• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Why does action figures suck these days? Do they even exist?

sunnysideup

Member
Nov 11, 2018
374
515
300
When i grew up, action figures was the toy to have. It started with starwars, then there was he-man, gi joe. Every major movie, cartoon had its own figures. Some where created as toys first and then became cartoons. And all action figures where the same size/scale, with space ships, veichles made for these figures. The entire toyline was completely cohesive. Toy stores where i grew up had these massive displays whith hundreds of stormtropers and at-at walkers. My dream as a kid was to have it all.

Now when i go into a toy store and visit say the starwars section there are maybe 10 classic action figures, then there is some plush toys, some 30cm tall darth vader doll, some micro machine esque ships and such. There is zero cohesion. Its just some random starwars branded junk. No thought no nothing.

What are you supose to do with one 30 cm darth vader doll and micro machines? you cant play with those.

Even though i loved action figures as a kid. I have yet to buy a single one for my kids, because its all junk.

One of the reasons i think lego is so successfull, beyond being great fun to build is the cohesiveness. Every set is the same size and works with other same themed sets. Even better works with other themed sets.
 

sunnysideup

Member
Nov 11, 2018
374
515
300
We know that and its not crap. Also name me one thing you want and I'll give you a good action figure for it
Show me a complete toy line whith 100s ships, veichles 1000s actionfigures at mass market price. Aimed to be played with by 5 year olds.
 
Last edited:

#Phonepunk#

Member
Sep 4, 2018
12,562
20,908
800
39
What are you supose to do with one 30 cm darth vader doll and micro machines? you cant play with those.
toys aren't marketed to kids these days. kids would rather play video games. they don't care about toys. the toys are for the adult fans. basically the same kids who had action figures 30 years ago are buying them 30 years later, at inflated costs, largely under the guise of "collecting". thus things like the "Black Series", which sounds like a line of liquor or something.

im with you tho, OP. i used to have a zillion toys as a kid. even when i was too old to play with them, i loved to stand them all up around my drawing desk. i donated all of them to Goodwill years ago.

sadly, it's kind of a thing lost to the past. i guess count your blessings you grew up in the 80s/90s.
 

Mista

Dragonslayer
Nov 21, 2014
18,584
30,856
1,360
Show me a complete toy line whith 100s ships, veichles 1000s actionfigures at mass market price. Aimed to be played with by 5 year olds.
You can't get all that for cheap though? You want high quality shit then you pay for it. Don't go searching for 20-30 shit and want them to be high quality

For example this at-at walker costs 500

 

sunnysideup

Member
Nov 11, 2018
374
515
300
You can't get all that for cheap though? You want high quality shit then you pay for it. Don't go searching for 20-30 shit and want them to be high quality

For example this at-at walker costs 500

No key ships and veichles can be expensive. But the bulk of it has to be massmarket, and above all else, cohesive.
 

MilkyJoe

Member
Jan 29, 2014
10,808
6,023
715
You can't get all that for cheap though? You want high quality shit then you pay for it. Don't go searching for 20-30 shit and want them to be high quality

For example this at-at walker costs 500

That's not the retail, that's scalper prices.
 

GV82

Member
Jun 27, 2019
745
929
380
UK
They do exist but end up in the cheap stores very quickly, not enough people buy them.

Star wars has the 3.75 line but now retail at £10 these are the new line versions of the ones you remember from the 80’s - these are meant to be the cheap for kids ones, often found for sale at £2-3 months later

Then theres the collectors black series which are like the 80’s line 3.75 inch plus 6 inch. £15-26 but supposed to be colectable

Then theres the higher end colkectables like sideshow/hottoys etc

Then the market has been flooded with those funko pops & of course there’s legos

Two problems

A) kids don’t like new star wars much like the adults much, they like Marvel
B) kids don’t do action figures much, they like ipads (amazon tablets) and video games, the toys they buy are probably fortnight figures & micecraft.


Source - I have a 7yr old nephew and 5yr old niece so am toy shopping all the time.


