Poe’s Point > I Never Loved You, Action Features

I try to avoid participating in arguments on forums these days, but I ended up chiming in when a He-Man.org thread comparing DCUC to MOTUC veered into a discussion about action features and whether those were–and are–really as popular among kids versus something like articulation.

The easiest place to start with this particular digression is with a post by “MegaGearMax”:

Today’s kids have waaaaay better toys than we did in the 80’s. It’s like comparing a Model T to a modern car.

Put up NECA’s TMNT against the 4 original Playmates Turtles, Super Powers against DC Universe Classic, G.I. Joe 25th up against the original RAH figures or the poseable Transformers Universe Classics against the barely-poseable G1 figures. Or even pit the MOTUC that we have now against their vintage incarnations.

As good as the old stuff was, the companies got alot better at making figures of those old characters from 20 years ago.

“Mr. Shokoti” responded to this post thusly:

None of those toys you mentioned are even targeted for kids in terms of either price or features. The TMNT toys are based on comics that, as of yesterday, are no longer published(in terms of style, they haven’t been published for years) and aren’t nearly as inviting to children as any of the Playmates lines. Super Powers were of a more collectible size for kids, came with a mini-comic, and had action features. DCUC are large figures featuring many characters only longtime comic readers would recognize. The 2 Hasbro lines are based on old characters & designs with nothing to support them(unless you give the kids reprints of old comics or DVDS featuring cartoons 25 years old). I also think the vintage MOTU is far better than MOTUC when it comes to durability during play. This latest line has pieces falling off if you look at them funny. Also, I didn’t care about articulation as a kid and I care even less about it as an adult. Kids want toys that do cool things and not ones that have ankles that can bend.

My response, posted below, was almost entirely based on that last sentence. (However, I think there’s an argument to be made that MOTUC isn’t quite as brittle as he suggests, and that the vintage figures, while hard to break, also refused to stand up after a single day’s play thanks to those rubber bands in the hips.)

Let’s not make generalizations. I loved it when figures had more articulation as a kid–that extra swivel joint on Fisto or Jitsu was great. It’s one of the reasons young Poe found lines like Captain Power so cool–those figures could move a lot more than your average Star Wars figure. And the young G.I. Joe: RAH fans certainly didn’t seem to complain about the articulation.

Also, I generally hated action features as a kid. I remember being so bummed that the only Egon figure I had was the one with the “Fright” feature, and not the regular one. Thank God my favorite lines, Star Wars and Transformers, didn’t really employ action features. There was the occasional firing missile or Rancor jaw, but for the most part neither line ruined the sculpt of a character with some goofy action feature. I was so happy that Jedi Luke had a removable, hand-held lightsaber instead of that silly slides-into-the-arm gimmick.

So I’m just saying, don’t assume that your own childhood preferences are what all kids prefer. And don’t assume that because kids seem to enjoy playing with toys that happen not to have a lot of articulation, those kids must not want or care about articulation. Articulation is a very expensive feature on a toy, and it’s one of the first things most toy companies will sacrifice. However, it’s still entirely possible that if more articulation was added to those figures, the kids might enjoy them even more.

Some kids like action features. Some kids like articulation. Some kids just like a cool-looking toy. And all kids like all three things in varying proportions. What those preferences were when you were a kid most likely informs your preferences now. Adult collectors who, as kids, liked articulation tend to love Marvel Legends, DCUC, MOTUC as adults. Collectors who, as kids, loved cool-looking toys might like DC Direct, NECA or McFarlane stuff nowadays, and might be more likely to be fans of Millennium MOTU than MOTUC (unless they’re particularly fond of the vintage line aesthetically). Collectors who, as kids, really liked action features…OK, I’m not sure what they’re collecting. I can’t think of a collector’s line that pays tribute to action features, which suggests there isn’t much of a market there–possibly because action features are all about “playing” with the toy, which is not something most collectors do as adults. (And don’t make the mistake of thinking that collectors’ love for articulation is based on wanting to “play” with the toy–there’s a big difference between posing your figures for various display options and actually playing with them as a child would, making sounds and making them talk to one another and so forth.)

