I'm wondering about the rising cost of toy collecting and whether you foresee a time when you will quit the hobby due to cost?
The price of materials and moulds is rising, and there is upward pressure on wages in China. Shipping is also getting more expensive.
I'm in Canada so I also get dinged by a poor exchange rate.
Depending on what you collect, is there a price that would make you quit? Is $30 too much for a 1/12 figure? $40? I'm thinking of Hasbro-type figures?
What about Japanese figures, which a typically more expensive anyway? What price is too much for a SHF or Figma or Nendo?
I collect 1/6 stuff mainly and with many Hot Toys hitting the $200-250 mark (more for die-cast), I've had to cut back. I can definitely see the day coming when a standard 1/6 figure hits the $300 level. I'm already passing up figures I would have bought a few years ago, no question.
Anyway, just wondering what fellow /toy/ soldiers think.
I remember when TF deluxes were $7. I remember when ML's were $8. I remember when Walmart was the Toy store/dept killer. I used to buy toys because they were simply cheap. I hardly cherry pick those lines anymore
Yes, I also remember the glory days of ToyBiz Marvel Legends fondly. At 8 to 10 dollars, there was no question of getting every figure from every wave. I'd just go into my favourite toy store and scoop up the whole lot. No tough decisions.
Now, like >>5390378 and >>5390388, I've cut back to just key characters I like. But doesn't this mean we should expect less variation from the toy industry? No more obscure characters, just the sure sellers?
I wonder what the tipping point would be. Could Hasbro sell Marvel Legends at $40 U.S. a pop, would the line still sell at that price?
I know personally, I find the $300 (CDN) threshold hard to cross for 1/6 figures but I have done it in the past. Nowadays, $300 (U.S.) is around the usual price for a HT die-cast Iron Man. So I cut back and in response they make even more Iron Man because they know at least I'll buy that.
Yeah. It's not a matter of "toys or food" here, despite the stereotypes.
Guess you can complain about poorfaggoty, but really, once something stops being a deal to me, I don't bother. I would gladly pick up a Transformer casually when shopping back in the day because ten bucks was a great impulse by for a Deluxe.
I can afford a twenty dollar impulse by nowadays, but it's just plain not worth it to me, nor are the ten dollar Legends when I remember how much that got me.
I've started collecting less and paying more for it.
Mostly I buy Hot Toys, SHF and Sentinel nowadays. If this is going to be the trend, I'd rather have about ten great figures over the course of a year than lots of cheap, mediocre ones.
>I wonder what the tipping point would be. Could Hasbro sell Marvel Legends at $40 U.S. a pop, would the line still sell at that price?
No, because the majority of the toys Hasbro sells to are kids and kids don't have that sort of money.
Anything more expensive than $30 is birthday and Christmas special budget tier
Besides, DC Direct, McFarlane, NECA, Mezco, and other collector companies have shown that they can produce high quality collector toys with tons of articulation for less than $25.
A $40+ price point is only rip off territory for a quality super articulated figure.
It's had an effect. I stopped buying Marvel Universe (1/18) figures when they went over $10, even though that's my favorite scale.
I'm less likely to buy a toy now than I was a few years ago, even though I actually have more income -- I don't want to pay more money for the same things. Like >>5390531, I'm willing to spend more per toy for a better quality toy, and I'm buying fewer of them.
I know I wouldn't pay $40 for an ML. The quality doesn't justify the price. Hell, it has to be a character or a design I really like for me to buy them even now.
I'm also Canadian so I know that feel, though I'm used to paying the 90~ yen per d--
>it's 82.7 fucking yen now
I wonder how people coped from 2008 to 2014 with a weak exchange rate. I just started buying weeb recently, so I can only imagine. These current rates are great, they offset shipping costs a great deal.
I think the worst case of inflation has got to be PAKs, they've gone from 45 dollars for a basic release to 150 in only 4 years, with only slightly better articulation and minimal paint improvement. I don't know how they long they can keep this insanity up, soon they're hitting hot toys prices. If it wasn't for amiami's discount I would've dropped them long ago, only held out this long for MGS, which is pretty much finished.
