In the previous Figure Collecting 101 article, I talked about setting goals and deciding what to collect. Once you have that figured out (and sometimes before you get that far!), you wake up one day and realize that you have a nice collection of figures. The question then becomes: what do you do with all of them? While it depends on what type of figure you’ve been collecting, the answer for most collectors is to make a display of their collections. This article is not going to go in-depth and show you how to make a display, but instead give you ideas for potential ways to display your figures and hopefully inspire you to give it a try. Just like your collection belongs to you and should make you happy, the way you display your figures is totally up to you too.
One question you might be asking is why display figures? While it does take time and work, most people get satisfaction from showing off something they’ve done. If you have every Amiibo Nintendo has made then that is accomplishment that is well worth showing the world. Another reason is that making a figure display lets you share an interest with others. In fact, if you search on Youtube, there are thousands (maybe even millions) of videos where people show off their collections and displays. You can use these as inspiration for your own displays, but don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to the type of figures you collect either when watching these videos. A totally different video game or movie license or type of figure display may give you ideas for your own. Generally, many people display their collections on a shelf, in some kind of glass case, or in a room of their house or apartment. So one of the constraints we all face when it comes to displaying our figures is space. With that said, no matter how much room you have, you should be able to whip up some kind of display so don’t be discouraged if you only have one shelf where you can show off your figures.
Before we discuss types of displays, it is important to mention that the type of figures you collect does matter. If you’re collecting statues whether they be 12″ inch scale or as small as Amiibos, there are generally limited ways to show off the figure. This means you will have less display options too. The good news is that statues are meant to be displayed and admired straight out of the box/package so setting up a display is easy. Action figures on the other hand offer many options for display and are limited by only the articulation and your imagination. If posing and displaying figures is something that you find appealing then you definitely want to steer more towards action figures.
The “Army Display” – I use this term because I’ve seen many figure collections based on action movies like Star Wars, Marvel, or DC where the display is showing off an army of figures. You can see what I mean in the picture above. While Nintendo may not seem like the best place to find an army you could do heroes vs. villains or group your display by the games and franchises they appear in. This is also a very common strategy and you’ll often see people with larger collections organize their displays in this way. The nice thing about a comprehensive display like this is that works for action figures and statues both. While it might not show off the poses and articulation of figures, it does make for a very impressive display. The only potential downside is that it can require a lot of space.
Mini-Scenes – While there are statues that this can work with like the Amiibos above, it is much more common with action figures. Essentially this is where someone takes figures and recreates a scene from their favorite game or movie. This can be done with backgrounds and scenery or not. Part of it depends on how much time you have and if you have interest in building scenery. There are some figures like Nendoroids that come with “diorama” backgrounds. These can aid you in your displays and make the scene that much more like the game. Part of the appeal of this style of display is not only showing off your figures, but achieving that perfect pose, background, or scenery. It really makes the display eye-catching.
Larger Scenes – This is the most impressive type of display and is kind of a balance between the two I previously mentioned. This is where a collectors takes a large amount of figures and builds a large display of figures. A great example of this is superhero collectors might make a display where all of the X-Men or Avengers are facing off against their worst enemies. Of course with Smash Brothers it is also easy for Nintendo fans to make awesome battle scenes too. It looks impressive seeing so many figures in one place and in a cohesive scene. Of course, this takes an enormous amount of work to do and is a project that might take months to complete.
Weighing time, space, and cost of making a display is a great way to help you decide what will work best for you and your collection. While these are some of the main types of displays there truly are an infinite number of ways to show off your collection. If you’d like to show off your display or collection of figures, please let me know and I’d be happy to feature you on the site. As time goes on and I develop some of my own displays, I plan on sharing them with you as well.