Dolls for the boys (an insight into 1.6th scale action figure collecting what's it all about?)
Exclusive Artical By Edward Wheeler Partner of Club Secretary Rosina Haskell Presents
For some years now my partner has been an avid collector of fashion dolls which I must say has caught my interest at times with the designs and concepts of the doll construction which has come along way since the early days of Barbie etc etc but now the engineering of moulds and materials used has made it possible to produce a floorless figure in every feature but this does not just end with fashion dolls we now have 1.6th scale action figures which were introduced at the turn of the century,these figures when they first arrived turned many heads and every action figure collectors alike wanted to get close to them well I was lucky enough to have jumped onto this train in early 2001 by forming a company called Chameleon Collectables,this company was set up simply because these action figures had a strong collectable appeal which turned out to be right over the next four years the action figure scene exploded into action,
Many of the figures where of military content and were really well reasearched in there construction and overall design, one of the first companies to really market these action figures was a company called Dragon Models who were already established as major model construction kit manufacturer they hit the market with a very large catalogue of figures from all areas of conflicts in history the second world war was the main preferance for collectors,strange thing though a large volume of figures where that of the many regiments of the german army I never did understand why they went down this route but they did look very impressive,also a major US toy company Bluebox toys released there own collection labelled as Elite Force these mainly comprised of mordern day military subjects but they soon drifted into historical figures with great vigor there collection became very collectable and sort after they also came with many intricate accessories which were so well researched and produced with great skill many of these figures have now become very obsulete and very hard to find as production output is very limited and many of the dealers just cannot get hold of them anymore without paying very inflated prices.
All these figures could be undressed like conventional dolls and had very clever articulated bodies which when displaying them you could get them to look very authentic in there static pose as you can see by the images enclosed,
I would do my trading at toy collector fairs were these figures really started a revolution in action figure doll collecting I would have many members of the public totally captivated by there details and there wonderfully made outfits at this point in time I noticed many of my sales was to women who showed that they love a man in a uniform as time went by I became more and more an authority of these figures and passed on this knowledge to my customers, I was seen many a time talking for hours to members of the public that were totally capitivated they just could get enough of this new revolution in doll collecting.
I then decided to go up a level with these figures by making my own outfits and customising the figures in general this was called kit bashing,I had many of these made and they always turned heads by the serious collectors and and by members of the public that where originally connected to the real artical it was such a compliment when I was told that my reaseach and my final result was just simply amazing and very authentic,
I did also get commissioned by some people who had time in the armed forces these figures where a real challenge but I pulled it off with great results.
What kept these figure's so appealing during there short boom was without doubt the conflict in the middle east but as the conflict has gone on there appeal seemed to have become less appealing there could be many explanations for this but I think it could be that many people have strong views of the conflict therfore leading to the action figures becoming less appealing.
In recent years the amount of military figures released have slowed down but manufacturers have gone up a level by producing higher quality action figures using resin based materials and producing very authentic clothing but all this reflects by placing very high prices which now makes these figures very exclusive and in the long term price themselves out out the market in the UK where sales are poor these days many of the major dealers know longer trade due the market falling through the roof maybe one day it will spring into life again as there must be warehouse's full of these action figures going knowhere.
One company that still seems to ride the waves is a company that is based in Hong Kong and they are called Hot Toys they consist of a team of very talented sculpters and artist and produced action figures to the highest standard they have also broken into film character market producing some exceptional life like figures of some of Hollywoods top stars check out for yourself by clicking on the link to there website I swear you will be blown away I certainly was,trouble is it is very hard to purchase them in this country as knowbody seems to want to take a risk and stock them which is a shame pretty much the same situation with fashion dolls .
Action figure collecting also started a new generation of collectors searching for those old Action man dolls which the initial idea of these action figures came from,these started to appear in great reissued numbers but the prices were somewhat higher than of those when we were kids I can remember with great excitment the number of action man figures and accessories that I had and recieved most christmas's during the seventies then it all seemed to stop in its tracks with the inpending electronic revolution and action man faced his final battle but "did he" well along came these action figures and a new breath of life was put into the action man world and his military buddies for some five years they came and hit the market in great numbers more than most collectors could keep up with which I firmly believed helped to kill them off in the last year or so.
Also not to be outdone by our neighbours across the pond we had GI Joe the all american hero who was the American version of action man with all his weapons and accessories amazing is that he is still around in the states but after all he is an american GI afterall and a icon hero who has fought many battles thought his history need I say more.
In recent months if you go searching online for 1.6th scale action figures you know doubt find many of them are now deleted and know longer in production and these are now being replaced with characters from sci-fi action movies which is OK but with this there having to sell these under licence of the film companies this somewhat reflects there over inflated prices which has curtailed me purchasing them don't get me wrong you can still purchase some military action figures online if your not too choosy,
Dragon still do a few but they have also decided to concentrate on doing historical figures like Napolionic figures which are very nice if your in to that sort of period of history and also the occasional WWII figure but under there specialist edition banner D.I.D. these figures have that something extra in all areas I suggest you follow the links to the Dragon website on menu list to your left and make your own minds up as I could go on for hours giving you my thoughts.
To conclude I firmly believe that the decline in military action figures is down to the high volume of casulties in the middle east conflicts and the somewhat apapthy to the number of people feel the whole conflict is somewhat done its course and too many young heroes are losing there lives needlessly this is my opinion,
maybe one day this area of collecting military dolls will have a new lease of life like action man did earlier this century collecting has a funny way of starting re-interest in a subject fashion dolls alike have been doing it for years Barbie is good example of that don't you think.
Included in this section we have supplied web links to some of the most informative sites with regards to this area of action figure collecting we hope they can assist and give you more information with your choosen area of action figure collecting and answer some if not more questions that require more experianced knowledge in this field but we will do our upmost to guide you in the right direction.
If you do require to speak to Edward Wheeler with regards to action figure collecting you can contact him on 01502 503869 between the hours of 19.30 - 21.00 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please click on any of the tabs below to recieve more information on action man and action figure collecting and view the many great images available.
Action Figure Archieve
Action Man HQ
Action Man History
Action Figure World
Action Figure Info
Another major company producing action figures for some years now is a company called Sideshow toys this american action figure company made its name producing very high quality film and TV related subjects in 1.6th action figure form and what a good job they did and are still doing today.they have just about covered every major action blockbuster movie with fantastic renditions of the favourites heroes and villians and herorines alike they have even produced military subjects in the early days they produced WWI military figures and figures from the days of the american wild west these figures are now very collectable,anyway click on the link below to check out this ompany for yourself and suprise yourself.
Action Figure Toy Haven
Hot Toys 1.6th Scale Action Figures
Visit the Hot Toys Official site by clicking on the box tab above
Click on the above image for more details about this British publication that features informative reviews and articals on action figures
Click on the above image for more details about this America publication that features informative reviews and articals on action figures
Fashion Doll Collectors Club Of Great Britain
Share The Passion
Dragon D.I.D. 1.6th Scale Action Figures
Visit the Hot Toys Official site by clicking on the box tab above