I was posed this question by a co-worker yesterday. He asked, “How and when do you decide what to collect?” He meant specifically in terms of figures, but I suppose you can apply it to anything. I had a multi-year period where I collected baseball cards due to an increased interest I had in baseball around junior high. I’ve been getting comics nearly my entire life. But figures is an interesting question, and I think I can break that down.
First thing, I’m going to subtract just “generally getting
toys” from the timeline. I had Fisher-Price Adventure People, for example, but
I couldn’t say that I actively “collected” them. I’m only going to include
lines that I could honestly say that I collected. (Let me clarify that the
years are when I collected these
series and not the dates that the lines necessarily ran).
Mego World’s Greatest Superheroes and Others (late ‘70s): I’m sketchy on the year, but the first Mego figure that I know I had was . . . Wonder Woman. I’m pretty sure my Aunt Jennie got me this, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I loved Super-Friends and Wonder Woman on TV. I could have been . . . 3, maybe? That would be 1976ish, which is about right, as Mego introduced the WW figure in 1974. Shortly after, I had Batman, Robin, Superman, Shazam!, Joker, Penguin, and Spider-Man. I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t have more Marvel. I DID, however, get three of the Mad Monsters: Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, and The Mummy; I’m also not sure why I didn’t have the Wolf Man, as I love werewolves. I had Captain Kirk from the Star Trek line (this is the only one that my memory is fuzzy on, as I think I might have had a couple of others), a couple from Planet of the Apes, and all of the Wizard of Oz (except the Munchkins) and the Emerald City playset. A number of these were played to death, lost to time or garage sales or younger relatives. I believe I still have the Kirk somewhere as the last survivor; that’s because he doesn’t believe in the no-win scenario.
Star Wars (1977-1984; 1995-2002ish; 2019): I’ve told this story here and elsewhere a couple of times, so I’ll keep this one brief. I was all in at the start; I even had the Early Bird Certificate. I was really consistent until I lost steam after ROTJ and stopped due to my interest in other things. When the line came back in the ‘90s, I picked up again and hung in until just after AOTC. I stopped completely until this past year when The Mandalorian re-ignited my interest, and I started filling in certain characters from the 6-inch Black Series. I kind of regret not getting on that sooner, but since I’m not approaching it as a completist, I’ll live with it.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982-1987): Again, I’ve told this story, notably a much longer version in the book The Joy of Joe. I got into the 3-3/4” line early, and I was all in on both the toys and comics right up until around BattleForce 2000.
Masters of the
Universe (1982-1984): A brief run, but one I should include. I really liked
that Castle Grayskull playset.
& Dragons from LJN (1983-1984): A brief shining moment. I didn’t have
all of them, but I had quite a few. These had great detail and should have
stuck around longer.
(1984-1986): I was never a completist, and mostly done in 1985. I got a
handful in 1986, including the Aerielbots and Hot Rod (which I got after the
movie). My favorite from the line remains Jetfire.
(1984-1986): Definitely not complete (I refer you to the previously
discussed Mister Miracle and Cyborg), but I loved this line and would have
certainly gotten more if they’d gone into the proposed Teen Titans, Blue Devil,
(1987-1991): I quit collecting for a few years spanning junior high and in
to the senior year of high school or so. The absence was due to a variety of
reasons: lack of interest, concentrating on comics, lack of money, sudden
upturn in the ability to secure dates, school activities, hanging out with
bands, and so on. But the thing that really brought me back, outside of a stray
pick-up here or there, was when the Toy Biz X-Men line launched in 1991.
(1991 to Now, really): I am a nearly lifelong X-Men fan. Seeing them get
figures ahead of the animated series brought me back. And when I went in, I
went in all the way. With a brief break for the cessation of Marvel Legends a
decade ago, I’ve pretty much been in the tank ever since. I narrowed my focus
over time to the 6-inch Legends, and they comprise the bulk of my collecting
Star Trek (Playmates; 1992-1996 or so): I told the story of my girlfiend (now wife) hunting down the original Deanna Troi figure for me. I was definitely into this for a good bit, picking up a lot of ST:TNG, DS9, and TOS figures. I stopped around Voyager due to a combo of burnout, the return of Star Wars, and my ongoing focus on comics figures.
