Action Figures When and Where to Look In the 1960s, toy makers began marketing "girls" toys to boys by calling dolls 'action figures'. Since then thousands of characters from films, television, and comic books have been made into action figures.

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques, Collectibles & Appraisals Magazine > Collectibles > Expert Tip: Action Figures

 


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ACTION FIGURE COLLECTIBLES:
When and Where to Look

 

Limited edition 18-inch ''Classic Jack'' doll with chair from ''The Nightmare Before Christmas,'' by Jun Planning of Japan
Limited edition 18-inch
"Classic Jack" doll
with chair from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," by Jun
Planning of Japan

In the 1960s, toy makers began marketing "girls" toys to boys by calling dolls 'action figures'.  Since then thousands of characters from films, television, and comic books have been made into action figures.

Dolls as action figures — for some collectors they're smart investments, but it's not always a straight shot.  For example, Star Wars figures have been some of the strongest sellers over the years.  However, an excess of new toys from the 1999 film Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace combined with intense media hype may have unreasonably raised collectors' expectations.

It's still the first editions and the earliest lines that sell the best.  Predicting the market takes keen observation and a little luck:

    Look overseas — especially Japan
    The Japanese manufacturers have done a great job of paying attention to details — not only in the production of their action figures — but in the packaging too.

    For a long time, action figures were all produced for an American market.  Now Japan is establishing it's own market based on animation characters.  Of course, the big push came from Pokemon, but we're going to see more.

    Be patient — prices may take a while to rise
    Some movies come out, and nobody's interested. They have a limited run, but miss the craziness, and that's why they sell for so little. But sometimes they make a comeback.

    The year after The Nightmare Before Christmas came out, the entire set was selling for a remainder price of $.99 per action figure. Now they're trading for $20 to $30 for one action figure and it's not even seven or eight years later.

    When Pee-Wee Herman's scandal came out, the prices shot up (remember Pee-wee's Playhouse).  If you had bought them pre-scandal, you would have made $2,000 to $3,500, on a $50 investment.


    From Amazon:

    The Nightmare Before Christmas - Special Edition

    Wrestling Action Figures Collector's Value Guide
    by CheckerBee Publishing

    Star Wars - Episode I, The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition Boxed Set)

 

 

 

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The Official Price Guide to Action Figures (2nd Ed)by Stuart Wells

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GI Joe: The Complete Story of America's Favorite Man of Action
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