I’m guessing most of you would have noticed the Action Comics #1 that sold on Ebay this week for a whopping U.S $3.2 million.
Although the price blew a lot of people away, it didn’t really shock many comic collectors who were expecting it to sell at around this price. It was the first appearance of Superman after all and the comic was in absolutely cracking condition.
Along with SW vintage, I actually also collect Superman comics so this sale really drove home that I will never own every Superman comic ever published. Even if become a multi-millionaire I doubt I will ever consider dropping this much money on a collectible. Then again, I probably would if I had 100 million to throw around. So this really got me thinking about how much I would spend on a SW vintage collectible.
There’s always a lot of discussion on the FB groups and forums about how much we should spend on our hobby. Some argue that at the end of the day these items are just plastic toys so it’s ridiculous to spend tens of thousands on one piece, especially considering how much poverty and famine exists worldwide.
Then there are others, who claim that we shouldn’t be so shocked at the current prices in the SW market as the market is extremely competitive and we shouldn’t begrudge those willing, and financially able, to spend large amounts on collectibles. On top of the prices of those items being sold publicly for tens of thousands (i.e. eBay, forums, FB), we can also imagine that some high-end pieces are going for enormous amounts in private auctions and sales.
So where do I stand on the whole debate? Well I generally have no issue with SW vintage collectibles going for huge amounts. It’s your money and you can do whatever you like with it and on top of that, I actually think some of these items are worth what they are selling for. (check the previous article for a discussion on value – http://vintagestarwarscollectors.com/how-much-is-this-figure-worth/) I mean really, some of these pre-production items and rarer production prices are an amazing piece of SW history and there are real and tangible reasons they are commanding such large sums. But let’s not pretend for one moment that these sums are not massive and that the disposable income of the people buying them represents the average wage worldwide.
So how much would I personally spend on a SW figure? Well the most expensive figure I own is worth a bit over 1000 pounds. I have a very wide focus so I’m still knocking off the relatively cheap figures before I move onto the more rarer MOCs. My collection spending though is tiny by SW standards but I can tell you that non-collectors are always shocked to hear how much I spend, especially some of my friends and family that are struggling just to keep up with day to day expenses. Do I feel bad about it? Yep, a little bit but not really enough to stop. I’ve worked hard for what I have and I spend it in a way to make me and my family happy. But I do think I’m generous enough with others to escape any guilty feelings and I always keep my own collection spending in perspective. I also believe that I’m contributing to the community in ways other than giving away my salary. This said, not everyone is really concerned about the welfare of others outside their own sphere.
So how much would I be prepared to spend on a collectible in the future? Well I think once I move onto the more rarer production items and pre-production pieces I’d probably be ready to spend in the early tens if my finances (and wife!) allowed it. Trust me, there were times in the past where I was struggling to afford groceries and rent so I would do this with the knowledge that I’m extremely blessed to be in a position to be able to spend my income the way I do.
So what do you guys think? Should we be spending so much on SW figures or should we be distributing our money to the poor? How much money would you spend on one collectible?