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Jess -

Very interesting!

One kind of a bummer of a point though -- sets of Star Trek Inflexions are already available for well under $75. The cheapest I've seen on eBay was about $36. They may bounce back a bit, but there is a BIN right now for $55 shipped.

It is a very interesting question you pose though -- would collectors be willing to spend $50-60 on a Star Trek box from RA with similar contents to the Monsterwax set?

Based on the selling prices of the Inflexions base set I think RA would be very nervous about trying to sell a release with similar contents, especially at the volume they would have to produce.

Also I am guessing that collectors could find packs of Inflexions for about $50. . . so would a collector rather have a pack of Inflexions with a small amount of content, but a shot at some very expensive chase cards, or a box of Monsterwax with far more content, but with no shot at expensive chase cards -- this is, of course, assuming there was a Star Trek Monsterwax product similar to LIS.

Jon
 
Posts: 4557 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:

Also I am guessing that collectors could find packs of Inflexions for about $50. . . so would a collector rather have a pack of Inflexions with a small amount of content, but a shot at some very expensive chase cards, or a box of Monsterwax with far more content, but with no shot at expensive chase cards -- this is, of course, assuming there was a Star Trek Monsterwax product similar to LIS.

Jon


There are absolutely card collectors who would welcome a $50 box with a full base set and one hit, autograph or sketch. Of course it would work best on a title that has popular demand, but more collectors might try even niche titles when the cost is reasonable.

As for buying Inflexion packs at $50, given that the lure of pack busting is the thrill of getting a big hit, I would see nothing wrong with it. Except that it doesn't exist in the way they are manufactured now.

You can't buy packs from anyone because Star Trek Inflexions was made 3 packs per box. RA would have to make single pack boxes, much like the Mystery Packs that came directly from Breygent. As it stands now, even if you found someone who would be willing to break boxes and sell individual packs, which I haven't seen myself, you can't be sure those are not packs left over after the big hit pack was already opened. You would have to do a witnessed group break to have any assurance that you have an equal chance at it.

But if RA said here's a $40 Star Trek pack with 3 base cards and an autograph or sketch, I do think they might find a lot of buyers who go in for multiple packs. It becomes a psychological thing sometimes when people feel that $160 will buy you one chance, while the same $160 can get you four chances. Same money, same content, but more tries in their mind. And of course they could stop at $40 or come back later or not. Often times a cheaper price serves to generate more sales which results in more total money, than a higher price that only depresses the volume of sales.
 
Posts: 7913 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agreed, there'll always be a market for $50 products... and it's because that's what they used to cost when boxes represented good value and we all still used to buy them. The more expensive products these days, are in reality only worth $50 or less. That's the problem. Companies are simply charging more for, at best, the same content, and in some cases, less.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ravenheart,
 
Posts: 738 | Location: England | Registered: August 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Jon,

That is a bummer but great if a collector wants the base set and is also curious about how it sells later. If RA anticipated less interest in the base set. I wonder why they made it a 100-card set. They could've saved more money in production cost just doing 45-50 cards. I guess they were just going all the way with the deluxe set idea.

If the expectation has become more than one big hit per box, would it be more of a gamble to try selling a box with less stuff in it even at less than half the price of the expensive box? If RA did decide to put out a "retro" Star Trek set would it do 7000 $50 boxes (as with Inflexions) or would they lower the risk by doing less (3500-5000)? I would think anything Star Trek that looks good is going to sell and the much lower price might reel in some sci-fi collectors who haven't bought cards in years or haven't bought them at all.

Jess



quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
Jess -

Very interesting!

One kind of a bummer of a point though -- sets of Star Trek Inflexions are already available for well under $75. The cheapest I've seen on eBay was about $36. They may bounce back a bit, but there is a BIN right now for $55 shipped.

It is a very interesting question you pose though -- would collectors be willing to spend $50-60 on a Star Trek box from RA with similar contents to the Monsterwax set?

Based on the selling prices of the Inflexions base set I think RA would be very nervous about trying to sell a release with similar contents, especially at the volume they would have to produce.

Also I am guessing that collectors could find packs of Inflexions for about $50. . . so would a collector rather have a pack of Inflexions with a small amount of content, but a shot at some very expensive chase cards, or a box of Monsterwax with far more content, but with no shot at expensive chase cards -- this is, of course, assuming there was a Star Trek Monsterwax product similar to LIS.

Jon
 
Posts: 1437 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ravenheart:
The more expensive products these days, are in reality only worth $50 or less. That's the problem. Companies are simply charging more for, at best, the same content, and in some cases, less.


I was gifted a box of Star Trek Inflexions and I posted the breakdown in the box break section. I liked the way the cards looked and was OK with the autographs I pulled. The other base, insert and parallel cards were so few in number as to make no difference to me at all.

