Collecting on a budget
Collecting toys can be a lot of fun, nostalgic, and even therapeutic, but it can also get expensive quickly if you’re not careful. What if that was not the case though? What if you had unlimited resources to get whatever you wanted? It is something we all dream about. Especially collectors. That holy grail is always just out of reach. Too hard to find and most times too expensive.
I take that feeling all the way back to my childhood. Our family was lower middle class. We weren’t poor, but my parents always seemed to be on a budget. We did get toys mind you, but a lot of the time it was the alternate cheaper version of what we asked for. As an example, I would get the Toys R US version of G.I. Joe action figures. Or clearance Remco figures instead of Heman. Now, before you get all sentimental on me, every so often, just like in the movie “A Christmas Story”, they would surprise us with something great.
Do you remember the Toys R Us shopping spree? I do. I remember seeing some lucky “bastard” on the evening news running full tilt with a shopping cart grabbing what they could until the time ran out. I wanted so badly to be that kid. I had my route all planned out. I would go straight for the action figures, video games, movie tie-ins, and wrestling figures. And if they had it, I would grab the G.I. Joe Flagg right off the bat. Yup, I would be just like Ricky Schroder on Silver Spoons.
Well, I’m older now. I have a full-time job and run this website in my spare time. To this day I still haven’t gotten my hands on a G.I. Joe Flagg. But that’s ok. I’ve got other things I loved from my childhood. But what if money were no object? What kind of things would I buy today?
Shut Up and Take my Money!
This list in no way represents all the cool stuff available to buy. I mean, I avoided HotToys altogether as this list would be just HotToys if I didn’t. But I gave myself a few simple rules. It had to be over $200 USD, it had to be poseable – moving parts, it could be any scale but had to be a toy, and finally, I only had 2 hours to search. This is what I came up with within that time period.
10. Fantastic Four One:12 Collective Deluxe Steel Boxed Set $420.99 USD
The fantastic 4 by Mezco at $420.99 is not such a bad deal once you see what you get inside the package. It comes with all four characters; Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, and Ben Grimm. Mezco known for their clothed figures really hit this one out of the park. And as I mentioned, the amount of accessories Mezco squeezes into these releases is staggering. A number of alternate heads, hands, weapons, and did I mention you also get H.E.R.B.I.E.? I would have to say “This set is really Fantastic!”.
9. Voltron: Defender of the Universe Voltron Robo-DOU Action Figure $299.99 USD
Back in the 80s, robots from Japan were all the rage! Kids were going nuts over Transformers and Go-bots and all those other transforming toys. And you know why? Every TV show was basically a 22-minute commercial for the toys, so kids were constantly exposed to them. But Voltron was different, it had that whole robot theme and a team aspect that let kids pick their favorite pilot. And here’s the real kicker, each part of Voltron was made up of robotic lions that combined together to form the mighty Voltron! It was a genius idea, seriously.
This $299.99 figure of Voltron is amazing. It captures the essence of Voltron perfectly with its great articulation and true-to-form sculpted parts and weapons. It’s one of those toys that has me begging my wallet to let me buy it. I just have to have it!
8. Gremlins 2 The New Batch Flasher Gremlin Life-Size Stunt Puppet Prop Replica $239.99 USD
As a collector, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that finding items from my childhood brings back fond memories. That’s why this $239.99 Gremlins Flasher is such an appealing item for me – it takes me back to the time when the first Gremlins movie was released in 1984, and then again with the sequel six years later. As a kid, anything related to the franchise had me hooked; toys, lunchboxes – you name it! Seeing this prop all these years later stirs up all those same feelings of nostalgia and excitement that I felt as a child. On top of that, it makes for quite an interesting conversation starter if you have it on display in your office!
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates Party Wagon Vehicle $474.99 USD
When I heard Super 7 announce this back in November 2021, I was all in. Until I saw the price tag of $474.99, that is. That’s a pretty steep price, especially if you don’t already have the Turtles to go with it. But, man, I’ve got to say, this is going to be one of my grail pieces in the future. It looks incredible, straight out of the 80’s cartoon. And it’s big too, measuring about 20 1/4 inches in length. That’s a lot of plastic, but every detail is spot on, from the TRTLPWR license plate to the pizza-themed hubcaps. Cowabunga! It’s still available for pre-order and is scheduled to ship in December 2023, so there’s still time to get your hands on it. It’s definitely on my wish list right now.
6. Childs Play Chucky and Tiffany $459.99 USD
My wife was the one to introduce me to these amazing collectible pieces. Iconic characters from an iconic franchise, Child’s Play, released in 1988 with Mark Hammil as the voice of the antagonist, “Chucky”. It was a horror/comedy that came out at just the right time when talking toys were all the rage. The idea of taking a My Buddy Doll and flipping it into something so sinister yet so memorable is genius! Even after 35 years, they are still making movies and TV series based on them.
These “Dolls” look movie-accurate right down to Tiff’s necklace! And though expensive at $459.99 each, they would be great additions to any office or man/fem cave!
