Do you love action figures and want to know all about the best action figures company?
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From Hasbro and Mcfarlane Toys to NECA and Four Horsemen, we have the low down on all of today’s best action figure companies.
Modern day action figures come in all shapes and sizes.
They’re detailed, refined, and in some cases, hand sculpted and painted for a true collectible look and feel.
They’re incredibly popular too!
More Action Figures than Ever Before
There are more collectible action figures available today than ever before.
Of course, there are popular characters like the Power Rangers and the Marvel Legends action figure lines.
However, there’s also a gigantic assortment of slightly more obscure collectible characters like Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, and Lex Luthor as well.
From movie, video game, and comic book characters to real-life personalities, there are action figures for just about anyone and everything related to pop culture.
Want to learn about the companies who make them?
Well, here’s the inside scoop on 20 of the top action figures companies in the industry today for your entertainment.
A Todd McFarlane Productions subsidiary, McFarlane Toys was founded by the renowned comics creator Todd McFarlane.
The company specializes in making highly detailed comic, movie, video game, popular music, and sport star action figures.
Although not so popular today, Todd McFarlane’s fame in the comic world of the late 1980s and early 90s made McFarlane Toys a hit.
Still to this day, it’s one of the best action figure brands.
In 1994, Todd McFarlane and Mattel were working together to produce a line of action figures for his comic book characters.
When McFarlane and Mattel couldn’t agree on how to make the action figures, he reclaimed the rights and launched his own company – McFarlane Toys.
It was originally named “Todd’s Toys,” but it was changed a year later in 1995 because Mattel thought people might confuse it with Barbie’s younger brother.
The first action figures produced were based on McFarlane’s popular Spawn comic series.
Before long, however, the company began making action figures for a wide-variety of licensed lines, including The Simpsons, The Walking Dead, Freddy Krueger, and many more.
Combined with their highly detailed original works, McFarlane Toys soon became what many considered the best action figures company, and the hits just kept on coming.
After 15 years of making DC Comics merchandise, Mattel lost the rights to produce DC Universe action figure characters towards the end of 2018.
A few months later, McFarlane Toys secured the rights to produce 6 to 12-inch collector figures of various DC Universe comic, movie, and video game characters.
From Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor to Aquaman and The Flash, McFarlane makes DC Multiverse toys which are primarily geared towards adult collectors.
According to McFarlane, the figures will be targeted at the same collectors who purchased Hasbro’s Marvel Legends, Mattel’s DC Universe, and other 6-inch superhero lines.
As he’s also revealed, the new figures will also use a new articulation system – the same one used in the company’s line of Fortnite toys.
This means there will be 18-24 articulation points, which is super impressive.
• The Walking Dead
• DC Multiverse
It’s hard to deny the impact McFarlane Toys has had on the action figure community, and in many ways, it’s still being felt today.
They were one of the first companies to take action figures to the next level and truly make them look good.
Their sculpting and painting techniques have literally changed the action figures game, taking them from playful and kid-oriented to serious and grown up.
Despite being arguably the best action figure brand, one real criticism of McFarlane Toys’ creations over the years has been their lack of articulation points.
As mentioned, however, they’ve completely resolved this issue with their newest Fortnite, Halo, DC Multiverse, and other product lines.
McFarlane Toys might not rule the roost like it once did, but its impact can be felt on toy aisles from New York to Hong Kong.
Short for National Entertainment Collectibles Association, NECA is an American manufacturer of a variety of collectibles depicting characters from movies, video games, music, sports, and more.
Made for Collectors
Although NECA’s figures may not be widely found on the shelves of the big box stores, some consider them today’s best action figures company.
Unlike many other action figure companies, their figures are made primarily for collectors, so they’re heavily featured online and at toy and comic shops.
NECA’s importance to the action figure community can’t be underestimated.
The awesome quality and eerily similar likenesses of NECA’s figures has brought countless collectors into the wonderful world of action figures.
Movie or video game fans that haven’t purchased an action figure since their elementary school days are now supporting the industry, thanks to NECA.
NECA is relatively new to the action figure collectibles scene compared to industry giants like Hasbro and Mattel.
