Who doesn't love toys? Sometimes, I will walk down the action figure aisle at my local Target and reminisce about a simpler time when the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas was a Batmobile and a Batman to go with it. I will still pick up an action figure or two just because I love the design or think it might look cool on a shelf. Heck, I might even open them up and play with them. No matter what anyone tells you, you're never too old to play with action figures. However, if those action figures happen to be worth thousands of dollars, you might just be too young. That's right!
Collectors/hoarders crawl forth from your eBay black holes and join me on a quest to showcase some of the world's most expensive posable toys. Some of these beautiful molded pieces of plastic are worth a literal fortune. Whether it be due to limited release or rare misshapen/defective versions, there are some action figures out there that will put you in massive debt fast. Sure, you will have one heck of a display case to talk about during your lavish dinner parties, but you won't be able to afford much food for that party, get it? Below is a list of 15 action figures that rank among the most valuable. We have also thrown in 15 not-so-valuable action figures for context. Yes, more than one Star Wars toy is going to be on this list, but there's more. We promise that some of these entries are going to surprise you, or your money back!
30 1978 Luke Skywalker: $25,000+
Luke Skywalker might be a poor moisture farmer in a galaxy far, far away, but here on Earth, he is worth a small fortune. Don't let his incredibly basic, plastic molding fool you, this blonde-boy is worth a lot.
You need somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 to nab yourself an original 1978 Luke Skywalker in box. Guaranteed, this action figure cost such a small fraction of this price upon its release, but who knew this franchise was going to take off? And who, of those people, knew to keep him tucked away in his original box?
29 Star Wars Force Link 2.0 - Luke Skywalker : $8.99
You can trip, fall, and accidentally land holding one of these salty-dogs. That is to say, they are basically giving these away. In-box on eBay, you can grab one for about $8.99.
Obviously, if it were between Luke Skywalker then, and Luke Skywalker now, we'd all rather remember him the way he was. Then again, this action figure actually goes for a reasonable price. You could always just imagine he is the Luke from your childhood?
28 Wun-Dar He-Man: Prices Vary
There is a very interesting story behind this particular action figure. According to Top Galaxy on YouTube, in the late 90s, mysterious He-Man toys started cropping up for sale online. You can spot him easily by his black suit and hair.
The theory is that he was part of some promotional marriage between Mattel and Wonder Bread. This was denied by Mattel, and to this day, no one knows the truth behind this variant. It currently runs the gamete on what buyers are willing to pay. Very strange, but intriguing nonetheless.
27 MOTU 5.5IN Vintage He-Man: $20
You can pre-order this little guy for only $20! Sure, it's not the original toy in its original box, rather, a re-issue of that old toy done in the original's likeness. That's still pretty neat, and since the box is extra authentic, most people won't even notice it isn't original.
Having no He-Man nostalgia whatsoever, even I have thought about pre-ordering this shirtless warrior for no other reason than it looks cool. It arrives online and in some select retailers in May 2019.
26 1959 First Edition Barbie: $23,000+
The recent Netflix show Toys That Made Us has brought back the attention of so many classic toys/action figures and has re-ignited collector interest in many of these properties. Some might say Barbie is not an action figure, but that she is posable and G.I. Joe's height, we think she counts.
This bad-ace business lady goes for about $23,000 (plus) and any collector would be lucky to land one. She is very rare and only barely resembles the Barbie we know (or have known) from the last twenty years. In fact, she's never looked MORE like a cartoon than she does here.
25 35th Anniversary Barbie Repro: $17.00
You can get this Barbie for like $17, if you want. She looks the exact same as the original 1959 version (same molding and box), save for the largely printed “35th Anniversary Barbie” right on the front.
Barbie, like a number of entries on this list, has had several re-releases, and this particular one was made in 1993, which makes it still pretty vintage. Collecting Barbies is an expensive hobby, so if you cannot nab an original antique, go for the practical alternative.
24 Jurassic Park 1993: Prices Vary
Cue that beautiful John Williams score and let loose an army of velociraptors because the action figures inspired by Jurassic Park are going extinct! Actually, you can find all of series one on eBay for about $200 – not including any of the vehicles or dinosaurs.
I really like the vintage looking face molding on the characters because they look nothing like the actors at all. Oh, how far we've come! This is valued pretty high, but not a bad price to have a piece of childhood in-box with you forever.
23 Waterworld 1995: $100
Say you don't have the scratch to put towards a $200 set of Jurassic Park action figures, for about half the price, you can get ALL of the Waterworld set. Yeah, this movie isn't that great, but the action figures could be!
All you need is an active imagination and an understanding that Jurassic Park is sadly out of your price range. One-hundred dollars is not necessarily “next to nothing,” but if you consider that some of these toys range in the thousands, that “nothing” becomes very relative.
22 Faker, Original: $1000
That's right, more He-Man, or He-Man imposters at least! This is Faker. He is a sinister duplicate of He-Man and he goes anywhere from $300 - $1000 (plus). Of course, this is provided you have him in-box. One could argue that he is the most rare figure from the original toy-line, but at this point, they are all pretty rare/expensive.
