Dec 25, 2009
May The Force Be With You
Live Long and Prosper
Make It So
I'll Be Back (for the holidays - adding that part in)
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Up, Up, and Away
We look forward to more fun and adventure in the New Year!
Dec 19, 2009
Dec 13, 2009
Ebay effectively destroyed a large amount of the price ceiling in the collectible world. Rare toys, comics, and other collectibles were suddenly not quite so rare. Chase figures and variants no longer commanded a premium until the current waves had cleared shelves, and in most cases, the core collector group had already acquired the item. Collectibles became more about the "new hotness" instead of sustained value. Flipping became much more common and pronounced with values crashing (and sometimes hard) once supplies normalized (thank you Walmart and Target). Ebay values became the unofficial price guide for a lot of things.
However, over the last two years, things have changed. The amount of collectibles being sold on eBay has markedly decreased. Searches for Bowen busts, original comic art (not commissions by unknowns), and certain action figure lines turn up significantly less numbers than before. The reasons for this have been debated by those far more knowing than I, but the bottom line is that the volume is not where it was. Couple this with the departure of numerous sellers for other venues (a whole other topic for debate), and the end result is less product being offered by less knowledgable and capable people.
Ebay is not helping itself in this field either. If I cannot find, then I cannot buy! And Best Match does not help me find. Newly listed and ending soonest helps me find and prioritize my purchasing. Sorry to say, however much you guys paid for that program, you need a refund. Then, changes in the search where figures now returns listings with the "figure" in them. Don't assume that the "s" is on there by accident! If I type "figures", I want auctions with multiple items in them! For "busts", I am looking for high end collectibles, not see through bras! (although that might be something for a later business)
Unlike numerous other sellers, I agreed with the no negative feedback against the buyer change. If you offer quality items, prices, and shipping, then your scores will reflect it. There will be buyers who will abuse the system or just be stupid, but if you are producing enough sales volume, you can overcome these issues out of your control through sheer mathematical volume as well as your other positive reviews. However, they then decide to start arbitrating resolutions themselves. This might seem good, but the policies being implemented are truly inane. If a seller shorts me figures in a lot or sends damaged product, I can't get a refund just for the missing or damaged product. I have to send the other product back to the customer, get proof of return, and then get my refund. So...my choice is to return the product that I do want OR accept being ripped off/losing money. That makes no sense and makes me wary of future purchases, esp. from newer sellers.
So, if I have to be more cautious with newer sellers, then they will get fewer possible sales for lower prices and then....they will go away as well. Supply keeps dropping, some prices will go up, but also the significance of eBay keeps dropping. Right now, I have two open complaints in the same month due to being shorted on one lot and not even receiving the other. I do not remember any time in my nine years ever having two complaints within three months much less one month. I have been making more purchases over CL in the past six months than eBay which is also a first.
I went away from eBay a long time ago as a viable long term sales channel. I am now considering moving away from them as a primary sourcing channel. I am sure I am not the only business with similar considerations, and ultimately, where we end up - the collectible and small business class - that will be the next big thing.
"It's the politics of the auction land....it's the eBay Bluuuuuues! (with apologies to Glenn Frey)
Nov 23, 2009
The show was GREAT! Attendance exceeded expectations, lots of nice people, cool panels and auction, and the costume contest on Sunday rocked! We really enjoyed it, but we are tired!
For those of you referred her by our flyers or cards, you can get to our Amazon storefront by clicking here. We take the store down during large shows to avoid any inventory being double sold online and at the show. It will be back up this evening, so please make sure to bookmark it and take a look at it.
We will be running a Black Friday promo, and the Comicon promo code will be combinable with the Black Friday promo - extra savings for you!
We are also going to be ramping up our inventory levels this week with more Marvel, Star Wars, McFarlane, WWE and other figures being added. For those wanting to send us want lists or buy lists, you can email us here.
More detailed post to come.....
Nov 11, 2009
10. Charity auction Saturday at 600p! Great opportunity to pick up cool stuff and benefit great causes!
9. Charity Magic Tournaments on Sunday. Get your deck together and game on!
8. Free Bowling Party on Satuday night (730p). Comics and bowling - two great things that are greater together! (no, the Hulk will not be bowling).
