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Everything posted by lighthouse

  1. Yeah. My inventory is all at waist height. Nothing on the floor or stacked. And we are at 16 short boxes of silver age in Mylar and fullbacks currently. But I’m way behind on grading. Have another 1200 silver that need to go out. I had a lengthy conversation with my broker yesterday. Normally on a new 5 year you can expect 3-5 months free rent. And that’s the range I got on my current space. But he said there were several options around town right now where 7-10 months free rent was likely. And that on a 7-year I could likely get that plus a 50-60 cents a foot reduction for the first year as well. Still gonna be tough to pull the trigger though.
  2. Can you give a rough idea of quantity of back issues on display at the shops? A rough count of 50 long boxes, or 60 short boxes, or six 8-foot tables, or some such? Part of why I ask is my shop has the equivalent of 330 short boxes (or 165 longs or 15 8-foot tables full) out on display and I get a lot of customers who’ve driven 100+ miles to visit who tell me they are stunned we have so many books out to look through. But it’s been over a decade since I personally was doing trips like you’re doing where I could see what’s “typical” any more. I’m mulling the possibility of opening a second location, as leasing agents are rather motivated at the moment. And 2020 might turn out to be the best year in history to sign a new 7-10 year lease.
  3. Post Covid it’s pretty normal for them to take 2-3 days between tracking showing they’ve arrived and them being “received” into CGC’s system. I admit I freaked out the first time it happened but it went that way five submissions in a row since May.
  4. They’ll nearly always recognize them if there is something else different as well. Newsstand with different paper stock (like many Spawns). Newsstand with different cover price from the direct edition (that 9 cent FF book, the various 99 cent late 90s Marvels, several mid 90s Image titles, etc). But it’s not automatic on random issues where the only difference is the bar code box.
  5. Based on a quick eBay search, the Franklin Mint has done approximately 63,428 different Elvis collectibles with individual production runs limited to 25,000 each. Funko has made 2 Elvis items (4 total counting the chase variants for each). Though your point is taken. There’s a bigger question when it comes to Chinese counterfeits (eBay is full of them). But again that’s more an issue with $400 items, not the potential to resell a $10 Black Widow figure. I have no dog in the fight. I don’t carry more than 2 months inventory in Funkos and I actively avoid buying pieces that guide over $60. I’ll buy and hold comics. Funkos not so much. But there’s a floor with Pops around $5, just as Beanies had a floor around $1.50. At a certain price, they’ll sell without regard to manufacturer. I can throw sealed junk MiniMates in a dump bin stickered at $5 and they move just fine because “hey this is from Predator!” It’s irrelevant to me what the original retail was. They still have a floor.
  6. I doubt it since they were given away to comic shops as a freebie after the event. Sadly the one my shop received was folded in half under a pile of Omnibuses. (Still sold for $100). If prices started to really climb on that book there’s a lot of them out there to magically appear.
  7. The huge difference between Funkos and Beanies is the licensing. Beanies only ever had value to people who wanted to collect Beanies (or wanted to sell to other Beanie collectors). Beyond that, you were limited to selling a Gobbles to folks who happened to collect turkeys (not exactly a huge market). The licensing aspect is enormous. There are Elvis Presley collectors that will buy darn near anything that is a licensed Elvis collectible. They’re not going to suddenly stop wanting the 50s and 70s Elvis Funkos just because Funkos in general fade out of fashion. They don’t suddenly dump their Elvis Funkos because they decided Funkos are dumb. The same is true for Disney and LOTR and GOT and HP and DBZ and R&M and all the other licensed stuff. The original post here was trying to compare superhero Funkos to Beanies, but superheroes are a small, small portion of Funko collecting. They may be the biggest overlap with these boards but I doubt they are 25% of what a Funko makes. On Tuesday I had a collection of 130 Funkos dropped off at my shop, some superhero but over 2/3 was Disney. Many were common pieces, but a good chunk were $20-40 in the Funko app. The most expensive was $55 retail. I paid $650 for the collection on Friday afternoon. I spent three hours processing a chunk of them Saturday morning before we opened. By close of business Sunday I’d done $690 in sales from the collection. Would I want to buy and hold one of the $7000 vaulted Dumbo figures? Not a chance. But do I think years from now, folks will still be willing to pay around $8-10 each for Pops of Pikachu, Hulk, Buffy, Legolas, Ariel, Negan, Goku, Pickle Rick, Goofy, or Hermione, even if the “fad” ends. Yeah. I do. And I doubt you’ll see those 50s or 70s Elvis Pops drop below $150 before the end of time. Here’s a Beanie Baby of a turkey. Here’s a Funko Pop of your favorite character ever. Quite a difference in appeal there.