5. Kurt Cobain 1:6 Scale Action Figure $324.99 USD
One of my favorite rock ‘n’ roll moments of my lifetime was watching Nirvana unplugged live on MTV on November 18, 1993. What a set! In my mind, it solidified Nirvana and Kurt Cobain as true rock legends! Now, this figure isn’t based on that performance, but it is the performance I fondly remember. This Kurt Cobain 1:6 scale figure is based on The Roseland Ballroom performance in ’93 – an event that marked the last time Nirvana performed Together before Cobain’s untimely passing. The show has become iconic for representing the end of an era in music and the peak of Nirvana’s fame.
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe One:12 Collective Boxed Set $400.00 USD
These figures are absolutely remarkable. From the articulation to the sculpts and a plethora of accessories, this is surely the greatest TMNT toy set for collectors! It includes all four turtles in their comic-accurate design, along with interchangeable heads, hands, and weapons. Furthermore, it comes packaged with soft goods – including a hoody with an operational zipper – something Mezco has become renowned for.
Have a look at the images; however, be aware that it does have quite a hefty price tag of $ 400 USD. But considering how many extras they’ve included here, it may well be worth it – we’ll just have to wait and see!
4. The Boys Season 1 Billy Butcher 1:6 Scale Deluxe Version Action Figure $329.99 USD
When there are so many different streaming services, networks, and studios competing for viewers’ attention in this new era of entertainment, it can be hard for a new IP to stand out. But when it does succeed, one can bet that the premise is solid, the writing is top-notch, and the team behind it is exceptional. Such was the case with Amazon Prime’s The Boys which premiered on July 26th, 2019 and quickly became one of the most popular streaming shows to date – no doubt due in part to Karl Urban’s portrayal of Billy Butcher.
The Boys Season 1 Billy Butcher 1:6 Scale Deluxe Version Action Figure captures every detail of Urban’s character with over 30 points of articulation and an outfit made from fabric. It also includes several tools used by him as well as other accessories such as a” Laser Baby” featuring LED light-up eyes! Is it expensive? Yes, but in my opinion, worth every penny!
3. Transformers Optimus Prime Elite Auto-Converting Robot $699.99 USD
I’ll be completely honest: I splurged and paid the full $699.99 USD for this item when it was first available on Hasbro Pulse. It was an impulse buy, no doubt about that! But it’s worth every penny – not only is it a representation of one of the most iconic characters from the 80s (right up there with Hulk Hogan and Micheal Knight), but also because it’s a robot that transforms! Take a look at Adam Savage’s video to see what I mean. Need I say more?
2. Ray Harryhausen’s Bubo Soft Vinyl Articulated Action Figure $259.99 USD
Clash of the Titans…I could stop right there as many of you don’t need much more when it comes to this prop.
Before CGI there was stop-motion animation. And the top dog was Ray Harryhausen! He was a pioneer in stop-motion animation inspiring many in the movie industry today. He worked on movies like Mighty Joe Young, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and of course his masterpiece Clash of the Titans. A movie that still holds up to this day.
In the movie, Perseus loses Athena’s helmet in Calibos’ swamp, Zeus orders her to provide him with her owl as a replacement – however she refuses and instead has Hephaestus construct a clockwork copy of Bubo to assist him on his journey. This mechanical bird proves invaluable during his quest, although not without some blunders along the way!
It looks like Hephaestus has been busy though because this articulated action figure from Star Ace is an exact replica of the original from the film! This is one I am personally very close to pulling the trigger on.
Honorable Mention: Happy Days Fonzie Deluxe Edition 1:6 Scale Action Figure $400.00 USD
Sunday Monday happy days,Tuesday Wednesday happy days, Thursday Friday happy days, Saturday, what a day Rockin’ all week for you…
Making lists like this is so much fun because I always stumble upon cool finds like this “Fonz” figure. The moment I saw Fonzie, the Happy Days theme song automatically went through my head. He was a legend of ’70s & ’80s tv. This figure is up for preorder at the whopping price of $400 big ones. Granted, it is a deluxe 1:6 scale figure. Ultra-detailed, cloth goods, and comes packaged with the iconic Happy Days Juke Box. What’s a Jukebox you may ask. That’s a big music box that would play ’45s randomly or for a cost. What are 45’s? They were records that would spin at 45rpms and hold a song or “single” on each side. What are records? …
1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife ECTO-1 1:6 Scale Vehicle $1899.99 USD
Splurge much? This is the most expensive collectible on the list. At the same time, it’s the one I want the most. In number one spot is the Ghostbusters Afterlife 1:16th scale Ecto-1. This thing is collosol! It’s big, it’s detailed, and it’s almost $2000 monstrous bucks. They released the original Ecto-1 in July 2017 at a price of $1,400. As well as the matching 1:6th scale figures. Are they going to release figures with this one? No news yet, but if they do, expect to fork out another 1400 big ones.
What do you think of the list? Is there something I missed? Let me know by commenting below. If money was no object what would you pre-order?