Spawn/Youngblood/Wetworks (1994-1996): Like seemingly everyone else that started getting McFarlane Toys, I was drawn in by the details and the chance to get characters from an exciting new publisher. My favorites were the Wetworks figures (again, love that Werewolf). I stepped away from these as I lost interest in the comics themselves.
Total Justice/JLA (1996-1999):
I really wanted a DC line in the ‘90s that was comparable to the Toy Biz
Marvel avalanche. This was a decent, brief attempt. It got extended into comic
shops and TRU exclusivity (loved the “hard light” evil versions of the JLA
based on the “Rock of Ages” comic arc) and actually did Connor Hawke (MIA in
action figure form ever since).
DC Direct (1998-2010ish): I loved DC Direct for a good, long while. There were some maddening bits (scale inconsistency, an unwillingness to finish teams), but there were some truly great character selections that we’ll possibly never see again (Enemy Ace? Tim Hunter? The Authority? Spider Jerusalem? Jericho?). For a kid that always wanted JSA and Legion figures, this line was a partial dream come true. I ultimately ditched it due to character repetition, increasing prices, and a more enjoyable experience collecting DCUC and doing the C+C figures with my kids.
Wrestling (WCW/Toy Biz 1998-2001; WWF/E:1998-2001ish): Like millions (and millions) of people, I was very into wrestling for a time at the turn of the century. I’d watched a lot in the mid ‘80s, gone away from it, and picked it back up watching Nitro rebroadcasts while working the late shift of a publisher. (I was working 3pm to 11:30pm, and TNT would rerun the show after I got off work.) Soon after, I was watching both WWF/E and WCW, and soon after that, the Toy Biz WCW figures hit. I got interested for a while, but my collecting of the figures faded as a I watched less and less.
Dragonball Z (circa 2000-2007): Similar time frame, similar story. Started watching DBZ on Toonami. The show had an incredible array of characters and I really enjoyed it. I got these for a good while, including the DB and GT spin-off lines, but I tapered off when they did.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (2000ish-2006): Again, you love a show and you might buy the figures. I really feel like these could have gone on longer, as there are a number of characters that never quite made it (seriously, where the hell was Gunn? Or Connor or Gwen Raiden or Harmony or Nina?). I stopped just ahead of them releasing Kennedy and Kendra, which I never picked up.
Gundam (2001-2003): Stop me if you’re heard this one before. But I started watching Gundam Wing, and . . . yeah. I got A TON of these as I started writing for Newtype USA and watching more and more Gundam series. I didn’t list it, but I picked some up in “Japan” at EPCOT a couple of years ago.
Lord of the Rings
(2001-2005): Loved the book for years. Loved the animation. Loved the
movies. I thought that the figures were great. I didn’t get the tail-end
variants or the Eye of Sauron, but I did get the trolls, the horses and warg,
and the fell beast. I regret that a different company got the license for The
Hobbit films; I never did get any of those, and they never completed the
(2003-2009ish): One of the greatest animated series of all times turned out
a line of great-looking figures that had a really hard time standing up. I
burned out when they started doing more and more direct exclusives, etc., but I
did get the Grundy and Giganta. I gave all of these to my boys.
DC Universe Classics
(2007-2012): You know something? I loved this line. I thought it was a
worthy compliment to Marvel Legends and the Collect + Connect figures were
among the first things that my sons contributed to helping with where my
collection is concerned. The character selection overall was great and Mattel
deployed some boxed sets in clever ways to get us characters like the Crime
Syndicate. One of my favorite things ever is the Legion of Super-Heroes boxed
set. It was a drag when they had to go the subscription model, but I stuck with
it the whole time (and with Club Black Freighter, too). I know they tried to
continue the idea with DC Multiverse, and I have more than a couple of those as
a companion to these, but they just weren’t quite the same. This is a lamented
line for me.
Legends and certain Star Wars: The Black Series (6-inch scale only). I will
pick up occasional DC figures that hit a spot that’s not covering on my shelf
(come on with the classic Dawnstar, McFarlane).
