Quick and affordable online appraisals of action figures

Communicate directly with a qualified action figures specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.

Quick and affordable online appraisals of action figures

Communicate directly with a qualified action figures specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.

How much are my action figures worth?

Do you want to know the value of your action figure collection? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of action figures. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your action figure. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours.

Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your action figures? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

What is the history of action figures?

While our modern concept of "action figures" was born in the early 1960s, their predecessors date back centuries, as many ancient civilizations created small figurines that were used as toys by children. These figurines were often made from materials like clay, stone, ivory, bone or wood, and were designed to represent people, animals or mythological creatures. 

We know about these ancient toys primarily from archaeological evidence, including excavations of ancient sites and tombs, as well as from depictions of toys in ancient art and literature. For example, in ancient Egypt, small figurines made from clay or faience (a type of glazed ceramic) are believed by some scholars to have been used as toys. These figures were often brightly painted, and some were even jointed, allowing them to move and be posed in different positions.

When did action figures become popular?

The early 1960s marked the emergence of what we now commonly refer to as "action figures." The first toy widely recognized as an "action figure" was G.I. Joe, produced by Hasbro in 1964. These figures were 12 inches tall, made of plastic, and featured a wide range of accessories and equipment, including realistic uniforms and weapons.

Across the Atlantic, the British company Palitoy introduced their own version of the action figure called "Action Man" in 1966. The figures were also 12 inches tall, highly articulated, and also came with a variety of realistic military-themed accessories and equipment.

What is the difference between an action figure and a doll?

Generally speaking, action figures are typically marketed towards boys and are designed to be used in more active play scenarios. They often feature more exaggerated or "superhero" proportions, with large muscles or exaggerated physical features, and are often depicted in combat or action poses. They may come with a variety of accessories like weapons, vehicles or other equipment that allow for imaginative play.

On the other hand, dolls are usually marketed towards girls and are often designed to be more realistic or "lifelike." They may feature more realistic body proportions and facial features, and are often dressed in clothes that mimic current fashion trends. Dolls may be used in a variety of play scenarios, from nurturing and caregiving to imaginative play, but they tend to be less focused on action or combat-oriented play.

That being said, there is often overlap between these categories, and many toys could be classified as either an action figure or a doll, depending on how they are marketed and used in play. Ultimately, the distinction between action figures and dolls is largely a matter of cultural norms and marketing, rather than any intrinsic difference in the toys themselves.

Why did people start collecting action figures?

Adults' interest in collecting action figures began in the 1980s, as many of the children who had grown up playing with the first generation of action figures, such as Star Wars and G.I. Joe, entered adulthood and began to rediscover their love for these toys.

In addition to this nostalgic factor, the rise of the comic book and sci-fi and fantasy fandoms also contributed to the rise of action figures as collectibles. Collectors became more interested in figures from their favorite comic book series, movies and TV shows. The availability of online marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, also made it easier for collectors to find and purchase rare or hard-to-find action figures.

What are the most expensive action figures?

The most expensive action figure ever sold at auction is a one-of-a-kind prototype of the G.I. Joe "Rocket-firing" Boba Fett action figure from 1979, which sold for $185,850 at a Sotheby's auction in 2019. This figure was never released to the public due to safety concerns with the rocket-firing mechanism, which could be a choking hazard for children.

The most expensive action figure sold in an online sale was a mint-condition, rare vinyl-caped Jawa action figure from the original Star Wars line, which sold for $18,000 on eBay in 2017. The vinyl-caped Jawa was an early version of the figure that was quickly replaced with a cloth cape due to production issues, making it a highly sought-after item among collectors.

What are the most common action figures?

Some popular action figures, like vintage Star Wars or G.I. Joe figures, are often seen at auction or in online sales due to their continued popularity and high demand among collectors. Other lines of action figures seen frequently at auction include:

  • Transformers
  • Masters of the Universe
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Batman
  • Marvel Comics
  • Power Rangers

Lesser-known or niche action figures may not appear as frequently, but can still be highly sought-after by specialized collectors. Ultimately, the frequency of appearance at auction or in online sales is just one factor to consider when evaluating the value of an action figure collection.

How are action figures valued?

Overall, the value of an action figure is determined by a combination of several factors, including: 

Rarity: Rare figures that are hard to find are generally more valuable than those that can be easily purchased online. 

Condition: The condition of the figure, including any wear and tear or damage, can greatly impact its value.

Age: Older figures are often more valuable than newer ones, especially if they are from a popular or well-known franchise.

Popularity: Figures from popular franchises or characters tend to have a higher value than those from lesser-known ones.

Packaging: Figures that are still in their original packaging are generally more valuable than loose figures.

Demand: The demand for a particular figure can also impact its value, with highly sought-after figures commanding higher prices.

How can I sell my action figures?

Before selling, it's important to research the value of your collection to ensure that you get a fair price. Selling a collection as a whole may be much easier, however, selling figures individually can often yield higher prices. Consider selling high-value figures individually and bundling together lower-value figures. You can check prices online, consult with other collectors and should consider getting a professional appraisal from Mearto. It is also important to choose the online marketplace or platform that best suits your needs and puts you in front of your target audience. 

When you list your item for sale, make sure to highlight any special features or unique aspects of the figures and include high-quality photos from multiple angles. Once a sale has been made, carefully pack the figures to prevent damage during shipping. Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or other protective materials. Choose a reliable shipping service with tracking and insurance.


Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

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We evaluate items from 50+ categories.

If it can be sold at auction, Mearto can provide an online appraisal.

From fine art to furniture, antique firearms, jewelry and more, our specialists apply unparalleled knowledge and expertise to provide a fair market valuation and answer any questions you may have about your item.