it is a sentiment that I had been wanting to write about for some time. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about it!

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 9 March, 2010 - 19:17
Thanks Josh

I really appreciate your response, that clears things up a lot for me. I have no further doubts; you've earned them, enjoy playing with them.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 9 March, 2010 - 19:24
I have no complaints with

I have no complaints with the style of toys CDX reviews. The idea of a "surrogate collection" seemed very apt. I have an over 100mB folder filled with pictures of toys that interest me, many from this website. I can't own nearly as many toys as I'd like to, but I can also gawk at the photos.

That said, even a poor college student like me can occasionally scrounge enough for an occasional purchase. My CM's Brave Gokin Goshogun, Aoshima Black Neo Getter, and my vintage Laserion DX were all purchased because of the positive reviews on this website.

And who knows, maybe in thirty years when the Neo Jumbo Mazinger is itself considered vintage, I may have acquired the funds to finally own one.

TimF's picture
Posted by TimF on 9 March, 2010 - 16:51
A matter of prirorities

My feelings on the matter is it's also a matter of priorities, could I afford some of the more expensive toys reviewed here, probably yes, but do I want to spend the money, not necessarily. Since getting married I have more disposable income than I did when I was single however that income is reserved for other things like household expenses and my kids so spending money on expensive toys is something that's hard to justify although my wife would probably allow me the occasional indulgence. On the other hand, while I don't necessarily have any problems with the price of some of these toys it would be nice if they weren't quite so expensive, I feel that collectors (of any sort) tend to be pretty forgiving of high priced items simple because they're collectible and while I can understand the costs going into producing these toys at the same time I think that the manufacturers like to inflate the prices by limiting the numbers along with other marketing hype in order to make more money, something that I have no inherent problems with. Ironically, I'm more on the other side of the fence when it comes to licensed replica movie/tv costumes & props which, like some of the toys here, cost a pretty penny; however, in this case I feel it's at least partially understandable in that there are licensing fees to deal with and they're selling to a niche market on top of it which, to me, at least partially justifies there high prices.

In the end it all comes down to, as someone else said, is it worth it to you. To me, a $100+ toy no matter how nicely made is just not worth it although that's not to say that I don't appreciate such toys; much like the exotic cars example. As the saying goes, each to their own; like in the props & costuming community some people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the most mundane of items, often time an unmodified off the shelf item, simply because it's screen used from their favorite show or movie.

Riceball's picture
Posted by Riceball on 9 March, 2010 - 17:41
One thing that I, as

One thing that I, as reviewer, have trouble guarding against is initial excitement, the "wow factor". By that I mean, it's easy to like every new thing that comes out and then post a favorable review of it when it does. Then times goes on and it looses some of it's appeal or flaws that you didn't immediately notice become apparent. It's tough, because you want the reviews to go live while the toy is current, too. This is less of a factor for me than it used to be because I'm buying mostly vintage these days, although I do have some new stuff coming soon as well.

Another thing to look at in terms of "value" is what the item is in relation to the person's collection. For instance, almost any Reideen or Dairugger will be "worth it" to Josh, as any Jumbo will "worth it" to me. This is because we are obsessed with certain things and even if the quality, price or whatever on the piece is not good, the value it holds for us is that it completes (or gets closer to completion) our collections. If the jumbo Dairugger sucks on every level, I'd be willing to bet it would still be "worth it" to Josh because... big, 2ft Dairugger! The trick is to try to balance your own wants and needs versus what the reader is looking for. Again, this is hard, particular for someone like me who's sole criteria for a good toy is "does it look good on the shelf?". This is why I can totally do vinyls or statues when others just don't get it.

Another thing to think about is re-sale value. I don't necessarily approve or disapprove of buying specifically to sell, but if a something is likely to hold it's monetary value or even go up in price, it helps sway your thinking. When the Suckadelic Creatures came out, I was initially on the fence because it was basically an expensive novelty piece, but I figured that with the limited amount of them available and the ravenous nature of Creature collectors, $45 for a limited to 20 Creature from the Black Lagoon carded army man was "worth it" because I guessed that there would always be a market for it down the road if I decided it wasn't for me. (Incidentally, the $25, limited to 100 bagged version recently sold for over $200!)

"You can't sell it until you get it from him, but you gotta sell it to pay him to get it to sell it".
---Jerilock, talking about me trying to raise the money I need to pay for the toys I already bought....

