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Do Action Figures Increase in Value? An Investment Guide for Collectors

May 20, 2024
A collection of iconic action figures from Star Wars, Masters of the Universe and Marvel Legends

Collecting action figures has long been a popular hobby, but have you ever considered it as a potential investment? With some figures experiencing significant value appreciation, it’s time to take a closer look at the factors that make certain action figures more valuable than others and learn how to make smart investments in this fascinating world. One key question to consider is, “do action figures increase in value?” By understanding this, you can make well-informed decisions when building your collection.

Key Takeaways

  • Value of action figures is determined by rarity, condition and packaging.
  • Iconic lines such as Star Wars have high value growth potential due to their popularity.
  • Researching market trends, diversifying collections and proper storage are essential strategies for maximizing value while minimizing risk.

Factors Influencing Action Figure Value

Do Action Figures Increase in Value


Three key factors influence the value of action figures: rarity, condition, and packaging. Generally speaking, only a handful of action figures gain notable worth, usually after around 20 years. Some of the most expensive action figures are rare, mint condition items from popular franchises like Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, and Marvel Legends.

Grasping these factors can aid collectors in making sound decisions during their action figure investments, especially when considering the latest figures released.

Rarity and Limited Editions

Rarity and demand are essential components in assessing the value of an action figure. Limited-edition figures or those exclusive to certain events or retailers are often more valuable to collectors as they are both popular and difficult to find. For example, the Silver Shirt Luke Cage action figure is scarce, just like some rare Batman toys, and is valued at $200 or more. Collectors can potentially boost the value of their collections when they concentrate on acquiring limited edition and rare action figures.

Condition and Preservation

The condition of an action figure plays a significant role in determining its value, taking into account its preservation and any damage. For instance, a mint condition Optimus Prime action figure, a vintage toy, can fetch between $500 and $1,200. Significant damage, such as repainting or limb replacement, could drastically reduce the value of an action figure. Hence, retaining the value of your action figures hinges on keeping them in prime condition.

Packaging and Presentation

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Paragraph 1: Original packaging and presentation can notably raise the worth of an action figure. Collectors generally assign a higher value to action figures that remain in their original packaging, as it serves as a form of protection and preservation for the figure. Furthermore, the packaging itself can be considered a collectible item, particularly if it has unique or rare designs. Consequently, retaining your action figures in their original packaging can considerably influence their value.

Iconic Action Figure Lines and Their Value Growth

Some iconic action figure lines, often considered as vintage toys, have shown value growth over the years, such as Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Marvel Legends, and superhero toys. These lines have become renowned among collectors due to their rarity, unique designs, and the popularity of their respective franchises, making them a sought-after action figure collection. Among these, Mattel action figures have also gained significant attention from collectors.

Comprehending the value growth of these iconic lines can guide collectors in making judicious investment choices.

Star Wars Figures

Star Wars action figures have consistently exhibited an increase in value, particularly with regards to rare and vintage figures. For example, the Luke Skywalker telescoping lightsaber figurines, Jawa action figure with the original vinyl cape, and certain high-quality Star Wars action figures have appreciated in value.

Given the continuous expansion of the Star Wars franchise, these figures are likely to maintain their high demand among collectors.

Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe figures have become highly sought after by collectors, resulting in an increase in value. Notable figures that have seen an increase in value include:

  • Teela
  • Faker
  • Prince Adam
  • Wonderbread Mail-Away
  • Laser Light Skeletor
  • Castle Grayskull
  • Mer-Man
  • Laser Power He-Man

Owing to their dedicated fan base and nostalgia-induced demand, Masters of the Universe figures can enrich any entire collection.

Marvel Legends

Marvel Legends figures have experienced an increase in value as a result of the popularity of Marvel characters and limited edition releases. Certain Marvel Legends figures from the early 2000s, as well as rare figures like the Mego Spider-Man from 1974 and the ToyBiz X-Men Water Wars Hydro Blast Wolverine, have appreciated in value. The ongoing triumph of Marvel movies and TV shows enhances the popularity of these characters and positions Marvel Legends action figures as potentially fruitful investments.

How to Determine the Current Value of Your Action Figures

Determining the current value of your action figures can be done through a combination of price guides, online resources, and expert appraisals. Leveraging these tools allows collectors to gain insights into their figures’ market value and make educated decisions in buying, selling, or trading.

Let’s scrutinize these methods more thoroughly.

Price Guides and Online Resources

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Paragraph 1: Price guides and online resources are valuable tools for action figure collectors, providing information regarding the value of figures and offering insight into the potential value of their collection. Searching online using the figure name, brand, or keyword is the most efficient way to locate price listings and guides.

Paragraph 2: Furthermore, collectors can organize search results by price or search for sold listings for a better understanding of the market value.

