Top Ten comments not to post on someone’s sales thread!

Hi guys,

This is my first blog article in a looooong time. I like putting together these top ten lists and I’ve been meaning to publish this one for a while.

Don’t be that guy who says something stupid to mess up a sales thread.


So why am I bothering with this list? Well this issue is actually one of the greatest bugbears in our hobby and some forums, such as Rebelscum, actually ban non-transactional comments on sales thread, which I agree with. Sales posts are sensitive; comments on them, often misinformed ones, can negatively affect the experience of both the seller and the buyer. As always, these articles simply reflect my opinions on certain aspects of our hobby. Calm down, I’m not telling you how to collect 🙂

I think it’s self-evident that comments regarding the authenticity of the item for sale do not count in this review.

This top ten list chimes in well with one of our earliest blog articles:

Ten tips for dealing with other collectors on social networking sites

Also check out Mete Akin’s guest article:

Guest Collector – Mete Akin: Responsible and sound buying techniques

Top ten, not ranked in any particular order:

 1. “I would buy this if I had the money” aka “If only it was payday.” Okay this is probably the comment that bugs me most and they pop up more than most people would think. I mean, what really is the point? I know it might sound cruel to someone who can’t afford the listed item, but why bother with posting responses like these? You want to discuss it, then fine, but do it somewhere other than someone’s sales thread. I accept that you are complimenting the seller on their item (and even unintentionally bumping their thread) but it must also be annoying for the seller. We get hopeful when we receive a notification on our sales threads, so it is a bit disappointing to find out that the comment had nothing to do with the actual sale of the item.

2. “This is overpriced.”  Okay sometimes the collectors posting these comments are spot on and they can warn others off an overpriced item. That said, people really should do some research before buying anything anyway. If I have the time to do it on every single occasion, then everyone should. There’s no rush, this is only a hobby 🙂

Even though the “overpriced” intervention can often be well intended, there are so many reasons a comment like this can be a disservice to everyone involved. What happens when the item isn’t actually overpriced but this comment is actually mis/disinformation?

3. “Great price.” Pretty much the same deal as point number two, could be well-intended but don’t risk spreading incorrect notions of pricing.

4. “You can get this cheaper on eBay.” Yep, true story. I”ve seen this comment more than just a few times. Leave the seller alone and let them go about their business in peace.

5. “How much is that in -insert currency-?”  I seem to get this question a hell of a lot as I often sell in euros or GBP. It’s not a huge issue but really can be solved by simply going to for a currency conversion estimate. 

6. “How much for the -insert name of item-?”  I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen someone ask how much an item is even though the seller has clearly stated the prices in their thread. Read the seller’s intro before asking any questions. It can be difficult managing a sales thread so unnecessary questions just make it harder.

7. “I’m not interested now. I thought you were based in -insert name of country-” I’ve had this a million times, especially because I live in The Netherlands and postage is more expensive to what the majority of collectors are used to in the U.S and the U.K. In my sales thread, I always state where I’m located  and if you really don’t know, ask the seller where they are based or check their profile before you spend hours negotiating (yes this happens…)

8. “I can sell you one cheaper.”  Trust me this happens. I’ve seen other sellers hijack someone else’s thread, offering the same item at a lower price. It’s just not cricket guys.

9. “What’s the price of fish in China?”  You guys with me? Don’t post off-topic comments. It can threaten to derail the sales thread and takes attention away from the sales item(s).

10. “I bought the same one for xxxx dollars back in 2003”  Yes we all know vintage SW was cheaper a few years ago, christ even one year ago. But someone’s sales thread is not the place to have that discussion!

So what do you guys think? Anything to add? Am I being too harsh? Feel free to let me know.

Echo Base UK Facebook Group leading the anti-scammer charge! Your group can join too!

Hi guys, just a report on a great initiative I’ve been following these past few months involving one of my favourite Facebook buying, selling and trading groups for vintage Star Wars – Echo Base UK Trading Vintage Star Wars 1977-1985. The UK based group was created almost two years and has now blown out to approximately 2000 members. Well done fellas! It is administered by Adam Pemberton, with the help of Paul Desykes, Paul Smith, Wayne Totty, Dean Keenan and John McDermott. I’ve seen all of these guys around the groups and they really are a good bunch of blokes. They do their best to ensure their group runs smoothly for  their members. And they have a great group banner too!


