The collecting of anime figures is currently experiencing a rise in popularity, with ever increasing numbers of people joining the hobby. This has resulted in an increased number of firms that produce anime-themed figures, and an growth in the range and quantity of figures being manufactured. The present situation of the industry is thrilling with new figures released constantly. Indeed, I cannot keep up with the number of anime figures preorders that are released.
Animation Figures Are More Beautiful than Ever
If you’re a collector there’s plenty to be excited about. There are tons of figures available in the present and the quality of the figures, in general has only improved. In the past, many reports were straightforward. Simple isn’t bad. Simple is great. However, the issue in “simple” means that it’s just plain. Today, anime figures come with complex designs. A lot of figures come with numerous interchangeable accessories as well as backgrounds. They are now more lively poses. While they’re few, there are also a few that feature cool gimmicks such as parts that flash with LEDs and others with clothes made from actual fabrics. Every now and every now and then, we have large (1:1 size) figures.
Figures Prices are Going Up
Prices for models from anime have risen dramatically over the past 8 years. In 2015, you could order excellent scale figures starting at the Y=8,000-Y=10,000 range. From there, the prices went up. Now, it’s not surprising to find the same high-quality product for a price that is more than Y=30,000. The most recent period of price increases occurred during the third quarter of 2022, when we witnessed companies such as FuRyu, Kadokawa and FREEing increase the limits of price figures to ridiculous levels.
Global inflation is rising. It is also evident that the Japanese Yen’s value has dropped. Add to that the rising manufacturing costs in China and you get the result. But, it is possible to argue they are overcharging for their products, as businesses such as Good Smile Company, Kotobukiya as well as Alter have fought to keep their prices affordable. I’ve always thought that Alter’s pricing was outrageously high, however the benefit is that they make excellent quality.
The recent 200%-300 percentage increase in prices is excessive. Fuel prices haven’t gone up as much, and it’s difficult to come across a product that is more sought-after than oil. Therefore, when you come across an organization such as FuRyu which provides mediocre quality data at a cost above Alter and Alter, you begin to suspect that it’s not only economic factors at the mix. The greed factor is likely to be a part of the problem. The most unfortunate thing is that prices won’t likely to fall even when global inflation rates fall, and even after the Japanese Yen is able to recover.
So Many New Figure Companies Coming Out
At present there are a lot of figure companies that are producing new figures. I publish regular preorders of figures roundups , and it’s becoming increasingly challenging to track all the new companies with figures. It’s particularly difficult to find information about Chinese firms that aren’t included in MyFigureCollection. MyFigureCollection database.
You may be wondering what the significance of this. The world of anime figures is an industry in which quality control is crucial, especially since anime figures are expensive items. New companies that provide terrible quality aren’t uncommon, but they do occur occasionally.
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The need to Police the Quality of Anime Figures
At the time 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 death. Collectors today are cautious about companies such as FOTS Japan Pulchra along with their various sister businesses B’Full, Apricot Blossom, and Insight. They make low-quality 3D-printed figures that come that come with horrible packaging. This meant that the figures would break in transit.
With the growing popularity of the anime or manga figures and the prices that they are sold I wouldn’t be shocked if fly-by-night businesses offer pre-orders for amazing-looking figures and then make a huge amount of money and then disappear after earning an easy buck by sacrificing the quality.
What’s the future of the hobby of collecting anime figurines in 2023? Nobody really knows the exact the future, but here are a few of my forecasts.
New Companies will Keep Coming Out
I anticipate that new companies who make anime-based characters will continue making appearances. More companies will be that originate from China. Some will create high-quality figures that are comparable to Chinese figures manufacturers like Hobby Max and APEX. Certain companies will produce low-quality figures, so be looking out for these.
FuRyu Kadokawa and Freeing Increase Prices for Figures
I am expecting FuRyu, Kadokawa and FREEing to remain on this course by raising the cost of their pre-orders. These three companies will draw the anger of the community and suffer sales. Some other businesses will also become greedy and may use the same pricing system. In the history of mankind greed has always been a constant , and I don’t think it will change. Ever.
The Expanding Chinese Economy will increase the Price of the
Many people believe that manufacturing of figures takes place in Japan. But the reality is that only the planning phase that includes figure prototyping is carried out in Japan. Once it gets to the manufacturing stage the entire process is outsourced to China. The Chinese economic growth is currently expanding at a rapid rate. The cost of labor as well as working standards have risen substantially, and this is great for the citizens of China. In the other world that relies heavily of Chinese workers, these consequences could be seen in higher costs. What are the options for companies to take? Perhaps it’s 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 believe that Y=25k is going to be the norm for 1/7 scales, 1/6 and 1/8 and 1/4 scales will go upwards to 45k. Numerous companies are exploring these rates. I’m sure that some collectors will be frustrated by the exorbitant cost of new figurines and may decide to quit the hobby or will opt to purchase inexpensive pre-owned models. I hope I’m not however.
Good Smile Company, Kotobukiya along with Alter Will Prevail
GSC, Kotobukiya, and Alter will continue to provide top quality figures at fair costs. The same is true for other companies who make a show of greed and try to slash their prices.
FOTS Japan and Pulchra will continue to thrive
Yes FOTS Japan, Pulchra, and all of its counterparts will continue to flourish. It is because they charge figures at a premium, while the costs remain extremely low by sacrificing quality while releasing inexpensive 3D-printed models. While a lot of collectors are hesitant to purchase these figures, they don’t have to sell a lot to make an income.
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 statistics that normally refer to WonFes as FGO-fes. There are still a few FGO figures once or twice, but that train has been removed from the station. For the upcoming year, I’d expect additional Azur Lane figures to be released and be to preorder. That means that my wallet isn’t secure. I’d like to see more in 1/7 scales , rather that 1/4 scales.
You can expect to see more Atelier Ryza Characters
There’s a lot of Ryza figures available and you can soak your body in her legs. You can also expect additional Ryza figure to be revealed in the coming year.
Rem figures will be an Expendable
As if we didn’t already possess enough 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 count Season 2, as she was absent for the whole season) Expect more prize and scale models of her.
Expect More Data from Chinese IPs
This year, we could expect to see more numbers from Chinese IPs as well as Chinese producers. China is now a major fan of anime and will continue to grow. This will continue until it is destroyed from the CCP. In the event of that it could mean that the Chinese figures market may be in a downward spiral.
Shipping Costs will Continue to Increase
Experts predict that gas prices will drop in 2023, but I’m very skeptical. The price of gas will only rise and don’t really go down for long. It may go down for a while, but it’ll always back up. I’m not an optimist. It’s more of a realistic perspective. If no global mandate is set in place to regulate gas consumption, demand will only increase. We all know that prices will rise. For those who collect figures this could result in greater costs for shipping.