TO BUY ACTION FIGURES
are a lot of great places and resources available to
purchase action figures for your collection.
Whether youíre beginning to collect or have been collecting
for years I can provide information on places and sources
that I know of to help you or someone you know on where
Typically if youíre looking for new items I usually visit
toy stores or stores in my local area that carry action
figures amongst their other marketed merchandise.
Seattle a general department store called Fred Meyer is a
great place to pick up new figures. They regularly have
sales on their figures and usually starting on Sunday have a
weekly coupon worth an additional 10% off on all toys which
saves us collectors a lot of money.
They also have unadvertised sales and coupons which you can
only find while visiting their store.
Hopefully there is a similar chain store like Fred Meyer in
your area that may not be on the national scale like Target
or Wal-Mart where you can pick up your figures and take
advantage of these discounts.
I do rely on Target, Walmart, Toys R Us and sometimes
K-Mart to pick up figures locally as well.
Walmart generally is slightly cheaper than the other stores
however I find that Target stores tend to get their items in
larger quantities than Walmart and most often earlier than
Walmart by a week or two. Target normally has figure
packages in better shape due to the fact that they have more
to choose from and their toy aisles are kept up
Eventually Toys R Us catches up with all of these stores and
since theyíre a dedicated toy store will have all items in
the most available quantities. You just have to wait a
little bit longer for them to get items in.
I have found that Toys R Us and K-Mart by and large are
slightly more expensive than Target and Walmart on most
items. Itís not a significant price difference, but if
youíre on a tight budget then I recommend going to Target
and Walmart as your first options unless of course you have
a store like a Fred Meyer in your area.
Comic book stores local to you also provide an avenue for
new figures and depending on the store may not have more
than a few cases of a particular line of figures. Theyíre
going to be more expensive since they cannot compete with
the national stores who are able to pass on better pricing
since they order more. They also have other merchandise
that make up for most of their revenue with toys being used
as an another product to have you come in their store to buy
not only those items, but the other thousands of items they
Comic book stores can usually re-order figures that sell
out, but the price will more than likely be higher than
their initial ordering since re-orders from the main comic
book distributor - Diamond Distributors come at a slight
My recommendation is to wait it out if the figures are newly
released and you missed out on them initially at Target,
Walmart, Toys R Us or K-Mart. They will make their way
back in again at these stores so be patient.
Swap meets and local comic book and toy stores offer you
another option. Most swap meets run on weekends with comic
book and toy shows operating quarterly/bi-annually or
annually in most areas.
Again hereís where you have to be patient since these arenít
If youíve exhausted all of these and cannot see yourself
waiting any longer, then there are several places on the
internet that I have used or are familiar with that offer a
very nice selection and at very reasonable prices.
Target, Walmart, Toys R Us and K-Mart also have their own
internet presence where you can acquire newer items and
sometimes even items that came out a year ago.
I find that anything that has recently made its way to their
bricks and mortar stores generally are available for a short
period of time on their web site and itís hit or miss when
they return back into that web inventory so you need to be
Some of the toy manufacturer themselves offer their items on
their own web site like Hasbro and Mattel.
Hasbro produces Marvel Comics figures, Star Wars figures,
Transformers and GI Joe and often sell most of the items in
those lines on their site. Just like some of the national stores
listed, the items only last for so long on their site.
Mattel has created their own special collector site called
Mattycollector. You will find special offerings for
items that are theme related to their regular brands like DC
Universe Classics or Masters of the Universe, but these
items are available only on their site. They have created
especially for the collector market and donít plan on
selling these specialty items in traditional stores.
They will from time to time offer some of the regular items
on their site, but theyíre usually in very limited
quantities and are also more expensive than you will find in
the national stores. You need to ask yourself should I wait
or just go ahead and pay for them when you see them there.
Only you can measure your tolerance with price and time.
Big Bad Toy Store is a great source to find both new
and old figures. You can pick up items individually or
you can purchase a series of figures at one time. I have
purchased from them before and continue to do so. Their
offerings are great and sometimes Iíve missed out on figures
and can find a wave that I may not have gotten around to
purchasing for months and theyíll have them available and
sometimes in their clearance section at even greater prices.
Most action figure lines come in waves or series which can
consist of 8, 12, 16 figures in a case. Depending on the
product line, you may see a duplicate of a particular
figure. That is how they are packed from the manufacturer,
but sometimes Big Bad Toy Store can setup a specific set in
that way too.
a case selection saves you money per figure. Letís say one
figure costs $9.99 by itself, but if you purchase a case of
12 figures from them, the price per figure may be $7.99 or
It will be your choice if you want to collect the entire
series in that set or just go after a specific figure.
