Saturday, November 29, 2014

Imperial Scout Troopers

Just a quick update to prove that this blog is still active! Recently I acquired a set of the Micro Machines Star Wars Scout Troopers collection. This has been a set that I have been hunting for some time.

Worth lots in the box.
 I have seen boxes sets of these on E-Bay go for US$80. Thankfully, I didn't play that much for these, but I did spend more than I would normally on a  Micro Machine figure set. The two main reasons were - A) I hadn't seen the set available for some time (no doubt the market will now be flooded with sets at a cheaper price), and B) The price was reasonable (Although not as reasonable as the sticker price!).

But difficult to use in gaming unless opened!
 Of course I need to open the set to use the miniatures, which will of course lower the value of the  set, but toys are made to be played with. That, and even the loose unboxed figures can go for around $US8 dollars each!

And added to the collection - now I just need some more Jet Bikes!
To the collectors who see this, and are unhappy with my actions in opening a MIB set, I would point out that I have added value to the remaining  MIB sets by opening one, and that by reducing the pool of  unopened sets I am increasing the challenge factor - and thus the enjoyment factor - in finding a MIB set.

Much of the material I use for my gaming could be considered collectors' items, but given the sheer scale of production of these plastic toys, how rare are they?

Hugh Walter, author of the blog "Small Scale World" addresses the subject numerous times in his blog, and raises many interesting points in a manner far better than I could, and with the benefit of considerable knowledge of collecting across several fields. His most recent musing (at the time of writing) is here and can be found part way down the post under the heading "Prices"

Largely I agree with Hugh on this, but would like to add that hobbies should be fun, and not "All about the Rutherfords!"


  1. I think we run into a rather unconsidered branch of ... erm ... economics here involving the meanings of the terms value, price, cost and worth. In my view, these words are not synonymous, though very closely related. I have had an economist tell me, with a straight face, that the value of a thing is price someone is willing to pay for it. Utter nonsense, of course.

    For a collector, perhaps, a MIB box of these chappies is worth more to him than the $80 parted with was as money. But for another person, the $80 dollars might be worth more as money than the box of figures is as figures. Clearly, then, value is in the eye of the beholder.

    For a collector, the 'utility' of the set might be in terms of the warm fuzzy feeling of ownership of something possessing rarity 'value'. Or, it might lie in the likely appreciation in market value, such that after a suitable interval he could on-sell at a price higher than the $80 he paid for it. Or, as in your own case, it lies in the enjoyment you will derive by using the figures in games... or it might be a teaching aid for conflict resolution, marketing, or delineating character types in visual media... whatever you fancy. If you think it was a good buy for the utility you have in mind for it, then it was a good buy for the utility you have planned for it.

    I can understand the outcry, of course. That's from people who want a set of their very own, for whatever reason. Their diminished availability MIB presumably increases their rarity value, and hence, very likely, their asking price. But such sets will naturally be the more difficult to obtain. That goes with the territory of course, if one is a worthwhile collector. You have done your bit for enhancing, by however a minute margin, the thrill of the chase and the glow of securing the quarry.

    If you have riders for your air-bike thingies, you could 'rough out' scratch-builds against such time as you can find actual cast models.

    Your Star Wars forces must be getting fairly sizeable by now!

  2. Ah "utility" - such a great concept!

    For the number I want, I am prepared to pay the Ebay price of US$7+ to obtain the extra two of three required.

    The forces for Star Wars Decision are indeed quite large now, and I hope to run a few games early next year once the shift is complete!