The State of the Collection

Whoa, it’s been a while, right? A lot has happened, and yet nothing has happened. As I mentioned before I was on a pretty tight timeline with getting the edits done on my novel for my publisher. Maybe one day it will see print! Doubtful, but who knows? Its not like I didn’t throw two years of my life into it. Then, before I could start to get caught up, the holidays happened.

Why does that matter? Because my entire collection is in my unfinished basement. Which means it shares a space with the area we have band practice as well as all of the storage for the household. My lightbox is in the back part of the basement to keep it out of people’s way and to control the lighting a little better.

It’s out of the way MOST of the time. However, when someone needs to get decorations out, say for instance, for Halloween, and then Christmas, my entire area is sent into disarray. Currently there isn’t any room for me to maneuver stuff out of the way, which is sad because I do enjoy action figure photography.  No doubt because I am not really a photographer and when I’m shooting action figures, they are small enough that I can control every aspect of the process. Lighting, framing, etc. No surprises, no sudden movements, no changing light settings on the fly. It relaxes me.

That being said, I thought “I bet people would be interested in seeing how you display your stuff” and maybe people could get some ideas. I love seeing the pictures of people who have turned their display area into a museum and I try to do that, but on a budget and with the understanding that the basement isn’t “mine” and still needs to be accessible to the family and the band. Honestly with my new arrangement I have a shelf encroaching into the bass player’s area as it is, so I don’t know how much I can push it.

Not that my band or family care, but I do.

I promised myself that I’d start taking pictures as soon as I got the new shelf my girlfriend bought me for my birthday in September. It is a large display case which ultimately led to me redoing all of my display areas. Then I decided I was going to teach myself how to touch up some mass produced faces for a better presentation. That was after I made myself wait because I wanted to put together Bandai’s EXCELLENT First Order Executioner model. Go buy it. Thank me later.

Finally, I decided that if I kept thinking of things to do, I’d never make any progress. Although the wait made it possible to get my Rickhor TLJ Luke robe in and put in place.

What follows are pictures of my displays, with any thoughts I may have on them. You will probably notice a yellow tint on some of these, that’s the color of the lighting in my cases, so I apologize. Also, some of the taller shelves are at odd angles. That is because my camera tripod and lights do not go up that high. Please take a look below and I would LOVE to discuss any figures or answer any questions you may have on any of my display choices.

Let’s start with the side of the room I’m proud of and break everything down.

Filming anything in my basement is a challenge. There is very little light and even with the lights on, though more than bright enough for me, is not bright enough for the camera to do anything with. Therefore I had to use my light umbrellas and figure out what angles works the best. You can see some of the umbrella reflection in the two bottom right hand Detolf shelves pictured above.

The display on the far right was the birthday present from my girlfriend she bought for me in September, so let’s start there.

Right here, Figma Thor and Captain America, Mafex Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a knock off Figuarts Mk 43. If you have a chance to purchase this KO, don’t do it. The color is off, which is forgivable, but its literally a floppy mess. If you look closely at his left leg, you can see the doll stand holding him up. When it comes time to recapture some space, it saddens me to say that the two Figmas and the KO are going to be pulled down.
The other side, an MCU War Machine from AOU, “Disco” Iron Man, the Ultron BAF, a Mordo that is lucky to still be on the shelf and behind them all, the incredibly detailed but impossible to display MCU Vulture, complete. Disco IM, Mordo and MAYBE WM Mk II will go when I need the room.
When I first shot this, I had forgotten to put my Toby Spider-Man next to my Andrew. That has been corrected.

The second shelf down, and we are approaching my favorite pics from this whole two-week session. We are getting into the meat and potatoes of my Marvel Legends MCU collection.

Too dark, but I like this shot. The original pics were too bright but I realized after I ran them through Lightroom that I had managed to cut off the Scarlett Witch’s head in everything I took. The Mk 43 and Ant-Man will be the first to go. My Figuarts AoU Cap is sadly going to end up being boxed for space eventually also, as will the helmet-less Cap. Finally, I know it’s been said, but Hasbro… the Tom Holland head is HUGE!
I like this shot. A little bright but that Iron Patriot really pops. I don’t know if you can tell but I gave my Daredevil figure a 5 o’clock shadow with a pencil. Never sealed it with anything yet, so I am careful not to rub it. Also, I finally gave up on Falcon’s wings and glued them into the peg holes. I really think Falcon was a fairly lackluster effort on Hasbro’s part.

