Waking up at 6AM on a Sunday is something I hoped never to do on purpose ever….. EVER. March 20th, was the date and I was awake…
Few things I can get up that early for. One of them happens twice a year here in Columbus Ohio. The CTS, Columbus Toy Show sponsored in part (if not totally) by CTSPromotions. This year was a bit better then previous I have to say.
Sadly I didn’t get many interior photo’s of the toyshow floor, but in reality if you’ve seen any decently crowded toyshow pic you’ve seen them all. YES I know I’m not showing the specific toys everyone wants to see… head over to CTS’s webpage for that. I’m too memory restricted with WordPress’ free version to have it gam up my media section. Unless you’re offering to buy me the $100 package in which case I’ll take massive pictures when CTS returns in September.
So on to a few things I did take pictures of. The line outside waiting to get in at 7:50 AM of course. It was a hot and boggy 33 degrees Fahrenheit and I was so smart to only wear a short sleeve polo that my nips were able to cut glass. So after internally cursing my life… (internally as I self censor myself around the kiddies like in the picture) I decide to wait out the few minutes in the cold and finally they start to let us in like cattle to slaughter… precious vintage plastic slaughter.
I walked around a few times and found more then enough new-modern era Star Wars figures (2007-present) in the SA form that I like. So I made mental notes to return, some of the vendors start the haggling that early in the morning and I’m sure some of the customers could take it… I could not… and gave a half hearted “need coffee” reply and moved on.
I have to say here that while I’m slowing starting my morning toy viewing shuffle I’m not only on the look out for myself. I’m looking for a few unique items for some friends. A few you may remember Eric Berry and George Kostal. Both friends and co-hosts of the site’s podcast. Eric was looking for a loose but in good condition Legacy Collection Leesub Sirln, and George had given me a list of items. There were a few other people who asked to keep a look out for items as well so I was making sure to remind myself where/when I saw something that could possibly be on someone’s list to remember where I saw it.
After about fourty to fifty minutes in I start to double back through the tables. I hadn’t purchased anything yet but by this time I had seen most of what I needed to and had a good idea where everything I was looking for was. I came across a Vintage Collection AT-ST that I had been searching Ebay for throughout the coming months even before The Force Awakens released. The prices on Ebay though were much too high for the product. Thankfully a great vendor named Greg had one for a very reasonable price. I took that from him and we stood and chatted a while. He was a big Star Wars fan and collector though he was more interested in the rarer HTF (hard to find) items like a ball turret attachment to put onto a Republic gunship. Greg had the piece (I’m not interested in it of course) but he loved it for it’s scarcity. We talked about how some of the new-modern figures after the great drop-off in the mid 2000’s has really sent the prices skyrocketting. I wish I had his business card or site address. I’ve purchased from him in previous shows and it’s always fun to talk to him about Star Wars collectibles.
As I made my way through the swath of kids and adults oogling over new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Marvel items I was pleased to see more then a few kids were all Star Wars all the time and even more surprisingly it was JUST Star Wars items they were interested in.
Eventually I came across a vendor named Bryan who was near the rare area of the show floor with a few tables and a few friends setting up a lot of his Star Wars wares. He had multiple plastic tubs filled with loose figures (my addiction btw… I like carded but im a loose collector). He had them labeled in a way more hard core Star Wars fans would know and recognize. To the right the box was labeled Sith/Darkside to the center was labeled EU Characters and i think the right pair of tubs were listed as Lightside/Rebels and Scum & Villiany. I decided to take the plunge into them on the naming conventions alone. I hadn’t come across anything I wanted but I had seen him setting up a clear case of figures with a friend to display. Some of these figures were rare EU characters that fetch a pretty hefty price even loose. As I made my sale I talked with Bryan about the hobby and told him I’m a customizer and diorama maker. He told me he was as well and even showed me his version of the 5POA Rebels Ahsoka that he had repainted and customized into a Sith Ahsoka. It was an awesome sight. I’m just getting back into customizing after being out of it for over 15 yrs but I’m glad to see its still going strong at conventions. We exchanged some information and I had told him I had a friend looking for Darth Krayt and A’sharad Hett but sadly he said he had JUST sold them like 5 minutes prior to me getting there. He didn’t have Leesub nor the Luke/Deena Shan black rebels outfits I was looking for others for but we talked more and I was glad to meet him.
There was a seller I met who if I remember correctly was named Pete, he also had a collection of loose figures mostly army builders (my other addiction btw.. loose figures and Imperial army builders = my crack) that I rummaged through. I spent some time talking to him as well and he told me most of what I was going through was part of his personal collection he had brought with him. I picked up some figures from him and thanked him while getting his information as well in case he comes across some of the items I was looking for.
One of the funnest things about the toy show is the friendly way people in the hobby can talk toys of the same interest. Star Wars was mine and I loved conversations regarding Star Wars toys old and new… since you’re reading this article on this site I’m sure you’ve guessed that but I need filler for this article.
