Discover The Art & Science Behind The Making of Anime Figures

Table of Contents

What are Anime Figures?

Anime Figures

To put it another way, a figure is any 3D representation of a person (actual or imaginary) or object. Figures are usually characters from TV series, anime, or even their toy line; they are a separate category of items created by a variety of firms in a range of designs. 

Continue reading to find out more about anime collecting figures. The materials utilized and the creative approach are the most noticeable variations 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 genres. Popular Western characters such as He-Man Masters of the Universe, military figures used by strategists, voodoo dolls, religious items, 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!

What Are the Types of Anime Figures?

We are in the midst of an anime toy and figure renaissance. More and more shows are obtaining more and more diverse figures than ever before. 

Furthermore, many of those figures are meant to work together, allowing you to stage practically any crossover you can imagine, complete with the necessary accessories. 

What happened to cause that? What kind of figures are produced, and who are the primary manufacturers? And why does it seem like it takes an eternity to obtain a physical figure from the time you pre-order it?

types of Anime Figure

Figures were mostly of three categories a few decades ago: inexpensive toys based on popular shonen anime shows, pricey statuettes of ladies in revealing costumes and seductive positions, and a wide variety of robots. 

Figures aimed at girls or women were few and far between, and even fewer were figures that you would feel comfortable displaying publicly at home. However, as anime fans have grown older, society has become (somewhat) more accepting of otakudom, and “nerd” culture has grown in popularity. 

Furthermore, more people are deferring marriage and childbirth for extended periods of time, if not indefinitely. That means more money to spend on toys. Companies that enjoy making money have reacted in kind.

However, manufacturers’ recognition of the market’s potential isn’t the only cause for the golden age. Technology has also had a significant impact. 

When you have computers to help you, it’s easier to make intricate figures, and the internet has made it exponentially easier for fans all over the world to learn about new releases and pre-order them. To sell a run, manufacturers no longer need to rely on the inefficient in-store distribution. 

The internet also makes it much easier to gauge fan interest, get fans excited about new releases, and show them all the different ways you can combine numerous figures from a series, all of which help to boost sales and allow for more figures to be produced.

Posable Figures

Posable figures, as the name implies, are those that can be moved around. They contain joints in the shoulders, elbows, knees, neck, and other places, letting you posture the figure in practically any way. 

Most posable figure lines include accessories and even alternate heads and hands, allowing you to recreate legendary anime scenarios. 

Posable figures are typically 5″ to 7″ tall and cost between 2000 to 50000 dollars, depending on the level of detail and number of accessories included. PVC is used for the figures in all main posable figure lines, with certain specific accessories built of other materials.

Vending machines/Blind Boxes/Gashapons

Anime Vending Machine

The cheapest anime figures can be found in vending machines all around Japan, as well as in little boxes in toy areas and at check-out counters. Similar toys have undoubtedly taken over the aisles at your local large box retailer recently. 

The figure in the capsule or box is chosen at random from a group of 5 to 10 figures, and they normally cost between $200 and $1,000. These figures are nearly always constructed of PVC and range in height from 1″ to 3″, with some of the most “expensive” blind boxes including figures as big as 6″. Gashapons are nearly often sold in pieces that must be assembled to form the figure.

Despite their diminutive size, several of these gashapons have rather dynamic stances, and some sets even recreate complete scenes. 

Gashapons are usually the quickest option to get a toy depicting the most recent anime events or character outfits because new sets are continuously being introduced. These kinds of sets can be a lot of fun to collect without breaking the bank.


Anime Figures

When you think of an anime figure, you’re probably thinking of this category. The most typical scale for figurines is 1/8 scale, but this can vary greatly depending on the scene and character. 

They can range in size from 6″ to 15″ tall (or even higher for more expensive figurines) and cost anywhere between $40,000 and $200,000. (or, again, much more in special circumstances). 

While certain figures may have replaceable pieces (such as a removable cape or multiple arm positions), figurines lack joints. The vast majority are constructed of PVC, but a significant number are made of resin, ABS, polystone, or a combination of materials.


Figure Kits

Model kits, sometimes known as garage kits, are figurines that you construct yourself using the materials included in the box. Bandai’s Gundam kits are the most well-known licensed kits, and they include everything you need to build your own scale model of a massive robot. 

Resin, vinyl, PVC, and even metal can be used to make kits. The amount of construction and painting required varies with every kit.

