There's something wonderful about big action figures. We're so accustomed to a typically small toy that the big ones elicit an even greater joy. That's why this month's cool thing is so fantastic for collectors: it makes toys very big.
Check out Epic Paintings of Star Wars Action Figures on Kickstarter, where you can support a project that aims to make 14-foot tall Star Wars action figure paintings a giant reality. There are great pledge rewards that will fit right into any vintage toy room alongside all the beautiful figures, and the ability to support action figures as art is rewarding enough on its own.
There are almost 2 weeks to pledge, and the project has already hit its goal. So your support means additional goodies will be on the way, and you're guaranteed to receive your pledge reward at this point. This is one of the niftiest things to hit Kickstarter and the action figure industry in a very long time.
If you're not practiced at assessing action figures, it can be difficult to understand what's good and what's bad in the toy aisles. This month's tip will ensure you're only buying good figures and adding wonderful pieces to your collection.
May's Tip: Be sure to browse reviews and videos of figures before deciding to purchase them. A lot can be ascertained from a few minutes reading about or watching a figure in action, and may save you money and headaches in the long run. No one wants a bad toy in their collection, and being well informed can help you avoid it.
You can always read reviews and spotlights here on About.com Action Figures, including classics like my take on Lion-O, He-Man, or even Optimus Prime. You can also read my list of Top 5 Action Figure Blogs for other collectors' take on figures they buy. Read all these reviews, and you'll be an expert action figure buyer in no time.
1. Are there any future plans for MotUC to tie in with the new ongoing comic series (i.e., more figure-based covers, character designs, etc.)?
Not until at least 2016. With rising costs we want to try and finish the vintage line and A list animation/mini comic figures first. (assuming we get enough sub holders to have a 2014 and 2015 line). After that we can look into things like this.
2. To ToyGuru: You mentioned an upcoming appearance on Toy Hunter, can you tell us a little about the experience?
"It was very cool. For me the best part was getting to show off a lot of my person stuff since it never gets seen. Jordan is an awesome guy and we've become friends over the years through cons. I can't wait to see the episode tonight!"
3. You previously mentioned Watchmen won't be getting a second year of subscriptions. Does that mean Mattel is effectively finished with the license for the foreseeable future?
It just means we don't have plans for additional 6" figures right now. You never know what the future will bring.
Those are some really interesting insights on the future of Masters of the Universe Classics and Watchman, and it's always a pleasure to hear about Toy Hunter. Come back soon for more answers when we "Ask Matty"!
Photo © Mattel
It's always nice to get insights into a company's inner workings and future plans. Mattel regularly offers that opportunity to fans as a part of the "Ask Matty" program, and I've decided to take part here on About.com Action Figures. Here are the answers for this edition, straight from representatives at Mattel.
1. Will any new Filmation subscription characters be making an appearance at SDCC this summer?
2. The $4 shipping coupon offered with May sales is a nice gesture. Is there any chance this could become a regular feature for subcribers purchasing non-subscription items?
Definitely not. We simply can't afford it!
3. Any word on the success of the Watchmen line and the chances of getting additional characters (i.e., the Minutemen, Bubastis, etc.)?
The Watchmen line is doing good but will not have a second year at this time.
I'm sad to see that Watchmen isn't performing well enough to continue, and it's a shame that future breaks on shipping costs for MattyCollector.com items aren't on the table. But the Filmation line continues to move forward, and that's always a good thing. Come back in a couple weeks for more answers when we "Ask Matty"!
Photo © Mattel
Mattel's San Diego Comic Con exclusives are often the hottest and most popular action figures at the annual event for action figure collectors everywhere, and the hubbub is just now starting as Mattel begins to reveal their exclusives for the 2013 convention.
Their first big piece of news is that Rokkon and Stonedar will join forces in an SDCC exclusive two-pack in the Masters of the Universe Classics (MotUC) line. You can read the announcement and see more photos here. I'm a huge fan of the vintage figures of the same name, and think these updated versions will spice up a line that's gotten a bit boring as of late.
