When we were kids, we would always ask our parents to buy us the cool toys we saw on TV. If we were lucky, our folks would cave and we'd get our grimy hands on the items in our most coveted list. And if we weren't, there would always be that missing part of our childhood that we promised ourselves to fill-up once we were older and had our own money to make our childish whims come true.
Sadly, even if our buying capacity did grow quite a bit, the toys we now want to buy have also grown quite exponentially in price, which would actually discourage most people from diving into the now-popular hobby of toy-collecting.
Cholo Mallillin, ToyCon Philippines organizer, shares some tips for all the kids-at-heart who want to get into the toy collecting game without having to sell a leg and a kidney for those vintage G.I. Joe's.
If you're a noob, what toys should you start with?
It really depends on what you like and what you're interested in. You can start your collection with P500 pesos by buying a Funko Pop. If you aren't a purist, you can also buy good bootleg products that aren't made available by the legitimate manufacturers. A thousand pesos can get you about eight good quality bootleg Lego Minifigures. But if you really want to spend big—and craftsmanship is really important to you—you can collect those Japanese Kotobukiya action figures that cost thousands each. They're really quality products.
How can you tell if a toy is authentic?
Most veteran toy collectors just know because of how many toys they've handled, but you can mostly tell from the packaging. Authentic manufacturers really take time to preserve the quality of their toys so the packaging is well-made. But some loose bootleg toys can be really hard to distinguish from the authentic ones, so comparing the texture, material, and even smell to another toy in that line might help.
What are the different qualities of toys that can be sold and bought and how does the quality affect the price?
Well, there's the Mint-on-card, which are the toys that have never been taken out of their boxes. Then from there you can grade those taken out of the box (loose toys) from great, fine, to poor. Packaged toys almost always sell for more, but there is also a market for loose toys for people who want to customize and actually play with the toys they buy.
I usually base prices from what I see on Ebay, but you still have to ask around the toy community because some toys differ in rarity depending on the place where they are sold. Some are sold at a higher price here in the Philippines; and some toys are sold cheaper.
How can a toy be customized?
I customize toys because there's an awesome feeling that comes with having something that's one of a kind. I have professionals paint some of my toys to either make the color quality better. They can even make the toys look like their movie or comic counterparts. For some toys, like the Transformers series, you equip certain parts to your toy in order to make it movie accurate or look anyway you want it to look.
What are other ways you can customize your toys?
Uso ngayon yung BAFS (build-a-figure). Essentially what you do is buy certain figures that have detachable parts that you can combine to create an entirely new figure. It costs a lot more, but the stuff you can come up with are only limited by how creative you are.
Which toys should you hoard to sell in the future?
I would go for buying semi-cheap figures like the six-inch Marvel Legend figures because it's usually just inferring, which ones could sell for more in the future. Hit and miss siya most of the time so at least if you miss and it doesn't appreciate in value that much, at least hindi siya masyadong masakit sa bulsa.
How long do toys take to appreciate in value?
It depends, some toys take 10 years to appreciate, while some limited edition toys just take a few weeks to appreciate more than a 100 percent of their original value. There's actually a diecast car here that has a limited release. It cost 15,000 pesos, but if you sell it outside, if you just literally take it out of this convention, you can sell it for 30,000 pesos.