Appraisals and Expert Opinions

Professional appraisals and expert opinions can provide a more precise estimation of an action figure’s value. Appraisers can assess an item’s actual value and help verify its authenticity, ensuring that collectors possess genuine toys and not reproductions or bootlegs. Highly recommended appraisers for action figures include:

  • Mearto
  • ValueMyStuff
  • Philip Weiss Auctions
  • Antique Toys

Tips for Investing in Action Figures

While investing in action figures, researching market trends, diversifying your collection, and ensuring adequate storage and maintenance are key. These strategies can help collectors maximize the value of their collection and minimize risk.

Let’s further unpack these tips for prosperity in action figure investing.

Research and Market Trends

Researching market trends can help identify valuable action figures and potential investment opportunities. By staying informed about the current market, trends, and advice for collecting, collectors can make better decisions when acquiring new action figures. Consider the prevalence of franchises and characters, technological advancement and innovation, and the possibility of value appreciation when researching market trends.

Diversifying Your Collection

Diversifying your collection can help minimize risk and increase the potential for value growth. By obtaining various lines of action figures, such as Star Wars figures, Masters of the Universe figures, and Marvel Legends figures, collectors can create a well-rounded and diverse collection.

Additionally, incorporating action figures that represent diverse ethnicities and cultures or promote inclusivity and diversity can further diversify a collection.

Storage and Maintenance

Proper storage and maintenance can help preserve the condition and value of your action figures. It is advisable to store your action figures in a cool, dry environment and keep them away from direct sunlight. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap can also help maintain the figure’s condition.

Adopting appropriate storage and maintenance practices enables collectors to safeguard their investment and ensure the durability of their action figures.

Case Studies: Action Figures That Have Significantly Increased in Value

Analyzing specific case studies can offer invaluable insights into action figures that have seen a significant value increase. Rocket-Firing Boba Fett and Vlix from Star Wars: Droids are two such examples that showcase the power of rarity, limited release, and the popularity of franchises and characters in driving value appreciation.

Rocket-Firing Boba Fett

Rocket-Firing Boba Fett is a rare action figure that has seen a significant increase in value due to its limited release and recall. Initially included in a mail-in offer, it was subsequently recalled by Kenner due to safety considerations, making it an incredibly sought-after item among collectors. This example highlights the importance of rarity and scarcity in driving the value of action figures.

Vlix from Star Wars: Droids

Paragraph 1: Vlix from Star Wars: Droids is another valuable action figure due to its cancellation and limited release, making it highly sought after by collectors. The present worth of Vlix is approximately $20,000, showcasing the potential for significant value appreciation when an action figure is associated with a popular franchise and has a limited release.

The Future of Action Figure Collecting and Value Appreciation

The future of action figure collecting and value appreciation may be influenced by technology, innovation, and the popularity of franchises and characters. As the investment in action figures persists, keeping abreast of industry trends and advancements can bolster value and potential returns.

Technology and Innovation

Technological advancements and innovative designs may lead to new action figures with increased value potential, such as teenage mutant ninja turtles. For example, 3D printing and Photo Real technology are revolutionizing the way a particular figure, like a particular action figure, is produced, resulting in more intricate and realistic designs.

Staying updated on technological advancements can give collectors a better sense of the potential value appreciation of future action figures, potentially leading to more money.

Popularity of Franchises and Characters

The popularity of franchises and characters can significantly influence the value of related action figures, underscoring the importance of staying updated on popular culture trends. As new movies, TV shows, and other media continue to be released, the demand for action figures representing popular franchises and characters will likely remain strong, driving value appreciation for collectors.


In conclusion, action figure collecting can be a rewarding and potentially lucrative investment. By understanding the factors influencing value, such as rarity, condition, and packaging, and by staying informed about market trends and technological advancements, collectors can make informed decisions and maximize the potential for value growth in their collections. As the world of action figures continues to evolve, collectors who stay ahead of the curve can reap the benefits of this unique and exciting investment opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do action figures hold value?

Collectible action figures can be highly valuable, especially if they are rare and in good condition. Some may increase in value over time, while others may not, so it’s difficult to say for certain how much they will be worth.

What makes an action figure valuable?

The combination of rare toys from foreign markets, coupled with changed design features, makes action figures highly valuable to collectors.

What action figure is worth the most?

The most expensive action figure is the Prototype G.I., which is worth $200,000.

How do you determine the price of an action figure?

To determine the price of an action figure, you can look up its current value on online auction sites like eBay or check a dedicated action figure price guide available both in bookstores and online.

What iconic action figure lines have experienced value growth?

Star Wars, Masters of the Universe and Marvel Legends action figures have experienced an increase in value over time, making them iconic and sought-after among collectors.

Star Wars
Masters of the Universe
Marvel Legends
Star Wars
Model Name
Boba Fett
Mego Spider-Man
Original Price (Year)
$2.00 (1980)
$3.00 (1983)
$4.00 (1974)
N/A (1988)
Very Rare
Notable Features
Limited Release