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!