The Valley of Collecting Disappointment
September 11, 2015
diss_valley
Hi there. I’m Jeff. Remember me?
It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these here blogs. Like nine months or so. There’s been a lot of reasons for my absence. Much of the first half of 2015 was spent in preparing to move, buying a house and actually moving. But, really, that’s not the reason. Not really.
When it comes right down to it, I just haven’t had anything to say about action figures. I’m at a personal low point in the hobby. I still love action figures, and love my collection…but, there just isn’t much going on in the action figure world that excites me these days. Both Toy Fair and Comic Con were very disappointing for me. As long time readers can attest, I am primarily a 3-3/4″ figure collector. If I had my way, all action figures would be in that scale (and I would be very, very broke). 2015 has not been a banner year for my favorite scale.
A couple years ago it seemed everything was 3-3/4″. But, if I’m being honest with myself, a lot of it peg warmed. I don’t think the scale was the only reason, but it certainly was a contributing factor. Some lines had poor execution. Some were attached to licenses that tanked. Some tried to appeal to both 6″ and 3-3/4″ collectors which only serves to divide the audience.
So, right now there just isn’t much out there. Oh, there’s this little thing called Star Wars still chugging along. But, it’s pretty much Episode 7 product out there (if it can even be found)…and I’m trying to wait until I see the movie before diving into the action figures. I’m still a little gunshy from the Prequels. I did pick up a First Order Stormtrooper on Force Friday…just so I got something on what amounted to a Star Wars fan holiday.
ReAction, by Funko, has been my major source of 3-3/4″ figures in 2015…but, lately stores are trying to clear out old stock and the line is undergoing a bit of a re-evaluation from the company according to one of the designers on their forums…so releases have slowed considerably.
There’s Marvel Universe Infinity…or whatever it’s being called these days. But, waves are released so infrequently it makes it tough to stay excited about the line. But, I have to say, this line was the bright spot of Comic Con for me. There’s quite a few figures on the way that I’m really looking forward to….members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy (i.e. the ones I grew up with!), Machine Man, and some 90s versions of characters like Daredevil and Thor. So, there’s that.
Bif Bang Pow! did me good in releasing their retro Flash Gordon range. Oh, how I love these figures. If you saw the 1980 Flash Gordon masterpiece in theaters like I did, and wanted to walk into the toy store nearest the theater and pick up action figures…but couldn’t because there weren’t any!…BBP has provided you with a time machine so you can get the Flash Gordon figures you’ve wished for for the past three decades.  Between the Flash Gordon line and the ReAction Original Series Star Trek figures…my collectors heart was made very happy. Open a new tab, go to Entertainment Earth and order yours right now! Don’t wait another second!
But, now…looking forward….the prospects are a bit more bleak. I’m waiting to hear what survives the ReAction reorganization. Oh, how I hope the Dark Crystal line still happens. If there is any justice in the Universe this line will see the light of day. BBP has KISS coming later in the year, and I’ve going these pre-ordered already at Entertainment Earth. Who knows when the next Marvel Universe will hit stores? And, let’s face it, the next several months (years?) the pegs will be dominated by Star Wars.
But, really, it’s not so bad. A dry spell like this is easier on the wallet, and allows me the opportunity to spend more money on tabletop games (my other hobby about which I am passionate). So, perhaps I’ll throw more blog attention towards the gaming side of things. I’ve been pretty immersed in the new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar these past few months, and some friends and I have started a Dungeons & Dragons campaign…
There might just be some life in this blog yet!

 

Jeff Cope

Jeff Cope has been collecting toys and action figures since he was a wee lad growing up in the 70s, and is still waiting to grow out of it. He’s been involved in the online collecting community since he first started writing for Raving Toy Maniac in the mid-90s, and is proud to call AFi his online home.

Read other articles by Jeff Cope.

 

 

 

8 Comments »

  • Toythinker says:

    I hear ya’ about hitting a low point. I think this happens to a ton of mature collectors. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or enjoy the hobby any less – it’s just that lull that’s unconscionably needed from time to time. Like recharging batteries – but with no time line.

    Enjoy the new home and the down time…well deserved…

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Jeff-
    Glad to see you back. I’ve reached that point where I have almost everything I want in terms of action figures. Its character by character – in roughly 6 inch format – at this point, and only then if I can get it for a price I am willing to pay. 25$ feels a bit steep.

    As far as the gaming, bring it on. I’ve been mostly blogging about gaming for a while now.
    -Erik.

  • Cephus says:

    I pretty much gave up collecting the majority of action figures because, as the price has gone up, the overall quality has gone down. You are paying more and getting less and I refuse to do that. They need to earn my dollars and they have completely failed to do so. I’d be interested in getting the ReActions, but they are so horribly done, the paint looks like it was applied by a 3-year old, I dug through the entire display at B&N one day and couldn’t find a single figure that I’d actually want in my collection. The same goes for Star Wars (I only care about the original movies and have every figure from them a dozen times over), Marvel (just how many Wolverine figures can you possibly have?) and pretty much everything else I’ve collected. It’s all the same stuff that they’ve put out for years, why should I care?

    The only thing I still get are the Funko Pops, which are well done and don’t cost you an arm and a leg for what you get. I don’t need anything, I have to want it, and at the moment, nothing but Funko is making me want their figures.

  • JRT! says:

    Well said Cephus! And I totally agree. I have a set limit as to what I would spend on an action figure,depending on size of course,as I do like some of the big stuff from Jakks,lol,and these days my limit is just not doing it for me. I really can’t get myself to buy certain figures for certain prices,and therefore I kinda stopped buying. I get the occasional one,and I still collect other things,but the price and quality just don’t match up anymore. Guess I should go the high end collectibles route,lol.

    J-R!

  • Madrilla says:

    Totally Agree! I also hit a low point a couple years ago and have just been watching patiently for some better detail to come out on the Marvel line. I think Pop! probably has nailed down a lot of the trends going on and those have certainly received my attention moreso. I know the level of detail is pretty basic with Pop! but the characters they come out with is pretty good. I haven’t given up, just waiting.

  • Jay says:

    “…the line is undergoing a bit of a re-evaluation from the company according to one of the designers on their forums…” so what was the verdict? Or at least–what did the designer say?

  • demoncat_4 says:

    i agree with what you said about hitting your dry spell collecting jeff for after all i am in the same boat with you with marvel infinity been too long since they release new waves. the gaming idea sounds interesting look forward reading your views if you go with it .

  • jcseiji says:

    Wow, great topic. Been at it since the early 90s. Eclectic. A variety of figures that caught my eye and was affordable, especially at KBs, and do I miss KBs!! But now where is everyone? Where is that excitement in the aisle? It is hard to be excited when scalpers and store employees are cleaning off the pegs and all you can find are some Turtles and True Heroes toy soldiers on the pegs. Of course there is Lego but then not into any of them except Bionicle. So it is like why bother??? Besides $25 will buy me a very nice hunk of beef and that is something that I can really enjoy!

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