Sign in to follow this  
Hudson

What's going on with vintage NIB prices

Recommended Posts

Hello all, as a modest collector of vintage Tamiya NIB's I've noticed that prices are a bit crazy at the moment.  Does anyone agree with me? I mean, in the 5 years or so that I've been following NIB prices things have moved steadily up but in the last year or so they've jumped!  Let's take the Hotshot for example which is surely one of Tamiyas best kits, though there's a lot of them circulating.  A few years ago you could pick one of these up NIB for £350 ish, it then steadily crept up to £450 ish and then all of a sudden a couple went on eBay for £700 and in one foul swoop this has established the new price.  

When I scan eBay globally I'm just generally very surprised at the prices.   With the exception of my earlier Hotshot observation - on the rare occasion that a nice NIB turns up on an 'auction' format I don't feel that it gets close to the 'Buy it now' prices I'm seeing.  There's a discrepancy between the price sellers are asking and the price people are prepared to pay, at least that's my view, but maybe I'm wrong, I mean - are people buying these kits at these prices?  I guess they must be to some extent.  

I'm pretty sure a Hotshot 2 NIB has recently appeared on eBay for 1300USD!!!

For those of you that have been in this game longer than me are these price jumps the norm?  perhaps my observations are all wrong!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's tied to the "bubble" that seems to be happening to a lot of collectibles now. Everyone is convinced that they're "sitting on a gold mine," and that every piece of 30-50 year old junk they pull out of the attic is going to sell for enough to retire on. I would be willing to guess that most of the sellers listing inflated BIN prices are not hobbyists, but rather speculators.

Probably the only thing we can do, as hobbyists, is not pay those prices, and wait for the bubble to burst, as it inevitably will...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking the opposite. The rere’s killed the value on the originals. I remember when you couldn’t touch an original Sand Scorcher Kit under $4k. Now they regularly sell for half that. Same thing with Bruiser stuff. the HG407 really killed that market. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People are greedy and in it for profits , not for the hobby. I've been trying to find a Juggernaut for year but I will not pay what people are asking, and they won't even budge on the price.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A price is only too high if there's no one that would pay that much.

The fact is, eBay is an entirely unreliable source of "value", and people will always pay what it's worth to them, regardless of our own perceptions of monetary value.

For some of us, money is worth more than it is to those who are wealthy. I always keep this in mind while I'm participating in hobbies or collecting of every kind. If something suddenly becomes not worth the expense, I switch to another thing I can afford ;) As @Shodog had aforementioned, prices in many categories have come down since the steady flow of re-releases started being offered. I too remember when there were folks on this very forum complaining that you couldn't touch a NIB 3-speed truck for less than 3k. Now with the entire world's economy stagnating, list prices for the re-re kits are hitting the 1k mark, which also has a tendency to push prices up across the board, even if they still haven't risen to peak values from a decade ago.

Save your pennies my friends; it's probably not going to get better any time soon :unsure: This was an expensive hobby to begin with, and Tamiya is still (like it or not) an industry leader. They already know how much we will pay. :lol:

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with @Shodog

And @OCD is spot on re this never being a cheap hobby in the first place.

Worth remembering that a vintage 3 speed cost c. $399 NIB in 82 / 83 - so inflation alone would make it a c. $1100 purchase now ... and that’s before a vintage radio, paint, minor period hop ups etc.

Ditto other 80s kits - which broadly ranged from $99 - 299 then, $350 - $800 now.

That means, if you look at certain vintage prices like for like - e.g. a fully loaded re re Bruiser new vs a built (but boxed / pristine) 85 vintage - they’re actually not that different ... maybe say $100 or so. And, for me, the vintage is always the truer experience - to rebuild, run then own :) 

Like most things, vintage appeal is only as strong as people being around who value it and - because my 70s / early 80s crowd are getting older - specultors are just looking to where the next crop of wealthy 40 something hobbyists will be ... which takes them to later 80s / early 90s kits. 

Tamiya know this - and I expect will re re to take advantage ... which will bubble current prices just like it did before !