  8. I have a customer who makes custom DIY Pops (Funko sells "blank" ones you can detail yourself). I commissioned him to make a Greggy Pop, but it's proven incredibly hard to get the short shorts just right.
  9. That is literally how I got this username. Bought one lighthouse statue on a trip to the coast in my early 20s. Wound up with forty to fifty of them by the time CGC launched their forum and was staring at one on the wall when coming up with my username. (I still like lighthouses but haven’t added any new pieces in at least 15 years)
  10. Con-exclusive flippers, yeah. It’s a big factor in every Con’s attendance that there are folks who have zero interest in the Con itself but have done the math and are willing to trade a day for the profits on selling stuff available at the Con. True for comics, Funkos, statues, etc. And we DO still order various “new” Funkos. If there’s a comic movie or tv show etc, we will order a couple cases of each of the regular figures since folks will come in looking for them. But the inventory turns on used Funkos are the bees knees.
  11. As a shop owner I have mixed opinions on Funko Pops. Last year they represented 17.1% of my revenue, and 21.4% of my gross margin. Previous year they were around 16% and 11% respectively but we pivoted to focusing on selling used rather than new and the margins are much higher. Mind you, I’m a comic shop that actively focuses on back issues. We have over 1,000 silver age out in boxes to be flipped through every day, and around 2,500 high grade bronze. The wall behind the counter has keys people actually want (current stuff includes BB28, FF52, ASM41, SPJO134, etc and we sell a couple dozen each of ASM 300 and NM98 every year). It’s a comic shop. That sells comics. But Funkos sell insanely well, insanely fast, and at great margins. When I post a pic on Instagram of 50 new used Funkos we just bought, I’ll have ten phone calls in the first 15 minutes asking me to hold pieces (even though every one of these customers knows we won’t hold Funkos). I’ll put out 50 used Funkos with total sticker of $1,000 and sell half of them the first day at 100% full market value. If I posted a pic of 50 comics with total sticker of $1,000, priced at full market value?Lol. The difference of course is that when I get a stack of comics worth $250 each, I’m stoked because I know they’ll sell. The Funko Pop market for pieces over about $80 gets really squirrelly really quickly and I want nothing to do with it. We get folks offering us $200+ rare Funkos all the time and I want nothing to do with them. Offer me a pile of $200 comics or a pile of $200 Funkos and I’m taking the comics all day. But offer me a pile of $20 comics or $20 Funkos and I’ll take the Funkos and have all of them sold in less time than it takes me to sort the comics into the boxes.
  12. No future issues (including 10) physically printed. Digital distribution to complete the story arc, then title cancelled. Physical printing of collected edition to follow.
  13. Copies of Ripclaw, Brigade, Ravage 2099, Second Life of Doctor Mirage, or Robin II seem to do the trick for me.
  14. I'm not going to dig into this too much since I have no particular interest in this comic creator. But apparently it involved a 16-year-old in Canada in 2009. Canada's age of consent in 2009 was 16 years old. That was kind of a big deal, it being 16. Because it had been 14 for over a century until May 2008 when it was raised to 16. Given that age of consent laws are a reflection of the mores of that locality, it wouldn't appear that his actions were inappropriate by Toronto standards.