I just looked up my 3 autograph hits on eBay. Here are the prices of their last SOLD listings.

Michael Snyder (Movie) $3.29
Robert Picardo (Bridge)$8.51
Kate Mulgrew (Legends)$24.50

These prices shouldn't be happening in an ultra premium product, but it's consistent and not low balling. Those specific autograph cards can be seen transacting on eBay numerous times for within a few dollars in each recent sale.

Is that what you meant by $50 or less? Big Grin
 
Posts: 7913 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ravenheart:
Agreed, there'll always be a market for $50 products... and it's because that's what they used to cost when boxes represented good value and we all still used to buy them. The more expensive products these days, are in reality only worth $50 or less. That's the problem. Companies are simply charging more for, at best, the same content, and in some cases, less.


I personally think the content is better now, but even if the content is the same -- isn't everything is more expensive now?

Autograph costs and shipping costs alone have sky rocketed.
 
Posts: 4557 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by catskilleagle:
Hi Jon,

That is a bummer but great if a collector wants the base set and is also curious about how it sells later. If RA anticipated less interest in the base set. I wonder why they made it a 100-card set. They could've saved more money in production cost just doing 45-50 cards. I guess they were just going all the way with the deluxe set idea.

If the expectation has become more than one big hit per box, would it be more of a gamble to try selling a box with less stuff in it even at less than half the price of the expensive box? If RA did decide to put out a "retro" Star Trek set would it do 7000 $50 boxes (as with Inflexions) or would they lower the risk by doing less (3500-5000)? I would think anything Star Trek that looks good is going to sell and the much lower price might reel in some sci-fi collectors who haven't bought cards in years or haven't bought them at all.

Jess




The Inflexions sets right now are 1:case. They are expensive and difficult to acquire, but collectors are only willing to spend $40-50 on them. If the sets were smaller and say 2:case I bet they'd be way cheaper. At the end of the day RA has to be trying to keep some value in the base set. Which is a huge struggle. The other option would be to have cut the base set in half and reduce the number of base per pack. . . I'm not sure how well that would have gone over with people opening packs.

Overall there are about 500-600 Inflexions sets, and they are already pretty inexpensive. If RA produced 3500-5000 retro sets I don't see sets having any value at all. Also is it even financially worth it for RA to produce a set with only 3500 boxes for $50?

If RA produced 3500-5000 boxes with similar content to Monsterwax with the best possible 'hit' being a artist autograph or a printing plate I think think the value of contents of the set would fall to next to nothing. $4-5 sets. $10 mini-master sets and $1-3 metal cards.

It would be awesome if new collectors were buying, but I just don't see that happening. Where is RA (or any manufacturer) advertising that they would acquire new customers?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: webjon,
 
Posts: 4557 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just noticed that George Takei is charging $80 for autographs at the Dallas Fan Expo. His Inflexions autograph is selling for around $35.

Regardless of why it is happening it shows the challenge RA faces.

The cost of the autograph is going up, but the value is going down.

(Yes, I know RA is most likely paying less per autograph than $80, but they are still likely to be paying more now than they were when George was charging less at conventions)
 
Posts: 4557 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RA has been forward thinking. Many of their autograph cards have been stockpiled for years. Certainly Takei, as a main Star Trek original series cast member has had several repeat signer cards, so his current personal appearance fee may have little to no bearing at all on increasing any costs for RA's Star Trek Inflexions. More over, it is for a personal meeting and getting whatever you want signed. If he can get fans to fork over $80, good for him, but he may or may not be getting anything from RA for current or future released cards if he was paid for them way back when.

Furthermore RA doesn't and never has guaranteed secondary market prices for anyone's autograph card. So if they are selling too low because there is a glut supply and no demand and collectors are in no rush to get them, there's not a lot they can do about it. However, what you don't do is continue to increase the box/case prices. The more card collectors kept saying the boxes cost too much and we are losing too much on the value gap, the more RA and others keep coming out with ultra premium products aimed at dealers, bulk buyers and flippers. So now its gotten to the point where all those sellers have no one to sell it to because the card collectors have walked away or are just waiting for low ball dumpers only.

Why should this come as a surprise? Its been forecast for years and instead of doing things to make the average box better, the price increased on the one big card per case formula and prop it up with multiple case incentives theory. That product construction worked for a long time, a lot longer than it should have, but its not working anymore and doubling down on it is not the answer.
 
Posts: 7913 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That was a nice gift. I'm familiar with the names of two of the actors (Picardo and Mulgrew, whom I'd known from other shows before) so I would have been okay with the autographs as well. You can't help the going-rate. Collectible buying is still not what it was in the early 2000's. Collectors have smaller budgets and there might be a psychological component in play, that being if something is going for only $10, then some collectors don't want it because it's not "hot" enough. I don't have stats to back that up but I still see stuff not selling for what it used to. Many things are recovering their 2006-2007 value and some have exceeded that but a lot of stuff sells cheap or goes unsold.