About three months ago the Echo Base UK admin group introduced a fantastic scammer busting rule that sellers have to include a piece of paper with their name and the date in their sales advertisements. Admin John McDermott tells me that the rule came about after a ‘member’ attempted to scam members by using stolen eBay pictures in his sales ad. His scam attempt failed after the admins asked him to add a photo of his name and date written on a piece of paper to prove ownership. After that protection measure succeeded they decided to ask all members to follow this procedure. As John says, it’s very easy to steal pictures from the internet and we all know it only takes a matter of minutes for someone to get scammed.

I for one think this is a great idea and it really adds an extra layer of protection to what can already be a murky world of online vintage dealing. While John tells me that some groups have already followed their initiative, I think this would be a great rule for other Facebook groups to rally around. True it does take a little bit of extra time to post that extra information and yes some well-known collectors may feel their egos slightly deflated having to prove their sales items are actually theirs but isn’t this group effort worth knowing that our community is safer? Not only will it help against scammers but it will protect against those sellers who ‘flip’ before they have the item in hand (a real no no in our hobby – see Ross Barr’s great article for more info – We all complain about scammers yet here we are being gifted with a practical solution to assist our fight against these scumbags.

We rallied around the anti u-grade and repro causes, why not conjure that same energy to rally around an anti-scammer initiative? Let’s do this! In the next week or so I will implement this rule in the small Luke Skywalker focus collectors group I admin (our first rule!) and will discuss the rule in the groups I co-admin.

Special thanks to John McDermott for his roving reporting 🙂

Huge thank you for the 800 likes on our Facebook page!

HI guys,

Just a super short post to thank everyone for their continuing support of the blog and its sister pages on Facebook and Twitter. When I started this blog in mid-2014, I was hoping I’d get a few regular readers and maybe a 100 or so likes on the Facebook page. Well fast-forward to today and the webpage is relatively busy, even when I don’t post fresh content, and the Facebook page has pushed to over 800 subscribers. I don’t blog in order to collect ‘likes’ but it’s great to know there are actually some people reading what I, and guest contributors, publish.

Now I just have to get a bit more active on Twitter…

Thanks again for the support and I hope you guys hang around in the years to come.

I’m working on a huge collector interview at the moment so I have to go!

The day Facebook groups united under the same banner!

Anyone who is a member of a Star Wars vintage Facebook group would have witnessed a remarkable event recently. At 5pm (Amsterdam time) on Monday 2nd February 2015, a huge number of groups changed their banner photos to a universal one adorned with an anti-repro logo on one side, an anti-ugrade on the other but with their original group banner sitting proudly in the middle of these two guardians of honourable and community minded collecting.


It was a beautiful moment watching my Facebook feed blow up with these coordinated banner changes and I was proud to have the groups I admin be a part of this. Here are the banners for the three groups I admin. Huge thanks to Swedish super collector Mattias Rendahl for the repro logo and to Josh Blake, admin of the micro Star Wars group, for the u-grade banner and also for weaving his photoshop magic to make the banners for my Luke focus and Australian groups.

TOLTOYS_banner luke_banner2 10958547_10153113604914783_1624416157_o

So what was the origin of this Facebook group wide offensive? Well it was actually the brainchild of Jason Smith (aka ‘Mr Palitoy’ and the founder of the largest vintage Star Wars group on Facebook – check out our past article in relation to Jason and Toy Toni – Credit though has to also go to Ross Barr (check out his interview with us here –, who admins about three thousand Facebook groups the last time I counted, who really picked up the ball and ran with it to the in-goal. He used his boundless energy and drive to coordinate the project, source the creation of the logos and to write up a great spiel (below) that many of the groups posted along with the banner changes:

Today, the admins of many vintage SW collecting groups have posted banners in each of their groups incorporating the same logos renouncing reproduction items and the butchering of toys encouraged by the U grade designation given by AFA. While each of the various Facebook groups operates a bit differently than the others, we are all firmly united against reproduction items and U grades.

