1:6 Scale Collecting: How Much is TOO Much?

Admittedly, this 1:6 scale King Tiger Tank by Armortek is an outstanding piece. An all-metal, work of military art. But are there really enough collectors out there who are willing (and able) to pay $10,000 for one? Surprisingly, the answer is an unqualified YES. (Photo: eagle_frames)

I found a fully assembled and pre-painted 1:6 scale King Tiger tank over on ebay the other day. “Sweet!” I thought, until I saw noticed its price tag: $9,000 plus $1,000 for shipping. WHOA! Even if I could afford such an extravagance, I knew that my personal price threshold would always prevent me from even considering such an expenditure. Not that I’m particularly cheap; it’s just that $10,000 for a toy tank pushes all of the WRONG buttons in my brain.

Closeup of the treads and wheels reveals exquisite details at 1:6 scale. (Photo: eagle_frames)

I continued browsing for more affordable 1:6 armored vehicles, but the memory of that unattainable “$10,000 Tank” kept coming back to haunt me. I realized that my brain was having sort of a subconscious tug-of-war with itself, battling back and forth between the LOGIC of knowing that I’d never buy such an expensive toy, and the PASSION that all collectors must feel whenever they discover such a beautiful piece.

This Panzer crew seems to be enjoying their ride on a $10,000 Tiger Tank. (Photo: eagle_frames)

This concept of a “personal price threshold” and its effects on a collector’s purchasing decisions intrigued me. I realized it’s something that affects us all; even physically; setting our heartbeats-a-racing, and our adrenaline to pumping. For example, we’ve all experienced the “thrill of the hunt,” when searching for a new figure at a store or online. Similarly, at flea markets or garage sales, the sudden discovery of a GIjOE can trigger almost breathless excitement. If a deal is struck that turns out to be a particular bargain, the feelings of “buyer’s euphoria” can return again and again as we recount the moments of the event to others. “Wait till I tell you about the deal I got on a Big Trapper. It’ll blow your mind!”

A closeup of the tank’s barrel reveals it to be a finely machined, superbly miniaturized version of the real thing. OUTSTANDING! (Photo: eagle_frames)

Of course, every collection reflects its owner’s personal preferences and financial wherewithal. To see what I mean, take a some time to view a few of the breathtaking collections showcased over on the GIjOE Collections website (found HERE). Some of the Joe Rooms and collections you’ll find over there are so “over the top” your jaw will drop open in disbelief. Many also include handcrafted, custom vehicles (such as the Tiger tank shown in this article) that required months or years to create and some serious money to purchase. (So SOMEONE’s been buying them—#@!!).

Bottom Line: If you have a moment, please leave a comment here on The Joe Report describing how you feel about your own collecting and purchasing habits. What is YOUR “personal price threshold” for items in your collection? How much would you pay for a vintage figure? Or this tank? How much is TOO Much? Whatever your answers, Happy Collecting!


7 thoughts on “1:6 Scale Collecting: How Much is TOO Much?

  1. Charles says:

    That is a wonderful piece. I think my personal spending threshold for a single Joe item is about $1k – so the tank is too rich for my blood, but obviously there is a (small) market for these.

    My personal belief is that the people that buy these are more interest in tanks than Joe – and if it were in 1/5 scale or 1/7 scale that it wouldn’t matter – they are more interested in it as a representation of a tank than as a GI Joe accessory.

  2. Hmm…well, $1,000 is a higher threshold than mine. I’d probably plateau at about $300. To date, the most I have EVER spent for anything in my entire collection was $185 for one of those Hasbro halftracks. I missed them when they first appeared in Toys R Us, but then I saw one at a GIjOE show and coulldn’t help myself. I love that vehicle!

    • Anonymous says:

      $1,000 is steep, it doesn’t matter what item it is. A toy is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Last month, I bought a Dragon 1/6 sherman tank kit off of ebay for $618. The only reason I paid that much was because they don’t come up very often. I’m halfway through the build now and it’s looking pretty good. Some places on it need some serious modifications, so I’d say it’s not worth the $618. I’d be happier at around $400.

  3. GIJOEBILL says:

    If you can afford it, more power to the new owner. Way out of my league.Then again, I should be hitting the lottery this week.I would have to take the wife on a week-long cruise before I could slip that into my collection.

  4. My problem being for the price I’d want to drive it home

  5. Hal Fowler says:

    Dan McKee has informed me that I’m more of a hobbyist than a collector. I have been in this hobby for almost 20 years now, and have amassed quite the collection. My love of Joe goes back to 1964. I bought my first guy in September of ’64, very soon after they first came to the stores. I was 9! I still have it and his brothers. I have bought vintage Joes for $75. That is my limit. And though I am a staunch vintage collector, I have found Dragon to be a great posing figure and now also have 19 Dragons. I have contacted a few collectors as (to me) such friendships help generate more interest in the hobby. I do not display my figures. My goal is to write a scrapbook of short “soldier stories” and fill it with photos and captions, like in a comic.

  6. Ian dedini says:

    Great tank, but too rich for my blood!

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