How Are Anime Figures Made?

Anime Figures Made

We’ve all heard of them, seen them, and maybe even have one or desire one. Isn’t it true that we all fantasize about having a figure of our favorite anime or character? 

Have you ever wondered how these figures are created? I know I have, so I’ll do my best to explain how our favorite anime collectibles are made!

Of course, the first stage in the procedure is to choose the character on which the artist will base their model. The artist must then get licenses, trade restrictions, copyrights, and other legalities in order to create officially licensed anime figures. 

After all of this has been taken care of, the artist may begin planning the style and position he wishes to give the figure. After deciding what he wants, he begins by creating a basic model out of various materials such as clay, resin, or foam.

When the artist is satisfied with the results of sculpting the character, he dismantles the base model into individual pieces. These pieces will be used to make a mold, which will then be used to make the final object. 

Following the creation of the mold, the material for the figure is chosen, which can be PVC, vinyl, ABS, resin, or Polystone. Depending on the material, it is colored and poured into the mold, or it might be painted subsequently. 

Assembly and detail painting are the final steps. The only thing left is packaging, and that’s it!

As you may know, the majority of anime figures are produced in China. Newcomers frequently believe that “Made in China” signifies “fake.” That is not the case. 

In truth, the majority of the originals are built in China, mostly because owning a plant and production line there is less expensive for the Japanese corporation. “Good Smile Company” was the name given to the factory when it first opened. 

Surprisingly, few people in Japan are aware of what the Good Smile Company does. Perhaps it is only known among figure collectors but not to the general public.

There are a lot of Japanese workers there, and there are a lot of blue plastic containers. It contains components of Nendoroid figures when examined closely. 

Aside from the modeling and design process, practically every piece of the Nendoroids is manufactured by hand. Tori Shuhei is the man in charge of the factory’s operations. 

He explained that, up until now, all anime figures were produced in China. Thus this Good Smile Company plant in Japan is the first of its sort in many years. 

According to reports, the manufacturing process is primarily carried out in Southeast Asia and China. And the factory’s major goal is to produce a genuine Made in Japan high-quality product in its own country.

Where Can You Find Anime Figures?

Can you find anime?

Understand that these things are from Japan, that some types of figures may be subject to customs complications, and that importing them may result in import charges and higher shipping expenses. Take a look at how your country tackles these issues. 

Keep in mind that your figurine could take some time to arrive. A few days is the absolute minimum, but it can take weeks or months in extreme cases. If your local store is out of stock, they will have to place an order from Japan as well.

Check out your local hobby shop for anime figures if you have one. Being able to inspect the actual figure before purchasing might help you make a more informed selection, but be wary of bootlegs, which can easily fool even the most reputable local stores. 

However, if you live in a place where figures are used and want to buy something online, you have a lot of possibilities. It’s available on Amazon, eBay, and the Crunchyroll Store, among other places. 

However, if you’re looking to buy Japanese anime figures online, do your homework beforehand. Many people question where they may get the best anime figures. However, with so many options, determining the best place to buy anime figures is difficult.

When looking to buy anime figures online, be cautious! Checking that the seller’s images of the figure match those on the manufacturer’s website can go a long way toward safeguarding yourself and your hard-earned money. You’re looking for vendors who put a premium on quality control and customer service.

After You've Purchased, What Should You Do?

Smell of Anime

You can use it to recreate situations, 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, if possible, maintain the original packaging in mint condition for maintenance. This will be quite useful in determining the value of the figure in the future. 

are kept in the best shape when they are kept out of direct sunlight and in relatively dry environments. A simple dusting with feather dusters or a gentle blowdown with compressed air on a regular basis will go a long way toward keeping your figures in top shape. 

If you wish to carefully store numerous larger figurines, consider making or purchasing a display case. If you’re traveling your collection, try bubble wrapping it or putting it in its original box because figurines aren’t the most durable of items.

Getting Your Hands on High Quality Anime Figures is Difficult, But Not Impossible!

You now have the necessary knowledge. So, what do you have to lose? Enter the world of figurines and start building your own collection. 

Collecting anime figures has as many motivations as the figures themselves. It’s a method for many people to surround themselves with their favorite characters. Others see it as a race to build a collection that can rival even the most seasoned collectors.

Shonen brings you the latest info from your favorite anime. Visit our news page for more updates.