5 Essential Checks to Do Before Buying An Action Figure

5 Essential Checks to Do Before Buying An Action Figure

Jumping into the world of action figures is like embarking on a thrilling adventure, full of exciting finds and the constant hunt for the next awesome addition to your growing collection. That rush of excitement you get when eyeing a new piece is only matched by the effort it takes to make sure it’s a worthy addition. It’s not just about looks – being a savvy collector means having a keen eye and a solid knowledge base to build a collection that really stands out. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, knowing how to size up action figures before snagging them is key to keeping your collection top-notch. So, let’s dive in and make sure each new addition adds something special to your ever-expanding world of action figure artistry!

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Authenticity and Brand

When it comes to the realm of comic book collecting, every enthusiast dreams of finding that one issue that stands head and shoulders above the rest – the real deal. But in a market awash with reprints, forgeries, and variant covers, how do you know if your hero, that prized comic book in your collection, is as authentic and valuable as you hope? Here are some key pointers to ascertain whether your hero is indeed the real deal:

  • Look for Indicators of Authenticity: First editions and originals contain specific indicators that set them apart. Look for things like publishing dates, volume numbers, and the presence of original price tags. Early comics from the golden and silver ages usually had a 10 to 12 cents cover price. If your hero is from this era and matches the price tag, you might have a gem on your hands.
  • Check the Print Details: Comic books have gone through various print runs. A true first edition, often the most valuable, will have certain identifying marks. These can be as straightforward as a statement of “First Printing” or something more subtle like a particular quirk in the artwork that was corrected in later prints.
  • Examine the Paper Quality: Age tends to show on paper, and original prints from decades ago will have a certain patina that is hard to forge. However, be cautious, as this can also be a sign of poor storage. Authentic, high-value comics usually come from well-preserved collections.
  • Consult the Experts: There are professional grading services like the CGC (Certified Guaranty Company) that will assess and encapsulate comics, assigning them a grade that affirms their authenticity and condition. This is particularly useful for assessing whether the hero is a real-deal investment.

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  • Know the Market: Understanding the trends and prices in the comic book market is paramount. A real deal hero will often be one that has a steady or increasing value due to its rarity, condition, and the historical significance of the issue or character.
  • Seek Out Provenance: Provenance, or the item’s history, can often validate its authenticity. Knowing where the comic has been and who has owned it can authenticate the item and sometimes even increase its value if it was once part of a renowned collection.
  • Beware of Restoration: While restoration can improve the appearance of a comic, it can drastically reduce its value if not professionally disclosed. Check for signs of color touch, trimming, or other alterations that, while making the hero look the part, can diminish its market value.

Remember, while the allure of finding and owning the real deal is strong, part of the thrill of comic book collecting is the journey. It’s about more than just the value—it’s the stories, the art, and the community that make this hobby truly heroic. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a newcomer eager to learn, embracing these aspects makes every find, big or small, a genuine treasure.

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Condition and Articulation

Caring for Your Comic Treasure: Practical Storage Solutions

Any comic book enthusiast understands the importance of keeping their prized issues in mint condition. After meticulously verifying the authenticity and quality of that amazing find, it’s critical to store it correctly to preserve its value and longevity. Comics, by their very nature, are delicate—their paper can become brittle, colors may fade, and edges might wear. So, let’s delve into some practical ways to protect those precious pages.

Begin by investing in acid-free backing boards and clear polyethylene or Mylar bags. These are the essentials for any collector. They provide structural support and protect against the usual suspects of comic degradation: dust, dirt, and humidity. Make sure the bags are snug but not too tight; you don’t want to bend your comics when sliding them in and out.

Consider the climate in which you’re storing your comics. Extreme temperatures and humidity are the nemeses of paper. A dry, cool environment is ideal, steering clear of attics and basements which are prone to temperature fluctuations and moisture. Aim to keep your storage area consistently between 60-70°F (15-21°C) and at a humidity level of 50-55%.

Opt for comic boxes specifically designed for comic storage—these boxes protect against environmental factors and make organization easy breezy. When placing comics inside, don’t cram them in; proper airflow is key to preventing mold and mildew. Some collectors prefer to go a step further, using fireproof safes or filing cabinets for an added level of security.

If you’re going to display your comics, UV filtering on frames or glass doors can help prevent sun damage. Just remember, direct sunlight is a powerful foe, and even with UV protection, it’s best to keep your display away from windows and harsh lights.

Don’t forget about insurance. If you’ve amassed a valuable collection, it’s smart to get it insured—think of it as a protective bubble against the unpredictabilities of life.

Finally, while handling your comics, always have clean, dry hands or, better yet, use cotton gloves. Oils and dirt from fingers can transfer to the pages, leading to stains and degradation over time.

With these strategies in your collector’s toolkit, your comics should remain vibrant and valuable for years—or even decades— to come. Remember, preserving comics is just as much an art as the stories they contain. Happy collecting!

An image of a comic book collection stored in acid-free backing boards and clear polyethylene or Mylar bags, placed neatly in comic boxes. The boxes are showcased in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight. The image represents the importance of proper storage for preserving the value and longevity of comic books.

Rarity and Edition

The pursuit of action figures is an endeavor of passion, blending art appreciation with nostalgia and a keen sense of investment. Adhering to the nuanced criteria of authenticity, condition, articulation, rarity, and edition transforms a simple hobby into a sophisticated quest for excellence. By meticulously inspecting your potential acquisitions with an informed perspective, you solidify the quality of your collection, ensuring that each newly minted piece is not just another figure, but a chapter in the grand narrative of your curatorship. Remember, every action figure tells a story, adding depth and character to your collection, and with these guidelines, you’re well-equipped to select the finest exemplars of this dynamic and evocative art form.