In the exciting world of collectibles, where feelings of nostalgia and intense interest come together, very few items capture the hearts of fans as deeply as the rarest action figures. These hard-to-find items go beyond being simple plastic and paint creations – they represent beloved characters and stories that have influenced generations. Whether incredibly detailed or simply lucky finds, the realm of action figure collecting reveals a treasure trove of extraordinary pieces that serve as both tributes to popular culture and symbols of collectors’ passion. As we explore the realm of rarity, we’re revealing a collection of the 21 rarest action figures ever made, each one a masterpiece that sparks excitement in both collectors and enthusiasts. Our enthusiasm for this subject led us to conduct thorough research, allowing us to present you with a carefully curated list of these elusive action figures.
21. Silver Shirt Luke Cage Variant ($200+)
One of the rarest action figures ever is the Silver Shirt Luke Cage Variant. Falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Luke Cage chose to undergo a peculiar experiment to secure his release from prison. His transformation resulted in unbreakable skin, extraordinary strength, and a desire for retribution. The instance of the Silver Shirt variant of Luke Cage within ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends series mirrors the situation with the Crimson Dawn Psylocke figure. Despite being manufactured, both figures were never put on the market. Reputable sources have indeed confirmed their existence, though.
20. Mattel Attack Armor Batman ($300)
During the year 2004, Mattel introduced a collection of fresh Batman-themed toys, each accompanied by distinct gadgets and weapons to complement the enigmatic vigilante of Gotham, Batman. Each toy carried a unique designation. The Bat Signal Batman figure saw favorable sales, while the Attack Armor Batman variant faced a different fate. Consequently, a reduced quantity of the latter was manufactured, rendering it exceedingly rare to come by nowadays. This particular figure holds an estimated worth of $300, contingent upon its preservation in its original packaging and the completeness of its components. One of the rarest action figures, Attack Armor Batman boasts a decidedly brawnier look than the usual Mattel line figures, with heavily emphasized muscles and a build that’s almost like a wrestler. We love this design!
19. 1993 Glasslite MacGyver ($400-$900)
In the late 80s, the television series “MacGyver” captivated audiences with the exploits of a secret agent who adeptly utilized ordinary objects to ingeniously solve an array of challenges. The enigmatic protagonist, MacGyver, whose first name remains shrouded in secrecy to preserve the intrigue, epitomized the ethos of unwavering preparedness. This exceptionally popular action show spurred a wave of merchandise, yet the specific collectible in question is an exception to the norm. Hailing from the Brazilian company Glasslite, this figure materialized in 1993, a year after the original series’ conclusion. Notably, it diverges from the conventional action figures associated with the show, as Glasslite also introduced diverse vehicles to complement the figure. Nevertheless, it’s this particular figure that commands substantial value among collectors.
18. Green Beret G.I. Joe ($500-$2,400)
reen Beret G.I. Joe is a true classic! Any devoted collector recognizes the value of preserving an aged G.I. Joe figurine. Even before the emergence of the 80s animated series, Hasbro introduced authentic American hero toys, catering to children’s playtime pursuits. For those youngsters inclined towards real-life champions instead of those endowed with superpowers, no alternative could surpass these offerings. Unveiled in 1966, the Green Beret G.I. Joe arrived encased with an array of diverse accessories, weaponry, and additional features. While undoubtedly many figures are lacking these complete elements, a specimen encompassing them in addition to being in pristine box condition can undoubtedly command a considerable price. It is a vintage toy worth money!
17. 1984 Hasbro Optimus Prime ($500-$1,200)
During the 1980s, Transformers emerged as a revered and cherished cartoon franchise that profoundly impacted the childhoods of countless individuals. The notion of robots transforming into diverse vehicles resonated remarkably with kids, creating an undeniably appealing premise for toy adaptations. Recognizing this potential, Hasbro seized the opportunity and introduced its Transformers line in 1984, drawing inspiration from the immensely popular Diaclone line in Japan. This specific iteration of Optimus Prime, the valiant leader of the Autobots, materialized under Hasbro’s creative efforts during the same year. At present, this action figure has ascended to the status of a certified collector’s gem, commanding prices ranging from $500 to $1,200. However, this valuation is contingent upon its preservation in impeccable mint condition packaging.
16. Hasbro Rocket-Firing Boba Fett ($1,500)
One of the rarest Star Wars action figures is the Rocket-Firing Boba Fett. This Hasbro-crafted figurine was exclusively obtainable through a mail-in promotion. Acquiring this collectible entailed a multipart process, involving securing a proof of purchase and subsequently sending it by mail to obtain the figure. Understandably, the intricate procedure dissuaded many from pursuing it, resulting in limited claims and consequently restricted production volume. Standing at a height of 3.75 inches, the Rocket-Firing Boba Fett boasts articulated arms, hips, and head, facilitating dynamic action poses. The distinctive attribute of this figure is its rocket backpack, equipped with two spring-launched rockets. Notably, Hasbro refrained from commercially releasing the figure after the promotional mail-in campaign, motivated by concerns of potential safety hazards like children swallowing the rocket or sustaining injuries. This apprehension led to a complete halt in the figure’s production, contributing to its current status as a rare and high-priced collector’s item.
