Monday, October 25, 2010

Nerding 101: Points of Articulation

Hello class! Tonight we will be talking about one of my favorite things... ACTION FIGURES! Don't get too excited, because the topic I'm going to discuss is quite dry. Tonight we will be talking about points of articulation.

Points of articulation are basically the "joints" on an action figure. Generally speaking, there are at least 5 points of articulation on every action figure. Those 5 joints being shoulders (2), hips (2) and neck. Now, lets try and keep our heads out of the gutter while the nice naked Barbie shows us exactly what that means.

A few moves.
  See! Barbie has 5 points of articulation. Barbie is at the low end of the articulation spectrum, while the Hasbro Ms. Marvel 3.5 inch action figure is on the high end with 16 points of articulation.

Lotsa moves.
On the one hand, it's really cool that Ms. Marvel can move in so many ways, on the other hand, it's unfortunate that she has to look like she is wearing adult diapers under her spandex. 

An action figure that has no points of articulation is a sculpture. It looks pretty, but you can't really play with it. 

No moves, but awesome to look at.
To wrap things up, points of articulation are anywhere that a movable joint is on a toy. It doesn't get much simpler than that. Final example: Ms. Marvel's knee joints get 2 points of articulation each if they can move two ways. Ms. Marvel's knees can move from hip to knee, and then from knee to ankle, so they get two each. However, most action figures only have one joint in each knee, giving them only one point of articulation each.

I wanted to discuss this topic, because the first time it came up, I have no idea what it meant. Hopefully I just helped make your world a little nerdier!