05 April 2010

MIB Transformers - to box or not to box

I was watching eBay for a number of auctions for Transformer boxes today. 

The auctions were only for Transformer boxes - in other words each auction was for a particular Transformer box without the contents (ie: no toy, no instructions, no accessories).

I was watching them because I wanted to get one or two boxes for my otherwise 'loose' but complete figures to make them 'MIB'. As I previously discussed here, it is my desire to have a complete MIB/MOC G1 Transformers collection and so on the way there, I will have to either purchase toys MIB or purchase loose and complete toys and then when the opportunity presents itself, purchase the corresponding box for each toy.

The opportunity did present itself today. I was interested.

I got up early (for an Easter Monday) and logged onto eBay with baited breath. One by one by one, I saw the auctions for Transformer boxes being sold by this same seller end; and time and time and time again, I kept repeating in my mind 'gosh, that's ridiculous'.


Because the auctions for the boxes (remember this is just the box, no toy, no instructions, no stickers, no accessories), ended at prices that in some instances were higher than buying the complete toy and its box in equivalent auctions.

For lack of a better word, it was appalling. If I were to speak my mind, it was ludicrous.

Obviously, I did not get the boxes I were after - the Sureshot box and the Targetmaster Kup box.

The Sureshot box ended at US$40 (AU$43.61 approx); and the Targetmaster Kup box ended at US$42 (AU$45.80 approx).

Considering that I bought Sureshot complete for around AU$35, it became apparent that paying AU$43.61 (and this was not even factoring postage from the USA) for its box was kind of counter-intuitive.

Sureshot box auction end price.

US$42 was also too much to pay for a Targetmaster Kup box when one can buy a complete Targetmaster Kup toy for between US$35 and $US55. Yes, for the price of the box, one can actually purchase the complete toy. Oh, I should add, too, that the toy is transformable and comes with a transformable gun; and, for obvious reasons, the box can only transform from boxed shaped to flat cardboard.

Tagetmaster Kup auction end price.

The remainder of this same seller's box auctions ended at similarly unrealistic prices (I should point out that this in no way is the seller's fault but more an issue of, I dunno, collectors having too much cash to burn?).

I list some examples below without commenting unless necessary. On the whole, I am rather shocked. And I am also glad that I got some of the below Transformers MIB often for prices that were a lot more economic than what the box alone went for at auction.

Crosshairs box. Went for US$46.09 (AU$50.25 approx). Glad I got mine for AU$35 from jgon2098 a few months back. Also, a complete Crosshairs figure costs only US$39.99 on eBay, less than what the box alone went for.

Targetmaster Cyclonus box. Went for US$48.99. Glad I got my Targetmaster Cyclonus complete and with box for US$73.34 from the UK a few months ago (in other words, my complete Targetmaster Cyclonus and Nightstick with instructions only cost US$24.35, on the basis of how much the box alone went for today.

Punch/Counterpunch box. Went for US$48.99. Glad I bought my Punch/Counterpunch complete C9.5 with box and instructions for approximately US$72. This was about 5 years back so its probably not such a good comparison anymore.

Repugnus box. Went for US$36 (AU$39.25). Glad I bought my Repugnus complete with sealed paperworks and box for AU$90 from jgon2098 a few months back.

Targetmaster Scourge box. Went for US$123.50. This is the rarest one among the lot. It went for an okay price considering that the most recent one went for around US$165. Still, I'm glad that I got my Targetmaster Scrouge complete with box and instructions for US$176.

The following are some other box auctions by the same seller, which I think ended at a reasonable price relative to how much complete MIB versions of each Transformer actually cost.


  1. I'm not sure the prices you paid for these figures are fair and accurate barometers. You seem to be referring to either old purchases or recent flukes.

    Also, isn't this just the simple law of supply and demand. Clearly there are a lot more Targetmaster Kups around than Targetmaster Kup boxes, wouldn't you agree? Isn't that the only reason needed to commandeer a higher price?

  2. I'm going to have to agree with Jay that the boxes of these figures may well be more rare than the figures themselves.


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