As a sign of solidarity against repros and U grades, in this group we plan to keep this banner in place for the most part (subject to the posting of certain COTW items here and there as our banner) from now until the end of Celebration 7.

We encourage discussion about the harms repros and U grades cause to our hobby. If you have any questions about that issue, feel free to contact one of the admins. Otherwise, please check out these articles discussing those harms:


U grades:

Many thanks to the creators of the repro logo (Mattias Rendahl) and the U grade logo Josh Blake) for letting us use their images to make this. statement.

This anti-repro and u-grade movement is quite timely considering that the place of Facebook in Star Wars vintage collecting is often questioned, admittedly even by myself. It does get tiresome in these groups to repeatedly debate the danger of repros and the damage that u-grading causes to the current population of carded figures. But this mass convergence in countering these hobby pollutants has reinvigorated my belief that Facebook groups can work alongside the forums and positively impact this great hobby of ours. That said, I’m still a Rebelscum guy at heart!

Although I’m absolutely vibing on the positivity spread by this offensive and am vehemently against repros and the u-grade, I’m a little concerned what the negative fallout may be when it comes to those who do not share the majority opinion about these issues. While I’m all for ostracising those who manufacture repros and the u-grade and sell them, particularly without declaring them as such, there are also collectors who may have one or two repro accessories in their collection or people who may not own repros or u-graded toys but argue that they have a place in our hobby. These collectors should not be vilified for holding an opinion contrary to the majority and I personally would not remove them from the groups I admin. I’d prefer to use logic and informed arguments to sway these critics of our movement, rather than abuse them or remove them from our community. So please don’t bash the guy who has a repro saber on display, there are other more civil and intelligent ways to win an argument. That said, all of the groups I admin, including this blog, do not allow for the sale or even display of repro or u-graded collectibles. And don’t forget our past article:

If you admin a Facebook group, or would like to lobby your admins, and are keen to get involved, please contact me and I’ll let you know how to be part of it. I know the SWFUK and TIG forums have gotten onboard and I’m really hoping the Rebelscum forum joins the show, even though the owner Phillip Wise has publicly distanced himself from the movement. There’s nothing to lose but everything to win. I’m definitely going to get a banner made up for this blog!

Thanks for reading.

Collector Snapshot #7 – Clio (aka ‘Jitterbug’) and Noel (aka ‘IG127’)

Welcome to the seventh installment of our regular segment, where a vintage collector is given 10 short questions to answer. The same questions will be given to the next collector appearing on the segment.

This episode is huge! Not only is it a double-header, but the featured collectors are a couple! I know there are a few collector couples doing the rounds but it’s not something you see every day. I’m thrilled they agreed to appear on the blog.

So who are the lucky couple? Clio is a collector who I’ve previously bumped into on Rebelscum and was actually one of the members to respond to my first ever thread on that forum. She’s 28 and works as a ‘Environmental Geoscientist’ in Calgary, Canada and when she’s not collecting vintage Star Wars she’s neck deep in her other hobbies – Kenner SuperPowers, Wonder Woman, hockey and cake decorating. Yep pretty much the perfect woman. 


Clio’s boyfriend Noel is 32 and works as a ‘Geotechnical Engineering Technologist’ (I had to google both of their jobs!) Noel’s into table hockey, classic Mega Man video games (and a lot of other video games), strange pets, Dr Who, NHL and collects hockey jerseys. You can check out more about Noel on his website:


