From 1965 to 1975, action figures made an entry into the toy market and boomed. It was the conception of the G.I Joe toy that brought about the advent of the action figure. It was unique in that despite being essentially a doll, the product's target market was boys. It was also a movable figurine that had a lot more points of articulation compared to traditional dolls and this was something quite ground-breaking at that time. Several children didn't outgrow their fascination with these new toys and became adult collectors.
Many collectors sustain their passion in collecting action figures through their mature years. What began as perhaps an offbeat pastime soon grew in popularity. There are collectors who began their hobby as adults. This is due in no small part to TV, movies and comic books which have a great impact in the popularity of action figure collecting. The first release of Star Wars could be considered a landmark not only for science fiction films but also for action figure toys. Then came Captain Action, a figure that could transform into whichever admired TV or movie character you liked just by changing his costume. Collectible stores almost couldn't keep up with the high demand of the collectors. Store shelves often run out of stock because the figures were in such huge demand. It seemed then that many people were infected by the action figure collecting virus.
Though action figure collecting was already an established collecting hobby during the 70's and 80's, toy companies only became aware of the craze in the 90’s. In the middle of 1990, Mcfarlane Toys was the primary toy company to take an aggressive step in creating lines of action figures targeted for the adult collector. Several companies have done the same in subsequent years, however, Mcfarlane Toys maintains the lead in manufacturing action figures for the high end market.
To be considered a serious adult collector of action figures, one must at least possess several hard-to-find items. Just as with antique collectors, old and obscure are qualities that adult action figure collectors go for. Online communities and organizations are mostly responsible for disseminating and setting standards on how collectible a particular toy can be.
Action figure collecting will not die. Every time a fresh movie or a book is launched, a new character or a set of heroes are born. Various collectible shops will then stock a new line of action figures for the collectors to grab. Adult action figure collectors nowadays are being invited to appear in television or be featured in magazines. Devotion to their hobby has become an amazing and interesting tale for others.