Anyway, my point being, I think the distinctions made between the preferences of “adult collectors” and “kids” are fairly irrelevant. The kind of toys I like today are generally the kind of toys I liked–or wanted–as a kid.

Mr. Shokoti’s response:

Obviously not every kid is going to feel the same way, but when you look at toys aimed at those under 10, the vast majority of them had action features. You didn’t feel that way. Obviously toy companies feel kids like you were in the minority. Tranformers, Thundercats, Gobots, Roboforce, MASK, Sectaurs, Super Powers, Silverhawks; they all had action features and most of them were extremely popular. Either other kids didn’t have the same hangup that you had with action features or they just suffered in silence.

Finally, after some more thought, I posted this:

On further consideration, how about this: I submit that while many kids love action features, the ones that grow up to become lifelong toy collectors are often (obviously not always) the ones that tended to prefer articulation, sculpting, and ancillary media over action features.

Because as I’ve pointed out, very few collector’s lines–in fact, I can’t think of any–cater to action features. So either collectors did like action features as kids and don’t like them now, or they never liked them. Based entirely on my own experience and from talking to fellow collectors, I lean toward the latter.

Anyway, this seems like just the sort of thing to drum up some spirited debate, so I ask you: what do you think? How would you break down the proportions of how important sculpting, articulation, action features and I’ll add one more category, ancillary media (cartoons, comics, movies, etc.) were to you when buying toys as kids, versus today? (“Ancillary media” means how likely you were/are to buy a toy regardless of how good the other aspects–sculpt, articulation etc.–were/are, simply because it was Star Wars/He-Man/Marvel/Transformers, etc.)

Here’s how mine would probably go:

Young Poe
Sculpt: 20%
Articulation: 25%
Action Features: 5%
Ancillary Media: 50%

My favorite toy lines as a kid: He-Man, Star Wars, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Poe Today
Sculpt: 25%
Articulation: 35%
Action Features: 0%
Ancillary Media: 40%

My favorite toy lines as an adult collector: Movie Maniacs; Spawn (The Dark Ages, primarily); MOTU (Millennium and MOTUC); Marvel Legends; ToyBiz’s Lord of the Rings; DCUC; Mezco’s Hellboy; NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Comments now closed (43)

  • You have Action Features as 0%, but none of the figures you like now have them, so how do you know how much of a factor they could be? If they could do figures with great sculpts and articulation that had action features, would you still not care?

    Young Flash

    Sculpt: 25%

    Articulation: 30%

    Action Features: 15%

    Ancillary Media: 30%

    My favorite toy lines as a kid: He-Man, Super Powers, Secret Wars, G.I. Joe, TMNT

    Flash Today

    Sculpt: 40%

    Articulation: 30%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 30%

    My favorite toy lines as an adult collector: DCUC, DC Direct

    If the figures had action features that didn't take away from sculpt or articulation, I would most likely think they were pretty cool, but to a max of 10% or so.

  • Lil' Lemon J

    Sculpt: 15%

    Articulation: 5%

    Action Features: 5%

    Ancillary Media: 75%

    Present Day Lemon J

    Sculpt: 25%

    Articulation: 15%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media/Nostalgia: 60%

    Cartoons, comics, movies, etc. have almost always swayed me to an action figure…sometimes regardless of quality, especially when I was a wee lad.

  • @Lemonjuice_McGee: Yeah–the more I think about it, the more I think that, at least for those of us who grew up in the 1980s and after, the ancillary media was far more important than any other aspect of the toy. Articulation, accessories, action features, what was most important was that it was a toy of that character you saw in that show/movie.

    I could also add at least one more category–availability of vehicles. That was another huge draw for many children.

    Also, I suppose it's fair to ask: is transforming an action feature? Personally I'd say no–to me, action features require a kinetic effect initiated by the child: He-Man's battle armor, firing missiles, Webstor's winding backpack, Millennium Stratos's flapping wings, the vintage Rancor's button-controlled jaw, or vintage Optikk's eyeball dial.

