Action figures are a big part of childhood for most kids. Whether you grew up on Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, or Power Rangers, the toys associated with these characters always brought a smile to your face. Once you become an adult, those figures and memories seem so distant. Fortunately, novelty collectibles and bobbleheads can recapture the magic in a way more suitable for your grownup tastes.
Consider novelty collectibles as action figures for adults. You won’t find any of these “toys” at Toys “R” Us or Target. In fact, the term “toy” is used loosely in this instance because these figures should be classified as works of art in many cases. Places like NECA and SideshowCollectibles offer figures of all shapes and sizes representing characters from movies, cartoons, video games, TV shows, books, sports, and more. The amount of effort and detail put into each figure is astonishing. As an adult, displaying one of these breathtaking collectibles in your living room would be akin to hanging a beautiful painting on the wall. Some may even cost you as much as those expensive paintings but the quality is worth the expense for many fans.
Yes, this is a life-size Iron Man 3 action figure. You can actually purchase this from Sideshow Collectibles. (Photo courtesy of SideshowToy.com)
Kids choose action figures based on characters that peak their interest. The same logic applies with novelty collectibles for adults. No matter your passion, there’s a figure for it. Star Wars, Batman, Dexter, GI Joe, Iron Man, etc. are all available in some form. For example, Iron Man fans have options ranging from a sixth scale figure of Tony Stark ($279.99) to an Iron Man Mark 42 life-size figure ($8499.99). Check out Entertainment Earth’s website. It does a nice job gathering product information from different collectible manufacturers and making it easy to find. You can shop the site by company, theme, or product type. They also provide easily digestible Top 10 lists for best-sellers, new products (or "Hot Off the Truck" as they call it), and more.
Collectible figures aren’t exclusive to superheroes and movie stars. If history and science is your forte, Royal Bobbles (closely associated with Bobbleheads.com) specializes in historical bobbleheads. It has collections based on U.S. Presidents, First Ladies, the Civil War, our Founding Fathers, and more. The brand covers science and literature too with popular bobbleheads like Einstein, Mark Twain, and Edgar Allan Poe. Similar to the novelty collectibles from NECA and Sideshow, Royal Bobbles’ bobbleheads are designed to be life-like figures which also happen to bobble, not caricatures that look wacky.
What’s the lesson here? Growing up doesn’t mean you have to give up on action figures. Instead, start looking at more grownup action figures in the form of high-end novelty collectibles and bobbleheads. Film, comic, and history buffs alike can appreciate the fine detail of these pieces and the stories they tell. Whatever your interest, celebrate it with the youthful exuberance you had as a kid. Your inner child will thank you.