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Should I Open My Action Figures? A Guide for Collectors

May 20, 2024
Should I Open My Action Figures

As an action figure collector, you’ve likely faced the age-old dilemma: “should I open my action figures” or keep them sealed in their original packaging? The answer isn’t always straightforward, as it depends on various factors like your collection goals, the value of the figures, and personal preferences. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of opening and preserving action figures, helping you make an informed decision that best suits your unique collecting journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Collectors must weigh personal enjoyment and investment value when deciding whether to open or preserve action figures.
  • Special editions, exclusives, vintage pieces, and hard-to-find figures should be identified in order to make an informed decision regarding opening them.
  • Storage methods such as protective cases/bags and display solutions ranging from acrylic boxes to cabinets can help maintain the condition of a collection while allowing for interactive displays.

To Open or Not to Open: The Collector’s Dilemma

To Open or Not to Open: The Collector's Dilemma

The collector’s dilemma revolves around whether to open your figures or retain action figures in their original packaging, with pros and cons for each choice. Some collectors prefer to keep their figures sealed for investment purposes, while others choose to open and display their precious toys for personal enjoyment. The decision-making process hinges on assessing the pros and cons of each approach and taking into account your personal preferences.

There are two types of collectors: those who prefer to keep their figures in mint condition sealed in their original box (MISB) and others who choose to remove their collectibles and display them. Your decision will ultimately depend on your collection objectives, the value of the figures, and your personal preferences.

Pros of Opening Your Action Figures

One of the primary motivations for opening action figures is the ability to showcase them in a way that highlights their unique features and artistry. Opening action figures provides personal satisfaction, enables imaginative displays, and facilitates upkeep. For example, Hot Toys collectibles are known for their incredible poseability, allowing collectors to create dynamic displays that capture the essence of their favorite characters.

Nevertheless, whether to open action figures isn’t a one-size-fits-all choice, as it hinges on the collector’s objectives and inclinations. For vintage figures or limited edition items, it might be better to keep them sealed to preserve their value. Regardless, the decision to open or keep your figures sealed should be based on a careful evaluation of factors such as rarity, condition, and personal enjoyment.

Cons of Opening Your Action Figures

The primary justification for collectors not to open their action figures is due to the resale value, as unopened figures tend to have a higher value in the market. Additionally, opening action figures comes with the risk of damage, either during the unboxing process or from exposure to environmental factors such as dust and sunlight.

Another disadvantage of opening action figures is the inability to verify the pristine condition and presence of all components if you plan on selling them in the future. Ultimately, the choice between opening or preserving your action figures in their original packaging is dictated by your collection objectives, the figures’ worth, and your personal inclinations.

Evaluating Your Collection Goals

Evaluating Your Collection Goals

Collection goals can be focused on investment or personal enjoyment, influencing the decision to open or keep action figures sealed. Investment-focused collectors may prioritize keeping figures in their original packaging to maintain value, while personal enjoyment-focused collectors may prefer opening and displaying their figures for a more interactive experience.

Balancing both the possible investment value and the potential personal enjoyment derived from your figures is key when deciding whether to unseal them or keep them intact. Additionally, taking the time to analyze the market and being cognizant of the potential risks associated with each collection goal is essential in making the best decision for your unique situation.

Investment Focus

Investment-focused collectors often prioritize retaining figures in their original packaging to preserve value, whether it’s action figures or other collectibles like Hot Wheels. Investing in action figures can be a viable option for diversifying one’s portfolio, but it requires comprehensive research and consideration of factors such as scarcity, condition, and demand prior to making any investment decisions.

If your focus is on investment, safeguarding your figures from environmental threats like dust and dirt becomes paramount. By keeping your collectibles in pristine condition, you ensure they don’t collect dust, improving the likelihood of a higher return on investment, making it an appealing strategy for those looking to profit from their collection.

Personal Enjoyment Focus

For collectors focused on personal enjoyment, opening and displaying action figures offers a more interactive experience. These collectors may appreciate:

  • the artistry of the figures
  • the potential for enhanced enjoyment
  • a feeling of accomplishment when collecting high-quality figures like Sideshow Collectibles.

If your collection is aimed at personal enjoyment, here are some important steps to take:

  1. Set a budget for your collection.
  2. Choose a theme or franchise to focus on.
  3. Network with fellow collectors to exchange insights and experiences.
  4. Open action figures and display them in various postures and action sequences.
  5. Align your figures to create visually appealing displays that showcase your passion for the hobby.

Identifying Valuable and Rare Figures

Should I Open My Action Figures

Recognizing valuable and rare figures, including special editions, exclusives, and vintage items, enables collectors to make well-informed choices about whether to unseal them or keep them as is. Knowing which items hold higher value and rarity can guide you in deciding whether it’s worth opening your figures or preserving their value in their original packaging.

Some of the most valuable action figures include other figures like:

  • El Capitan Rayo
  • Blue-Hatted Babe Ruth
  • Hungarian Boba Fett
  • Elastic Batman
  • Moon Belly Kamala
  • 1963 prototype G.I. Joe

By understanding the value and rarity of your figures, you can make better decisions about how to best care for, display, and potentially sell your collectibles.

Special Editions and Exclusives

Special editions and exclusives refer to action figures that have been released in limited quantities and are typically of higher value than regular action figures. These figures often feature unique characteristics or are produced in limited runs, making them more desirable for collectors and potentially more valuable in the long run.

For collectors who possess special editions or exclusives, it may be worth keeping these items in their original packaging to preserve their value. This strategy can be particularly beneficial if you plan on selling these figures in the future or wish to maintain their value as part of your investment-focused collection.

Vintage and Hard-to-Find Figures

Vintage action figures, manufactured between 1964 and 2000, are often highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and nostalgic appeal. Some vintage figures, such as those from G.I. Joe or Star Wars lines, can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on their condition and rarity, especially if they are several decades “year old.”

