Ah the age old question. What cool things to buy are there? Have you noticed when you type that exact phrase in a search engine such as Google, most of the ideas really aren't that cool?
If you're asking the above question, then maybe you're scratching your head on what you can buy that you'll love looking at and maybe your family and friends will too. A point of conversation. Something a bit different. In this article, we'll help you figure out what to buy and also tell you about our passion which we think looks pretty cool and a bit different: high-end collectibles.
The above picture is a mixture of collectible statues, action figures and prop replicas based on characters and props from movies, games and comics. If you like any of those forms of entertainment, you'll probably recognise some of the pieces on display. These are all pieces based on entertainment I like. Star Wars, Batman, Wolverine, Spider-man, Aliens, Terminator, Bruce Lee, Iron Man, Robocop, Gizmo, Gears Of War. It's a real mix, with one common theme. I like those particular films, comics and games. So this collection is full of cool things to me.
Cool things just for you or for others too?
Before you start buying and displaying cool things, I think this is an important question to answer. In my case, this particular display is in my study / man cave. It's mainly used by me, so it's decorated with stuff I like. If your display is mainly for you, then it should be full of what you like.
If your planned display is for multiple people, then really you should consider that in your display. Indeed two pieces on that display are more for my wife than for me who occasionally uses this room. She really liked Pirates of the Carribean, so the Hot Toys Jack Sparrow figure (image below) is one for her. Gizmo we both like, but I remembered she had a Gizmo bag when she was younger so the Medicom Gizmo Action Figure (see image above) was a nod to her youth. There's nothing there that she hates or that would scare our kids. So whilst it's my room and mostly for me, there are some considerations for my family too.
What are cool things to you?
So let's get your creative juices flowing a bit. What's cool to you? That should be your inspiration. Do you like movies? Games? Music? Art? Animals? Sport? Fashion? You name it, there are cool things to buy out there when you know what you're looking for. So start there.
Now, I said at the start of this article that I'd help you find cool things to buy, even if it's not collectibles. Whatever your interest, all you need do is make your search on Google more specific. For example, rather than searching Google for cool things to buy, search for something that relates more directly to your interests. For example, if you like guitar music, your searches could include: guitar memorabilia, cool guitars to buy, guitar merchandise, guitar ornament, guitar collectibles, most interesting guitars, etc.
How much do you wanna spend?
Cool stuff can be cheap or hugely expensive. So before you start too much research, figure out your budget. Whilst it's interesting to look at really expensive stuff, you may end up just wasting your time and then feeling a bit despondent if you can't afford what you've seen.
How many cool things do you want to buy?
That's an important consideration as it directly affects your budget per item. Naturally if you're just after one item to fill a certain space in your home that's a lot simpler and likely cheaper than filling an entire display. Size is also an important factor. The Attakus Darth Vader statue below is only 1/10 scale, so whilst it looks cool, it's only 8" tall so doesn't fill a big space. It is however, perfect for a small display area.
Ways to spread out the cost of your display
If you're planning to display quite a number of items, then that could well be expensive. So you can either gradually build your collection, or buy it in bulk at the start if you have the money or look to spread it out over time either with a bank loan or a credit card purchase. If your credit rating is healthy, then there are loads of great deals out there that will offer you 0% on purchases for quite a long time. You still have to make minimum payments, but the 0% period can be considerable. For example, check out this 0% on purchases credit card from Tesco which offers you up to 28 months to clear the balance! Just make sure you clear the balance before the 0% period ends to avoid paying interest.
How about collectibles?
A huge number of people love movies, tv, video games and or comics. In more recent years, a stack of manufacturers have produced successful businesses that produce realistic production of characters and prop replicas from these popular media. Whilst of course you can pop down to local toy stores, that stuff looks, well... kinda toy-like. Fun? Maybe, but often not really cool. The good news is though that you can now get immensely detailed action figures, statues and prop replicas that look just like you've seen on the big screen. And whether you go for one piece or multiple, these are simply awesome works of art that you'll love looking at, whether you display one or many.
Collectible action figures
Action figures are really popular to collect and display. They come in all kinds of sizes and prices too. At the low-end, toy shops are packed with relatively cheap action figures from many popular franchises. Some people like to keep them in boxes but most choose to put them on display and pose them.
