Not long ago, I wrote about how I bought a Django action figure as the controversy surrounding them started to grow. Seeing the ridiculous prices they were selling for once the media picked up on the controversy, I didn’t hesitate in putting mine up on eBay the same day it arrived, and converted my $30 investment into a $450 windfall.
The best part of being a collector is trading and trading up, and it didn’t take long for me to track down a few items I’ve been wanting for a while, and sink some of that money right back into the collection.
Marvel Comics released amazing calendars back in the 70’s. This 1977 calendar was a great deal for ten bucks–no tears or writing, and filled with fun Marvel trivia and staff birthdays. Most of these calendars would have been tossed in the trash once the year was over, or marked up with little Billy’s doctor and dentist appointments, so finding nice copies 35 years later is always a good thing.
I can now check the Hulk off my list of 1979 National Periodical Publications radios. This big guy set me back $18. Now, if I can find a Superman radio, I’ll have the complete set!
I have dreamed of owning this 1966 Batman lunchbox for years, and think I got a great deal on this one for $70. The flash in the photos really makes it look a lot more scratched than it appears in person. Most of the wear is around the edges, while the large image areas are pretty blemish-free. One of these lunchboxes in mint condition would easily sell for up to $500, but I’ve never been a “mint” collector when it comes to vintage toys. I like knowing that some kid once dragged this thing to school every day and put it to good use. The majority of the Batman lunchboxes that I have passed up in the past have Robin’s face scratched out on the second side, which must be a high spot of the embossing — the one I got has some scuffing on his chin, but I can live with it. Now, I need to track down a thermos!
The biggest ticket item I got were these carded Flash Gordon action figures from the 1979 cartoon series. I paid a bit more than I usually like to spend on items for the collection ($200) but the “Django cash” was like free money, so it didn’t sting for too long. Flash Gordon is an iconic character who is clearly due for another reboot. He’s been around for 75 years, and I would expect him to be around for many years to come. All of these figures are on unpunched cards and still sealed in the bubbles. The cards have a bit of wear with bumps and bends, and a few of the bubbles are collapsed a bit, but overall, I’m pretty pleased with them. I have always loved these figures, and now I just need to figure out how to properly display them.
So, not too bad for $30, huh? Plus I still have around $100 left over of the Django cash. I realize that some might have an issue with me capitalizing from the controversy, and I won’t deny that I did so. When I bought the Django figure, the intent was to hold on to it for a few years, but when an opportunity presents itself, you have to move quickly or you might be left trying to figure out how to sell a banned item outside of eBay! I actually hope the figures go on to achieve mythical “holy grail” status and continue to rise in price. I don’t see that happening because how many collectors are willing to pay $500+ for an action figure? But it could happen! And then, I’ll be the one sitting here, playing with my Flash Gordon action figures, wishing I hadn’t “sold out” so quickly. (probably not.)
The truth of the matter is that I sold an item to another collector who was happy to pay that much for it. What’s wrong with that? Heck, I just spent ten bucks on a useless, outdated calendar. Collectors aren’t always smart, but we are passionate!
Great looking scores Brian! I especially like the Batman and Robin lunch box.
I took a look on Zoloworld.com for your Flash Gordon figures and they make protective cases for them for 4.25 a piece. I use similar cases for my Super Powers figures. Will keep them safe and dust free. Can also be hung on the wall. Check em out.
Thanks Rich! I was wondering if they made cases for these figures, and now you’ve gone and done my homework for me! At that price, I’ll definitely be picking them up.
Man I love the look of vintage action figures. The cards were just so cool! Can’t get enthused about most of the new stuff. Have you seen the figures based on the 1966 Batman tv show yet? Those actually pretty slick.
Yeah, I don’t buy too many new toys, but it’s going to be hard to keep those retro figures out of my collection. I’m curious to see if the prices of actual vintage ’66 Batman items go up as a result of the newfound fandom.
Nice turn-around for sure! I’d have done the same.
thanks Eric. Luck was definitely on my side with this purchase.
I wouldnt beat yourself up over the flip. It was an adult collectible. When someone scours Toys R Us to scalp a toy that a 7 year old would buy, that’s shitty. But you’re not taking this out of any kid’s hands. And, really, you’re mostly likely only selling to another speculator. Enjoy the “free” swag. That Batman lunchbox is so great. Been on my shortlist for a while – you great price on it!
Thanks man! I highly endorse that lunchbox, and if you can get your hands on one, it looks incredible on the shelf. Happy hunting!
$50 but here is one http://www.ebay.com/itm/1973-Superman-Radio-Used-/370755254615?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5652bc3957
That seems to be the going rate for one of those boxed radios. I passed one up at a toy show recently for that price. I know there’s one out there waiting for me at a better price, I’ll just have to be patient. 😉
My brother and I had a bunch of those FLASH GORDON figures when we were kids. I love Flash and Thun, great figures.
Thun was one of my favorite figures as a kid — he used to terrorize the FP Adventure People.
check these out:
Very cool! That Ming is pretty great in purple.
Here is a link for those who don’t know what these are from:
Awesome! Thanks Mike!
Reis O'Brien says
Well done, sir! Those Flash Gordon figures are absolute beauties. I don’t blame you at all for flipping that Django figure so quickly. I’d have done the same thing!
Hey Reis, I set aside a few bucks for those Planet of the Apes figures I saw Funko displaying at Toyfair last week. Can’t wait for those!
Reis O'Brien says
Glad you like ’em! Between you and me, we’re all pretty proud of those Apes Pops. I’ll see if I can hook you up, sir. 🙂
You are a man among apes. 😉
Shawn Robare says
Awesome! Also, I wouldn’t call that 1977 calendar useless, in 2022 it’ll be correct again as far as when the days fall… 😉
Well, then I’m prepared early for 2022! (maybe I should track down some other years now.)
The Goodwill Geek says
Django and cash go together like Tango and Cash. Sweet deals!
You got it!
Mike Gutierrez says
Oh man oh man, Brian. Not only did you find some of my personal grails (radios, Batman Lunchbox), but you found them at such awesome prices! 18 bucks for the Hulk Radio is outstanding. I have seen Batman go for 50.00 bucks. I have yet to find a Spidey.
Well done, my friend.
Thanks Mike! i got my Spiderman radio at a show for $10 — bargains are out there!
Freaking cool Brian congrats on all the new stuff buddy.
John (Batcave Toy Room) says
Holy ROI! I love it. Way to go Brian. This haul is absolutely delicious. Definitely some items on my want list there.
Those Flash Gordon cards are some of the best made Congrats in the complete collection!
I too have the Flash Gordon figures and they always get a reaction.