It might be surprising to know that there are people out there who spend a lot of time collecting action figures. The time, effort and money that collectors expend on their fancies can be quite inexplicable for non-collectors.
Unlike other collectible items, the prices for action figures are not fixed. Just like the financial market, it can fluctuate or inflate over time. The location also matters. So for example, the going price for an action figure in a big toy collectibles supermarket in the city may be very much different than its going rate in a tiny collectibles store in a small town.
Another downbeat consequence in price watching for action figures, apart from the radical inflation and fluctuation of prices is the fad syndrome. Some action figures merely fall out of trend and others suddenly and dramatically become hot items, only for popularity to collapse just as rapidly as it rose. Expect that the price of a Transformers figure is high when there’s a Transformer movie coming soon to theaters. You can wait for the syndrome to subside and you will see that the price decreases noticeably.
So where should you look for action figure price guides?
The most convenient possible place to search for an action figure price guide is naturally the Internet. How quickly you'll find the price for something quite obscure mostly depends on your search strategy. Try to be as specific as possible with your search strings such as "Star Wars 1977 Yoda figure price” for example. Alternatively you can navigate to online stores and auction sites such as Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo! Auctions and leisurely browse through their large inventories.
The next possible source of action figure price guides is magazines. There are different magazines that focus on action figures. Lee’s Toy Review for example includes articles on the newest figures on the market with a wide price guide for various action figures. If you subscribe, you’ll get monthly up to date market values of your favorite figures.
Local bookstores have action figure price guides available. You can also buy them through online bookstores. Be sure to purchase the most recent edition in order to get the most updated prices. Several reputable price guide books which are not that costly are the Price Guide to Action Figure Collectibles, Warman's Action Figures Field Guide: Values And Identification, and the three-volume set Tomart's Encyclopedia. These books are trusted all over the country by hardcore collectors. There is a drawback however in choosing books as your price guide for action figures. You have to purchase as many as you can for cross referencing.