6″ Titanium Man at TRU: $18

Wow.

$17.99 for Titanium Man at TRU.

That’s $3 more than DCUC. Could this be a cataloging error? (It’s not.) If not, what does this mean for the relaunched Marvel Legends line next year?

I’m a bit surprised to see this from Hasbro–Mattel has been the one with price creep over the last few years, especially on their 6″ lines. I know the Hulk Legends line had a big price jump, but wasn’t that revealed to be an error later? Or am I remembering that wrong?

Update: As Valo487 points out in the comments, Green Lantern Classics figures are also $18 apiece. DCUC is still $15, though how long that lasts remains to be seen–future waves may see the new price.

The predicted price hike, due to rising production costs, seems to have happened. After decades of holding out against major price increases, the action figure industry has caught up–and then some. The question is quickly becoming, will these prices ever plateau? Without some decently cheap non-petroleum-derived plastics, I’m not sure. (I’m also not sure what the expense mix is between plastic costs and labor costs. It’s possible that the labor costs are what’s really pushing these hikes.)

Can action figure collecting, as a hobby, survive in a world where a single figure costs 1/3rd of the price of a videogame–which can, potentially, offer many hours of active enjoyment?

Comments now closed (38)

  • I honestly think this a TRU pricing issue only. For years they have been getting reamed by walmart and targets ability to undercut. I like TRU and sometimes will glady pay a dollar or so more to buy my stuff there and support them over walmart. but lately it has seemed collector targeted items jump in price $3 after they've been selling well for a few weeks. I think TRU is just suffering so they're are adding to the adult collectible market figures when they can. It sucks and I hope it stops, but I also understand the tough position they're in.

  • I don't know…is this a TRU exclusive? Even the TRU-exclusive DCUC figs are regular price. This just seems crazy.

    The irony is that stuff like the NECA Gremlins or Predators, which are so nice I might be willing to pay this sort of price for them, are only $14 or less at TRU. Overhead's a bitch, I guess.

  • The thing is these aren't all original sculpts. The Iron Man Mark VI and War Machine are simply repacks of the Wal-mart figures and the Hulkbuster appears to be one of the previous 6" figures with a new paint job and maybe new helmet. The only figures not previously released are Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man.

    I've also heard these are cheaper at Target by about $5.

  • Yeah, the GLC line is $17.99 and I'm sure when DCUC16 starts to hit, they'll be similarly priced. I understand price increases, but jumping up $3.00?! It's outrageous.

    One of the more "centralized" Target stores in Miami has DCUC for $16.49, while the stores in the western suburbs still list them at $14.99. I don't know if that's they way all the stores are headed, but I hope I can finish up wave 16 before they do.

    Also, TRU raised their prices on all WWE figures by $1-2.00 recently.

  • They're really pushing their luck. I don't think DCUC is worth 15 a piece, but I keep buying them because of my love for the line, even though I have to budget just to afford them. I can't believe I'm the only one who feels this way, and considering how challenging it can be to find figures at all and how frequently I have to resort to online purchases which adds on 7-8 dollars for shipping, Mattel is either confident that we'll buy them no matter what, or they're so greedy logic is going out the window. The upcoming Skittles wave is going to be a major test, as they expect us to pay an 15-18 dollars for Flash, when we paid 9-10 for him when he was brand new and not a repaint.

  • I think prices are creeping up across the boards, but TRU is adding an additional percentage on to already higher prices. The recent Marvel Legends two-packs were good (or should I say bad?) examples of this. It seems they were released at the old MSRP of $20, but TRU initially had them at $25, then $30, then $35 (Here in NYC and maybe other metro areas it was $30, then $35, and $40 respectively). The two-packs are now, I think, back to $30 ($35 here), which, if we accept $15 for DCUC – isn't crazy. $15 for one 6-inch figure is high, but within reason (I think $12, in today's economy, is about where they should be).

    Without knowing the economics from their side, all I can go on is my perceived value. I'm looking at $17 or $18 for a 6-inch figure from either of the two biggest toy companies on one hand, and $20-22 for, say, Marvel Select on the other. So GL Classics Manhunter and MS Juggernaut are just a couple of bucks apart? I don't get it.