However, thanks to the impeccable quality of their figures and licensing for certain movie and video game characters, it’s managed to become a major player.
• Player Select
NECA’s action figures cost anywhere from $20-$130, and their most popular lines are in 1:4 and 1:10 scale.
Some of their action figures are produced in large quantities, while others are made in limited numbers.
If you’re wondering who’s the best action figures company, Hasbro has to be near the top of the list.
Hasbro, Inc. is a unique abbreviation for Hassenfeld Brothers, which is a US boardgame, toy, action figure, and entertainment company.
As one of the best action figure companies, it’s the world’s largest maker of toys and action figures in terms of market value.
In terms of revenue, it’s the third largest toy maker with over $5 billion in revenues.
As part of its portfolio, Hasbro owns the rights to Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, Kenner, and many other brands.
Among Hasbro’s products, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Monopoly, Nerf, and My Little Pony are the most popular.
The action figures we know and love today wouldn’t exist without Hasbro and the influence of its G.I. Joe line in the 1960s.
In the 80s, they introduced Transformers and re-envisioned the G.I. Joe line, taking their influence in the action figure, comic, and cartoon industry to new heights.
In addition to the lasting value Hasbro’s own Transformers and G.I Joe brands, they also produce figures for licensed brands like Star Wars and Marvel Avengers.
With these four brands in their arsenal, Hasbro’s action figures take up a lot of space on toy store shelves.
From Snake Eyes and Optimus Prime to Darth Vader and Boba Fett, they make action figures for dozens of pop culture’s most well-known action figure characters.
• G.I. Joe
• Star Wars
• Marvel Comics
Mattel is right up there on the podium with Hasbro, NECA, and McFarlane Toys as one of the top action figures companies.
How did it reach the best action figures company podium?
By creating toys and action figures for just about anything and everything!
Mattel is a California-based US multinational entertainment, toy, and action figure manufacturing company founded in way back in 1945.
Today, Mattel makes a wide range of products for both licensed brands and its own, giving them a healthy presence in anyone’s figure collection.
While the company is most famous for its groundbreaking Barbie and Hot Wheels lines, they’ve had a steady presence in the world of action figures as well.
That said, they really burst onto the action figure scene with the Masters of the Universe and He-Man franchise in the 1980s.
During this era, He-Man and the rest of the Masters of the Universe characters were without a doubt some of the most popular action figures around.
After He-Man fell into virtual obscurity in the 90s, Mattel’s impact in the action figure collector world slowly diminished.
Recently, however, the company has come out of its slumber and re-emerged a major contender for the title of “Best Action Figure” brand.
They were able to rise from the ashes by acquiring the licensing rights to DC Comics, Ghostbusters, and WWE.
Consequently, Mattel has managed to become a big player in the action figure collector industry once again.
Today, they’re in fierce competition with Hasbro for toy store shelf space dominance.
• Masters of the Universe
• DC Comics
• WWE Wrestling
Founded in 1999 by Diamond Comic Distributors, its sister company, Diamond Select Toys makes toys and action figure collectibles for both kids and adults.
With a broad range of products, their motto “The Best of All Worlds” couldn’t be more fitting.
Due to their short history, DST may not be the absolute best action figures company, but it definitely deserves to be a part of the conversation.
Today, Diamond Select Toys is a top supplier for the specialty comic and action figure communities.
Working with a global team of 2-D and 3-D designers and artists, DST creates a diverse assortment of products.
Some of DST’s product categories include action figures, resin statues, electronic vehicles, and prop replicas, making them one of today’s most diverse action figure companies.
With partnerships with Disney, Marvel Comics, Warner Bros., Universal, Electronic Arts, and more, their product licenses are just as diverse.
That said, the best-selling product line made by this Maryland-based company is its Minimates mini-figures.
Thanks to its wide net of licenses, DST is able to create dozens and dozens of different Minimates action figures for children and adult collectors.
Minimates began being created in three-inch varieties by Art Asylum, a New York-based design firm, in 2002.
Since they were already making Marvel action figures, DST brought their license to the table and began creating Marvel Minimates in 2003.
To this day, their unique Marvel Minimates are still selling and being made.
