Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Who's the Best... Action Figure Line?

Doug: Marvel Legends, GI Joe (both sizes), Captain Action, Major Matt Mason, Big Jim, Secret Wars, Megos, Super Powers -- we've talked about all or almost all of these individually. But, which line is your overall favorite for play or collectibility?



david_b said...

Best toy lines for me..? Can't go into any lengthy explanations, but I'd go with those that sparked my energy and imagination as a kid, primarily Major Matt Mason and Captain Action..

MMM was great, I never had the space station (well really, a moonbase..), but just to have friends tell me about that glowing purple light on top when the lights were out at night, seemed so cool when I was a wee lad.

And who could possibly imagine sitting through the Marvel Superhero cartoons, Spiderman, and the Superman/Batman Hour without their favorite hero sets. Being a big sidekick fan early on (especially watching Burt Ward..), I loved the Action Boy line the best.

Mego's were incredible, but except for the very first figures (yes, I had both a removable mask Batman and Robin..), they came a tad late for my enjoyment.

I didn't get too much into the SuperPowers or Secret Wars lines, but I did manage to grab a few during closeout sales in the late '80s.

I fell pretty hard for the Marvel Legends figures, I haven't liked the FF renditions any, but the Avengers were near-perfection. Most of you recall my passion for collecting all my Pym figures. They are still a SIGHT to behold, trust me.

Not too big a fan of the Famous Covers figures, I will say the IronMan one was the all-time best. I even made my custom Yellowjacket out of him, using a Falcon head, molding putty and a wee bit of sewing.

I know a lot of folks'll be talking about GI Joes and SW figures today... I SO MISS the days of rummage sales in the late 70s/early '80s where you'd pick up a huge bag of those figures for a buck or something..

"..oh, the pain, William, the pain.."

William said...

Marvel Legends, hands down. For character selection, looks, and super-poseability it's the gold standard of action figure lines. Plus, you would be hard pressed to name a Marvel character that hasn't been made into a Marvel Legend (or one of it's supporting lines like Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, and FF Classics).

The only other action figure line that comes close to Legends is the DC equivalent - DC Universe Classics. The DC figures don't have as many POA (points of articulation), but again, you could name almost any DC character and it probably has a DCUC figure.

I have quite a large collection of figures from both lines. I also collect a few Marvel Select and DC Collectibles figures, which are sort of high-end direct market figures made specifically for collectors that you can usually find at any comic book store.

I think I may have mentioned it here in the past, but I use action figures to make my own full-length comics. I pretty much only do stories set in the Bronze Age, (and sometimes Silver Age and the 1990s). If anyone wants to check them out here's a link to my site:


J.A. Morris said...

As a kid, my favorite lines were Mego, Kenner's Star Wars and to a lesser extent, Secret Wars. SW came out at the end of my toy buying days, which ticked me off, I felt cheated. But I still bought most of them & displayed them on my shelf.

As an "adult collector", I've gotten into are the playmates Simpsons and some of the recent Doctor Who action figures (I've got the 4th, 9th & 10th Doctors on my living room shelf).

But my favorites of all are the toys based on classic Christmas specials. As some of you know, my wife and I blog about Holiday films & specials. When December hits, we break out Rudolph, Snow Miser, the Grinch, Ralphie from 'A Christmas Story', Charlie Brown (and his tiny tree),Winter Warlock, Yukon Cornelius,etc, in action figure form.

J.A. Morris said...

Forgot to mention, being a Marvel and a Christmas fan,I was very happy to stumble on this set a few years back:


david_b said...

Umm, William, I'm STILL waiting on a Legends Swordsman/Mantis set. Arrg.

"And no, we don't need yet ANOTHER Hulk, Spidey or Wolverine figure."

I know, I know, it might be a while.

Other strong Legends suggestions would be the original green/yellow Falcon version and the original-green suited Wonderman figure, but I know it's based on what's popular.

Great mention on the DC Universe Classics, I picked up the Silver Age Batman/Robin set along with the Flash. Those facial sculpt and body molds/articulation are pretty sweet. It's the only line that's keeping me from spending $$$ on the older Super Powers figures.

mr. oyola said...

I don't collect any toys now. Maybe one day if I have kids, but I like toys for playing not for display and I am not going to be playing with toys any time soon.

As a kid,I loved both the original G.I.Joe which I inherited from my brother and later the smaller line. Between them I was really into Kenner Star Wars and still have a bunch of those in storage somewhere - a few years ago when I moved out of NYC to go to my grad program I threw out my original Millennium Falcon and X-Wing fighter. I sill have a Dewback, Taun Taun and Sandspeeder in that same box somewhere.

I never had any Megos, though I wanted them.

William said...

Yeah David_b, I guess I should have said they've made "almost" every Marvel character as a Legends figure. I'd like any of those you mentioned. I'd also take a safari jacket Wonderman, or his red, green, and yellow costume he was wearing in the Bride of Ultron story. Oh, and a classic Cockrum/Byrne Storm would be nice too. I'd also like a really good classic red Daredevil. As they have never managed to get him quite right.

Anonymous said...

When I was in second grade, it seemed as if every seven year-old boy in America had (or wanted) the original G.I. Joe. I don't recall a comparable demand for later action figures, though. I had two classmates who sometimes played with Captain Action figures, but even they showed little interest in Major Matt Mason or Johnny West.

IIRC, Mattel later brought out some six-inch bendable scuba diver figures and accessories, sort of an aquanaut version of Matt Mason. And there were some foot-tall figures of knights with removable armor, that looked as if they were made by the same company that made the Johnny West line. AFAIR, those never made much of an impression, either, at least in my neighborhood.

I seem to be the only one who remembers a six-inch, hard plastic, Matt Mason knockoff called Colonel Hap Hazard. I guess it was to Mason as "Stony" was to G.I. Joe.

And I had a six-inch bendy Captain America figure in the late 1960's. It kind of fit in well for fights with my six-inch hard plastic Marx toy German and Japanese soldiers.

MattComix said...

The Super Powers Collection got the lions share of my allowance as a kid. This collection also had the sweetest Batmobile! I have to admit I prefer the cloth capes to the hard plastic ones that became standard for action figures.

Having that and the Secret Wars line was the perfect comicbooky addition to my Masters of the Universe and ThunderCats collections. Was never as into GI Joes and Transformers as my friends were.

david_b said...

I never liked the '80s GI Joe lines, never had any interest (especially when they morphed into those 'eco-warrior' figures and craaaap..), with ONE exception..:

The Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex


Gawd.... THAT is one impressive playset. Expensive to purchase near entirety, but pretty awesome.

William Preston said...

What's the story with Fatman in the second image?

Sean Budde said...

Mego superheroes will always be the best.

david_b said...

Agreed, William, they never got DD or the Fantastic Four right..

Just never screamed Silver Age to me, either Reed had some weird scowl on his face, or Ben Grimm's head was way too small.

Very disappointing, especially when the sculptor's all seem to have the Avengers down relatively perfect.

If the Legends figure isn't quite right, I shoot for the Marvel Select line.., Hawkeye was a prime example. I ignored spending the $$ for his Legends figure and opted for the far better Select figure. Larger than the Legends figures, the Select figure's cheaper and I just pose him elsewhere.

Still wonder why the Legends Black Widow is so expensive.., but I don't need that much cleavage on my shelf anyways.

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