A Guide To The Anime Figure Community!

Table of Contents

What Exactly Is an Anime Figure?

To put it another way, a figure is any 3D representation of a person (real or fictional) or object. Figures are usually characters from TV shows, anime, or even their own toy line; these figurines are made by a variety of companies in a variety of styles and form their own distinct category of merchandise. Continue reading to find out more about anime collection figures.

Anime Figures


The materials used and the artistic style are the most noticeable differences between ancient and modern figures. Plastic or resin are used to make modern figures, whereas clay, bone, and/or wood were used to make ancient figures.

Modern figures, like their primitive counterparts, come in a variety of styles and categories. Popular Western characters such as He-Man Masters of the Universe, military figures used by strategists, voodoo dolls, religious artifacts, plane models, scientific models, and much more can all be found. But that’s not what we’re talking about today; instead, we’re talking about anime figures!

Types of Anime Figures

Some retailers lump anime figures into one category, which is a huge mistake. With so many figure categories to choose from, ranging from cute to risque, it’s crucial to understand the differences between them so you can find your ideal figure!

Get in on This Action

Do you recall your childhood action figures? Maybe you used to play with G.I. Joes, the massively muscled figures known as “America’s movable fighting man.” Or perhaps you posed your Barbie dolls in a variety of sassy poses, such as with her hands on her hips or a handbag in the crook of her elbow.

Anime Figure Get in on this action

While the term “action figure” is used to refer to a movable doll geared toward boys, it has now come to mean a doll that can perform vigorous actions. 

This is accomplished through the figure’s articulation, which consists of a series of joints located throughout its body that allow you to flex and bend it in a variety of ways. These two terms (‘action’ and articulated’) are frequently used interchangeably.

Anime figures, of course, include articulated figures, but these categories can be broken down further.

Cheeky Nendos

Nendoroids are small figures with large heads and smaller bodies that were created by the Good Smile Company. Their name comes from the Japanese word nendo, which translates to “clay.” 

These Chibi figures are not only adorable but they’re also articulated, allowing you to pose them in a variety of ways. With over 1,000 Nendoroids to choose from, these small figures are an excellent place to begin your figure collection!

What Do You Figma?

Max Factory produces figmas, which are a high-quality articulated option. Figmas are well known for their superior posing options, with a number of unique joints included in each figure. 

Each figure, like Nendoroids, comes with a variety of accessories. With these specific figures, you can recreate a variety of anime scenes.

Don’t Move!

Other types of figures do the work for you, whereas articulated figures leave poses to your imagination. These non-adjustable figures are usually meticulously designed to recreate some of the most memorable scenes or moments from an anime.

And with fixed-pose figures, you’ll also find…

To Scale or Not to Scale

To Scale or not To Scale Anime Figure

Anime scale figures are a type of fixed-pose figure that is sized according to the anime character’s “actual” dimensions. A size reference, such as 1/6th or 1/2th, will be included with these proportional figurines. 

This means that the figure’s size has been reduced to a sixth or half of the character’s actual size, depending on the situation. If an anime character is supposed to be 2 meters tall, a 1/10th scale figure would be 20 centimeters tall.

Beaches, Bunnies, and Girls, Oh My!

You might be surprised if you’ve ever wondered what your best girl looks like on a beach outing or dressed up as an equally dapper and sexy bunny. 

While some anime may overlook these crucial outfit choices, manufacturers are working tirelessly to bring these beach and bunny beauties to life!

Of course, these figures can be a little ecchi – think ample cleavage and puppy dog yoga stretches. While it isn’t necessarily lewd, it may not be to everyone’s taste.

You’re Such a Prize

You’re missing out if you haven’t heard of or tried Japanese claw games (also known as UFO catchers, crane games, and so on). The magnificent prizes that await you if you spend enough money on these rigged suckers are what really ups the ante with these games.

These arcade machines have a plethora of anime figures, with new figures being released on a weekly basis. You’ll notice that the quality of prize figures isn’t quite as high as that of major brands; this is due to their designs being much simpler, but also more affordable. 

While these low-cost options may appeal to new collectors, veteran collectors can also find one-of-a-kind prize figures of their favorite characters.

Restricted Area: 18+ Only

Figures from the Hentai series are not for everyone. While some styles are more delicate than others, some figures push the boundaries of obscenity for a general audience. 

If you’ve wanted to collect hentai figures, don’t let this deter you! Be aware that these figures will not appeal to everyone, so place them somewhere you can appreciate them without offending others.

Restricted Area Anime Figure

Having said that, hentai figures come in a wide range of styles. Some of these figures have clothing that can be removed; this is known as the cast-off style. There are also a variety of original characters as well as characters from various anime and manga series. Browse to your heart’s content!

Get Stuffed

Plushies are a unique category in the world of anime figures, owing to the fact that they aren’t actually figures. Soft and cuddly, plushies are available for a wide range of series, though characters from certain series, such as Love Live! and Touhou Project, are particularly popular. 

It’s possible that many of these plushies are nesoberi, which are posed flat on their stomach. There are a plethora of huggable and kawaii characters to choose from to decorate your home.

Because plushies are such a niche product, they are rarely mass-produced and do not receive re-releases like regular anime figures. As a result, plushies quickly become scarce collectibles, increasing their value.

Why are Anime Heads so into Buying Anime Figures?

We’ve all learned what figures are now. But now the big question is: why? What drives people to invest a significant sum of money in this hobby?

People begin collecting anime and other related media for a variety of reasons, which is completely understandable. Purchasing an anime figure appears to be the next step in the evolution of anime fandom. 