Considering this is a special episode I thought I’d let Clio talk us through how her and Noel met. Take it away Clio!
“We met  three and a half years ago, mostly due to our shared work in the field of
geosciences and our love of hockey. I mostly collected Wonder Woman, fossils and some Royal Doulton figurines, I knew nothing about vintage Star Wars, I didn’t even know it existed. The first time I went to Noel’s apartment, he showed me his collection. He had an entire wall of MOCs, all neatly hung, and then a glass case with some loose figures, ships, and play sets. It was a pretty impressive collection and he had amassed it in less than four years. For the first year of our relationship, I just listened to him and watched him make deals and learned how it all worked. The passion Noel had for his collection and the community was infectious and I wanted to be a part of it so I picked up my first piece about a year after we started dating. Noel’s goal was to have one of every figure MOC, mine was to get as many bad guys, especially Snowtroopers, as possible. We don’t go to any conventions or anything like that, mostly to toy and collectible shows that we find in and around the city. As our collections progressed, we both began shifting to Canadian MOCs. Noel began replacing his American MOCs with Canadian ones and I focused less on Snowtroopers and more on getting the bad guys I liked on Canadian cards (still as many as possible) and developed a love for Hoth Leia.
Six months ago, we packed up our collections, bought a house and moved to Calgary together. We now have one collection room that houses all of our things together. The room is probably 85% vintage Star Wars (the rest is Mega Man, Wonder Woman, and my Super Powers collection). Noel’s MOCs cover the walls and fill up the cabinets and shelves, his loose figures stand in long wall-mounted cases, my case of a Super Powers/Star Wars loose mix hangs below. I have a small corner dedicated to my MOCs, but since the Toy Toni scandal I have put my collection on ice and have been selling off pieces rather than acquiring them, but I always have my eye out for some Canadian baddies and Hoth Leia MOCs. Noel also introduced me to Kenner’s Super Powers line, and I’m focusing on them a bit more these days. I still love vintage Star Wars, but acquiring them isn’t a priority for me right now. Noel’s collection is now nearly completely Canadian, and he’s almost got all the loose figures as well. We would love to get to know some more collectors, so if you’re ever in Calgary, get in touch!”
Thanks for that Clio now to the ten questions!

1. How long have you been collecting?
NOEL: 1989 to 1996, 2007 to present
CLIO: 2012 to present

2. What do you collect?
NOEL: Canadian MOCs
CLIO: Canadian MOCs, “bad guys” (Snowtroopers, Stormtroopers, AT-AT Drivers, TIE Pilots, and Biker Scouts), Hoth Leia
VSWC: Check out a selection of their fantastic collection. 

3. What’s your grail?

NOEL: That I own: MOC wind up R2-D2. That I want: a Canadian multi-pack.
CLIO: That I own = GDE Stormtrooper, That I want: Meccano Snowtrooper MOC

4. What collectors inspire you?
NOEL: Scott MacDonald got my collecting started again.
CLIO: Actually, Noel inspires me. He’s very detailed and meticulous. Everything I know about Star Wars collectibles, I learned from Noel! I also admire those collectors who are humble and collect what they love, no matter the flack they get from anyone.

5. What is your most embarrassing moment as a collector?

NOEL: Forgot my wallet at the booth at a Toronto Toy show then spotted a loose Imperial Gunner in a $3 bin. Ran back to get my cash, but by the time I got back to the booth selling the Gunner, someone was buying it. I also turned down a case (like 24 MOC) of UZAY figures in the early 90s. Guy was selling them for $20 each (Blue Stars were $40). I bought a 12” IG-88 instead. (I still have the IG-88).
CLIO: My most embarrassing moment was when I had bought Noel a MOC for his birthday that he really wanted. We happened to be in a local vintage toy shop that had the exact same MOC and Noel was determined to buy it. I did everything I could to try and convince him not to buy it and when he wouldn’t back down I had to tell him that I’d already bought it for him. I was bummed! It was disappointing for sure, but more embarrassing that we were having these very serious, geeky discussions as to why Noel shouldn’t buy a MOC in public and I got to feel like that annoying, nagging girlfriend.

6. What is your favourite Star Wars film?

NOEL: Star Wars – A New Hope.
CLIO: The Empire Strikes Back
7. What would you change about the collecting community?
NOEL: Get rid of scammers, fakes and repros.They are all bad for the hobby, and waste my time during online searches.
CLIO: More female collectors so I can geek out with other ladies!
8. Forums or Facebook groups?
NOEL: If you want good answers without a bunch of keyboard ninjas hijacking your threads then forums. Sales are much better on Forums too. Facebook is full of flakes who never come through on deals. If you want to show off your collection for immediate applause (I do sometimes) then Facebook. Facebook has an extremely short memory too. I could showcase my Sears Vaccuform figures every week and have to explain to people what they are each time.
CLIO: Both have their advantages and drawbacks. I definitely prefer the forums and use that as my major source of information and prefer to sell there as I have had more success on the forums than Facebook. If I just want to see awesome pictures of collections and share some, or connect on a more personal level, then I’ll go to Facebook.
 VSWC: I’m in awe every time I see these Sears vaccuform figures. 

