Action Figure 101: 5 Tips to Collecting Action Figures.

1. DO RESEARCH

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MOC Terminator 3 Terminatrix

Before collecting action figures, do some research on what you want to collect. Do you want to collect mint-on-card (MOC) figures, or do you want to collect loose figures? Is condition important for you? Do you want to focus on one action figure line (such as Star Wars, or G.I. Joe) or multiple lines at once? These questions and others are important to starting your collection.

2. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

Along with doing research, you should also know where you can buy action figures.  Collectors can hunt the old school way by hitting up your favorite retail stores such as Target, Toys’R’US, or Wal Mart. Local thrift stores and yard sales are also excellent for finding old action figures.

Click a photo to view the gallery.

Pros of Retail/second hand:

  • Finding things “in the wild” is the fun of the hunt.
  • Thrift store/yard sale finds are some of the best finds.
  • No shipping charges.

Cons of retail/second hand:

  • Scalpers are abundant. (Amiibos anyone?)
  • Retailers are consistently out of stock.
  • Use lots of gas going to multiple stores.

Modern day collectors also use outstanding online resources such as EBay, Amazon, Big Bad Toy Store, and Entertainment Earth, for their figure collecting. These are convenient resources for hunting down the figures you want while still chilling in your PJ’s.

Click a photo to view the gallery.

Pros of online shopping:

  • Can be done from your home or anywhere for that matter.
  • You can find figures you wouldn’t find otherwise.
  • No driving.

Cons of online shopping:

  • EBay (and other secondary markets) often have high prices.
  • You have to pay shipping and you must to wait for items to be shipped to you.

3. BE ACTIVE IN THE ONLINE COMMUNITY

There are so many online forums in which a collector can make friends and gather information. They are also an excellent buying and selling resource. The key to these forums is interaction. Replying to and posting content builds relationships within the various online communities. One the most important things I have done in my quest for collecting action figures is making genuine friends all around the world via online forums.

Examples of Online Forums:

Action Figure Archive

Action Figure Insider

HISSTANK (G.I. Joe)

Rebelscum (Star Wars)

4. BE PATIENT

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Hot Wheels “The BAT” from the Dark Knight Rises film.

Impulse buying can lead to dissatisfaction, so be patient when buying action figures. Good deals always come to those who wait. I once bought a Hot Wheels BAT online for 10 times the price, only to find it at Kmart a week or two later. On the flipside, there have been figures I’ve passed on online (mainly eBay), only to find it at the thrift store later on at a much better price.

5. ENJOY THE HUNT

Enjoying the hunt means exactly what it says. The hunt is one of my favorite aspects of collecting. Also, don’t be swayed by the pressure of others.  Collect what you want, and when you want it.

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Enjoy the hunt!

All photos taken by me

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