The main series had 41 waves of releases, making it the longest-running line of superhero action figures in history.
Since 2007, after DST acquired certain Art Asylum assets, it began making Minimates under its own brands.
It’s also incorporated their branded Minimates products with licenses for Disney’s Black Hole series, Back to the Future, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
The Marvel Select line originally developed in 2002 features a range of 7-inch figures depicting peripheral Marvel Knights and Ultimate Marvel characters.
However, at the time, DST didn’t actually make the figures – they only handled the design, marketing, and sales.
The actual production of the action figures was done by Toy Biz, which is the toy division of Marvel Comics.
After taking over production some time later, DST expanded the line to include core Marvel comic characters as well.
Before long, the Marvel Select line began receiving praise from collectors who loved the oversized characters.
• Marvel Comics
• Star Trek
• Star Wars
• G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
• Back to the Future
• Indiana Jones
• The Muppets
• The Munsters
While DST makes collectibles for several different product categories, most of their licensed products, like the ones above, are released as Minimates.
Mezco Toyz might not be the best action figure company, but it isn’t far behind.
Like other action figures companies, Mezco Toyz manufactures action figures and other types of collectibles based on licensed properties and original works.
One of their most popular products are their Living Dead Dolls, which are a cult hit.
However, it’s One:12 line is arguably the most popular.
Of its licensed properties, some popular lines include Hellboy, South Park, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and John Wick 2, just to name a few.
In addition to action figures, Mezco Toyz is also known for their Mez-ltz line of original block-style figures.
Mezco Toyz was founded in 2000 by Michael Markowitz, who maintains his role as the driving force for all design and development decisions.
Although he works with a talented team of artists, the conception and direction of each new line is handled by Markowitz himself from start to finish.
However, the company itself rose from the ashes of Aztech Toyz, which didn’t last long but received industry recognition for their Silent Screamers action figure line.
Mezco Toyz continued with the Silent Screamers line, but under Markowitz’s direction, it has had a much longer and more successful run.
• DC Comics and DC Extended Universe
• Marvel Comics ad Marvel Cinematic Universe
• Star Trek
• Universal Monsters
• Evil Dead II
• John Wick 2
• Judge Dredd
• A Clockwork Orange
Bandai Spirits may just be the biggest and best action figures company you’ve never heard of.
In fact, it trails only Mattel and Hasbro in terms of manufacturing numbers, making it the third-largest toy and action figure manufacturer in the world.
However, unlike Mattel, Hasbro, and the other action figure companies we’ve talked about so far, Bandai isn’t based in the US.
It’s a Japanese company through and through but maintains an influence on the US market via Bandai America – its American arm.
Bandai Spirits prides itself on its founding principle of “Bandai Fueki,” which means eternally unchanging.
In other words, they don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
The “Spirits” aspect of their name indicates the passion of their people for making high-quality action figures for the global toy and collector market.
That said, they cater primarily to the Japanese and Asian markets, as evidenced by their product lines.
In the United States, Bandai Spirits’ largest action figure line is without a doubt the Power Rangers and all of their different incarnations.
Other than the Power Rangers, many of Bandai’s other action figure lines go largely ignored by collectors when browsing the toy aisles.
However, it is these less popular TV and cartoon-based brands that Bandai Spirts thrives on.
The ThunderCats is a perfect example of this.
Thanks to their ThunderCats license, they’re one of the only action figure makers to benefit from the ongoing popularity of Lion-O and the ThunderCats clan.
• Power Rangers
• Dragon Ball Z
• Ben 10
COOModel is a Hong Kong-based company in the business of manufacturing action figures since 2006.
They currently make a variety of action figures in 1/4 scale, 1/6 scale, and 1/12 scale.
Are they one of the world’s best action figure companies?
It depends on who you ask.
Unlike Hasbro, McFarlane Toys, and other popular action figures companies, COOModel doesn’t make licensed action figures of Marvel superheroes and other popular comic characters.
Instead, they focus on creating large-scale action figures that realistically depict Vikings, Greek warriors, samurai, Teutonic Knights, and more.
