Action figures are manly toys marketed to children but bought by childlike men. [I'm not gonna lie to you; I never really whipped this topic into comedic shape. You've been warned.]
Toys kids actually play with
Based on Saturday morning cartoons that measure plot points in units of sugar rush. These aren't considered collectible; their value is measured in the smile of a happy child, which resells for shit.
The basic action figure looks pretty, bends in a few key places, and almost (but not quite) fills the void in the hollow lives of middle-aged men. It's like an even more one-sided version of SugarDaddy.com.
Once a toy company knows people love the original toy, something magical happens! The company re-releases the figure with a different head, color, or accessory, so that completists must buy the same toy twice! It's almost an abusive relationship, except of course, we know in our hearts toy companies would never hurt us like that if we didn't deserve it for not supporting them enough in the first place, and for breaking a dish.
When a hardcore fan wants a figure that doesn't exist, he Frankensteins a bunch of other toys into one. And I say "he" because no woman would ever do this, not even to seduce a rich nerd.
These are mini-statues, but so is everything else on this list when you refuse to take it out of the box.
These are the toys based on heroin addicts and murder. Whereas kids' toys brandish bloody swords, these come with much more dangerous accessories like cigarettes and booze.
Toys from different properties that experience a love forbidden by the fact that they have no genitals.
Everyone loves Transformers, unless the name Michael Bay explodes itself into the conversation. Cars, robots, giants, and lasers? That's a literal checklist of things that wow anyone old enough to pour their own bowl of cereal. But kids actually play with their toys, which means both parties are behaving normally. When adults buy toys, and then don't even open them, that's like a man making a Christmas tree out of tampons; it was never meant for him, and he's doing it all wrong.
While the rest of you suckers were doing something with your lives, I used to price action figures for a toy magazine. I saw some professional toy merchants net a slick profit; all it takes is a willingness to stake out Toys 'R' Us before dawn, throw elbows at children, and never tell a woman what you do for a living.
It's a lot like working for TMZ, come to think of it.
Nostalgia is for weaklings who have failed to conquer the present. Each morning, destroy anything you acquired the day before except money, true love, and newborns. Those are all your mistakes, and now you have to live with them as a reminder of how the past will try to trap you.
In the 19th century, nostalgia was recognized as a mental disorder. You also weren't allowed to vote until you grew a handlebar moustache. Back then, if you didn't contract a disease from doing something so manly it was stupid, the only way to die was from testosterone poisoning.
That said, there's nothing wrong with a fondness for past pleasures. There is, however, everything wrong with a 30-year-old man who uses Simpsons figurines as wallpaper. If you're going to collect toys as a reminder of how happy you were before your parents' divorce or your regicide conviction, take them out and use them. If you gave Child You a toy and then told them they could never open it, they'd cry like Glenn Beck at an onion-peeling contest (semi-sincerely as a ploy to get their way).
Did you take your toys out? Didn't give you the thrill that it did when you were 6, did it? That's because an adult can no more enjoy G.I. Joe toys than a human being can enjoy the G.I. Joe movie. So what? You're an adult, with access to firearms, liquor and the powers of the vice presidency! Stop pining for golden days that didn't exist, and play with the toys you have now. Nostalgia's just a lie we tell ourselves to pretend we can go home again. And like your real childhood home, you're not allowed within 100 feet of it.