Jess

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
quote:
Originally posted by ravenheart:
The more expensive products these days, are in reality only worth $50 or less. That's the problem. Companies are simply charging more for, at best, the same content, and in some cases, less.


I was gifted a box of Star Trek Inflexions and I posted the breakdown in the box break section. I liked the way the cards looked and was OK with the autographs I pulled. The other base, insert and parallel cards were so few in number as to make no difference to me at all.

I just looked up my 3 autograph hits on eBay. Here are the prices of their last SOLD listings.

Michael Snyder (Movie) $3.29
Robert Picardo (Bridge)$8.51
Kate Mulgrew (Legends)$24.50

These prices shouldn't be happening in an ultra premium product, but it's consistent and not low balling. Those specific autograph cards can be seen transacting on eBay numerous times for within a few dollars in each recent sale.

Is that what you meant by $50 or less? Big Grin
 
Posts: 1437 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a basic card collector, this has been a a very interesting discussion.

Kind of reminds me of a discussion I had with some of my sports fans who feel that their sports teams have priced them out of going to games. The teams continue to raise prices for seats year after year but the product stays basically the same. Teams will offer things like meet and greets, or guided tours of the arenas as perks, but most people don't really care about this. They just want to go to game and have a good time.


The more I think about this, the more I believe that teams have got to stop looking at things strictly as a business

I'm sure teams look and think that if they could sell 1 ticket for a large amount (say 1 million dollars) they would make more money than selling 20,000 seats at $45.00 each. This is great if you can find somebody willing to spend the big money. But this is very short sited. Besides loosing all the additional money from parking, merchandising, food, etc., they would find themselves in real trouble once the 1 person realizes there is nobody to share the experience with and decides he no longer wants to buy his ticket. At that point, the true fans will have felt unappreciated and most likely moved on to something else and will not be simply waiting to come back

Kind of like if a card company keeps raising prices and phases all the average collectors out. They may be able to make a lot of money quicker, but eventually the big money will dry up (Will not be worth it for them with nobody to re-sell there cards to). And it will be to late to go back to the smaller collector, as they will feel priced out and have moved on to other things

There needs to be some sore of middle ground. Nobody expects to buy a box of cards and be guaranteed a profit on the cards they pulled. But they need to see some value. Most collectors collect for the fun and enjoyment of opening a box or pack of cards (like me), or finding a card of their favorite character or scene. They put a value on this and if the cost of collecting is not to far off from this value they are all in. But once the difference between the cost and the value becomes large, decisions need to made and most collectors will simply stop collecting rather than throw there hard earned money away.
 
Posts: 313 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I would think as a basic collector you'd be in heaven right now. A case of Inflexions costs around $2400. You can buy the complete set that comes 1:case for under 50 bucks.

I still see Inflexions as a great release, and stand by my point that if this release fails RA probably should give up on Star Trek.

In person autographs of Mulgrew and Picardo would cost over $100 at a convention. If collectors are only willing to pay $35 for those certified autographs (and others) -- regardless of the reason -- it makes it difficult to produce a set that makes collectors happy.

Let's say RA produced Inflexions for $45 a box with 1 hit and a base set in a box. Someone pulls a Picardo autograph, which is worth less than $10, and a base set that's worth about $5. Would people on here complain less then? I doubt it.

I overheard Bran Gray (CEO of Leaf) talking once. Someone asked why Chuck Liddell autographs weren't in Leaf products any longer (they may be now -- this was about 5 years ago) and Gray's response was "You guys are paying less for his autograph than we are."
 
Posts: 4557 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I would think as a basic collector you'd be in heaven right now. A case of Inflexions costs around $2400. You can buy the complete set that comes 1:case for under 50 bucks.


Not this basic collector. Big Grin I used to be a big box buster. I'd buy one or two boxes per week when I could find titles I liked. Jumped around with a bunch of titles and would wind up with 6 or 7 boxes if I liked a specific one. Only after that might I turn to eBay to pick up pieces or certain autos I wanted. There's no way I can do that now and I miss it, as I'm sure others do, but the value gap is driving collectors to eBay as the first option whether they like it or not.

If your numbers are right, that's awful for case buyers trying to sell for profit or just to mitigate their own cost.

It is great for Star Trek collectors that don't have many of these signers or want more and can pick them up at these too low prices, but it's also short sighted. As you said, this could be the last Star Trek with original series and the others. Perhaps only the Star Trek shows running on CBS Access can generate new interest.
 
Posts: 7913 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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