Edit : I should add after people hated TLJ, they did not do much of a line for star wars episode 9, and mandalorian stuff is due april - july this year after disney plus comes out in uk and parts of the r.o.w

And toys r us died
 
Last edited:

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
15,735
26,540
1,115
Blame kids these days.

Its why toy stores are going out of business.

I have 2 nephews who went are just getting into their tweens now and I swear they have 0 action figures. Now they are a bit of geeky kids and my sister always pushed for more educational style toys. But still I have never seen them play with action figures, or seen anyone in my family buy them an action figure. And this is like 12 years of Christmas and Birthdays.

Action figures are for adults now. Check out the 6 inch star wars thread on here. Its all manbabies who are into collecting.

And lets be honest, SJW's and virtue signalers can't stand action figures. They promote boys being boys and toxic masculinity. They are from a bygone era where it was ok for boys to dream about being a big muscle man action hero. Now a days boys need to dream about being girls or feminist allies.
 

sunnysideup

Member
Nov 11, 2018
374
515
300
They do exist but end up in the cheap stores very quickly, not enough people buy them.

Star wars has the 3.75 line but now retail at £10 these are the new line versions of the ones you remember from the 80’s - these are meant to be the cheap for kids ones, often found for sale at £2-3 months later

Then theres the collectors black series which are like the 80’s line 3.75 inch plus 6 inch. £15-26 but supposed to be colectable

Then theres the higher end colkectables like sideshow/hottoys etc

Then the market has been flooded with those funko pops & of course there’s legos

Two problems

A) kids don’t like new star wars much like the adults much, they like Marvel
B) kids don’t do action figures much, they like ipads (amazon tablets) and video games, the toys they buy are probably fortnight figures & micecraft.


Source - I have a 7yr old nephew and 5yr old niece so am toy shopping all the time.
The thing that made starwars and gi joe cool was the cohesiveness. I dont see it today.
 

Damage Inc

Member
Nov 10, 2013
5,649
3,892
850
My son was big into the marvel diamond selects growing up. I thought they were much better quality than some of the cheaper ones.
 

GV82

Member
Jun 27, 2019
745
929
380
UK
The thing that made starwars and gi joe cool was the cohesiveness. I dont see it today.
Yeah they are all about the money now unfortunately hoping adult collectors will buy them online and at collectors shops like comic shops etc.

As I said kids are all about gadgets & games now
 

Dthomp

Member
Sep 17, 2005
3,432
1,408
1,710
Somewhere Cold
Blame kids these days.

Its why toy stores are going out of business.

I have 2 nephews who went are just getting into their tweens now and I swear they have 0 action figures. Now they are a bit of geeky kids and my sister always pushed for more educational style toys. But still I have never seen them play with action figures, or seen anyone in my family buy them an action figure. And this is like 12 years of Christmas and Birthdays.

Action figures are for adults now. Check out the 6 inch star wars thread on here. Its all manbabies who are into collecting.

And lets be honest, SJW's and virtue signalers can't stand action figures. They promote boys being boys and toxic masculinity. They are from a bygone era where it was ok for boys to dream about being a big muscle man action hero. Now a days boys need to dream about being girls or feminist allies.
Yeah, I've got a niece and 2 nephews and I don't think they own a single action figure. My niece has a few barbies but they just get thrown in a corner and ignored. Most kids just stare into their tablets or phones like brain dead retards these days. Not sure at what point kids stopped being taught to use their imagination and just play, and just were plopped in front of youtube and netflix for a living.