All right, readers. What about you? What are your main
lines? How long? What’s the line you collected the longest that you eventually
quit, and why? Let’s talk.
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Jordie Bellaire Artist: David López Colorist: David López Letterer: Raúl Angulo Cover Artists: Main Cover: Marc Aspinall Spotlight Cover: Kevin Wada Connecting Cover: Vanesa R. Del Rey Preorder Cover: Ryan Inzana Incentive Cover: Joe Quinones Price: $3.99
As TEAM KENDRA fights for their town against the Hellmouth-possessed hivemind, Willow and Xander begin to feel the cost of sharing a soul between them. With darkness creeping into the place a soul should be, one of them will start down a road that they can’t turn back from.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 11 Library Edition
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Christos Gage Artist: Rebekah Isaacs, Georges Jeanty, Megan Levens Cover Artist: Steve Morris Price: $29.99
The complete season 11 collected together for the first time
Buffy and the Scoobies weren’t ready for this. When a tsunami and an enormous dragon devastate San Francisco, folks connected to the supernatural are blamed for causing the catastrophe and soon have restrictions placed on them in the name of safety. Buffy must choose sides, find a way for herself and her friends to survive, determine how the disaster happened, and not lose who she is in the process.
Writer Christos Gage (Amazing Spider-Man), along with artists Rebekah Isaacs, Georges Jeanty, & Megan Levens, present the next chapter in the official continuation of Joss Whedon’s award-winning television series.
Collects Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1-12, along with bonus material.
Summer is coming! Yes, we know it’s the middle of winter, but the warm weather will be here soon enough, and with it will come new products from Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd.! The new issue of Diamond Comics’ Previews catalog is out now, and the following items are available for pre-order for summer delivery. With products based on DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, DC films, IT, Ghostbusters, Cthulhu and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (!), there’s something for every kind of collector!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Vinimates Vinyl Figures Series 1
A Diamond Select Toys release! Buffy is back! The fan-favorite vampire drama remains incredibly popular, and now you can collect your favorite characters as part of the Vinimates vinyl figure line! Buffy, Angel and Spike kick off this new series, each standing 4 inches tall and striking a pose from the TV show. Each has an articulated neck for further posing options, and each comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Barry Bradfield.
A Diamond Select Toys release! The Venom-infused super-villain is coming for Batman, and he’s doing it in the Gallery Diorama line! This approximately 9-inch PVC diorama of Bane depicts the muscle-bound misanthrope clutching Batman’s cowl in one hand, with his Venom tube snaking down the other. Made of high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alterton. (Item #JAN202452, SRP: $49.99)
DC Classic TV Gallery Diorama Wonder Woman PVC
A Diamond Select Toys release! The star of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV series joins the Gallery Diorama line! Based on her appearance in the classic TV show, this approximately 9-inch diorama shows her crossing her magic bracelets in front of her, as her logo rises up from below. Made of high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Shawn Knapp, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JAN202453, SRP: $49.99)
DC Movie Gallery Diorama Batman Returns Catwoman PVC
A Diamond Select Toys release! Meow! One of the screen’s most captivating Catwomen joins the Gallery Diorama line with this flashback sculpture! As seen in 1992’s Batman Returns, actress Michelle Pfeiffer stalks an icy rooftop in her iconic vinyl outfit, holding her trademark whip. Made of high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Shawn Knapp, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JAN202450, SRP: $49.99)
DC TV Premier Collection Justice League Superman Statue
A Diamond Select Toys release! The epic trinity of Justice League resin statues continues with the Man of Steel! Measuring approximately 12 inches tall, this animated-style statue depicts Superman hovering over a white architectural base and is limited to only 3,000 pieces. It comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Displays with Batman, available now, and Wonder Woman, coming soon! Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Varner Studios. (Item #JAN202451, SRP: $150.00)