9. What Star Wars character do you most resemble?
NOEL: Luke when my hair is long, Imperial Commander when I wear a hat, Madine when I’ve been in the oil fields unshaven for too long.
CLIO: When I’ve been caught in the rain/early morning: Chewbacca. When I’m going out in Canada in the summer: Hoth Leia. When I’m going out in Canada in the winter: Snowtrooper.

10. Is there one thing that collectors may not know about you?
NOEL: I’m a very underrated collector. I’m 32, but have been collecting since I was in grade 2. I’ve seen it all in this hobby, and know a lot. I do get annoyed when noobs don’t do any research and post easy questions, then other noobs post wrong answers.
CLIO: I am not a completest at all, even when I have a focus. I really only collect the pieces I really, really like and don’t care if I have one example of everything. Also, after the ToyToni scandal, I took a very long break from collecting and still have yet to purchase a new piece because I’m so put off by the whole thing. I’ve been focusing on my Super Powers and Wonder Woman collections.
VSWC:Well thanks to both of you for coming onto the blog. It was a real pleasure having such a great couple here and great to get to know a little bit more about you both. Good luck in your collecting and Clio I hope Toy Toni doesn’t permanently dampen your collecting experience. I myself was stung twice by him and it took some time to recover but now I’m as happy collecting as I ever have been!

Thank you everyone for the 500 likes!

Hi guys,

Just a quick one to thank you all for supporting the blog and its Facebook and Twitter pages. While I put this blog together for the love of our hobby and not for the love of the numbers of ‘likes’ or subscribers, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not honoured. When I started the page, I sincerely thought it might reach 100-200 tops and I would have been happy with that, no-one wants to write to an empty audience.

Hosting a blog is great fun but it’s also very scary. In a lot of ways we are really setting ourselves up to get cut down and every time I write an article or post an interview, I think to myself ‘Is this ridiculous?’ or ‘Is this worth reading?”. But the rewards are absolutely worth it and I’m loving it so far.

We have another big month coming up; including a HUGE four person interview, more collector snapshots and loads of articles about collecting in general.

Hope you all continue to enjoy the blog and thanks again for the support!


New Facebook group for Variant collectors!

Hi guys,

Just a super quick post to give a shout up to a new Facebook group named ‘Vintage Star Wars figure variant collectors.’ My good friend Marco Van Dijk (aka ‘Mr GG’) from Rotterdam set this group up for collectors to learn and to share their knowledge of loose Star Wars vintage figure variants. While it can be argued that the proliferation of vintage Star Wars related Facebook groups is getting out of hand, I’m quite surprised that the idea behind this group hadn’t been thought of previously. Marco has set up some pretty solid rules about what can be discussed in this group so that the variant collecting experience isn’t diluted by off-topic posts. I know Marco personally too and I can tell you straight up that even though he is a very respectful guy, he does not take any crap. I’m confident that any troublemakers will be booted quick smart.

The group has only recently been created yet we’ve already signed up some of the hobby’s biggest variant brains. Not only have these guys signed up but they are actively involved in discussions and are always happy to help out others. I spend a lot of time studying Luke variants yet I’ve already learnt loads from fellow members. It really is a great group and the atmosphere is super friendly and easy-going.

Marco has also made myself, Jeff N and Michiel.W admins. I’m the only one who isn’t Dutch and who doesn’t live in Rotterdam so I’m definitely the odd one out…

So please come join us if you love variant collecting or you’d like to learn more about the subject:

Check out a couple of our past interviews if you are interested in learning more about some well-known variant collectors and their views on the hobby:


How much is this figure worth?

Okay just a quick post to discuss my views on the dreaded “How much is this worth?” posts on Facebook and the forums. I’m not going to focus on the issue of whether or not these posts are annoying, as I think, in moderation at least, that they have their place. What I’m more interested in analysing is the nature of the responses to these valuation questions.

