Best Action Figures
Best Action Figures
Here we take a look at what makes the best action figures so good. We will release lists of our favourites in late October/early November each year, but for now we wanted to look at what makes the difference between a top action figure and a bad one!
Before we start, if you want to view a good range of action figures so you can more easily see what we’re looking at, here’s the action figures page on Amazon.co.uk – just click here:
Firstly the look of the figure is critical. We conduct research testing for many leading toy companies, and one of the most obvious things we see is if a toy looks ‘cool’ or ‘epic’, or not. Kids don’t lie about these things, what we’re looking for is that instant ‘wow’. Explaining what makes an action figure toy look cool is difficult, in the same way as it’s hard to explain why a picture is pleasing on the eye. What we have found overall though having tested many toys like this over the years is that exaggerated features tend to catch the eye, combined with a certain sleekness of design. So for instance, an action figure with bulging muscles and a big square jawed face is often a winner. Funny features tend to work on characters that have a more light hearted position versus the other characters, and for ‘baddies’ the uglier and stronger the better!
Secondly, the toy is more likely to have that ‘wow’ factor if it is based on a known brand, cartoon series or movie. if we look at the least few years, the most popular action figures have been based on things like The Avengers, Transformers, Spiderman, Batman, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, WWE (wrestling), Iron Man and Toy Story. Needless to say the most popular toys vary from year to year depending on which movies are out, and which have most mass market appeal, but most of these action figure brands listed are seemingly always popular!
Thirdly, we find the ‘dextery fit’ and tactile appeal to be really important. Sometimes because toy designers are adults they can miss the step in the development process where they check the dexterity fit with children of the right age i.e. will it fit in the child’s hand, can they easily work any features with their less developed motor skills etc. One of the first toys we ever tested back in the 1990s was a fantastic looking toy with a fairly unique mechanism that should in theory have been very appealing. Sadly the company had apparently skipped the testing phase, and we couldn’t find a single child capable of actually using the toy as designed – it was just too difficult for the stage of motor skill development and general dexterity at the age group targeted…doh!
Finally, we come to the features/articulation. Maybe it’s Spiderman’s web shooting system, some kind of weapon or a particular way the figure moves/can be manipulated that helps the child to engage their imagination and enjoy often very boisterous physical play!
To view the best selling action figures on Amazon.co.uk – just click here:
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