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Has Action Figure Collecting Become Too Much Work?

Every now and then I ask myself if collecting something, anything really, is still fun or if something has become too much work. In a perfect and ideal world a company such as Hasbro would make sure that anyone who wants to buy something gets the chance to do so – by either simply walking into a store and finding things on shelves and pegs, or by going online and buying from Amazon, Entertainment Earth, Dorkside Toys or any other etailer. But reality is different. The “exclusive” figure or set has become a staple of collecting, exclusives are no longer the exception, but have become the norm. And scarcity seems to be a concept companies like Hasbro or Funko (and not just them) seem to like a lot. Why? Click through for some thoughts about collecting!

SDCC 2019 Exclusives

Soon not available in stores near you

Getting a hold of these exclusives is not always easy, especially when it’s not a retailer, but a convention exclusive. You may get the idea that these convention exclusives get made so a few people can feel better about themselves, and earn bragging rights about owning something most other collectors will never own.

So I ask you: do you consider collecting still to be “fun”, or has it reached a point where you consider it mostly “work”? And how does that affect you?

I can tell you about myself here: I started out collecting The Black Series with the goal of having a complete collection, but I have learned to let it go. I no longer care about having a complete collection. It’s too much stress, it’s too much money, it’s no longer fun to chase everything. So if I can get SDCC TBS Boba Fett for a reasonable price, good… if not… then Hasbro clearly didn’t want my money, so be it. I have given up, so to speak. It’s not worth the effort. Hasbro doesn’t want my money? I can spend it somewhere else.

SH Figuarts also has quite a few exclusives, but they give everyone the chance to pre-order months in advance, delivery guaranteed, anyone who wants a figure will absolutely get it. It can be so simple! So SHF gets my money, and Hasbro not so much. Which is why I pre-ordered the web exclusive SHF Scarlet Witch action figure and not SDCC Boba Fett, oh right, you can’t pre-order him, why should you be able to anyway… much too easy…

There’s always the cautionary tale of Playmates and their Star Trek action figure line… at one point there were so many exclusives that even hardcore collectors stopped caring, it had become too much, it was no longer fun, it had become not only work, but annoying. And that was one of the reasons the Star Trek action figure line of the 1990s died very suddenly (waning interest in Star Trek certainly also was a factor here). Playmates tried to correct that issue, it was too late.

How do you cope with the massive number of exclusives? Or the lack of retail availability and the number of hoops you sometimes have to jump through to order something from Walmart? Is collecting still fun to you or does it feel more and more like work, like you have to be always on your toes, in fear of missing something? Let’s talk about that in the comments!


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