    While obviously the child does transform the Transformer, I still think there's some sort of subtle difference there…but I could be wrong. Still, there's no question I hated action features on almost every other toyline.

  • You beat me to the question of transforming as an action feature. Certainly there are Transformers where that's the case, with the Activators class (sub-line?) all having spring-powered transformations. Transformers has a tendency to work in little gimmicks, too, like the Cybertron keys and "Mech Alive" and so forth.

    I'm too lazy to do the breakdown, but I agree with your analysis about ancillary media; I think us "children of the 80s" are almost subliminally programmed to think "hey, this is cool; I wish I had a toy of it." I know that, after watching Iron Man 2, I was much more tempted to pick up a few figures from that line.

  • That thread was so funny. Personal experience is what we have to draw on to form opinions, but those opinions often become reinforced as facts when challenged. Cracks me up.

    For some reason, I also get a chuckle about kids caring about "sculpt" or "articulation". Maybe I could take it more seriously if it we dicussed it in terms of "looks" and "moves", but I digress…

    I don't know what I thought as a kid. I think I liked action features. In fact, I must have – my favorite MOTU characters were the Battle Armors, Roboto, Scareglow, Sy-Klone, Man-E-Faces, Rio Blast, Kobra Khan, Snout Spout. Throw Man-At-Arms in their for good measure though. I love the Super Powers features, the telescopic lightsabers on Star Wars, and I loved Transformers – which I might consider an action feature.

    I still like action features, but they were better when we were kids – internal ones with no buttons or pegs to block how it looked and moved? Those were the days.

  • The new Prince of Persia 6 inch figures have little to no articulation separate from their action features. I have no idea what market these are aimed at, but it's clearly one that's either in the extreme minority or non-existent, because these things are godawful, sell terribly and I believe are already on clearance at TRU. I'll think more on the topic and post young Ender's breakdown later.

  • @Russ: Is that you, King Randor?

    Honestly, the topic of the thread you started is another whole issue…I'm not sure I agree entirely with your conclusions, largely because I think the stories and characters of MOTU have taken on a life outside the vintage toy line–for those of us who grew up in the 1980s, characters like Snake Eyes, He-Man, Skeletor and Optimus Prime have been a part of their lives and pop culture consciousness just as much as Batman or Superman, however much longer those two have been around in overall history. So in that respect, I think MOTUC could indeed be seen as a MOTU equivalent of DCUC.

    But I suppose that's a topic for another Poe's Point…

  • I was the same way as a kid, though it bugged me more when action features interfered with sculpt (thought articulation was second place). I rememeber HATING it when an action feature forced a toy into a certain pose, making it look ridiculous if it did anything other than said feature. I much preferred toys with "default" poses.

  • I always went for articulation.

    I loved Star Wars figures for the 'Universe Building' you could do, but Action Force and Micronauts were the business, they could sit properly in chairs, ride bikes and not look so…well…toy like.

    Action features bugged me then and they bug me now, only today I was taking a look at my FF Thing which has a giant great button in his back for throwing an engine block and thinking how much cooler it would be if the damn thing wasn't there.

    May I raise another point? Sort of slightly off topic as it pertains to toy vehicles more than action figures but didn't it bug you as a kid when you bought your Knight Rider KITT only to find it had 'KNIGHT RIDER' in huge white letters on the door. I can remember having a Corgi Jaguar XJS from a British action show called 'The Saint' (yes the one that dreadful Val Kilmer fim was based on) the opening titles of the show had a stick figure saint in them, so what did they do, whack the damn thing on the bonnet of the car! It just ruined the play value of the vehicle straight away. I don't think you see it much these days. That said, the dopey red formula 1 car that Hasbro released in the Iron Man range may have the Iron Man logo on it.

  • I've always been a middle of the road kind of guy. I find all of the aspects of a toy important. Personally though, I don't USUALLY see what the big fuss about articulation is. Do I want a figure with 6 points? No (although I love the original MOTU and correct me if I'm wrong but 6 points was the usual in that line). But do I really care if a figure has 45 POA and can put his face in his own butt? A happy medium is good. I don't do vanilla poses but my stuff isn't swinging from the rafters either.