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so you guys are all basically disagreeing with me?!  I'm genuinely very happy to be wrong.  Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong kits.  I believe that all the responses so far are from US based members? which may be a factor.  I often see what I consider to be well priced kits in the US but then of course I have to consider delivery and import duty.  SuperChamp82 comment also interesting about exact vintage - for example I don't look at anything pre 1984.  I'm 43 and my first buggy was the falcon and it's this era that interests me - so perhaps this 85 - 90 era is where prices are rising?

As for re-re's killing the price of originals - I'm not sure I agree with this (again I'm not looking at the older stuff), in my experience the originals take a hit when the re-re's arrive but ultimately always recover.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No what the guys mean is the kits like Hotshot which have gotten re-re'd are all price depressed... been like that for 10yrs since Hotshot came out. 

Hotshot 2 never been re-re'd so there's still some possessors hopeful of prices like previous peaks. 

 

If you're not a fleaBay seller yourself... you might be unaware fleaBay often offers  windows of opportunity to list up items for free or close to free... so there's negligible cost to post every thing at some wishful price. If they sell then they'd pay the Final Value Fees but if not they just linger online long as they can.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, everyone seems to think that their Piece of S*** grasshopper is worth $200 nowadays on Ebay, Craigslist and offerup, so finding a wreck for a restoration project, at a reasonable price, had become near impossible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, NWarty said:

Well, everyone seems to think that their Piece of S*** grasshopper is worth $200 nowadays on Ebay, Craigslist and offerup, so finding a wreck for a restoration project, at a reasonable price, had become near impossible. 

well... 20yrs ago a GH wreck would appear asking $20-50 :unsure: but those were 1990s $$ which would be worth 2-3X at today's equivalent buying power -_-

Then we'd sink in another $50-100 in parts to get it going if not more. Add in postage from odd corners of the world. Plus bank draft fees pre PayPal. Jeez usable rubber tyres alone worth a mint when the retro hobby originally got rolling. 

When re-re GH came along... for $80-100 you could buy a whole new kit with brandnew tyres & freshly moulded plastics. 

Even if somebody gave you a GH wreck today for free... is it worth doing up? :(

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, WillyChang said:

well... 20yrs ago a GH wreck would appear asking $20-50 :unsure: but those were 1990s $$ which would be worth 2-3X at today's equivalent buying power -_-

Then we'd sink in another $50-100 in parts to get it going if not more. Add in postage from odd corners of the world. Plus bank draft fees pre PayPal. Jeez usable rubber tyres alone worth a mint when the retro hobby originally got rolling. 

When re-re GH came along... for $80-100 you could buy a whole new kit with brandnew tyres & freshly moulded plastics. 

Even if somebody gave you a GH wreck today for free... is it worth doing up? :(

I don't disagree with you Willy, but yes I would totally do it. 

My vintage GH cost me a whopping $45 USD and I spent another $25 on vintage decals, 15 on springs and about 15 in paint and a lot of elbow grease. She's a beautiful model that now is a shelf queen. This was roughly 2-3 years ago. 

My Falcon, a $65 wreck to begin with and the most expensive restoration to date. But it's still pretty. 

I'm not saying that full-restos aren't cheap, it's that the baseline model has increased A LOT over the last 2-3 years. The inventory of old cars on Ebay is drying up, and those that are listed, are expensive.  

Just some thoughts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, WillyChang said:

No what the guys mean is the kits like Hotshot which have gotten re-re'd are all price depressed... been like that for 10yrs since Hotshot came out. 

Hotshot 2 never been re-re'd so there's still some possessors hopeful of prices like previous peaks. 

 

If you're not a fleaBay seller yourself... you might be unaware fleaBay often offers  windows of opportunity to list up items for free or close to free... so there's negligible cost to post every thing at some wishful price. If they sell then they'd pay the Final Value Fees but if not they just linger online long as they can.

