I see things like this replica Snowspeeder filiming model and wonder, what will happen when it’s all computer graphics? There won’t be any physical models to sell at all, not even replicas (although I presume that one could manufacture pseudo-replicas from the digital model). The same kind of issue comes up for animation cells, which are a big market for collectibles. How will the market change when sauch cells are just prints and not the “originals” used in the actual film?
Of course, I suspect that someone will find a way to make the digital models themselves worth buying to the fans. Will people be able appreciate that more abstract concept of “original” involved possessing the exact dataset that created the imagery for a computer generated film? These data artifacts are sufficiently complex that realistically they can’t be duplicated externally, so an “orginal” can trace its bit ancestry directly back to the data used for the production imagery. Will that be enough, even though the concept of an “limited edition” will be untenable? I’m not much of a collector myself, being quite happy with accurate reproductions, so it wouldn’t matter much to me. But I wonder how the real collectors will feel about it.