New member with quite a story!

4cruzin

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
5
So I’m new here and have an interesting story to tell. I am a real estate broker in Michigan and I am helping an estate clean out a property so I can sell it for them. The house was never finished or lived in but there is a pole building on the property. Inside the barn were many cars, tractor boats and other interesting items. Also included were many unopened models . . They have been there for over 20 years. I probably uncovered 50 or so models, all sizes and many different kinds. I haven’t done a model in many years and may keep one for myself but the rest I need to get rid of. Being more then 20 years old, are they worth anything? Was considering donating them to a charity or something but was looking for some advise. I still need to organize them, some of the boxes are questionable but I assume the pieces inside are still good. Thoughts? Many war vehicles, large and small . .
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,433
First-welcome to the Herd!
Second-whether the kits are worth anything? That is going to be extremely speculative. But there are several options.

One is that you sell them all yourself, one at a time or in small groups, via eBay or some other online venue. That might get you the most money, but it will take the most work, too. Post the items, with photographs, track the auctions, deal with taking payments, packing the items, shipping them. And maybe having to deal with customers with complaints, some legitimate, some not but just trying to pull a fast one.

eBay is also useful to get an idea of what the market will bear, for any given kit. You could look for auctions for kits in that collection, note the asking price, and follow the auction to its end. Did it sell? How much above the seller's asking price? Did it not sell? If the kit is relisted, does the seller drop his asking price, and then, does it sell? A lot of work, though.

Another option is to look up local shows and taking a table. Still a lot of work, but you might be able to get rid of all of them in one pop.

Another is to find the nearest modeling club and contact them. See if you can strike a deal, anywhere from haggling a price for the lot or individual kits, to perhaps donating them to the club. IPMS clubs have 501(c)3 status through their affiliation with IPMS (the International Plastic Modelers Society), and some clubs might have their own certification. So you'd be able to claim a value as a charitable donation.

And another option is to look up youth groups, like the Boy Scouts, or others, who might be interested in the kits for their own projects.

Yet another is to donate the kits to organizations that send kits to soldiers deployed overseas, or stationed here in the homeland.

It depends on how much money you want to get, or how much the estate wants to get, and how much effort you want to expend to do it.

Another thing to bear in mind is that there are different price ranges, depending on whether the buyer is a modeler-he wants to build the model-or the buyer is a kit collector. Kit collectors collect model kits the way other people collect beer steins, Hummels, NASCAR items, etc, etc. They generally will pay higher prices, based on the condition of the kit. A modeler, on the other hand, will likely not care much about the condition of the box, or the instructions, decals. He wants to build the kit, and will likely look for the lowest price he can get away with paying. Those are generalizations; there can be exceptions, but what I've said is generally correct.

There are also some dealers who will pay for collections of kits (we call 'em "The Stash", by the way). Selling to a kit dealer might be the easiest way to liquidation the collection, in that you might not need to do more than contact the vendor. But you probably won't get as much money as if you sell them yourself. But that's just logical-the dealer is expending the effort, so he needs to buy as low as possible, and sell the individual kits for as much as he can, to maximize his profit on the transaction.

Again, it depends on how much effort you're willing to expend, and how much money you want to get.

Finally, if you plan on taking up the hobby again, keep the stash, if you can. 50 kits or so is actually a relatively small stash (I have around 250 kits in mine, and that's a relatively small stash), and you can have a lot of fun.

I hope that helps. I'm sure other members will have other opinions to offer, too.

Again, welcome to the Herd!

Best regards,
Brad
 

4cruzin

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
5
First-welcome to the Herd!
Second-whether the kits are worth anything? That is going to be extremely speculative. But there are several options.

One is that you sell them all yourself, one at a time or in small groups, via eBay or some other online venue. That might get you the most money, but it will take the most work, too. Post the items, with photographs, track the auctions, deal with taking payments, packing the items, shipping them. And maybe having to deal with customers with complaints, some legitimate, some not but just trying to pull a fast one.

eBay is also useful to get an idea of what the market will bear, for any given kit. You could look for auctions for kits in that collection, note the asking price, and follow the auction to its end. Did it sell? How much above the seller's asking price? Did it not sell? If the kit is relisted, does the seller drop his asking price, and then, does it sell? A lot of work, though.

Another option is to look up local shows and taking a table. Still a lot of work, but you might be able to get rid of all of them in one pop.

Another is to find the nearest modeling club and contact them. See if you can strike a deal, anywhere from haggling a price for the lot or individual kits, to perhaps donating them to the club. IPMS clubs have 501(c)3 status through their affiliation with IPMS (the International Plastic Modelers Society), and some clubs might have their own certification. So you'd be able to claim a value as a charitable donation.

And another option is to look up youth groups, like the Boy Scouts, or others, who might be interested in the kits for their own projects.

Yet another is to donate the kits to organizations that send kits to soldiers deployed overseas, or stationed here in the homeland.

It depends on how much money you want to get, or how much the estate wants to get, and how much effort you want to expend to do it.

Another thing to bear in mind is that there are different price ranges, depending on whether the buyer is a modeler-he wants to build the model-or the buyer is a kit collector. Kit collectors collect model kits the way other people collect beer steins, Hummels, NASCAR items, etc, etc. They generally will pay higher prices, based on the condition of the kit. A modeler, on the other hand, will likely not care much about the condition of the box, or the instructions, decals. He wants to build the kit, and will likely look for the lowest price he can get away with paying. Those are generalizations; there can be exceptions, but what I've said is generally correct.

