Why are Anime Figures So Expensive?!

Why are Anime Figures So Expensive?!

The global market for anime figures is constantly and ever so rapidly growing and the once judged as "nerdy" and unfamiliar to most is now becoming a global sensation that is more than just a hobby to some. 

But we cannot overlook the prices of anime figures at times...

Have you ever wondered why anime figures can get so expensive? Well, let's dive in to learn about what goes on behind the scenes that give anime figures the prices that they have. 


Higher the Quality, Higher the Price

According to a member of Good Smile Company's staff, it can take 6 months up to a year to produce a figure from the planning stage to its prototype. And anime figures are made-to-order, making these mini figures is a very manual, and highly time-consuming process especially considering their miniature size. (Heck, I can't even paint my own nails without getting nail polish ... Imagine having to paint the figure's nails size of an ant!) 

Unlike what you probably had in mind, anime figures are not created on conveyor-belt lines in factories that manufacture millions of figures daily.

Which explains why they can't make that many at once. Anime figure creation is a very hands-on involved process. Although they're constantly researching ways to add automation to improve the manufacturing process. 

Have you ever wondered why the gradient in the figures' hair is so nicely painted and realistic? It's because there was a human behind that process, airbrushing every stroke manually. 

Because of the prices of anime figures, there are known to be many bootleg (knockoffs that are cheaper) anime figures, but as we know knockoff toys are not only illegal because they get in the way of the profits of legitimate toy companies, but also the quality and the materials used just aren't the same like the one below. Like many other things in life, higher prices oftentimes means you get much higher quality.



Their Values Grow Over Time

Have you ever had a friend who buys sneakers just to re-sell them at a higher price in the future? That's because there's only a limited number of them in the market and their value grows over time. 

If you bought a pair of mass-produced Crocs and try to re-sell them in the future, the value would have gone down because people can easily go to Crocs and buy a new pair themselves! 

But let's say Crocs does a collaboration with BlackPink and produced only 50 pairs of limited edition items. You don't expect to pay the same price for those, do you?


Shipping Out from Japan Can get Expensive

If you're a fan of anime, manga, or figures, I'm confident that you know where these anime figures are getting shipped from: Japan! (If you didn't know that, we suggest you read this blog on Anime 101)

Since the homeland of anime is an island nation with their own particular ways of shipping and labeling, it’s often harder, more expensive, and time-consuming to get anything exported from the country. 

Not to mention, there are licensing fees, as well as creator royalties, which means this is an industry that isn't considered "cheap" in their homeland, Japan, either! (It's similar to why we can't simply create Marvel characters or Disney characters as if they're our own creation and sell them for our own profits.)

So it makes perfect sense why the highly-detailed anime figures that are individually and manually painted and worked on are much more expensive and much more detailed and lifelike than the mass-produced action figures by a big corporation like Hasbro. (Just saying!)


Figure Collection is not only a hobby, but also a lifestyle to many.

So the next time you visit your local anime hobby shop, we kindly suggest that before you think the price is too expensive, remember all the hours of work and love that went into creating/painting/packaging and even getting them on the shelves to where they are today.

And if you're looking for an awesome community of anime/manga/figure lovers and great deals, YOU'RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE! xD Check out our figure department!




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1 comment

so cool story


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