Looking back this year, I had my share of being suckered as a collector (paying toys for much more than their worth). It's not all bad, this year I've got some superb stuff at great deals too. Here's a record of some of the best and worst experience of 2008:
1) Transformers Ultimate Bumblebee
Remember those days of Transformers movie toyline craze? Every kid wanted a Bumblebee and there was none on the shelves. When the Ultimate Bumblebee arrived, I paid about RM400 for it. The shop is in Golden Triangle and famous for cutthroat prices. Now there's plenty in TRU for a much lower price...and then there's this re-issue that comes in a tube packaging with a free small bumblebee....Damn!!
2) G1 Micromasters Transformers
I got a set of three G1 Micromasters Transformers sets today. Total 12 mini figures mint on card. At first...very happy. After checking eBay, a bit dissappointed. What prompted me to buy this set was - its vintage G1 dated 1989, it has the old Hasbro logo, each pack comes with 4 figures. I thought I had a good deal for RM280. Then on eBay a guy from China selling all three sets for RM180, shipping included. Aaarggh!!!
3) Star Wars Clone Wars Figures
I got four Clone Wars figures when the movie came out - Ani, Obi, Yoda and Rex. Wanted to get the rest. Thank God I didn't. Hasbro re-issued the Yoda and Obi Battlepacks that comes with 4 Clone Troopers. Five figures retails for only RM99.99 compared to RM36.90 I paid for each! Stupid re-issues!! Then they re-issued Anakin DVD pack!!! No end to re-issues..I've stopped buying Star Wars single pack figures ever since.
Enough of the negativity...now the Superb Stuff at great deals for this year:
1) VOTC George Lucas Stormtrooper prototype - I got this for only RM3 at a toy warehouse in Kepong. It comes with unpainted Stormtrooper helmet.
2) Jedi Luke Skywalker prototype - I got this for free! Also from the same warehouse!
3) 50-70% discounts stuff - complete set of Fantastic Four and Fantasticar and Indiana Jones figures
4) Star Wars Stuff - Titanium Lava Vader and Slave 1 - RM20 each only!! 500th Vader - RM10 only!!
Toy collecting can be fun and distressing - depending whether you get a good deal or being suckered. Someone once told me, "Forget about the prices, buy because you like it" Good advice but ya know..sometimes just can't help comparing prices...
2008 has been a year of testing. Test my patience. Test my tenancity. Test my character. Test my value(s). Business broke down. Partners screwed up. Thank God for this hobby..that keeps me motivated to press on for more business and for a while, drift me into a galaxy far far away where things are more...much more than meets the eye.
Goodbye 2008. Hello 2009.