It Chapter 2 Gallery Diorama Pennywise Swamp PVC
A Diamond Select Toys release! Pennywise is back, and he’s creepier than ever! The star of It Chapter 2, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, lurks in the swamp in this all-new Gallery Diorama. Tilting his head to one side as if sizing you up for a meal, this sculpture is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JAN202457, SRP: $49.99)
Legends in 3D TV Batman TAS Half-Scale Bust
A Diamond Select Toys release! Pay tribute to the Legend of the Dark Knight with this half-scale bust of Batman, as he appeared in Batman: The Animated Series! Part of the Legends in 3D line of busts, this approximately 10-inch portrait is limited to only 1,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Varner Studios. (Item #JAN202449, SRP: $200.00)
Legends in 3D Cthulhu ½ Scale Bust
A Diamond Select Toys release! The literary legend is now the latest Legend in 3-D! Part of the Legends in 3D “half-scale” bust line, this approximately 10-inch resin sculpture depicts the tentacled monstrosity as he is described in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed and sculpted by Eli Livingston. (Item #JAN202458, SRP: $175.00)
Marvel Animated X-Men Jean Grey Bust
A Diamond Select Toys release! The groundbreaking animated-style line of X-Men busts continues with the X-Men’s resident redhead, Jean Grey! Looking like she just stepped off the screen from the hit cartoon, Jean focuses her telepathic abilities in this 6-inch resin bust, featuring detailed sculpting and animation-inspired paint details. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color window box with a certificate of authenticity. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Paul Harding. (Item #JAN202454, SRP: $59.99)
Marvel Comic Gallery Diorama Emma Frost Diamond PVC
A Diamond Select Toys release! Try to keep your mind clear when you look at this sculpture of the X-Men’s resident Femme Fatale, Emma Frost! Depicting the powerful telepath in her rock-hard diamond form, this approximately 12-inch diorama features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira. Formerly a GameStop exclusive. (Item #JAN202462, SRP: $49.99)
Marvel Comic Gallery Diorama Longshot PVC
A Diamond Select Toys release! The luckiest man in the Mojoverse has arrived! Sometime X-Men member Longshot unleashes a flurry of throwing blades while leaping over fellow Mojo-World resident Magog in this dynamic diorama. Made of high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira. (Item #JAN202455, SRP: $49.99)
Marvel Comic Premier Collection Black Panther Statue
A Diamond Select Toys release! The Black Panther strikes a pose amid the greenery of Wakanda in this elegant statue. Measuring approximately 11 inches tall, this piece is made of high-quality resin and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. It is limited to 3,000 pieces and comes packaged in a full-color box with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity. Hand-sculpted by Clayburn Moore. (Item #JAN202456, SRP: $150.00)
Star Wars Premier Collection Rise of Skywalker Kylo Ren 1/7 Statue
A Diamond Select Toys release! The Rise of Skywalker is upon us! With the final installment of the Skywalker nonology in theaters, Sith lord Kylo Ren is now a 1/7 scale statue in the Star Wars Premier Collection. Depicting him with his lightsaber at the ready, this approximately 10-inch sculpture is limited to only 3,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by the Silva Bros., sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JAN202448, SRP: $150.00)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Jordie Bellaire Artist: David López Colorist: Raúl Angulo Letterer: Ed Dukeshire Cover Artists: Main Cover: Marc Aspinall Spotlight Cover: Kevin Wada Connecting Cover: Steve Morris Preorder Cover: Ryan Inzana Incentive Cover: Morgan Beem Price: $3.99
HELLMOUTH TIE-IN! KENDRA THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS HERE!
It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Loot Crate provided a FREE box for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.
Publisher: BOOM! Studios Writer: Jordie Bellaire Artist: David López Colorist: Raúl Angulo Letterer: Ed Dukeshire Cover Artists: Main Cover: Marc Aspinall Spotlight Cover: Kevin Wada Connecting Variant Cover: Jakub Rebelka Preorder Cover: Ryan Inzana Variant Cover: Yasmine Putri Unlocked Anya Variant: Miguel Mercado Price: $3.99
A HELLMOUTH TIE-IN! THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF A NEW SLAYER! With Buffy in Hell, someone new has answered the call to save what’s left of Sunnydale. Who is this mysterious new Slayer? And how will the new blood cope with a team made up of a newly empowered witch and a half-human, half-vampire sidekick?