Third shelf down, the last of my ML MCU shelves. I tried to make this one more “cosmic” which is how I determined which figures went on what shelf.

I really like this picture. The colors and the poses just work for me. I also had to find a place to put my three Groots.
I was thankful that a set of Iron Man’s blast effects worked with Starlord. I really like the Hasbro Rocket.

The fourth shelf down and this is where I realized I was in regards to how much space my new display case got me. My plan for this case was my MCU Legends, my DC Icons, all of my DC figures, and a DCEU specific shelf as well. A lot of this did not happen. Next up are some of my favorite pictures from the whole session.

I didn’t see any point in putting my original Hal in here from the first wave, but I may try to squeeze in the Silver Age Aquaman with the telepathy effect. I like “unique.” I’m going to miss this line. Also of note, my Flash ring with uniform inside.
Absolutely one of my favorite shots. I’m a little proud of it considering my camera skills, or lack thereof.

Next shelf is Icons as well. I hope you enjoy Icons. Or minding your business.


I like how Deathstroke is in the shadows but I should swap Deadman and Blue Beetle. The Jay helmet is awesome. I hate the Icons Amazo Virus Wonder Woman. One of my favorite Batman figures… that they slaughtered the size on.
Don’t like the shadows on this but the bottom figures make me miss the Satellite Era.
Due to space, I had to be selective with my DC Figures. I have a thing for speedsters. In the back you can see the DC Direct Hawkman/Hawkwoman 2-pack set. I opted not to display my DC Direct Starman and Death. The figures are nice, comic accurate but I didn’t care for the characters 20 years ago and I still don’t.
The Multiverse Flash, Reverse Flash, and Supergirl are not good figures but I like the shows. The Figuarts figures will probably end up where my Mezco Cap, DD and Punisher are now. I have a new set of ball joints on the way as of this writing and that should elongate BatFleck.

Next I have three large display pieces under the Detolfs that I couldn’t get in-frame in the camera. They are hard spaces to work with… too big for just 1:12 figures but not big enough to do anything elaborate.

My original plan was to put the latest released versions of each character here as a tribute to the original team. However, I really like how the Marvel Select Hulk stands out and I love Spider-Man, so that’s where he is going to stay for now.
This is a great example of me thinking I have more space than I do. This Mattel Batmobile is huge but nice looking. It takes up the entire length of the case it’s in. I bought all of the figures for the Steppenwolf collect and connect and gave them to my son. We ended up with an extra Flash so of course he makes the cut. Mezco Batman and Superman, Mafex Wonder Woman here. I wish they would have handled her shoulder area better.
Two 1/4 NECA figures. Both presents, that Batman is amazing. The issue here is, I have two figures taking up a lot of real estate and they are the only 1/4 figures I have. They may need to be moved somewhere else in the basement.

Now we get into the Detolfs. Fun stuff here!

I have both the Mafex and Bandai Spider-Man, but the display nod goes to the Mafex. He is the Superior Spider-Man (see what I did there?). One of my pet peeves is when people display their figures in a line, all on the same level, so you only get to see the first line of figures. I am dangerously close to that happening here, but I like the diorama and the wall. The Hulk and Thor will be replaced by their new looks.
Sharp eyed photogs will see the light umbrella. I love this dio but unfortunately this shelf will most likely go to the Bandai DCEU figures. These guys will move up to the same shelf with my Red Skull.


