VALENCIA, Calif. — A surprising source of financial strain has emerged in the ongoing inflation crisis, according to one local man with disposable income.
“This toy costs way too much,” said Joshua Knox, 28, as he clicked the button to confirm his $519.99 eBay order of an unopened Power Rangers Dino Thunder Drago Morpher. “It sucks, but getting it mint is the only way to ensure I get all the faceplates, including the Parasaur one. And if I don’t have all the faceplates, I have nothing but the sucking void within and a dinosaur watch that doesn’t tell time.”
To make the most of his hefty purchase, Knox says he intends to wear the morpher and perhaps even act out being a Power Ranger at least once a month. Otherwise, the toy will be stored safely in his desk drawer with others like it to minimize “yellowing” of its mostly white plastic due to ultraviolet light exposure.
“It’s messed up, honestly,” said Simon Massey, the eBay seller from whom Knox bought the toy, which had a suggested retail price of $9.99 in 2004. “You’ve got dickheads selling this kind of thing for fifty or sixty times what it’s worth,” he continued, while listing a Dino Morpher for $574.99. “But that’s just the market at work, I guess. What can you do?”
Hayley Young, an economist studying the impact of collectibles markets on broader patterns of consumption and vice versa, claims her “Nostalgia-Greed Index” may have the answer.
“As human quality of life goes down, the desire to return to a subjectively ‘better’ time goes up,” explained Young. “So when you have a high cost of living, for example, people who can’t afford houses will settle for buying all the toys they wanted as kids. Toy demand spikes, which leads to price surges, which further lowers quality of life, and it spirals from there. If we can institute policies that improve people’s lives materially and emotionally, they’ll be less inclined to seek refuge in twenty-year-old Power Rangers merch, and prices should stabilize.”
Representatives for Hasbro, the current owner of Power Rangers, declined to comment on Young’s theory of the relationship between greed, nostalgia, and collectible prices. However, sources say this is due to all hands being on deck to ship out early limited release orders of the Tommy Oliver Master Morpher, Hasbro’s fourth and most expensive iteration of the classic Power Morpher so far.