7. Panels, panels, panels! As you probably have noticed by now, this is not going to be a "Dealer's Room Only" show with lots of other activities for a bigger con experience. There is a full slate of panels over diverse subjects including inking, comic licensing, running a con, GI Joe, and a special appearance by Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics fame.
6. Great Guests - Part I. VA Comicon Regulars including the Tsunami Studio posse of Randy Green, Rick Ketcham, Kelly Yates, Steve Bird, and more; Andy Smith; Louis Small, Jr; Brian Shearer; John Gallagher; Steve Conley; James Kuhoric (in one of his few show appearances); Kevin Sharpe, and Eric Wolfe Hanson are all going to be in attendance. And previous attendee now DC Comics Zuda Award Winner Adam Lucas will also be there.
5. CGC and Hero Initiative - two organizations that are wonderful additions to any show. Drop your submissions directly at the CGC booth for grading and save the time, money, and worry of shipping your gems! CGC will also be witnessing for their Signature Series (see all of the Great Guests entries above and below).
4. Show Exclusives - not only will there be the cool VA Comicon poster designed by Tsunami Studios, there is also the exclusive holiday variant cover to Witchblade #132 (limited to 1000) by Randy Green and its ultra rare (less than 200) no logo sketch version (submit those lovelies to CGC!)
3. Advance Ticket Specials - buying early has its benefits! Premium VIP tickets have sold out, but you can still get Advanced VIP tickets for $14.95 and Advanced VIP for $9.95. Both levels get into the dealer's room 30 minutes early on both days, the show exclusive Witchblade variant, 20% off at New World Comics and Toys booth at the show, and free entry into the prize drawings.
2a. Great Guests - Part II. Adding to the already stellar guest lineup are a number of writers and artists who have not been to a Virginia show in years (if ever!). DC and Marvel artists Mark McKenna (so many titles, he could have his own long box!), Dan Parent (Archie), Reilly Brown (Cable and Deadpool), Mike McKone (Exiles, JLI, Amazing Spider-Man, Big Town), Jim Calafiore (Batgirl, Exiles, Iron Man, Countdown), and Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man comics and newspaper strip) will all be in attendance.
2b. Great Guests - Part III. But wait, there's more! Great artists also need great writers, and some of the bests will be here including Chuck Dixon (just about every Bat title, GI Joe, Stargate, Birds of Prey), Billy Tucci (creator of Shi), Chris Claremont (the "father" of the Uncanny X-Men and creator of thousands of characters and dozens of titles plus loads of fun to talk with), and in a very rare appearance, the creator of the modern GI Joe franchise, Larry Hama!
1. Ticket Prices and Free Entry - all this and 50+ tables of one of the best comic selections on the East Coast for just $10 for both days! Plus free admission for children, anyone in full costume, student ID, or Military ID!
Bottom Line - if you like ANYTHING about comics, superheroes, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, GI Joe, or even looking for some cool Christmas gifts, you MUST be at this show! For much more info, go to www.vacomicon.com
Oct 25, 2009
Sep 28, 2009
And thanks to all the great people we met at the Virginia Comicon and Inside Pitch shows the past two weekends. Old friends/customers and new, we appreciate your support.
Sep 14, 2009
This Sunday (9/20), we will be at the September edition of The Virginia Comicon. Located at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Richmond, Brett and Guy put on a great one day show that attracts collectors of all levels. We are continually amazed when we are informed of the final attendance numbers because it always seems like there are more people than that! The crowd is really nice and has the most kids we have seen at any show other than HeroesCon. Additionally, there is a great selection of comics from fifty cent and buck books to the latest variants to Golden Age goodness. Non-sports trading cards are represented by between two to four vendors per show. There are also at least a few comic artists taking commissions (say hi to Louis Small, Jr!). We bring the majority of toys/figures/busts found at the show, and this time we are focusing upon family and wallet friendly superhero and similar action figures along with at least ten boxes of fifty cent books. Marvel, DC, and Star Wars will all be represented with prices starting as low as $3/figure, and if you ask Angi nicely, she can probably cut you a better deal. If you are a comic fan within a two hour drive, this show is definitely worth the drive.
