We are entering the months where Japan’s other collective hobby kicks in…figure collection! Most anime and games get collectable figures to purchase and are only released every few months in limited quantities. In Japan especially, you have to preorder to claim your stake in the particular collectable you want. Kind of weird, right? The only difference is that in Japan there are notable companies that create gorgeous figures and statues of characters from a plethora of outlets. I’ll be covering some the companies that bring us the more adorable and badass figures you could come across!
Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company is a favorite of mine, not only in quality but also in service. GSC has the widest variety in not only characters, but in options. They are known for their “nendoroid” collections which are basically the smaller, cute “chibi” versions of characters. What’s special about them though is how customizable they are with others, similar to a mix and match. But they also release other merchandise like scale figures that are equally as gorgeous. In the past, they were eager and ready to help me when I had issues with merchandise. They have some English outlets out now to get customers the help they need, which, honestly, is very nice to have considering everything is based in Japan.
They target a Western audience, which is good but at the same time, can be bad. Kotobukiya really doesn’t mess around when it comes to their figures, and are expensive as a result. Most are fairly large, pretty, and very elaborately designed. You might have passed by a Kotobukiya figure when you see their “Bishoujo DC/ Marvel” figure collections. They also don’t release as prolifically as other companies, so their intentions are really for quality over quantity.
While under GSC, Max Factory brings you pose-able versions of the characters you know and love. The difference is that these figures are nearly scaled to the character, unlike the nendoroids which are cute looking and smaller. Max Factory figures come with LOTS of extra, so it’s also interesting to see the combinations of the figure, and sometimes they can mix and match with other Max Factory figures. Most Max Factory figures are called “figmas”. Don’t be confused on the name though, since lots of people will use it incorrectly to refer to other pose-able figures. “Figma” is the particular brand name, so if it doesn’t have it on the figure, then it’s not a figma.
While this company specializes in toys, they also do what are called “model kits”. This is mainly for any sort of robotic or mecha based characters that people may like. Bandai is especially famous for their model kits of “Gundam” where they release specific models of Gundam in certain seasons. What’s special for these model kits though are that people compete for the best looking models in competitions in Japan. In these competitions they compete for the most original, creative, interesting, and best build of the Bandai model kits. This kind of collection is more of a hobby then a fan collection, but a fun one still.