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#1
Old 07-27-2014, 09:37 PM
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It's 1985, buy 100 GI Joe Aircraft Carriers or invest $10,000 in stock index fund. What yields more?

Obviously you have to have spare bedroom in your house to store these big boxes.

Pic 1

Pic 2


$ 90- $ 110 in 1985 -

USS Flagg wiki
Quote:
As a toy, it is the largest G.I. Joe playset, measuring in at just under 7'6". Had it been built to the scale of an actual Nimitz for 3 3/4" figures, the Flagg would have been over 65 feet long, and 13 feet wide. It featured an electronic public address system, which could broadcast a child's voice, and a two-piece utility vehicle that was part "low tow" tractor, and part fuel delivery trailer. The Flagg had radar, missile launchers, an "Admiral's Launch", an elevator deck, and an arrestor cable that fit snugly into the rear stabilizers of the Skystriker aircraft.[3] It came with the "Admiral Keel Haul" action figure.

When the Flagg was initially released, it was the largest boy's playset at the time, and sold for a retail price of $109.99.[4] It is now traded among serious collectors for anywhere from a few hundred dollars for sets in poor condition (individual pieces/parts are vigorously traded/bought as well), to several thousand dollars for a product still in its original, unopened box.[3]
Quote:
The Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Flagg was first released boxed in U.S. toy stores in 1985. It included the Admiral, Keel-Haul. The Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Flagg was also sold in 1986 and was discontinued in 1987. With Towing Vehicle, Fuel Trailer, Admiral's Launch & Electronic Sound System
Let's say with tax (you are in MD) you get these on sale for $ 100.00 each and you buy 100 in 1985. Sealed in the box these are selling for around $1000 to $1500 on ebay today.

So - $ 10,000 in stock index fund or buy 100 of these and keep them for 29 years in your house. What would have been a better investment in 1985?
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#2
Old 07-27-2014, 10:01 PM
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http://dqydj.net/sp-500-return-calculator/
It looks close, depending on exactly when you would have bought and sold. 1985 was a time of pretty high interest rates though - you probably could have gotten a 30 year bond with a return close to that annualized return too.

Last edited by jacobsta811; 07-27-2014 at 10:01 PM.
#3
Old 07-27-2014, 10:10 PM
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It looks like the DOW has gone up 1331% since January 4, 1985, going from around $1,100 to $16,960.57 as of last Friday (July 25, 2014).

The S&P500 has gone up 1089% in the same time period, from $163 to $1978.34 as of last Friday.

In contrast, the GI Joe Aircraft Carrier has only gone from $90 (to be charitable, I'll use the lower cost basis) to $1,500 in the best case scenario in the same period.

I'll take the stock index fund, please (there are also tax advantage considerations at play here).
#4
Old 07-27-2014, 10:12 PM
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Once you started unloading sealed boxes of the toy, the price would plummet according to supply and demand. Collectibles value are largely due to their scarcity and when something considered scarce becomes exposed as much less so, prices plummet.

If you lived in Ottumwa in 1985, that "must have" Beanie Baby and that Reggie Jackson Rookie Card seemed impossibly scarce, but the moment eBay came along, it not only exposed those things as plentiful, it all but killed the hobbies singlehandedly.
#5
Old 07-27-2014, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane View Post
Once you started unloading sealed boxes of the toy, the price would plummet according to supply and demand. Collectibles value are largely due to their scarcity and when something considered scarce becomes exposed as much less so, prices plummet.

If you lived in Ottumwa in 1985, that "must have" Beanie Baby and that Reggie Jackson Rookie Card seemed impossibly scarce, but the moment eBay came along, it not only exposed those things as plentiful, it all but killed the hobbies singlehandedly.
I thought about that and as a long term eBay seller I'm well aware that there is a market saturation point. There's seems to be a robust market for these but it's an open question how many at a time you could drop on the ebay market and still maintain top collectible prices.
#6
Old 07-28-2014, 12:11 AM
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Skip those and buy some Berkshire Hathaway-A.

$1275 in Jan 1985.
192,000 or so in 2014.
#7
Old 07-28-2014, 01:21 AM
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What Lamar said. You might get 1500 for the first 4 or 5 boxes, but then the market is going to get wise that the item isn't quite so rare as it was.

Hang on to your 10k until Feb 1990 and load up on the Cisco IPO. Let it ride until the Mar 23, 2000 stock split and then dump it over the next week.

10 million and change before the tax man takes his cut.

Link

ETA: Or still 3.5 mil today if you didn't get out before the dot com bubble burst.

Last edited by Projammer; 07-28-2014 at 01:23 AM.
#8
Old 07-28-2014, 01:32 AM
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Is the OP a reader of the Questionable Content webcomic? Today's strip, which went up right around the time as the post, had a punchline involving the GI Joe aircraft carrier.
#9
Old 07-28-2014, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Projammer View Post
What Lamar said. You might get 1500 for the first 4 or 5 boxes, but then the market is going to get wise that the item isn't quite so rare as it was....
Good point. The value of collectibles is largely driven by supply and demand just like other products. One obvious major reason why there are so few intact 1980's toys today is that they got played with a lot, stepped on, had parts lost during moves, and sometimes got thrown away when the owner was no longer interested in it.

If a large number of intact boxes suddenly appear on the market, they are going to be gobbled up by collectors who have always wanted one. After that, many of those collectors will be satisfied and will be less interested in buying another - making the price fall.

Last edited by robert_columbia; 07-28-2014 at 09:19 AM.
#10
Old 07-28-2014, 11:34 AM
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Where are you going to store 100 7 foot long toys for 30 years?
#11
Old 07-28-2014, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Where are you going to store 100 7 foot long toys for 30 years?
In the fridge, next to the elephants.
#12
Old 07-28-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Where are you going to store 100 7 foot long toys for 30 years?
From the OP

"obviously you have to have spare bedroom in your house to store these big boxes."

So there is the loss for 29 years of an entire room of your house to factor in.
#13
Old 07-28-2014, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Where are you going to store 100 7 foot long toys for 30 years?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
In the fridge, next to the elephants.
You can't store elephants in the refrigerator!!

They'll leave footprints in the butter.
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