Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Batman Return's Index



I have seen toy prices do a lot of ups and downs this past year but lately the ups are starting to stay. I usually gage toy prices on the Batman Returns index. That’s about the time I started collecting toys instead of using them in toxic chemical experiments of Dr. Mindbender’s and Lifeline’s ‘Medic Mixes’ in the bathroom. The standard price I have always excepted is 5.99 for a regular robust action figure, and 10.99 for a deluxe action figure with some extras. Sometimes that varies plus or minus a dollar, but for years that was the norm. Lately though, toy inflation has finally caught up. There could be several explanations, maybe it’s the extra standards for lead checking, or maybe its the addition of an 80 points of articulation on Spiderman, or maybe it’s the Transformer that is so complicated to transform NASA was needed to develop it.

Best example are the new DC and Marvel 3 ¾ figures. 7.99 for just one small figure minus a stand and extra weapons. Not even a mini comic? I find that price a little high for a figure size that’s below the Batman Returns index. They are great figures, but man buying just a few will set you back farther than the fun that they generate. I do see stores having sales more often though, setting the price high and then offering 10-15% off every month or so. That doesn’t help though when you really need that toy fix in between sales.

The scareiest example I saw was Shopko’s prices. Wow, what happened there? Can you believe they are selling the Comic 2 packs of GI Joe figrues for 21.99! If the comic is worth 2 bucks, that’s about 10 dollars per the little sized figure!!! Actually I guess that’s what keeps that store in buisness since no one is ever there.

Another price gouge is the mini Transformers. I was buying a lot of those eariler because they are super fast to transform, work well on a desk, and for about 3.99 you can get the whole collection (cybertron) for a fraction of what they cost to get the regular sized ones (of course I still bought the big ones DOH!) Now I see prices for 5.99 for a mini?!! That’s insane, they aren’t that great at that size per cost ratio.

At least Hotwheels are still about a dollar. Whew! Those are perfect emergency buys.

I’m hoping toy sales slow because of these prices, and stores have to start lowering them. For the time being I am buying less anyways, I don’t have much room left in my toy closet, dresser, back yard, plastic bins, car, attic, work drawers, boxes, storage shed, crawl space, walls, shelves, pantry, Barts litter box, airport storage, wife’s work desk, and ceiling.

7 comments:

Bubbashelby said...

I hope prices level out. DCIH aren't worth more than $4.99 and the 3 3/4 Marvel stuff is probably worth $6.99 tops (because at least they have accessories and greater articulation.)

I admit, I will get "must have" characters at the prices they're gouging for now, but I will think long and hard about what constitutes a "must have" and I will pass on tons of figures that I would have otherwise bought if they were a mere buck or two less. In the long term, this attitude (which I think many collectors and parents will adopt in this economy - by choice or otherwise) will hurt sales.

Dan said...

Its funny too that I have noticed many of these toys warming up the pegs, then having to be clearance in mass lots at large losses. If they just got the price right to begin with, maybe more would sell.

LEon said...

I fully agree toys are overpriced. It is not really for kids but more for collectors now. Worst part the quality are not much better too.

If I have a kid, i will be asking myself how i can better spend the amount of money for him for a meal than a toy sometime...

It time for toy collectors to dictate them.

Dan said...

Quality drives me nuts. Why buy something that the plastic could possibly become brittle and break? That toy you leave on a display shelf could break just as easily than the toy that gets played with everyday.

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