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A Beginner's Guide to Collecting Pt 2: What Lines to Choose From.


Action figures have been a staple in the world of collectibles and toys for decades, captivating the hearts of fans young and old. As the demand for intricately designed and high-quality action figures continues to grow, various manufacturers have emerged, each with its own unique approach to crafting these miniature masterpieces. In this article, we'll delve into some of the prominent action figure manufacturers, exploring their pros and cons to help collectors make informed decisions. I know that there are many, many more that are really coming into prominence, but I decided to focus mainly on what I personally have. I know that companies like Mezco, Storm Collectibles and Jada Toys are really coming on strong, but I don't really know enough about each of those companies, yet, to provide you with an opinion either way.




  1. Hasbro: The Industry Giant

Pros:

  • Wide Range of Licenses: Hasbro holds licenses for some of the most iconic franchises, including Marvel, Star Wars, and Transformers. This allows them to produce a diverse array of action figures that cater to a broad audience.

  • Affordability: Hasbro often produces budget-friendly figures, making their products accessible to a wide range of collectors.

  • Innovation: Hasbro has embraced technology in recent years, incorporating features like articulated joints, interchangeable parts, and electronic components in their figures.

Cons:

  • Mass Production: Due to the vast scale of production, some figures may lack the fine details and paint applications found in higher-end collectibles.

  • Inconsistent Quality: While Hasbro's figures are generally well-received, there can be variations in quality across different releases.




  1. NECA: Specializing in Niche Markets

Pros:

  • Detail and Realism: NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association) is renowned for its attention to detail, providing collectors with highly realistic sculpts and paint applications.

  • Focus on Cult Classics: NECA often acquires licenses for cult-favorite movies, TV shows, and video games, catering to collectors with niche interests.

  • Limited Editions: The limited nature of many NECA figures adds a sense of exclusivity, making them highly sought after by collectors.

Cons:

  • Higher Price Point: NECA figures tend to be more expensive than mass-produced alternatives, limiting their accessibility.

  • Articulation Limitations: While NECA figures excel in detail, they may not always offer the same level of articulation as figures from other manufacturers.




  1. Hot Toys: The Pinnacle of Realism

Pros:

  • Unparalleled Detail: Hot Toys is renowned for its hyper-realistic figures, often featuring lifelike facial expressions and meticulously crafted costumes.

  • Movie Accurate: Hot Toys specializes in figures based on popular movie characters, ensuring a high level of accuracy in their designs.

  • Premium Materials: The use of high-quality materials contributes to the overall durability and lifelike appearance of Hot Toys figures.

Cons:

  • Premium Price Tag: Hot Toys figures are among the most expensive in the market, making them an investment for serious collectors.

  • Limited Articulation: While the focus is on realism, some Hot Toys figures may have limited articulation compared to other brands.




  1. McFarlane Toys: The Pioneer of Detailed Sculpting

Pros:

  • Detailed Sculpting: McFarlane Toys is known for its highly detailed sculpts, capturing the essence of characters with intricate design and craftsmanship.

  • Artistic Poses: Figures often come with dynamic poses, making them stand out on display and appealing to those who appreciate expressive action figures.

  • Diverse Licenses: McFarlane Toys has secured licenses for various franchises, including popular video games, comic books, and movies.

Cons:

  • Limited Articulation: While the sculpts are impressive, some McFarlane Toys figures may have limited articulation compared to other brands, restricting poseability.

  • Paint Application Issues: In some cases, collectors have reported inconsistencies in paint applications, with quality varying between releases.




  1. Medicom Mafex: Precision and Articulation

Pros:

  • Articulation: Medicom Mafex figures are celebrated for their exceptional articulation, allowing for a wide range of dynamic poses.

  • Movie Accuracy: Similar to Hot Toys, Mafex focuses on movie-accurate representations, ensuring that characters closely resemble their on-screen counterparts.

  • Quality Accessories: Mafex figures often come with a variety of accessories, enhancing the overall value for collectors.

Cons:

  • Price: Medicom Mafex figures are typically priced higher than mass-market alternatives, which may limit their appeal to certain collectors.

  • Occasional Quality Control Issues: Some collectors have reported occasional quality control issues, such as loose joints or fragile accessories.

  • Knockoffs: Due to the higher prices of these figures, lesser quality "knockoffs" are showing up in the market more and more. Beware these fraudulent pieces. Medicom offers a method of guaranteeing you have purchased an authentic Mafex product.




  1. Bandai/Tamashii Nations SHFiguarts: Japanese Precision

Pros:

  • Japanese Precision: Bandai's SHFiguarts line is known for its attention to detail and precision in capturing the likeness of characters.

  • Anime and Manga Focus: SHFiguarts often includes figures from popular anime and manga series, catering to fans of Japanese pop culture.

  • Wide Articulation Range: Figures usually boast a wide range of articulation, allowing for expressive and dynamic poses.

Cons:

  • Availability Issues: Some SHFiguarts figures may have limited availability outside of Japan, making them harder to obtain for international collectors.

  • Learning Curve for Accessories: The numerous accessories included with SHFiguarts figures may have a learning curve, and some collectors find them intricate to use.

  • Knockoffs: Similar to Medicom, SHFiguarts are imitated by knockoff companies, producing cheap, lower quality reproductions. At this time, I do not know if SHF has created a method similar to what Medicom has done to prove authenticity.




  1. Amazing Yamaguchi/Revoltech: Artistic Freedom in Posing

Pros:

  • Revolver Joint System: Amazing Yamaguchi figures utilize the Revolver Joint System, providing an unparalleled range of articulation for creative posing.

  • Unique Aesthetics: Figures in this line often feature stylized and unique designs, appealing to collectors who appreciate a more artistic approach.

  • Innovative Accessories: Amazing Yamaguchi figures come with inventive accessories, allowing for imaginative and customized displays.

Cons:

  • Aesthetic Preferences: The stylized designs may not appeal to collectors seeking more realistic representations of characters.

  • Initial Learning Curve: The Revolver Joint System may require some getting used to, and collectors may find it challenging to achieve certain poses initially.


Choosing the right action figure manufacturer ultimately depends on individual preferences, budget, and collecting goals. Hasbro caters to a broad audience with affordability and diverse licenses, NECA specializes in niche markets and detailed sculpts, while Hot Toys offers unparalleled realism at a premium price. McFarlane Toys, Medicom Mafex, Bandai/Tamashii Nations SHFiguarts, and Amazing Yamaguchi/Revoltech each bring their own strengths to the table, catering to the preferences of collectors with varying tastes and interests. Whether it's detailed sculpts, precise articulation, or innovative posing possibilities, these manufacturers contribute to the rich tapestry of the action figure collecting community. Thanks for visiting Dan's ToyBox and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!

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