Why do we collect action figures?

In my estimation, I believe action figure collectors exist because of one, two or all of the following:

1) 3-D representation.  Action figures can be your favorite character that you can actually hold in your hand.  Given they are articulated and you open your action figures, you can pose and/or play with them.  If you’re a serious collector and don’t open your packages, you can look and admire them for the pieces of artwork they are.

2) Nostalgia.  Like most toys, action figures may bring back memories of your youth.  Perhaps you had back yard missions with GI Joe, defended the universe with Transformers or had a constant battle between the dark and light sides of The Force.  Whatever it was, I’m sure those were fun, simpler times and action figures may help you remember and relive your past.

3) Investment purposes.  Now this is tricky because the market fluctuates so much but for the most part, vintage rules.  Of course, leaving your action figures unopened insures their maximum value is left intact.  However, if you do open and are careful with them, there’s still value there as there are many collectors of loose action figures.

On the one hand, action figures are toys that are meant to be played with.  On the other hand, supply and demand for unopened action figures drives prices up.

What are your reasons for collecting action figures?

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How to properly store your action figure collection.

by John Perez

Starting an action figure collection is an exciting and rewarding hobby. Most of today’s collectors are yesterday’s kids.  When I was young, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest Star Wars action figure.  I’d spend hours in the toy aisle and come back with an arm full of action figures only to have my mother tell me I was only allowed to get just one toy.  How could I ever decide between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo? I need the whole force, Mom!

I have been collecting action figures for 18 years now.  This activity has become increasingly popular over the past couple decades because the collectors’ market is driven by nostalgia and wants to recapture our childhood memories.  In fact, many of today’s action figures are now produced specifically for the adult collectors’ market.

Action figures can often represent a good investment if cared for properly.  My online store, Go Figure Action Figures, has over 11,000 products in stock.  All of the action figures and toys I sell are in their original packaging and have been stored properly to avoid damage.  Once a box has been opened, the value decreases.  Here is a list of important steps I take to properly store action figures properly so they arrive to my customers in mint condition.

How to Store Action Figures

–         If you want to resell your action figures one day, you must keep them in their original, unopened packaging.

–         Store in a dry, dark place in a box.  Sunlight and humidity can destroy the cardboard backing, making it wavy.  Those elements will also discolor the plastic, turning it yellow.

–         If you want to display your action figures, you should pick a room with little or no sunlight and have a way to control the humidity.

–         If you decide to store the action figures in a plastic bag, do not use regular zip-lock bags bought from a store.  These bags are not meant for long-term storage.  The acid in the plastic will damage and destroy the paint on the action figure, leaving it sticky and no longer valuable.  You should find storage bags that are made with the material polypropylene.  These acid-free plastic bags are used by museums to store materials and artifacts.  GTZip is a great wholesaler of these bags.

–         Keep the air control at a moderate temperature.  Don’t store in extreme heat or cold.

–         If you display your figures out of the original packaging in a case or on a bookshelf, make sure the batteries are removed.  Over time, battery acid will leak out and ruin your collectibles, decreasing their value and appearance.

–         Avoid handling the action figures too much.  Our hands have a lot of natural oils and greases which are okay for our skin, but they can cause the color of the figures to turn yellow and spot if touched a lot.  Using gloves or a cloth to pick up figures is a good way to avoid this problem.

–         Remove price tags.  You can take them off of the original packaging by using Goo-Gone.

Protecting your action figures is one of the most important tasks to maintain a valuable and sentimental collection. These simple steps will help you enjoy your collection better, make it more impressive, and keep the resale collectible value high and profitable.  Happy Collecting!

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Celebrating Action Figure Collecting