Friday, 10 May 2013

Modern Vs. Vintage figures

I've been collecting toys and action figures for more than 20 years now. It started with me re-collecting the figures I had in my youth as there weren't any modern figures I liked (this was back in the early 90's). Then with the re-releases of the Star Wars movies this all changed as it seemed most toy manufacturers jumped on the action figure band wagon and started producing figures from pretty much any film/tv show going.

Those first few years of new figures carried on with the idea that action figures are toys first, collectables second. Figures and ships weren't made screen accurate just a close version that could be played with by kids. Figures came with one or two weapons, limited movement and details, but were hard to break.

In the last few years I have come to find that I dislike the modern figures more and more. Toy makers no longer make toys, but collectables. This means that the figures are super detailed, come with a handful of weapons and accessories, but that they are also really delicate. You just have to look at a modern toy and an arm will fall off.

Transformers are by far the worst for breaking. They say they are designed to come apart, but many just fall apart with the lightest of touches. And I have even had some come out of the box broken as the plastic they are made of is so brittle. Vintage transformers were made of much sturdier stuff. Yes you could still break them if you played a little to rough, but they mostly could take a serious amount of wear.

I look back on 'vintage' figures and see how much better they are than these modern ones. There first and main job was to be played with. This meant they were well built, nothing fell off them (apart from the one weapon they came with), and they didn't mind being buried in sand, dunked in the bath, dropped down the stairs.

It's come to the point now that you often have to buy multiple versions of a figure in the hope one of them is a good one, not broken, no loose limbs, just well made.

These days I would rather buy some well played with vintage figures (ok they will be worn, but they will also still be able to be displayed or played with), than buy and be constantly disappointed when opening new figures.

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