TFW2005.COM Dark Jedi comments, " . . . . specifically speaking for most Henkei bots, their Masterpiece counterparts are less expensive. One example is Henkei C-21 Smokescreen. I realize I might be late to the party, but this figure goes for well over $100 aftermarket. Compare that to MP-19 who can be found for even $60 or less on some sites."
Supply/demand - Economics 101. Supply of these figures were slightly smaller than their US counterparts, plus for US collectors they're imports, meaning that more collectors passed on them at the time. Fast forward just a few years, and now you find a collecting community with more fans, thus driving the demand up some. With Masterpiece Smokescreen, TakaraTomy anticipated the demand a bit more and adjusted the supply accordingly. Just contrast this with the first run of MP Lambor/Alert, as the demand became higher just shortly after Alert's release. Both figures are still on their first runs, as they're still in production with MP Lambor's second run already in que.
TFW2005.COM Dark Jedi comments, "So my questions would be is Henkei very sought after by collectors? Were the original releases limited in some aspect? Also do you expect this trend to continue? Will we see more reissued Henkei/Asia exclusive sets like the Seekers?"
In the long run, I think much of Henkei could be sought after a bit more by collectors, given their closer adherence to their G1 counterparts. The releases weren't "limited", just fewer in contrast to the US counterparts. It's hard to speculate and predict Henkei-type releases since we really only have the recent packs to go on.
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Ok, so there's a little bit of me just rehashing the way things have turned out. As the discussion progressed, this exchange ended up taking place, which is where I decided to share much of what I prefaced this blog post with:
TFW2005.COM madhatprime comments, "Good explanation, Super. I would like to add however, that I can relate to Dark Jedi here. The MP [toyline] is far superior. Nowadays, though you may see demand go down. A lot of collectors of CHUG are moving to MP. I see it more and more often.
I do not believe that CHUG is more like G1 than the MP. Chug is a different beast. Meant to update the character in todays market. A modern take. Where as MP is strictly G1 (Character design)."
Thanks! There is certainly a trend that I see at least starting up that may end up being problematic for certain collectors:
I think is just going to frustrate the type of collector that Classics - Generations targets. I've emphasized it in your post. The Masterpiece line really isn't geared towards someone who's been into Classics - Generations for some time now.
Masterpiece will not and can not cover the sheer amount of characters that one will wish to be covered. Masterpiece will certainly hit a lot of the highlights, I'm sure (Ark crew most likely, and some others along the way). Classics - Generations is affordable and scaled small enough that it has the flexibility to include a vast array of characters from not only G1 but several other Generations. Masterpiece can not do this same thing, nor does it seem to aim to.
"We need reinforcements!"
Don't believe me? Arrange one shelf of figures that have came out so far for Masterpiece that fit the same bill Classics - Generations does. Compare and contrast this to your Classics - Generations shelf. The available Seekers themselves will take up a lot of real estate. There's a reason I know this. :wink:
Masterpiece is certainly a line under a completely different time constraints due to the release schedule. Thus, people who want their collections filled out in less than 5 years are just going to end up frustrated. This is even with the major characters. Look at this year's release schedule alone:
Bluestreak redeco (most likely blue, but not confirmed)
Star Saber (no confirmation of this year as the release date, but that's most likely)
Prowl (possibly, no official confirmation)
But fraction of the limited character releases for the Masterpiece line . . . .
Hasbro already has a full plate, and I'd be really surprised to hear of another single release. Three surprises me quite a bit, though Prowl hasn't officially been confirmed by Hasbro, there is strong enough evidence to suggest that it's certainly on it's way. TakaraTomy will likely add a few more into the mix, but that's hard to say as well.
Add to this that several of those who are jumping into Masterpiece will say that they'll "just wait on Hasbro", so that even narrows the field even further. It also leads into another point:
Expense. This one can be tricky. It's pretty obvious that the Classics - Generations collectors have some pretty deep pockets, as evidenced by the expanse of third party product. Most will just come right out and admit that the reason they're waiting on Hasbro is for a "cheaper" product.
The "cheaper" alternative nowadays?
I know this rabbit trails from the original topic quite a bit, but all of the above is something that the collector must consider before "jumping lines".
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I feel the original discussion tapered off fairly quick, and I admit that I really didn't put much more energy into the original discussion. Frankly, the topic of "the collectible and monetary value of Classics-Generations" really doesn't interest me a lot. I suppose I'm interested enough to simply know how to discuss the topic well, but it just isn't really that engaging to me. By contrast, the Masterpiece line certainly is. In fact, I've not been this interested in a Transformers topic since the Alternators/Binaltech line. Much of the same excitement I have now for the Masterpiece line harkens back to the days of Alternators and Binaltech.
Images courtesy of TFW2005.COM and my own photo galleries.