There are also some dealers who will pay for collections of kits (we call 'em "The Stash", by the way). Selling to a kit dealer might be the easiest way to liquidation the collection, in that you might not need to do more than contact the vendor. But you probably won't get as much money as if you sell them yourself. But that's just logical-the dealer is expending the effort, so he needs to buy as low as possible, and sell the individual kits for as much as he can, to maximize his profit on the transaction.

Again, it depends on how much effort you're willing to expend, and how much money you want to get.

Finally, if you plan on taking up the hobby again, keep the stash, if you can. 50 kits or so is actually a relatively small stash (I have around 250 kits in mine, and that's a relatively small stash), and you can have a lot of fun.

I hope that helps. I'm sure other members will have other opinions to offer, too.

Again, welcome to the Herd!

Best regards,
Brad
That was a great explanation and thoughts on what to do. I would probably prefer to sell the whole “stash“ at once unless there is one or two that are collectible and would bring more money. Is it true that the older models were better quality? Heard someone say “Don’t make them like they used to!” Think I will collect a list of what is there and get them out of the cold barn and then make a decision. Thanks for the help!
 

urumomo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,370
They're worth something to somebody :D
Can you post a few photos of what you have ?
You can cover a lot of kits in one photo if you photograph just the box ends with the boxes in a stack .
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
395
Welcome aboard. Yes they are worth something. If you post a list, I'd be happy to help browse/compare current kit pricing if I can find the same or similar versions.
 

Jim62

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
339
You said you may build one so I'd suggest at least keeping them until you have built one. If that gives you the bug to keep going, then you already have a stash and that will save you a lot of money. It would be nice to see pics or a list of what you lucked into.
 

4cruzin

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
5
So I went back to the barn today and organized them for a picture . . Looks like about 60 total. Some big and some small. Please give me your thoughts on the stash . . Anything interesting?
 

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Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
395
You have some choice vintage kits there. Still in plastic wrap too. I think most of those kits could command $25-$40 each. That Tamiya P34 currently goes for crazy money.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,433
That was a great explanation and thoughts on what to do. I would probably prefer to sell the whole “stash“ at once unless there is one or two that are collectible and would bring more money. Is it true that the older models were better quality? Heard someone say “Don’t make them like they used to!” Think I will collect a list of what is there and get them out of the cold barn and then make a decision. Thanks for the help!
You're very welcome, hope it helps!

To your question about quality, no, it's not generally true that older kits are of better quality. Generally, today's kits are more detailed, which reflects the changing tastes of modelers as we've all gotten older. Scale modeling took off in the 50s, as the first Baby Boomers were kids and plastic replaced wood and paper as the main materials for models. Kits of that vintage generally have softer details than the average kit produced more recently. Those older kits often have things like working features, too, because the boy who built a model of the P-51 his dad flew in the war, would take it out in the backyard and play with it as soon as he finished it.

As those kids got older, and stuck with modeling, their expectations rose, and you see better engineering over time. Again, that's a generalization, but that means it's generally true, even though there are exceptions.

By the mid- to late 60s, several companies did start producing models that had good detail right out of the box. It's funny, though, to look at modeling magazines from that time, and into the 70s, and read articles about kits released and the sensation they caused for achieving new levels of detail. And then mention those kits (eg, Revell's 1/32 P-40E) on a forum like HyperScale, and those guys all run them down as crap today.

Many of us of that vintage are nostalgic for that particular period, for the 50s, 60s, and 70s, when we were kids, and we spent our paper-route or lawnmowing money at the fabled Local Hobby Shop on Saturdays. But today really is more of a golden age for modelers, when we consider quality of product, the wide range of tools and supplies, and the much broader range of subjects available to us.

I'll give you a rule of thumb I apply, as a builder, not a kit collector (smart-aleck comments about my stash notwithstanding), when I look on the secondary market for a kit I want to build.

For a 1/48-scale single-engined WWII aircraft, my range is $10 or less. If I can get it for $5, I'm very happy. For a 1/48-scale multi-engined airplane, like Monogram's large bomber kits, my range is $20 or less. That's for a complete kit, in its box, with decals and instructions. I don't care about the box so much, but it's easier to store the kit till I can build it. I've bought kits in their boxes, but also bagged kits (the seller puts the sprues in a ziploc), with instructions or decals but also without.

Same goes for ships or armor, and some sci-fi subjects-1/700 waterline ship models, 1/35 scale tanks, car kits. $20 is where I start, and I go down-I try to get the seller to take less, if I can.

There's a particular sci-fi series called Maschinen Krieger, whose kits are not as numerous, and so, my range can go higher. But I'll still try to get them for as little as I can. That's what buyers do.

Anyway, yes, catalog what you have, then do some research, and see what comparable kits are going for.

An author who writes about antiques and collectibles once wrote that in the end, the price of any object on the secondary market is what the buyer and seller can agree upon at the time. I've found that to be true, whether it's model kits, or other things I collect, like beer steins, books, etc.

Best regards,
Brad
 

Peppylepugh

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
237
Welcome, welcome to da’ herd.
Interesting scenario, counselor.
There are a couple could bring you some surprising cash, but as Brad had said, depends on the work you want to put into it.
Yeah, to a ‘true’ builder, we aren’t interested in the box, we’re not building that. These kits are the ones under the table, you have to ask for.
Busted up, moldy smelling cardboard, that has all the parts. ‘Builders’. Usually a box or bag, mismatched color to the parts, and maybe an instruction sheet to compare the parts to.
Oh, the joy of an included decal sheet that might actually survive a dunk in the water dish.
Kits the sharp boys don’t consider, because it’s not the newest. You wouldn’t see them walking around with it.
I’m I right or what, guys?
I put thing on my head and wear it like a hat.
Love me some vintage kits.
 

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