View Full Version : Benefits of Carded vs Non-Carded collections

01-04-2005, 01:24 PM
I'm not sure if this forum is the best place for this question but since mose of my collection is Saga-based I plopped it in here....

Iíve been collecting new star wars figures since EP1. Iíve got almost the entire EP1 and Saga collections and they are tucked away in my basement still in their original cards. I know that I could finish off my collections with a few more dollars spent on eBay. However since my basement is already flooding with boxes filled with these toys I havenít justified spending extra money on the last straggling figures. With EP3 on the horizon Iím kind of at a crossroads. Iím wondering about the benefits of a carded collection versus a loose (well maintained collection).

Iím debating turning my carded collection into a loose one. My main thought process being that loose figures are more fun than carded ones. In addition, they take up a LOT less space in the basement. I think I can fit the entire Saga collection into one storage bin (still carefully contained in ziplock baggies) as opposed to the 2 giant moving boxes they are currently in. Iím not sure where Iíll even be able to put the EP3 figures once I get those! The main downside that I come up with is only the obvious loss of value of the collection. However, given the flooding of collectors on the market, Iím not sure how much real ďvalueĒ these collections will have. I havenít broken down and started opening the boxes yet but Iím close. Iím looking for arguments on both sides of this fence. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

01-04-2005, 01:31 PM
I'm a carded collector. I currently have my entire collection in a storage shed and I just went home for Christmas leave and went to check it out and almost cried. I had about 10 figures that had been bought for me by my brother and they were laying out on some other boxes and they were totally screwed:cry:. The weather had warped them badly. So now the plan is to go out and by approx. 400 star cases so that this doesn't happen anymore. I personally like carded collections but it's alot of work, especially when you can only see it about 3 times a year. And now it's gonna cost me about $400 more. Bah!!!

01-04-2005, 04:10 PM
I was doing both for a long time and decided to loose the carded and stick with the loose. The main factor in this was space which you already mentioned was an issue. I had said for a long time that if I couldn't display the collection then I don't need it because I would never see it, but that's just my opion for me. The value of a collection seems to run less than retail from what I've which is dissapointing now that I'm looking to sell mine. So if that is what is holding you back rip those babies open cause the difference in resell is not worth it. The only other high point for carded is display value but that is really in the eye of the beholder.

Val Da Car
01-04-2005, 09:30 PM
With a carded collection Moisture is NOT your friend but a de-humidifier IS.

Bobby Fett
01-04-2005, 10:01 PM
It's your collection, so enjoy it any way you like.

As mentioned previously, 99% of the carded figures will not be worth much in our lifetimes, so don't let that be a factor.

Decide wisely, though, because once they've been opened you can't go back.

01-05-2005, 05:17 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I was hoping to get more opinions. I always said that I would save them because they would be more valuable but I'm not sure how much real value there really is.

If I do decide to go down the path of a loose collection, what do you think I should save from the package (save the card? save the insert on the side? both?)

Itching closer to "ripping 'em open"

01-05-2005, 05:28 PM
I'm a carded collector, not that I have too many figures, but I'm putting along getting them here and there, I don't have too many figures in Star Cases, but I just need to get more of them and they display great.

01-05-2005, 06:07 PM
Keep them carded....all of them.


I prefer the carded collection myself, I just like the way they display. Plus It gives me an excuse to collect foreign (non-US) carded figures like those ultra cool Canadian starburst carded figures! :D

01-05-2005, 06:16 PM
So far I have kept everthing from my opened figures except the plastic bubbles but I was thinking of chucking them. I may hang on to the cards though. I can't really say I prefer one over the other that much since I did both and like both, but since space is an issue loose is the way to go.

01-05-2005, 09:15 PM
I am carded. I think they display better, easier to keep tabs on accessories. I know I will rip em open one day. BUt carded is the best way to go if one has not much room for set ups.

01-05-2005, 09:23 PM
Loose. Free them. Toys are much more fun when you can move their little arms and legs and stuff around. :D

kool-aid killer
01-06-2005, 02:25 PM
Carded, the figures look better. You also wont have to worry about losing weapons. But they take up way too much space. Loose, you get to actually enjoy the figure and its parts. And its very space friendly. Ive currently got 99% of my collection carded but they take up a lot of space. I hold about 70-80% of my collection in seven 50 gallon totes, two 35 gallon totes, and a big cardboard box. And i still need totes to hold the remainder in. Ive wanted to open them for a while now, not only for space reasons but to actually enjoy them. Ive held off though because im reluctant to do anything with them before i began to set up my planned diorama. I have no intention whatsoever to sell because ive spent an insane amount to get it to where its at, plus my sole motivation for collecting is because they are something that i want. If you do plan on selling them, carded will be your best bet but dont expect much, there are a lot of people out there with the same gameplan and its probably not going to haul in 1/3 of the money spent to build it up.

Val Da Car
01-08-2005, 08:03 AM
I agree about the loose collection aspect of things.

I had a to store my figures in a garage while I was building a house and almost all of the figures did fine except for one box that was on an outside wall. After that I decided to open a few of them up to display them (now that I have room) and I have 200 + storm, sand and arc troopers out and it feels great.

As for ships...I don't know yet but I will figure out something.

01-08-2005, 01:11 PM
As for ships...I don't know yet but I will figure out something.

Hang 'em from the highest yardarm... :Pirate:

01-09-2005, 11:46 AM
Keep them carded....all of them.


