The Most Popular Collectable Action Figures of 2008
A look back at the biggest selling action figures of 2008, from the worlds of movies, TV, games and music. Great to collect, and great for Christmas too.
It has been quite a year on the action figures front, with all manner of media tie in merchandise being made available from feature films, comics, TV shows and games. The area that has seen by far the most interest in licensed action figures this year is undoubtedly the ranges of merchandise based on video games titles. With the continued growth in the gaming industry's influence over popular culture, it stands to reason that related merchandise would be in demand, and it certainly has been.
The big two names I'm talking about here are Gears of War and Halo. While the Halo range has grown with another two sets of articulated figures this year, the makers have also branched out into statues, large format figures, headknockers, posters, calendars and various apparel fir the discerning fan. The success of the Halo range has been dwarfed slightly by the sheer demand for merchandise based on the Gears of War franchise.
With a huge sequel to the first game now doing the rounds, the demand for Gears Of War items has been steadily growing throughout the year. Thankfully NECA have created some incredible items to keep the fans at boiling point, with some of the best action figures that have been on the market in years. The Gears of war figures are a larger format to most games figures and feature a much higher level of detail as well as better accessories and packaging. The box sets have been hot sellers as well, each of the three released so far featuring four separate figures.
Other games that have featured on the action figure hooks in 2008 include Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Brothers and more, proving that older ttiles still carry some clout with the fans.
Star Wars has been present again this year thanks to tie-in merchandise from the new Clone Wars movie and TV series. One surprising thing in this year's run of film and TV related merchandise has been the demand for the 'Classics' range of Doctor Who action figures, which surpassed all expectations and have been snapped up by fans and collectors left, right and centre.
Movie merchandise has seen something of a resurgence too, and a particularly popular item of late has been the 12 inch SAW puppet on Tricycle box set, depicting the infamous Billy doll from the horror franchise, which, of course, had its fifth instalment released in the latter part of the year. Other official horror based items have included a superb 12 inch version of Jason Voorhees and more, just going to show that the fans still want blood. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Dark Knight have all had their parts to play this year too, and some fantastic merchandise has been available.
Music fans were treated to new figures of Joey Ramone, Lemmy from Motorhead, two new Elvis Presley figures and two new Elvis headknockers. While the number of new items in the music ranges has been pretty thin on the ground, the demand is certainly there for more.
The market for licensed memorabilia from all corners of popular culture has seen a definite upturn in 2008 despite the economic troubles the world is facing, and these collectibles make perfect Christmas gifts. The merchandise industry is now even more a part of popular culture and the media it is based on that ever, even going so far as being integral to the continued life of the entertainment industry itself to a certain extent. While DVD sales are keeping cinema alive and box office takings slowly raising, the future is looking rather solid for the action figure world, and there are many, many more to be collected in 2009. The winners this year must be the video games ranges, and in particular Gears of War, which does appear to have won the battle of 2008.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew writes for the Starstore Blogs as well as being a renowned music journalist, pop culture expert and SF author. For the latest updates on movies, TV, comics, collectibles are more, visit The famous Starstore Blog, and for more Christmas tips and information you can visit The Best Toys and Gifts For Christmas.