How To Sell Your Hot Toys or 1:6 Scale Figure CollectionPeter W
To sell, or not to sell, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The spending of an outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of figures
And by opposing sell them.
If William Shakespeare was alive today and a collector of sixth scale figures, perhaps he would write something along those lines. With the amount of 1:6 scale figures coming out each year, and more people getting into the hobby, there is more choice than ever. Companies such as Hot Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, Asmus Toys, Toys Era and Quantum Mechanix (among countless others) are pumping out figures faster than many collectors can make the money to spend on them.
When you also factor in Hollywood pumping out new films from favorite properties such as Star Wars and the Marvel Universe like never before, there are more characters emerging all the time that collectors want on their shelves in the 1:6 scale form.
With so many options to choose from now, and the companies delivering characters faster than ever, a problem has arisen for collectors: do you keep the figures you bought a few years ago or do you upgrade to the newest sculpt or version of a figure?
Recently Hot Toys has taken to releasing their own versions of Star Wars figures that Sideshow Collectibles had previously released in the same one sixth scale form. Recent examples are Darth Vader and Boba Fett to name a few. Hot Toys is also known for pumping out different armor variants of Iron Man on the regular and even offer ‘DIECAST’ versions of select characters. Sideshow Collectibles is even releasing a new version of the much sought-after Jabba the Hutt and his Throne Environment.
What does a collector do? Keep the older figure, sell the older figure and upgrade, or keep an older figure and buy the new one?
Let’s assume most collectors are like me: they have a limited budget for these figures and even more limited space to be able to display them. I focus mainly on Star Wars sixth scale figures, but I have branched out into some horror figures from Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Evil Dead to name a few. Even with those specific franchises we have seen updated figures with more accurate sculpting over the last few years as technology and processes improve and it leaves me pondering what to buy or sell, like many collectors.
Let’s say you want to start selling figures and grab a more recent version or even snag an older version instead due to the collectible factor, what should you consider in order to get the best bang for the buck? There are many options out there. The question is, are you prepared for the headaches and/or complications that may come with those options? You need to be prepared and know the pros and cons for any path you choose.
The first thing you need to know is the going rate of a figure on the secondary market and the demand for it. It’s as easy as referencing eBay and clicking the sold listings (in the left navigation panel) to see what a particular figure has sold for over the past few months. You also have to take into consideration the shipping cost, the conversion rate (if applicable) and any taxes or duties that might be owed at the time of delivery. Mistakenly, collectors will often look at active eBay listings instead of sold for a specific Hot Toys figure and pick out the highest price they see and assume that’s the market price. But if a listing has not been marked as ‘Sold’ that means it’s not a fair determinate of what a collector is willing to pay until a transaction occurs.
The positive thing about going through an auction site like eBay and using PayPal is if there are any disputes, usually the buyer and/or seller is protected. The negative thing is that eBay (and PayPal) take a percentage of the sale in the form of a transaction fee so you wouldn’t get the entire selling price in your bank account. Don’t forget that you need to take many pictures to ensure collectors they are getting what is being described or it may come back to haunt you. Collectors in any hobby, one sixth scale included, can be picky at times about the condition of what they collector. And rightfully so. For example, if your definition of ‘mint in box’ was different than that of the buyer of your figure then you could have a very big headache on your hands if they choose to open a dispute.
Another possible route could be putting them up on classified sites or mobile phone buy/sell/trade apps like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Letgo to name a few. If you opt to try this, get ready for an onslaught of emails of all kinds like people making lowball offers or trade with them for X Y or Z. Another frustrating tactic that many implore is showing up to an agreed upon deal with a set price and the buyer will try to renegotiate the price. These sites or platforms do not recommend shipping and take no responsibility for items lost or disputes that may arise. Even meeting face to face there are precautions you should take like ensuring you conduct the exchange in a public place so that you are less likely to be ripped off or even worse.
The safest and quickest option would of course be going to your local collectible store or contacting a reputable online shop (like Toy Origin, wink wink) that will buy your toys, action figures and collectibles. The beauty of dealing with a business that operates in a space where they Buy & Sell goods is that it’s a painless process where you exchange your stuff for cash with no fuss or time wasted. Unfortunately, you have to realize any business or establishment will want (and need) to make a little something for selling the figure they are buying from you, so you will likely not get the going eBay sold rate but you save the hassle and risk of dealing online or in-person with third parties. On top of that, with all the fees from eBay and PayPal, you actually may come out ahead or close enough after all is said and done.
Buying and selling sixth scale figures or other collectibles is a part of the fun for many collectors who enjoy the hobby. For others, it can be a scary process especially due to the high cost of ownership for most of these collectibles and the inherent risks that selling or trading present. Talking with other collectors in forums or online groups, checking eBay sold listings, or even just emailing and asking resellers if they would be interested in buying your figure and at what rate will help you get a good consensus of the secondary market for your Hot Toys or other collectibles. The majority of 1:6 scale figure collectors are helpful people and if you want to avoid the hassle of trading or selling on your own, Toy Origin buys all things toys, action figures, collectibles, one sixth scale figures, statues and much more!