    TRU might very well have to charge these prices – but there is just no way I can justify paying $18 for Titanium Man.

  • While some of this is obviously TRU being… well TRU, I think that eventually six inch figures will go the way of the mammoth for the reasons you discussed.

    Hell, even four inch figures might eventually go that way, possibly replaced with a 3 inch scale. It's certainly plausible once you consider figures like Kid!Boba fett from the clone wars line. He manages the same movement as a DCUC, minus the ab crunch, so the tech is there.

    Everything will have to shrink to survive the petrolium problem. It's just a question of where the cost vs. size ratio balances out for the general consumer.

  • HA! I stopped by the Manhattan Toys R Us the other day. The Green Lantern Legends were going for $20.99 a piece. The two pack was $40.99.

  • The Hulk Legends were more expensive because they were mostly larger figures.

    If Marvel Legends wave turn out to work out to $18 a piece, I'll probably have to skip them altogether. I'm hoping that that's just a Toys R Us thing. If the msrp is $14.99, they should show up for that price on hasbrotoyshop.com.

  • I actually passed on two Sinestro Corps figures in TRU the other day when I saw the price hike (after searching fairly frequently for them because I want to add a few more custom members).

    I too think it's a combination of Toys'R'Us taking liberties ON TOP of an increase in price.

    I will say this–if it's an across the board price increase as far as DCUC figures are involved…I will be forced to stop collecting them. And I quite literally have the entire line so far. That's depressing :-/

    As far as Titanium Man goes…given that I really want him because he's the rare comic book Iron Man villain…I might break down and buy him. …Maybe.

  • Yep, the GL Classics are up to $17.99 now where I'm at too.

    I'm primarily an NECA collector, and they seem to be staying steady at $15 to $18 a figure. But even at $18, the size and quality of the NECA figures justify that price to me. No way are DCUC and ML worth that much.

    Heck, the awesome TRU exclusive Alien and Predator 2 pack was less than $30 for 2 big and nicely articulated figures.

  • I've seen these in store, and TRU is definitely charging $17.99 for them.

    By comparison Hasbro Toy Shop is charging $10.99 before shipping.

  • These are $10.99 at hasbrotoyshop.com. This is just Toys R Us doing what they do, which is charge more than anyone else.

  • Yea this is ridiculous. They keep saying less fans are buying because of the economy, but thats not true IMO.

    Less fans are buying stuff because these figures are simply not worth the crazy prices.

    Marvel Legends used to be under $10 and had way way more sculpting then a DCUC figure that now runs $15+. Not to mention all the horrible QC problems these lines have.

    I can justify spending $70 on a wave of figures, but when it starts creeping into the hundreds per wave I'd rather spend that money on a high quality product like a Hot Toys figure.

  • At this point I think a lot of collectors, including myself, have really modified their collecting habits. The days of buying complete waves of figures at a time are over for me…I only cherry pick from most recurring toy lines because the price point no longer warrants doing so. I used to argue that, as a hobby, toy collecting was relatively inexpensive compared to similar hobbies like gaming. But now, how can you consider it responsible to spend this much money on toys? And with toy costs soaring, and overall consumer interest waning, how long before the whole toy industry just shuts down?

  • Be happy you aren't in nyc.. here, thanks to something called "city pricing" those same figures are $21… So there you go…

  • I remember a little over a year ago, I was at a Six Flags theme park and I found DCUC in one of the DC themed gift shops. I can distinctly remember balking at the price: $20 each.

    Oh how things have changed since then…

  • We all know the increasing petroleum costs are contributing to toy prices, but so are China's labor costs.

    I just looked up a Sears catalog from 1984 to get some perspective, and they priced larger-than-3/4" action figures, such as MOTU, at about $5 each. An inflation calculator tells me that would be over $10 today. All things considered, comparing the apples of 80s MOTU to Titanium Man's orange (quality, manufacturing, features, etc.), it looks to me that our toy prices are finally catching up with inflation. It sucks, but that's the new global economy I guess.

  • TRU prices are always high, why does this come to a shock to people still.

