Poest Office > Toylines Poe Doesn’t Like, Ab Crunch Importance, 6″ Display Stands

It’s yet another new title for my letters column! Will I ever be satisfied with a title? Probably not!

Anyway, we start off today with this missive from Poester AF:

What action figure lines leave you cold?

Well, growing up I had zero, and I mean zero, interest in G.I. Joe. Just none at all. I suspect a big part of that was I just didn’t know anyone who was into it. My cousin Ed introduced me to Godzilla, and my cousin Elye introduced me to Transformers (I’m not sure where MOTU came from, it may have been a childhood playmate or maybe I just caught the cartoon), but no one pushed G.I. Joe on me. That said, I do think some of the Joe toys these days are pretty neat.

Of course, as longtime readers (or even casual readers) of this blog know, I have no time for plastic statues like McFarlane Toys’ sports and military stuff. Despite my love of MOTU I had no interest in the Stactions due to their lack of articulation.

I want to like Jazwares’ Adventure Time and Regular Show stuff, since I love those shows, but I always find Jazwares toys just a bit off, somehow. Usually the sculpts are okay, but they consistently cut corners during the production process – articulation, paint apps – and the end product is just unsatisfying.

Next, Poester TP asks:

You probably don’t see it on many of the lines you collect, but how do you feel about the ball-rocker POA in place of the ab-crunch+swivel waist combo? A lot of the new Marvel Legends do this now. For my part, I think that when it’s done well, it actually simulates the natural human range of motion better than ab crunches (and gives lateral movement, which the old combo didn’t), but a lot of folks seem to hate it. Any thoughts?

Honestly I’m fine with either, as long as there’s some sort of torso articulation. The lack of torso articulation really diminishes the appeal of NECA’s Predator figures, for example.

And I agree with you, when a ball-rocker torso is done well it’s even preferable, as it allows the character to hunch to the left and right a bit. A good example of that working well is the old Marvel Legends Brown Costume Wolverine (my review here). I don’t really understand why people would hate the ball torso versus the ab crunch. Readers? Thoughts?

I’ve read the reviews you post on the oafe site for a couple of years now … but i only ran across your very own site just recently… The 2009 article you wrote “Stand! (in the place where your figures are)” popped up when I typed ‘action figure stands’ into Google.

That article was excellent, it was very well thought out and delivered a “consumer reports” type of analysis on stands available at that time… of course I missed the article in 2009 (even though I was having my “stand problem” in 2009 as well)

I am beyond frustrated with my damn figure collection… my stuff is mostly old and new-ish Marvel Legends, JLU, some DC Direct and DC Universe… I recently took them all down for cleaning (after about 3-4 years worth of dust, sadly) and am either going to put them back up or start e-baying them off …

I stupidly bought a bunch of “matty collector” stands thinking they would be interchangeable between DC-U and Marvel Legends but that really has not been the case… most of the Legends either do not have a foot peg or else the DC-U stand falls off a Legends figure. Those ‘matty’ stands don’t even work for every DC-U figure either and the matty stands for JLU are just as obtuse and ridiculous as you wrote, besides not being adequate for every one of that line either…

I found one of those acrylic spice racks years ago in The Container Store, but never saw them since… no big deal there and I used the spice rack for my JLU, affixing them with either glue dots or museum glue or “quake hold” … I have tried those adhesives for Legends-size figures too, but small (JLU) or large (Legends), whether its hours, days, weeks or months it seem like these figures with adhesive on their feet eventually fall over like sailors on shore leave.

It is totally difficult(!) to get figures to stand in any way shape or form so I am wondering if you have any new (or old) secret to keeping these things from looking like they’ve been binge drinking while i am away during the day (like in Toy Story, except mine not playing with each other, they’re raiding the liquor cabinet).

I think I noticed someone on some message board post that he uses a hot glue gun (like the kind used in scrap booking and stuff) to affix the figures to their bases but i’m not sure if hot glue on Mattel-plastic is the way to go… I have not been thrilled with glue dots either… if the dots affix to the feet and the figure stands for awhile, it may(will) eventually tip and i feel like some 6-7-inch figures must need glue in their joints the same way the tin man of Oz needed oil in his joints … whaddya think?

