A Call to Action (Figures): Open Your Toys
Here’s some advice, and it’s free so you ought to take it: open your toys/action figures. I’ve talked about this in the past, and I’m going to go more in-depth on this divisive issue, splitting the action figure collecting community into the warring camps of people who keep figures in the package and people who have fun.
It’s true, some action figures do go up in value, and that all figures are worth more financially if they’re in the package. Mental Floss has this great article, “11 Toys Worth More Than My Car” showing us just how much a figure can be worth. It’s funny and well written, but the author’s car is only worth $2000, and of the five action figures on that list, only one tops $20,000, and two of those don’t crack $10,000. I’m not one to scoff at that much money (in fact, I’m more likely to swoon if someone uses a number that big), but these are some of the most valuable action figures in the world and other than the original G.I. Joe, which is worth a staggering $200,000 in package none of these figures alone could cover the student loans of the average college graduate.
The amount of figures that skyrocket in price is just too small. Most action figures go down in price, not up. There is an outside chance that my Wonderman and Valkyrie from Marvel Infinite will increase in value, but more likely they’ll go the way of Toy Biz’s Marvel figures of the 90s, which as I noted in my article about used toys a few weeks ago are incredibly cheap in package now.
But let’s pretend for a minute that as the result of some apocalyptic event Wonderman and Valkyrie (the only way this could happen) are worth $400 million dollars. I have no guarantee that I can get the money until I find and negotiate with a buyer, who will have the leverage. I could auction them off on eBay, but I’m running the risk of them going for well below their appraised value, and once the auction starts it can’t be stopped.
The other argument I’ve read for keeping action figures in packages is that they are more aesthetically pleasing in the package. I certainly don’t agree. I think there’re some great looking cards, and some amazing artwork on some boxes, but I hate the idea of a having sit in its original pose forever. I can accept aesthetic preferences as an explanation, and if that’s your bag, go on your merry way.
But those of you who’re hoping to get rich, switch to the lotto. It’s a more apt comparison than stocks, because there’re no such thing as blue chip action figures and I would argue that the figures that are worth the most are many times worth so much arbitrarily. If you happen to stumble upon a factory defect, I can see where you’re coming from, but for the average figure I can’t in good conscience tell you to keep it in the box.
And think of the immeasurable benefits that opening your figures offer. You can play with an unopened box, but I doubt anyone could find it more pleasurable than playing with the figure itself. I don’t know how anyone else values their things, but I judge products—books, movies, action figures, etc.—by the hours of enjoyment they give me, and in that way my opened action figures are more valuable than any money. And yours can be too with the soft rip of plastic from blister cards.
A Call to Action (Figures) is a weekly column published on Wednesdays, chronicling my rants and raves about all things action figure. Next week I’ll be talking about the most anticipated toys coming out with Avengers: Age of Ultron.