There is something about his design I really like. It's like a big blue muscly robot, which I think we can all agree is fashionably nuts. You can find him lurking around eBay, probably waiting to follow orders from Skeletor.
21 Schleich Smurf Movie Figure Set: $30
So, maybe you don't have one-thousand dollars to spend on one blue He-Man, but you can spend about $30 on a handful of blue Smurfs! In conjunction with what looks like the The Smurfs (film), a set of toys including a Gargamel was released.
These toys didn't do so great, but they sure made a lot of them. Easy to find and ever so cheap, you can have hours of fun Smurf-ing it up with friends or showcasing your Smurfs to the public, if you so choose.
20 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1980s: Prices Vary
Prices are all over the map for these radical mutant turtles, but auction prices for in-box originals usually sell for about $300 - $400 a pop. That's for EACH one, not a set.
Even limited edition re-release boxes of these pizza-loving knuckle heads go for about $600. People were bonkers about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and that craze has never really died down. They still make action figures of them today and you can find these figures loose out of the box for pretty cheap, too.
19 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Anime Movie: $15
I have never seen this anime, but judging from the designs of these action figures, yuck! This is probably why they go for only about $15 for the entire set. Obviously, this is not the ideal action figure if you are a child opening a present, but it's NOT nothing.
My favorite part is how unsightly those yellow weapons are. Again, Ninja Turtle prices vary all over the map, but these particular molds stay at a steady cheap rate for the reasonable turtle connoisseur. Tonight, we dine on turtle soup? No! Tonight, we dine on Ramen noodles.
18 Transformers Generation 1: Prices Vary
By now, you're probably beginning to realize that “prices vary” usually means you will need an exorbitant amount of cash if you want to own it. You are correct! An original Optimus Prime action figure from the series launch (sealed in-box) will cost you about $12,000, alone.
Imagine trying to collect ALL of the Transformers. They are collectively worth a small fortune. Though, these figures were quite expensive to produce, being that they had so many moving parts, the amount they go for now is GASP-worthy.
17 Autobot Jazz: $14
While the original Optimus Prime action figure is the price of a reasonable car, you can get NO ONE's favorite Autobot “Jazz” for around $14 on Amazon. You remember Jazz, right?
His portrayal in Michael Bay's Transformers film is often referred to as poor! He speaks in only slang, and basically, Jazz stinks, but you can own him for cheap if you are eager to own a transformable robot on a budget. Honestly, just looking at him makes me like transformable robots less.
16 Jem And The Holograms: $675
These crime fighting, space princesses know how to rock out through a teen-pop array of kaleidoscopic sound waves, dude. Their statuesque counter-toys know how to take gobs of money out of your wallet.
Beautiful things are often expensive, and Jem breaks no cliches here. The entire collection will run about $10,000, while individually, they will be anywhere from $675 to $1000. That's like Barbie prices! The difference is, Jem and the Holograms weren't exactly as widely produced as Barbie, making them harder to find in the wild.
15 Archie POP!: $20
Would this be as enormous as receiving every single band-mate from Jem and the Holograms? No. But, if you are a fan of OTHER Archie-Comic like properties, then perhaps Archie himself might be a sort of consolation.
Riverdale is not the best show on television, but it is a good show. Maybe, while you're saving up for a collection of Jem toys or Josie and the Pussycats dolls, you can look to your very own Archie POP! figure longingly for the day in which he will be reunited with his thematic pals.
14 Boba Fett: $5,000
You can pay as “little” as $3,000 for an un-boxed version of Boba Fett, or you can pay as high as $32,000 for a sealed version. Literally, the only thing stopping you is your credit card statement.
Leave it to Star Wars for destroying the market with incredibly rare collector figurines. In doing research, I expected all of the entries on this list to be Star Wars related, but to my surprise, there were a handful of other properties going for comparable amounts. Star Wars, however, will always have a cultural foothold and will continue to be synonymous with “collecting.”
13 Darth Maul: $14
That being said about Star Wars and its profound foothold on societal action figure obsessions, you can find a Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace for $14. Or, you can find it in a bargain bin at any toy store for like $5 (in the 90s). Or, you can find it in the trash can of any person who purchased the toy before seeing the film.
What I am saying is that The Phantom Menace was a huge disappointment and people can't get rid of the toys fast enough. Darth Maul, despite all of the issues we have with the prequels, still looks pretty cool, though.
12 She-Ra, Princess Of Power And Her Horse Swift Wind: Prices Vary
Now, this rare piece of He-Man spin-off collector candy is actually something. The design of that pegasus/unicorn hybrid is amazing to behold. The whole package really holds up as something special, but does it justify its price?
Well, it currently goes anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 dollars (sealed in-box). That is quite a large chunck of change to throw at a beautifully-rendered She-Ra doll and her magical horse. However, there are fans aggressive enough to buy up these figures as soon as they go on sale, making them hard to get even if you will dole out the cash.