The following weekend (9/26 and 9/27) finds us at the Inside Pitch Toy Show at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. This show appeals to mainline collectors with items ranging from vintage 50s and 60s toys to sportscards to diecast (lots of Hot Wheels) to all sorts of action figures. It has a little bit of something for every type of toy fan. Unfortunately, there is usually only one or two comic dealers present. With it being a two day show, some nice deals can be found on Sunday which is great for casual fans. Next to the flea market also run every weekend at the Fairgrounds, this show tends to attract a mix of hardcore collectors searching for specific items and bargain hunters. We are going to be bringing some McFarlane sports figures along with more wallet friendly figures from X-Men, Batman, Aliens, Predator, and other genres.
After that, we are off to a new show - Jaxcon in Jacksonville, NC on October 3rd. We really enjoy going to new shows when possible because of the opportunity to meet a whole new circle of fans. Jaxcon is also significant because all the proceeds are going to a pair of great causes - Wounded Warrior - Battalion East and The Pride Track and Field Club. Jaxcon is going to be primarily a gaming show with CCGs, RPGs, board games, video games, and tournaments currently boasting over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Since this is not our normal customer base, we are excited to be bringing a number of figures we normally only sell online. Among these will be McFarlane fantasy and horror lines, NECA horror (think Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface), and some Sideshow offerings. On the comic front, we will have some 50 cent boxes, higher end books, CGC books, and perhaps some Bowen and Diamond busts. So if you are in the area and are into gaming, you can't miss this show. However, make sure to check out what we have, you might find some surprises!
Things are going to be hectic, but we are looking forward to meeting some old friends and repeat customers as well as new fans. We will be sending out con reviews as we go along our merry way, and if you go to one of the shows, let us know you saw the blog!
Aug 25, 2009
So, in no particular order, here is our short list of movies we would have liked a second helping of:
- Top Gun - so Maverick becomes an instructor at Top Gun. The next movie could have been him against more smart ass young pilots or even getting called out into another international incident with his cadets. Throw in more romance with Charlie or another love interest, and it would have been another fun summer flick (and probably lots better than Days of Thunder.
- Independence Day (ID4) - no way all of the nasty aliens were dead at the end of the first one. Surely some of those big ships got back into orbit before we kamikazed into them. Flash forward a few years, and it's Memorial Day. Let the explosions and Will Smith wise cracks commence.
- Pulp Fiction - not so much a sequel as what happened in between the stories. Where did Jules go? How did Marsellus get the case? What was in the case anyway? How did Vinnie come into Marsellus' employ? Pump up the music, grab your milkshake, and let's get the gang back together.
- The Fifth Element - avoid the obvious of calling "The Sixth Element", and we can continue the story of Leeloo. Surely someone can persuade Luc Besson and Milla Jovovich to start working on this film (and bring Jean Reno along). Who needs Bruce Willis anyway?
- Legend - more Darkness! Nuff said.
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off - this could have been a mini-franchise for Matthew Broderick. Ferris Bueller's Next Day Off, Ferris Bueller's Summer Vacation, etc until they go the way of the National Lampoon vacation flicks. Seriously, it would have been another fun romp as Bueller enters freshman year in college and decides he needs to skip out before he flips out and heads off cross state find Mia Sara's Sloane with Cameron once more unwillingly/willingly in tow.
I am sure there are more, so feel free to send your nominees!
Image via Wikipedia
Cover of Independence Day [Blu-ray]
Aug 20, 2009
So, we got the Leia Robotika by Bill Morrison of Simpsons Comics fame. It's an
Here are the promo photos from the auction website. We will post some figures of the actual Mugg once we have received it.
Aug 8, 2009
Aug 6, 2009
Image via WikipediaLet's see how this turns out....
Presenting our first Twitter/Blogger exclusive promotional code for our Amazon store! Enter "TWITTERY" at checkout to receive 10% off any order of $40 or more from our storefront. It can be one big item or a bunch of smaller items as long as the total before shipping is $40 or greater. If you have a code from a show or previous sale flyer, you can combine the codes for even greater savings (a perk for our previous customers)! The code does not expire until Oct. 31st at midnight, so come back from time to time to see what's new.
