Collecting action figures an expensive hobby in Vietnam

By Trong Nghia   October 24, 2018 | 03:20 pm GMT+7

Mechanical figurines of action characters from comics and games are often very expensive but this is not deterring Vietnamese collectors.

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The figurines are made with extraordinary precision and detail, and have 30 joints that enable various parts to move independently.

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Duong Tat Thanh, 23, of Hanoi, is an avid collector. He said people need skill and patience to track down these action figures.

According to action figure aficionados, there are around 10,000 collectors in Vietnam, mostly men, but only a few hundred with more than 30 items.

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To collect the full set of Marvel characters in The Avengers and Guardians of The Galaxy took Thanh over a year. The cheapest character cost around VND2 million ($86).

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He said: “I had trouble finding the figure of Stan Lee, the man who created Marvel Universe. I tried looking everywhere, even in Malaysia and Singapore, but in vain. One day when I was on a business trip to Shanghai I saw what I was looking for in a shop and luckily it was the last one they had left.”

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Hoang Tung, 25, of Hanoi has been collecting Batman action figures for three years now. The first one he got was this Batman figurine, and he loves the details in it from the muscles to the wounds, he said.

“Back then I had some money to spare, so I bought one just for fun, but then it became a hobby. When I’m far from home I actually miss them. When I get home every night I take them out just to look at them.”

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This one, also a Batman toy, costs as much as a computer. But Tung’s wife has never complained and even helps him money buy them. The Batman figure has weaponry and dozens of tiny pieces of equipment.

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Tung has collected 10 Batman figures so far. The biggest item in his collection is a Batmobile. This one even has headlights.

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“You can see even the smallest details are done carefully. It requires great skill to put together a piece like this, so it’s definitely worth the money for me.”

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Tran Lan, 40, of HCMC has been a long-time collector. It took him three years to get all 10 characters in the Joker set.

He explained: “The hardest to find was this Joker played by the late actor Heath Ledger. Since he’s gone, his character was no longer available and became rare.”

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Lan is a big fan of the Heath Ledger’s Joker, sometimes he wears make ups just like the character.

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These action figures are not meant for playing with or treated as toys, but are more like collectibles like stamps and coins, especially considering their quality and high price tags.

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With the high quality and the expensive price tag, these figures are not meant for kids and collecting them is definitely not some child’s play like people thought.

 
 
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