 

Ok so I've picked up on your 'previous peaks' comment WillChang, are you saying that there's been a previous peak on vintage NIB's??  I understand from Shodogs post that pre re releases SRB's and Bruisers were worth more than they are now.  But taking a broader sample - the first 100 kits for example - have prices ever been higher than they are now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... and yet today some say used RCs are hard to shift :huh: we should get organised to test this new expensive market :ph34r:

 

Guess it's good if u start with an endgame in mind.

 

GH is a sticky point <_< yeah I bought just ONE & only 1 ever GH... back probably around 2003. Chassis was good, cleaned up well & only needed minor spares. Body though fell to several bits after paint stripped & destickered :( need to get another body or do some inventive sheet styrene magic... so it all got stuffed back into its kitbox & there it still sits today.

Then around 2005 the GH got re-re'd, so a kit turned up. :) Which today still remains exactly same kit :lol: long story short I have yet to drive any 380-powered GH that *I* own. :rolleyes: (Ran & raced some Hornets after that but they're 540s)

Rinse & repeat with Brat. Scorcher. Rough Rider. Superchamp. Pigwig. Scorpion Beetle. 

For shelf restos i'm trying not to mix Original & OE parts, so that's a further complication. (Thanks Hibby...!) 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Hudson said:

have prices ever been higher than they are now? 

Short answer is yes.

Even when corrected for inflation, etc., prices have fallen across the board. I think you'll find that both vintage collectors and the long-time racer/bashers would probably echo this sentiment. We're in a weird era for hobbies like this :wacko:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, WillyChang said:

Hmm... and yet today some say used RCs are hard to shift :huh: we should get organised to test this new expensive market :ph34r:

 

Guess it's good if u start with an endgame in mind.

 

GH is a sticky point <_< yeah I bought just ONE & only 1 ever GH... back probably around 2003. Chassis was good, cleaned up well & only needed minor spares. Body though fell to several bits after paint stripped & destickered :( need to get another body or do some inventive sheet styrene magic... so it all got stuffed back into its kitbox & there it still sits today.

Then around 2005 the GH got re-re'd, so a kit turned up. :) Which today still remains exactly same kit :lol: long story short I have yet to drive any 380-powered GH that *I* own. :rolleyes: (Ran & raced some Hornets after that but they're 540s)

Rinse & repeat with Brat. Scorcher. Rough Rider. Superchamp. Pigwig. Scorpion Beetle. 

For shelf restos i'm trying not to mix Original & OE parts, so that's a further complication. (Thanks Hibby...!) 

 

LOL this post hits me right in the gut. So I guess I'm not the only one that attempted to build an original 380 Brat, only to end up 15 years later with a giant bin marked "Brat Project" that has remained *un-corrupted* by re-re parts :lol: I still have no idea what an OG 380 Brat is like to run ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And where is Hibby!? I really miss his contributions to these kinds of discussions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Hudson said:

Ok so I've picked up on your 'previous peaks' comment WillChang, are you saying that there's been a previous peak on vintage NIB's??  I understand from Shodogs post that pre re releases SRB's and Bruisers were worth more than they are now.  But taking a broader sample - the first 100 kits for example - have prices ever been higher than they are now?

He1l yeah! B) 2-5X, maybe 10X higher!!

Early 90s everything old was pretty unloved but there wasn't much "collecting" nor any way of mass communicating between collectors then. There were an odd few going about "saving old RCs from bring dumped at the tip" and some traded amongst themselves. But they were worth pennies compared to new RCs of the day, we only looked at them as curios in nostalgia.

Only late 90s did fleaBay appear on the scene & hooked buyers & sellers up.

Hilux 3spd kits are pretty rare, they'd easily fetch $4-5k. Even used cars would easily fetch $1-2k

Bruisers used were easily $500-$1k (downunder RRP was about A$700), double when the crawler boys first came onto the scene. Unbuilt kits kit $2-3k  

Old #1 is the best benchmark, the 934RSR Porsche. NIB kit in green was easily $2-3k... the elusive Black edition I dunno... did it break $8-10k? That's the original 1/12th car.

T has done their worst re-re'ing the heck outta the 934, from making 1/10th 30th Anniversary, then making a lexan 1/12th TTG & finally the ultimate insult remaking that uber rare black styrene shell onto TTG special edition... then popping that 30th Ann shell onto the TA02SW in recent years.

