Spring is finally in the air, and that can only mean one thing: it's time for spring cleaning! Action figures might be fun, but that doesn't mean they're devoid of responsibility. Like all nice things, any figures that have been opened deserve regular care and cleaning. Especially in the Springtime!
March's Tip: Clean your figures this spring. It doesn't take much. Take down every figure on display and give them a good inspection. You'll need to dust their shelves, dust their heads, and make sure everything is still in proper shape. If you notice any fading or sun damage, move those figures to a dark room! If you see caked on dust, take a soft-bristled toothbrush to them for a little extra scrubbing. You can even use some gentle dishsoap to clean off any grime they've accrued through the years. It feels so good to know the warm air is outside and clean figures are inside!
Cleaning figures isn't just about caring for them, it's also a lot of fun. You can take the opportunity to pose them in exciting ways or finally get yourself an organized collection. Make this Spring a big one for your toys and you won't have to buy new figures for a long time (unless you want to).
The new Lego Minifigures series based on the famous cartoon family The Simpsons has been teased for months, but today collectors got their first full look at the 16-figure lineup. It includes the full family and more than a few of the most familiar faces from all around the fictional town of Springfield. This is a new trend for the Lego Minifigures line, and will add some cool depth to one of the action figure industry's best lines.
The lineup includes the following key characters: Itchy, Scratchy, Krusty the Clown, Nelson, Milhouse, Lisa, Marge, Homer, Apu, Bart, Chief Wiggum, Mr. Burns, Ralph Wiggum, Maggie, Grandpa Simpson, and Ned Flanders. Due to the ensemble nature of The Simpsons, many people's favorite character is probably missing, but I can't think of anyone that should be replaced with someone more popular.
These individually packaged Minifigures will be available in stores across the country very soon. While they might not attract the diehard Lego collectors of the world, they'll bring in an entirely new audience of their own. This is the most unique Minifigures set yet, and opens the door for future licensed lineups too! Superhero, Hobbit, or even Castle or City series of Minifigures might be coming next. This will definitely go down in the history of the Lego minifigure as a significant moment.
Read More: Guide to Lego Minifigures
Photo © The LEGO Group
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set to be the biggest movie of Spring. It's the next release in an incredible line of Marvel movies, and Black Widow is returning to the film series once more. Hot Toys is capturing that return to the screen in a way only they can: with another absolutely jaw-dropping action figure.
This unbelievable figure is set to include a "newly developed head sculpt with straight brownish-red real fabric hair, newly designed tight-fitting costume made with multiple materials, and detailed weapons and accessories." That's a very technical way of saying "this figure is perfect." This version of Black Widow looks like the best that's ever been produced, and hopefully it's a sign of great things to come with the movie.
This figure will be up for pre-order from Hot Toys in the near future, and she's likely only the first of many upcoming Captain America figures from the legendary manufacturer. It's a very exciting time to be an action figure collector and fan of Captain America.
Read More: 6 Action Figure Companies You Need to Know
Photo © Hot Toys
Modern action figures are all about the articulation. There are dozens of joints in most figures these days, but collectors rarely take full advantage of them when putting figures on display. All too often I see static figures standing straight up, with little regard for realistic body language or life-like stances. That's why this month's tip is a big one!
February's Tip: Learn to pose your figures! It's not just about standing them straight up in a line. You can place figures into deep action poses, pit them against one another in choreographed fights, or even have them interact with your environment. I have a figure who holds the stapler on my desk, and it gets more comments than any other of the hundreds I have on display! Give your figures a bit of personality with simple tricks like putting their hands on their hips or pulling back a cape. Make accessories pop by putting them in dynamic poses, not just hanging to the side. Notice all the little details, and I promise your displays will look better than ever.
It's not just a good tip, but it's a lot of fun too! Posing well is the first step to an organized collection that drops jaws and leaves onlookers impressed.
There were tons of incredible new figures revealed at Toy Fair this week, but Hasbro managed to reveal the most exciting of them all. Their 6" Black Series line impressed collectors throughout 2013, and now it's set to get even better this year. Hasbro revealed an unbelievable lineup of figures, each and every one of which looked perfectly sculpted, superbly painted, and well-articulated.
