Every few years or so, you gotta try it. You bought that rarest of the rare super expensive Transformer and figured it didn’t matter what price you paid — you’ll get it back and then some. This is one of many possible through processes that can go through a collector’s mind to convince them it’s ok to pay a good-sized mortgage payment on pieces of old/new plastic formed into the shape of little robotic men.
I wish I could tell you, my fellow Collecticons, that it was a sure thing and that you always will get your money back and then some in this crazy Transformer collecting world. With every passing year, it seems this is more and more not the case.
Let’s take one of the most classic feverish transactions to ever take place. The Hartman Brothers were “getting out of collecting” and decided to sell some of their rarest items on ebay. Luckily for these guys, they had a great deal of publicity surrounding their sales and people trusted them. They banked on their collection, to say the least. Then came the individual sales of quite possibly the rarest set of all time: the Generation 2 Protectobot limbs. This set was never released, yet a handful of finished packaged samples exist. The auctions were featured on all of the major Transformers fan sites and as the first G2 Protectobot made its way onto Ebay, the bids went wild. In the end, each Protectobot sold well over the $1000 mark and each landed into the hands of one (un?)-lucky winner: Delpan Rane.
I have had the fortune of getting to know Delphan Rane over the past few years. We have discussed the inevitable re-sale of the unreleased items in their posession. I have seen them go up for sale more than once, and the price is never cheap. Each time, the auction runs its course, and although I expect there are hundreads of watchers, no one buys.
So what’s the problem? Is the price too high, the toys too ugly, the market too depressed? One thing is for sure, the hype surrounding the original sale is no where to be found. I for one think it is far too soon to be trying to sell them off. Mystic items like that should not be sprouting up on ebay every year, or even every five years. Otherwise, they begin to lose their glimmer and fade.
So I wish my cohort Delphan Rane all the luck in the world. Someone out there is drooling for these AFA’d beauties and waiting for the price to come down just a bit. To all those collectors licking their lips and rubbing their hands like hyenas be warned: if you wait too long, you might just have to buy them one by one.
And that, my friends, would be the worst fate of all – separating these bots from their siblings forever…