  • TRU prices among TRU stores themselves can be inconsistent. The TRU store nearest me has many action figures that are actually priced $0.50-$2 cheaper than a Target in the same shopping area. However, about three miles away is another TRU with action figure prices $2-5 higher than the other TRU. One example is NECA's Alien & Predator 2-pack. I got it for $22 at one TRU while it was $26 at the other.

  • I bought a few DCUC figures (Wave 14 GL, Zantanna, 13 Superboy and BB and a wave 9 Black Canary – I know… crazy on the BC being at target) for the first time since wave 12, which I only bought for Darkseid and hated ALL OF THEM for being 15 bucks. I thought they were pushing it a 13 but 15? NOW 18?! I am soooo glad I gave these up for NECA.

  • Yeah, I think a lot of it is just TRus ripping people off…. The prices for their SW Vintage collection figures is like $2 over the nearest competition, iirc, and that's at a much lower price point. But yeah, I was almost going to pick up some GL Classics figures there when I thought to check the price. When online resellers start to look cheaper than retailers, there's a serious problem.

    @sadman2000:

    I'm the opposite way, since I've just flat-out boycotted NECA between their inconsistent quality, pricing, and production issues. The BS2 Big Sis whose arm snapped after moderate use was the very last straw.

  • I'll probably stick with DCUC till the run ends, after that, I'm out. I'm getting more into 1/6 stuff and the frustration of trying to find 6 inch figures in the UK and the rocketing prices has really soured the hobby for me.

    I sold all of my Marvel Legends before Christmas and really haven't looked back, now I'm ditching my Star Wars and Transformers stuff too, it's quite liberating.

  • @Fengschwing: Go 3.3/4". I like 6" figures to but man in the UK we just ain't getting them. 3.3/4 is whats in now and seems to be staying.

  • @Mark: I must admit I've bought a few, mostly to sort of go with the Masterworks Galactus, but at a tenner a pop, they're expensive for what they are.

    I must admit that MU Thanos and King Hulk look great. MU is the only 3 3/4 I can see myself getting interested in though. I did buy a couple of the DC ones but only cos they were 60p at TK Maxx.

  • @Fengschwing: If you know where to look, you can get 3 3/4 stuff much cheaper than that. I've been able to get loads of movie joes for £3 from poundstretcher, and supermarkets have semi-regular 2for£8 and other deals.

    I admit the regular price is hard to work with, but 1/18th stuff is plentiful enough that you can find them for a price you'll like.

  • @Fengschwing: Yeah as Henty said the GI Joe stuff in Poundstretchers at £2.99, some grat figures. Yeah I got DC IH Batman around the same price, Poudstretchers have them aswell….man those are not in the same league as MU LOL, but I would get a Shazam if I ever come across one. I want to get MU Thing and movie Thor and maybe a couple others. Also the new Thundercats will be 4" so….. 😀

  • Hey guys, if you're a TRU Rewards member, they sent out a 20% off coupon that drops the price on Titanium Man to around $15. Not too much better, but better than $18. The coupon starts today and expires March 5.

  • @WTR: sorry to hear you've had such a rough time w/ NECA product man. i love my stuff, and since kratos, i haven't had issue one. they're certainly sturdier than my mattel products. 🙂

  • BTW, i think was already posted, but the listing for the same fig on HTS is 10.99… so this markup is ridiculous.

  • @Mark: @Henry: Thanks gents, yeah Sainsburys do pretty well for MU from time to time. I'm not really into Joes though.

  • When Mattel announced earnings this month, they said they were raising prices around 10% across the board on all products due to material and production costs, so I'm sure DCUC will not escape.

    Since all I collect is DCUC, I don't have as much of a problem with a few extra dollars a figure. This might also explain why Mattel has reduced the wave sizes to 6 figures with one variant that will just be an extra head/hands.

  • Unless you REALLY want a figure, they will shelfwarm… until you drop the price.

    And they're gonna do all this, and not make sure that they stay in stock?

  • @WTR

    Strangely enough I've only had one Neca figure break and that was my Endoskeleton. I thought it had a Ball-jointed head, forced it and it broke at the top of the neck. Had to glue it, but at the swivel joint still works. That said I was irritated with the Big Sister too, the lack of bicep swivels made for some awkward posing.