Top 10 Rarest Action Figures

Action figures are dolls for boys (and men). The whole collectable action figure craze was set off by the release of the Star War’s “Early Bird” figures in 1977. Since then action figures have become endemic; every movie and TV show seems to have released its own set of action figures. The rarity of any item is also represented by its value at auction.

The Mego Company, before Kenner released the Star Wars toys was, THE Company for action figures. It produced action figure lines for the Marvel Super heroes, Kiss and even Sonny and Cher. The Mego Elastic collection produced in the late 1970’s rate among the rarest toys still extant.

Number ten: The Mego Elastic Spiderman, of which only 18 are known to exist and all of them are in less than mint condition.

Numbers nine, eight and seven: The “Telescoping Lightsaber” Darth Vader, Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker released as an “Early Bird” set of Kenner Star Wars toys. These figures had a small two piece lightsaber that would emerge from the hollow arms. The two piece lightsaber was easily broken and hard to manufacture, so in later versions of the toys, it was replaced by a one piece lightsaber. Only a few hundred of these figures were ever made. Last estimates are that about 15 of each of these figures still exist in the box.

Number six: Mego Elastic Incredible Hulk is the most sought after of all the Mego Elastics even though nine are currently known to exist making them less rare than the Superman and Batman action figures.

Number five: The Mego Company Elastic Superman of which only 5 or 6 are known to exist.

Number four: The rarest single action figure from the Mego Company is the mint Elastic Batman figure of which only two are known to exist; one sold for over $15,000 dollars in 2006.

Number three: The Robin Mego Figure with the Kresge Card only one known to exist and sold at auction for more than $12,000 dollars at auction in 2006.

Number two: The prototype G. I Joe. There is only one in the world. It cost $200,000 dollar when last sold. It now resides at the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. This Joe is 11 ½ inches tall and wears a handmade Olive Drab Sergeant’s uniform with a plastic M-1 “steel pot” helmet.

Number one: The Vlix action figure from the short lived Star Wars Droid’s Cartoon series. This action figure is so rare no one is sure one even still exists in mint condition. Kenner sold the molds and rights to a Brazilian toy company and this figure was never sold outside Brazil. If a collector can find one loose it would be about $4,000 dollars. If one still exists in the box, it could be worth several hundred thousand dollars.

Top 10 Rarest Beanie Babies

Ty Beanie Babies were released to the public in 1993, but did not become a hot toy or a real collectable item until 1999. The collecting craze has dropped off recently, but some people continue to collect and trade the Beanie Babies and there is a considerable secondary and auction market for the collectable Beanies.

As with many collectables the condition of the article decides part of its value.  With Beanie Babies, if the tag is still attached the value is much higher then if the tag is gone. Beanie babies with tags removed are worth on average about half of the value of those with the tags still attached.

As with some coins and also some stamps, mistakes in manufacturing that are later corrected are valuable since the mistakes are rare. Also limited editions are value as are older Beanie Babies.   For example three of the original line of nine Beanies are among the ten rarest.

Number Ten:  Spot the Dog, without the spot was released in 1993. Over 4 million were produced, of which 1500 were shipped without the spot.  Estimated value is $1,900 dollars.

Number Nine:  Humphrey the Camel released in June of 1994 Only 25,000 were ever made. Estimated value is about  $2,000 dollars

Number Eight:  Peking the Panda Bear, Introduced in June of 1994. This Beanie is the only Baby made with cloth eyes. All other Beanies have black bead eyes.

Number Seven:  Quacker the Duck made without wings, made in 1994; 780 were made and shipped without wings.  Later copies included the wings. A Wingless Quacker is worth about $2,000 dollars.

Number Six: Derby the Fine Mane Horse, released in Mid-1995. The mane on this Beanie has twenty relative fine strands.  This was later changed to be only eight stands of ‘hair’ for the mane. The 20 strand version is rare and is valued at about  $2,200 dollars.

Number Five: The Brown Teddy, Old Face made in June 1994.  The “Old Face” on this bear has a triangular nose with round eyes on either side.  These bears were made without birthdays or poems included. Valued around $2,800 dollars.