    I've always loved action features and I wish that current toy lines found a way to incorporate them while not sacrificing other aspects.

    Toy-tot

    Sculpt: 30%

    Articulation: 10%

    Action Features: 25%

    Ancillary Media: 35%

    favorite toys then: He-Man, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Super Powers, G.I. Joe, TMNT, Playmates Star Trek: TNG, C.O.P.S

    Toyman

    Sculpt: 50%

    Articulation: 25%

    Action Features: 5%

    Ancillary Media: 20%

    favorite toy lines now: MOTUC, DCUC, Toy Biz's LOTR, Playmates Simpsons, Marvel Legends, Tortured Souls, Living Dead Dolls

    Articulation has become more important to me but only because it's the standard now and has replaced action features. If toys were still made with cool features then that would outweigh articulation any day. Whether I was a kid or now as a toy buying man-child, sculpt/coolness of appearance held sway. If it ain't bitchin' lookin, it ain't being bought. Action features were next in line. Twisting waists, chopping arms, popping caps and firing missles. Good stuff.

  • I agree – I never liked action features that got in the way of the poseability or playability of a toy when I was a kid.

    I honestly think that action features were a selling point for adults.

    I remember when I would show an adult a toy when I was young they would always ask "what does it do?" Another kid never asked me this.

    In my head I thought "what do you mean what does it do? It's He-man (or insert character of choice here), here in my hand!"

    I was so stoked about having the representation of a character I loved, (who hopefully could move their limbs) that I never wanted it to "do" anything else. All the play value of that type came from imagination.

  • Oh and one more thing if I may? I have two daughters, four and six, they have pretty broad taste in toys and as a figure fan myself I take more than a passing interest in their toys, especially if they have action figures. With the exception of Doctor Who, they don't give a fig about action features or articulation. The Doctor Who figures, according to my six year old, must 'be able to move' and most cruicially, have his sonic screwdriver, otherwise I'd say their favourite toys are utterly static, with maybe one or two points of articulation.

    Just my two peneth worth.

  • Young Slangards

    Sculpt: 10%

    Articulation: 20%

    Action Features: 30%

    Ancillary Media: 50%

    Favorite Toylines:

    Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man

    Old Slangards

    Sculpt: 30%

    Articulation: 55%

    Action Features: 5%

    Ancillary Media: 10%

    Favorite Toylines:

    Transformers, GI Joe, Marvel, Articulated NECA figures, Play Arts

    As a kid, I loved action features. I was big on playing with toys, so if one of them could squirt water and knock down the bad guys, I thought it was cool. I remember being so jealous of friends who had Optimus Prime because he came with the trailer where Roller would pop out at the press of a button. Vehicles and playsets were also a big draw then (not so much now).

    I was also heavily influenced by what I saw on TV. My toys included other things on Saturday mornings in the States. Silverhawks, Battle Beasts, My Little Ponies, Sky Commanders, Inhumanoids, TMNT, etc. The reason it was limited mostly to the 3 though was availability. Most of the time, you got what you could find at the local department store.

    Nowadays, I don't really care what license a toy comes from. Articulation is my first priority, then sculpt, then accessories. The best toys are ones that move well, look great, and have a nice number of related accessories that give you some options on how to display it. Action features are ok (lights and sounds on big Transformers for instance), but not something I'll look for specifically.

  • I hated action features as a kid almost as much as I hate them as an adult. They consistently just made me angry.

    I remember being so pissed trying to pose my v1 Shatterstar (ToyBiz Marvel) because of the dumb 'sword-swinging' action.

    One of my favourite toys as a kid was G.I. Joe almost entirely because of how poseable they were. The ninjas could do -ninja-like- poses. That was awesome to me.

    And I collected Marvel figures way more fervently as ToyBiz slowly added more articulation to them.

    My nephew is the same way, I might add. Despite me not having enough contact with him to influence his likes and dislikes, the kid loves articulated toys and tends to only want 'action feature' toys when they represent a character he loves.