I’ve heard of a self-setting plastic called SuGu (from amazon and other sources) … but there is not much about that except I saw a post saying he used it to repair action figures…

The best stands out there were the ones on the Toy Biz Marvel Legends, whether it was an actual base (original Capt. America) or a doop-stand…

What’s the secret, Poe? How do you keep your people standing? Help me, Poe Ghostal, you’re my only hope …

with a wink and a nod…

Ray in Atlanta

Hi Ray,

Unfortunately, it sounds like you’ve already tried pretty much everything I could suggest. For 6″ scale figures, I typically use the old McFarlane Toys action figure stands. Often the peg will be larger or taller than the peg hole in the figure’s foot, requiring me to clip the peg and then jam it into the foot (thereby widening the peg hole a bit) – and sometimes I’ll have to actually use my Dremel to drill a hole (either to widen an existing hole or create a new one).

Unfortunately, I just checked the Spawn store and McFarlane doesn’t appear to be selling those stands anymore.

If money is no object, and you really enjoy dynamic poses for your figures, you might take a look at Tamashii Stage Act stands. But again, it’s expensive and really kind of the nuclear option. If all you want to do is stand your figures along a shelf, I really don’t know what you can do, other than try to find some McFarlane stands on eBay.

So let me open it up to your, dear readers – do you have any suggestions for Ray?

Comments now closed (11)

  • For my money, the Tamashii Stage Act stands are phenomenal. They work with MOTUC, DC Universe, Legends, really anything in the 5-7" scale. Yes, they are expensive, but given how versatile they are, it's worth it!

  • Getting figures to stand can be insane. I've given up NECA'S Predalien is a lost cause, especially because if it breaks, I'd have to shell out $100 for a replacement. They really need to update the figure just to give it stable feet.

  • I just wanted to let you know, that although the Predator figures don't have ab articulation, those that use the city hunter body do have a ball in socket waist, so you can still tilt them a bit in all directions. This does help with getting some personality in the poses.

  • for my tastes, the ball torso loses to the ab crunch/waist swivel on shear range. most of them move very little, and there's no consistency, even in the same line by the same company (i.e. my marvel legends rachel summers doesn't get as good a range as maria hill does… that sucks) that said, there's inconsistency to both systems. I think the new hyperion buck from hasbro is the very best ab crunch/waist swivel combo i own, and i have nothing that comes close to it in sheer range of motion. the cleatus v 2.0 bot has the best ball torso i own, and it's very, very good, it makes the mattel ab-crunch/waist swivel look like garbage in comparison, but it's also far and away the best ball torso i have. for me, ball torso doesn't replicate a realistic or desirable range of motion. too many of them end up like the anitherians, where it's more a swivel than a true ball, and without the waist torsion, there just aren;t that many posing options.

    as for stands, well, it all depends on if you're willing to do some dirty work. for example, why could one not, if one were so disposed, take a sheet of 1×4, or even just tap into the back panel of a wood display shelf, screw in some hooks, and use a loop of fishing line under their figs armpits to support the figure? that would keep them standing, even in the event of an earthquake, and could facilitate "battle" posing as well. not exactly rocket science, and doable on the super cheap. the only appreciable cost is time. and if you're using a separate wooden plank, you could install that in plastic or glass shelving units too. i mean, 2 dozen screw eye hooks will run you what, 4 bucks, 5 bucks, at any home improvement store or big box retailer. fishing line is 4 bucks for 900 yards of 6 lb test on amazon.

    • I agree that the traditional ab-crunch has a far superior forward and backward range of motion, even when compared to the best ball torso. But we're talking bending torsos at the ribcage almost 90 degrees from the pelvis — who can do that? Characters like Spider-Man make sense…but let's say…The Hulk? Punisher? I'm 100% with a ball torso for them b/c it better simulates how the rib cage sits and moves on the lower spine. That said…it can go horribly wrong. DCUC "ball" torsos are the worst…they barely swivel.

  • I agree wholeheartedly on the Jazwares A. Time and Reg. Show figs. They're often terrible. They show way too many uneven, gaping seams where the pieces are joined together, and the paint apps are ALWAYS sloppy.

  • IMO the absolute WORST figures to stand up are the JLU figures. Their design is just not practical, especially with the godawful plastic they use. BUT I collect them just the same
    To get my JLU figures to stand up, I use a block of styrofoam as a base. I buy a couple of 8th of an inch dowels or smaller and cut them into lengths appropriate for the figure. I just use clear little rubber bands to hold the rod to their backs and stick it in the styrofoam. It Gives them a better center of gravity.

    I actually like the Adventure Time toys. True their quality is sometimes lacking, but my biggest problem with them is that they're all over the place. They have no single line of toys with multiple waves of characters to collect. They have a whole slew of different scales and formats with only a couple of characters in each.

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