Right now the Skull is the only Marvel Mezco in the Marvel Mezco area. I love this figure and he will probably be one of the first reviews I do once the holidays are past. Full disclosure, that is not an actual cosmic cube. I added the glow in Photoshop. Sorry for the misdirection.
Really snazzy shelf, but running out of room for Bandai Iron Men. Speaking of iron(y) the Revoltech MK I is one of my favorites on this shelf.
This was a fun shelf to set up. I like the idea of Quill repeatedly touching things and kicking Tony’s OCD into the stratosphere. Rocket and Groot are amused.
This is a wonderful diorama. Makes a good Jedi temple as well. Black Widow is a pain to stand but the awesomeness of the Figma Hulk makes up for it.
Bonus points if you caught the tiny Bandai Ant-Man.
I have a Tony Mei Superman head coming but again, if I wait until every shelf is perfect, I’d never get anything done. I took several pics of this shelf but in the end I had to restage Captain Marvel. I had him posed with the fists on hips like Supes but both doing it seemed silly. Its sad because there aren’t many heroes who can pull off that look, but Superman and Marvel immediately spring to mind when I picture that in my head. My favorite part of this shelf: The speedsters in the back.
I like this shelf. A nice mix of imports and Black Series. Eventually there will be an Epi III Obi Wan and Anakin. I am not sure why we don’t have a real 1:12 Yoda yet.
The prequel bad guy shelf. Dooku is hitting shelves next year I think and I am really excited about the Bandai Grievous model I need to put together, but again if I waited until I was satisfied, I’d never get anything done.
I can’t quit staring at this shot, only because Maul’s light saber is untouched. Somehow, I accidentally had the light at the right angle to create a convincing light saber effect. I will have to figure out how I did that now that I know it can be done.
Jango is kind of a “meh” offering from Figuarts for me but he doesn’t look horrible on the shelf. I used the Revoltech MK I flame effect for his flame thrower.
The OT Heroes! A few things here, I actually like the sculpt on the Black Series Obi Wan. The Revoltech C3PO is very limited in articulation, but both him and R2 do exactly what I want them to do. Stand there and look droidy. Yes, it’s kind of weird that Luke is in that position with Leia but I was quasi basing this on the original Star Wars posters and we didn’t know they were siblings yet.
The OldBoy CTTS Billy Dee Williams sculpt is beautiful. I picked him up on the aftermarket so I paid more than I would have if I got him new, but it’s such a ridiculous improvement that I had to do it. I’ll probably pick him up a cloth cape after the holidays.
OT Bad guy shelf! Again, there’s a nice mix here. Mafex, Bandai, and Black Series. The Rogue One Vader is a really nice Vader, but if the 40th anniversary Black Series Vader came with more accessories, I would have used him. I just think he looks better. Buuut he didn’t and the Mafex checks off all the boxes for me. The Gamestop exclusive trooper really pops in hand. That red is striking.
Close up of the Death Tropper. The BS Tie Fighter pilot kind of makes the Deathtrooper look like a black blob in the last pic.
Closer look of the Black Series pilot, and the Mafex Vader and Fett.
This shelf would have taken me forever if I waited to have it the way I wanted it. I bought Luke and Leia because I wanted to teach myself how to customize a face using acrylic pastels, I have Rey on the way as I type this, and that Poe will be replaced with an OldBoy Poe, as will Leia. I need a NICE Finn. The nicest I’ve seen is the TFA Storm Trooper Finn from Mafex but I think I missed the boat on that one. I have the Bandai BB-8 but honestly, the Black Series looks more “real” to me.
Another fun shelf. I did move the blue-grey droid to the good guy shelf after seeing the film. I sold off my TFA Phasma and Kylo and replaced them with the vastly superior TLJ versions. I hope to have a Snoke after the holidays to sit in the back.
I wanted to highlight my Executioner Model Build out. I will probably do a full review on him soon, but well worth the price and a FUN project.
Last but not least, the new Phasma. You can bet her shiny metal ass that she will let you down again.
So this and the next are odd shelves. These characters were all around the same time the OT was placed and my original intent (remember how I think I have more space than I always do? This is an example) to place them all on that shelf. The Sabine figure is beautiful. I also gave Hera some tools to work with on the Ghost.
An even bigger hodge podge than the last shelf. I like how Greedo looks but he didn’t fit in with the OT bad guys. I don’t have the space to dedicate to a bounty hunters shelf, so here he is. that Revan is a spectacular example of what Hasbro can do right. The First order Troopers? I ended up with more than I needed but they look good.

Now we segue into the poor side of the room. The other side of the tracks, if you will.