15. Laser Power He-Man ($2,000)
One of the rarest action figures, Laser Power He-Man is a thing of beauty! Following the stop of the Masters of the Universe toyline in the United States, Laser Power He-Man was introduced to markets in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland a year later. This figure remained relatively unknown to most North American enthusiasts until its online discovery in subsequent years. Distinguished as Laser Power He-Man, this distinct collectible featured illuminating weaponry, powered by a single AA battery. Due to its restricted production quantity in overseas markets, it has become one of the priciest vintage He-Man toys to procure today, with current values reaching up to $2,000 or potentially even higher.
14. 1990 TMNT Technodrome ($2,000-$3,000)
A particularly enjoyable and imaginative aspect of playing with action figures during the ’90s was the opportunity to pair them with an array of diverse items and playsets. The Ninja Turtles franchise epitomized this concept, featuring an assortment of vehicles and accessories that seamlessly integrated with the figures, and the Technodrome stood out as one of the most remarkable playsets. Originally priced at $50, the playset’s exterior closely mirrors its appearance from the show. It features four rolling tank-like wheels, a detachable giant eye capable of toppling adversaries, and rock blasters. As with other toys in the line, meticulous attention to detail was invested in the form of numerous applied decals to enhance the playset’s authenticity. Reflecting Krang’s lair from the animated series, the Technodrome was unveiled in 1990 and even included a miniature Krang figure. However, due to its abundance of detachable and easily displacedable attachments and components, locating a complete set within its original packaging proves to be an arduous task. While rare action figures have their allure, acquiring intact action sets presents an entirely distinct challenge.
13. 1976 Marvelmania Ghost Rider ($2,300)
While the Ghost Rider on Motorcycle Toy might not exude contemporary standards of top-tier craftsmanship, it stands as one of the scarcest Marvel action figures in existence. Crafted by Fleetwood Toys in 1976, this figurine boasts a distinctive attribute: an extra head, enabling enthusiasts to interchange between Johnny Blaze and the demonic Ghost Rider characters on the motorcycle. Even individual components, like the motorcycle alone, have commanded several hundred dollars when sold separately. Naturally, for collectors, the ultimate prize lies in securing this figure in a mint condition box. Regarded as the pioneering Ghost Rider toy, the 1976 Marvelmania Ghost Rider showcases an alternate head and packaging that emulates a comic book aesthetic. Departing from Marvel’s conventional marketing approaches, this figure remains an enigmatic yet profoundly sought-after collectible. For those seeking to possess this rarity in impeccable condition, it may entail an investment of approximately $2,000, encompassing both the mint toy and its pristine packaging.
12. Blue Wasp ($2,000)
ToyBiz crafted this rendition of Wasp within the 2006 Marvel Legends series. In contrast to the Crimson Dawn Psylocke (that is also on this list), it seems this particular figure did manage to reach store shelves, albeit with an earlier release. However, its accessibility was by no means straightforward. Amidst the ubiquity of the original red-suited Wasp iteration, the blue variant remained a rarity, with only a handful produced (whispers suggest there are merely 10 in existence worldwide, preserved within their original packaging). The figure’s appreciable worth can be attributed to the confluence of its scarcity and the character’s heightened popularity, courtesy of the MCU.
11. Vinyl Cape Jawa ($3,500)
One of the rarest Star Wars action figures is Vinyl Cape Jawa. Debuted in 1978 by Kenner, the vinyl-caped Jawa stood as a member of the initial twelve-figure lineup. Initially, it was outfitted with a vinyl cape; however, Kenner speculated that given the figure’s diminutive size, consumers might feel somewhat shortchanged. As a result, they introduced a superior cloth cape, akin to those featured in the Obi-Wan and Darth Vader figures. This adjustment consequently elevates the status of the original Vinyl Cape Jawa, rendering it a particularly rare and highly prized collectible for fortunate owners.
10. 1966 Batman Robot ($5,000)
Crafted by Nomura in 1966 and exclusively released in Japan, the Batman Robot stands as an 11-inch tin toy that operates using batteries. Activating it involves pressing a button on his belt, resulting in his walking motion accompanied by an illuminating head. This plaything drew inspiration from the Adam West-led live-action TV series and incorporated a fabric cape into its design. If, by chance, you manage to uncover a pristine Batman Robot, its value could be estimated at approximately $5,000.
9. X-Men Sentinel Maquette ($6,000)
If you’re acquainted with X-Men, then you’re likely well aware of the Sentinels, a formidable adversary they face. A symbol of humanity’s anxiety and animosity towards mutants, Sentinels have endured as an ongoing menace for the X-Men since the 1960s. Crafted by Sideshow Collectibles, this showcase figurine stands an impressive 32 inches in height. It was crafted as part of a restricted edition release, encompassing just 750 units, and initially retailed for $900. The level of intricacy invested in this figure is truly remarkable, further enhanced by the inclusion of illuminating elements throughout the Sentinel’s design.
