View Full Version : FIrst Ever Scalped Action Figure.....

Jedi Juice
06-03-2002, 01:25 AM
I'm just curious, but does anyone know what was the first scalped action figure?

It's getting late, I better go to bed.

Battle Droid
06-03-2002, 01:34 AM
No idea, I didn't live in Caveman days.

06-03-2002, 01:34 AM
I'm thinking scalping might have started in ernest when the POTF2 line started. That would mean that the Half-Picture, Long Lightsaber Ben Kenobi would be the first scalped.

Who knows though? It might have started with the vintage line and the Vinyl-Caped Jawa or Blue Snaggletooth.

plo koon 200
06-03-2002, 01:39 AM
This is the best question ever asked on these forums. Scalping has existed in many forms over the years in Capitalist Socities. As far as I can tell ideas were the earliest things to be scalped. But as far as Action Figures I think scalping began with Spawn toys with that Angela without panties variation.

06-03-2002, 01:42 AM
Hmmm, yes... that is quite possible.

When did figures with variations become hot collectors items? as soon as that happens, you have someone who finds them and buys them all with the purpose of reselling.

I wasn't around in the vintage days, but if there was a hard to find character, that was probably scalped too...

06-03-2002, 02:08 AM
scalping goes way back. I use to go to comic book shows when i was little with my brother and there was guys there with tons of australian POTF vintage figures. This was in 1989 in Missouri. But the first scalping in my world was with the Super Powers Cyborg. It was soooo hard to get back when it came out. But my dad took me to a shop where they had one for $25 bucks which was high in the mid eighties. Just look on ebay or around the net. Cyborg isn't as rare as you think. You can always find tons of them. And lets not forget the monkey face leia figures, and ninja turtle figures. My brother says there was scalpers in our area back when Kenner's The Adventures of Indiana Jones figures came out. He couldn't find INDY or Marion Ravenwood or Sallah anywhere till he had to got to a specialy comic book shop that had like 10 of each for 4 times the price. See todays scalpers go on ebay. But back in the day it was the guys who ran and operated the comic book shops and went to the toy shows that bought up all the good stuff. Terrible what you have to pay or do to get the figures you want from whenever.


PS. Lets not forget the early eighties Cabbage Patch Kid debacle. sheeshh thats what you could call the first scalping...

Jedi Juice
06-03-2002, 12:03 PM
Wow, thanks for responding everyone.

06-03-2002, 12:29 PM
Whenever there was a demand for something there were scalpers. Packs of 84' Fleer Basketball cars were impossible to find (Michael Jordan Rookie Card). The Cabbage Patch Kids had it too. Starting Line Ups since 88'. Whenever people want something, there will be a scalper beating you too it.

06-03-2002, 12:34 PM
For Star Wars, I think it started with POTF2 Princess Leia. Despite how the figure looked. That figure was a quick money maker for a while.

06-03-2002, 12:38 PM
I think we may have left out Elmo. Quite a few years back when Elmo the talking,vibrating one came out, there was none to be found. They were on E-bay and you had guys selling them out of their car for a hundred bucks a pop. Poor kids that Christmas had to go without, just like the days of the Cabbage Patch Kids.

06-03-2002, 12:40 PM
...maybe it was the luke skywalker with the telescoping saber.

Exhaust Port
06-03-2002, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by BillyJAck

PS. Lets not forget the early eighties Cabbage Patch Kid debacle. sheeshh thats what you could call the first scalping...

Boy, I remember watching a group of grown women break out into a brawl with hair-pulling and everything on the evening news. This is the main reason that I'm glad that women (for the most part) don't collect toys. I wouldn't last 2 seconds in a fight like that. :)

06-03-2002, 01:20 PM
If we're talking about Star Wars figures here the first one scalped would have to be the first figure created, Luke Skywalker - Star Wars - 12 back. I'm sure at some point, someone bought him and sold him...I mean, go on Ebay, as long as you can find a Luke Skywalker 12 back MOC you know someone at some point had to sell it. haha..


06-03-2002, 02:12 PM
There was no 84 Fleer Basketball cards. The only cards made in 84 and 85 were made by Star. Those were produced in such limited quality they are considered extended rookie cards. Jordan's rookie is in the 86-87 Fleer set along with Ewing, Mullin, Barkley, Wilkins, Thomas, Willis, Oakley, Worthy, Olajuwon, Drexler, Malone, and many others.


But yes, I would say Barbies have been scalped forever.

And I remember it for Power Rangers, as well as Cabbage Patch Kids. Tickle - Me- Elmo too. And I think Teddy Ruxpin was hard as hell to get for a while too. Not to mention the shortages of PS2's and N64's when they were released.

06-03-2002, 02:48 PM
Maybe people began scalping SW figures with the Early Bird set. Think about it, buy a few of those coupons, wait for the figures to arrive in the mail then sell them to the neighborhood kids at higher prices than what the Early Bird set cost. Although I'm sure no one was scalping them for more than $3-$5 per figure, considering they only cost $2 on the store shelves.

