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Figure Newcomer Guide #1: The Basics

Figure Newcomer Guide #1: The Basics
30 июл 2010 01:23:47

Alright, Glory recently requested me to write some articles to serve as a sort of guide to getting into the figure-collecting hobby. I'm filing these under Private Stuff since they involve this site more than figures or otaku stuff. Also, don't ask why the post icon is completely unrelated - I couldn't think of a fitting one, so I just chose an image from my figure folder at random.

Greetings, new Shelfers! If you're reading this, you're probably relatively new to collecting figures (or at least new to this site). Anyway, hopefully this series of articles will help you get a collection started!

Why collect figures?

Because it's a fun hobby! It's a really cool feeling to be able to display and play with 3D representations of your favorite characters from various anime, manga, video games, and pretty much anything (there's a Figma of a Japanese baseball mascot and a gay porn star, among other things). This site specifically focuses on Japanese figures, but its database contains figures from a vast number of origins, from K-On to Alien.

So do you keep them in box, or what?

Personally, I feel that opening figures is definitely the way to go - these things were made to be enjoyed and played with! However, some people prefer displaying the figures in their packaging. If you're thinking of keeping your figures sealed just to increase their value, it's not really necessary - the truly valuable gems will still fetch insane prices even if they've been opened (I've seen an opened Soul of Chogokin Gunbuster go for over $200). Basically, there's no need to keep them sealed - so long as you still HAVE the packaging, the price won't be affected.

Should I collect articulated figures, or statues?

This is really a matter of preferences. I'll list a few facts about each:

Articulated figures are:
-posable
-usually smaller
-considerably cheaper
-a bit more fragile
-usually have a larger assortment of male/non-moe characters

Statues (AKA PVCs) are:
-bigger
-usually more detailed
-considerably more expensive
-somewhat more durable
-usually have more female/moe characters

Overall, it really depends on personal preference. If cost is an issue, posables are the way to go, at around $20-$35 a pop (compared to PVCs running for around $40-120). However, PVCs are usually a fair bit larger, more detailed, and impressive-looking. If you enjoy playing with and making silly scenes with your figures, posables are the obvious choice; but some people are bothered by the joints. By the way, for the most part, male or non-moe characters like Kyon (Haruhi) or Kamen Riders are more likely to get posable figures, whereas female/moe characters such as Yui Hirasawa (K-On) and Hatsune Miku have a larger assortment of PVCs. Tl;dr - just go with what you like.

Are bootlegs a major risk in this hobby?

Counterfeit figures DO exist. However, avoiding them isn't too tough - just do your research beforehand. I'll be publishing another article going more in-depth on the topic of bootlegs.

Basic terms you'll hear a lot in this hobby:

PVC (as a noun), completed model, scale figure: a statue
Pre-order: to reserve before the item's release date. The figure industry is quite similar to the video game industry, with its emphasis on preorders.
Cast-offable: able to remove parts (usually articles of clothing) from a figure.
Chogokin: Die-cast metal.
QC: Quality Control - basically, making sure the figure has no defects. If a lot of people get a defective figure, then it's generally assumed to have bad QC. Examples of this include Figma Rider and Ultra-Act Ultraman.

Otherwise, there's also a lot of terms (moe, gattai, kawaii, loli, shouta, henshin, etc.) that came from the anime fandom.

So, yeah. I hope you found this article informative! There are more on the way - happy collecting!

Was this the kind of thing you were thinking of, Glory? I had plans for a few more articles, including:
-Manufacturers
-Materials
-Figure lines
-Where to buy
-Model kits
-Bootlegs and how to spot them
-Maintenance/repairs
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Jobibi
Jobibi (USA)
29 июл 2010, 17:05:04
1 (1)
Оцени коммент!
Nice article, I wish something like this had been around back when I was getting started. I'm sure I'll still find something useful in these articles since I'm still somewhat new. :)

The posable vs. statues thing really struck with me, as I went through the argument with myself for some time. While statues were really pretty and tempting, in the end they're usually too expensive for me. I've got a few nendos and my first figma, and I love them all. Posing is fun for me and I don't really notice the joints. I may get a few statues in the future, but for now I want to expand on my posables.