  15. So my previous question has now been answered. After making no reference to their plans for DC Direct Toys, DC drops the bomb today that any new product due out after May 1st will no longer be shipped by Diamond. Those items are now only available from EE, Lunar, UCS, and Sideshow. Considering DC Direct products are usually ordered 4-8 months in advance, it definitely throws a wrench into things, having to backtrack through past orders to determine which items need to be rush reordered from new distributors. Q: Will Diamond Comics Distribution or Diamond Select Toys be fulfilling existing/open Purchase Orders for products scheduled to be in market after May 1, 2020? A: Diamond Comics Distribution and Diamond Select Toys will not be fulfilling any orders for product scheduled to be in market after May 1, 2020. Those orders are cancelled and will have to be placed with one of the new distribution partners. Q: What about reorders of old products previously purchased with Diamond Comics Distribution or Diamond Select Toys? A: Diamond Comics Distribution and Diamond Select Toys can still process and fulfill re-orders of previously purchased product at this time. It's none of my concern whether DC needs to make a change. But their handling of this process has been as far from smooth as could be. Between not arranging in advance for UK distribution options (and forcing them to backtrack and worth with Diamond after all), not porting any order information over, making these changes on 1-business-day notice in the case of comics, or zero notice in the case of statues... sigh. I thought MLB and its union was the most dysfunctional relationship out there. But DC is saying "hold my beer".
  16. I guess if you had him sign over every word balloon that would definitely improve the writing. He could be the 2099 version of Groot. Just saying "STAN LEE" in response to everything.
  17. Went to see the circus with no intentions of buying, but Bob had a couple books I have a local customer for, at very affordable prices. Alright fine. I'd have felt bad buying just one book at 75% off. Let's go again. My customer will be stoked. Thanks, Bob!
  18. I’ve only written one letter to a comic book, and it was published on the back cover. I’ve only written one letter to any other magazine (happened to be Southwest’s inflight magazine) and got that published as well. I’ve hesitated to write a letter to any other publications. Don’t want to break my streak.
  19. The Spidey, Ghost Rider, and Hulk 2099s move well at $3-5 an issue. Doom moves decently well. The rest of them, inexplicably including X-Men, do not. Hulk is second only to Spidey in how much fans love “that one time where Hulk was QQQQ”. Ravage 2099 doesn’t even move at 50 cents. I keep a couple runs worth in the stock we sell for warehouse sales. Any more that come in get recycled. It’s like Deathblow or Ripclaw. I’d rather trash them than give them away and risk a kid thinking all comics are that terrible.
  20. That’s the sort of letter I would hope they actually respond to. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  21. I dunno. I think a book like 100 Bullets has more in common with books from 2020 than it does with books from 1992. There’s no easy answers to “age” breaks. But I find I can group my walk-in back issue customers pretty well by years. And the folks who buy 1982-1994 back issues tend to not be the same customers who buy Pre-1982 stuff or post-1995 stuff. I’ve rung up hundreds and hundreds of back issue customers who get piles from specific time periods with very limited spread into other eras. Folks who buy books from 1983 are very likely to buy books from 1989 and very unlikely to buy books from 1979. Folks who buy books from 1990 frequently want books from 1985 and rarely want books from 1995. There’s a break somewhere around 2008-2009. But it isn’t as clear as the 1982 and 1995 breaks. Those two are incredibly strong. The GI Joe Age, if you will.
  22. I think more than anything they didn’t want to release comics under their own banner with print runs as low as these would have been. But they didn’t want to abandon the story arcs unfinished either. They’ve had a few weeks to see how retailers are slashing and burning at FOC time and it’s the third tier titles getting the sharpest axe. My shop is top 20% in Marvel accounts and I had 5 total subs for those three titles combined. In better times I might have ordered 25-35 copies total for those titles. (Perhaps slightly higher if there was a 1-in-25 cover a sub wanted to preorder). But my last combined FOC order was for those 3 titles was 8 total copies. Rather than viewing this as a test of digital sales I view it as Marvel honoring its commitment to writer and artist that they’d at least get to see their story “published”.