My intent here was to make a shelf with the best representations of the Marvel Universe. As such, there aren’t many I’d be comfortable saying I could take down for space. Despite the horrendous, unfinished wall behind it, I like these pictures.
This Hulk is begging to be replaced. I will most likely replace that Cap with the Revoltech one I ordered. That Marvel Select Thor is worth the $20 just for the spinning hammer. I almost sold that mafex Iron man, but I’m glad I didn’t. The nice thing is that anymore, the MCU armors are hard to tell from the actual comic universe.
The Revoltech Wolverine is pretty great, and the Defender 4-pack displays well. And I had to have my “custom” Matt Murdock, right?
Next shelf down… no real motif. I like that Ben Grimm, so Hasbro will have to bring a strong offering if they want me to buy him. Regardless I am not a big enough Thing fan to warrant having two figures taking up space when its so limited. Namor will be replaced by the upcoming classic Namor, and the Red Guardian will be one that’s stored along with (unfortunately) my JMS run Thor. Most likely Captain Britain, Cap Wolf and at LEAST one of the Toy Biz Caps will eventually lose their spot unless I get another shelf.
Another area of easy to store figures. Mockingbird, Darkhawk, Heroes Reborn Iron Man and Thor Buster Iron Man will all eventually come down. Why is female Loki here? Because she’s a damn nice figure and my Asgard shelf is too far out of the way. She should probably be on the bad guy shelf but I want her to be seen.
Lots of figures here will easily make the transition to storage as space demands. Its easier to tell you who may stay. Pretty much evil cap and his two Iron Skulls. I’m just not a bad guy kinda fella.
One of the best MLs of the year was Bullseye, and I’m not even really a fan. Basically everything on the steps will be put in storage or end up somewhere else. I need to get Juggy up higher so he can be seen.
Close up of MODOK. Again, not a character I’m a fan of but this BAF just looks so wicked.
My Spider-Verse shelf. I’m a big Spider-Man fan and I loved Slott’s Spider-verse run. No other real reason for this to exist other than that, but it’s enough.
I think the Spider villains on my bad guy shelf will end up here eventually. I really hope Hasbro gives us a new Lron Spider, the Toy Biz one is falling apart.
Close up of this one because to me, this is what toys are about to a kid. This is a sharp looking figure that easily lends itself to many play scenarios. I am no 2099 fan and I didn’t even know he had this outfit, but I like it. May try to get his blue and red outfit if I ever catch it at a con for a reasonable price.
The bottom shelf. That used to be my favorite Hulk figure I had. Now pretty much all of these with the exception of MAYBE Fury and Agent Venom will be put in storage when the time arrives with no regrets.
A “behind the scenes” shot.
My cosmic shelf. Need to get some risers in here.
That Galactus is still a favorite. I need a Silver Surfer now!
The Select wins again! This is a great, classic Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. I had the BAF but I DESPISED that floppy, poorly fitted piece of junk.
The Asgard shelf. I am pretty sure that Loki is a KO but it still rocks. There are some easy space savers here. Young Thor, Valkyrie and Beta Ray will be easy to pull. I may eventually swap out that Destroyer head for the Odin head and ditch that crappy BAF as well.
The stand out star of this shelf is the Lady Sif from the A-Force pack. Perfect blend of colors and details that come together to highlight a visually stunning piece of plastic.
My supernatural shelf. Classic Strange is a weak ankled mess. I need to get Morbius and Nico up higher. That Ghost Rider will most likely be replaced with the upcoming release with his motorcycle.
I know zero about this character but she just looks so cool!
Ahhh the X-men shelf. That Cable will go away with the upcoming release. I am hoping the classic retro Wolvie will replace the Juggy wave one soon. Finally, I wanted that Revoltech Magneto somewhere else but his cape makes him really hard to squeeze in to some places.
The last shelf in the 1:12 collection, X-people odds and ends that I didn’t know where to place. Banshee, Shatterstar, Havoc and Polaris are ALL easy candidates to be pulled for space.

There you have it, the vast majority of my 1:12 figures. The only ones missing are the ones I’ve retired already. I am considering doing my 1:10 display, so let me know if you want to see it. I think DC does a better job in that scale for some reason, but as time moves on and space gets even more limited, I may sell them off.

What figures do you think are the best in your collection? How do you display yours? I’d love to hear from you! Merry Christmas and Happy New year! May old Saint Nick bring you that import exclusive you’ve been hoping for, because if you’re a toy collector, every Christmas you get to be a kid again!

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