September 2, 2018 – For the last decade, Ebay seller Tunghori has acquired something of a legendary status among Star Wars figure collectors. But who is he? And is he trustworthy?
These two questions often pop up online in various collector discussion groups (Rebelscum, Yakface, Imperial Shipyards, etc.).
Since 2005, Tunghori has been selling loose, sometimes hard-to-find Star Wars action figures via Ebay.
Tunghori’s Ebay profile: With over 64,000 feedback reviews since Nov. 2005, Tunghori has a 100% positive feedback rating.
Tunghori has an Ebay store page (called “Star Wars Army Store”) that typically lists 3 or 4 pages’ worth of loose figures. The more popular figures sell out quickly, sometimes within minutes. Inexplicably, however, additional inventory may pop up for the same sold-out figure within the same day or later in the week.
Customer satisfaction is high, which helps to explain the 100% Ebay feedback rating.
A buyer in a Rebelscum.com forum noted in 2009 that he had made several purchases from Tunghori and “had no problems whatsoever” and that the figures appeared to be brand new.
In this 2011 comment on an ImperialShipyards.net forum, one buyer vouched that Tunghori quickly replaced a defective Clone trooper leg.
But don’t expect perfection. As one buyer on an ImperialShipyards.net forum noted, some of his figures had missing paint apps or two left limbs. The same buyer, however, also pointed out that Tunghori would ship him any missing accessories that were inadvertently omitted.
Some April, 2011, commentary from ImperialShipyards.net
While the Ebay profile states that Tunghori is based in the Philippines, most of Hasbro’s production facilities are in China, and all shipments depart from Hong Kong.
The question most asked is, How does our mystery Ebay seller get his hands on so many action figures?
Some collectors have speculated that Tunghori might be part of a small group of inside-the-factory pilferers, skimming figures from production lines. However, there is no evidence of a criminal enterprise stealing resources from under Hasbro’s nose. And even if true, it’s hard to believe that Hasbro would look the other way after over a decade of Tunghori sales, which are highly visible.
Could Tunghori be producing extra batches of figures after hours? Say, for example, Hasbro has ordered a production run of 10,000 figures. What’s to stop factory insiders from producing an additional 200? While possible, this scenario assumes a lot of line employees and supervisors are in on this secret conspiracy and that Hasbro is utterly clueless. But because Tunghori’s Ebay store has been running for so long and is so visible (since Nov. 2005), this is weak speculation at best.
A more rational and likely explanation is that the figures sold on Ebay are factory rejects with slight imperfections.
At JediTempleArchives.com, a Sept. 1st, 2018 comment stated: “These are straight from the factory, they are seconds, meaning they didn’t pass quality control.”
The same JediTempleArchives commentator “James” also stated: “Definitely not stolen. These can be bought on the open market in Hong Kong, Taiwan or southern China … The factories are free to sell these (less-than-perfect seconds) to a secondary market.”
The other conundrum is Tunghori’s location. While his Ebay profile states he or they are based in the Philippines, most of Hasbro’s contracted factories are in China and shipments are made from Hong Kong.
Our speculation is that Tunghori is actually a small Manila-Hong Kong network. English-speaking Manila might be handling the business and communications end of the transactions while order fulfillment and shipping are in Hong Kong. The fact that Tunghori has had more than 12,000 Ebay transactions in the last year, or over 1,000 per month, strongly suggests a small business operation.
Manila and Hong Kong are 1,129 km (701 miles) apart or a 2-hour flight. (Image: Google Maps)
A single person would be hard pressed to manage that high a volume of listings, order tracking, packaging, shipment, handling customer issues and Ebay transaction requirements. Possible, but hard pressed.
Our Buying Experience
In two separate buying experiences in 2018, we ordered 16 figures or 8 figures per shipment. The shipping cost is U.S. $5.00 for the first figure and an additional $1.00 for each extra figure. No tax was charged.
Both shipments arrived safely in small cardboard boxes with a Hong Kong customs declaration sticker attached. Each figure, including accessories, was carefully placed in a sealable baggie. All of the figures appeared brand new with tight joints, clean paint applications, and no noticeable defects or missing parts.
In this July, 2018, shipment from Tunghori, eight figures arrived in like-new condition in sealable baggies. The small cardboard box had a Hong Kong customs declaration attached and arrived in Orlando, Florida, within 9 days.
Fresh off the boat from China (July 2018)
Our purchase of the Night Sister (Mother Talzin) is a good example of acquiring a single figure from an out-of-production exclusive multipack.
If you had missed this 2012 exclusive, Tunghori offers collectors a second chance by offering single loose figures. Mother Talzin was listed at $9.99.
Not sold by Tunghori: The 2012 Target exclusive Darth Maul Returns Battlepack typically resells for about $45.00 on the secondary market.
Bossk, from the ToysRUs exclusive Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (MSRP $99.99 in 2010), is another example of a difficult-to-find figure. Tunghori was selling Bossk for $7.99.
Not Sold by Tunghori: The ToysRUs exclusive Rise of Boba Fett Ultimate Battle Pack (2010) now fetches $300-500 on the secondary market.
Tunghori Is Good For:
● Army builders as you can buy multiple figures in bulk
● Hard-to-find figures which are either out of production or were previously intended to be sold as part of a multi-pack, e.g., 3 or 4 figures sold as a boxed set.
● New and popular action figures in high demand
● Buyers who don’t mind that some figures may, on occasion, have a noticeable factory defect such as imperfect or missing paint applications
Tunghori Is Not Good for, and You Should Look Elsewhere If:
● You want a new carded figure. Tunghori only sells loose Star Wars 3.75-inch action figures. Further, the Ebay description customarily notes the figure is “used” but “was never played (with) and (is) in good condition.”
● You expect all accessories to be included all the time. Buyers should inspect the Ebay photo and description and then Google the product to see what, if any, accessories are missing.
● Collectors of Star Wars vehicles, playsets and 6-inch figures. Again, Tunghori only sells 3.75-inch loose Star Wars figures.
● Impatient buyers: Shipment is via Air Mail from Hong Kong. Tunghori’s Ebay description states that “international orders take 2 to 4 weeks”. On two occasions, shipments to our Orlando, Florida location took 9 and 13 days respectively.
The overall consensus appears to be that Tunghori, whether a single person or a small network, is a trustworthy seller. While the Ebay prices are not cheap, they do help to fulfill market demand for either out-of-production or hard-to-find Star Wars figures.
So long as Hasbro continues to struggle with its uneven distribution problems, collectors are being forced to look elsewhere. Tunghori is, at least in part, an alternative solution for frustrated collectors. You can visit his Ebay store and see current listings HERE.