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 9 March, 2010 - 17:52
This is an interesting

This is an interesting idea.. Dave is right, in that sometimes we have very little time with a toy before we review it. Complicated transforming toys take a while to master, and that often is time we don't have. I wonder if it would be interesting to revisit older pieces and see what we think of them today?

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 9 March, 2010 - 19:19
I for one would love to see

I for one would love to see a retrospective style review to see how well "new" toys have held up a couple years down the line. Are those joints still stiff? Does that piece you couldn't do without still get loved, or is it boxed up and sitting at the bottom of your closet? I think this is a great idea with a lot of directions it could go in.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 9 March, 2010 - 19:31
That's part of where I was

That's part of where I was coming from. A few days ago I got an email from a friend who came across my old review of the SOC Grendizer and chuckled when I said then that when I saw it in a store I "would not leave without it".

I sold it, year before last!

Things, and people, change. :)

"You can't sell it until you get it from him, but you gotta sell it to pay him to get it to sell it".
---Jerilock, talking about me trying to raise the money I need to pay for the toys I already bought....

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 9 March, 2010 - 19:46
I think it's safe to say

I think it's safe to say that if you guys didn't receive the various freebies that you do, by now you would be so disgusted with the typical poor quality that we wouldn't get to see any of the high end stuff whatsoever. Thank you for saving me the trouble.

Materialist Zen's picture
Posted by Materialist Zen on 9 March, 2010 - 18:11
Great Question

I have been asking myself all the time whenever I come across something that I want to buy.

Value of an item, simply put, is how much a buyer willing to spend and seller willing to let go. Which often times, dictate by open free market. That's textbook answer.

To me, it's very simple. Will this item retain it's value over time? will it depreciate or appreciate?

For example. Fewture Getter 1 vs Getter 2 or 3.

Getter 1 is no doubt an hot item that worth the commanding $300 plus. I would pay for its original asking value. The item has high diecast content with some QC issue. Number of quality in productions are limited.

Getter 2 or 3, same material, same diecast content, and etc... However, I would buy it for its original price. Because I know the proce is going to come down and the demands are not as high as Getter 1.

Conclusion? Be a smart buyer and not an impulse one.

Battousai's picture
Posted by Battousai on 9 March, 2010 - 19:13
Thats another take on value,

Thats another take on value, but not one that I usually worry about because I have little interest in selling modern toys at a profit. I go into it thinking that most of it WONT be worth a profit, and then it frees me of having to keep it all intact, stickers unapplied, mint in box etc.

Vintage, now there is another story.

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CollectionDX Admin

JoshB's picture
Posted by JoshB on 9 March, 2010 - 19:22
I think that's the only way

I think that's the only way to look at it: expect that modern toys will not maintain their value (though occasionally they do) so buy them if you don't mind blowing the money. Vintage toys tend to keep their value, so I think it's easier to justify them as something of an investment (but I wouldn't plan on retiring on them!)

Txos's picture
Posted by Txos on 9 March, 2010 - 22:57
Forget Profits

"I have little interest in selling modern toys at a profit"

After reading so much here at CDX over the past couple of years, I have moved more to this line of thinking as well Josh. I do however try to keep things together and hold onto packaging etc. Due to the very high $$$ tag on a healthy chunk of my collection, I look at a lot of the stuff as things I could liquidate in a financial emergency. The items would obviously fetch better prices with all the original contents, box, etc.

My drive to collect toys and comics is very elemental. I am a multi-platform art collector. I view it all as "art"

I've always wondered what would become of my collection if I passed on or after (if) I make it to retirement age. I certainly have no intention of selling off anything unless it is to make room. Even then I would probably just box it up and store it versus selling. My wondering was recently replaced with a definite answer. I just learned I will be a father for the first time. I'm 38. It is really cool to think that all this will now be passed on to my offspring someday. It will be quite the tidy little inheritance. At that point I will have completed my hobby full circle and it won't matter if my child keeps or sells off the whole damn collection!

Grandzinga....

Grandzinga's picture
Posted by Grandzinga on 11 March, 2010 - 14:27
Well, let me be the first

Well, let me be the first (first!) to say congratulations! Although you say it doesn't matter, c'mon, wouldn't it be great to share in the hobby with your kids? :)

"You can't sell it until you get it from him, but you gotta sell it to pay him to get it to sell it".
---Jerilock, talking about me trying to raise the money I need to pay for the toys I already bought....

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 11 March, 2010 - 14:30
Congrats

Congrats to you man on a new one on the way!