I loved these toys when I was growing up, I wish I'd kept them in good shape, or kept them at all, but I played hard as a kid. Had all the OG gen1 Transformers stuff, G.I.Joes coming out of everywhere, and of course the He-Man and TMNT figures. Shit was awesome
 
  • Like
Reactions: cryptoadam

DESTROYA

Gold Member
Jan 1, 2011
5,715
6,840
1,010
USA
Didn’t they always suck?
Growing up in my neighborhood none of us had action figures just the rich kid down the street, we were poor as hell but still had no desire to buy or play with them even after watching the cartoons back in the day.
I don’t know man I barely new anybody that owned one but we were more outdoor activity kids then the lazy slugs you see today.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tesseract

Ahjumbie

Member
Mar 26, 2013
3,098
2,530
910
www.twitch.tv
I have to disagree...at least when it comes to Transformers. Growing up they were terrible . You maybe pulled on the legs and the arms and folded something down to expose the head and you were done . They had like no articulation and if you looked at them wrong they would break . Now with the new Siege line you have great looking sculpts , articulation , paint , more elaborate transformations (but not complicated) ect and with the new Earthrise line coming out soon they're even better.. the Earthrise Optimus is like a smaller Masterpiece (the ones that cost $100+) . This does only apply to Transformers , at least when it comes to them they have done wonders ...

Apparently , they took more care of some of them rather than others
 
Last edited:

cryptoadam

... and he cannot lie
Feb 21, 2018
15,735
26,540
1,115
When your a kid things that suck can be awesome. I mean cup and ball? Yet as kids we still fucked with that shit.

I didn't really care if my figures were cheap ass pieces of plastic probably made by chinese sweat shop workers. I just pretended I was fighting Cobra with Optimus while Rapheal and Leonardo were chilling waiting for Rey to deliver the pizza.
 

Doom85

Member
Mar 3, 2018
1,519
1,470
400
They don't, you just don't know where to look for the good ones. Give me a name and I'll give you a brain melting action figures for it.

I am more of a figure/statue collector. Never liked action figures
Yeah, honestly action figures never aged well for me. The posable options creates those weird joints that ruin the look of the figure. It's fine with mechs/robots but for human characters it's like, "WTF am I looking at?" So yeah, statues are where I'm at now, although Nendoroids I also enjoy as they're meant to be chibi-looking plus the size and other stuff like sleeves make it so the joints are usually not easy to notice if at all.

But even as a kid, LEGOs were far superior to regular action figures for me. I bought all the Ninja Turtles characters and Power Rangers but LEGOs got played FAR more in comparison.
 

TrainedRage

Member
Feb 3, 2018
7,206
10,614
900
34
USA
Oh my gawd the nestolgia hit is overwhelming. This was my favorite toy set as a kid.

I haven’t even thought about these in so long.
So cool. I still have this figure (and another one) from that series. I miss K.B. Toys!
I remember when I was a kid there was this thing called recess, where all the kids would go outside and play after lunch for about 30-40 min. Even in the winter. Me and the boys would bring our Exo Squad toys and battle each other. We would also trade Marvel cards that we would keep in binders.

 

Tesseract

Crushed by Thanos
Dec 7, 2008
50,801
40,152
1,705
The Pentagon
I remember when I was a kid there was this thing called recess, where all the kids would go outside and play after lunch for about 30-40 min. Even in the winter. Me and the boys would bring our Exo Squad toys and battle each other. We would also trade Marvel cards that we would keep in binders.

hell yeah
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: TrainedRage

kunonabi

Member
Dec 2, 2010
17,791
2,983
895
Not an action figure, but I remember this line of toys that were all military hardware like rifles, radios, etc. but they would all transform into playsets with a bunch of tiny soldiers you could use with them. I really wish I could remember the name because it was awesome.

The thing is there used to be some so much imagination behind the various toylines. Everything these days is a license or based off shitty cartoons where nothing freaking happens.

As an adult it's cool that we're getting all this high end stuff of old properties with new articulation and stuff but for kids things just suck for the most part.
 

lock2k

Member
Jun 13, 2018
4,069
5,984
635
Brazil
When i grew up, action figures was the toy to have. It started with starwars, then there was he-man, gi joe. Every major movie, cartoon had its own figures. Some where created as toys first and then became cartoons. And all action figures where the same size/scale, with space ships, veichles made for these figures. The entire toyline was completely cohesive. Toy stores where i grew up had these massive displays whith hundreds of stormtropers and at-at walkers. My dream as a kid was to have it all.

