A while ago I started a line of articles called Figure Collecting 101 that are geared towards beginning collectors to help them get started in this hobby. Now I’m going to write what I’m calling Figure Collecting 102 figures which are for someone who is collecting and are about topics that might be more of interest to that type person. I hope you enjoy this new article and if you have any suggestions for something you’d like to see covered on the site, please let me know in the comments below!
One of the things that attracted me to collecting figures/toys is that they seem to be a fairly decent thing to invest in. Unlike baseball cards or collectible card games which I collected before figures, the value of toys is a lot more stable and predictable. So many of a given toy are made and then stores stop selling them and the supply runs out. This means having a new and in the box figure can be quite valuable if you’re lucky. While I open much of what I buy to play around with and review here on the site, I have kept some figures in the box because it is too cool to open or I thought it might be a good investment. Something I could enjoy owning for a while and when it becomes rare down the road, I can sell it if I want. There aren’t a ton of figures I’ve bought with this in mind but just enough to write this article. And before anyone gets the idea that I might be scalping anything, keep in mind that I have sold one toy in my collection since I began buying Nintendo figures!
With that said, let’s take a look at what figures I “invested” in and why. I’m going to skip over any figures I’ve bought and opened because by opening these figures, the value is immediately diminished and while it is possible to recoup what you spent or make a little profit, it is not an effective way to do so. And besides, the whole point of investing is to try and make money, right!?
6″ Inch Metroid – $10 – This was the holy grail of World of Nintendo figures for quite a long time and I went to my local Toys R Us and they randomly had one. I had a rewards gift certificate for Toys R Us so I figured why not get it? I like Metroid and I knew this was a hard figure to find that would be the coolest World of Nintendo figure in my collection for some time which is actually still pretty much the case.
Shadow Link – $20 – I remember and like Shadow Link but it isn’t one of my favorite characters. Instead, it was the unique paint job that drew me and made me think this could be sought after. The fact that this was a Spencer’s exclusive figure made it an interesting one to hunt down and potentially a rare figure, so as soon as it came out, I grabbed one at my local mall.
8-Bit Mario and Princess Peach San Diego Comic Con Exclusive – $25-$30 – The packaging of this set is just awesome and pure nostalgia goodness. I love this too much to open it and the figures are not articulated anyway so there seems to not be a big reason to do so. Since I have not seen a product like this and it is a San Diego Comic Exclusive which is obviously something that not everyone can go to, I thought this could be rare and valuable later on as people find out about it and decide they want one.
Gold Mario Amiibo – $13 – I’ve talked about this Amiibo before but I spent hours waiting in New York City at Nintendo New York for this guy and I did so at the height of Amiibo rarity under the impression that Gold Mario was surely going to be one of the rarest and most sought after Amiibo Nintendo would make. For that reason and because his value has generally been pretty high, I’ve never once thought about opening this Amiibo.
Truthfully, I haven’t followed the value of these items too closely since I bought them but I do know that they have fluctuated rapidly over time and it is quite possible that I just missed the window of opportunity to sell them high. Regardless of that, let’s see how my investments have panned out by averaging together some recently finished auctions on eBay!
6″ Inch Metroid – $33
Shadow Link – $22.50
8-Bit Mario and Princess Peach San Diego Comic Con Exclusive – $15-30
Gold Mario Amiibo – $60
So as you can see, I have had very mixed success with my “investments.” The Metroid is the only World of Nintendo figure to really gain in value at all and while it has doubled its price, making $15 is relatively insubstantial for anyone with a job. Gold Mario has also proven to be a fairly good investment which is good since it was such a pain to buy! Other than that, the other figures have gained next to nothing in value. While I was not shocked at this, it was a little surprising that I’m not as good at guessing what could be valuable as I would have hoped. Writing this article has lead me to a couple of conclusions. One is that World of Nintendo figures don’t make for great investments outside of the truly limited figures (especially those where the number made is on the box). Amiibo have been very hard to predict and a lot of figures I had that were valuable like Marth and Villager have fluctuated rapidly due to changing demands from collectors. Investing in toys is not really much easier than the stock market. It is hard to predict or know what might be valuable later on.
I’m thankful I haven’t “invested” in a lot of toys because quite frankly, I’d be pretty disappointed if so. There are the occasional figures you buy that ends up being valuable and you don’t expect it but it is simply impossible to predict what will and will not be valuable. For example, Toon Link was an easy Amiibo to get when he came out and has become rare and much more valuable since then.
My advice (and I will be trying to follow this myself in the coming years) is simple. Buy only the figures that you want, unless you are absolutely convinced something is going to be hard to get. Outside of that, it is hard to predict what will be rare or expensive one day and chances are good you will not make a lot of money even if you’re willing to wait a long time as I have done with a couple of my figures. Enjoy your figures and collection and let making money be a nice surprise on those rare occasions when it happens!
What are your thoughts in investing in figures? Would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the comments below!