Hey, everybody!  Over at The Dork Dimension, blogger Nathan Newell  made a few interesting points about toys, stating that he very much prefers toy-toys to collectible-toys.  Poe Ghostal, who owns his own blog, questioned and debated his position a bit, and the two had a very interesting conversation.

So, I might as well risk seeing if we have enough of a reader base to actually comment.  What’s your opinion?  Do you believe that the distinction is even real?  Firstly, realize that both bloggers are awesome guys, and opinions are allowed to vary.  But let’s look at some of their main takling points.  We’ll call them Side A and Side 1.

*Uber-realistic sculpting takes out artistry and “fun” in many toys. EXAMPLE: The classic TMNT figures looked nothing like their comic counterparts, and benefitted from it.

*Uber-realistic sculpting results in brittle plastic and broken toys.  EXAMPLE;  McFarlane and NECA toys tend to break all the time.

*Hyper-articulation results in loose, stiff, or broken joints more often.

*Action features are fun!

*People only want their toys to take one or two poses.  Hyper-articulation presents too many options, and is unnecessary.

*Collector-friendly toys are too expensive.

*Collector-friendly toys have zero child appeal.



*Uber-realistic sculpting involves quite a bit of artistic skill, especially with complex textures.  Also, many kids would have killed to have TMNT toys that actually looked the way they did in the cartoon.

*Not all uber-sculpted toys are made of brittle materials.  Many are quite durable.

*Hyper-articulation does not always result in loose or stuck joints.  IN fact, often it does not, and less-articulated figures also have stuck or loose joints.  Vintage He-man figures were infamous for loose legs.

*Action features interfere with the sculpt or articulation, and look strange.

*People like having toys that can take many different poses, and even if they only want to use one or two poses, those poses will differ from person to person.  Many vintage figures wityh more articulation were loved for just that reason.  Options do not have to be limited.

*Not all collector-friendly toys are vastly more expensive than the “child-friendly” ones, and rising materials and labor costs have been responsible for most of the price increases.

*Plenty of people have anecdotal evidence of kids loving “collector” toys.  Poe himself brought up a little kid who LOVES his Masters of the Universe Classics figures, and hasn’t had trouble with any of them breaking.

Personally, I fall a little bit in between, in that I don’t think the market should be all one or all the other.  If it’s ONLY collector stuff, then you do risk losing the child market.  But if it’s ONLY kiddie stuff like those Target-exclusive Justice League figures… well, I’m not a fan of those toys.  Their quality is barely happy meal-level.  I personally own collector-oriented stuff right alongside the kid-stuff, and I find both fun.  If you want an immediately relevant example, look at my recent posts here – Neclos Fortress is very much a kid-oriented silly line with poor sculpting and no articulation, but I love it.  Snake Face is a $40 collector figure… and I love it, too.  But the thing is, I’m weird.  What do I know?

So shout out in the comments!  Please!  This post is kind of an experiment to see if we can handle open debate threads in the future.  And I’ll see you on Monday!


  1. I probably don’t know nearly as much about toys as most of the people reading these articles do, but I think I’m with Rid on this. I can imagine that at a certain point, the most beautiful toys become less playable, partly just because you’re afraid to break something you spent so much money on. 🙂 But then kids (and adults sometimes) want toys they can play with all the time, even if they don’t look quite as cool. Also, fortunately, with some toys at least, all of them look better than they did in the 80’s or so.

  2. Sorry I’m so late to the party! I agree that it’s good to have both, but I think we’re in a pretty unstable position at the moment – as Hasbro and Mattel are moving backward in terms of articulation and sculpt on their kids lines, it looks like the divide is only going to grow deeper.

    For my two pence, it’s currently a tough call. I got back into collecting with Star Wars and Transformers, both lines that straddle the plaything/collectible divide, and I’m only now starting to see the appeal of collector orientated lines. And as I mainly use my toys for photography, I really appreciate the improved likenesses and articulation the collector lines bring, so I’m personally starting to fall that way. I’m glad there’s both however. Kids today have some amazing toys, TMNT among them, which will hopefully hook some of them into being collectors. There will always be toys for kids though; I’m glad there’s something for adults as well.

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