Now when i go into a toy store and visit say the starwars section there are maybe 10 classic action figures, then there is some plush toys, some 30cm tall darth vader doll, some micro machine esque ships and such. There is zero cohesion. Its just some random starwars branded junk. No thought no nothing.

What are you supose to do with one 30 cm darth vader doll and micro machines? you cant play with those.

Even though i loved action figures as a kid. I have yet to buy a single one for my kids, because its all junk.

One of the reasons i think lego is so successfull, beyond being great fun to build is the cohesiveness. Every set is the same size and works with other same themed sets. Even better works with other themed sets.
Nowadays it's all about those whack funko pop motherfuckers. Fucking ugly dolls.
 

lock2k

Member
Jun 13, 2018
4,069
5,984
635
Brazil
Child of the 70's checking in, when action figures didn't need an expensive license involved to fire a kid's imagination.




I'm an 80's kid and I love all things seventies. I love it when I go to the flea market and therd are two or three old toy vendors they same some awesome stuff.
 

lock2k

Member
Jun 13, 2018
4,069
5,984
635
Brazil
toys aren't marketed to kids these days. kids would rather play video games. they don't care about toys. the toys are for the adult fans. basically the same kids who had action figures 30 years ago are buying them 30 years later, at inflated costs, largely under the guise of "collecting". thus things like the "Black Series", which sounds like a line of liquor or something.

im with you tho, OP. i used to have a zillion toys as a kid. even when i was too old to play with them, i loved to stand them all up around my drawing desk. i donated all of them to Goodwill years ago.

sadly, it's kind of a thing lost to the past. i guess count your blessings you grew up in the 80s/90s.
My daughter prefers playing with toys instead of games. She does like to watch me plag hames. She has a unique taste though. She really loves my Ultraman figure and my Red Ranger. She also has a Mexican Dr. Wagner figure. She is a complete Lego nut and she loves to build robots.
 
  • Like
Reactions: infinitys_7th

Flintty

Gold Member
Apr 24, 2014
3,680
1,632
815
UK
Damn, we need the Action Figure GAF OT back.

Hasbro are putting out some amazing quality 6” scale Star Wars figures at the moment, at twenty quid a pop. Can’t go wrong with that! Some of my recent purchases...










I don’t usually got for Hasbro figs, usually preferring the more expensive Japanese imports (Figuarts) but these are really good and the correct scale Snow Speeder is fucking awesome.

No idea why they will only load in landscape🧐
 

StormCell

Member
Dec 11, 2018
1,470
1,488
420
As others are pointing out, action figures have been losing out to video games. This happened decades ago, IMO. There was a turning point in my childhood where I stopped getting any new toys, and all I would ever ask for was video games for birthday/Christmas. The last line of action figure toys I had was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and those were pretty awesome.

The sad thing is I think we're losing much of what inspired imagination for children. How much do they need to pretend to become fully immersed in their play?
 

Jooxed

Gold Member
Aug 27, 2019
2,585
4,845
800
I went to target the other day and passed by the action figure isle and they were all just Fortnite action figures.
 
  • Triggered
Reactions: joe_zazen

Xaero Gravity

Member
May 12, 2013
13,116
12,733
1,165
Canada Eh
It's all about the adult collector now. You want quality stuff, you have to go with either import figures, or high end stuff like Mezco. NECA is a good alternative if you want a focus in sculpt and paint, as evidenced by their Ultimate figures or TMNT Cartoon/Movie stuff.
 

Dazrael

Member
Dec 4, 2018
203
184
240
While I do love the stuff that is around nowadays I do miss the durability of old toys. 3.75 inch GI Joe’s notwithstanding though, those o-bands can do one.
 

highrider

Member
Dec 18, 2010
10,152
4,343
1,020
52
washington d.c.
The last great action figures were from the 70s. The GI Joe figures were really high quality and fairly affordable mainline toys. The special 2 or 300+ ones are really nice today but the actual toys at the toy store are pretty weak imo.

This was my favorite present ever for Christmas. Got the figure with the helicopter. It even came with a little rubber cobra and fake jewels which were the treasure the adventure team was after 👍