Ever since George Lucas had the idea to market toys and action figures around Star Wars in 1977, collecting and loving action figures has become one of the most fun and exciting hobbies around.
For some, it’s a passion, for others, it’s a way to actually touch a hero or villain that they enjoy day-dreaming about. For all however, it is one of many ways to connect with a desire to play.
If you can think of a movie or a TV show, there is probably an action figure and/or toys that are made for it. In today’s world, toys are not only made for the collector or even just for fun, but for education and learning.
Shows like Dora Explorer and Barney are just the tip of the iceberg, and are a sensation for kids and adults alike. Action figures no longer just have few plastic accessories in a simple cardboard package; now they talk and teach us things as we play with them. Some of the newest action figure type toys even learn as they go! It’s a brave new world for toys indeed.
Guidelines for Collecting Action Figures
So, are you a collector or just a person looking to find the right toy for your children, or even yourself? If you are a collector, there are a few guidelines that you might want to follow – take it from someone who collected action figures for years and years. The trick nowadays is to find those toys that are “short packed,” or, the ones that they make very few of so that people will try very hard to find that one thing.
In the old days of action figure marketing, if there was very little interest being shown for a particular series of toys, they would stop producing it very early and it would just disappear from the shelves, making them very rare as the years went by. Once collectors figured out there were so few of these items around, they became true “collector items” and, in some cases, came with very high prices afterwards.
The Most Popular Action Figures Today
Today, instead of stopping production on a line or series that is not popular, toy companies are intentionally making short packed toys so that the collector market will constantly have something to chase. This is why we call rare toys today, “Chase Figures.”
The truth is that there are really very few truly rare toys these days, as everything is mass produced in the hundreds of thousands, but collectors know there is always something that will be short packed. That is what drives the collecting market today, and is likely to be the case for years to come.
In this world of comic book movies with heroes and villains, epic space adventures like Star Wars and Battlestar Gallactica, and good vs. evil like GI Joe and Cobra, there are hundreds of ways to collect everything you could ever want. Just make sure to keep an eye out for the figure that doesn’t look quite like the others. You may have the next ultra rare variant that collectors will go mad for!
Educational Action Figures
For educational toys and action figures, you do not have to go far from the walls of Batman and Spiderman figurines – in fact, they are many times just mixed in together. These toys are made mostly for the pure enjoyment of playing and learning, and are easy to find in any toy store or toy isle.
They can help your child learn their ABC’s, count to 100 or start to become familiar with geography. If you want your child to learn about it, there is probably a toy or game out there that will help.
The genius of it is how they make it so much fun. No longer are educational toys just flash cards or a Simon Says board – there are dolls, action figures and other interactive toys that are not only fun to play with on the floor and in the car, but help a child educate themselves without even realizing it.
Expect to continue to see huge advancements in the way toys are produced and marketed to all ages and sizes. If you are a collector, or just a kid at heart, toys are a way to connect with our inner child and a way to grasp onto a world that is purely make believe.
Action figure collecting is something that can be tremendously gratifying, and in some cases, can be a great way to invest your money for the future. So camp out for that late night delivery and hope that your next find will be “the one!”