I always say: unless you have a business account with a distributor, and are selling new product, you are going to lose money on re-selling modern gokin. For every profitable example anyone can bring up, I can bring up at least 10 where money will be lost, it will be re-issued, or something better will come out, making the older-modern toy worthless. Vintage is valuable now because very few people were actually saving it for the future. Take it from me- if you're holding onto something from the last ten years, and don't want it anymore, sell it now, or better yet, trade it for something you like. In a few years a lot of the "hype" that our hobby has been sucked into will be long gone, the buyers will move on, and the prices will fall. (my "stock picks" for "what's next" for the next 10-15 years will cost you.)

Just a word about collecting and having kids. My grandfather collected model trains with a fervor and budget that would have made even the richest of robot collector look small-time, from the 40's into the late '90s. My father and his brothers despised the train collections and set-ups as youngsters because they were never allowed to play with them, or even into the room, and the time he spent traveling to shops and shows; they never got into the hobby needless to say. The biggest issues they had with his hobby was the time spent away from them, and the "nerd rage" when something expensive broke, always from his own hands. Once I was born, he learned from his mistakes and made a smaller, "cheapo" setup for me and my cousins to play with, and was patient and explained to us that we wouldn't have as much fun with the MISB 1950's stuff, or his main layout, and that this little setup was ours. Of course, it being 1985, it ended up being mostly a Transformers vs. godzilla battleground! (I watched last month the same little HO building we smashed with Godzilla's foot go for $300+!)

In the mid-late '90s he had his collection appraised and insured to the tune of mid-high five-figures. But after he passed and it was all sold except for a very, very few sentimental items, it ended up being in the very, very low five figures. One collector just couldn't understand how my uncles didn't want to keep it all, and how some of these things wouldn't be available for sale anywhere ever again.

Now my grandfather collected for love and obsession for decades, not for price. It never even occurred to him until the mid 80's that there was a serious market beyond the local shop & classifieds. He was just obsessive and meticulous, like many of us here are. Obsessed like Close Encounters, molding mountains, blending terrain, painting boxcars even after his eyesight was poor.

I'm sure you have the deep love for this man, I've seen the way you write about this stuff. We may not always agree, but it's obvious you care a heckuva lot. Just make sure you foster that love with your children, and then, your collection won't just be a dollar sign when you're gone, it will be treasured, beloved family heirlooms: much more valuable as I'm sure you know.

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 13 March, 2010 - 16:24
Thanks Guys!

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement!

Well... if it is a girl, she might be absolutely disgusted by the sheer number of horror/gore type of things in the toy room. A boy will probably love it all-minus any nightmares they may give him! I will be happy sharing this hobby with my child. It will be akin to the joys I've experienced watching Josh B. review toys with his sons assistance and opinions. I am getting to the point where the excitement is pretty much over a few hours after acquiring most things in my collection these days. Through the eyes of my child however, I think the collection will take on a whole new life as well. I just hope they won't want to start a new collection as that will require building an addition on to my house just to store packaging lol!

Grandzinga....

Grandzinga's picture
Posted by Grandzinga on 16 March, 2010 - 13:13
Thanks for Sharing!

Much thanks to The Big R for sharing such a personal and enlightening story about his Grandfather.
I will remember the moral of your story. Sentimental -vs- Monetary Value. Thanks.

Grandzinga....

Grandzinga's picture
Posted by Grandzinga on 16 March, 2010 - 13:19
Criticizing design vs. criticizing quality

Most of us fanboys are fine if criticism is aimed at low quality or QC issues, but people crap their pants defending poor design or poor choices in how a figure is presented, and this is especially so when it's a popular character. For example, there is no bad Mazinger figure, and there never has been, nor will there ever be. You'll have about a thousand idiots falling over each other to tell you how your argument absolutely makes no logical sense if you dare to tread this heavily guarded territory.

How many times have you read these two statements:

1) "If you don't like it, just don't buy it".
This is perhaps the most brilliant reply to design criticism if there ever was one. Regardless of the fact that this statement has nothing to do with design, it's still deemed as Nobel Prize winning material by collectors. Consider if you made a post stating how and why a figure is awesome, then some genius steps up and tells you.. "If you like it then just go buy it". Pretty amazing isn't it?