    Fact is, when you're a kid, if you REALLY love Spider-Man and every Spider-Man figure has an action feature, then guess what – you buy a toy with an action feature. But by and large – I don't think kids 'love' action features as much as the often-clueless toy execs seem to think.

  • As a kid (and still kind of a kid at the age of 23) Ive always hated action features that get in the way of my toys being able to strike a pose. I hated missile launchers too cause id always lose the missiles. I loved playsets and vehicles though. that really hasnt changed except now articulation weighs in a bit more if its worth the price of the figure or not.

  • I agree with your points, PG. The only difference is young Bambam and adult BAMBAM have always had the same preferences.

    Sculpt: 30%

    Articulation: 20%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 50%

  • the last two posts were action feature haters… well, let me go the other way… several weeks ago, we had our first day that hit 80 degrees. i picked my kids up from school and we walked home, and kicked back on the porch to enjoy a little shirtless wonder time… well, one of my sons runs inside and grabs up his kobra khan. he comes out to play w/ his brother and i call him over, and tell him, real quietly, to pop off KK's head and go fill him w/ water. they hadn't done this before. well, he does so, and i pop the head back on him and show them the action feature. my youngest, squeeling w/ delight after getting his back misted, runs into the house, grabs his KK and fills him w/ water, and my kids have a kk water gun fight. that's magickal right there. score two for the action feature. 😉

    personally? i was all over the place as a kid, but in general, as long as the action feature made sense, i dug it. i loved pouring slop through my muckman, and my slime pit, i loved scaring the crap out of my mother w/ the C.O.P.S. caps, and i made my college roommates do a snake mountain karaoke night. frankly, if you DIDN'T do that kind of stuff w/ your toys, you scare me a little. they are toys after all.

  • Love the points you bring up Poe. I tend to agree with you… But then we have some very similar interests in toys methinks… Still we do have some differences.

    Young Baena
    Sculpt: 38%
    Articulation: 28%
    Action Features: 10%
    Ancillary Media: 23%

    My favorite toy lines as a kid: Star Wars, He-Man, Voltron, MUSCLE, Model cars and airplanes/space ships.

    Baena Today
    Sculpt: 60%
    Articulation: 35%
    Action Features: 0%
    Ancillary Media: 5%

    My favorite toy lines as an adult collector: Star Wars, (The more modern SA figures) MotuC, Palisades Muppets, DC figures. (mixed DCUC and DC Direct) FANtastic Exclusive (4H junkie) Some statue/garage kit stuff.

    Like Poe, I was very much bothered by the fact that my He-Man figures couldn't move more, that my Star Wars figures couldn't move more. But I never got into GI Joe, 1. we couldn't afford it, and 2. They got floppy too fast. So the articulation wasn't all that great back in the day for them either. I've never liked it when articulation has compromised the sculpts. Only in this day and age, and I would say the 4H are largely responsible for showing the world that you can have high articulation and a good looking sculpt too. That is something we just didn't have as kids really.

  • Young Rocket

    Sculpt: 30%

    Articulation: 15%

    Action Features: 35%

    Ancillary Media: 20%

    Favourite Toys Then: MOTU, M.A.S.K., Transformers, WWF (Hasbro)

    Old Rocket

    Sculpt: 30%

    Articulation: 25%

    Action Features: 20%

    Ancillary Media: 25%

    Favourite Toys Now: DCUC, Marvel Legends, WWE (Jakks & Mattel), GI Joe 25th Anniversary, Ghostbusters, Transformers

    I realize that few of my current toys have action features, but that doesn't change my love for the ones my older toys had.

    Especially the M.A.S.K. spring-loaded converting vehicles, which could change from one mode to another and back in just a few seconds, unlike most of the Transformers of the time.

  • Part of what made the MOTU figures so exciting were the action features. Whether it was Dragstor and the wheel built in his chest, Blast Attack who could split in half, Sy-Klone who could spin, and Rio Blast, who had those awesome guns! When TMNT came out, I didn't like them any LESS for lack of action features, but we were treated to unique sculpts (many of which still hold up by today's standards).