This is how the majority of collectors begin their journey into the hobby. One figure becomes two, and before you know it, you’ve amassed quite a collection.

Anime Figures


However, there are other motivations besides simply enjoying an anime series. Other things to think about are:

  • Purchasing figures can aid in the greenlighting of a series. Yu-Gi-Oh! Following the success of the trading card game, Duel Monsters was given its own anime. Yu-Gi-Oh! even had its own line of figures, with the first Mattel-produced figures dating back to 1996, which aided in the studio’s production of the anime, resulting in a multi-million dollar franchise. Furthermore, due to its massive merchandise sales, the Fate franchise is constantly getting new games and anime. In fact, the popular Gundam anime was created to promote the company’s eponymous model kits! Purchasing figures is a great way to show your support for your favorite franchise while also encouraging companies to produce more anime.
  • Another reason to purchase figures is to become a member of the anime figure-collecting community, whether it is online (for example, on Reddit or Facebook) or offline (for example, in person). Finding a group offline, such as at a hobby shop, or forming your own with friends, is a fantastic way to share the experience. It’s important to be a part of a community, and having a group of people who share your hobby or interest is a great reason to begin collecting.
  • Some people purchase figures as investments because the vast majority of figures have historically increased in value over time. Others purchase figures to display their personalities. It’s not just about the anime they like; it’s also about the figure’s style, whether cutesy, shounen, or edgy, that reflects their personality.

“What Are You, a Weeb?”

Zoro Anime Action Figure

Hobbies that appear to be a little niche can draw some criticism. When you combine that with the stereotype that “figures are for kids” and anime’s non-western origins, you have a recipe for prejudice. 

Many members of the community believe they will be harshly judged because of their love of all things anime.

But, as evidenced by a 2012 US presidential candidate quoting lines from a Pokemon movie and a certain billionaire’s Twitter profile featuring a Full Metal Alchemist icon, the perception of Japanese pop culture outside of Japan is changing.

Most importantly, you should not feel as if you are unable to enjoy your hobbies because others do not approve or accept them. The most important thing is that your hobbies make you happy, so stay calm and keep collecting!

“Show Me The Money!”

The price is perhaps the most significant impediment for most people. Spending hundreds of dollars on a hobby is prohibitively expensive, leaving you to wonder why. 

Demon Slayer Figures

The time and quality of the manufacturing process are two factors that influence the cost of a figure. In a nutshell, manufacturers place such a high value on the quality that it is unavoidably expensive.

However, there are ways to keep costs low. Purchasing used figures from reputable vendors can help you save a lot of money while maintaining good quality. 

Another way to begin collecting without being intimidated by the cost is to prioritize and save up for one figure or one set at a time.

Prize figures are also less expensive because they are usually more straightforward. On the plus side, if kept in good condition, figure collections tend to appreciate over time.

Unfortunately, aside from creating your own figure from scratch, there aren’t any other viable options. Although unlicensed figures are available, they should be avoided at all costs. 

Not only does this have an impact on an anime’s perceived popularity (remember how shows can be greenlit based on strong merchandise sales? ), but many bootlegs are made with toxic materials that can be harmful to your health. Check out our guide to avoiding bootlegs to learn more about how to avoid them.

Before You Buy a Figure!

What Are Your Favorite Anime Series or Characters?

Favorite Anime Character

The best place to begin is with your own personal anime collection. Begin by looking through the various options for each series or character. 

Many online stores categorize their products into series, making it even easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. Examine all of the different figures to see if there’s anything you’d like to purchase.

If you don’t have a specific series or character in mind, start with the figure category you enjoy the most. Nendoroids, Pop Up Parade, prize figures, and small plushies are some figure types that are beginner-friendly. 

Apart from the price, these are small enough to be displayed in almost any room. For example, a Nendoroid will only take up a small amount of desk space.

When looking for the right figure, it can be difficult for a complete novice to sort through unfamiliar themes, but browsing anime figure websites is a great way to familiarize yourself with prices and your own preferences.

You Own a Figure; Now What?

You can use it to recreate scenes, put it on your desk, shelve it, bring it to meet-ups, and draw on it. You can pose and play with it as much as you want with so many different things to do!

However, we do have some suggestions for keeping it in good shape:

  • If at all possible, keep the original box in mint condition. This will be extremely useful in determining the value of the figure in the future.
  • Figures are kept in the best condition when they are kept out of direct sunlight and in relatively dry environments. A light dusting with feather dusters or a light blowdown with compressed air on a regular basis will go a long way toward keeping your figures in top shape.
  • If you want to safely store multiple larger figures, consider building or purchasing a display case.
  • Keep an eye out for any pets or children; could your cat accidentally knock your brand-new anime figure off the shelf? Is there any chance that your hentai figure will be seen by children? Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially if it’s a shared space.
  • If you’re transporting your collection, consider bubble wrapping it or putting it in its original box because figures aren’t the most durable of items.

Where to Go From Here?

You now have a thorough understanding of the various types of anime figures available, as well as the fact that collecting is a fun aspect of the anime world. Perhaps you’ve just purchased a figure; hopefully, you’re pleased with your collection’s centerpiece! Take good care of it, store it properly, and enjoy your newfound status as a collector. What happens now, though?

Now comes the exciting part, where you won’t be able to stop yourself! Browse thousands of figures, brag about your collection to your friends, and most importantly, have fun with your new hobby. Thank you for taking the time to read our guide, and welcome to the world of anime figure collecting!

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