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Last Update: 09.11.2019, 00:07
Last Author: Norbert Schrepf

Value Determination


GFM Paul von Hindenburg, condition I+

Figures are offered on stock exchanges, at traders and at auctions. The possibilities to acquire the objects of desire are - especially since the times of the internet - unlimited. Regardless of the question whether a figure is in its original state, the question always arises: what is its value? Is it a bargain, or a totally overpriced figure? In contrast, the salesman asks himself what he can ask for a figure. What price can be realistically achieved? The question is certainly as old as there are collectors and dealers and it is actually quite easy to answer: a figure is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it.

In this article I will show a methodology that allows to systematically determine the value of a figure from observed sales prices. This methodology is also used to calculate the market values in the catalogue of the Toy Soldier Gallery.


Selling Prices

Selling prices depend on many different factors. In order to be able to compare them and calculate a market value from them, they must first be adjusted to each other in order to correlate them meaningfully.


Condition and Originality

The value of a figure depends on some objective criteria. These are in particular the condition of the figure and its originality. Without any doubt, an unplayed original figure is worth much more than a figure that has clearly suffered in several "battles" and thus suffered losses in mass and color.


Description of state

Marching figure, condition III-IV

Paul von Hindenburg, condition II-

To describe the state of figures, the following are divided into categories.

Category Description
I+ brand new
I flawless
I almost flawless.
I-II small paint damage or stress cracks
II+ minor paint damage and stress cracks
II paint damage and stress cracks
II- paint damage and chipping
II-III paint damage and fractures
III+ paint damage and small missing parts
III clear paint damage and small missing parts
III- large-area paint damage and missing parts
III-IV considerable damage
IV+ still worth collecting.
IV spare part dispenser


Status factor for value determination

In order to be able to compare two sales prices with each other, a factor must be found with whose help these can be set in relation. This means that each selling price must be converted to condition I (original figure without defects).

The following table describes the conversion factor in relation to the sales price of a figure. The values for the conversion factor were determined empirically on the basis of observations of current sales prices (e.g. on the Figures Journal,

Faktor 120% 100% 90% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 43% 37% 30% 23%

This results in a hypothetical selling price in condition I of 125 Euro (= 100 Euro / 80%) for a figure in condition II+ with a selling price of 100 Euro.


Restorations and New Productions

Restored / repainted figure

Although good restorers can restore damaged figures to an almost mint condition with today's means, significant reductions in the value of restored figures must nevertheless be accepted. Therefore these sales proceeds are only suitable in exceptional cases for the determination of market value.

The selling prices for new productions are completely unsuitable for determining the market value, as they do not reflect the availability and value of the original on the market in any way.


Factor for Historical Sales Prices

Like all collectible objects, figures are also subject to a certain value development. This means that the selling price that was achieved for a figure 10 years ago cannot necessarily be constantly achieved today. In order to take this circumstance into account, the registered selling prices are weighted by age when averaging. The table shows the weighting in relation of the sales year to the current year. This means that a sales price per age is less and less included in the calculation of the market value.

Jahre 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Faktor 100% 85% 70 % 60% 50% 40% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5%

This means that only 50% of the sales price achieved 4 years ago is now included in the value calculation.


Data Collection

Since the figures are not offered nowadays for the most part as mass-produced goods and are therefore not available everywhere and at any time, the selling prices fluctuate considerably, especially for rare figures. A figurine always achieves only the selling price that a collector is willing to pay for it. This can be observed especially at auctions. If there are several prospective buyers for a figure, the knock-down will surely take place at a higher price than if there is only one prospective buyer. This also explains why price differences of more than 50% are sometimes achieved for the same figures. In order to obtain a realistic market value of a figure, an average value must be formed over several sales prices. Here, the more sales data is available for a figure, the more accurately its market value can be determined.


Market Value Calculation

The calculation of the market value is shown in the table below. First, all sales prices are recorded with the year of sale. In the 5th column, the conversion takes place at the hypothetical sales price in condition I. Columns 6 and 7 indicate the percentage weighting of the sales price for averaging. Percentages and sales prices are totaled and then the sum of the sales prices is divided by the sum of the weightings (percentages).

year selling price condition factor condition price in condition I factor time weighted price market value
2018 120,00 Euro II 70% 171,43 Euro 85% 145,71 Euro
2017 160,00 Euro II- 65% 246,15 Euro 70% 172,31 Euro
2017 140,00 Euro I-II 80% 175,00 Euro 70% 122,50 Euro
2016 165,00 Euro I 100% 165,00 Euro 60% 99,00 Euro
2015 190,00 Euro I 100% 190,00 Euro 50% 95,00 Euro
2011 80,00 Euro III 50% 160,00 Euro 20% 32,00 Euro
2010 249,00 Euro I 100% 249,00 Euro 15% 37,35 Euro
2008 269,00 Euro I-II 80% 336,25 Euro 5% 16,81 Euro
2008 199,00 Euro II+ 75% 265,33 Euro 5% 13,27 Euro
2003 320,00 Euro II 70% 457,14 Euro 5% 22,86 Euro
Summe 385% 756,81 Euro196,57 Euro

This results in a calculated market value of 196.57 euros for 2019. Since this is only an approximate value, it is rounded to 5 euros and given as 195.00 euros.

The value for the individual conditions can then be calculated from this market value.

condition I II III IV
factor 100% 70% 50% 23%
value 195,00 Euro 136,50 Euro 78,00 Euro 44,85 Euro

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Member Comments

13.09.2019, 21:18 - Member

Das ist eine sehr hilfreiche Methode zur Wertermittlung. Tolle Idee. Wie ich sehe ist damit automatisch auch der Wert einer online hinterlegten Sammlung ermittelt. (Für die bisher mit einem Wert hinterlegten Artikel)

13.09.2019, 21:22 - Member

Ich überlege gerade wie man mit Hilfe einer App und einem Objekt Scan evtl. eine automatische Zustandseinordung bekommen kann. Die über eine AI hinterlegte Funktion könnte mit jeder neuen gescannten Figur selbst lernen... Ist eine kleine Studie aus meinem Berufsalltag

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