    I was never picky as a kid, and I don't think I ever really thought too much about articulation as a kid. It wasn't until much later until I became enlightened. Right now I'd say I'm 50/50 with articulation and sculpt. The MOTUC Stactions always kill me because they look so great, but yet they don't move.

    I used to love playsets. Castle Grayskull and the Slime Pit were two of my absolute favorites, as was the Technodrome.

    I was never a huge vehicle fan, but I still liked 'em. MOTU had the coolest vehicles… TMNT had a lot of good ones, but also stupid ones too.

  • Young Nightmare

    Sculpt: 10%

    Articulation: 0%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 0%

    Opportunity to Aquire: 90%

    I was lucky to even have toys growing up, no one would buy them for me, except for the occasional Lego set. I'd usually instantly accept the offer by my parents to buy me ANY toy, but sometimes they would offer to buy me some butt-ugly toy just because it was on sale; those I refused, hah.

    Modern Nightmare

    Sculpt: 40

    Articulation: 55%

    Action Features: 1%

    Ancillary Media: 4%

    Today, I usually don't care about what property a figure is from. I don't have any loyalty or whatever to SW/MOTUC (I thought they were ugly even back then), so I buy whatever looks cool and can be posed effectively.

    There is the rare time when I will buy something just because it's a character I like from some cartoon or comic. If someone made a line of Red Sonja figures, I'd buy all of them, regardless of whether they were ugly or not, just to say I have the collection. Recent examples would be my purchase of the Brave and the Bold Aquaman, I love that guy! Also a 5 POA Painkiller Jane, I like the character so I bought it.

    I didn't buy a LOTR Cave Troll or Mutant Spawn figure because I love their comics/cartoons/movies, I bought them because they are bad-ass looking creatures.

    There was only one figure I remember buying because of the action feature, a Viking Batman, because it had a spring-loaded waist that could spinning-DDT the hell oyt of any other toy 😛

    (Though it's weird that I don't buy many wrestling figures despite how often I remember doing wrestling moves with my figures, go figure!)

  • I saw it mentioned before – my thought is also that action features don't impede my like of a figure, except when they get in the way of things. Cases in point: Hasbro WWF Rick Rude had a bad pose for playing wrestling with the figure; Ax and one of the Hogans from the same line had hands that were meant to go with a bodyslam action and looked stupid otherwise. Colossus from the first X-Men Toy Biz line was supposed to pick up a barbell, so his hands were curved up in that position; the Lex Luthor from their first DC line had "punch self in face" action.

    I can play this game all day, there were plenty of terrible poses because of action figures. Ah – any figure that used the exploding action from Kenner – Scorpion Alien, Exploding Beetlejuice – because the bodies never fit together exactly right.

  • I've got to admit, even as an adult some action features are hard to ignore.
    It's all relative, but hand anyone a Man-E-Faces and after checking out all 3 faces…they'll do it again.
    Such was the power of Masters of the Universe. The first wave all had a very satisfying, powerful spring punch that didnt interfere with the toy much. Most later figures seemed to be designed around whatever feature they had. The action features led to the great character diversity!
    But, it's got to be done well. If a ball jointed figure has one swivel shoulder for a karate chop? Lame. The Super Powers line consisted mostly of pretty dumb actions that resembled dances, but they were a fun little surprise and they toys would have looked and posed the same way with or without them.

    I'd have gladly traded action features for joints in the 200x MOTU, but I'm impressed that many figures featured their standard, character based action, like an extending neck, as well as a spring or button attack.

    I definitely prefer articulation, if I pick up a beaten up old MOTU, the first thing I do is see what he does. Even if I already know! I think some primal appeal of control and interactivity makes the toy hard to put down. Some relationship is formed, like a Chimp and the joy of a banana dispensing button. Hand me a sparking Blackstar and I'd grind that flint to dust in a day.

    As far as classic MOTU being superior to MOTUC? No sir. The designs were always fascinating, but I couldn't enjoy looking at the characters until now. The action features were superior to the figures themselves.

