Let’s break down the value of your action figures.
As a collector, one of the most common questions I get asked is… are action figures a good investment?
This seems like such a strange question to me. Honestly, I collect because I like setting them up on my shelf and posing them into dramatic scenes. Only with my figures can I have Boba Fett get into a shootout with Spike from Cowboy Bebop. This is an awesome scenario and I highly suggest you recreate it. It will bring you so much joy.
I get it, some people are looking at these crisp little boxes a little differently than me. While I view boxes as a prison for the figure I am going to rip apart (I know I am killing some of you right now), some of you are looking at them like piggy banks.
So are action figures a good investment? Well I’m going to frustrate you. The answer to this great mystery is… Sometimes.
I would not advise you go out and start snatching up every figure in a box and stuffing them in your basement while cackling like an evil genius about to become rich. That would be pretty cool though, and if you want to do that, please send me pictures.
Really. I want to see them.
But back to the point, I can’t predict what action figures are going to turn into the lofty holy grail of collectibles. I’m about as accurate as a magic eight ball from a second hand store. What I do know is that some of those rare, treasured bits of plastic do become holy grails eventually.
When I say “holy grail of collectibles,” I am talking about the Kenner Star Wars 3 Pack Hero Set from Series 2. This baby will net you a cool $10,000 easy, and has been known to sell for more than $15,000. Same could be said for Hasbro’s Jurassic Park Chaos Effect Pachycephalosaurus and Ajay, which has sold for more than $12,000 in an auction on ebay. Don’t even get me started on the 1977 Kenner Vinyl Cape Jawa which recently has been selling for $10,000 plus at auction. The only reason this sucker is worth anything is because they changed him to a cloth cloak the next year in hopes people wouldn’t notice how much smaller he was than Ben Kenobi for the same price (good try Kenner, we noticed).
These are the investment toys people hope to find. This is what people are asking about when they keep bothering me going “Chelsea, are action figures a good investment?” These holy grails are the things that inspire them to pester me with that hopeful look in their eye. I want so desperately to look at them in their cute little faces and tell them “yes, spend all your money on toys and in thirty years bask in your riches.” But it just doesn’t work that way. The figures that become the rarest often were no different than other figures when they were released. That, or by some fluke, they were only released in a different country and thus became hard to get your hungry little hands on.
I can’t whisper to you the secrets to getting rich off action figures. I wish I could. Then I would get rich off of getting you rich and everyone would be happy. What I can tell you is, collect what you love. If you want to make it an investment, do. Keep them happily tucked away in their boxes and contemplate your future riches. Please pretend to be a dragon or laugh maniacally over your horde, it’s important. There is no guarantee which of your precious stockpile will net you thousands of dollars at some unspoken point in the future.
What I recommend is enjoying your collection. Do what makes you happy. Display them, or don’t, open them, or don’t. The point of a collection is that it brings you joy and satisfaction. If it one day makes you rich, hey that’s an added bonus.