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 Post subject: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 5:45 pm 
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There are thousands of materials which are considered plastics, and not all of them are created equal. And we all know that over time most companies (the companies that have merchandise in the big box stores at least) tend to make their products shoddier and shoddier as they look for ways to cut costs.

So are we as toy consumers are being cheated somehow with an inferior quality of plastic being used?

I just remember the action figures I got as a kid, which seemed much more solid and durable than the ones I collect now. The toys these days just seem so bendable. I mainly noticed this with some transformers I was recently looking at (through the packaging) they looked like someone could easily bend parts that aren't supposed to bend. When I think back to the transformers I played with as a kid, none of them were like that.

I also don't remember that toxic smell which comes with new action figures these days. Maybe I'm just not remembering this horrible odor from back then?

Shouldn't toy collecting guides on the internet include information about the types of plastic used for specific lines, as this is an important determinate in how much the figures are worth and how long they can be expected to last without incurring damage? I remember reading somewhere, I think it was here, that modern action figures feet will start to bend over the years from just standing on a shelf?


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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:16 am 
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You have to remember these are not collectibles in the true sense (i.e. long lasting), these are formost toys and us the collector have turned some of the toys into collectibles - these are meant to be played with and broke, so the toy manufacturer can then sell the same toy down the road again.

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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:53 pm 
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The types of plastics used are often a result of toy safety regulations. The softer plastics being used today are more to keep the toy from breaking or to create a break without sharp edges not so much that companies are using "inferior" plastic. Actually, from what I recall, what you refer to as "inferior" is actually more expensive to use.


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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:23 am 
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JamesTheRogue wrote:
I mainly noticed this with some transformers I was recently looking at (through the packaging) they looked like someone could easily bend parts that aren't supposed to bend. When I think back to the transformers I played with as a kid, none of them were like that.


Modern Transformers are probably sturdier today than their G1 counterparts. The plastic is usually hard and anything that is soft is usually for safety reasons as Jim says. I can think of the smoke stacks on Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class Prime as a good example of that. Also, the new, more poseable designs inform their constuction. A lot of the parts are designed to pop off now (and pop back on) as opposed to breaking like in the past. That's a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Regardless if there's been a decline or not (I still think there has) it would be interesting to have the information of what specific (not just the little number on the packaging, but detailed info) plastic was used for each line, if the plastic was "cut" with any additives to make it softer, etc. Plastic composition and quality in action figures might make a good blog post at the very least.

I was reading in a Lee's guide to international G.I. Joe figures, that the earliest line of G.I. Joes released in China had very high quality plastic compared to the US Joes and that this is part of the reason they were so sought after.


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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 5:03 pm 
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JamesTheRogue wrote:
if the plastic was "cut" with any additives to make it softer, etc.


Plastic with any flexibility at all has been "cut" with additives (plasticizer) or else the resin wouldn't "give" it would just break.


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 Post subject: Re: Declining quality of plastics in action figures?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:00 pm 
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What about plastic being cut with additives for the sole purpose of making the products cheaper to manufacture?

You seem to know a lot about this Jim, maybe you can tackle the blog post on this subject.


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