  • I hated it as a kid , that most figures did have so sparse articulation.

    When i discovered GIJoe i was really amazed!

    I also loved the MASK vehicles for their Actionfeatures but was disappointed with the figures having only so few points of articulation.

  • JimPansen : Yes, admittedly the M.A.S.K. figures articulation was a bit disappointing. I'm hoping that if the movie does get made they'll go with the GI Joe scale/style for the figures this time.

  • Poe, I think the fact that "action feature" has a lot of meanings these days. Is Mossman's scent an action feature? It was marketed as such in the 80s, but Mattel has now decided that it does not get in the way of articulation and is not really an action feature and the "smell" is included with MotUC. How does one define an action feature? Does a weapon like Clamp Champ's or an accessory count? Does the actual plastic that a figure is moulded from – e.g. clear plastic, or gitd plastic – count as an action feature?

  • Man, those 2 characters (Multibot and Dr Kain) talk a lot of rubbish don't they?!

  • OK . . . I'll play! 🙂

    Young LZM

    Sculpt: 50%

    Articulation: 20%

    Action Features: 5%

    Ancillary Media: 25%

    LZM Today

    Sculpt: 85%

    Articulation: 15%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 0%

    If the sculpt ain't happening, then I ain't buying, no matter how much of the Kama Sutra can be reenacted.

    0% on ancillary media, because I don't really read comics, and don't watch much recent animation either.

    There are exceptions, like HT Joker I would've never bought without loving Ledger's performance.

    But in general, I buy strictly for the FIGURES.

  • As a kid I loved action features, Thunder Punch, Battle Armor, etc.

    While growing up I started to lose interest in mechanical features. Teh Action Feature that killed my like for Action Features was "backflipping Beast" from the X-Men line by ToyBiz.

    The action Feature never worked. I bcame an Articulation Junkie with the Superposeable Spidey from Spidey: TAS. Now I rank Articulation first, then Sculpt, then everything else.

    NECA has some cool toys that I don't buy becuase they're frigging Statues with 2-5 POA above the waist and 0 below it. Can't make fun of Twilight If I can't pose Edward AT ALL… Gimme Articulation and Good Sculpt or rot in the peg!

  • Young Lee

    Sculpt: 15%

    Articulation: 10%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 75%

    My favorite toy lines as a kid: Motu, Super Powers, Dino-Riders, TMNT

    Lee Today

    Sculpt: 50%

    Articulation: 0%

    Action Features: 0%

    Ancillary Media: 50%

    My favorite toy lines as an adult collector: MotU (200x & MotU:C), Dinosaurs, JLU, Star Wars, and Marvel U.

    I totally agree with you on action features as a kid. They bugged me when the ygot in the way of the toy "looking right" I liked them when they were merely support features like He-Man's twist punch, or Hawkman's wings flapping.

  • @Poe:

    indeed it is, oh great & wise spirit of Poe!

    Well, one thing I kept saying which everyone seems to miss is that–unlike DC Universe Classics– Masters of the Universe Classics is mostly updated sculpts of the vintage figures with references to their action features thrown in; I can't consider that much more than a modern day homage-based interpretation. Do I consider it definitive in terms of the likely character selection? That I'll give it, but based on the reasons I've given, I can't really yet say that Classics is indeed THE definitive Masters collection.

  • I'm in the camp that has always looked askance at action features. Even as a kid, I couldn't stand them if they were obtrusive. I didn't mind them if they made sense for the character and were discreet (especially if the action feature was part of an accessory that could be ignored). But a giant button on a figure? Or spring-loaded limbs that can't be posed? They irked me then. And they irk me now.

    @Fengschwing:

    That bugged the crap out of me, too! I suppose that is a whole other issue, but I can see how they are related. A lever sticking out of a character's back or a logo slapped on a vehicle both detract from the toy for me. Either would take away from a sense of- I dunno, is verisimilitude the right word here?

  • I LOVED action features as long as they didn’t give the figure a wierd pose or somesuch.

