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The Current State of Anime Figure Collecting

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Figure collecting in anime has recently seen an increase in popularity as more and more people embracing the hobby. This has resulted in an increased number of firms making anime characters and an rise in the variety and quantity of figures being manufactured. The present state of the market is thrilling with new figures released constantly. Actually, I cannot keep up with the volume of anime character preorders that are released.

The Anime Figures Have a New Look

If you’re a collector there’s plenty to be excited about. There are plenty of figures to pick from nowadays and the quality generally has only improved. A few years ago, the majority of numbers that were announced were straightforward. Simple isn’t bad. Simple is excellent. The problem of “simple” means that it’s merely simple. Today, anime figures come with elaborate designs. A lot of figures come with numerous interchangeable accessories as well as backgrounds. They have more exciting poses. While they’re few, there are also a few that feature cool gimmicks such as parts that glow with LEDs and others which have clothing made of actual fabrics. Every now and every now and then, we receive large (1:1 size) figures.

The Price of a Figure is Going up

Prices for models such as the Arknights figure have risen substantially over the last eight years. In 2015, it was possible to pre-order high-quality scale figures ranging from 10,000 to Y=8,000. The prices went up. It is not surprising to find the same quality for a price that exceeds Y=30,000. The most recent period of price increases occurred in the final quarter of 2022, when we witnessed companies such as FuRyu, Kadokawa and FREEing extend the boundaries of price figures to ridiculous levels.

Global inflation is rising. In the meantime, Japanese Yen’s value has dropped. Add in the rise in the cost of production in China and you get the result. One could argue the companies overcharging for their products, as businesses such as Good Smile Company, Kotobukiya as well as Alter struggled to keep their prices affordable. I’ve always thought that Alter’s pricing was outrageously high, however, the positive is that they can produce top quality.

The recent 200%-300 percentage increase in prices is excessive. The price of fuel didn’t go up as much, and it’s difficult to locate a different product that is more sought-after than oil. Therefore, when you come across companies such as FuRyu which provides mediocre quality data at a cost that is higher than Alter you begin to think that there’s more than the economics of the situation at the mix. The greed factor is likely to be a part of the problem. The unfortunate part is that prices won’t likely fall back after inflation rates in the world drop, or even after the Japanese Yen gets back to its normal levels.

So Many New Figure Companies Coming Out

At present there are a lot of figure companies that are making new figures. I publish regular preorders of figures roundups , and it’s becoming increasingly challenging to track all the new companies that are releasing figures. It’s particularly difficult to find information about Chinese firms that aren’t found on MyFigureCollection. MyFigureCollection database.

You may be wondering what the significance of this. The industry of anime figures is a field where quality control is extremely important particularly since anime figures are expensive products. New companies that offer a shoddy product are not often, but they happen occasionally.

The need to Police the Quality of Anime Figures

In the past collectors resented Griffon Enterprises because they delivered figures of poor quality. Griffon Enterprises eventually failed. Fortunately they managed to improve their product quality prior to their final end. Collectors today are cautious of companies like FOTS Japan Pulchra as well as their siblings B’Full, Apricot Blossom, and Insight. They produce cheap 3D-printed figurines that come with horrible packaging. This meant that the figures would break when they are shipped.

With the growing popularity of the anime or manga figures, and the prices at the which they’re sold I wouldn’t be shocked if fly-by-night firms offer pre-orders for stunning figures and make a huge amount of money but then vanish after making an easy buck by sacrificing the quality.

What will happen to the hobby of collecting anime figurines in 2023? Nobody really knows the exact its future use, but here are some of my thoughts.

New Companies will Keep Coming Out

I am sure that new companies to produce anime characters will continue being released. More companies will be that originate from China. Some will create top quality figures similar to Chinese figures manufacturers like Hobby Max and APEX. Some of them will produce cheap-quality figures, so be looking out for these.

FuRyu Kadokawa and Freeing Increase Prices for Figures

I’m expecting FuRyu, Kadokawa and FREEing to continue on this path by raising the cost of their pre-orders. The three will attract the public’s ire and suffer sales. Other companies could also become greedy and may adopt the same pricing strategy. Through the history of humanity the concept of greed has been an ongoing issue and I don’t think it will change. Ever.

The Expanding Chinese Economy is likely to increase Price of the

A lot of people think that figure manufacturing takes place in Japan. However, in reality that only the planning phase that includes figure prototyping occurs in Japan. As it progresses into the manufacturing phase the entire process is outsourced to China. The Chinese economy is expanding at a rapid rate. Costs of labor along with working hours have grown substantially, and this is great for the citizens of China. The other world that relies heavily upon Chinese labour, the results are evident in the increase in costs. What can companies do? It could be the right the right time to shift labor from China to countries that have lower costs of labor, such as Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Some Collectors may be burned out by the high prices

I am predicting that Y=25k will be the norm for 1/7 scales, 1/6 and 1/8 and 1/4 scales will go upwards to 45k. Numerous companies are trying out these rates. I’m sure that some collectors will be frustrated by the exorbitant cost of new figurines and quit collecting or will opt to purchase used figures that are cheap. I’m hoping I’m wrong however.

Good Smile Company, Kotobukiya as well as Alter Will Prevail

GSC, Kotobukiya, and Alter will continue to provide excellent quality figures at affordable costs. The same is true for other companies who make a show of greed and try to overcharge their customers.

FOTS Japan and Pulchra will continue to thrive

Yes FOTS Japan, Pulchra, and the rest of its siblings will continue to flourish. They price figures extremely high, and the costs remain extremely low by sacrificing quality and distributing low-cost 3D printed figures. While many collectors shun these figures, they don’t need to sell many figures to earn profits.

Azur Lane Fans Brace for More Azur Lane Figures

In the days before the pandemic struck the world, we’ve seen the number of FGO numbers that normally refer to WonFes as FGO-fes. There are still some FGO figures once or twice, but the train has gone from the station. For the upcoming year, I’d expect to see more Azur Lane figures to be announced , and then come out as preorders. My wallet isn’t secure. I’d like to see more in 1/7 scales , rather as 1/4 scales.

You can expect to see more Atelier Ryza Characters

There’s a lot of Ryza figures available to drown your body in her legs. You can also expect many more Ryza models to be released in the coming year.

Rem figures will be an Expendable

If we don’t already already have plenty of Rem figures. The Rem legend will continue to flourish this year. Even though it’s been six years since the last time we were able to see Rem (not including Season 2, as she was inactive for the whole season) Expect more prize and scale models of her.

Expect More Data from Chinese IPs

This year, we could anticipate more numbers from Chinese IPs as well as Chinese producers. China is now a major user of anime, and it will continue to grow. This is until it gets taken over from the CCP. If that happens then the Chinese figures market may be in a downward spiral.

Shipping Costs will continue to Increase

Experts say that gas prices will fall in 2023, but I’m skeptical. Prices for gas only increase and do not stay there for long. They may drop for a while, but they will always come back up. I’m not an optimist. I’m more inclined to take a pragmatic viewpoint. In the absence of a global mandate set in place to regulate gas consumption, demand will only increase. As we all know, that prices will rise. For those who collect figures it could mean greater costs for shipping.