Naw. I have a very low cost of living and a pretty good job with a pay that goes up with inflation. The only thing that'll make me stop is running out of room or being satisfied with what I have. I'm actually very close to both those points.
It was hell anon.
I actually chose SAL for most of my items and there was always the fear that it would get lost in the mail never to be heard from again.
On the upside when it would exceed the projected number of days when it finally did come and you'd long since forgotten you'd ordered it, it was like getting a present from the distant past - from a younger version of yourself.
Thank you OP. Your insight into Hot Toys collectors has shattered my long-held perspective on your ilk. I never realized that they could be too expensive for you to continue collecting. I have never been interested in 1/6 products myself, they are just too big.
To answer your questions, I don't really see it as "too high a price makes me quit". Most stuff I want isn't too expensive in the first place: Figuarts, SIC, Figma, SAS, Revoltech, Robot Damashii, Gunpla. Living in the US helps too. :^)
Besides that, I actually have a way better job now than when I started collecting, and back then I hit the "100 Figuarts releases" pretty quick.
Usually when an item is announced and I want it, I order it, and so far I have yet to have buyers remorse about anything, save a shitty NECA Xeno that broke right out of the package.
Well I think most of the price hikes are just company entitlement, the belief that they deserve more revenue and more profit every year no matter how little they try. That also manifests as cancellations, like when Hasbro or Mattel bungles distribution and then feeds us a line about a brand or character not having enough demand instead of taking responsibility for their numerous fuckups along the way. God damn, toy retailing is starting to look an awful lot like H1B-era software development; nobody fucking knows how to do anything right.
That aside, yes, I've cut back in the last ten years. 1:6 scale went nuts a decade ago. 1:18 scale has devolved into a sick joke. 1:12 is too hard to find without buying an entire case. About all I have left are MP TFs and I'm severely tempted to stop preordering them and wait for the inevitable half-off clearance.
I've had a good laugh at EE's "wholesale" listings this past year too. More expensive than even BBTS and months later too? Sign me up!
There's reports that DCC is going to be jumping at least a few of their lines (BTAS, for one) up to $28 MSRP. I kind of suspect that they're doing it because being in-house incurs more overhead cost in comparison to a joint effort like Hasbro and Marvel. With the amount of spare hands and somewhat elaborate stands that they pack into their toys it was only a matter of time before those costs creeped up or the accessory count went way down (or both, really).
>I wonder what the tipping point would be. Could Hasbro sell Marvel Legends at $40 U.S. a pop, would the line still sell at that price?
I'm puzzled at people paying 20 for them already.
MLs at their current quality for 40 fucking bucks? Not even capefags hate money that much.
>penny pinching miser
Now we know why old people stop giving a fuck and only know about what was good in their era
>Well I think most of the price hikes are just company entitlement, the belief that they deserve more revenue and more profit every year no matter how little they try.
It's not really entitlement. Inflation hits them just as hard as us. The increase in cost of production also hits them too.
However, unlike us, they can increase their prices so that the true cost remains the same for them.
We get jack shit from our employers and government from the rise in cost of goods.
So instead of being a little bitch believing companies don't know how to run a business, you should be a little bitch to your boss and demand a better pay check.
>be a little bitch to your boss
Who are also a company that knows how to run a business by not giving you a better paycheck or raising the prices of their goods and services that increase the cost of living to others like you, and vice-versa
It can't be helped
Wait, if companies don't raise wages (and their suppliers don't raise wages), where, exactly, does inflation come from besides entitlement espoused by management and shareholders?
>believing companies don't know how to run a business
If conventional wisdom is true and toy sales are suffering, isn't that proof that they don't know how to sell toys? And if selling toys is your business, that does indeed mean you don't know how to run a business.
If "remaining a going concern" is all the higher you're going to set the bar, then even the poor and government are wild success stories.
Allow me to explain why things now aren't better.
