CollectionDX Network

A question of value


61 comments posted
The Builder's Perspective

As one of the model builders of the CDX family/community, my perspective is basically "Do it Myself" as terms of insuring the quality of an item. Comparing the monetary value of a review item, my big spender of 2009, the PG 00-Raiser, cost over $300. That does not take into account my tools to build it, a $5 pair of cutters, $4 packs of X-acto blades, and an additional $10-$30 worth of paint supplies. Factor in the time to complete the model ranged from 2 hour periods to 12 hour blocks over the greater span of a month.

In short, the value and quality is based on the time and effort I put into a product, let alone the monetary costs. Though I understand the concept that anything thats worth more than an extranious organ should keep its flaws to a minimum. Even the 00-Raiser still had excess plastic skin that needed shaving, and I don't need to remind myself of the Shoulder Clutch nightmare.

I look at Japanese/Korean blog sites like "DALONG" and I see how the site goes from box to shelf in no time flat or less than a week. I notice the certain 'rush-to-completion' signs; floating decals, flooded ink-lines, scarring from cutting parts away from the frames. Its these sort of mistakes that I try to avoid, even if I am an out-of-the-box-fill-in-details Gunpla builder.
The Gundam Model Guy

Gunpla Rob's picture
Posted by Gunpla Rob on 10 March, 2010 - 08:46

...But not everyone has the artistic talent like you to build a kit like the Raiser, or to fix a flaw in a toy they buy.

While I love custom built model kits, and do on occasion pay for something that is built-up, I know I am in the minority. If I'm buying something sold as a "toy" then I shouldn't really need to modify or glue or re-paint it to fix stuff from the factory. If it says "model kit" then I know I have to do some work. There are some products that cross both borders too (Hot Toys' 1/6-scale figures and Takara's 1/48-scale VOTOMS line come to mind as two products that straddle that fence.)

If you're buying a PG then you probably know the amount of labor involved to make it look great. Much of the fun of a PG is in the building, not the end product... and that's awesome. That is a very different product and completely different experience from buying a modern gokin or vinyl. While I am a "casual" model builder, I have paid a pretty penny for better model builders to build kits for me in the past, and some of the kits out there are actually far better than many of the toys of the same character/subject. I do agree that a little "do it yourself" can add a lot to a mediocre piece, but at a certain price level, it's tough to justify having to repair or repaint something because the paint rubs off in an instant, or glue something damaged in the box. For a PG, I wouldn't mind needing to sand or clean up edges, or glue together a stand. I have used Acetone on pre-painted kits before to fix nasty factory paintjobs. But I really shouldn't have to do those type of things with a toy.

I get on about this a lot around here because sometimes we all get excited about something new coming out, and it has some flaw that to a super-fan, who will buy anything from the show/character, it doesn't matter. But to someone who may be a casual fan but willing to drop the cash, something like getting 1/2 a stand, or broken legs out of the box... things like that... that just sucks. You just can't spin it any other way. [EDIT: EVA's recent Star Trek Enterprise review is a perfect example of how to handle a serious defect in a review. He explains that the defect sucks, but to him, it's not too much of an issue because of his love for ST and that it's not an issue across all toys made. Thus, "your mileage may vary."]

There are some fun "do it yourself" things you can do that are easy and can make your collection look awesome. Two things that can instantly come to my head, to make your toy collection look great and different, would be those cool print-out paper inserts people do for clear vinyls, and the Mechanical Chain Base series of display bases. Those both require zero artistic talent to use, and with the latter, can really make both modern and vintage gokins and vinyls shine on your shelf.

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 10 March, 2010 - 12:29
Small ramble:

Hiya. Long time lurker, first post.

Great article; there's not much more that can be said.

(I dunno about the Top Gear comparison, tho... I usually compare high-end toys/collectibles to Fabergé Eggs! You certainly don't NEED them, but... okay, I kid, I kid!)

Heck -- if it wasn't for you folks, I probably wouldn'tve known most these amazing toys even existed. (i.e. the SoC line, most of the stuff made by Fewture, Yamato, et cetra.)

I most certainly appreciate the time and effort gone into the reviews, and the site... I hope to somday submit some reviews of my own. (yeah... someday.)

Keep up the good work!

ShinDupa's picture
Posted by ShinDupa on 10 March, 2010 - 09:36
My perspective

I write for a video game review site (, and we get our fair share of free games for review. Typically, we get more codes to redeem for downloadable games than we do physical copies, but in any case, it's ours to use as we wish. I can tell you that there are plenty of games I buy just because I want them, and even when the game is free, I feel like I've "earned" it by reviewing it. Because playing a game for review is NOT the same as playing it for fun. I'm sure the fellas here feel the same way about reviewing toys.

