The Internet has connected the hobby enthusiast and collector to the people who have the desired collectible item. With the advent of the Internet and the acceptance of hobbies that were once considered outside the norms of society, more people are taking up collectible hobbies in their leisure time.
Collecting action figures has become more of a mainstream hobby as anime and science fiction become more acceptable to the mainstream, and less a fad of the overzealous fan who had the time to hang out at conventions and visit the dealer's room searching for that perfect figurine.
Other action figures such as sports heroes or wrestling television stars are also available for the sports lover. Many mainstream stores and websites now offer action figures of various types to mainstream market buyers. The types of figures now offered are as varied as the market itself.
Action figure collecting is based on the need to own three-dimensional replicas of one's favorite hero or villain from various movies, books or sports. These are not always the toys seen in the kids' aisle of the store, but detailed replicas of characters done in various mediums, resin being one of the more popular types. The action figures can be incredibly detailed and expensive depending on the type as well as the methods used to create it. Mass-marketed action figures will sell for a lower price than individually casted, hand-painted action figures. The more popular and detailed a figure is, the more money it will cost on the open market.
Action figures exist for almost any genre out there. Movies and games, as well as anime and television shows, have popular characters that are immortalized as action figures. Sports figures are also a popular choice, wrestling action figures being one of the more sought-after, especially the WWE action figures based on popular favorite wrestlers. Many manga and anime fans seek after anime action figures. These were once hard-to-find collectibles from anime conventions but are now available through many different markets. Star Wars action figures and Star Trek action figures are also popular among the science fiction crowd. Many more choices are available for the avid collector.