How to Collect Action Figures

Action figures are fun to play with, rise in value as the years progress, and can look pretty cool. And did you know there are more than 38,000 known action figures in more than 700 brands?! You probably want to start effectively collecting them...without going overboard. See step one below to get started!


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    Decide why you want to get into this hobby: do you want to play with the figures, or collect them and keep them sealed in their boxes for display?
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    Pick a genre of action figures - often, they're from a movie. Example include Star Wars, Pirates Of The Caribbean, and assorted Marvel action figures.
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    Find a website that is devoted to said genre. A Google search will often turn up great results.
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    Find out about upcoming figures and currently released figures. Sometimes figures will be simple "repacks" - where the company takes a previous version of a character and puts it in new packaging, maybe with slightly different paint deco. You can save yourself from a lot of wasted money this way. For instance, there are many Darth Vaders in the Hasbro Star Wars line. A lot of them are the same sculpt in different packaging.
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    Ask yourself: are you a completer? Do you want every figure that comes out? Or do you want to pick and choose the figures you buy, depending on their appeal? The answer will help you decide which figures best suit your collecting style.
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    Once you have decided your course in collecting action figures, get out to those stores! Big chains like Toys R Us, Target, and WalMart all carry a variety of action figures. You may also want to check out smaller stores, which could have rarer figures for a higher price.
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    Finally - Catalog and manage your collection from the start. It's much easier to track and manage your collection when you have a dozen figures, than waiting until your collection contains several hundred or more. Some excellent free resources for research and collection management are:


  • Don't be embarrassed to play with your action figures - whether you are 5, 15, or 45, you're never to old to collect and play with your figures. Have some fun!
  • Check an action figure news website daily. This will keep you extremely up-to-date with the latest on your hobby.


  • As stated before, beware Repacks and Repaints! Not every figure is a new sculpt - they are often repainted or simply repackaged old figures.
  • If you decide to get into collecting vintage figures, prepare to shell out a lot of cash. These figures are rare, hard-to-find, and prized collector items.

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Categories: Collectible Models & Toys