Toy figurines are a million dollar industry, and the toy companies are reaping huge profits from parents who can’t say no to their kids. Each manufacturer wants to make the “must have” figurine, but with the number of categories available, many “must haves” exist in the marketplace.
What little child does not love toy figurines or action figures? Set a child free in any toy store and he will immediately run to the aisle that is crammed full with action figurines. These small renditions of cartoon and movie characters, as well as comic book heroes, make little hearts jump with joy.
The most common types of toy figurines are:
Animated Figures – From Star Wars to Batman, these figurines reign supreme. Power Rangers, Superman, and DC Comics characters are also in this category. And just because you have one Darth Vader doesn’t mean that you are done. Newer and better Darth Vader action figures arrive on the shelves every day, and children’s TV shows are only too happy to introduce them to your kids.
Anime Figures – The big sellers here are Dragonball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh. Those two names alone can cause a room full of young boys to faint. Each individual in the series has an entire collection of action figures, so one is never enough.
Bobbleheads – Toy figurines in this category range from basketball stars to Betty Boop. What sets them apart is the bouncy movement of their heads. Many people place these figurines on their dashboard, so the toy figurines move as the car bounces along the road.
Movie Toy Figurines – You’ll find the full complement of monsters here, from Dracula to Wolfman, along with crossovers from other categories like Star Wars characters. If a movie is popular with children, you can bet that a toy figurine will follow. The success of Shrek and Nemo toy figurines proves that point. The recent success of the Toy Story and Transformer films has given rise to a huge business in the production of Transformer toys such as the Mechtech Megatron transformer to name but one from the collection of Transformer toys, not to mention the new KRE-O Transformer toys. Each Christmas, the Toy Story Buzz Lightyear toy peaks as one of the more popular toys to give as a gift to young children.
TV Toy Figurines – The toddler set will have hours of fun playing with toy figurines from Sesame Street and Blues Clues. As children age, their TV universe expands, and middle schoolers will be begging for Buffy the Vampire Slayer toy figurines, while teenagers will be stalking the mall for the X File’s Scully and Mulder.
Disney Toy Figurines – This group of toy figurines is huge, as it encompasses all of the Disney franchises, from Winnie the Pooh to Cruella Deville. New toy figurines are released each year, so people can collect vintage pieces like Dumbo and Mary Poppins.
Animal Figurines – Do you like horses? There are thousands of toy horse figurines from which to choose. How about pigs, or donkeys, or even penguins? These toy figurines are all available. Children can build a toy farm and stock it with the proper animals, or run a toy rodeo where horses can be equipped with the latest gear.
Historical Figurines – Pick a century, and you will find a toy figurine to fill it. Knights of the Round Table, Cleopatra, and Helen of Troy are just a few of the ancients who have been turned into toy figurines. Children can recreate the Alamo, or lead soldiers into battle against American Indians.
Military Figurines – These have always been popular with kids, but with the advent of the Iraq war, they are keeping a high profile. GI Joe stands next to paratroopers and World War II German soldiers in the toy aisle.
Sports Figurines – From Hulk Hogan in World Wide Wrestling to NBA stars, little boys and little girls have their sports heroes and now they can have their sports hero action figures. Miniature baseball players can move around imaginary bases, while aspiring tennis and golf pros can own tiny versions of their favorite players.
Whatever your choice of toy figurine, it is available somewhere near your house or your keyboard.
If you or your child really gets into toy figurine collecting, there are conventions dedicated to specific action figures or to pop culture, where many unusual and hard-to-find toy figurines are available.