2) We should just be grateful they made it.
I guess we should be grateful for everything we pay money for. I guess I should be grateful that they made Star Wars episode one, or any number of CM's landfill celebrities. I admit that I am grateful for the parts of a figure that are well made, otherwise.. why?

xiombarg's picture
Posted by xiombarg on 9 March, 2010 - 19:19
F-ing Josh! you beat me to

F-ing Josh! you beat me to the punch on this one! This is a discussion that has been brewing in the back of my head for awhile now and it was brought forward and dusted off by the Neo Mazinger comments. I feel that the easy solution to the problem of value can be summed up very easily in the statement that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" or the other old school statement. "One mans crap is another gold" Seriously... value is really just a matter of personal preference.

Also, don't be a hater! If CDX didn't get some of this high end stuff, think of all the money some of the readers would loose on buying potential crap that our reviews hopefully steer away from (or towards if the item is any good!)

-Dan
CollectionDX LLC
Vice President/Co-Owner

Shogundan's picture
Posted by Shogundan on 9 March, 2010 - 20:18
Yes

I can't tell you how invaluable some of the reviews here are. There's been a number of times (the SOC GX-49 for example) where a review has saved me from purchasing something that I'd otherwise have to "find out for myself" with my own hard-earned bucks! Taht said, sometimes a review gets me to buy something that it then turns out I don't like. Ah well, as you said, one man's trash...

fujikuro's picture
Posted by fujikuro on 10 March, 2010 - 10:48
I feel like maybe I'm one of

I feel like maybe I'm one of the people this is about,so I guess I'd better chime in. The only time I complain about the price of the metal/plastic stuff is when it has defects or obvious flaws (that Valk without landing gear a couple weeks ago). There's a certain standard of quality you expect at each price point. When a "high end" item doesn't match up to a Hasbro item,then yeah,I think it's time to speak up. Something like the giant Mazinger though,it's a cool toy that costs a lot of money,but you get what you came for. Of course no toy is "worth" 300 bucks,but hey no luxury item is really "worth" anything.

As far as the vinyl stuff goes,I'm sorry,a lot of it just looks like crap to me. Most of the non-mainstream vinyl figures are things I wouldn't buy if they were five bucks.
That being said I think I've more than made my opinion known here and on Toybox DX so I'll leave it at that.
I still think that they are overpriced but I certainly don't expect my opinion to stop you from collecting them if you want to.

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A master of mind control who hides inside a Ford Pickup

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 9 March, 2010 - 20:30
me

I like the idea to be an educated collector...don't pre-order bandai stuff they will be on clearance soon enough, pre-order Marmit daigokin...if you can ever see it, use patience. BUT most of all think: will I love this piece in my collection OR because I rushed will it be some dead albatross hanging around my neck...yes I am still bitter that MaxAlloy-Dragonar HAS no alloy...I like Sanjeev's idea that, let the item calm down and settle unless you "know" it will fly off the shelves (very very few collectibles really). I have to say collecting is great, but also the journey, knowing what is "worth it", understanding how to check quality before you receive (still working on this one), and always evaluating and changing your collection is half the fun...to me.

AJProDie-Cast's picture
Posted by AJProDie-Cast on 9 March, 2010 - 20:55
This is certainly a great point

And as such, I have a number of CMs and Bandai items headed my way for my b-day that are much less expensive now than they were when they came out. CMs Gakeen, for example, for about $140 shipped, whereas in many places it's still listed at more than $240 prior to shipping. You can't wait forever, since some items do disappear, but a wait of a year or two will net you toys for a lot less.

fujikuro's picture
Posted by fujikuro on 10 March, 2010 - 11:03
I agree completely Josh. And

I agree completely Josh. And in terms of Top Gear...

EVA_Unit_4A is definetly the "Captain slow" of Collection DX...Well planned, methodical, and organized in his reviews...Even though he can prattle on a bit too much, he means well. Now if we could get him to exclaim "Oh! *ock!" once in a while. Maybe he could then get a epic speed lap in the Veyron?

And the Stig is definelty all the lurkers out there reading this. Whom don't post comments, setting the pace for the hobby by buying the toys they want regardless of however we subjectively value such toys...Some say he owns every CareBear and keeps them locked in the closet...Others say his clothing is made from detagged Beanie Babies...All we know is he is called the Stig.

BraveMSW's picture
Posted by BraveMSW on 9 March, 2010 - 21:01
The comparison to Top Gear

The comparison to Top Gear is inspired. Let's not forget that the TG folks also have a tremendous amount of fun with cheap, ugly, or otherwise forgotten cars, something we also do pretty well. They cover super cars because they love cars, they cover Morris Marina's because they love cars, even if they loathe Morris Marinas.

