Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: Collectibility, Present Value & Future Value
It’s a topic that everyone loves to visit and revisit … will CARS be valuable down the line?
And to that, I say yes – and forever!
Oh, wait, what was the question again?
Well, define “valuable?”
What is ‘valuable” to you? And while there are probably 8-10 buckets that most people fall into … what might be a pleasant soak to you is to another, “I’m standing knee deep in it.”
Collectibility items are hard to gauge.
For CARS, let’s take the most positive scenario. You & your kids have a fun hunt and fun family time together everytime you are out looking for CARS. Who can put a price on rounding a corner and you (jumbo sized adult) and teeny, tiny, cute version of you whoop it up in the aisle when you find three Franks on the shelf, right?
Or even for those who are collecting a set just for themselves. At the end of the day, it’s less than $5 each for rolling pieces of art. If it brings you joy and stands as a representation of something greater than us? Nothing wrong in that. As the cave paintings and other art objects can attest, man (and women) have always sought a visual representation of ourselves in art form – whether that is a direct representation or a reminder of a larger and greater piece of art – whether that’s a photograph or an art print or in this case, a 3D reminder of art as a motion picture.
So, when all is said and done – what is the value of the experience of CARS collecting? It is the human experience – joy, sadness, infuriating, redemption, satisfaction, a community and dysfunction … and people on soapboxes.
So, there is the humanity and spiritual aspect of the collecting community … I thee bless your single card and ye, verily say – it’s a 9.5
But of course, there are the cold hard numbers.
Can’t anything be a lark? Ephemeral? The lightness of being?
Or is the cold hard numbers that rule the day?
Well, what are the numbers?
Some are satisfied at the end of the day after gazing at thee singles, they are content to get back what they paid for. That the price of contentment and mirth is but a small fraction of the price of said object?
While others insist that any purchased object return at least the opportunity cost of LIBOR rates + inflation averaged over 6-month periods … sure, valid in a strictly numerical sense.
While others insist that it must match the highest return of other investment instruments in that time period. Again, valid for some.
Or is it merely the perception of return satisfying enough?
Like buying a muscle car in 1969 for $3,800 and selling it for $62,000 in 2005 … nevermind the real cost of ownership (insurance, gas, maintenance, repairs, etc …) probably was way over $60,000 over the past 40 years?
If you compare a diecast CAR to a venti latte … at the end of the day, you still have a tangible object … so in other words, is a venti late right now of equal of lesser or greater value than a Tumbleweed McQueen?
So, that’s why it’s IMPOSSIBLE to say if a Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CAR will be “valuable” years later because it all depends on what you consider “valuable.”
Even when compared to real “investment instruments.” While people love to cite them as “real” while collectibles are not … they do have some distinct advantages … losses are generally tax deductible and there is a belief that there is a more structured marketplace (NASDAQ, NYSE, etc, etc …) but as we saw in the past few years, a collapse is a collapse whether it happens on the NYSE or on eBay. When there are more sellers than buyers, prices drop and when there are more buyers than sellers, prices go up.
What the takeaway from the last few years is that the financial market is not a game and of course, games/toys are not a financial market.
So, don’t mistake one for the other … however, CARS are not just toys. CARS IS a multi-billion dollar cottage industry and like the smaller stock exchanges, not all “penny stocks-pink sheets” are worthless. They are inherent unstable and liable to jones up and down like a banshee on fire on a trampoline on fire but if CARS were not its own (literally) stock exchange and claim its own inherent value, there would not be price swings.
There are CLEARLY supply & demand issues and like the “real” markets, we have crazies ($175 for Pitty’s? I’ll take TWO), and normalcy … but like the small exchanges, don’t bet the bank and don’t bet the farm … but there are times to buy and times to sell … (Lizzie, Wingo …) the bottom line is that it’s nice to collect a mass market line where there is collector frenzy within … it makes it interesting and exciting … that while the Chuck Manifold craze is brief, it’s good that after 2 years, ALL the CARS still garners interest because while we all have problems with distribution now, there are tons of toy lines out there that get no interest from retailers and are relegated to small runs … like some companies that do CHASE items in the low hundreds … and we complain that the CHASE CARS only number in the 20,000 range …
And what the does the future hold? Again, impossible to say …
There are 50 scenarios where the line could whither and die in a year or 2 years … there are 50 scenarios where the line runs nice and smooth or gets frenzied like it was all new. Sure, some are not so likely and not very plausible but it’s impossible to say which way the ultimate direction could be. Like you see in the scifi movies, even if it all goes smoothly, that does not mean the future path is secure and not changing … and as we all know, what seems like a good ‘action,’ might actually be the wrong path so … we’re all in the ride together – where it goes, no one can say for absolute certainty but it should be interesting …