Anywho…. after a few hours of searching I had captured a few things I wanted, a POTJ Chewbacca with welder and goggles, (I wanted it for the accessories) some SA stormtroopers and a few imperial officers. I also came across a vintage collection (2010) carded Dengar that someone had cut the Proof of Purchase from. I assume because it was used to get the vintage collection Boba-fett that was offered. I asked the price and for $5 as a loose collector anyways I couldn’t let that deal go. I picked up some POTF2 ERG’s (Emporer’s Royal Guards) … and yes I know they are not SA… but the vintage collection one is about $100 compared to the $4 and $5 I payed for the POTF2 ones… which btw… have the deep crimson red I prefer over the later SA versions that are more orange-y then crimson.
It was getting near the end of the toy show and I hadn’t really found anything for my friends and I felt bad about it I started texting them and they sent me info on what they wanted if I couldn’t find their first wants. I felt especially bad for George, I couldn’t find anything he initially wanted, he had wanted some clones and a vintage collection Ki-adi Mundi IIRC but I didn’t see one. I did see a loose beater Ki-adi Mundi concept figure with the eyepatch in one of the loose bins to which he asked me to go pick up. But the issue was that with so many beater bins and it being something I had seen but not marked… I couldn’t remember which bin at which table… and there were a lot of tables there. Needles to say I couldn’t find it again… sorry George I’ll keep an eye out. (yes pun intended).
One of the few things I found for others was Eric’s Leesub Sirln however I couldn’t find her loose a dealer had her carded for an OK price… i say OK not great because it was a little higher then I wanted to get it for but it was the sole Leesub I had found carded or loose the entire showfloor.
So I picked it up for Eric, I still felt bad for George but I figure I’d keep an eye out for some of the things he’s looking for still and Bryan may be able to make a deal with me after the show when we contact each other.
So as I was finishing my tour of the show floor I stopped by the concessions. I had an AT-ST and some loose figures and a few niche pieces I needed for customizing. But I had passed an AT-AT for $50. It was open but marked as complete. I really wanted to get it… those that know me know I own over 20 AT-AT’s from the vintage-POTF2 era. I own a few of the B-AT-AT’s (2010 Big AT-AT’s) but I’m always on the lookout for another. So after not being surprised of the extremely high price of a hotdog and a bottle of soda at the stand I sat down arguing with myself if I really was going to go back for it. Luckily I didn’t have to!… As I finished off my dog a nice gentleman and his son around ten years old walked past my table where I was eating holding the very AT-AT I was contemplating on. To be honest I’m glad it looked like it was going to a good home the kid was thrilled with it hehe.
So deflated but glad I decided to call it a day. The toyshow was still going decently strong when I left around 2pm but some of the vendor’s had already packed up to get out a little early on their 6 and 7 hour car rides home. I will say something about that AT-AT, it wasn’t the only open complete piece like that. Which leads me to an observation I noticed while walking the floor. Prior to TFA releasing it wasn’t uncommon to see tubs of old vintage playset or vehicle parts under the tables full of figures and usually going for a good price to complete a playset or to rebuild a vehicle. However this was the first toyshow since TFA came out and I didn’t see any vehicle or playset pieces out save for the very rare booth like Ryan and Shaun Lemcool’s (btw guys idk if spelled it right). I assume they are going to Ebay for a while during this new injection of fresh blood into Star Wars fandom is taking place with the franchise now steamrolling for the next few years. Eh I suppose I can wait… if it means new faces and interests into Star Wars fandom it’s a small price to pay.
Something that isn’t a small price to pay (at least to me) is the prices of some of the EU figures George and myself wanted.
One of the vendors had a Jacen and Jaina Solo from the Legacy collection and when I saw the prices it confirmed what I had heard from other toy podcasts they are really high on the EU stuff. ($180 & $120 pictured).
I was hoping to pick them up and some other EU figures (notice the Force Unleashed Shaak-ti at the bottom) for a decent price but it seems some of the sellers are using the conventions to up the amount on some figures that the less then knowledgeable fans who either don’t have the internet or have thrown good judgement to the winds with their finances and are dropping down Benjamin’s on action figures released 5 years ago…
This means that these figures are going for more then what it costs to pick up nice examples of carded vintage figures.. hell Jacen alone at that price is 2-3 NICE vintage carded figures depending on the figure.
For those that know what I’m talking about regarding the Vintage Collection Ahsoka here is the only example of her I saw at the entire show and of course I had heard she was pushing the $160-$185 range….
That’s not a typo on the price tag the dealer was asking for. $200 That’s what the Ahsoka figure is demanding now… is it absurd? Of course… will people pay it? That’s the real question. I’m sure there are those in this world that would. I cannot however as I am not that well off financially to drop that much on a figure released in 2010… a figure… not a playset..(lol as if) not a Vehicle (some of the BMF’s and BAT-AT’s go for more I know)… a figure.
So while I wasn’t able to get everything I wanted it was a decent haul this year in a much more condensed take.
Notice Chewy trades his goggles and welder away to the Imperial for a smoothy in a glass.
Thanks for the read, next time if you guys want I’ll take more pics.
I want to thank Jedibusiness.com for the static pictures of Hett and Krayt until I find others from the show. Also thanks to Greg, Bryan and Pete (I think) for the great conversations.