By Karen S. Jackson
For many adults over 30, we grew up with our favorite lunch boxes showing images of the television and movie heroes that were popular at the time. The idea of merchandising from our most popular media-movies and television shows-has been going strong since at least World War II. Since television shows and movies are the most Christmas gift basket available media forms on the planet, it only makes sense that studios, toy developers and manufacturers capitalize on the success of their handiwork.
Toys based on our movie and television "heroes" are being sold all year long. However, with the Christmas season nearly upon us, it is no wonder that the toy industry would try to bring the world's favorite characters alive in the form of products that allow us to keep our "heroes" on a shelf or for our constant play.
The modern action figure is more than just an old Ken doll put in army fatigues and a jeep as some of the old GI Joe dolls were. The major movie studios are licensing toys based on motion pictures such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, X-Men, Transformers and Harry Potter have advanced beyond the old action figures with the types of items produced for these films, and the level of detail and complexity that these type of toys provide. The most popular toys and figures each year are from 'blockbuster' motion pictures and hit TV shows. Even TV wrestling action figures, other sports toys and action figures have huge fan bases. Many of these toys are collectibles in their own right, with whole sets and story lines created by toy producers for the biggest movie and television fans.
The modern action figures produced now are not just "toys" for the sake of toys. In some cases they are more like puzzles, such as the Transformers toys where there can be several Christmas gift idea forms of the character. You need to learn how to make them change forms, figure out how all of the parts work together as a whole. They can really challenge the brain and teach anyone the basics of mechanical parts, all the while keeping our imaginations running on overdrive.
If you enjoy a movie or a TV show, and you want to remember it forever, just go to the store and pick up a few figures and enjoy them. You don't have to be an enthusiast to really have fun collecting action figures; just give in to the kid at heart in yourself! Get out there and see what the toy collecting world is all about - you'll find something no matter what age you are.
The movie franchise 'Star Wars' is still considered to be a main crux of modern toy collecting. Even the GI Joe franchise chose to go to the now standard 3 ¾ inch size of action figure, which is making a huge comeback with children and collectors alike. Along with the common "just play with me" toy, most modern action figures produced now are not just "toys" for the sake of play. In some cases they are more like puzzles, such as the Transformers Christmas gift products which could have several forms of the character. You need to learn how to make them change forms and figure out how to make the resulting toy move and work. They can really challenge the brain and teach anyone the basics of mechanical parts, all the while keeping imaginations constantly working.
Collecting action figures and play sets can be for fun or as an investment. Start with what you have a passion for, be it a comic book hero/heroine or a movie character that has taken on a life of its own. Begin small and work your way up, because it can be very expensive if try to collect the hot items right away. Enjoy collecting movie toys today.
Karen S. Jackson has been a toy and glass collector for many years, and continues to marvel at the quality of toys and artifacts that are being produced today. See the following website at http://popularmovietoys.blogspot.com/.
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