Guide – How to get started

Hey my fellow Plastic Addicts. Welcome to new segment of Near Complete Set. In these segments, I will be going through various aspects of the collecting community and giving you a basic run down on what they mean or why they are important/unimportant to the community. While these will be focusing on Marvel Legends, these can be used for most action figure line, like DC, Transformers and even GI Joes.

To begin we will answer a question that is asked in almost every forum, on Reddit and on social media. “Hi, I have started collecting. I need help getting starting out.” Well, I have a method that will help you out. Now there are plenty of other methods but I have advised a good number of people and they have always come back and thank me as they found it easy for them to use. It’s not a fool proof method but it works.

Before we get onto the method, a few things that every newcomers should know.

  • Get only what you can afford. Starting out you may feel like you may have an unlimited budget and can get everything. You can’t. This hobby can be very expensive. Older figure have gone up in price and some can goes for hundreds. So when you are starting out, just pick stuff you can afford.
  • Do not worry about completing waves or BAF. Many people will tell you to get the full latest wave, especially a vintage wave. While that is a nice idea, what if there is a figure your didn’t want. That is money wasted. So starting out just cherry pick the figure you want. As for BAF, there is no need to rush with them.

With that out of the way, let’s get onto the method.

1. Pick a character

Simplest way to start out collecting is to just pick your favourite character. Let me say that again. Your. Favourite. Character. Some will say “You need to start with Spider-man, Wolverine, Punisher, X-men….” No. It doesn’t matter who you pick. It could be Gambit. It could be Scarlet Spider. Beast, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Cyclops, Professor X. It does not matter who you pick as long as it’s some one you love. It’s your collection. Your Choice.

Now before we get onto the next part there are 2 other parts after you pick your favourite character you can go for. If you are an one and done collector (you get the figure you want for him/her, and move on), then you can skip these extra parts.

1.A. Try and fill his wardrobe

If you pick a character, you may want to filled out his costume wardrobe. While I would recommend getting ones you want or that are essential to that character., there are some collectors who have to a figure for every costume that that character wore. Using my favourite character as a example, I want every costume that Spider-man wore. Yes I was event excited for the Negative Zone costume coming out, though it was fairly cheap looking.

If you are wondering where to find out what has been made, just click on any of the characters pages.

1.B. Look for alternate universe characters

If you do or do not complete the wardrobe, then you may want to gather some alternate universe of the character of your choice. If I was to use Spider-man again, you may want to build the Spider-verse, so you will need to gather characters that have been made like Spider-UK, Spider-Punk, All the Spider-woman and yes even the pig. But don’t go too have if you can as some characters like Spider-man, Wolverine or Iron Man have too many alternates to afford.


2. Collect that characters’ allies or enemies.

Once you are done with that single character, then the next step you need to do is start gathering his allies or enemies. Allies are a bit harder to do as they could involve character from other teams, (IE getting a Cap for an Iron Man collection is not recommend yet) I recommend getting the enemies more. Now starting off you should only get the main allies and enemies. Starting off don’t go over board. Just get the characters you think of when you think of that character.

If you are satisfied that you have gotten the main bulk of this, only then should you start gathering lesser know characters connected to that character. You could even begin expanding it to other franchises that have fought against or with the hero/villain. For example, Dr. Doom is considered a F4 villain but he can also be considered a Iron Man, Dr. Strange and yes even the Webhead.


3. Go back to step 1

Once you are satisfied that you have gotten the wardrobe, allies and villains you want for that character, then the best thing to do is to go back to step one and pick out your next favourite character and go through the steps again. Once you are done with that, do it again. And again and again. Eventually not only will you expand your collection, but you choices will begin to shrink. You will find that figure you got for one character will have already being acquired for the next, making you lists of allies and villains much smaller. Not only that you’ll find that you are starting to build and complete teams, like the Avengers or X-men. This includes smaller teams like the New Warriors.

However, once you got enough in your collection, then:


4. Decide what type of collector you want to be.

This is the last thing cause you never know what type of collector you want to be. While it may be easy to say you will collect everything, life and money gets in the way. You may also decide “I’m not going to get all of these. Go only going to get these.” Eventually you are going to have to decide where your focus should be. Are you going to be a nit-picker or a completist? Are going to focus on one character/team or are you just going to get any character you want? Are you going strictly comics or want to focus on the MCU? Classics characters or Modern character? There are various types of collectors and I will go through them in a later post but for the time being, if you are starting out you will need to decide at some point.


Well that is the method I recommend doing when starting out collecting and works for most collections, not just Marvel Legends. Like I said, there are dozen of methods out there. the “Get the latest wave and work your way back” (or Visa versa) is one but I don’t recommend for most new collectors. If you know of a different method, please post it below or on any of the social media.  Let me know what you think of it and what else would you say for this method.

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