We have much, much, much more that will will be adding in the coming weeks and months. Last week, it was McFarlane Metal Gear Solid and Beatles figures. This week, it is superhero busts (some signed), a variety of hero figures, and Kingdom Come figures. Next week....who knows what will be next because we have loads of horror, Marvel, DC, Star Wars and others still to come.
If there is a positive response, look for bigger and better promo codes to be announced on here and via Twitter (see sidebar to the right) as we get closer to the holidays.
Jul 22, 2009
No, I am not talking about the gloomy economic figures that are the provence of MSNBC, CNN Money, and their ilk. However, I am talking about the recent increases in the upfront retail pricing on figures. With the increases in oil prices last summer, it was only expected that action figure prices would similarly rise due to the petroleum costs. However, while oil prices have retreated, figure prices have not, and in most cases, have continued a steady rise. (and George Lucas is greedy does not count as a reason....at least not for this post).
Hasbro has been the worst offender with the basic 3 3/4" Star Wars, Marvel Hero, and GI Joe figures now fetching nearly $8 at retail and $12 for online stores apiece and the larger Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk lines at $11 each retail. Don't even get me started on the $150 Millenium Falcon (what were they thinking? Notice how fast the price of that one dropped). The idea of the $15 midsize figure is no longer so far fetched. These high initial prices squelch collectibility for most of the figure lines since the average secondary market dealer is going to have to price the figures at $15 to $20 each in order to realize any profits. And for new figures - with very rare exceptions such as the recent Darth Revan and Wal-Mart exclusives DC Superheroes and Marvel Legends figures - that is just more than the market can bear.
Additionally, the quality of most of the Hasbro lines of the last year has been absolute drek. While there have been some bright spots in some of the recent Star Wars and Iron Man lines and GI Joe has been steady, the Marvel Legends, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider-man, and vast majority of Star Wars have been disappointing at best. The bendie Princess Leia figure in the Shadows of the Empire two pack, the not so intimidating Juggernaut in the recent Spider-Man classics, the entire undersized Wolverine and Marvel heroes line (what do people see in that?) - none of these figures cry out to be bought at retail much less secondary market levels. The situation appears that Hasbro is banking on the collectors and impulse buyers to bring in higher margin on initial purchases in order to offset smaller margins or losses when having to clear out the remaining inventory of peg warmers (see Hasbro's recent troop builder deals on its website).
However, this is not a bash on Hasbro post (Mighty Muggs are pretty cool). Jakks Pacific, Playmates (oh, those Terminator figures were muy malo), and McFarlane Toys figures are flirting with the $10 each level. Only Mattel seems to have been reigning in their price increases with the quality DC Superheroes and JLU lines. Less competition from a decreasing number of retail outlets also plays a part in rising prices. Kay-Bee Toy Stores - gone. Toys R Us - significant store closings. K-Mart - significant store closings and visibly lower stock levels. Suncoast - significant store closings. With less places to sell an equal or smaller amount of supply, the per unit costs increase. Even eBay, which used to be a large source of new figures at close to retail pricing, has dried up as a steady source of new product (but that is more due to eBay's own idiotic policies than anything else).
So...what is the average collector or parent to do? Unfortunately, the final solution is to be more selective in purchases, purchase in advance if possible from your local collectible store, or wait out for clearances or discounters like TJ Maxx, Ross, Big Lots, and Marshalls. Double unfortunately, the last two are really becoming tougher due to the declining amounts of clearance at the first line retailers (Wal-mart and Target) from leaner stocking levels.
Another possibility is via the free shipping available to Amazon Prime members or free super-saver shipping on some purchases at Amazon. New figures there tend to run near retail levels, and if you are an Amazon Prime member, shipping is free. If eBay can get their free shipping initiatives to take better hold, it will become another viable option. If in your area, toys shows are also a great place for picking up deals, especially when there are brick and mortar retailers present dumping off excess stock.
