About Figures and Their Types: FAQ/General Information on Figure Collecting

5:32 AM

For my next FAQ/General Information series, I will cover some basic things about figure collecting and will be divided into 3 parts since it is sort of broad. Aside from cosplaying, my other hobby is figure collecting in which I gave a bit of an introduction about it here. But for those who still want to know more about this, uh, not-so-inexpensive hobby of mine, I have prepared a FAQ/General Information on Figure Collecting.

(Warning: This is going to be long and image heavy)


For this first part, it will be sort of an introduction to figure collecting, figures and what types are there. I had my friend wedylawliet help me in the figure information since she is a fellow figure collector and has been in the hobby a bit longer than me. Don’t forget to check out her blog too as she has figure reviews.

What is figure collecting/figures?

Figure collecting is where a person collects various figures/toy figures that come from anime, manga, games, comics, movies and more.  These figures come in various shapes and sizes depending on the manufacturers and the characters from said work of fiction. Most figures we collect are made from various plastics but there are also those made from either ceramic, metal, glass, wood and plastic.

This is not limited to Japanese anime and manga as there are also a lot of figures from Western works of fiction.  You will find there are lot of figures from various works of fiction in other countries and are very popular among fans and figure collectors.

One must take note though that despite being figure collectors, it doesn’t mean they collect ALL figures. They have their own preferences in what to collect and I will explain more on that later on.

What are the various kinds of figures?

As I said above, our collection grew bigger when we were exposed to the various kinds of figures.  For those who don’t know, here are some of the known kinds of figures:

  • Trading Figures

Description: According to http://www.tokyofantasy.com, trading figures are “those come in sealed blind boxes” which means most of the time, you don’t know what figure you’ll get (unless marked outside the box).  This is actually where we started and can be commonly bought in conventions and in online figure shops. 

They are also sometimes bought by set instead of individually. While they come in sealed blind boxes, most of the time they come without the box and are just sealed in plastic---which makes it easier for the collector to determine which characters to get. 

These figures are one of the cheapest yet come in good quality and are great additions to your collection. If you are just a newbie collector, start out with this kind of figures.

Capsule Q Fraulein Fate/Zero
Capsule Q Fraulein Fate/Zero
Irisviel von Einzbern and Kiritsugu Emiya
Manufacturers/Lines: Bandai, Movic, Banpresto, SEGA, Kaiyodo, Kotobukiya, and Good Smile Company

Price: They are priced between P200 to P600 ($5 to $16).

  • Prized Figures

Description: Another one of the cheapest yet good quality kinds, prize figures are typically found in arcade amusement machines and also given out as lottery prizes---thus the term prized figures. This applies in Japan though, since here in the Philippines you can buy them either in conventions or through online shops/stores. They are just as popular as trading figures and are much more affordable.

But depending on the manufacturer, prize figures don’t always have the best scale and quality---so don’t expect super detailed and exquisite sculpting compared to larger scaled figures. But that doesn’t mean they are of poor quality. Again, as I said, it depends on the manufacturer.

But if you have superficial happiness when it comes to figures, I’m sure you will love prized figures (especially the rare ones).

Banpresto DXF Fate/Zero Lancer 
Banpresto DX Fate/Zero Irisviel von Einzbern
Banpresto DX Fate/Zero Saber
SEGA Evangelion Shin Gekijouban - Nagisa Kaworu
Manufacturers: Some of the manufacturers who produce the best prize figures are Sega, Banpresto, Taito, and SQ. 

Price: Depending on where you get them, they are prized between P700 to P2,000 ($17 to $50).

  • Articulated/Action Figures

Description: Articulated figures are also known as action figures. These figures are poseable and made of plastic and other materials that have joints in certain areas so they can be moved at certain angles. But while they can be posed in various poses, there is still the fact that they are produced and designed to be displayed.

Aside from articulation, these figues come with various accessories that is---of course---related to the characters. Check out the pictures below to see what I mean.

Depending on the character being produced, articulated figures come in various forms and sizes.  The same goes with the price, where it can go as high as P50,000 (which I think is the perfect action figure and I’ll give an example in awhile).

Fate/Zero - Irisviel von Einzbern - Figma - 132 (Max Factory)
Fate/Zero - Emiya Kiritsugu - Figma #151 (Max Factory)

Manufacturers/Lines: Max Factory Figma, Bandai S.H. Figuarts, Play Arts, Revoltech, Bandai Chogokin, Medicom RAH

Price: P1,800 to around P6,000, again depending on the character or manufacturer. But as I said awhile ago, it can go as high as P50,000. (In dollars, $17 to $700) One example of a P30,000 articulated figure is the one below.