06-03-2002, 03:00 PM
The first knowledge or experience I ever had with scalping was way back in late 94-early 95 when the first batch of POTF2 figures got to Toys R Us, and I saw these 2 guys hoarding most of the figures saying "You know these are gonna be worth thousands just like the old one", I was lucky to even get Chewie, Han, Luke and Darth Vader.

06-03-2002, 03:49 PM
Scalpers were always around but came to the forefront with toy collecting as a hobby with id bet spawn.
The huge violator fig , the cyborg ape, and some of that wetworks werwolf vampire figs were $$.

People started realizing that they could make money by doing nothing more than going to TRU or Walmart in the morning and then rolling the stuff on the internet or toy shows the next day for 2-3 times retail.

Anytime a quick buck is available someone will look to exploit it.

Tickle me elmo was $350 in time square on xmas eve. Now they are almost free ;) Its all about timing. If you cant wait to get something , u will pay through the nose.

Ever buy cigs in a bar ? Outrageous prices, because they know they got you...

06-03-2002, 05:29 PM
Buying toys to sell for profit goes a lot farther back than many have noted. While my first experience with it goes back to the Batman Forever Riddler in the mid 90s, I've read and talked to many who can recall way before that.

The original Transformers were big on this. Cabbage Patch Kids. Teddy Ruxpin. Secret Wars action figures.

And I'm sure it goes back before the 80s as well.

Mandalorian Candidat
06-03-2002, 05:34 PM
I don't know about figures, but Disney sure can scalp the heck out of you once they get you into one of their parks. I remember in the early 90's when a can of friggin' Coke cost $1.

Then there's the popcorrn stands at the movies and the hot dog vendors at the baseball games.

06-03-2002, 06:14 PM
Now that same can costs you 2.50 at disneyland

06-03-2002, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I would imagine Scalping has been with us to a slight degree since the toy boom of the 80's. But with a few exceptions (Cabbage Patch Kids being among the most notable), I don't think we really saw a scalping 'boom' until the mid-to-late 90's, with the advent of Ebay and the internet as a place of commerce. Back in the day, it was just 'specialty' (aka comic/game/toy) store owners that were doing the scalping, and there just weren't enough of them to snatch up -everything-. But now that -anyone- can snatch up a 'hot' figure and slap it on Ebay for 200 percent profit, scalping isn't just an annoyance, it's the way some people make a living! :P

As far as the 'first' big scalping craze (of the 'modern' era) goes, I'd definitely have to give the nod to McFarlane Toys, especially their 'second wave' of figures (Which included 'party Angela' and Malebolgia). I -think- they predate the POTF2 and Power Ranger stuff by a year or two, and as I recall were -seriously- scalped when first released. Bear in mind, though, I'm referring more to the 'action figure' world. I'm willing to bet (As has been posted previously in this thread) that items such as 'rare' Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, and 'hot' toys like the Tickle Me Elmo and whatnot were being scalped pretty heavily all the way back to the early 80's.

06-04-2002, 06:10 PM
Wow, I'm amazed that some of you think toy scalping or scalping in general started just a few years back. The whole toy industry is huge. If you think there's big prices with star wars, or transformers, check out some prices on some old tin toys or dolls from the late 1800's or early 1900. The toys now a day's can't even hold a candle to some of the dolls and tin toys. And I know some of you will be shocked to hear this:) but the bulk of the stuff wasn't even what you'd call a C-3.

This goes way back. Its just not the new toys that get scalped. No, this whole toy industry is one huge scalping market. My mom used to deal/trade/and buy antique bisque dolls and some barbies. She remembers when flee markets/estate sales/antique shops and shows would be full of the so called "scalped" items. Most of it was much more than the toy was originaly worth. Heck I even remember getting dragged to these shows when I was a kid, and talking with some of the old dealers, their folks did it too. This toy collecting/scalping/trading biz is huge. There's always a secondary market for it. And there's always a buyer.

At some point some one is looking to buy a piece of nostalgia...

I remember working at one once since my mom was treating a regular buyer to lunch and some old guy had a whole set of vintage boxed 12" figs. He only wanted 50 for the lot. Most of the boxes were damaged, and he thought there'd be a market, after ROTJ but back in the late 80's there wasn't. Too bad I was broke and I wish I would have known what I know now. The guy was just looking to recoop his money and free up room for other items. Besides that there was always some one selling carded star wars figures at stands or loose figs. You could probably make a huge score with some of the old folks who don't have the internet and don't really know the current going rate with some of the stuff. I suggest if you ever get the chance to check one out.

If we're just talking about star wars, the line started mid 70's, so its good guess star wars scalping started then.

Exhaust Port
06-05-2002, 01:15 AM
If you're looking at just SW figures the first scalping incident occurred about 30 seconds after the first wave hit the shelf back in the 70's.

06-05-2002, 06:18 AM
Does Custer count? ;)