The first wave set to come out in 2014 includes a prequel Obi Wan Kenobi, a Bespin Luke Skywalker, and a classic Stormtrooper. Wave 2 includes newly-revealed figures Chewbacca, a Clonetrooper, and Anakin Skywalker. Wave 3 includes some powerhouse characters like a wonderful Darth Vader figure alongside an Episode VI Luke, not to mention a variant Sandtrooper. The best news of all are two deluxe figures, the Scout Trooper with Speeder Bike and Jabba the Hutt.
This line is one of the most popular in the world of toys right now, and I can't wait to see it grow in 2014. There hasn't been a disappointing figure yet, and I can't see one anytime in the near future either. It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan and action figure collector.
Photo © Hasbro
Every year the action figure industry heats up in the middle of February thanks to New York Toy Fair. Major manufacturers and smaller companies both gathers to reveal their latest and greatest figures to members of the action figure and toy media and industry members. It's quite simply the biggest event of the year for action figure collectors following at home, and it's undoubtedly the month's coolest thing.
I'll be providing you coverage, articles, and photos of the biggest new action figure reveals, including coverage the largest manufacturers and the biggest lines in the world right now. These include Masters of the Universe Classics, Star Wars The Black Series, Transformers, Funko's new Legacy Collection, NECA's movie and gaming figures, and lots more.
February is my absolute favorite time to be a collector, and I hope I can help make it one of yours too!
Read More: Top 5 Figures at Toy Fair 2012
Photo © Toy Industry Association, Inc.
Funko has been relatively quiet about their Legacy Collection line of collector-focused 6-inch figures. But earlier today photos of their Game of Thrones sub-line were released, and they look fantastic. Fans of the show or any action figure collector with an eye for quality will love this line. It's almost certain to become a classic action figure line if it lasts any time at all.
Check out the photos of Series 1 below (click for full size), which is set to include Ned Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, a White Walker, The Hound, Jon Snow, and Tyrion Lannister.
Spring is still a few months away, but this month's tip is all about cleaning anyway! Your figures are probably dustier than you realize, so don't ignore this one.
January's Tip: Dust your figures! If you're like most collectors, you have layers upon layers of figures in displays, but rarely ever dust them. Every few months you should take down each and every figure, dust the ground beneath their feet, and clean each one individually. Standard dusting tools will do the trick, just be sure to work the feathers into all the joints and sculpted details of your figures to do it well.
It's not rocket science this time around, but it's certainly important to preserve the paint and attractiveness of your collection.
DC Collectibles has constantly been improving as a collectibles manufacturer. Figures are bigger, more articulated, and higher quality than they've ever been. But none are bigger than their newly-revealed Arkham City Clayface. This is the biggest figure they've ever produced.
This gigantic monster of plastic stands more than 13 inches tall, dwarfing the standard Arkham City figure (which wasn't even small in its own right). Figures simply don't get any grander or more eye-catching than this one, and any collector who is lucky enough to give it a home in a collection will be lucky indeed.
You'll be able to grab Clayface in comic shops or online later this year in July. You can also watch how he was made thanks to a compelling video series from the manufacturer.
Read More: Top 10 DC Universe Classics Figures
Photo © DC Collectibles
The year 2013 was an incredible one for action figures, and featured lots of growth here on About.com Action Figures both in visitation and in the total number of articles available. To honor the continued move forward, I've selected the top 10 articles of last year.
You'll definitely find something instructional or entertaining in each of the selections below.
- Top 10 DC Universe Classics Figures
- 6 Tips for Managing Your Action Figure Collection
- Top 10 Action Figure Websites
- A History of the Lego Minifigure
- Top 5 Video Game Action Figure Lines and Manufacturers
- 6 Tips for Buying Action Figures Online
- Top 10 Lego Minifigures
- Top 5 Classic Action Figure Throwback Lines
- 7 Tips for Buying Action Figures in Stores
- Top 5 Action Figure Forums
That's some awfully good reading, if I do say so myself! But 2014 already has a month in the books and there'll be even more great reading material added right here before the year is out.