Ah, the thrill of the hunt! One of the most exhilarating parts of being a toy collector. Getting out into the real world on an adventure is a lot more rewarding than just shopping online for collectible toys… that is just too easy. You get a rush of excitement when you finally find that elusive action figure or collectible toy that has been a real pain to find.
Another great advantage of getting out into the wild to track toys down is that you can run into like minded toy collectors and form new friendships. This can lead to having a network in your area that can alert the group when new figures show up in stores!
Read on, fellow toy collector, to discover new places to track down your plastic treasure!
Big Box Stores
Big box stores are your main go to if you are collecting figures lines that are currently popular, figures from the latest movies and cartoons, for example. These are stores like Walmart, Target, Toys r Us etc. They will usually have a large selection of collectible toys which will be stocked on a regular basis.
It’s not a guarantee that you’ll find the exact collectible toy you seek on the first try. You may have to hit up a few places around town to eventually track down your prey. And remember – there are fellow collectors out scouring the shelves for what you’re looking for and sometimes they will actually hide toys behind less popular toy lines so they can come back and scoop them up at another time. So always make a thorough check before you give up.
Collectible Toys & Comic Conventions
These have to be the most fun places to track down collectible toys and action figures. You can acquire hard to find collectibles at conventions as they will have many vendors from local toy stores and even online retailers.
Conventions are also great places to make new connections as they are generally packed with like-minded toy collectors and toy enthusiasts. There might even be people cosplaying the toy line that you collect, so you have the added bonus of being able to hang out and rub elbows with some of your favorite characters!
Yet another reason to attend conventions is that they sometimes have exclusive toys that will only be available for the duration of the convention and will not be produced ever again. This makes for some super rare collectible toys that you can show off to other toy collectors that were not lucky enough to attend.
These places can be hit or miss, however, it is possible to find some rare and older collectible toys at a very decent price! Many thrift stores don’t do any research into exactly what toys and action figures they have in stock and will sell them for pennies on the dollar. This is great for a toy collector on a budget.
Some of the toys that you find in thrift stores might not have all of their parts or be in rough shape, which can make for a fun restoration project. You can find missing parts online by searching eBay or joining discussion groups based on the toy line that you collect and asking around. You’ll find that some people will have extra parts laying around that they’re willing to part with.
Flea markets are a great place to hunt for action figures and collectible toys that you might have missed on their initial release. You can find some great deals, however, some vendors may overprice their toys because they keep up to date on the value of what toy franchises are currently popular. We do have a countermeasure to this, our mobile phones! When you find a toy that you’ve been looking for, take a quick look at eBay or similar auction sites to compare prices.
Don’t forget to haggle! Flea market vendors are used to this and it can be a fun minigame!
Getting out into the real world hunting for collectible toys can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you find that sought after, hard to find trophy to add to your toy display. Hopefully, you have gained some new intel into where you might find collectible toys to grow your collection. Good luck, and happy hunting!