As most anime otaku know, there are countless amounts of different manga and anime to choose from. Today, there are just as many anime figurines to collect! Why are the figurines so popular though? Why is collecting them considered a hobby? The answer is simple:
Anime figurines take characters out of the 2D world and place them directly into your 3D life. They allow the collector an opportunity to create their own worlds with the characters that they love and support the anime they love.
Proof of “collectors” dates back to the stone age where humans collected pretty rocks. Today people collect anything from paintings, plants, cars, books, etc. So naturally with the increase in anime popularity, collecting the figurines would also become more popular.
Why do people collect anime figurines?
We do this because we like surrounding ourselves with things we like. If anime is something you enjoy and would like to support the industry or your favorite anime, then buying the figurines is a great way to do so.
Collecting figurines is not a new hobby, or even specific to only anime figurines. Other fandoms like Star Wars, Doctor Who and Harry Potter also have a wide range of figurines available. These are all collected as a way of keeping the characters as a part of our daily lives.
In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of anime. A report from Netflix showed a 50% increase in 2020 in households watching at least one anime title. Anime also appeared in the Top 10 list for 2020 in almost 100 countries.
With the development of the internet, access to anime figurines was made available to global markets for the first time. Currently, there are limited manufacturers of figurines outside of Japan, so once the market opened up internationally more figurines were being sold than ever before.
We might not be able to be a part of the anime world yet, but at least this is a little step in that direction. When purchasing figurines with moveable parts you can even move figurines into scenes of your creation or try different accessories.
Collecting the figurines show your support and love for the anime, as well as the artwork that goes into creating the figurines. Many factors influence how valuable a figurine is, which we are going to mention next.
Things that make anime figurines special
The value of figurines depends on the way it is made as well as the rarity of a piece. Just as some people can have priceless art collections, some anime figurines are very expensive and possibly priceless in value for the collector.
The first aspect of value is the process of making each figurine, which we will explain shortly. The second aspect is how many of the figurines exist. A third, and much harder to measure, aspect is the sentimental or emotional attachment to a character or figurine.
1. The process of making a figurine
Every figurine that is created has to undergo a lengthy process before you get to hold the box. It requires research, planning, many meetings, prototypes, redos, decoration, photoshoots and, most importantly, legal permission! Just to mention a few steps.
According to My Anime Shop Online, figurines are made from different materials, such as PVC, Vinyl, Polystone, Resin, ABS or a combination. The materials influence the costs of production and design possibilities.
There are many different types of figurines that have their unique features and price points as listed on The Crown and MASO. The general types are summarized below:
|Scale||Solid PVC||Shrunk based on actual dimensions of the character||Simple with accessories||$50 – very expensive (depends on size)|
|PVC||100mm||Cute design, some joints and accessories||$40-60|
|Nendoroid Doll||PVC||100mm doll body + head||Additional doll body and fabric outfits for original Nendoroid heads||$50-100|
|Figma||PVC pieces||Various||Designed for pose-ability, with moveable joints||$30|
|High-Quality Figures||200-450mm||High-quality design with background landscape or unique power||Usually very expensive|
|Gashapons||PVC||110mm||Cheap vending machine collectables||$10|
|Funko||Vinyl||100mm||Bighead, button eyes, not anime specific||$15-30|
2. The rarity of unique figures and figurines
Limited edition items are always more valuable to a collector. A company can choose to only produce a handful of special figurines, like the life-sized Megumi Kato figures of which there are only 10 each.
Sometimes only a single figure is produced, like with solid gold Gundam Converge figure made by a jewellery company for the Art of Gundam exhibition in Tokyo.
Beware of bootlegs! Some companies have been making cheap copies of rare figurines or mass producing original designs, both of which are illegal to do without procuring the rights to the designs.
3. Sentimental value
The hardest measure of the value of figurines would be the sentimental attachment the collector has. If your best friend bought you your first figurine, it might be a cheap one, but to you, it holds a lot more value due to the memory attached to it.
Someone might value a specific character or anime above all and therefore does not care what the figurines cost, only that they have many versions of the character or characters in the anime. It is a very subjective matter.
What are the topmost collected figurines today and why are they popular?
Here we will list some of the most collected/bought anime figurines, but also the most expensive anime figure today! Let’s start with the most collected:
Currently, there is no one best-selling figurine across the multiple platforms, but there are best-selling franchises. Figurines from Naruto and One Piece are among the most collected of all time. This could be due to how long the series has been going.
Can you guess the most expensive figurine of all time? This position is also held by non-other than the series One Piece. What makes this specific figurine unique is the fact that it’s made from solid gold and priced at an immense amount of $200,000. Read more about the most expensive figurines here.
After looking at all these figurines I might want to invest in some myself! How much are you willing to spend to bring your favorite character into your home?