Blizzard Enrertainment Jim Raynor Sixth Scale Figure
(from http://www.collector-actionfigures.com)

  • Large Scaled Figures

Description: Large scaled figures is the improved and high-quality version.  Plus they are way bigger than trading figures, going as high as 15 inches.  In scale measurements, the lower the scale, the bigger the figure. So at 15 inches, that is about 1/6. These figures are also more detailed, are pricier, and more durable because they are made with better and high-quality plastics. From the look of the colors to the poses to the accessories, they are very detailed and you will be impressed at how they almost replicate the original. So it’s no wonder this is the kind of figures that collectors look for.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Kaiba Seto - ARTFX J - 1/7 (Kotobukiya)
Fate/Zero - Lancer - M.M.S. Collection - 1/8 (MegaHouse)
Bleach - Hitsugaya Toushirou - G.E.M. - 1/8 (MegaHouse)
Manufacturers/Lines: Kotobukiya, Megahouse, Alter, Max Factory, Wave, Good Smile Company, Alphamax, FREEing, Bandai

Price: Starts at P3,000 and can go as high as P20,000 depending on the manufacturers and the characters. (In dollars, that’s between $72 to $476). 

  • Mecha/Model Kits

Description: Model kits are scale models/figures where you assemble parts to form a certain character, vehicle, robot or building. Collectors buy model kits to construct and even paint them according to their preferences.  Sometimes, these kits have been pre-built and pre-painted and they just have to be assembled fully. They come in various scales and go as high as 1/60. While there are model kits for certain characters, vehicles and buildings, they are most common in robots such as Gundams.  Almost every Gundam robot shown in the animes have their own model kits and are very popular among collectors.

Shin Kidou Senki Gundam Wing - XXXG-01W Wing Gundam
MG - 1/100 - Ver. KA (Bandai)
(From http://myfigurecollection.net/item/8131)
Manufacturers/Lines: Bandai, Alter, Revoltech, Volks, Konami, Kaiyodo,

Price: Between P1500 to to as high as P17,000, depending on the manufacturer, type, rarity or popularity (in dollars, $35 to $400).

  • Small Figures

Description: Small figures are figures that are in chibi form/small child form. Whether the character is a child, a teenager or an adult, manufacturers creating small figures sculpt them in child-form.  Small figures are either bought individually (Nendoroid, Cu-Poche) or by set (Nendoroid Petit, One Coin Grand, Petit Chara Land). If lucky, you can buy the characters you want that come in set separately in various online and physical figure shops---you just have look very well. And since they come in chibi form, most (if not all), are very cute and come in wacky or adorable expressions and accessories.  If you want to add cuteness to your collections, small figures are a must buy.

Fate/Zero - Illyasviel von Einzbern - Ichiban Kuji Kyun-Chara
Fate/Zero - Irisviel von Einzbern - Ichiban Kuji Kyun-Chara
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Masters One Coin Grande Vol. 2 ~Ancient Duel

Fate/Zero - Kiritsugu Emiya - Ichiban Kuji Kyun-Chara
Petit Chara Land: Fate/Zero Chimitto Kiritsugu Emiya
Fate/Stay Night - Saber - Nendoroid #121
Super Movable Edition (Good Smile Company)
Manufacturers:  Good Smile Company Nendoroid, Good Smile Company Nendoroid Petit, Ichiban Kuji, Penguin Parade Petanako, Play Arts, Kotobukiya One Coin Grand, Kotobukiya Cu-Poche, Megahouse Petit Chara Land, Phat!

Price: For Nendoroids or individual small figures, between P1,500 to P3,000. As a set, you can get them between P2,000 to P4,000. If you just want to buy one character from a set in other stores, you can get them between P150 to P400.  

  • Gashapons

Description: Gashapon are toys that come in sealed capsules, meaning you never know what you're going to get and come in the forms of keychains, cellphone charms or very small figures (even smaller than a Nendoroid Petit). They are bought through coin-operated vending/token machines found outside toy stores, supermarkets, malls and other retailers. Here in the Philippines, you have to buy 1-2 tokens at the cashier, insert the coins, and turn the handle of the machine for the gashapon to drop. And since there are many selections inside, you will never know what you are going to get---so there is little chance you will get the character you want.

Various Gashapons
Price: Here in the Philippines, a token costs P50 to P60 ($1). Some gashapons need more than 1 token and if you’re lucky to get your favorite character, you don’t have to buy more tokens.


So that concludes the first part of general information on Figure Collecting.  If you are a newbie figure collector, I hope this will help you in knowing what figures to collect first. J

Watch out for the second part in a few days.  


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