I have never animated with toys or action figures, but while David is looking for his list -
you could look at what Patrick Boivin is using:
Action figures will usually require a rig to support them, since they aren't made to be able to stand up on one foot while walking. Then you need to erase the gig in post production.
Some small toys like Stikfas can be animated.
Yeah Patrick Boivin uses mostly toys from Hot toys, theres also this guy I found
He uses alot of anime figures from Revoltech, Figurearts, and looks like alot of gundam model kits too. Pretty much any figure that has a Revoltech style joint system.
P.S. Definitely can never forget the weebles lol.
Yeah I have a couple of them too, I really should get some more of them lol.
I used a lot di action figures too, rearranged by my self to create new caracters; I use 5" tall, changing faces, adding joint..and yes, they cannot stay on one feet and fall down. Then discovered ' 'build up foam and latex with alluminum armature' . Thank stopmonick, for your. ..'binladen' tutorial! It changed my life. Now I make them esactly so (5 "!!!). My last clip contains action figure and build up puppets. Confront is quite impossible.
Action figure's joints turn flabby by use.
What size/ scale are you looking to work with?
Takara's Micromen line have an absurd number of articulation points (30+) and come with a bunch of replaceable hands, the downside being that they're a tiny 3.75".
I've tried dolls and toys and legos but none of them worked out. For me so far the best thing is to just make the main shape with wire or just straight aluminum foil and some invisible fishing line or thread to hang it.
For me, too, the best articulated figures for animating are the ones I make myself, with aluminium armature wire and tiedowns in the feet.