The Hippo


Jul 23, 2019








Collectible reseller Don Berrios inspecting the 1979 Millennium Falcon by Kenner. Photo By Ryan Lessard.

What to do with a Millennium Falcon

To figure out how easy it would be to establish the value of and possibly resell an actual collectible, our editor, Meghan Siegler, provided three large Star Wars toys that she inherited and have been languishing in her basement.
The oldest is a 1979 Kenner Millennium Falcon toy. It is a large playset that opens into an interior where action figures can be played with; it has electronic sounds and retractable landing gear. The instructions are missing, but it is still in its original cardboard box and even has a little plastic ball piece that dangles from a string inside the ship, meant to represent the remote ball Luke Skywalker practices with. Don Berrios, owner of Toys from the Attic in Somersworth, says that piece is rare, as kids often broke the string and lost it.
Another box from the 1980s is in poor condition and appears to have suffered some water damage, but within are the sealed components of a Millennium Falcon model kit by MPC.
Finally there is a third box, a 1995 re-release of the Millennium Falcon of ’79 by Kenner, which was by then owned by Hasbro.
Berrios visually assessed all three Falcons and concluded that the oldest of the three was the most valuable. It was missing the instructions (Berrios had a set of those in his own collection), and the original owner had placed the stickers on the ship to lend it its detail — Berrios said a set like this with the stickers still on the original sheet would be exceedingly sought after. He estimated the one we had would sell for about $150.
The model kit would only sell for about $10 since the box was in such bad shape. He said it would only have value to someone who owned the original box and was missing the rest.
The 1990s re-release Falcon was in good shape and had the original instructions, but the stickers were used and it was a newer model, so it was only valued at about $100.

Trash to Cash: Collectibles

By Ryan Lessard

 Sifting through items like toys from your childhood or possible antiques that you inherited that seem just strange and rare enough to be worth something, it can be hard to let go. And for many of us, it can seem like too much work to catalogue and research an object, arrive at a fair value and try to sell it. But it doesn’t have to be.

Is it valuable? As with all junk-shedding missions, everyone must figure out their priorities. Do you mainly want to clean out the attic or do you hope to make money from the stuff? Maybe before you can answer that question, you should find out just how valuable your stuff is. A good place to start is eBay, according to Don Berrios, the owner of Toys from the Attic in Somersworth; it’s a research tool used by everyone in the industry. Berrios says you can easily search for items similar to yours and look up the prices they recently sold for. Be sure not to confuse the price someone is trying to sell an item for with the final sale price of the item. The final sale price is the real value.
If you don’t have the original packaging and are not sure of the manufacturing details, look on every surface of the object with a magnifying glass for small inscriptions or plastic molded writing signifying the date of manufacture and perhaps the manufacturing company. With collectibles, every detail is important.
How to sell it: Berrios says you need to figure out how much time and effort you can devote to researching and selling the items and choose one of a couple options. 
“There really isn’t one right way. There really isn’t. It matters how you personally feel about it,” Berrios said.
You can sell items to a reseller like Berrios or you can try to sell them online yourself.
The benefit of using someone like Berrios is that he’s been in the business for decades, knows many products inside and out and knows how to learn about the ones he doesn’t. That way, the research end is taken care of. But Berrios and others like him will pay you less for the collectibles than what he sells them for so he can make a profit, generally a 35- to 40-percent markup.
To keep most of that cash return for yourself, you can cut out the middleman.
“Selling online works. It is a lot of extra work. You’ll make a lot more money than selling it to me,” Berrios said.
There’s also a middle ground. Assuming it doesn’t take too long, you can take your old toy or antique to a reseller and get it appraised for free. If it’s something very specialized or takes hours of research, it may require an additional cost. Then, having figured out the value, you can sell the object yourself. 
But Berrios cautions that there are risks when dealing in collectibles over the Internet.
“You could do it on eBay but then you’ve got to deal with, Did you pack it right? Did it get destroyed on the way there? Is somebody going to swap it out? I do eBay and I worry about that,” Berrios said. 
If you decide it’s not worth the trouble of selling, money's no object and you just want the stuff gone, then pitch up a yard sale and sell the items for less than they’re worth. 
But yard sales aren’t the best course of action if you really hope to profit from this process, Berrios said. 
“Yard sales are tough,” said Berrios. “You could set up and do a yard sale and maybe end up selling hardly any of it or get [almost] nothing for it.” 

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