I don't think I've encountered any bootlegs yet (then again, I don't really use eBay or anything, just retailers or trusted people) but I'm looking forward to that article in particular. Can't ever be too safe, yeah? Also looking forward to the repairs one. ^^
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
29 июл 2010, 17:42:28
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Оцени коммент!
Thanks for the kind input! I'm not sure which order I'll be doing the articles in, but I'll probably begin the material or manufacturer ones as soon as Glory gives me the go-ahead.
Glory
Glory (Russia)
29 июл 2010, 20:14:41
1 (1)
Оцени коммент!
Yeah, that's a kind of guide I was looking for! Nice start!

The only thing I would like to suggest is using (or at least mentioning) the terms we used on site - for example, the figure types. Otherwise the new users can get confused. Like: what's completed model?

Oh yes, talking about the figure types, it is probably worth to explain every type we have in one of your future articles:

- Completed Model
- Action figure (+ figma)
- Nendoroid (we use this one for the big-headed figures which are not completed models or game prizes)
- Trading figure (I'm thinking about combining the actual tradings, gashapons and shokugans since it's sometimes too difficult to differentiate)
- Game Prize
- Garage Kits: Official and Unofficial

- Re-Ment (though I guess we have none in base)
- Trinket (used to combine key-chains and straps... can anyone think of a better word?)
- Plushie
- Doll
These last four don't really need much attention, cause they aren't the main focus of the site.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
Kajico
Kajico (USA)
29 июл 2010, 23:02:04
1 (1)
Оцени коммент!
For Trinket you could use Charm which is what most of japan terms those kinds of items. Straps, keychains, bracelets, cases are often categorized under charms and accessories in shops like amiami.

I think you should label nendoroid strictly for GSC's nendo line, you could use SD, Chibi, or petite for none nendoroid figures that have the same proportions.

I think that Figma and Nendoroids should be their own labeled category because they are such big lines. Just my couple of cents though :)
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
30 июл 2010, 05:45:59
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Оцени коммент!
I dunno, Figma isn't the largest posable line out there. There are around 80-90 Figmas, yet there are also around 80 SICs, 60 or so Figuarts, and 150 or so Revoltechs. I don't mind them having their own category (they're by far the most popular posable line on this site), but they're not the biggest.

Although I completely agree with you on the Charm and Nendoroid categories.
Kajico
Kajico (USA)
30 июл 2010, 06:16:35
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Оцени коммент!
Well Figmas and Nendoroids have a distinct style and while i didn't state they are the biggest, they are certainly very popular among collectors more so than SICs. Plus there is already a figma category on the site :P

SICs though is debatable as far as it going under the action figures category or action statues one. I don't own any SICs but from what many people have said they are more pose and display then play and have fun with. While they have their own unique style you can buy a SIC Kiwami Tamashi that has the same style.

I just think that with Figma having it's own category it's easy to quickly identify and find your figure.

It's possible revoltech may need it's own category because they have branched off so much with SciFi, Mechs, Queen's Blade, and Frauleins. Plus they have very unique joints.
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
30 июл 2010, 05:14:06
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Оцени коммент!
I'm not suggesting that Figmas and Nendoroids get merged into the other categories - I think it's fine the way it is. However, I do agree with you on giving Revoltechs their own category, simply due to the line containing so many figures that are completely unrelated other than that they're all Revoltechs (for example, compare Mothra, Rei and Tetsujin 28).
Glory
Glory (Russia)
30 июл 2010, 10:54:33
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Оцени коммент!
Aww, thanks for the charm idea. It seems to be the right word.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
Kajico
Kajico (USA)
29 июл 2010, 23:06:46
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Оцени коммент!
Nice article but I think you may want to also do a bit of coverage on action statues, the middle ground between action figures and statues, like ActSta, Figutto, Gutto Kuro, Yamato, and Chogokin figure lines. They are more expensive and larger than your average action figure and they can also be far more detailed and contain higher grade parts, at the same time they can also be more fragile.
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
30 июл 2010, 05:42:04
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Оцени коммент!
I was planning on putting action statues in the posable figure article, and Chogokins in the model kits/mecha article.
mu597
mu597 (USA)
30 июл 2010, 10:00:06
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Оцени коммент!
This series should turn out interesting.