In more recent years, a number of manufacturers have started producing hyper-realistic action figures such as the example above, which is my Hot Toys Iron Man Mark 42 1/6 scale action figure. However, hyper-realism comes at a price. Expect to pay £150 upwards per figure. An upside though is the figures tend to hold or grow in value so long as you look after them and keep the original packaging.
The most popular scale for premium action figures is 1/6 scale which is around 12" tall. Some of the most popular high-end manufacturers are Hot Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, Phicen, ThreeZero, ThreeA and Asmus. We stock all of these brands at Movie Figures.
Action figures have the advantage of there being many sizes and prices, from small and cheap to tall and very expensive. The image above shows a 1/4 scale Hot Toys Batman The Dark Knight action figure. From a display interest perspective, action figures can also be posed in a variety of ways and regularly adjusted to keep your display fresh and interesting.
The main downside with some action figures is some joints can be exposed such as at the elbow and knee. Most high-end figures hide these joints with miniature clothing but it's still something to be aware of. Some figure producers such as Phicen produce figures with hidden elbow and knee joints which are great for characters with exposed limbs where you don't want to see joints.
Statues are another option for collectible items. Unlike action figures they have no articulation but that also means that you can't see joints at areas such as the elbow and knee. They also often come on an interesting base in a dynamic pose that may be difficult to achieve on an action figure. My Sideshow Collectibles Wolverine statue above is a nice example of a pose where a statue has the advantage over the action figure. No joints at the elbow points.
Collectible statues tend to be made from resin, cold cast porcelain (resin mixed with porcelain powder), PVC and some other materials. Some feature miniture clothing and some simulate clothes with sculpting and paintwork. Wolverine above uses clothing for his suit. My Sideshow Gwen Stacy statue below (same surname as me, which was one reason why I purchased this one) shows painted clothes which still work great.
Whilst there aren't as many statue producers as compared to action figures, there are still a good number of quality ones such as Sideshow Collectibles, Kotobukiya and DC Collectibles. The more expensive statues tend to be numbered editions which of course raises their rarity and possible future value. The Wolverine statue above is a limited edition which is now very hard to get hold of and thus has increased in value.
Statues tend to range in price from £20 up to thousands of Pounds. Scale tends to range from 1/10 up to 1/1 with 1/4 and 1/6 being the most popular.
Collectible prop replicas
Prop replicas are either scaled or full size versions of props that you've seen in a movie, on tv or in a game. They tend to be made of plastic or resin but can sometimes be found in metal form.
Some of the most popular replicas are those of movie weapons and swords. For example, the image above is my Master Replicas Star Wars Han Solo blaster Elite Edition. Long sold out and wanted by many a Star Wars collector. However with UK law being tightened up on replica weapons, certain restrictions limit what replicas can be sold when it comes to aspects like blade sharpness or realism of a movie gun.
Aside from weapons there are still quite a few interesting prop replicas that you can get such as my HCG Terminator 2 T-800 brainchip below.
Several manufacturers create interesting prop replicas based on designs from movies, games and tv. For example, Hollywood Collectibles Group, EFX, Weta and Quantum Mechanix.
One Collectible Type Or Mix It Up?
This one's really down to personal preference. It's certainly a lot easier to settle on one scale and one collectible type. For example, a lot of collectors focus on 1/6 scale action figures and put them in display cases such as the Ikea Detolf case seen on the right of the above image. This makes for a tidy looking collection that's easily contained and looks great. However, a mixed scale display lets you show a wide range of items and creates lots of varied points of interest. Despite the differing scales in the image above, I really like my display.
Mixing scales together is much harder to work with but can make for an interesting display and can be a good choice if you're interested in several types of collectibles. If you go the mixed route, it's good to look at grouping similar objects together so they make a themed area. For example, you could group a bunch of Star Wars figures together, a prop replica on its own, etc.
So, Are Collectibles Cool Things To Buy For You?
This has been quite a long read. So if you've got to here, we hope the answer is yes! Hopefully you've learned something from my ramblings above. If so, great! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you've found this article helpful, please share it with others too!
Naturally, Movie Figures offers all kinds of collectible items. Here are three links to our offerings of the three types of collectibles I've been writing about:
You might also our Movie Figures YouTube Channel interesting where I review many of the items we sell.
Thanks for reading!