Action figures have the ability to evoke strong feelings of nostalgia of any collectible out there. They’re often based on properties we remember from our childhoods, back when our longing for toys was at its peak. Some of the most popular action figures come from the worlds of Star Wars, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Marvel, and D.C. Comics. However, these days almost any property aimed at kids has some sort of action figure line attached to it. In fact, some properties for adults also have figures for the growing market of older toy collectors. Read more...
The leading manufacturers of action figures include Hasbro, Mattel, Bandai, and McFarlane Toys. Hasbro is known for creating G.I. Joe, which kickstarted the action figure industry in the early 60’s. Mattel, meanwhile, made the wildly popular He-Man line of toys in the 80’s and holds exclusive rights to DC Comics figures. Bandai is a popular Japanese company that makes Power Rangers and Dragon Ball Z action figures, while McFarlane Toys target adult collectors with its intricate designs of characters from mature franchises such as Halo and The Walking Dead.
A love for characters and franchises is the paramount drive for most action figure collectors. However, beyond one’s affection for certain characters, collectors are also careful to take into account rarity and condition when on the hunt for new additions to their collections. Action figures in their original boxes are more valuable on the open market but loose figures allow collectors to pose their characters in appealing ways, which may be more important to some. In any case, action figure collecting is a rewarding hobby, since collections tend to delight even non-collectors with their display of ubiquitous characters and childlike nostalgia. Read less