If you're going to San Diego Comic Con, then you'll be able to pre-order a voucher for these two Comet Warriors in June. If you're not attending the convention, there will be some available for sale later in August. I think these may be the most popular SDCC Exclusives in the MotUC line yet.
Photo © Mattel
Children have always dreamed of creating their own Transformers characters to fight in the eternal struggle between Autobots and Decepticons. Thanks to a new promotion celebrating the brand's 30th anniversary, Hasbro is finally helping to make that happen.
You can now check out the Transformers Fan Built Bot Poll and help shape the latest Transformers character to your specifications. It might not end up exactly how you want it, nor will it likely be one of the top Transformers characters in a few years, but it's still a lot of fun to participate. I know I've been voting everyday.
I voted for a grumpy blue and silver Autobot Tank with a mace, and I'd love to hear how your Transformer turned out too! Just be sure to get yours votes in before May 5th when the event ends.
Photo © Hasbro
If you're exploring action figure collecting for its speculative and investment opportunities, then there's one thing you'll need to understand more than anything else. This month's tip will make sure you have all the knowledge you need.
April's Tip: Familiarize yourself with grading and valuing action figures based on the industry standards. It's important to understand how packaging and figure quality affect price and demand in the market. You can consult professional grading services like the Action Figure Authority, read outside grading and valuing guides, or learn how to value an action figure right here. It's important to understand and commit to the industry standards for grading and valuation to make sure that you can communicate with other collectors and be fair when buying and selling.
If you're looking for more advice on the monetary side of action figure collecting, be sure to check out my 10 Tips for Selling Your Action Figures on eBay, 7 Tips for Trading Action Figures, and my 6 Tips for Buying Action Figures Online. You'll be buying and selling with the best of them in no time.
The Lego Minifigures line has been one of the best action figure lines of the past few years, and it just keeps getting better. Lego recently revealed the 17 new figures which make up Series 10, and they couldn't be much cooler.
Lego Minifigures Series 10 is set to include the 17 following memorable mini characters: Motorcycle Mechanic, Trendsetter, Sad Clown, Baseball Fielder, Sea Captain, Warrior Woman, Decorator, Librarian, Revolutionary Soldier, Bumblebee Girl, Skydiver, Medusa, Roman Commander, Paintball Player, Tomahawk Warrior, Grandpa, and a super secret rare Gold Minifigure that will be severely short-packed with the rest of the series. I'm curious to see which of these new toys will make my list of top Lego Minifigures.
These figure will begin hitting stores in May of this year, so you'll need to keep your eyes out, then buy as many as you can for a chance at the rare golden minifigure along with the other great releases the line has to offer. You can find more details and see pictures from the latest wave on the official Lego Minifigures site.
Read More: A History of the Lego Minifigure
Photo © The LEGO Group
March is always a bit slow when it comes to the action figure industry. February is a rush of new information and exciting reveals thanks to Toy Fair, leaving March a little empty in comparison. But March wasn't empty here at About.com Action Figures!
In fact, we had a plethora of new content for both new and veteran collectors. If you're a newer collector, take a minute to read the following beginner articles: 6 Tips for Following the Action Figure Industry, 7 Tips for Trading Action Figures, and 6 Tips for Managing Your Action Figure Collection. For you veteran collectors, I'll let you explore the site to find some of the latest articles on your own.
But be sure to come back in April as convention season starts to heat up and summer figures begin hitting shelves, because things are only going to get better from here.
Collecting action figures might not seem particularly dynamic to some collectors, but it's an ever-changing and evolving hobby that requires a lot of attention and devotion. And that's exactly what this month's tip addresses.
March's Tip: Be an educated and up-to-date collector. It's easy to get disconnected from the action figure industry at large, but staying knowledgeable about all the newest lines and latest industry trends will help you make the most out of your own collection and appreciate the hobby as a whole even more. Even if you collect vintage lines and nothing else, you'd be surprised how many new developments and how much new information is out there for consumption.
If you're looking for more advice on staying up-to-date in the industry, check out my 6 Tips for Following the Action Figure Industry, then be sure to read up on my Top 5 Action Figure Blogs and Top 10 Action Figure websites.