Collectibles Buyers Guide to San Diego Comic Con Part 2
Happy Friday Readers!
T-Minus 12 days and counting! As we inch toward the show, and a good amount of you will be attending San Diego Comic Con there's always a lot of amazing things to buy, especially when it comes to Toys!! There are tons of booths with great artists, distributors, manufacturers, independent makers, and general collectibles. So many in fact that it's hard to know what you're looking at! Some people have the time to explain, but since the show is so overwhelmingly busy you can get lost in the shuffle and it can all be a bit daunting, especially as a newbie, and even and seasoned professional.
In an effort aid in your conquest of great stuff here is a brief guide to buying collectibles at this show! This year the dates are starting Thursday, July 18 and ends on Sunday, July 21 2019 with a preview night on the 17th for those lucky ones who have access to early entry.
First, knowing what you're looking for in a property or general idea of a collectible will help in your decision-making process. With over 700 vendors this will be very, very helpful! What I mean by that is does the piece work within your space (be it office, home, or Nerd Cave), are you looking for a collector’s item for later down the road to have it gain in value, or do you just want something new and original? Are you looking for a specific licensed item, or are you looking for a creator driven item? Once you've got that down it might be a little easier to narrow down where to go.
Within the world of collecting there are a lot of different terms for different types of toy/statue/art reproduction methods which if you're unfamiliar can be confusing. Know your Plastics! There are large differences in product and terms that might make it confusing as to why this item is 10 dollars and this other is 1200 dollars. So knowing is half the battle!
Resin- is a rigid material that comes in two liquid parts. Mix the two parts, pour in a flexible mold, and wait. The resin will cure and turn solid, the mold can be opened and then the positive can be removed. Resin reproduces small details well, but is super fragile compared to vinyl. So this is why you see them packaged heavily. Generally foam and thick cardboard boxes.
Vinyl - a softer much more pliable plastic. Soft Vinyl, which you will see your Dunnys from Kidrobot, are examples of rotocast PVC(Poly Vinyl Chloride). Normally only referred to as ‘vinyl’. Vendors like Super7 reproduce many things in this method. Sometimes referred to as Sofubi. Sofubi is a Japanese contraction meaning " soft vinyl. The designation "Sofubi" refers both to the material used to create a figure, and to the design style, finishing techniques, and underlying principles applied to each piece. Soft Vinyl Material or the manner in which a Japanese led production technique and design style has become a mainstay for the Designer Toy market. You will see these mainly in boxes with windows or in blind boxes where you do not know what item you are getting until you open it.
Scale Collectibles you will see with multiple methods of manufacture. Whatever makes the most sense for the part generally tends to be what it’s made from. More rigid items tend to be made of ABS plastics. Then there will be softer items like faces to be made of PVC, then some items made from cloth are sewn like any other normal garment, but on much smaller scale. The price tags on these guys will be usually a bit higher due to more hands during production and multiple techniques applied. So your Hot Toys, and Sideshow collectibles will have your higher price points. Then for the Bigger ones you will run into more resin based manufacture. So as you can see it all gets a bit blurry. But here are some items you might be interested in at this show this year.
The lower rungs for some affordable toys you can go with, are the mass producers or manufacturers. These are going to be your Hasbro (3213), Mattel (2945), Lego (2829), and many others like this. Household names if you will. These are going to be relatively affordable and closest to the items you will find in Target and so on, but they tend to also have exclusives for the convention. This means you shouldn’t be able to get it anywhere else other than this convention. So, BONUS! Check out some of the items below from Hasbro and Mattel.
Next, we come to designer toys. With this there are a handful of ways to describe this lot as there are so many subsets of this title. These tend to be lower production runs, still limited, but the lower the run generally the higher cost to the consumer. Some of the companies who fall under this moniker are KidRobot (2846), Funko (5341), Quantum Mechanix (4145), The Loyal Subjects (2544), and more. The items these guys make are much more specific, many niche products, but so many more things that you can sink your teeth into if you’re a fanatic about very specific properties. They tend to focus on the little details. They have items that range several price points from 10 bucks all the way up to 400 dollars. So you really can choose a bit more as they have such a broad selection. Shout out to the guys at KidRobot and J*Ryu art for the amazing work they did on the Arcane Divination Lost Cards Series!
Then we have some items for some very serious collectors. Companies like Sideshow Collectibles (1929), Mondo (435), PCS Collectibles (4534), Gentle Giant (3513), and Ashley Wood (3750). These guys make some of the larger pieces. Everything from 1:6th Scale articulated figures, large scale figures, and some works of art made into reproductions. The cost is commensurate with the level of detail, and paint applications that go into some of these pieces.
These are some good jumping off points for you collectors out there. Also be sure to swing by Heavy Metal booth (1529) to come see some new items we’ve made for them, to be announced!!!!
Hope this is helpful for those of you heading down next week and looking forward to continuing to hand out sweet high fives, great conversation, and showing off some of the cool projects I’ve been keeping under wraps!