For new toy collectors just starting out, you will come across popular acronyms and terms such as MOC or Loose Toys.
MOC (Mint On Card) and MIB (Mint In Box) is used to describe toys or action figures that are still in its original packaging and have never been taken out.
While “mint” in the strictest sense of the word means “brand new” or “in perfect condition”, it is very common for these sealed unopened toys (especially the older ones) to have slightly damaged packaging. This could be things like aging discolouration, creases, “dog ears”, slight tears, etc.
So if you are after mint toys in perfectly mint packaging, I would recommend double checking with the seller on the packaging condition and possibly getting some close up photos on any damages.
Loose toys denotes toys that are not sealed in original packaging. Loose toys may be either used or brand new. NEW loose toys are typically unwanted manufacturing buffer stock (i.e. extra quantities made in case of spoilage) or can be retail stock that had their packaging damaged by handling or plain old naughty kids!
So should I collect MOC or Loose Action Figures ?
To risk sounding like I am sitting on the fence, it really is a personal choice.
Serious collectors will go for MIB / MOC toys because the brand new look appeals to them. Another major consideration is that MIB / MOC toys will have a much higher resale value than loose toys.
For myself, I mostly prefer loose toys as I believe toys are meant to be played with instead just stored away in a box somewhere. I enjoy placing the figures in different positions to tell a story. They look fantastic when posed on display. And with very limited toy display space in my house, the fact that loose toys take up much less space than MIB / MOC toys is a big plus. On top of all that, loose toys are definitely a lot cheaper to collect too!
Having said all that I do have a number of items that are MIB / MOC. For the more rare and expensive toy pieces in my collection, I just can’t bring myself to open them up.
In summary, there really isn’t a need to choose exclusively between MIB / MOC or loose toys. Most toy collectors have a bit of both. The main thing is to Enjoy your collection !