As for the "free" toys: I (personally) spend anywhere from 4-6 hours on each review;it's fun, of course, but still. And while we're not paid, we're professional in the sense that we've spent vast resources in time and money to know what we're talking about. If you look at the (monetary) value of the free stuff and what we've spent on toys (and in JB and Dan's case, running a web site) to get to the point where anyone would even consider giving us free specimens, there is really not a remote comparison.

The Enthusiast's picture
Posted by The Enthusiast on 9 March, 2010 - 21:12
Wow, so many different

Wow, so many different points of view, so many opinions...! That's the beauty of it all! Value, price, profit, high-end, QC, everyone will always have their own take on these. For example, this Neo Jumbo Shin Mazinger figure. Had I handled it in person before I purchased it, I may have passed on it (maybe). To me it's Value is not $300 worth, not even close. But that's "to me", other may consider it the best figure to ever come out of a factory. On the other hand, I've had this tiny Banpresto game price Mazinger Z figure for well over a decade now, and it's Value to me is so great that I would probably never sell it unless it is a ridiculous amount of money (ridiculous to me is A LOT of $$$).

As far as Value for future profit, I have 7 words for you all: Fewture EX Gokin Black Getter Ryoma Mode.
Want another example? Bandai Soul of Chogokin GX-01RB. One more? Marmit Dai Gokins. Yes, these were limited BUT, they were also pretty much readily available for purchase when they came out (well, maybe not so much the GX-01RB), but still. You can make a profit if you choose wisely, even with modern releases...

Yes, I agree with the statement that every High-End (high price) item should be as perfect as possible. You should not have to pay over $300 for a Fewture Gokin only to discover that the paint job is all over the place or the figure's feet are broken off. High QC should be standard for High-End figures. However, that doesn't mean that just because you only pay $70 for a GX-01R it shouldn't be made with high QC standards as well. Hell, these days even the McDonald's Happy Meal toys are pretty good!

Oh, one thing that is certain is that people will value the things that they aquire with some sort of sacrifice MORE than the things that are given to them for free (sentimental value aside). That is human nature.

}D

The Mazinger Z's picture
Posted by The Mazinger Z on 9 March, 2010 - 21:34
Oh just buy it you hobos :3

Oh just buy it you hobos :3

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 9 March, 2010 - 22:01
This

+1

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 9 March, 2010 - 22:09
We're all forgetting the big

We're all forgetting the big picture, what we're really in this for: the ladies.

The Enthusiast's picture
Posted by The Enthusiast on 9 March, 2010 - 22:07
Ladies

The ladies. Whose breasts are also missiles.

Ginrai's picture
Posted by Ginrai on 9 March, 2010 - 22:31
I just hope one day I'll

I just hope one day I'll meet a girl who can hold my hand and confidently say "I don't care what the other girls say. Your toy collection is big enough for me."

servbot30's picture
Posted by servbot30 on 10 March, 2010 - 01:51
OMG! I almost pissed myself

OMG! I almost pissed myself laughing at this!

-Dan
CollectionDX LLC
Vice President/Co-Owner

Shogundan's picture
Posted by Shogundan on 10 March, 2010 - 10:00
OW OW OW OW OW you nailed me

OW OW OW OW OW you nailed me in the middle of a phone meeting.

WELL played sir, well played.

http://sinthetik.com - Full Frontal Nerdity

SushiSpook's picture
Posted by SushiSpook on 11 March, 2010 - 14:59
long time reader, rare commenter

I see it like this, we all have our own views and concerns as collectors, fans and enthuisist.
Cost- do you think you will pay too much?
Durability- will it hold up after I take it out the box?
Appearance- how will it look on my shelf?
Space- will it fit on said shelf with all the other "junk" up there?
And that's why I turn to you fellas here, for those answers.
If you can give it the "thumbs up" and I can buy it AND its a toy I want then who cares if you paid for it or not?

I just want an honest review.

And I have yet to strike out by listening to you guys.
Hell even when I did buy a bum steer i didn't hit the roof, just cause you guys warned me.
Now about the vinyls I've never been a fan and jumbos again aren't my cup of tea.
But when I see you guys go over them I can see its a labor of love, good or bad.
So do I still find this site useful, you bet!
We are a lot alike, you guys have the time and gear to do the reviews and I really appreciate it.
Me? I'm a trucker who just hasn't grown up and has space and a little cash to spend.
So I turn to you (and a few others) for news and reviews, even way back when I lived in Japan.
And sure if you did lo-end toys here then I feel it would still be with the same discerning eye as always.
But that's now what this hobby is about, its about the chase if you can afford it and if you can't then just sit back and enjoy the show.