Number Four: Brownie the Brown Bear, one of the original run of Beanies made in 1993. Brownie’s name was later changed to Cubbie.  An original Brownie the Bear runs a nice $3,600 dollars today.

Number Three: Puncher the Lobster, again one of the first nine made in 1993. The name Puncher was changed to Pincher, which was supposed to be the name from the start. A Puncher is valued at around $3,800 dollars.

Number Two:  Nana the Monkey released in 1995 was later renamed as “Bongo the Monkey”. A Nana runs a hefty $4,000 dollars.

Number One: Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant released in 1995;  a manufacturing mistake made a run of 2000 in lighter shade of blue than the remainder. An unknown number of these “mistakes” still exist. If a collector can find one it is worth about $4,500.

Sources:

http://www.aboutbeanies.com/

Guide to Collecting GI Joe Action Figures

GI Joe was introduced in 1964 by the Hasbro Toy Company and was the very first action figure.

Starting with only four figures (Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Pilot) and some seventy-five addition items such as weapons, helmets and uniforms.  In 1965 an African-America Joe was introduced, followed in 1967 with talking Joes and the only female Joe, the G. I. Joe Nurse figure.  In 1977 the original 12 inch tall figures were reduced to 8 inches in size, and then in 1978 the line was discontinued.   In the early 80’s the line was restarted as 3 and ¾ inch figures; these figures came from characters from the 1980’s Cartoon show. The cartoon was a series of adventures as G I Joe fought the evil Cobra organization.

Since its debut in 1964 the GI Joe line has generated hundreds of action figures, thousands of additional items, a cartoon series and two big screen movies.

The single most expensive action figure in the world is the Prototype GI Joe from the Hasbro Company which cost $200,000 dollars in 2003 and now resides at the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. The Joe prototype is dressed in a hand sown OD green Sergeant’s uniform and has a plastic M-1 “steel pot” styled helmet and canteen, but no weapons.

Of course, the most of the rest of the collectible G I Joe figures are valued at much less than $200,000, also, of course, the most collectible and priciest figures are the older 12 inch figures and generally the more rare the figure, the more it costs.  Also very collectible and valuable are the various play sets.

The Prices below are for those figures and sets still in mint condition:

The Shore Patrol Equipment Set released in 1967 worth about $3500 dollars.

The Talking landing Signal Officer Set from 1968 also valued at about $3500 dollars.

The Crash Crew Fire Truck Vehicle Set released in 1967 also valued at about $3500 dollars.

The Dress Parade Adventure Pack from 1968 also about $3500 dollars.

The Talking Shore Patrol Set also made in 1968 also about $3500 dollars.

The Military Police Equipment Set from 1967 valued at $3500 dollars.

The Army Adventure Pack, Bivouac Equipment Set from 1968 valued at $3500 dollars.

The Flying Space Adventure Set made in 1970 is valued at $3700 dollars.

The Canadian Mountie Set was sold only through Sears Stores in 1967 is worth $4000 dollars.

The Action Soldiers of the World Talking Adventure Pack from 1968 is worth $5000 dollars.

And the crème de la crème of Joe Collecting is the G. I. Joe Nurse from 1967 and is valued at $5000 or more.

Source:

Justin Moen “Toys & Prices 2010”  Krause Publications, 2009.

Guide to Collecting Transformers Action Figures

There are many different lines of Transformer action figures, with various lines being produced only for Europe or Japan or America. Most of the lines are based on the various cartoon series or live action movies.  Of course the oldest figures are generally the rarest and most collectable.

The first Generation from 1984 to 1990, also called Generation 1 or G1, these are THE Transformer action figures. The first cartoon series ran for five years in American from 1984 to 1988.  Coinciding with the release of the cartoons on TV was the release of the action figures produced by Hasbro.

The Generation One toys include sub-line such as the Autobots (the heroes) and the Decepticons (the villains) . Of course they include the Optimus Prime and Megatron figures as well as lines for the Dinobots and Minispies.  And include popular figures such as Starscream, Jetfire, Shockwave, Bumblebee etc.  If you want to start a collection of Transformer action figures, this generation is the place to start.