    I also agree with Fengschwing,what’s with the logos on the vehicles? Why would Punisher take his nondescript black van and paint a Punisher symbol on it? Kind of kills the point.

  • man… reading this makes me sad… if you don't like a well executed action feature, you didn't really like toys. so as an adult, you're pretty much only collecting due to a lack of imagination as to the definition of real happiness. why not just waste your money on hookers and blow?

  • @dayraven: Ouch. And quite unfair, I think. If you don't like action features you don't really like toys? Going to have to disagree with you 100% there.

    My main beef with action features was, and is, primarily with those that somehow hurt the sculpt or articulation. Like Millennium's Stratos's shoulders being unable to move forward and back due to the ridiculous "flapping" feature, or Wolverine's "spring out slashing claws" in the original Toy Biz figure preventing him from having hinged elbows (plus the claws themselves looked pretty bad).

    Considering the reams of fan fiction I wrote about Wolverine back then, though, I don't feel like my imagination was particularly hampered by my dislike of the action feature.

    That's not to say I hated action features on principle. Of course not! There was the occasional cool action feature. Man-E-Faces springs to mind–or Optikk's eyeball dial, or the Rancor's mouth. But action features were never part of the draw to a toy for me–it was occasionally a bonus and occasionally, if it hurt the sculpting or articulation, a flaw.

  • I was all about those retractable claws on Wolverine. I could do without the ring/mask thing,though.

  • Well, I like action features when they make the toy a better toy, like the original Battle Armor He-Man, for example ( IMO, the MOTUC Battle Armor He-man was ruined to my eyes because of the lack of his action feature ).

    When I was a kid I never cared about details that are so important to me today ( Articulation, sculpt, paint )… As a kid, I just wanted to play and have fun.

    Young Zubrycky

    Sculpt: 25%

    Articulation: 10%

    Action Features: 15%

    Ancillary Media: 30%

    My favorite toy lines as a kid: Motu, Super Powers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Thundercats

    Zubrycky today

    Sculpt: 50%

    Articulation: 40%

    Action Features: 10%

    Ancillary Media: 0%

    My favorite toy lines today:

    Well, I'm mainly a vintage collector but, speaking about current toy lines, although I am not a completist ( I collect only the toys that make me want them )I like Motuc and DCUC.

  • Another reason I miss Spawn toys:

    Really cool action features.

    Manga Spawn had a maskless head that popped out of his torso when you removed the helmeted head. Then you could take the helmeted head and combine it with his backpack to make a bug. Cool.

    Manga Curse had a missle that shot out of the cannon that was his right arm.

    Spawn III had the cape that could spring open into wings.

    (Not so much Angela's shooting spear, because that kinda messed with the sculpt)

    Of course it was the innovations in sculpt, paint and articulation (believe it) that drew me to those toys, but those fun extras in actual toy-ness were awesome. If they are extras, and mess with nothing, then bonus fun is the best.

  • I do not mind when they are well executed. Transformers often come to mind, Animated Blitzwings head, auto-morph/mech-alive in the movie verse toys most of the weapons that shoot, some of the cyber key gimmick. But some , like most of the minicon gimmicks in Armada and the combination from Energon interfered with what could have been a better figure.

    When I was a kid my faves were G.I. Joe (both parents were in the military which probably contributed) and had tons of the figures and vehicles. Transformers have always stuck with me though. Beyond that I had a bunch of TMNT.

    Now, Transformers still hold the majority of my collection, I also cherry pick DC Universe Classics but my current vice is Marvel Universe. These are all the toys I imagined I had when I was a kid.

  • Action features are the imagination killers, the same way video games that kill the imagination today. The missile that launches from your Iron Man's arm-cannon has a set distance, a set speed, and a set power. The repulsor beam fired from your child's mind does not.

  • Late to the party, but my main concern when I was a kid was having toys of my favorite characters. Action features and poseability were fun additions, but not what I sought out. Even today, I collect based on characters. I like them to look good and be able to pose, but I also enjoy an action feature if it's cool but unobtrusive,