There’s a reason that action figures have been a favorite toy for generation after generation of kids — they’re a jumping-off point for all kinds of adventures, sparking hours of imaginative and physical play. And while they may immediately call to mind super heroes and G.I. Joes, action figures don’t have to be limited to favorite characters from movies or TV (hi, Spider-Man and Power Rangers!) — kids can also play with action figures of classic characters like knights and pirates, real and imaginary creatures, and even job-related action figures like firefighters and police officers. Not limited to big kids, toddlers can even get in on the fun with figurines especially designed for their little hands.
Of course, action figures can also be priceless collectibles that never leave the box, but we’re guessing that’s not what you’re here for. (Maybe your kids can leave their toys untouched in the box, but ours sure can’t!) So for hours of active, hands-on fun for kids of all ages, check out our recommended picks for action figures that are sure to delight.
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1. Playskool Marvel Ultimate Super Hero Set
Fans of Marvel’s comic book and movie characters will love creating endless adventures with this set of ten iconic super heroes, including Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Designed for smaller hands, there are also no small pieces that can be too easily lost or stepped on, and the legs and arms are articulated for more posing and adventures. Great for toddlers and kids up to age seven.
2. Disney Buzz Lightyear Interactive Talking Action Figure
Toy Story 4 has proven Buzz Lightyear and friends have a timeless appeal for kids, and this interactive Buzz Lightyear will delight young fans with its 30 catchphrases and retractable helmet and wings. Kids can also activate a ‘karate chop’ motion. All joints are articulated and posable, including fingers. To infinity — and beyond!
3. Click N’ Play Firefighting Action Figure Play Set
Kids can also enjoy playing with a real-life superhero with this firefighter playset. He comes with his own accessories, including an oxygen mask and hose, and is articulated at 30 different points. Other Click ‘N Play figures include a police officer and SWAT team member for more real-world play.
4. Schleich Eldrador Monster Octopus
Licensed characters capture kid’s imaginations for a reason — but they can sometimes feel limiting. For imaginative play in a fantasy realm that is truly theirs to create, look no further than Schleich’s line of toys from Eldrador. Where is that and what does it mean? Well, that’s really up to your child — so leave the adventures and world-building totally in their hands. Other creatures inspired by the elements, like lava and ice, also come in the line.
5. Liberty Imports Bucket of Pirate Action Figures
Get everything you need for swashbuckling fun — canons, boats, and eight pirates and their spoils — in this one bucket from Liberty Imports. The simple figurines aren’t articulated, but still have lots of great accessories for out-of-the-box (bucket?) play, including treasure to be buried and even a shark. The all-plastic set is also great for bath time.