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How to Look After Your Action Figures

OK, so far we’ve looked at everything from deciding what figures you want to buying them, but what will you do with then once you get them home?

Most people either hide their figures away in some dark and dingy cupboard where they are left forgotten for eons, or until you move home, or put them proudly on display in the most prominent place at the mercy of the elements.

But if you had just bought a new car, sofa or TV would you treat it the same way? 

Or would you take some time to clean it and look after it, occasionally?

So why is it that most people don’t put in the same time and effort to their action figure collections?

There are several ways to protect your figures that are neither expensive nor difficult and will only take a little of your time.

Follow these simple procedures, especially with your loose figures and they should stay in excellent condition.

Investing in action figures, until recently, was often considered as a waste of time and money but with the increasing demand in the hobby and the record prices that some action figures have been selling for, particularly since the growth in the internet and auction sites, many people have had to reconsider this assumption.

So what should you do to protect your action figures?

Are you looking for an Action Figure Price Guide and Checklists?


Firstly, and most importantly, when they’re not in use or are being stored you should remove any batteries.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who forget this simple, yet important procedure, and as a result their valuable figures have been ruined by leaking battery acid. 

So please remember, before storing your figures remove the batteries or even better remove them after every use, just to be safe ;-)

Before you store your figures you should also give them a good clean to get rid of any dirt or grime that may damage them. But be careful, this can be a difficult procedure

Avoid handling them:

Your hands and fingers have a lot of natural greases and oils which may be good for your skin but are unfortunately far from healthy for your action figures.

These oils and greases will cause your action figures to yellow and spot if handled too often. When, or if, you have to handle them use gloves or a cloth if possible or pick them up using the shell of a carded figure or the base.

In other words use as little direct contact with your action figure as possible.

Avoid direct sunlight:

One of the biggest problems, and most common, amongst collectors is damage caused by the UV rays from direct sunlight. This can be disastrous for your action figures as it will cause them to become discolored, brittle and cracked over time.

 Even if your action figures are still carded there is still the danger of them getting damaged and the carding will also become discolored as well as the plastic shell becoming brittle. 


The humidity of the environment is another important factor to take into account when displaying or storing your action figures.

What is humidity?

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air.

If it is very humid there is a lot of moisture in the air whereas if it isn’t humid then there is little moisture in the air.

But how does that affect you and your action figures?

I will discuss this in more detail further on when I discuss how to store your action figures.

For now let me just say that it is best to keep them in an ambient temperature and humidity.

Removing price tags:

Hopefully, if you’ve bought your action figure from a reputable dealer the price tag will be on the plastic shell making it easy to remove with warm water, please note I say warm NOT hot, water.

But unfortunately many of the national chain stores put the price tags on the backing card making it difficult to remove without damaging the card.

If your figure has a particularly stubborn tag you could try using Goo-Gone but this must be used carefully and correctly or you will still risk damaging the card.

More Tutorials + Articles

How to Predict What Will Become Collectible?

People often ask me how I know if something is going to be collectible or not?

Well, to be honest I would say 705 of it is pure gut feeling and about 30% of it is an educated guess, however both of these are heavily influenced by my experience and knowledge of the business.

You see, I’ve been in this business for more than 15 years, both offline and online, as a trader and this “being” in touch with the grass roots collectors and consumer means I’ve had my finger pretty much on the pulse.

But I’ve also been an avid collector since childhood and spent hours of fun with my Action Men and Steve Austen figures in the 70’s and my MOTU and TNMT later on.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to remember that [ Read more... ]

Where to Buy Your Action Figures?

These days there are numerous places and options open to you when you want to buy any action figures, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

 I usually have a short list of three places that I regularly buy from, depending on what I’m looking for.

Why three? [ Read more...]

How to Beat the Scalpers?

Today I’m going to continue on the same theme and give you some insider tips on how to save money when buying your figures. 

Remember these tips and knowledge come from more than 15 years of experience in the business and 30 years as a collector!

Read more... ]

What is a Variant Figure?

In the good old days all figures were created equal, but not so today!!

The modern day collector needs to be aware of the different levels and rarity of figures and the different terms used to describe them. 

It is becoming increasing difficult, and frustrating, to know what is available and to make matters more difficult most manufacturers are very secretive about exactly what is available and how many have been made.

But even if you’re a casual collector it’s important to know the different terms so that you can recognize an important or valuable figure when you see it or just as importantly that you don’t get duped with an overpriced figure. [ Read more... ]

Looking After Your Figures

OK, so far we’ve looked at everything from deciding what figures you want to buying them, but what will you do with then once you get them home?

Most people either hide their figures away in some dark and dingy cupboard where they are left forgotten for eons, or put them proudly on display in the most prominent place at the mercy of the elements.

But if you had just bought a new car, sofa or TV would you treat it the same way? [ Read more...]

Storing and Displaying Your Figures

Taking care of, protecting and storing your action figures correctly is of tantamount importance if you wish them to keep their value, whether it’s a sentimental or financial value.

Loose figures are a lot easier to store than carded figures but carded figures are better protected so storage isn’t quite as problematic as it is with loose figures.

One of the most important factors to take into account when storing them is their value. 

There are many companies now, both on and off the internet that supply various ways to store and protect them.

Read more...]

Cleaning Your Figures

When was the last time you cleaned any of your figure?

Is your Luke Skywalker looking a little brown around the edges, is your Storm trooper more gray than white?

Does your G.I. Joe have dirty, greasy matted hair?

Would you like to have them looking new and pristine again? 

Whether your figures have been displayed carefully in a cabinet, on a shelf, desk, or just lying loose in a large storage box the chances are that at some point, if not now, you will need to give them a clean. 

But how do you clean them without the risk of damaging them? [ Read more...]

What Causes Your Figures to Become Sticky? 

Why do your Action Figures have Sticky Plastic?

Do your action figures have sticky plastic?

Have they been stored or displayed for a long period of time?

What can you do to protect them and prevent this from happening again? [ Read more ]

How to Grade Your Action Figures?

Find out how to grade your action figures professionally and save yourself money!

Trying to find accurate grade and values for your action figures can be a minefield but if you know what defects to look for you can save yourself money when buying second-hand figures and also how to check your own action figures when valuing them. [ Read More ]


Pleas note that all prices are for informational purposes only and are NOT a solicitation or offer to buy any of the items quoted.

When researching for these articles I use many different online and offline retailers and auctions to get an average value AT THE TIME of writing the article.

As such they will almost definitely be incorrect as the prices and values are in constant flux and change.

Please check my articles and videos on how to grade and value your action figures for up to date prices.

How to Grade Your Action Figures

How to Value Your Action Figures

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