When it comes to vintage and hard-to-find figures, here are some tips to preserve their value:

  • Keep them in their original packaging, if possible.
  • If the packaging is compromised, replace it with an equivalent item.
  • Store the figures in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight.

Following these guidelines will help maintain the condition and value of your collectible figures.

Displaying and Storing Your Action Figures

Should I Open My Action Figures?

Depending on your collection goals and personal preferences, there are various ways to display and store your action figures. In-box displays showcase figures in their original packaging, often on shelves or walls, while out-of-box displays allow for creative posing and dioramas, providing a more interactive experience.

Both in-box and out-of-box displays have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on the collector’s personal preference. Whether you prefer to maintain your figures in a sealed box for potential investment value or always open them to enjoy their full potential, there are display and storage options to suit your needs.

In-Box Displays

In-box displays are an excellent way to maintain the condition of your action figures, as they are not exposed to dust or other environmental conditions. They provide an ideal opportunity to showcase your collection without having to open the figures, preserving their value and appeal to other collectors.

However, in-box displays can be challenging to arrange and occupy a considerable amount of shelf space. To ensure a secure display, use a sturdy shelf or wall mount and consider employing a dust cover or other protective material to maintain the figures in optimal condition.

Arrange all the figures in your in-box in an aesthetically pleasing manner to create an impressive display.

Out-of-Box Displays

Out-of-box displays offer a more interactive experience, allowing for creative posing and dioramas that bring your figures to life. There are various display options available, such as acrylic display cases, DIY shelves, or dedicated display cabinets, allowing collectors to showcase their figures in a way that reflects their passion for the hobby.

When choosing an out-of-box display, consider factors like space, accessibility, and aesthetics. By displaying your figures in a way that highlights their unique features and artistry, you can create a dynamic and engaging exhibit that showcases your passion for collecting.

Caring for Your Action Figures

Caring for Your Action Figures

Proper care for your action figures is vital to keep them in peak condition and preserve their value. Regular cleaning is essential, as dust and dirt can accumulate on the figures and negatively impact their appearance and value. Additionally, protecting your collection from damage caused by environmental factors or improper handling is vital.

Regardless of whether you decide to unseal your figures or keep them intact, taking a proactive approach to maintaining your collection is of utmost importance. This includes cleaning, maintenance, and protection from damage, all of which contribute to preserving the value and enjoyment of your action figures.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

One key aspect of caring for your action figures is regular cleaning. Use a soft cloth and a mild soap and water solution to gently clean your figures, avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may cause damage. Delicately dust the action figures with a soft cloth or brush to maintain their appearance.

In addition to cleaning, maintaining your action figures involves proper storage and display. Keep them in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight, as exposure to extreme temperatures or humidity can lead to damage. By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure your figures remain in the best possible condition.

Protecting Your Collection from Damage

Protecting your action figures from damage involves more than just proper cleaning and maintenance. Consider using protective cases or bags to store your figures and minimize handling, which can lead to deterioration. Additionally, keep your collection away from children and pets, who may accidentally cause damage.

To further safeguard your collection, consider the display methods mentioned earlier in this blog post. By choosing the right display and storage options, you can effectively protect your action figures from harm and ensure they maintain their value and appeal for years to come.

Making the Decision: Balancing Investment and Enjoyment

Making the Decision: Balancing Investment and Enjoyment

Striking a balance between investment and enjoyment can pose a challenge for action figure collectors, given that opened figures may diminish their worth, while keeping them sealed could curtail personal gratification. One possible solution to this dilemma is to buy doubles of certain figures, allowing you to open one for personal enjoyment while keeping the other sealed for potential investment value.

By considering both the potential financial gain and the pleasure of playing with your action figures, you can make an informed decision that best suits your unique collecting journey. Whether you choose to open your figures, keep them sealed, or buy doubles, the choice ultimately depends on what you would want for your collection goals and personal preferences.

Buying Doubles: A Possible Solution

When you buy two of certain action figures, it provides you with the opportunity to open one for personal enjoyment while preserving the other in its sealed state for potential investment value. This approach allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds, experiencing the thrill of opening and displaying your figures while still maintaining the possibility of a financial return on your investment.

If you’re mulling over buying duplicates, it’s crucial to zero in on valuable and rare figures, including special editions, exclusives, and vintage items. By making informed decisions about which figures to buy in multiples, you can effectively balance investment and enjoyment in your action figure collection.

Summary

In conclusion, the decision to open or keep action figures sealed depends on various factors, including your collection goals, the value of the figures, and personal preferences. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of opening and preserving action figures, identifying valuable and rare items, and considering display and storage options, you can make an informed decision that best suits your unique collecting journey. Whether you choose to open your figures, keep them sealed, or buy doubles, always prioritize proper care and maintenance to ensure your collection remains in optimal condition and maintains its value for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you take figures out of box?

It is generally recommended to keep figures in their boxes if you are a collector who plans on selling them in the future; however, taking them out of the box is an option if you prefer to display your figures without packaging and don’t mind the potential risk of damage.

Is it normal to collect action figures?

Collecting action figures is a legitimate hobby for any age, requiring passion and commitment like any other, despite what many may think.

Why do people keep action figures in box?

People keep action figures in the box to protect them from damage, thus preserving their value.

How can I maintain the value of my action figures if I decide to open them?

To maintain the value of opened action figures, store and display them in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight and clean them regularly using a soft cloth and mild soap and water solution.

What are some display options for opened action figures?

Display options for opened action figures include acrylic display cases, DIY shelves, and dedicated display cabinets. Alternatively, you can create dynamic displays by arranging the figures in different poses and alignments.