Monday, July 27, 2015
Vinylmation Beginner's Guide - When Is The Time to Buy?
I'm listing this as a Vinylmation Beginner's Guide post because I feel like this is most likely to be a question that new collectors have. However, this can certainly be an important topic for seasoned collectors too.
When is the time to buy Vinylmation? Now I don't mean when should you buy instead of blind box, because that's really up to each individual. You might only want to buy a certain number of boxes and see what you get, or you might not have any issue with how much it costs to get all the figures you want through blind boxing - because it's just that much fun! Or, you might save yourself time and money and go right in with a case. Again, there's no right or wrong, it's a personal decision.
What I want to talk about is when you should buy Vinylmation (after to deciding to buy over blox) on the secondary market. Should you buy when a figure has just been released? Should wait a few weeks? Wait over a year?
The answer to this question isn't simple. It really depends on the figure. But there are some general rules:
The longer you leave a common figure, the cheaper it will be. Villains #4 and Animation #4 were both released in 2013 and now many of the common figures are selling for $10 and under. The lowest I saw was $6. But some figures will hold their secondary market value. I noticed Flynn Rider is still selling for $15-$20 and Three Caballeros Donald from Animation #5 is selling for around $25. That part all depends on the popularity of the figure and what's available.
If a figure it still in demand, it will not get cheaper the longer you leave it. The opposite will happen - it will get more expensive. When Park #14 first came out, the Soarin' figure retailed for $20-$30. I thought that was a little steep and didn't get it right away. Well that figure is one of the most popular from Park #14, and now that the series is no longer being sold, the market isn't flooded with options. You can still grab a figure at $20 if you're lucky, but with only one or two figures listed at any given time on eBay, they're now selling for $30-$50.
The first series of something will usually increase in value. Again this depends on popularity. Animation #1 and Villains #1 are almost all $10 and under still. However Urban #1, Park #1 and Marvel #1 are more pricey than they were when first released. Park #1 being the most expensive because it's the most sought after.
Some prices change throughout the year. That might sound strange, but this is what I mean. Holiday Vinylmation such as Halloween figures. Christmas figures, etc. are typically more expensive during that season. Easter Vinylmation right now in July are selling for $10-$15, but in March and April this year they were selling for $15-$20. Why? Because most people aren't looking to buy a Santa Mickey in July or a Halloween Mickey in March. But they will be when the season hits, so sellers will increase their prices.
Some vinyls will stay popular, others won't. Limited Edition doesn't necessarily mean that something will be popular and sell out. But sometimes it means exactly that. The Star Wars Weekends 9" figures seem to either hold or increase in value, but other sets sell now for much cheaper than the original retail price.
Some vinyls will become popular again later. Like I've touched on already with Soarin', the second the supply decreases, prices will increase. I can foresee this with Star Wars Weekend sets. Right now there's plenty of choice for 2015's sets, but this time next year I reckon they'll be back up.
The best thing to do is gauge popularity. That will tell you when the best time is to buy Vinylmation. But sometimes Vinylmation are highly unpredictable and that's easier said than done. My personal opinion is that it's best to play it safe. Buying a figure for $20 over retail is better than leaving it and paying $50 over retail down the line. But you're taking a risk that $20 over retail might turn in to $5 under retail if you had waited. It's a game that will take a very long time to perfect.