11 Incredibles 2 (5 Pack): $6
Speaking of pack-in action figure bundles, the Incredibles 2 Family Pack of action figures recently went down from $14 to $6. That's more than 50%! I guess the recent film didn't garner enough thirsty fans?
This is very close to what action figures cost back in the early 90s. You typically don't see ANYTHING priced this low anymore. Likely, the cost of the packaging alone has got to be close to $6. Anyways, if you even (kind of) liked the movie, this is a steal.
10 G.I. Joe Action Figures: Prices Vary
G.I. Joe has one of the longest running toy lines in the business, rivaled only by Barbie. Their storied career spans multiple generations of relevancy as they seem to keep up with modern trends. Though they have gone silent in recent years, we are certain they will be back again someday.
Depending on which decade you are trying to collect, G.I. Joe is always going to break your bank. 1983 Jump Jet Pack With SILVER Grand Slam is currently priced on eBay at a whopping $6,000. That isn't even an original series one release. A prototype 1963 soldier recently sold at an auction for $200,000!
9 WWE Wrestlers: $12
Other intellectual properties that are marketed almost exclusively towards the younger generation is wrestling. If you want, you can buy any number of wrestling heroes (or villains) in almost any variety of looks from different eras.
What about Roman Reigns, he goes for about $12 and usually comes with a belt. Personally, I wouldn't buy any of these because I do not like wrestling, but if I did, these low prices would get me pumped!
8 Original Superman: $25,000
This bizarre looking older interpretation of Superman can be yours for the low price of $25,000. He is an original 1970s “smiling” doll that will go great with the rest of your weird looking dolls that line the darkened corners of your bedroom.
Seriously, I could have guessed a version of a Superman toy would be on this list, but why does he have to look so happy/spooky. It almost looks like they just put a babies head on top of a man's body with lipstick and everything.
7 Justice League 12" Figures: $12
These 12-inch group of bad-boys run at about $12 a pop. That is basically NOTHING. But, what's even more greater than the price? They all look fantastic.
You could (in theory) collect the entire set for well under $100 and live like a king. It simply goes to show you that collectables aren't always better because they are “rarer” or more expensive. Sometimes, better things are cheaper. For example, certain regional beverages are sometimes tastier than their more expensive imports from other regions. Facts are facts, people.
6 1978 Telescopic Lightsaber Darth Vader: $6,000
Luke Skywalker doesn't just beat out his father in Return Of The Jedi, he also beats him in the auction house. While an original Luke in-box goes for about $25,000, an original Darth Vader is dwarfed at only about $6000.
For those keeping score, that's still a large amount of money. Then again, if you are a rabid Star Wars fan with lots of disposable income, then this price might just look like your best friend. I will say that I love how the cape drapes around his neck like a cool jacket out of Blade Runner.
5 Thanos: $20
From one ultimate villain to another, the disparage between pricing here is just embarrassing. Though Thanos (through Infinity War) is a relatively newer cultural hit, he is very low on the totem pole of actually expensive bad guys currently owned by Disney.
What a bummer! He looks cool, probably plays great, and the gauntlet looks nice and detailed. I predict he will also be worth a lot, given that the Marvel franchises last in the spotlight of relevance for the next forty-to-fifty years, much like Star Wars has.
4 TMNT Scratch The Cat: $1,000
This figurine alone is worth $1,000. Why? Probably because it is very rare, but other than that, it holds no other nostalgic or emotional value outside of being associated with a franchise we love.
Who is this cat, though? I can't really remember him from the cartoon, and he's not even in the films. He is almost like a “Mandela Effect” put as a road block in my research to confound me. If anyone can remember Scratch The Cat, please shout out from wherever he came from in the comments.
3 Felix The Cat: $15
Now, here is a cat I DO remember! Felix The Cat is an amazing piece of 90s nostalgia that lives somewhere in all of our memories as a cartoon that we probably saw when we were very little.
You can purchase a bendable version of this beautiful black cat for only $15, and he also comes with his titular magic black bag. You remember the bag, right? It could hold anything. I love/remember this cat and have already clicked purchase on my very own Felix The Cat toy. I recommend you all do the same!
2 L’Oiseleur Doll: $6.2 Million
Obviously, we must save the best for last. The L’Oiseleur Doll is an action figure that you might have had commissioned if you were an oil-baron in the late 18th century. It auctions for an incredible $6.2 million and has over two-thousand moving parts in it.
This is the Transformers Generation 1 of haunted dolls. You will never purchase this figure, nor will you ever see this figure with your real eyes. It is in a whole other category than the other entries on our list.
1 The Amazing Hero Spider-Man, Spider-Man PVC: $2.99
This is what comes up when you search for “cheapest action figure ever” into Google. I am not sure that it really is, nor am I sure that this ISN'T a mistake. Either way, it's kind of hilarious.
You can buy this beautiful Spider-Man for $2.99, but it ships for $15.99. Worth it? I am not sure. Spider-Man is awesome, and this mold of him looks stunning. Heck, if I want it, it can be mine for under $20 (all together). Either way, it is very funny to put both of these last two entries up against each other. I wonder who would win in a fight?