By the why I posted some pictures of a bootleg Mikuru figure a while ago. In case you want to use them for your bootleg post.
Glory
Glory (Russia)
30 июл 2010, 10:50:54
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Оцени коммент!
Have just read your discussion with Kajico about the figure types on Shelf. Well, I don't mind changing a couple of things, I just can't make up my mind how we're going to do it. So I think I'll wait for maybe more users to express their view. Right now I like the "charm" term Kajico suggested, but I'm not sure about nendoroids. What's GSC's nendoroid puchi in your opinion? A nendoroid or a trading figure?
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
30 июл 2010, 11:01:48
1 (1)
Оцени коммент!
I feel that Petit Nendoroids are more fitting for the Nendoroid category, because while they could easily fit into either, there are many more normal trading figures than Petit Nendoroids. By putting Petits in the Nendoroid category, it would be a lot easier for people looking for a particular Petit Nendoroid to find what they're looking for.
Glory
Glory (Russia)
30 июл 2010, 12:19:03
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Оцени коммент!
Makes sense.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
mu597
mu597 (USA)
30 июл 2010, 11:32:42
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Оцени коммент!
By the way would it be possible to add a category for "Transforming Toys"? at the moment I'm categorizing them as action figures, but they are so much more than that. I will get plenty of use out of it as i haven't really started uploading very manny transformers.
Glory
Glory (Russia)
30 июл 2010, 12:29:03
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Оцени коммент!
Can you please describe this category in detail. I don't know much about transformers. For example, where to place Macross Valkyries then?
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
mu597
mu597 (USA)
30 июл 2010, 13:10:06
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Оцени коммент!
The category would be for any toy that can transform from one form to another. (e.g. car to robot, animal to robot etc) It should be called "Transforming Toys" so it could include non transformer brand toys as well such as the Macross Valkyrie that you mentioned.
Glory
Glory (Russia)
31 июл 2010, 01:57:28
1 (1)
Оцени коммент!
KK, have no objections. Done.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
mu597
mu597 (USA)
31 июл 2010, 08:30:54
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Оцени коммент!
Yay! Thanks! :)
Glory
Glory (Russia)
30 июл 2010, 10:52:15
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!!!


BTW, if someone else feels like a bit of an expert on particular area of figure collecting, you can try to provide an article yourself. Later I'm planning to sum them up into a knowledge base which will have a special page on Shelf.

!!!

The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
usagi_joou
usagi_joou (Russia)
31 июл 2010, 01:49:42
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Оцени коммент!
Thanks for the article! It is a great idea of knowledge base on figure collecting, and Glo-san knew what she was doing when she asked you to contribute. I enjoy your writing style and the system you add to your posts.

And I pay homage to you for one more thing: sensible, moderate and appropriate usage of internets slang^^ It was fun to read!
I'm too old for this shit, ain't I?
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
31 июл 2010, 08:35:46
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Оцени коммент!
Awww, thanks! I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the series!
Glory
Glory (Russia)
31 июл 2010, 01:59:17
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Оцени коммент!
Trinket was renamed into Charm.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
EddieT
EddieT (United Kingdom)
30 окт 2012, 16:06:29
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Оцени коммент!
Hi and thanks too ^_^
I was reading some other articles more concerned with the psychology of collecting these. Would you like the links?
HawkeyeTitaniaTomato
HawkeyeTitaniaTomato (USA)
13 июл 2013, 11:57:44
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Оцени коммент!
This is really helpful! Thank for writing this!
If I were to say one thing to describe my attitude...

Who needs words? I'm too diverse! BWAAAHAHAHAHAH

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