Why the yen being strong was a good thing:
Back when the yen was strong Japan had more buying power and thus could make toys cheaper for Japanese customers. This meant higher sales numbers per collector and also generally meant more accessories too. Japanese collectors ARE the main audience for a lot of these lines.
Why the yen being artificially weak is a bad thing:
Now that the yen has been devalued by printing money Japan has less buying power so the toys cost more to produce and the higher cost of the toys means less Japanese collectors buying stuff. This means they need even higher profit margins so prices go up even more to compensate. This is what happens in any high end market. It's also why they are focusing more on western properties because collectors in Japan can't afford this shit anymore.
Prices now are generally worse than they've ever been:
So what's the end result? A figma back in the "dark ages of 2008-2014" cost about $35-40 shipped and usually had more accessories. A figma right now costs about $50-70 shipped, the $50 releases being fairly bare bones. The only benefit of the current exchange rate came from the very brief market adjustment period where new releases were dirt cheap based on old deals made with factories before all this happened. This also applies to many re-releases that continue to be released at older prices when the yen was strong. Though as we saw with "Legacy of Revoltech" some of those deals are being re-negotiated and thus increasing the prices. Pre-owned and older releases that shelf-warmed are of course also cheaper than usual.
With the stock market currently being volatile this could go south very quick and give us the worst prices ever on quite a lot of things.
The one thing I never quite got my head around when it came to the way pricing changed was that when I first came to Japan like, a decade ago the exchange rate was more or less what it is now, for dollars at least (for GBP it was actually a lot, lot weaker). But let's say, the average Figuarts (if they were even around at that time) cost about 1800yen (shop discounts withstanding).
Then came the Lehman Shock of 2008 and shit went tits up, the yen became really strong, yet we didn't really see much change in pricing. Then the yen weakened back to it's original state, and prices soared.
Aside from matters relating to inflation, I can't really get my head around how companies could afford to produce what they did circa 2005, when the yen's value was more or less what it is today.
Kinda. The last Robot Damashii I got was Rick Dias (CDJapan had him $9 less than everywhere else) so I'm taking a break from the line. Once they've finished the rest of Love Live and the 2.0 version of the Jougasaki sisters from Idolm@ster CInderella Girls I'm retiring from figma (unless there's some new series I'm into).
So all that leaves is Nendoroids which i started late 2014 and then, it's characters I REALLY like.
I only bought ONE Transformer in 2015, legend Bombshell. Call me when Titans Return Skullcrucher is released. Tempted by Skylynx though.
Simplest explanation? China's yuan wasn't as strong back then. The yen was stronger than the yuan but weaker than the dollar. Since they are producing figures in China this is a problem. When the yen remained strong during all the 2008 stuff the yuan rising in strength didn't hurt as much. Now that they printed a shit load of yen to devalue the yen it hurts a lot.
Fuck me, this is whats happening.
I buy less, spend more. drop in yen has raised price across the board of SHF/Revos especially. Moreover,>>5392675
is right. Back in 2009 when I imported my first DBZ SHFs costs were cleap comparatively, now they are WAY inflated to make up for these factors, Sentinel stuff especially.
I know I'm fucking in deep dirt right now.
>Weekly comic books
>Figmas/Legos/Amiibos/Weeb shit from AmiAmi
Just fuck my shit up senpai. I'm going to reduce my comic books soon, because it's too hard to keep up with releases, and it doesn't help that $2.99 books are like, $3.50 here in Canada.
Sorry, i'm not knowledgeable enough to tackle that question in a satisfactory manner. I only know a little bit.
China already has the infrastructure built out and most these companies are working with factories they trust. Creating a new factory in Japan would be unrealistic and finding a factory in this specialized field would be difficult/costly. Remember when Alter and Max Factory tried to share a factory in China but the quality was so bad Alter had to delay all their releases for several months while going back to the old factory?
Then there is other things to consider like wages, benefits, importation of raw materials, taxes and many other variables. It's not to the point where doing things in Japan would be more cost effective. It's just to the point where toys have to be more expensive but are still selling well enough to maintain the current pricing structures.