• Knights of the Realm
• Palm Empire
• Monster File: The Mummy
• Ou Zhi Xiang
• The Monkey King
• World War II Series
• Modern Series
• Cowboy Bone Series
Four Horsemen is an action figure and collectibles designer and manufacturer who specializes in making action figure and toy sculptures.
The company was founded by four former figure sculptors of McFarlane Toys, which some consider the world’s best action figures company.
The four partners left McFarlane to launch Four Horsemen in September of 1999.
They started out by partnering with Mattel and creating hundreds of action figures for many of their most popular lines.
These lines included DC Comics, Masters of the Universe, ThunderCats, Max Steel, and several other big hits.
Works for Mattel:
• DC Comics
Four Horsemen was commissioned by Mattel to create nearly all of the figures for their DC Comics lines.
Some of the lines included DC Universe Classics, Man of Steel, Young Justice, and Dark Knight Rises.
• Masters of the Universe
Four Horsemen was also responsible for sculpting figures for Mattel’s 200x re-imaging of the Masters of the Universe action figure line.
This helped lead to the adult collectors figure line Masters of the Universe Classic.
Although they currently produce their own original lines, Four Horsemen is currently sculpting the figures for Mattel’s line of ThunderCats action figures.
The figures are sold exclusively on MattyCollector.com, which is Mattel’s own direct-to-consumer website.
The characters are produced with the same scale as the figures for the brand’s Masters of the Universe Classics series.
• Max Steel
Four Horsemen also sculpted many of the overseas Gigantor action figures, which were part of Mattel’s Max Steel line in Latin America and Europe.
Work for Others
After starting out as a Mattel contractor in the late 1990s, Four Horsemen has since grown and expanded their reach.
Today, they independently design and create their own original and licensed action figure lines.
Before then, however, a large volume of their work involved contract work for others.
For example, after Mattel, Four Horsemen sculpted several figures for the Toy Biz Marvel Comics action figure lines for four years from 2001-2005.
They also did work for NECA and were contracted to sculpt the figures for the company’s 2008 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle line.
Four Horsemen began designing and manufacturing their own properties in 2005.
They’ve since produced several of their own properties, such as Seventh Kingdom, Magma Corps, Mythic Legions, Gothitropolis, and Symbiotech.
They later made the transition into licensed action figures in 2010.
Their first licensing deal was to make figures based on The Outer Space Men, a sci-fi toy line from the 1960s.
The company’s second license came in 2013 for The Power Lords, another lesser known brand from the 80s.
As one of today’s best action figure companies, Four Horsemen has won a variety of awards indicating the quality and sheer brilliance of their work.
For DC Universe Classics and Masters of the Universe Classics, the company earned several Fans and Judges Pick awards for the “Best Overall Line – Low End.”
In 2005, Four Horsemen also won the very first Fantastic Exclusive competition with its Seventh Kingdom’s Xetheus figure.
• Seventh Kingdom
• Magma Corps
• Mythic Legions
Sideshow Collectibles is one of the top action figure companies for collectors looking for premium limited-edition figures and statues.
Their works come in a variety of larger scales ranging from 1:1 to 1:6, but they’re particularly famous for their 1:4 scale Premium Format Figures.
These limited-edition statues are hand-painted and depict a bevy of comic and pop culture characters.
Rather than being some large mass-produced action figure manufacturer like so many others, Sideshow Collectibles is more of a modern renaissance studio.
Their skilled development team consists of sculptors, painters, artists, and costumers who work together to create intricately detailed original and licensed designs.
With emphasis on originality and quality, Sideshow creates figures of characters from major brands like DC Comics, Marvel, Star Wars, Alien & Predator, and many more.
Since they’re so unique, well-done, and highly collectible, Sideshow’s products usually cost anywhere from $250-$650.
However, some of their full-scale statues and replicas can run into the thousands.
In addition to their own works, Sideshow is also an exclusive distributor for Hot Toys.
• DC Comics
• Star Wars
• The Lord of the Rings
• Alien & Predator
• G.I. Joe
Sustained by a worldwide community of pop culture fans committed to collecting action figures and figural art, Sideshow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Damtoys isn’t the biggest name on this action figure companies list, but the figures they do make are pretty unique and equally great.
