Master pop culture blogger, author, and gaming big wig Philip Reed fairly recently completed two Kickstarters to fund some small hardcover books. I didn’t pitch in at the time, but I did for his other book Transforming Collections, which covered third party Transformers toys and it was a great book. The two books he produced this time are Each Sold Separately and Action Figures Not Included and I’ve gotten my hand on copies after the Kickstarter completed. Did they hold up to his previous book outings? Let’s find out!
Mr. Reed decided to not write about action figures exactly with these two books, but the world surrounding action figures of the 1980s. Each Sold Separately covers things like action figure pack in catalogs, card backs, comic book ads, and a whole host of things that made me desperately want certain toys when I was a kid. The other book, Action Figures Not Included compliments the other by covering marketing strategy of toys during the 80s, which includes comic books, coloring books, and cereal.
Both books are in hardcover and feature plenty of cool photos to drool over. Particularly since a lot of coverage compared to the action figures that this stuff was made to support.
Now I must admit that I helped a bit with the Action Figures Not Included book by doing some volunteer copy editing. What’s funny is looking at the book now, I don’t remember much of it. I think it’s because reading for copy editing is completely different than reading for content.
Philip Reed is doing another book Kickstarter right now, Universe Expanded, this time based on the Expanded Universe figures from Kenner in the late 90s. It’s a very narrow subject book based only a few figures and vehicles, for sure, but if his previous books are any indication, it’ll be worth it. Also, it’s in the same format as Each Sold Separately and Action Figures Not Included, so these things are meant to be a series of smaller books on toy collecting. Anyway, in the pledge levels you can get copies of his other books.
Both Each Sold Separately and Action Figures Not Included are great additions to a toy collector’s library. They’ll join the my shelf that contain the works of other collecting authors like Mark Bellomo and Steve Sansweet.