Another option is Amoktime. Iíve purchased from them
before and have been happy with the items received. Theyíre
very similar to Big Bad Toy Store, but theyíre smaller in
Entertainment Earth is one
of the largest toy retailers on the net. Theyíre
essentially a big version of the previous two offering a
huge selection to all collectors. I used to receive their
mail order catalogs for years and have found some wonderful
items. Sometimes their pricing is good on some items, but
other times theyíre a little higher.
If youíre ordering large quantities, either of these will
have their advantages when you add up all of the items
youíre interested in.
Toynk.com is another source. Iíve only purchased from them
once and was satisfied with the product and service. I
havenít visited them for repurchase, but usually compare
their items with the others when deciding to buy online.
Their prices are little more from what Iíve observed in most
cases, but it will depend on the item youíre interested in
so check them out too.
If youíre willing to check out Ebay, youíll be doing
business with a wide-variety of merchants and individuals.
I have acquired numerous items over the years and have been
a regular member since 1998.
There are going to be a greater selection here simply
because there are more sellers here than any other place for
I only go here for new products after missing out on items
that have become a couple of years old and am now revisiting
to acquire and my other sources above are dry or may be a
little higher than I want to pay at that given time.
Always be cautious about who you deal with on Ebay since
Iíve seen way too many who charge a high premium on shipping
charges to make up for the price of the item theyíre
It can be very costly to sell there as costs of advertising
and sales fees drain any profit on an item so most sellers
have taken to adding in some profit into shipping charges
just to make it worth their while to sell.
Donít get me wrong. You can still find a lot of great
products and great prices just keep an eye out extraordinary
shipping charges and handling fees as stated in any given
listing youíre viewing.
A simple check on the US Post Office web site for shipping
rates will give you an idea on what it should cost to ship
an item from them to you and vice versa. Donít fall for
high shipping prices.
Amazon.com has become yet another resource for newer
figures. Often times sellers on Ebay sell there too and
have their own ecommerce store just like on Ebay.
older figures using comic book conventions and toy shows and
the internet makes the most sense.
I havenít found local comic book stores carrying any older
figures since they donít have the size and space and have to
consistently push out new product for more newer product.
Some comic book stores have items that have come out within
the last 15 years however.
My definition of older action figures are any items prior to
the early 1980s. Although in other hobbies 1980s is not
For action figures which pretty much came around 1964 with
the 12 inch GI Joes, a lot of classic action figures which
are now very tough to find came out prior to the early 1980s
and therefore are considered older figures.
Comic book conventions and toy shows are a venue for most
private sellers/dealers who have been hunting and collecting
older pieces and brings them out specifically for these
Thatís the time to try and acquire them or you may find
these items not resurfacing again for months and sometimes
One source on the internet that advertises selling older
figures is Brianís Toys. I donít have any experience buying
from them since the items they carry I either donít collect
or have already collected in the past. They focus mainly on
Star Wars figures, Indiana Jones figures, GI Joe figures
with some other lines in between. They regularly place ads
in toy magazines and similar periodicals and you should be
able to do a search on them via Google or Bing.
Big Bad Toy Store and Amoktime also offer older items in
addition to new items and advertise that they purchase older
items so it might be worthwhile to check out their site.
Ebay is probably going to be the best place for older
figures overall as mentioned earlier that itís made up of so
many people and businesses.
Private sellers/dealers regularly post older figures either
in auctions in most cases or with the outright buy it now
feature so anyone can purchase it without going through the
These listings are for sale in every hour of the day and you
can find some of the hardest to find items there that you do
not see in any other place consistently.
My advice again is to know who youíre dealing with. Check
their feedback rating carefully. Ask yourself about any of
their negatives. Some sellers may have a tremendous amount
of good transactions, but sometimes those not so good
transactions need to be looked at if itís your first time
dealing with them.
Antique stores is one place in your local area to check
which most collectors donít think of as some sellers like to
deal in person and have found that some antique stores can
rent out a space to anyone at inexpensive costs.
I have found a couple here in my home area that have small
booths where a couple of sellers offer older figures. Every region is
going to be different.
With size limitations however the selection is not
extensive, but okay. Check those out as you may find a
source that you never thought about before.
Stay in touch with the sellers as they always try to look
out for items that they know they can sell.
may be an option for older items too. Most swap meets
run on weekends in most areas.
The condition of items is not ideal, but because it is
cheaper for most people to sell there it is a place for the
everyday seller to take advantage of selling their older
Use swap meets as an option, but not a primary resource.
You may find an occasional item, but I wouldn't expect it to
be the best place to go to time after time.
I hope this page has provided you with information on where
to buy your action figures. Iíd like to hear from you if
you find other places that youíve experienced and Iíll check
them out myself.