Nowadays, you can get scale versions of your favourite movie, TV, game and comic characters and prop replicas at up to photorealistic quality. The best versions command high prices making them suitable for adult collectors only. However, there is an abundance of collectible companies offering merchandise at varying prices and levels of realism. That's great news for collectors, because it means you have a wide choice of options to suit your budget and wants.
Here are some of our favourite brands which we think you should know about and a little bit of history on each.
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £200 - Scale: 1/6 & 1/4
Arguably the leading brand for 1/6 and 1/4 scale action figures, Hong Kong-based Hot Toys have been producing hundreds of stunning action figures for for over 15 years. Hot Toys products are aimed at adult collectors looking for action figures that are close to the movie, tv and game versions they are based on. As manufacturing techniques have improved, so too has the realism of these figures. Expect to pay £200 or so per figure, but expect fantastic quality and realism too.
Focus: action figures & statues - Average Price: £350 - Scale: 1/6 to 1/1
Sideshow has been around since 1994, offering a range of premium collectible statues and action figures in various scales including 1/6, 1/4 and 1/1. They are particularly famed for their Premium Format Figure statues which are 1/4 scale, hand-painted, limited edition statues of popular characters.
Sideshow also act as the exclusive distributor for Hot Toys. Sideshow's products typically range in price from around £200 to £500, although some full scale items can cost thousands.
Focus: action figures & props - Average Price: £50 - Scale: 1/12, 1/4 & 1/1
Formed in 1996, NECA is short for National Entertainment Collectibles Association. This American manufacturer produces a wide range of collectibles which recreate characters from films, video-games, sports, music, television and more.
NECA prices their products typically between £15 and £100, with their most popular lines being 1/10 and 1/4 scale action figures. Some figures are produced in limited amounts.
Focus: statues - Average Price: £40 - Scale: 1/10 & 1/7
Kotobukiya is a Japanese manufacturer of high-quality PVC and Resin figure statues most popularly known as ArtFX. Kotobukiya produces statues typically in 1/10 and 1/7 scale and has created statues of many favourite characters from movies and comics.
Kotobukiya particularly focus on comic book creations and also bring many of your favourite movie villains and heroes to life.
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £100 - Scale: 1/6
Phicen offer 1/6 scale, high-quality seamless body doll action figures, which are ideal for custom figure creators, artists and fashion design. Compared to standard action figures, Phicen dolls have simulated skin which covers an inner skeleton meaning most joints are hidden. They are ideal for customising any character where bare skin will be on display, such as on a character wearing short clothes or a bikini.
Phicen also produce complete characters inspired from some of the more specialist characters seen in comics such as Red Sonja, Mercy Dante, Valkyrie and many more.
Quantum Mechanix (QMx)
Focus: action figures & merch - Average Price: £50 - Scale: 1/1 & 1/6
Quantum Mechanix, often referred to as QMx is a specialist manufacturer of action figures, statues and prop replicas for the likes of Star Trek, Firefly, DC Comics and more. The company offers a wide range of low priced prop replicas and merchandise and also the finest 1/6 scale Star Trek action figures available.
QMx recently announced the pre-order of their Star Trek TNG Captain Jean-Luc Picard 1/6 scale action figure. As you can see from the image above, it's to their usual fantastic standards!
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £100 - Scale: 1/12 & 1/1
Founded in 2009, Beast Kingdom holds licences of many well-known brands including Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and more. The company produces a range of premium action figures and statues and is well known for their Egg Attack figures and floating statues.
Beast Kingdom's Egg Attack action figures have bags of cuteness factor, but these are premium quality offering high levels of articulation and detail.
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £140 - Scale: 1/6
Threezero is an action figure manufacturer specialising in 1/6 scale figures. The company was founded by Kim Fung Wong and has been producing figures since 2000. In 2013, Threezero had a reboot and has been producing a range of licenced collectible figures.
Threezero have been gradually producing some fantastic action figures based on characters from hit TV series's like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £150 - Scale: 1/6 & 1/4
3A or ThreeA is a toy, publishing and entertainment company which is known for its incredibly detailed Multi Scale Collectible Figures based on characters from Adventure Kartel and Isobelle Pascha, Marvel, DC Comics, 2000 AD, Valve, Frederator Studios, Konami’s Metal Gear Solid, 343 Industries’ Halo series, Transformers as well as an upcoming line of figures from Bungie’s Destiny franchise.
ThreeA recently caused a lot of excitement in the collecting community when they announced their 1/6 scale Judge Dredd action figure for pre-order. This follows their excellent 1/12 scale characters from 2000 AD.
Star Ace Toys
Focus: action figures - Average Price: £130 - Scale: 1/6
Based in Hong Kong, Star Ace Toys is an excellent premium action figure manufacturer particularly well-known for their 1/6 scale Harry Potter figures. They were formed in 2013. Since then they have been methodically working through various Harry Potter characters and some other licences such as Underworld.
Star Ace takes a lot of care on the finer details on characters. For example, Dumbledore (above) comes with some stunningly detailed robes and the deluxe version has a wonderful Fawkes the Phoenix model to display alongside the famed wizard.
Focus: statues & action figures - Average Price: £160 - Scale: 1/3, 1/4 & 1/6
History of Korean based Blitzway is a hard to come by, but don't let that put you off as this company has produced some absolutely stunning statues and action figures over the years. Their Bruce Lee statues still remain the finest you can buy if you're lucky enough to find one at a reasonable price.
Due in 2017, the most exciting news from Blizway is their 1/6 scale original Ghostbusters action figures, which look to be the finest action figures ever created of the popular characters.
Hollywood Collectibles Group
Focus: props & statues - Average Price: £160 - Scale: 1/1, 1/2 & 1/4
Also known as HCG, Hollywood Collectibles Group make a range of collectible prop replicas and statues based on popular movies such as Aliens, Terminator, Rambo and more. They tend to focus on scales from 1/4 to 1/1.
We think their finest work to date was the Aliens Pulse Rifle 1/1 replica which they produced with a full metal shroud. They've also started work on a full scale Smart Gun and Motion Tracker. This company is a must-look for any Aliens fan.
Which Collectible Brand Is Your Favourite?
As you can see from above, there are loads of amazing collectible brands out there at a variety of prices. Hopefully, the info was useful to you and you learnt about some new brands.
At Movie Figures, we're delighted to be working with all these amazing companies and we enjoy seeing the stunning work that each brand produces. But what about you? Which is your favourite brand and why? Please pop a comment below and let us know! And if we've not covered your favourite brand, let us know and we'll look to add them!