They’re best known for making statues, collectibles, and action figures of characters from the feature film “Warcraft.”
However, they also manufacture their own line of dinosaur figures for a slightly different collector crowd.
Most of all, Damtoys is known for their attention to detail, giving them a high-end look and feel.
Interestingly, you won’t find their stuff on store shelves and in most places online.
Instead, they sell and ship their figures around the world through Sideshow Collectibles, allowing them to focus on making great action figures and not selling them.
Kaiyodo is a Japanese manufacturer of action figures for a variety of anime, comic, and cartoon characters.
Although they originally specialized in anime-related characters, they’ve acquired licenses for Disney/Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and several other big brands.
This has allowed them to expand their product lines, grow their brand, and sell to a truly global audience.
Kaiyodo was originally just a small Japanese shop, but thanks to great sculptors like Bome, they’ve grown and now attract the attention of collectors worldwide.
Bome’s works have been displayed at conventions in Tokyo, Paris, and other locations around the globe.
In recent years, his figures have garnered a ton of praise and have become highly sought after by astute collectors.
Needless to say, his impact on Kaiyodo can’t be emphasized enough.
A few would even venture to call them the best action figures company simply because of his influence alone.
Another reason for Kaiyodo’s high praise is their use of Revoltech technology.
Short for “Revolver Technology,” Revoltech is a specialized type of joint designed to provide action figures with greater stability and a wider range of motion.
Kaiyodo’s Revoltech figures can be positioned into a multitude of dynamic poses, allowing collectors to create the perfect display.
We grew up with science fiction, robots, giant monsters, skateboarding, punk, and rebellion.
Unlike other action figures companies, Super7 caters to collectors of these genres.
No one was making these types of figures, so they decided to make them themselves.
But who is Super7 and what are they all about?
Super7 was founded by Brian Flynn in 2001.
The San Francisco-based pop culture design house makes a variety of collectibles that represent Flynn’s obsession with a bygone era.
We’re talking the Misfits and characters like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
We’re talking Iron Maiden and the Planet of the Apes.
This is what Super7 represents and the type of collectors they attract.
In addition to its own branded product lines, Super7 also creates and distributes officially licensed action figures for a bevy of big brands.
Some of the licensed items Super7 manufactures include Masters of the Universe, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and the Misfits.
Super7 is now bringing their one-of-a-kind aesthetic to the world of sports with their new Supersports by Super7 line.
Led by a new licensing deal with Major League Baseball, they’re releasing a new line of unique collectibles covering a variety of sports categories or genres.
• Masters of the Universe
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• Star Wars
• Planet of the Apes
• The original Alien
• Iron Maiden
Like Kaiyodo and Takara Tomy, Medicom is a Japanese company that manufactures a wide range of action figures and collectibles for the global market.
Its products cover large names like Marvel and Star Wars.
You can find them for sale around the world at big box retailers like Target and Walmart.
• Star Wars
• Dragonball Z
• Metal Gear Solid
Threezero is a Hong Kong-based action figure maker specializing in 1:6 scale figures.
Founded in 2000 by Kim Fun Wong, the company has been steadily producing some wonderful action figures based on hit TV series characters.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead, chances are there’s a Threezero figure or two in your collection.
Hong Kong Style
Threezero’s founder Kim Fung Wong originated the Hong Kong style of designer figures that many designers have adapted and now use today.
The company is widely recognized by its Michael Lau-designed gasmask logo and known for its variety of iconic street-smart figures.
Some of Threezero’s most notable designers include Michael Lau, Elphonso Lam, and Jason Siu.
In addition to this great design team, the company partnered with Ashley Wood in 2008 for the launch of the threeA brand.
Thanks to Ashley Wood’s design achievements and Threezero’s excellent production quality, the brand received worldwide recognition.
The company began producing 12-inch figures in 2000, which featured variations of special forces uniforms and diecast weapons and accessories.
In fact, they pioneered the production of diecast accessories and weapons for their figures.
They’ve since extended their action figure range to include 12-inch designer vinyl collectible figures as well.
In 2013, however, Threezero began focusing on expanding its product line by concentrating on officially licensed properties.