The other early 1/12s & first series of 1/10 F1s never went as high as 934 afaik, most peaked around $800-1k for a good kit. T did re-re the Tyrell 6w & Ferrari 312T3 very early on though as did the XR311. (Oddly they also repopped some styrene shells like Countach, 936 & Celica LB but no full kit)

Then again these 'early' era RCs were perhaps a lot less made than when RC hit bigtime in the mid 80s with the GH/Fox/Frog... every kid in the neighbourhood had one of these or knew a friend who did, when growing up. :) 

I doubt those days would ever get repeated.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, OCD said:

LOL this post hits me right in the gut. So I guess I'm not the only one that attempted to build an original 380 Brat, only to end up 15 years later with a giant bin marked "Brat Project" that has remained *un-corrupted* by re-re parts :lol: I still have no idea what an OG 380 Brat is like to run ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Christ. You REALLY gotta dig up all my skeletons huh!!?!

yep, Brat Project there too. 

Chassis has been cleaned & reassembled. Proper Brat with no diff, no shocks & the chassis mounted servosaver B) can't remember if mine is early without sumpguard (as there's a Lancia chassis in there too).

Body is... err... like the GH... has become a convertible in hands of PO. :( Long before the re-re appeared... spent $300 buying the Japanese Show limited Special Item Brat bodyset that appeared around 2001. :wub: 

Now just needing the correct "narrow" wheels.

And that damned "narrow" bumper bar. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am all about capitalism, and if some one can get 1100 for a Juggernaut or OG Avante so be it. I'm also ok with people making profits. That all being said the prices for some kits are INSANE! 

I enjoy the community, sharing my enthusiasm with my little boy, and creating memories. 

I see some of these sellers as opportunists and I just won't support it. I can afford a 1200 Juggernaut for example, but I won't support that nonsense.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rather have the feeling that the price level has been completely distorted for some time now. I have been observing a few "collectors" for quite some time now, who are always setting up the same kits at completely exaggerated prices over and over again. Pay attention to the sellers, they are always the same.
As soon as a NIB Hilux appears somewhere on the net, a few more will join them within a few days - as if you just want to say: "Hey, look, I've got one, too ! "

I personally don't take such "offers" any more - I find it rather annoying when people see sales platforms as just a "showroom" for their personal collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does occur to me that these crazy 'buy it now' prices are a form of price fixing!  What I mean is - if you're looking to buy a particular kit then the first point of reference is eBay (for most people at least), and even though you may be appalled with the prices you're seeing, because the item is scarce, and because you have no other point of reference eventually you just have to accept it.  Unless of course that same item appears on an auction listing which will give an opportunity and a truer value.

On a separate note, from reading all the posts here - there seem to be conflicting views on what's happening to NIB prices. I firmly believe that NIB prices have increased a lot recently, there are others who say the opposite.  Can we agree that the earlier Tamiya kits pre 1984 ish have come down from a previous peak whereas 85 - 90 ish (golden era) kits are on the rise???

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/19/2019 at 11:17 AM, Hudson said:

It does occur to me that these crazy 'buy it now' prices are a form of price fixing!  What I mean is - if you're looking to buy a particular kit then the first point of reference is eBay (for most people at least), and even though you may be appalled with the prices you're seeing, because the item is scarce, and because you have no other point of reference eventually you just have to accept it.  Unless of course that same item appears on an auction listing which will give an opportunity and a truer value.

On a separate note, from reading all the posts here - there seem to be conflicting views on what's happening to NIB prices. I firmly believe that NIB prices have increased a lot recently, there are others who say the opposite.  Can we agree that the earlier Tamiya kits pre 1984 ish have come down from a previous peak whereas 85 - 90 ish (golden era) kits are on the rise???