8. Yak Face ($8,000)
Star Wars has consistently reaped substantial benefits from its merchandise, and among the most valuable collectibles are the action figures hailing from the original trilogy. Among these is Yak Face, recognizable for his appearance at Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. Yet, what truly distinguishes this figure’s rarity is its release in 1985. With a few years elapsed since the last film’s debut, toy sales had inevitably subsided. Adding to the challenge for collectors, Kenner primarily distributed these figures in Europe, significantly complicating the task of acquisition.
7. Blue-Hatted Babe Ruth ($13,000+)
McFarlane Toys has established a reputation for crafting exceptional figurines, yet none have garnered as much attention and value as the Blue-Hatted Babe Ruth. In 2008, the company unveiled a figure portraying the quintessential all-American baseball player, adorned in his signature white pants stripes and a matching white-striped hat. However, the allure of the variant strikes once more. During the same year, McFarlane Toys released an action figure collectible tailored for ardent Babe Ruth enthusiasts. While the original depicted the renowned player donning the traditional white Yankees hat, the variant showcased him sporting a distinctive blue one—a seemingly minor alteration that wielded significant impact. A mere quintet of these coveted blue-hatted variants came into existence. Of these, two found their place within McFarlane’s archives, while the remaining three were distributed at random. Remarkably, one of these rarities changed hands in 2009 for an astounding sum of $13,600. Given the passage of a decade since that transaction, it’s reasonable to speculate that its current value would command a substantially higher figure in today’s market.
6. Mego’s Elastic Batman ($15,000)
“Now your favorite superheroes are elastic! Soyou can bent em, twist em and stretch em anyway you like! New elastic superheroes, they’re fantastic”. Emerging during the early 1990s, the Mego Elastic doll depicting Batman entered the market. However, the entirety of their elastic character series faced swift discontinuation, leaving only a mere duo of elastic Batmans to endure. It’s this exceptional scarcity that bestows such profound worth upon these rare specimens. Today, you can sell it for $15,000!
5. Urban Material Chogokin Robot ($20,000)
Showcased at both the 2009 Comic-Con and the Tamashi Nation convention of the same year, the 24-inch Urban Material Chogokin Robot originates from the Mazinger Z Manga universe. This particular iteration is meticulously constructed from a fusion of carbon fiber, graphite, and titanium, showcasing an exceptional blend of materials. To our knowledge, only a minuscule pair of these remarkable robots exist, signifying their extraordinary rarity. Should you aspire to acquire one of these exclusives, be prepared to bid farewell to a significant sum, with the starting price hovering around $20,000.
4. Kenner Darth Vader with Double-Telescoping Lightsaber ($22,000)
One of the rarest Star Wars action figures, Darth Vader with Double-Telescoping Lightsaber is part of a set that features twelve meticulously crafted figures donning authentic Star Wars attire. This particular rendition of Darth Vader possessed a unique feature – a lightsaber connected to his hand through a two-piece extension mechanism. Regrettably, the second component of the extension proved to be fragile and a potential choking hazard, prompting Kenner to swiftly modify their production to a single-piece lightsaber design. This adjustment not only enhanced safety but also reduced manufacturing costs, inadvertently leading to the rarity of the double lightsaber variant and subsequently driving up its market value. Standing at a height of 4.25 inches, the Darth Vader figure also boasts a removable cape, adding to its collectible allure.
3. Michael Lau’s Gardener Uncle ($35,000)
Now we’re getting to the really big bucks! Crafted by artist Michael Lau, this action figure derives its inspiration from a comic strip featured in East Touch magazine. Lau’s reputation centers on his innovation in designing urban vinyl-style action figures, and a limited quantity of “Uncle” replicas exists. Renowned for his significant contributions to the realm of toy design, Lau has garnered a multitude of awards and recognition. His Gardener series of figures draws from his comic strip of the same name, which graced the pages of East Touch. The “Uncle” figure within the Gardener collection portrays a man sporting a grocery bag and a skateboard. Lau’s deliberate restriction in producing only a few of these figures has considerably elevated their worth. Furthermore, his portfolio boasts additional rare and high-value figures, some of which were sponsored by Sony for release in Asia.
2. Double Telescoping Obi-Wan Kenobi ($76,000)
Returning to the renowned double-telescoping lightsaber concept akin to that of Darth Vader’s, we encounter the priciest iteration within the toy line mentioned previously – Ben Kenobi. This 3.74-inch Kenner figurine, accompanied by a detachable cape, holds the potential for commanding an astounding $76,000 when preserved in mint condition within its original packaging.
1. Prototype G.I. Joe ($200,000+)
“G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” garnered resounding success upon its inaugural launch in 1964. Don Levine undertook the task of meticulously crafting the prototype that eventually paved the way for the inaugural G.I. Joe action figure. Standing at an imposing height of 11.5 inches, this iconic figure strikingly resembles acclaimed actor Sean Connery. The prototype achieved a staggering $200,000 price tag at a 2003 auction, where it found its way into the hands of a private collector. This singular action figure stands unparalleled in rarity and value, solidifying its status as the most extraordinary and precious figure globally. Naturally, should its current owner choose to part with it, the figure could conceivably command a sum far exceeding the initial $200,000 transaction.