Action figures: whether they broke and were left for dead in the sandbox, or were kept in mint condition a dusty shelf, you definitely had your favorites. Here, Ranker Comics has listed the top action figure toy lines based on comic book characters for you to rank your favorites! We grew up with these icons in our toy boxes and they lined our shelves - they were even going to make us rich someday (they didn't). Heck, they even impressed us when they made that perfect version of our favorite characters!
This list goes back as far as the 1970s and is reflective of the change in cultural perception of action figures, the burgeoning collectors market as well as cost-saving reductions made during finical crisis. Yes, comic books are a mirror of the times we live in and so are their action figures! We got tall ones, short ones, cheap ones, expensive ones - even Cycle Thruster Batman!So pull up a long box and dig through that $5 Rubbermaid bin - It's time Ranker Comics took you on ball-jointed journey through the great moments in superhero action figure collecting!
Marvel Legends started in 2002 as a spinoff of the popular Spider-Man Classics figure line. The first wave included Marvel staples like Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, and Toad (how the heck did he get in there?!). The figures came packaged in the same durable clamshell packages that McFarlane toys had come in and also featured a heavily detailed base for the figure to stand on and a comic book. In short, they were the full package for both kids and collectors.The line would continue and branch out into two packs and six packs. The line also featured rare "chase" figures that might have included an alternate paint deco or head sculpt which only increased their popularity with collectors. The most notable feature of the early Marvel Legends figures is the insane amount of articulation. It was as if Xzibit put articulation on top of the articulation. These figures' toes even moved! In some cases, however, this was actually a detriment to the figures, as it would cause them to look mangled and they'd have hard time holding a pose (remember how Elektra always looked like she was looking up?).Is this one of the best?
In 1984, DC awarded the toy license for their characters to Kenner (makers of the insanely popular Star Wars toys) in order to compete with Mattel's He-Man toy line. The line featured the all-stars of DC Comics and even included many of Jack Kirby's New Gods characters as enemies.Each figure had its own "super power" that moved the figure's legs or arms when the joints were squeezed. The line is most important for its impact on other DC licensed products that would also carry the name Super Powers (cups, shirts, watches, etc) as well as the now landmar, artwork of José Luis García-López. Unfortunately, this line ended in 1986, after three product lines.Is this one of the best?
This is the undisputed Spider-Man toy line champion. In 2000, Toy Biz created a line of six inch action figures under the Spider-Man Classics banner. The product line lasted over nine years, survived the end of Toy Biz, and featured almost every character associated with the Web Slinger, as well as interpretations of Spider-Man drawn by popular artists.
The line also succeed where Batman: Total Justice might have missed the mark. The figures were a large enough scale to support a lot of detailed paint decos, include tons of articulation, and look like their comic book counter parts. These figures were on every adult collector's list and featured gimmicks and accessories to draw in the kids. To this day, they can be quite expensive due to their high demand.The line also gave birth to one of the most popular toy lines of all time: Marvel Legends.Is this one of the best?
In 1991, Toy Biz released a series of awkward-looking X-Men figures that were so popular in part because of the hit comic and TV show, that they warranted several lines and variant interpretations that improved upon the first wave and added several interpretations (Monster Armor, anyone?).The figures are notable for being one of the most expansive X-Men toy lines and the characters that were included were very of the time. This toy line, more than any other, represented not only the changes the X-Men went through in the comics over the years, but also the growing desire for more articulation and marketing variations so that Toy Biz could keep selling Wolverine over and over again. Beyond the first few waves of figures, the line would feature the same characters again and again, but with a new accessory that would attract repeat purchasers.Is this one of the best?