I absolutely love this site, and visit here daily, but I am far from a high end collector. I've never spent more than $80 on any one toy; I just can't justify that cost as a casual toy fan. Mostly, I buy Transformers, Power Rangers, and maybe a few Super Hero toys off the shelf, and I share them with my kids. Coming here allows me to enjoy the vast variety of awesome toys out there that are beyond my reach. Sanjeev's Spazer, for instance, had me giddy as a schoolgirl. I'll never have one myself, but I sure can appreciate the awesomeness of it.

I like sharing in the excitement of the hobby with others. Value doesn't really enter the equation for me, beyond quality control issues. I've even been able to pick up some toys in my price range that I wouldn't have even known about, like Revoltechs. And I absolutely fell in love with Laserion, who now sits proudly on my shelf thanks to The Enthusiast. We love toys here, right, not just toys that are "worth it"?

djinniman37's picture
Posted by djinniman37 on 10 March, 2010 - 09:37
I wasn't going to comment

I wasn't going to comment since most of it has been discussed, but the value I look for is sentimental value mostly. So anything that brings back the feeling I had as a kid. Next would be how much am I willing to spend for so and so. For example, I have an old tiny plastic iron gear proudly displayed in my display case. Why? Because that is probably responsible for my obsession with robots today. I've even restored it. it survived 27 years without much damage. Its probably worthless to most people but if someone was to come into my room and break it, I would inflict the same damage to them.

Other value comes in where do I like the robot enough to spend so and so on it regardless of whether its low or high quality? Ill buy basically any voltron toy I come across (except panosh place..there are limits) I'm even buying the new jumbos no matter the cost. No I'm not rich, I just love the characters.

Then there is play value and overall coolness. Sometimes I buy a bot cause I think it looks cool or the toy is awesome even though I know nothing about its origins. Most if not all my purchases in this category have been because of their reviews on cdx.

I've even bought one that got a bad review.. that vf-100 valkyrie that josh smashed and then resmashed in slo-mo... just cause it looks cool on display. I just buy what I like and for whatever reason i feel like. Everyone has their own type of value they gauge their purchases with. Josh gave you his in the review, its up to the viewer to make their call. Can't blame the guy for loving it for what it is. I'm buying mine for the same reason. Its awesome and I will terrorize my dog with it, there's tons of play value in that alone.

chachipower's picture
Posted by chachipower on 10 March, 2010 - 11:54
Honestly, I read and enjoy

Honestly, I read and enjoy the reivews here BECAUSE you review the high-end stuff. It's normally way out of my price range, so I barely pay attention to that kinda stuff and when it gets released. However...if something comes along that I actually DO want and can manage to afford...well, I know the folks here will have it covered and I'll be able to tell if - for me - the price of the figure is worth it. I don't consider this "dangling out of reach items in front of our faces" at all, really. I'm sure there are other sites that review this kinda stuff, but I don't know about them and I don't care to search out more. This place reviews the really nice stuff and robots in general. It serves the purpose for which I need it.

Alexx's picture
Posted by Alexx on 10 March, 2010 - 13:14
Although this has been an

Although this has been an interesting discussion, I do find it a bit amusing. If someone were to come to the site for the first time today and see this article, they'd think we reviewed nothing but super expensive toys. It seems to me that for every high end piece we do review, there's probably about 5 reviews (or more) of stuff like cheap vinyl, Transformers and Revoltechs's etc.. Last year there seemed to be a pretty long stretch were there were hardly any high end things being reviewed.

"You can't sell it until you get it from him, but you gotta sell it to pay him to get it to sell it".
---Jerilock, talking about me trying to raise the money I need to pay for the toys I already bought....

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 10 March, 2010 - 13:46
Awhile back there was a

Awhile back there was a month where it seemed like almost everything was a Hasbro Star Wars item you could buy at a TRU.
I don't think there's any real "snobbery" going on here. Yeah,the SoCs and stuff generate more interest than a plastic Spider-Man,but how could they not?

A master of mind control who hides inside a Ford Pickup

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 10 March, 2010 - 17:36
Different Types of Value

It was a pleasure reading this thread, which gives voice to what I'm sure all toy collectors have thought about. I thought I'd belatedly contribute by offering a working summary to the different types of value in a toy, as have been discussed on CDX.

Monetary value - what you paid for it, and does its material and workmanship justify the price tag

Resale value - how likely are you able to recoup your money in the future, should you want to

Sentimental value - maybe the toy is an advanced representation of a character you've always liked. Maybe the toy itself is something you owned as a child, or wanted as a child. Maybe it brings back memories.

Entertainment value - there is a place for cheap and cheerful as well as expensive and sophisticated

Educational value - as adult collectors, we can pretty much ignore this one - unless you are sharing the toy with your child or cousin, which incidentally is a very good thing

Play value - the fun gimmicks the toy packs, its poseability and durability

Cultural value - toy collecting as pop cultural archaeology

Aesthetic value - the toy as a design object, to be appreciated for its own sake

Tokai's picture
Posted by Tokai on 25 March, 2010 - 16:37