Ultimately, it is going to come down to voting with your dollars. The days of the $7.83 Marvel Legends Juggernaut (what an incredible figure!) and the high quality and low posabilty McFarlanes are gone. Secondary market valuation is going to be increasingly fixated on demand, scarity, and reissues. With the "eBay effect" that depressed collectible prices over the past three to five years becoming less and less, secondary market pricing on truly in demand, low production niche figures, and/or out of production items will start rising (a trend already noticable on a number of figure sites). So if you are looking for a common figure to fill a hole in your collection, you can probably wait it out and pick it up cheaper later on. As long as they are not later reproduced, the rarer items are going to level out and then continue a slow increase. Price tracking on eBay and Amazon, figure trading, and show shopping are the way to go with those. Once the toy makers get the message that lower quality, constant repaints, repacks, and reissues are NOT selling and are NOT bringing in new customers, then we may see a reduction in prices and better variety. Until then, make mine Marvel Legends (the Toy Biz ones)!
Jul 20, 2009
Jul 14, 2009
Dale Arden - Megan Fox (I know, way too easy) OR one of the Jessicas - Biel or Alba
Ming the Merciless - Jet Li (easy choice). He can do the physical work and just has to look evil. A bit short though. A more atypical choice? Vin Diesel. He has the imposing stature, menacing look, commanding voice, and can turn on the devil's charm while running you through with a sword.
Flash Gordon - Jason Statham. Athletic and versatile, just give The Transporter a ray gun and let the festivities begin! You say you want someone different? A "reimagination" of the classic hero? How about Dwayne "The Rock " Johnson? Having proven his mettle as a leading man and real actor, Johnson's charisma combined with his physical presence would make Flash "The Universe's Champion". "The Rock" Vs. Riddick - 'nuff said!
So, we conclude this evening's geek out session. Farewell from the New World.
Jul 11, 2009
I have some fun items to share from the recent Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC.
As has been said in many other places, Shelton Drum, Dustin Harbin, and company put on what is probably the most fan friendly pure comic convention in the country. If you are used to the giant media shows of SDCC, NYCC, and Wizard (boo! hiss!), this will be a great treat for you. The fan and creator interaction is incredible (ask us about Chris Claremont's five minute song about the X3 Beast bust and Kelsey Grammar sometime).
The art auction on Saturday night is lots of fun and one of those good for your soul and home splurges. We usually pick up one or two items every year, but this time we picked up three great pieces at the auction - one for me and two for NWM (note from New World Mike - she doesn't mention that hers was the most expensive BY FAR!). Not pictured: Poison Ivy with pencils by Steve Scott and inks by Nathan Massengill. (va va va voom!)
Muppets and Dr. Who - what more can you ask for? Featuring Dr. Bunsen Huneydew as 4th Doctor and Beaker as the 2nd Doctor, this lovely piece had quite a lot of interest and drew compliments on the show floor on Sunday. Done by Roger Langridge - I am incredibly delighted to have it our collection. Mr. Langridge did a Gonzo as Davros sketch for us the next day to go with this. He is the current artist on Boom Studios hot and better than it has any right to be "Muppet Show" comics. Take a look at his website here..
The nice large piece of Star Wars character Asajj Ventress is by Tim Fischer (we think). It is going to be displayed along with a Dave Dorman Darth Vader and Bernard Chang Queen Amidala of similar size and also from previous Heroes art auctions! (note from New World Mike - yes, this one is for me. Lightsabers....oooooooo) Check out Tim's website here. Tim, if this is not yours, let us know! If it is, let us know!
Jul 10, 2009
Now that you are here, let's take a moment to introduce ourselves. We are New World Mike and New World Angi, and we run New World Toys and Collectibles - a nice little action figure, comic, toys, and more online retail establishment. We are also dealers and attendees at shows around the NC, VA, and TN areas.
'That's nice," I can hear you thinking, but so what? Well, if you happen to be into or are looking for pop culture item, we invite you to check out Amazon Storefront where we are featured merchants in the Toys and Games category.
Moreover, we will be announcing sales, upcoming shows, new acquisitions, and other business related items on here, so we hope you follow us as our business grows into a globe spanning plastic empire! "(New World Angi note - he is typing this, not me)."
In addition to blurbs and sales pitch, we will also be offering different commentary on shows, conventions, toys, comics, hot and not, pop collectible trends, and whatever else tickles the fancy (hence the Random Musings part).
So, Welcome to Our World - we invite you to be a frequent visitor. No passport necessary.