Second Generation or Generation 2 or G2, was released from 1992 to 1995.  A sad attempt to recapture the popularity of the G1 figures, but with no supporting series or movie, these figures failed to generate much interest or many sales.

Beast Wars made  from 1996 to 2000.  This set took the Transformer line in a very new direction. Instead of changing into cars or planes, these transformed into animals;  Optimus Prime became Optimus Primal and changed into a huge Gorilla while Megatron changed into a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Maximals were the heroes and the Predicons were the villains.

Machine Wars released in 1997 only released twelve figures in that one year, it was not very popular.  It was sold exclusive by KB Toys.

Beast Machines released in 2000 and features good guys called Maximals and changed into animals were the bad guys were called Vehicons and changed into vehicles.

Robots in Disguise: Released in 2001, was a reboot of the original series, bringing back the old Autobot and Decepticon battle and these figures also supported a new cartoon series that ran for 39 episodes.

The Heroes of Cybertron  released in 2002 the figures did not transform but had moveable arms and legs like traditional action figures.

Transformers: The Movie of 2007 and Transformers; Revenge of the Fallen released in 2009 revitalized the brand and of course several action figures were released to support the new movies.  These figures are generally not as collectable as the older figures.

Guide to Collecting Buffy the Vampire Slayer Action Figures

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (BtVS) was  selected by TV guide as one of the best 50 TV series of all time.  Featuring the adventures of Buffy Summers, teenage girl, high school student and monster hunter, along with her band of helpers, called the “Scooby Gang”. The series lasted for seven seasons and spawned an incredible number of action figures.

Without a doubt the most popular figure from the series in the girl herself, Buffy  Summers

The Season 1 Buffy  Summers :  based on Buffy’s  from first season. The figure comes with two stakes, a silver dagger and a crossbow.

“Welcome to the Hellmouth Buffy.”  Available only from Moore Action Collectibles.  It adds a Vampyr book to the accessories listed above.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer Second Series (2000)

2nd Season Buffy Summers. Only available from  Toyfare. This figure has two stakes, dagger,  hammer and  sword, with a pistol crossbow.

3rd Season  Buffy Summers . This Buffy has two stakes, an ax, a pistol crossbow, and a Hunga Munga.  The  base is a graveyard.

5th Season  “Intervention Buffy-bot”.   The Buffybot has the ax, battery and a stake.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Deluxe Figures from 2005:  “Graduation Day Buffy” is a Deluxe Buffy action figure. This figure is dressed in red leather pants, black top and Black leather jacket.  It comes with a diploma, handcuffs and Sunnydale Highschool year book.

“Buffy”:  This Buffy deluxe figure has a pool cue and a stake. It wears red top and black jeans.

“End of Days Buffy”” This figure has a Slayer’s Scythe and a stake and wears blue jeans jacket and green pants.

7th  Series  Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 2006:

“Chosen” Buffy”.  This figure has a stake, the Slayer’s Scythe with a Sunnydale High base for display.

“Nightmares Buffy”.  This figure has a book of spiders and a bag, and comes with a hospital base. .

“Buffy Summers. This figure includes two pom-poms, Katherine the Great’s trophy, stake and a Sunnydale High gymnasium play base. She is sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios.

“Primeval Buffy”:  includes an tazer gun,  an ax, and Adam’s power source with and Initiative base.

“Buffy versus Dracula Buffy” comes with an ax, a battery, a stake.

“The Prom Buffy”. Come with the Class Protector umbrella and has Prom base.

Guide to Collecting Ben10 Action Figures

The Original Ben 10 Series 10cm Action Figures – these figures are still available but can be difficult to find and expensive.  Also available are the Ben 10 Battle figures and Collectible figures.  This line includes Ben Tennyson, Gwen Tennyson and Max Tennyson figures as well the first ten Alien figures: Heatblast, Wildmut, Dimondhead, XLR8, Grey Matter, Fourarms, Stinkfly, Ripjaws, Upgrade, and Ghostfreak.