So how do people respond to these questions? I often see the response, along the lines of “They are priceless because they are your childhood toys” etc etc. While I absolutely agree with this sentiment, I’m not sure this is the response the OP is looking for.

I’ve also noticed the response “They are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.” Of course, in a black and white world, this seems to be correct. Or is it? I’m not going to explore the philosophical nature of ‘value’ (which really is a social construct) as this would probably bore most of you. Plus I’d probably start dribbling and make a fool of myself as I usually do with my philosophising. Is something really worth what someone is willing to pay for it? Worth to whom? To the person buying it or selling? How about the person watching the sale who thinks it’s worth more or even less? To me this response is not useful and relates only to the one specific buyer’s concept of value.

What’s more important though, is that the two responses above do not really help the OP in assessing the value of the item on the current market, which is what they are really inquiring about. I’m pretty sure most people know that as well….While I do think these type of respondents are intentionally taking the piss, I understand that the constant flow of “How much is this worth?” posts can be annoying. But like I said, this article isn’t about that.

So how do I think we should respond? Well I respond to others in exactly the same way that I would like someone to respond to my valuation questions. By guestimating how much I think is an appropriate financial value for their item on the current market. Of course this isn’t easy as prices can vary significantly between sources such as eBay and the forums or even within eBay itself. But when I sell items, I somehow manage to come up with what I believe to be an appropriate price point so for me it is possible to come up with at least an informed guestimate for a fellow collector.

So what do you guys think? Am I missing the point?

Thanks for reading.

200 likes on the FB page! Thanks everyone!

Well just a quick post to say thank you to everyone for all of the support since this blog and its sister FB and Twitter pages started.

Yes that’s right –  we hit 200 likes and we are extremely happy about it! As usual, some of  my Luke Skywalker variants were pretty pumped about it so they decided to put on another show. No they are not re-enacting the human centipede and yes that is meant to read ‘200’ and not ‘ZOO’ as my wife read it…Wampa was a little bit angry though.

Yep, the photo shows that I’m a crap photographer and that my creative flair is basically zero. Thank god I’m good at my day job


While some likes were spammed but most weren’t so that’s a win in itself! The accumulation of likes and subscribers is not the blog’s mission, but we are attempting to spread the SW vintage collecting message as wide as possible, so hopefully this is some kind of indication that we are on the road to some success.

I really hope you guys are enjoying the blog so far!


Veteran Vintage Collectors and Facebook

Just a quick post today to reiterate a point that was recently made on the blog. Recently we blogged in relation to five things that the Facebook groups could learn from the vintage collecting forums. Well there was a discussion yesterday on a similar topic on Rebelscum and one of the most knowledgeable and popular collectors mentioned that he was removing himself from several Facebook groups. Other collectors also raised their distaste for the Facebook groups. This is just one example of the current sentiment that is prevalent among the community of veteran collectors and which was clearly evident in this Rebelscum thread.

This attitude towards the Facebook groups is a real shame because these old school collectors have a great deal they could contribute to discussions on Facebook but are being pushed away by poor behaviour and people who are unwilling to listen to educated opinions. I know this doesn’t bother a lot of users, but I know on the other hand that there are a lot of serious up and coming collectors on Facebook who are missing out. While it may be easy to simply label some veteran collectors as snobs and say good riddance, we need to take responsibility for our own behaviour in these groups. Let’s do our best to encourage collectors across the whole spectrum of experience to contribute.

Here is the article that relates to this discussion:

While I’m on my rant (they don’t happen often so stay with me!), I also made a new resolution today. I often engage one post wonders or other individuals who simply use Facebook to suck the blood out of us and give back nada. So rather than be bothered by it, I will simply scroll past posts such as ‘How much is this worth?’ or ‘What is this figure?’ I have no problem with these posts but I do have a problem with people making no effort to greet the group before they ask for help or to thank people who take their time to respond. Getting help either on the groups or the forums is a privilege not a right so a little bit of manners would be fantastic. Please join me in ignoring these posts!

And another past blog article relevant to the above:

Ten tips for dealing with other collectors on social networking sites