What Are Action Figure Toys? | Learn All About Action Figures

Everything you need to know about action figure toys! From their history to the various sizes and materials used in production. Find out “What Are Action Figure Toys?” now!

What Are Action Figure Toys?

What Are Action Figure Toys?

Are you looking for a toy that your kids can play with and also help them learn? Action figure toys are the perfect choice! 

These toys provide hours of fun while teaching children essential skills like problem-solving, creativity, imagination, and even storytelling. They come in all shapes and sizes so there’s something to suit every taste. Plus, they’re great for children ages, from toddlers to teens. 

So if you’re wondering “what are action figure toys” or “how to choose one for your little ones”, read on to learn more about these exciting playtime favorites!

What Are Action Figure Toys?

Action figures are poseable character models, typically made of plastic, that are based on characters from various forms of media such as films, comics, video games, and television shows. These figures are mainly aimed at boys and adult collectors. The term “action figure” was first used by Hasbro in 1964 to market their G.I. Joe toy line, although similar products were referred to as “boy’s dolls” by their competitors.

A study conducted in Sweden in 2005 found that action figures, which often embody traditional masculine traits, are primarily targeted at boys. While these figures are commonly marketed as toys for children, they have also gained popularity as collector’s items among adults. In this case, action figures may be produced and designed with the expectation that they will be purchased for display purposes rather than being played with like a traditional toy.


Raw materials

The production process involves using modeling clay and sculpting tools to create a prototype. The final figure is then molded from a tough plastic resin like ABS. Softer plastics and nylon are used for costume components such as body suits, capes, and face masks. Additionally, acrylic paints in different colors are applied to decorate the figure. For more advanced toys, miniature electronic components are incorporated to provide light and sound effects.

The Design Process: Turning Ideas into Reality

Selecting a character is just the beginning. The design process kicks off by sketching out the proposed figure. From there, a clay prototype is created using aluminum wire as the backbone, but other materials like wax can be used too. This prototype gives shape and weight to the figure, while the clay is added for further detailing.

The sculptor then uses various tools to carve and shape the clay, paying close attention to every detail. References, like photos and sketches, are used to make the figure as realistic as possible. In some cases, human models even aid in the design process.

Once the body is shaped, the sculptor focuses on the finer details, particularly the eyes, nose, and mouth that bring the figure to life. The head is sculpted separately and then attached to the body, followed by sculpting the neck and hair to ensure a seamless fit.

Depending on the design, the costume may be sculpted directly onto the body or added later as a cloth costume. Throughout the process, the clay may be covered to prevent premature drying. Once everything is finalized, the entire figure is baked to harden the clay.

The finished sculpted prototype is then sent to the manufacturer for approval. Once approved, molds are made to produce the plastic pieces for mass production. This sculpting process typically takes about two weeks, but revisions may be necessary and can extend the timeframe. Allow several months for this design phase.

Patience and skill are essential in this design phase, allowing for the creation of a figure that truly captures the character’s essence. Several months are dedicated to this process, ensuring the highest level of craftsmanship.


What is another word for an action figure?

While action figures can be referred to as collectible toys, dolls, or action figurines, the term “action figure” remains the most widely used and recognized.

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

The term action figure was coined by Hasbro in 1964 with the release of G. I. Joe. While similar toys were referred to as “boy’s dolls” by competitors, Hasbro introduced a new term to market their creations specifically to boys. Dolls, on the other hand, were traditionally marketed to girls.

Today, however, both dolls and action figures are enjoyed by children of all genders. The world of toys has evolved to include male dolls and female action figures that are increasing in popularity.

Is an action figure considered a toy? 

Well, that depends on who you ask! You see, for kids, action figures are toys. They love to play with them and incorporate them into their imaginative stories. However, things are a bit different for adults. Many adults collect action figures as display items rather than for play. So, while kids may view them as toys, adults often see them as valuable collectibles.


All in all, action figure toys have been around for decades and remain a favorite of children and collectors alike. There’s no denying the major draws of these fun figurines – from their detailed features to realistic play possibilities. 

With so many choices and options available, there is something for everyone when it comes to action figures. Whether you choose to display them as collectibles or use them for active play, they make a great addition to any fan or hobbyist’s collection. One thing is certain – these tiny pieces of art are sure to spark imaginations! 

So why not take your fandom up a notch with the amazing array of action figure toys? Who knows what amazing adventures you can create once you get your hands on one! There’s only one way to find out…go forth!

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