Today, the company’s mission statement is to work with pop culture intellectual property owners to create premium collectible figures based on their characters and designs.
Threezero recently launched a new high-end product line called “ThreezeroX.”
The “X” stands for crossover.
Unlike regular action figures, the figures in the ThreezeroX line are all uniquely redesigned according to the specific design aesthetic of the artists creating them.
Speaking of artists, each ThreezeroX figure is designed by a renowned artist, which makes each one all the more unique and collectible.
Compared to the company’s previous products, the ThreezeroX products are much more artistic in nature.
The first ThreezeroX product was the result of collaborating with Ryu Oyama, a renowned Japanese sculptor.
• Game of Thrones
• Destiny 2
• Honor of Kings
• Terminator: Dark Fate
16. Square Enix
Square Enix is based in the US, but unless you’re into Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, the company may be unfamiliar to you.
Through its affiliation with a worldwide network of top design studios like Crystal Dynamics, it creates a dynamic action figures based on popular Asian entertainment brands.
As a whole, Square Enix owns a valuable intellectual property portfolio of brands like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Tomb Raider, and the legendary Space Invaders.
these lines have sold over 300 million units worldwide.
They also sell a variety of Play Arts figures via their website and online store.
Like many other action figure companies, Square Enix has licensing deals with Disney and Marvel as well.
• Final Fantasy
• Tomb Raider
• Dragon Quest
• Marvel Avengers
• Space Invaders
• Disney’s Kingdom Hearts
17. Hiya Toys
Hiya Toys is an innovative company focused on bringing new ideas and technology to the world of handmade toys and collectibles.
Founded in 2011, the Shanghai-based company largely produces action figures in 1:18 scale.
• Injustice 2
Formerly Phicen, TBLeague specializes in making 1:6 scale figures.
The action figure maker’s team of sculptors, painters, artists, and costumers has produced a number of products for a more select collector base.
While many other companies make Buzz Lightyear, Paw Patrol, Teen Titans, and other figures for kids, TBLeague focuses on adult collectors.
Phicen encountered an issue with their trademark towards the end of 2017, and they’ve been rebranding themselves as TBLeague ever since.
However, since they conducted business under the Phicen name for several years, you’ll still notice some boxes of their figures labeled as Phicen.
Of course, newer models have the TBLeague logo and branding.
Not only do Phicen or TBLeague action figures depict some pretty unique characters, but they also have some really unique design elements, such as:
• Anatomically correct – All TBLeague figures have similar proportions and movements to real humans.
• Stainless steel skeleton – Each figure also has a stainless steel skeleton to add strength, keep the figure upright, and allow for very fine movements.
• Soft to the touch – TBLeague action figures are also soft to the touch just like real skin, giving them a more natural look and feel.
• Steam Punk Red Sonja
• Cleopatra Queen of Egypt
• Nancy in Hell
• Alexander the Great
• Imperial Guardian
• Gethsemoni The Dead Queen
19. Very Cool
For the female collectors out there, Very Cool is worth checking out.
They specialize in producing 1:6 scale female military, shooter, and black outfit assassin action figures.
Designed to empower the traditionally powerless and provide a female perspective to the largely male dominated world of action figures, Very Cool is very cool indeed.
• CrossFire Double Agent “Zero”
• Tencent Game Sniper Little Sister in Pink Hair
• Lady Dragon in the Moonlight
For the military action figure collectors out there, Flagset doesn’t disappoint.
They create extremely detailed 1:6 scale military action figure collectibles packed full of camo and gear.
• The Snow Queen Shirley
• End War Death Squad “U” Umir + Dog
• 75th Ranger Regiment Reconnaissance Team in Afghanistan
Best Action Figures Company – Who’s Your Favorite?
Well, there you have it – a complete rundown on all of today’s best action
As you can see from the list above, there are a ton of terrific collectible brands and lines available in a wide range of prices.
Some, you’re probably familiar with or have heard of before.
However, this might be your first time hearing of Flagset, Hiya Toys, or some of the other more obscure brands.
We hope to provide you with plenty more great info just like this and connect you with action figures and brands you love.
So, please tell us what’s the best action figures company in your eyes?