According to passionate collectors, displaying your treasure is one of the best things about being an action figure collector, and also one of the most difficult.
Action figures, the boys’ answer to girls’ dolls, are a popular item to collect. Those in the know say that a typical collector is a male between the ages of 20 to 50 years, someone who harbours a nostalgic fondness for toys and has an eye for good quality and detail.
You do not recognise yourself in the above description, but feel the call of action figures? Forge boldly ahead. There’s nothing that says that you won’t make it as a collector if you happen to be female, under 20, or over 50.
What you do need to do is define your goals from the word “go”, and be scrupulously realistic.
It’s no use collecting everything that’s available in the market. It is better to stick to a theme. If you enjoy science fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars or Masters of the Universe action figures are probably for you. If you fight with your kid over who gets to be the first to read the latest Marvel or DC comic book, action figures in the like of Spiderman, Superman, X-Man are for you. Sports lovers will probably enjoy the WWE line up. Female action figures like Serenity, Invisible Woman, Wonder Woman, etc. are also popular, and not only among the lady-collectors, as are Japanese action figures like Anime.
Remember that your collection will rarely look good if the figures are mutually incongruous. They should be of the same (or similar) size and scale.
Decide what you can afford to pay for your hobby. Luckily for you, your hobby comes relatively cheap, though some older and limited edition action figures can be pricey. For example, sellers on bidorbuy have been known to ask R30,000 for limited edition Spiderman. However, most of the action figures featured on the site are valued between R50 and R250.
Take into consideration the space you command for displaying your figures. You need not, and should not, display all the figures at the same time. It is better to rotate them to keep the display fresh and interesting. However, the whole exercise can lose its point if 90 percent of your collection is always consigned to a box, instead of attracting admiring gazes.
According to passionate collectors, displaying your treasure is one of the best things about being an action figure collector – and also one of the most difficult.
First of all, you will want to free yourself from constant dusting. Such a lofty aim justifies the expense of acquiring closed glass armoire or shelves. If you find that displaying your figures on a flat surface presents problems (because the poor guys and gals in the back don't get a whole lot of opportunities to be shown off), it’s a good idea to create three or so steps, preferably with clear, stackable boxes in various size.
If you are as serious about displaying as you are about collecting (and you should be), you could also fit light bulbs above the shelves, to illuminate your collecting in the most flattering way.
All that remains is for you to smile modestly when your guests start gasping in admiration over your collection.