 

No one is forcing you to use eBay, so I can't see how a bunch of mom & pop BIN sellers could be considered as folks conspiring to fix prices. There's at least a few other places one can search for vintage kits, so I find it bewildering that eBay is your only go-to. As any person who's ever been a seller can tell you, listing and PayPal fees make up about 12% of the sale price, and shipping is included in that percentage. Kits are crazy-expensive to sell on Ebay, while sites like craigslist, gumtree, and forums like this are all free, minus a possible 3% for PayPal fees.

And yes, as at least a few of us have acknowledged, prices for the 85-90's era models are on the rise, but can't recall seeing those kits go anywhere near the peak a decade ago. Most of us seem to agree that onslaught of re-releases were largely responsible this, which has in turn killed the market advantage that the resellers had. B)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might be off topic, but only slightly. Look at this, it's sort of a 1:1 re-re Porsche, and a $1.8 MILLION re-re Porsche at that.

This company only builds 964s, and those were originally produced from 1989-1994. If THAT doesn't tell you something about a certain generation's financial ability and willingness to relive their childhood dreams, then I don't know what could. 

Re-re might take a bite out of originality's market share, or it might incite increased interest in originals in the long run, but in any case, the whole nostalgia thing is here to stay, for a long while at least. 

Actually, I believe it will be taken to levels that few have ever dreamed about. 

DSC_2637.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/21/2019 at 1:22 PM, S-PCS said:

This might be off topic, but only slightly. Look at this, it's sort of a 1:1 re-re Porsche, and a $1.8 MILLION re-re Porsche at that.

This company only builds 964s, and those were originally produced from 1989-1994. If THAT doesn't tell you something about a certain generation's financial ability and willingness to relive their childhood dreams, then I don't know what could. 

Re-re might take a bite out of originality's market share, or it might incite increased interest in originals in the long run, but in any case, the whole nostalgia thing is here to stay, for a long while at least. 

Actually, I believe it will be taken to levels that few have ever dreamed about. 

DSC_2637.JPG

I dunno... It seems like there's a giant chasm between a re-release of an original 964, and the Singer-WIlliams DLS, which is basically a carbon fiber re-envisioning of the original.

https://jalopnik.com/the-singer-williams-dls-is-the-ultimate-carbon-fiber-vi-1827538039

Every single part is a completely fresh design, even if the sum of the parts resembles the original. Personally I don't feel that would constitute a "re-release". B)

I will offer this as something a bit closer to (even though it's a one-off) what I would consider a re-release:

https://newsroom.porsche.com/fallback/en/products/porsche-classic-project-gold-vision-unique-piece-individualized-15877.html

And of course there's the not-so-small fact that the Porsche collector's economy is the poster child for a bubble that's about to burst. Expensive sports cars are either a middle-aged guy's financial aspiration, or a plaything for the rich. Nostalgia for RC is really neither of those.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, agree with @OCD - there’s little to reliably read across from vintage 1:1.

I generally stick to stuff I know in both and - apart from paint / detailing (where I’m frankly Bambi on ice regardless ...) - the size / cost difference means I’ll happily trust myself in 1:10 / 1:12 when similar would go straight to a recognised expert 1:1.

There’s also always ‘it’s worth what you’re prepared to pay’ piece in all this ... and I stress ‘you’ because of its ‘they’ then you’re clearly speculating. 

I’ve never been a hard a$$ that rakes opportunists outside the hobby over the coals - not least because they actually encourage a short term parts boom which serves others well - but I genuinely think they’re currently the answer to @Hudson original concern.

Like @WillyChang said - there have been bubbles before ... which popped.

And if people are currently blowing hot air up the skirts of 86 to 92 kits patience will be a virtue :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree, but had I not gotten frustrated with the opportunists it would have never brought me here and to other RC clubs that is made up of people who understand what it’s all about and would rather help than make a buck, trying to take advantage of people who love this hobby and for them was a huge piece of their childhood wanting to share that with their children having to pay 70-100 for a part that would have cost 4 dollars in the 80’s-90’s.  I understand inflation but come on really?  Marking something up 5-600% is appalling.  This is why I am no longer using E bay as a source of my RC needs.  Thanks guys for help keeping this great hobby alive and sharing the experiences with my children

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this