I recall seeing early cartoons growing up and being undecided about Betty Boop. Why was she very popular? She's black & white and her voice is funny. When i got older and began to understand "sex appeal" was, it developed a little more sense. In the end Betty Boop is voluptuous and knows it. Her outfits are created to flaunt cleavage. In fact, she appeared topless (aside from a lei) in a single cartoon. Pretty hot stuff, eh?
Well, it it was decidedly hot stuff for 1932. Until that period in time, cartoons have been, generally, tame. Betty, along with her curves and her big eyes set another tone. Other female cartoon characters, Olive Oyl and Minnie Mouse particularly, were practically stick figures. Same goes with it any wonder that males, on the watch's screen and off, were gaga about her?
The cartoon stood a resurgence within the 1980s, which probably explains a few of the appeal that today's collectors have for your figurines. In the early 80s it seemed like she was everywhere -- on bags and belts, towels and t-shirts, and as figurines.
The figurine choices are massive. You will find hundreds of different Betty Boop figurines. Probably the most popular lines is the Calendar Girl collection. You can find them, used and new, on Amazon. They're affordable at (usually) $15. There are several limited edition figurines out there and I bet, with the 80th anniversary coming, that there is a whole bevy of special figurines to mark the occasion.
The figurines are a popular gift for females named "Betty", so a few of the collectors I am aware did actually are becoming collectors almost in self-defense! It's funny to imagine, however it is true. One woman I know (and yes, her name is Betty) has what she calls her "Room of Boop" to carry every one of the items.
Betty Boop figurines illustrate a seminal facet of figurine collecting -- we own a bit of history once we own a figurine. She's a bit of American film background she resides in your house. It is a pretty cool thing, whenever you think it over.