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Action Figure Collecting - Where Do I Begin?

Jul 18, 2008
Collecting action figures is a hobby that is definitely on the comeback for those of us that get all nostalgic when thinking back on those days as kids in the backyard with our action figure toys. How does one go about collecting and growing the collection? Well, let's talk about it.

The first thing a person has to do is decide which action figure line that he wants to collect. There are many on the rise in the market today and the waves continue to roll through rapidly. My advice to you is to choose one line and set your focus, then go for it.

The cool thing about the action figure market and collecting hobby these days is the rapid appreciation in value of the new lines of figures that are rolling out. It is amazing how the first wave of toys are doubling, tripling, quadrupling and even more in value as a year or so passes by.

I have seen a single action figure go from about seven dollars in value to about thirty dollars in value in just a year and a half. This is unheard of in any line of collectibles especially when it comes to toys. You will seldom find anything that appreciates that rapidly. When you do, my advice is to latch on fast and grow your collection.

Run comparisons. Go to popular auction websites and gauge how action figures are selling. Check out the amount of bids on them. Auctions can tell you so much about what is going on in a collectibles field very quickly if you pay attention to the details.

Another great source for rating and gauging how a collectible line of action figures is appreciating is by following a few blogs. This is my favorite way to keep up with my chosen line of collectibles. With this method, you get to see a real collector or subject matter expert dive into the material and report to you what he/she is discovering in the nitch you enjoy. It is also common to see a variety of comments from blog followers.

Display your collection proudly. I am so proud of my collectible toys that I have a nice little shelf devoted entirely to their display in my computer room. The world does not see them, but I do and so do my guests that I choose to invite into my little corner of the world. I keep them neatly lined up so I can view them when I get the urge. I am constantly rearranging them and rotating them about.

Another idea for your action figure collection is to catalog them with a digital snap shot. I do this from a variety of angles and name the photo accordingly. This is ideal for me so that I can display them on my website should I choose to do so. This is also great for creating a nice historical file as the photos will be dated so that you will have a quick reference on when the action figure was purchased should you take your snap shot the same day.

I follow the appreciation on all of my action figures and I have designed a spreadsheet to follow this information. Now, you do not have to get as technical as I have and throw together a spreadsheet. It is just as handy to use a legal pad or a notebook. This little chore will stir quite the excitement when you can view how much your figures have gone up in value and how they are pursued more and more by other collectors.

Stay tuned in to the entertainment industry. Watch for upcoming movies or television shows involving your chosen action figure line. If a movie is in the works, I suggest your stock up fast. Buy a few extras for sellable and tradable material. Once that movie hits the big screen, your collectibles line is going to go crazy. I can promise you that.

Another great piece of advice for you that I wish I had always followed is to purchase two of every figure. The reason is simple. You will absolutely want to open one for your display. The other should be stored away safely in the packaging so you will always have that one figure in mint condition. Trust me; this will be vital for the future value of your figures. There are collectors out there that would pay a pretty penny for some mint condition action figures.

Heed my words closely because they will pay off in not only monetary value, but in your personal enjoyment of your new collection.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett has been collecting GI Joe action figures since their first inception. He hosts an informative blog at GI Joe Action Figure Blog that brings you everything GI Joe related including, action figure reviews, news, tips and a variety of other good stuff. Stop By! Stay tuned for the coming GI Joe action figure store!
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