I prefer the carded collection myself, I just like the way they display. Plus It gives me an excuse to collect foreign (non-US) carded figures like those ultra cool Canadian starburst carded figures! :DI echo everything Killer just said, even about the ultra cool Canadian starburst carded figures! It's nice to have them all.

Dark Marble
01-11-2005, 04:05 PM
I am with Kool-Aid Killer. If your plan is to someday sell your collection then you should keep them carded. However, if your collection is for you to have and not resell it is time to crack em open!!!

But I have to tip my hat to the carded collectors. A nice carded collection hanging from the walls and displayed is amazing. Consider space, but also think about what you want to do with the collection. My opinion...OPEN!!! :crazed:

Omega Wren 99
01-12-2005, 06:37 PM
I used to collect carded figures. I colelcted the entire POFT lines. Then I stopped. It just became too much of a pain to keep them safe and the storage issue became a problem too. But primarily, unless you want to SELL you collection, I just didnt see any entertainment value with keeping them carded.
I still have the all of my carded figures. But now I have a huge collection of loose figures. Displayed by themselves of in diaramas. I think I cheerish these ones more.

01-12-2005, 06:45 PM
I usually browse ebay alot for collections of figures and I find myself feeling bad for some of the people trying to sell a collection. I've seen ones with almost every figure from POTF2 up to the OTC line, vehicles and all, go for $1,000 or less. I myself estimate that I've put in over $9,000 and then to only get a small return makes me want to hang on to my collection to give to my kids or most likely have it buried with me.

Omega Wren 99
01-12-2005, 07:35 PM
I agree with your view point Slicker. On Ebay loose figures go for roughly the same price as most carded. Well more accurately the carded ones are sold for a buck or two more than loose ones. Wheres the value in that.
As much as that sucks, it is a good measuring stick for the future.... loose figures get bruised and worn.... its unavoidable... eventually the prestine carded ones will start going up in value... and Ebay will be the first place where this will be noticeable.
Right now is great time to BUY figures and a BAD time to sell.... we are still in that GOLDEN time period where the movies are out. ONE YEAR after ROTJ, Kenner discontinued it's Star Wars line. This may not happen totally with Hasbro, but after Eps 3 has come and gone demand will go down.... eventually Hasbro will stop or at least trim their product line to a bare minimum... and THATS when the carded figs will start to go up in price. Because the market will no long have a constant and steady supply of figures.
Anyone who collects to make BIG BUCKS.... is goign to have to wait AT LEAST 5 years after Ep3 before they start seeing a price surge worth giving up your collection.

01-29-2005, 05:38 PM
I collect loose for two reasons.

1. I don't believe that action figures were meant to be kept in their packaging. They are meant to be opened and set free. I know many of you may think I'm crazy, but that's just me.

2. Even if I did want to collect carded, I wouldn't have the room for it anyway.

Collecting carded takes up a helluva lot more space than collecting loose. I have my loose collection stored nicely, too. I have:

1 shelf for my POTF2 figures
1 shelf for my EP1 and POTJ figures
1 shelf for Vintage/VOTC/Ultra/Clone Wars figures

and I keep my Saga and OTC figures in a cabinet, soon to be joined by the EP3 figures.

Also, one benefit of collecting loose is that you don't have to go searching for packaging variations.

My suggestion is to go loose. :)

01-31-2005, 02:58 PM
Collecting carded takes up a helluva lot more space than collecting loose.

My thoughts exactly.

01-31-2005, 06:47 PM
Tell me about it ó it's why I bought my house. :D

02-02-2005, 01:18 AM
I think if you are thinking about ripping your figures from the cards, you haven't much to worry about, particulary since you started collecting in 1998. With the exception of the Episode 1 Y2K released figures and 2 or 3 POTJ rarities, I think you are in good shape.

If you want to purchase as a speculator, I suugest buying nice-looking carded vintage figures and getting them graded. There are just too many of the new figures (that are being kept in their boxes by collectors) floating around for them to ever be worth anything.

nobody is going to put their kid through college with saga figures.

02-12-2005, 07:34 PM
I was thinking earlier. Why would Hasbro spend so much time and effort on making cards and packaging that look so good and figures that look so crappy. Case in point VOTC 3PO. The card looks 10 times better than the figure so it's obvious that Hasbro doesn't want people to play with the toys but to keep them in there little coffins for generations to look at and love. Thank you.:)

02-12-2005, 07:45 PM
Great points Slicker, I wholeheartedly agree.

02-14-2005, 12:44 AM
Im collecting carded, but I only started collecting about 3 weeks ago, And iits EP3 stuff, thats in plastic and the packaging is really really cool...lol

02-15-2005, 04:13 PM
If the packaging was Hasbro's primary focus then the Unleashed line would be in clamshells. Although this line sports a heavier cardstock most of the ones I've seen have visible damage. I'm seing more MOC collectors opening these figures since they are difficult to find in mint condition.

It's unfortunate that many collectors favor the packaging over the product, especially when the packaging inflates the price. It's obvious that manufacturers are catering to this side of the collector's market with their display/window boxes that show off product without having to open the box. Retailers want secure packaging that prevents theft; yet manufacturers want packaging that shows off their product. The cost of developing and creating packaging that satisfies both is passed onto the consumer.

For me, the packaging is superfluous. I'd buy the figures if they packaged them in generic black & white boxes if it pushed the price down.