>Why don't they just move their production back to Japan then?
That sounds so easy! They can just pack up all the factories in EMS boxes and have them shipped to japan in like, 2 days!
That's saddening. An amazing figure with a ton of accessories like chogokin racaseal could not have been made in today's environment, especially not at 7k yen. Just thinking of all the wonderful figures we're missing out on...
We're still getting wonderful figures, just that they're butchered in things like accessory compartment (SHF Kinnikuman stuff) or notably more expensive (SHFSS Decade comes to mind).
Doesn't mean we don't get releases with good bang-for-the-buck, though. Maybe not as often, I dunno.
I actually started collecting in 2011, and I'm gonna be honest I feel like it was better then. I only collected Gunpla for almost 2 years, and I didn't order my first figure from amiami until 2013, a figma. And sure, the exchange rate was worse, but a figure was also cheaper back then. Seriously, I payed 3k a pop for Link and Samus when they got their re-issues, and the new Link is almost 4k. That 25% increase on price doesn't mean much when the yen is about 25% weaker. The price kinda comes out even.
The reason this is bad is that collectors figures are getting more expensive (figma in particular, some of that shit is outrageous), and that eventually when the yen gets stronger and the exchange rate could potentially hit what it was in '11 or so... those prices aren't going to go down. It's going to be horrible to pay 65USD for a figma listed on amiami for 5.5k, instead of the 45ish that is now.
The yen being weak is a terrible, terrible thing.
I only started collecting comics a few years ago. I was wary going in because of all the different timelines and universes. It's hard to even know what to read even for a hero you like.
I started with original sin and from there learned that they want you to buy 7 series that tie into a main story, which is kind of lame.
After being through just a few comic cycles I'm starting to think it's just better to buy compilations (I forget the term) for series that are reviewed as doing well.
>Wait, if companies don't raise wages (and their suppliers don't raise wages), where, exactly, does inflation come from besides entitlement espoused by management and shareholders?
The economies of the world are all linked together now. It's no longer about us(a).
Companies have set up shop in dozens of different countries and their market has expanded because of that. In addition, production has moved out of the US and into third world countries, which means they're making more income. The wealth that used to be exchanged in only one country or region has expanded to encompass multiple continents.
So companies are making more income than ever, which has an effect of the inflation in their home country and because the income of the normal citizen hasn't changed inspite of that growth, their buying power diminishes.
So there you go, multi-national companies get affected by inflation and the growing cost caused by their growth, thus they increase their prices. We get hit the same by that inflation and increase in cost, but our income does not increase because fuck you, that's why!
The only good news about this is that costs have been driven so high in China that companies are beginning to see no incentive to keep production there. Some industries are returning back to the US again, but this doesn't mean everything will. Maybe some poor African nation might be able to be exploited for their labor, which is why China has been investing into a couple of countries there.
>If conventional wisdom is true and toy sales are suffering, isn't that proof that they don't know how to sell toys? And if selling toys is your business, that does indeed mean you don't know how to run a business.
There's still growth, but growth isn't as high as before. Toys are still selling, but they're not making sexy profits that keeps stockholders happy. So it's not that they don't know how to run a company, it's that stockholders have unrealistic expectations and that's normal.
Eh, considering how Hasbro and other companies have raised the price for their toys from 10-20, it makes sense for companies like Hot Toys to follow suit.
Only shows how much cost of production and inflation has hit everyone, and that uniform increase is only proof of the prices being fair.
Even bro companies like McFarlane, who usually tries to keep prices as bro-priced as possible, has had similar price increases.
Not saying we should go French Revolution on our governments, especially when we're only upset about luxury products like toys, but people need to start whining more to them like some groups (that we view as crazy/racist) already have been.
This is dumb as fuck. If you can afford something at all, price is never an issue.
Now, if you can't... yeah that bites.
I guess you never had a want for something out of your price level? Lucky.
>I'm in Canada so I also get dinged by a poor exchange rate.
I really know this feeling, it's getting bad