There are a lot of great places to buy action figures online, but occasionally a store comes along that changes a key feature and stands out in a surprising way. This month's cool thing is one such store: ToyZoo.com. It's a new take on the online toy shop that goes beyond good design and a wide selection of figures with its one-of-a-kind rewards program.
You can earn reward points for doing almost anything on their store, including making purchases, writing reviews, sharing links on social sites, or just browsing their inventory of figures. This means it's possible to buy figures and save a ton just by being involved and active in the community. I can see it quickly becoming another consistent stop on the shopping route of devoted collectors.
So if you're looking for a second home-away-from home outside About.com Action Figures, ToyZoo might just be the place to go. You'll probably see a review or two from yours truly along the way!
Read More: Top 5 Action Figure Blogs
Photo © ToyZoo.com
New action figure collectors often have trouble building their collections as quickly as they'd like. Funds are often limited when buying figures for oneself, but the holiday season opens up new opportunities to expand your collection. This month's tip will teach you how to make the most of the season.
November's Tip: Work extra hard during the holiday season to grow your collection, because a number of things will aid the process. Give family and friends instructions on figures to buy in stores. Make it as easy as possible for them by giving specific figure names and even drawing maps of the store aisle it's in. You'll find that they're willing to help if you aid in the process. You can also rely on holiday and Black Friday sales both online and in-store to save big bucks on figures in bulk. Instead of spend $100 on five figures in July, save your $100 until the holidays and get 10 figures instead! Look for deals on second-hand sites as well, because some people will sell excess figures to acquire more funds for general holiday spending.
If you plan well, the holidays can be the best time to add loads of figures to your collection for a fraction of the typical cost. And there's no better way to spend the winter months than by opening up tons of new toys.
Marvel Comics action figures typically capture classic looks from comic pages or on movie or television screens. Rarely are figures ever created that explore new and alternate looks for the iconic characters in the Marvel universe like the Hulk, Captain America, or Iron Man.
3A Toys is changing all that with their stylish new take on Iron man and additional Marvel characters in the future. As you can see with the image on the right, 3A Toys has taken Iron Man into a whole new world of style. This character creates a mesh of medieval and futuristic armor styles that will look totally unique compared to all past Iron Man figures. And at a full 12 inches, this will be one big, high quality, and luxurious toy for all Marvel Comics collectors.
You can read more about this Invincible Iron Man figure at the 3A Toys blog, and even see a few additional pictures too. I can't wait to see Iron Man in color and in person, and I'm even more impatient for reveals of Ultron, Doctor Doom, and Spider-Man as future entries in the line. It's an exciting time to be a Marvel Comics action figure collector.
Photo © Marvel & 3A Toys
The Lego Movie will be hitting theaters in just a few months, and Lego is preparing action figure collectors for its release by revealing Series 12 of the incredibly popular Lego Minifigures line. As you can see from the photo below, this is another big wave full of wonderfully designed figures. It might just go down as one of the most unique and memorable lines in Lego Minifigures history.
All of the characters in this wave are taken straight from the movie. We might not know them all right now, but I'm sure we'll fall in love with them all as soon as we know the Lego story. Some characters are neutral enough that they could fit into any regular Lego Minifigures wave, and may be the most popular among otherwise-disinterested collectors. Keep an eye out for these figures in early 2014, and don't give up the hunt for Mr. Gold!
Photo © The LEGO Group
Mattel recently headed to the Comikaze convention, popularized by Stan Lee, and brought a few new Masters of the Universe Classics figures with them. They might not make the list for top 10 Masters of the Universe Classics figures, but both are well worth a closer look.
Up first was Flutterina, the classic butterfly-inspired beauty from She-Ra fame. She's detailed and well-designed, so she'll make a solid edition to even the most "manly" Masters of the Universe Classics collection. A New Adventures Skeletor was also at the show, which finally gives the previously released New Adventures He-Man a fair fight. Whether you like the New Adventures style or not, it was another incredibly detailed and visually compelling figure.
The most impressive reveal of all was an alternate battle-damaged head for Faker. Its metallic skin and glowing red eye add a new level of evil and maturity to the somewhat goofy character. To see all of these new figures and accessories in detail, head over to MattyCollector.com for the full story.
Photo © Mattel
It's amazing how fast time flies in the action figure world. It seems like the month just started, and yet it's already Halloween! That's exactly why I've decided to share some fun and spooky content from some of my favorite sites and favorite blogs in the toy community. Hopefully these articles won't keep you up too late!
- Eight Horror-Themed Action Figures from Otherwise Mainstream Lines
- The 10 Scariest Figures of All Time
- Attack of the Death Trooper
There are loads of new articles right here on About.com Action Figures too, but none were quite as frightening as this bunch.
Most new collectors don't realize the full potential of their display setups. You can do more than poorly pose your figures on a single shelf or separate them by major lines, especially around cool holidays like Halloween or Christmas! Take advantage of this month's tip to create ever-changing action figure displays that spruce up your home and collection.
October's Tip: You don't have to rely on specific line or manufacturer segments to display your figures. Take advantage of creative opportunities like Halloween to create new themed displays and put them in unexpected places. Why not take a scarier figure and put it behind the candy bowl for Trick or Treaters to enjoy? Take food accessories and create a Thanksgiving diorama for a set of your favorite figures. You could even put figures on your Christmas tree for a set of unique and visually compelling ornaments. The key is being creative in the space you have available to you, not just relying on standard display techniques.
Your figures might be harder to manage when they're strewn about your house, but you'll be giving new life to your collection and actively enjoying it all year long.
Kickstarter is increasingly becoming a huge part of the action figure industry, and October has yielded another great project's genesis on the site. I'd like to introduce you to Cool & Collected: The magazine for pop culture collectors, a collaborative effort from bloggers around the world to resurrect the action figure and pop culture magazine. This could give collectors a regular printed dose of the world's biggest toy lines and collectibles if successfully funded.
So far the project has raised almost $5,000 of its $6,000 goal. That means collectors are only $1,000 away from the latest and greatest printed magazine to prominently feature action figures. I've already made my pledge, and encourage everyone else to do the same! I know the creative minds behind the project, and I have the highest of expectations regarding its completion and quality. It's always good to support the little guys as well as the major manufacturers.
For just $15 you can add a great new collectible to your collection, and that's worth every penny. Swing over to Kickstarter and check out Cool & Collected: The magazine for pop culture collectors to see for yourself.
Read More: Top 5 Action Figure Blogs
Photo © Brian Adams
Another month has raced by and there are a bunch of new action figure articles right here on About.com Action Figures. I encourage you to search the site for the latest and greatest content, but I also wanted to highlight some of the month's best articles from some of my other favorite sites and favorite blogs in the action figure community.
- The 25 Worst Star Wars Bootleg Figures
- A Time Machine Made of Plastic
- Hot Toys Reveals Adam West Batman and Burt Ward Robin
I think you'll enjoy the above reads, but don't stay away for too long. There will be even more great articles and fun reads when you return.
For many collectors who open their toys, the packaging is little more than a barrier between collector and figure. But this month's tip will make sure you appreciate the packaging almost as much as the figure inside it!
September's Tip: Ever since the beginning of action figures, boxes and packaging have been thrown away by unsuspecting kids and collectors. Even for those of us who open our toys instead of keeping them in the package, there is some value in carefully opening your toys and saving the packaging if you ever decide to resell them. Figures with their packaging and inserts in good condition can sell for considerably more, even though they've been opened and played with. They won't be as valuable as figures which are new in box, but they are certainly worth more than loose figures with no packaging. So keep your boxes, cardbacks, and inserts to insure that your collection remains complete and valuable.