The quest for supremacy shall never end. . . .

Blakwulf's picture
Posted by Blakwulf on 9 March, 2010 - 22:55
At the heart of the matter

I want a video review site where the package is opened and the product is thrown at a wall. No commentary, no debate, just sheer debauchery. In fact I want the toy to be launched by some lifeless piece of machinery, starting with Sanjeev's UFO tricycle. And I want women, and free beer sent to my house just for signing up to be a member of the forum.

xiombarg's picture
Posted by xiombarg on 9 March, 2010 - 23:39
I couldn't agree more Josh.

I couldn't agree more Josh. I think you guys at CDX do us all a service by demonstrating the ins and outs of a given toy before we decide we have to have it. I just returned to collecting six months ago, and honestly over half my purchases were made due to your reviews. Plus you guys really demonstrate h ow non trivial toy collecting really is. Let's be honest, it's a tough sell for a lot of people, not like that should matter if you're a part of what you truly love. My point is you guys truly succeed at showing the importance of toys, and the effort that goes into producing them. Toy making is an artform, and an important one at that. Many have failed in the past at conveying, where on the other hand yo guys really make it something special.

hal9000's picture
Posted by hal9000 on 10 March, 2010 - 00:06
Nice discussion, and thanks

Nice discussion, and thanks for writing your piece , Josh. Very well said, and it' great to be somewhat transparent once in a while, as it's easy to forget that people constantly come on board, and don't have any background to judge just what you guys are up to. (I've seen your toy room(s), and boy do I know what you're up to , buddy, ;0) *ahem*)

As to the auto journalist comparison, that's excellent. And in that vein, YES, it's a standard part of almost all enthusiast publications, whether they be cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, etc., to publish at least "One Year Later" revisits, and post what they still like, don't like, what's broken, and what defied initial skepticism (or not). Many of the "long term test" mules, are ones the publication specifically decided to single out to keep track of based on what they or the readers would find interesting.

So...YEAH, an occasional look back review would be right in line with what other enthusiast journals do, to check up on the ol' value quotient.

And YES, also, to the vicarious collection idea. Being part of the site makes me feel that I have some sort of access to the toys added to the pile, even though I'm not really there in any way. It does satisfy some of the curious factor, that leads to toy purchases in the first place. So the specific reviewed toys have that value, though I can certainly make up my own mind on what's worth getting for me.

repairtechjon's picture
Posted by repairtechjon on 10 March, 2010 - 00:06
Appreciating toys and (some more questions?)

First off, I would like to thank you the staff at CollectionDX for doing the reviews. (I assume each person has a full time job) It takes a high level of dedication to keep contents flowing. Without exception, every time I check the site, there is some new information. I believe they act with integrity. The site has broaden my appreciation of toys beyond the traditional SOC super robots

(As a side question does anyone have an answer - Is the Otaku market so big that it can support all these merchandising from girly figures to super robots? The Japanese economy has been so sluggish for so long. How can these companies make a profit (or the Chinese labor rate is low it is easy to make a profit) Are there lots of unsold merchandises? - I notice that many online stores are offering substantial preorder (15-25% off) discount to ensure they do not carry any excess inventory

JoshB is right toys (in this category are a luxury). To some family, toys are a luxury (period) even if it was a very small Transformer. The parents may rather spend their money to register their children in sports, etc. Our collection reminds me of ladies that like to collect Swaroski crystals or Lladro figurines. To an outsider, it makes no sense

Value is a tricky topic. I echo some opinions of what have been said. I have been listening to some Transformers podcasters and they have dismissed the binaltech/alternator. They probably value playability. But I value them for the intricacies of their design

I buy toys for several reason (not necessary in any orders) - 1) familiarity with characters, 2)craftsmanship - articulation 3)design & aesthetics. 4)spark of wonderment. I am not a big Getter Robo fan. I never intended to buy the Fewture Ryoma Getter, but when I saw the pictures I was totally spellbind.

I am not interested in selling (or seeing toys as an investment.) There is a limited market for collector toys and to realize your investment you need to find someone similar who values it the same as the seller. I keep hearing how there are less and less people who care about the old time super robot, and by inference a smaller amount of available buyers. The only people who win are the courier companies. There are a much bigger pool of buyers for real estates, and financial investments.

Thank you for this post & keep up the great work

Simon

silver1spider's picture
Posted by silver1spider on 10 March, 2010 - 00:14
 
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