Action Figures Collecting,
a New Hobby Emerges!

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Action figures in general, were established as one of the top-selling toy categories as far back as 1965. Collecting them started to become a serious hobby as the 1970s emerged. The reasons for action figures collecting became quite clear as some of the best pop-culture icons started coming from movies, television and comics.

If you are new to collecting these enticing little jewels or have your own collection started, I would like to give you some rules of engagement. These are some general rules of thumb and common sense ideas, but they will help give you some basic collecting etiquette or knowledge. And as we all know, knowledge is power.

  • Use your due diligence:
  • Use as many sources of information you can find. Toy collecting magazines, newsgroups on the Internet and even striking up friendly conversations with toy store employees are great places to start! The more background research you do for a particular item, the better your chances are for finding and enjoying it.

  • Be Patient:
  • If you want to have everything as soon as it becomes available, then you might be in the wrong hobby. A sure way of getting ripped off is to jump at the first chance of a supposed "rare" item for sale. And this action can promote scalping and price gouging.

  • Don't Fall Prey to the Scalpers!:
  • To understand this and formulate your own opinion, here is an excellent article on scalpers.

  • Be Realistic:
  • The definition of action-figures collectibles is how much another collector is willing to pay for a particular item, just as in the comic book world. That's why price guides exist. The main misconception by most people is that these so called "price guides" are taken as the "be all end all" for an item’s actual worth. Sorry but that ain’t the case. Just as with your comic book collection, price guides’ estimates can be used as a go by. Your particular item may be worth more, or quite probably less than what is listed.

  • Use the Golden Rule:
  • You know, treat others, as you would like to be treated. This is a great way of getting what you want. Act in a friendly manner toward store employees, fellow figurine collectors, etc. This way, most everyone will likely become friendlier toward you and more aptly help you find what you're looking for.

  • Have Respect:
  • As a collector of action-figures, you may find yourself spending a great deal of free time in stores looking for "treasure". Please keep in mind that while you're on a scavenger hunt, the store employees are hard at work. The best way to annoy an employee, or manager alike, is to tear through the isles like a whirlwind leaving a trail of destruction in your wake. Not only do you provide more work for stock personnel, but you may inadvertently damage the merchandise other collectors may be seeking.

  • Be Generous and Reasonable:
  • One irritating problem of collecting these days is of the "hoarder" who buys all of the short packed or limited edition figures they can find. This leaves nothing behind for the next guy. As you gain experience through the years, you'll find that the majority of collectors look down upon this practice as an act of selfishness and disrespectful to other action figures collectors (not to mention the kids).

  • Be Generous with Your Information:
  • There is a certain responsibility of sharing information you gather that should go along with communicating to others in the action-figures collecting world. You may have found that certain figure through a tip from someone else. So do your part and pay it forward.

  • Above All... Have Fun!:
  • Whether you collect for play-value, display or investment purposes, the key to this wonderful hobby is to have fun doing it. Action figures started out as toys to amuse and pass the time in enjoyable ways. Keep your collecting in the same light. Fun and profit come from the enjoyment and passion of anything that you set out to accomplish.

  • Keep the Faith:
  • If you can follow these tips and recommendations, then I'd say your future experiences in action figures collecting would be good ones! Not to say you will never encounter a few disappointments along the way. That is inevitable my friend… but for the most part, you will maintain a healthy collection and a healthy attitude about collecting for many years to come!

    And if you have your own comic book collection or are thinking of starting one, action figures collecting can go hand in hand. Just use the same common sense and etiquette.

    Final Thoughts

    Action-figures have become part of the mind and soul of so many individuals as they have grown up over the last four decades. There is so much variation and diversity of characters, there is just about anything for anybody’s interest. If you are just getting started in your action figure fascination or have your own collection started, then you may want to check out this action figures blog. Kastor has compiled some great pictures and info.

    Continue on to thenext page to a mini course in action figures collecting. It should be fun and worthwhile.

    If you want to keep up on the varied and interesting activities going on in the world of comic books, then feel free to sign up for my newsletter “Comics Galore” in the form below. And by all means, I would love to hear your comments and opinions on superhero action figures. You can sure leave them for me at my contact page in the menu at the left. I may even be able to include them in my newsletter. I thank you ahead of time.

    Dave Gieber

    On to a mini course in action-figures collecting

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