The Ben 10 Alien Force 10cm Action Figures – Fully articulated come with an information card and also have a mini alien figure that can be put on the Ultimate Omintrix to hear the alien voice.   Include the figures of the grown up Ben, Gwen, Kevin Levin and the aliens Swampfire, Echo Echo, Humongousaur, Jetray, Big Chill, Chromastone, Brainstorm, Spidermonkey, Goop and Alien X.

The Ben 10 Alien Swarm 10cm Action Figures – feature characters from the second Ben 10 live action movie. Include again Ben, Gwen, and Kevin figures and Nanomech, Validis, and the Alien Queen figures as well.

Many of these figures come packaged in five or ten character sets as well.

Ben 10 Deluxe Figures 10cm from Alien Force, include Brainstorm, Spidermonkey, Swampfire, Echo Echo and Humungousaur with special features such as a launching tail and playdoh molding heads.

Ben 10 Alien Force 15cm Figures The DNAliens in this line have some cool features like flexible muscles and oozing DNA glop.

The Ben 10 Original Series 15cm Action Figures are harder to come by than the Original series 10 CM sized figures, but can be had if you want to pay the prices.

Ben 10 Alien Action Heroes 20cm Figures: These figures have transforming ability and can be turning into a complete different toy.

Ben 10 20cm Metamorfigures can transform from toy into a “working” mode. For example Wildmutt in ‘toy mode’ fires quills from its back and in “working mode” has a motion detector with sound alarm.

Ben 10 Stretch Aliens 20cm size, can be stretched to three time original size, but the stretchiness may wear out after time.

Ben 10 Micros are a nice 6cm size on a display base and come with jelly beans as well.  Two sets of eighteen different figures make this line perfect for collecting. Also come in packaged sets of one,  two or three.

Ben 10 Creation Chamber Figures allows the figures to be mixed together to create totally new figures. At a nice small size these are great figures for display.

The Alexander Doll Company

Madame Beatrice Alexander Behman started the Alexander Doll Company in 1923.  During the course of her life with the company, Madame Alexander, as she was known, created many firsts in doll making. Including making the first dolls with eyes that opened and closed, dolls based on pop culture characters such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Gone with the wind” and dolls based on famous people such as Queen Elizabeth II. Madame Alexander stayed active in her company until age 93.

Generally speaking there are four eras of Madame Alexander dolls, based on the date of manufacture:

The Antique Dolls: Which means dolls were made before 1939.  These dolls will be highly collectable due to their rarity. These dolls will be made of cloth exclusively and have hand painted faces and sown on clothing. Dolls from this era include the Alice doll based on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” books.

Collectible Dolls: These dolls were made between 1940 and 1970 and again are considered very collectable due to their relative rarity.  These dolls with will either be composite dolls, that is made of many different materials such as cloth stuffed with sawdust, with plaster of Paris heads. Or after 1947 these doll will be composite with hard plastic or completely plastic in makeup.  Dolls from this era include dolls based on people such as Sonja Henie, the Olympic figure skater and the Dionne Quints. Also included in these era are the 1944 and 1945 lines of “Patriotic dolls” representing the Armed Forces.

The Modern Era: All dolls made since 1970 and yet not currently being made by the company are considered Modern. These dolls are considered less collectable because they are not so rare and were often purchased as actual toys for little girls to play with, not just as collectables.   These lines included updated versions of the “Wizard of Oz” dolls and the Emily Dickinson doll.

The Contemporary era dolls are all doll lines still being made by the company. These lines will become collectable as they are retired from manufacture. Also, they could be purchased and stored as a long term investment.  Indeed some of these dolls are designed to be collectable from the start, such as the “High Fashion and Couture” lines that feature Madame Alexander dolls dressed in exclusive fashions from some of the most famous fashion designers of today like Jason Wu, who design Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown.

Sources:

http://www.madamealexander.com/

Linda Crowsey, Madame Alexander 2010 Collector’s Dolls Price Guide #35 (Paducah, KY: Collector Books, 2010).