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 Post subject: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:55 am 
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I remember when Todd McFarlane first started making Spawn toys. At the time Spawn was one of the hottest comics and it even got an animated show on HBO and eventually a movie.

A lot of people thought that Spawn toys were going to be worth something in the future, but actually if you look on ebay they seem to have devalued if anything, with almost none of the 5,500 auctions for Spawn action figures having bids except for the most ridiculously good deals like a lot of 8 MOC figures selling for $2, etc.

Now, I realize that action figures in general are not going to become super valuable, but most of them do go up in value a little. Certainly it seems unusual for MOC action figures from 15 years ago to actually be selling for less than they were back then.

I also find it unusual that no one seems to talk about this line. Not in the toy forums really, and I have never seen them listed in Lee's vintage toy price guide. What happened with this line? Why is there such a singular lack of interest in it?


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:55 am 
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Spawn was very much a product of the 90's. Along with the rest of the Image characters (Wildcats, Cyberforce, etc.), they pretty much burned out and faded away.

It doesn't help that Mcfarlane Toys pretty much imploded in the past 5 years. They barely put out any product any more except Halo and Sports.

The McFarlane Store in Glendale, AZ opened with much fanfare several years ago. The whole store was devoted to Spawn and the rest of Todd's licenses. It was actually kinda cool.

Now, when you go in there, it's just a regular (albeit high priced) toystore. They had to bring in a bunch of Hasbro, Mattel, etc. in order to survive. Last time I was there, they had started to sell T-shirts a la Spensers as well. :roll:

Todd's just not as relevant anymore. He doesn't do any comics to my knowledge (he hired other people to do Spawn) and seems to be content to simply count his (diminishing) money.

I'll admit to owning a few Spawn toys back in the day. They were pretty to look at, but BOY they practically broke if you ever attempted to move them. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:37 am 
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I think that toys in general tend to lose money over time. It is the rare exception that holds or even appreciates in value.

Think of all the hundreds of different toy lines that come and go in a year, less than 5 of those will have any lasting value with collector-dom as a whole.

Add on to that a property that is extremely tied into a specific point in time and that fan base devalues with it. If you are hoping for nostalgia to start creating an inflation in price, you need to go at least 3 generations out (roughly 30-36 years). At least, that's what statistics tell us.

Spawn toys will always have historical value, but that doesn't necessarily translate to monetary value. Especially considering how awfully those things were constructed, almost makes Matty seem the king of QC... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:31 pm 
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bnjmnrlyr wrote:
I think that toys in general tend to lose money over time. It is the rare exception that holds or even appreciates in value.

Think of all the hundreds of different toy lines that come and go in a year, less than 5 of those will have any lasting value with collector-dom as a whole.

Add on to that a property that is extremely tied into a specific point in time and that fan base devalues with it. If you are hoping for nostalgia to start creating an inflation in price, you need to go at least 3 generations out (roughly 30-36 years). At least, that's what statistics tell us.

Spawn toys will always have historical value, but that doesn't necessarily translate to monetary value. Especially considering how awfully those things were constructed, almost makes Matty seem the king of QC... :wink:


I don't know, if you name pretty much any toyline from the 80s or even early 90s chances are it is worth more now. Did you see that recent post in here about Boglins for instance? The poster wrote that one sold on Ebay for $200. Who ever heard of a Boglin fan base?

TMNT, that was from the nineties, and a few months ago I watched someone on Ebay sell their entire collection getting $100 and up for each vehicle, I think the turtle blimp went for $290.

Battlebeasts, M.U.S.C.L.E., MOTU, etc etc.

It is not normal for a toyline to devalue over time. That seems to be the exception, not the rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:57 pm 
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I think "collectablity" hurts as well, it's like the Death of Superman comic, there were over 7 billion made and only 6 billion people on the planet, so there is no demand. Essentally what I am saying is that demand drives any market, if everyone buys up what is out there then years down the road as interests fade and change and the property becomes less in demand. Of those old toylines the few that are worth anything still have a strong presence today. Spawn (as a character) lost relevence a long, long time ago a "one hit wonder" is the best way to put it.

I had some spawn toys and sold them off for about $2 a peice, that was after trying to sell them for a bit higher with no luck. Point being today's hot item can be tomorrow's junk.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:31 pm 
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I had bought loads of Spawn and other McFarlane figures in the '90s. A couple of years ago when I totally ran out of room in my 640 sq foot apartment, I thought I sell most of them only to discover no one was buying. So, I started giving the mint-on-mint card figures away to my sister-in-law, who's a nurse, and she would give them to the kids in her hospital. According to her, the kids (pre-teens) totally flipped and loved all the figures.
Maybe the Spawn figures will make a comeback someday.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:40 am 
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I think the Spawn comic needs to make a comeback (to a higher level of awareness) before the toys will...

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:45 am 
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If the long *rumored* and awaited Spawn movie remake ever sees the light of day maybe people will start looking into him again. I agree that the comic needs a big resurgence though too.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:02 pm 
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also, if the character were to have any redeeming qualities whatsoever.........But then, I can see why the OP would relate, after that whole Toyfare Copyright thing.....


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage Spawn toys, why are they so cheap?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:21 pm 
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About the Boglins, 80's toys are usually worth more than worth more than 90's toys, because the generation that grew up with 80's toys is going into mid life now and because there weren't alot of speculators in the 80's keeping figures MIP. Toys need to have been played with and broken to gain value, if everyone saved them the market gets flooded and they're worthless. Our generation beat the hell out of our toys for the most part. Also, TMNT (and Boglins I believe) both came out with toys in 87, so people that want to collect them now pay big bucks for the later toys because they want they are completists, and since interest had died off at the end of the line, those figures didn't sell as well and are obviously much rarer.

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