08 March 2011

Hong Kong Market Watch - Transformers United and Generations Wave 7

The state of the toy market here is just crazy. Crazy in terms of price but also crazy vibrant.

Example 1:
2 weeks ago, Transformers United Wave 3 was released - Perceptor, Kup, Blurr and Wreck Gar. There were at least 15 people waiting at the store before the stock arrived. When the stock arrived, they each stood there for the next 30 minutes trying to find that 'perfect' piece. It was selling for HKD$700 for the set, comes with 2 Jap exclusive Targetmasters (ie: HKD$175/pc).

At another shop not 5 minutes away, one set was selling for HKD$800, comes with 1 free Jap exclusive Targetmaster (ie: HKD$200/pc). 

A week later (meaning last week), each piece of this Wave was selling for HKD$230. Also Blurr and Wreck Gar could no longer be found even if one wanted to pay for it.

This week, the only pieces that I see from this Wave is Kup and its going for something close to HKD$250-280. United Jazz and Tracks, from the previous Wave are have already breached the HKD$300 mark. 

So in 2 weeks, the price has approximately jumped from HKD$175 to HKD$250, an almost 60% increase. And one cannot even find these if they wanted to. 

Crazy huh?

Example 2:
Thursday: Transformers Generations Wave 7 (Wheeljack, Thundercracker, Scourge and Kup) was released last Thursday (more or less). HobbyBase was selling each set for HKD$499, a pretty reasonable price, at approximately HKD$120 per piece.

Friday: On the very next day, the shops at Richmond Centre were selling a set for HKD$650. Want to just buy Thundercracker? Sure, that's HKD$168. Want to just buy Wheeljack? Sure, that's HKD$188. Otherwise, this Wave was more of less sold out in the YMT, Mong Kok and Wan Chai area.

Saturday: This was a slightly better day, managed to secure a few Wheeljacks and Thundercrackers from the Causeway Bay TRU at 'retail price', soon to be an anachronism in the Hong Kong of today.

Tuesday (today): Walked around the entire Wan Chai area (ie about 10 shops). Again, no Generations Wave 7 for retail price. Wheeljacks for HKD$300 and Thundercracker for HKD$199. 

So in less than a week, the price for Thundercracker has approximately jumped from HKD$120 to HKD$199 - a 65.8% increase, in 5 days! For Wheeljack, the price has gone from HKD$120 to HKD$300 - a 150% increase, in 5 days!!!

Like the guy in 300 said "This is madness!"


  1. My reading is that the Transformers market is about to crash in less than a year or so:).

    I trade in different markets e.g. stocks, fx, you name it, and my experience has been if the masses are getting into it, it's time to sell out.

  2. be thankful you can even see these items. can't find them anywhere in Fukuoka.

  3. Very interesting! Any idea as to why this is? Are people scalping like mad? or just genuine demand?

    Just checked RobotKingdom- and it seems it reflects the situation. Both Kup and Wreck-gar were raised from $25 each to $30- now entire wave sold out!(or withheld) (Now wish I had ordered that 2nd Blurr!)

    Wheeljack and Scourge are both sold out!

    I have a gut feeling that the local scene has contributed to this.

  4. Jeesus.......That's just incomprehensible. H_D, looks like the situation here would not be one of inflated prices but one of fewer and limited quantities. SIGH.

  5. @ Roger: I am not sure how the market is going to crash, in fact, I think its going to get worse (ie: more expensive) where Generations/United is concerned. True the masses are into it, and that translates into increased demand. Increased demand with supply being constant or dwindling (because we all know that Hasbro/Takara will fully focus on the DOTM toys come May) is the recipe for a red hot market with sky-rocketing prices. The 'market' would only really crash if supply far outstrips demand, which is unlikely, at least until Has/Tak stop concentrating on the movie toys.

    @ gage: I'm sure you'll get your fill when United is released in Japan!

    @ gdmetro: I think its a mix of both - scalping and genuine demand. Also, people are really afraid that come May, Has/Tak will only be concentrating on the Movie toys, which means no further Generations/United releases and possibly no further 'reissues' of things that were sold out.

    @ Adam: yeah, its a pretty crazy situation here...

  6. Hi HD, I guess I will be missing out then:). I agree that supply and demand ultimately determines pricing, but price spikes often materialize when expected future demand of certain things exceed its real future demand at which point supply and demand will have to arrive to some equilibrium again. Wow all those econ talks on a Transformer site. Anyways, I believe we will see several unexpected economic events in the next couple of months/years or so which will indirectly impact the Transformers market. And obviously we are all collectors and not scalpers, so I am not saying everyone here should stop buying.

  7. @ Roger: 'unexpected economic events'? You sound like you know something I don't. Still, if we're just collecting (which I am) instead of selling/scalping, I don't see how a drastic drop in prices is not going to make me real happy. heh.

  8. Finally managed to buy my Generaions TC and Wheeljack last Saturday. Phew.


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