Figures and Merch

Collectible figures are a popular form of merchandise that often take the form of characters from a variety of different series from pop culture. While figures for some television and video game series are also made, most Japanese figure manufacturers often focus on popular anime and manga characters. As such, hundreds upon thousands of individual figures with iconic poses are available for purchase from many different vendors like physical stores and online shops. Several different styles of figures are also available that each have their own set of perks and drawbacks. Some of the more widely available types of figures are action figures, scale figures, and chibi figures.

Action Figures

These figures are similar to what many in the Western world are familiar with, but are often taken to the next level when talking about otaku merchandise. While many often think about cheap plastic toys designed for children when thinking about action figures, these figures are of much higher quality and are often much more expensive than what you would find in a child’s toy box. Despite the notable difference in quality, however, these figures still function similarly to other action figures. Otaku merchandise labeled as “action figures” often have a great amount of articulation, particularly in the joints, allowing for a user to create a variety of different poses with the figure. Rather than playing with them, though, those that buy these figures often use their flexibility to recreate iconic scenes and poses from whichever series the figure came from. Cosplayers and artists can also use these figures as a reference to create poses that a specific character would make.

One of the most widely known lines of action figures is the figma brand, which is owned by Good Smile Company. This series of figures has released hundreds of different articulated action figures that often include various accessories as well. The figma line began in 2008 with a figure of Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya series. Today, the regular figma line has reached nearly 500 unique figures (though there are other figma lines as well). Some of these figures include blank, skin tone colored mannequins designed specifically for artists to use as a reference. One of the most prominent figma sculptors is a man named Asai Masaki (who also goes by the nickname APSY). He has contributed his talent to over 600 different figma figures.


figma Crow (Persona 5) figure

Scale Figures

Scale figures are seen much more like collector items than action figures are, as they often have no articulation whatsoever. Though these figures offer little to no customizability, they often make up for this drawback with the sheer amount of detail and design that is put into them. As the name might suggest, “scale figures” are figures that attempt to perfectly recreate a given character to the very last detail. Scale figures can often be told apart from other figures by a fraction in their names, which usually refers to how big or small a figure is. For example, a figure with the fraction “1/8 scale” notes that the figure is one-eighth the size that the character would be in real life. A particular characteristic of most scale figures is that they often portray their characters in poses or unique outfits that make them stand out from other figures. There are several scale figures that portray female characters in rather risque outfits and poses, though others with a focus on more standard poses are available as well. Due to the sheer amount of detail and work that goes into scale figures, they are often the most expensive and can sometimes cost several hundred dollars.

Kotobukiya is one of the more popular producers of scale figures. Though the company also manufactures scale mecha model kits, their ArtFX J figure series has caught the eyes of many fans. The company has created well over one hundred different figures in dynamic poses that show off their respective character’s personality. Figures of characters from many popular series have been created and include classics like Yu Yu Hakusho and Yu-Gi-Oh! to more recent hits like My Hero Academia, Fire Force, and Attack on Titan. Matsumoto Kouei is a sculptor that has worked on dozens of different figures for Kotobukiya, many of which are from the aforementioned ArtFX J line.


ArtFX J Attack On Titan Levi 1/8 Scale Figure by Kotobukiya

Chibi Figures

Chibi figures often refer to figures of various characters that take a smaller, cuter approach. This is, of course, in reference to the term “chibi”, a Japanese slang term used to call something small or cute. These figures often have much larger heads and smaller bodies than usual, putting much more significance on the character’s eyes and face. Due to their smaller size, chibi figures are usually cheaper than most action or scale figures, making them great for collectors on a tighter budget.

The most popular brand of chibi figures by far are Nendoroids, which are also created by Good Smile Company. One thing that makes Nendoroids special is that, like action figures, they have a rather impressive amount of articulation, allowing the figure to be posed in a variety of different manners. Other extra parts inspired by each figure’s respective character are also included, further increasing the amount of potential customization. These parts often come in the form of face plates with various expressions, weapons or items, and visual effect pieces. Currently, there are over approximately 1300 Nendoroid figures have been announced, an overwhelming number for fans to look through. Although there are a number of sculptors that work on Nendoroid figures, many of them are collectively credited as “Nendoron”.


Nendoroid Rem (Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-) figure

Links

Figma Persona 5 Crow figure
ArtFX J Attack on Titan Levi 1/8 Scale Figure
Nendoroid Rem Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- figure

Table of Contents

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Cloud Strife is a character first from the popular video game and media franchise Final Fantasy. He was first introduced in the game Final Fantasy VII, which released on the Playstation 1 in the year 1997. Because Cloud Strife is one of the most popular characters from Final Fant...

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Gurren Lagann, also known as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Pierce the Heavens, Gurren Lagann), is an amazing popular mecha anime that aired in Spring 2007 and left a big impact on pop culture. The anime has inspired various figures of its main characters like Simon, Kamina, and Yok...

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High School DxD is a widely known anime series that debuted in September 2008, and has many popular sculpted figures from the series. Most of the High School DxD figures are of the several female characters that vie for the affection of the main male protagonist, Issei Hyoudou. T...

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Rias Gremory sculpted figures are among the most popular figures from the High School DxD series, which has garnered immense popularity and support of fans since it first aired in September 2008. The figures show Rias in a variety of different poses, often based on popular moment...

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Hunter x Hunter is a popular manga and anime series that saw its first boom of popularity after the first anime adaptation that aired a total of 62 episodes from 1999 to 2001. This version was later dubbed and released for English speaking audiences in 2008. A second wave of popu...

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a series that is incredibly well known in the anime and manga world. Though the original manga began in 1987, the recent anime adaptation in 2012 proves that it is still incredibly relevant. The series’ iconic poses, extravagant costumes, and uniqu...

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Kingdom Hearts is a video game series that was originally produced as a collaboration between Disney and Square Enix. As such, many different characters from intellectual properties from both companies (like Mickey Mouse and Cloud Strife) appear throughout the series. Of course, ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Kirby Nendoroid figures are based on the Kirby video game series, which was first released as Kirby's Dream Land on April 27, 1992 and was widely successful, generating many devoted fans and inspiring many follow up games. Kirby Nendoroid figures are a popular choice among Ki...

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Kizuna Ai figures are small, realistic model figures based on the popular online persona and virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI. There are well over a dozen different figures based on the character that come in a variety of different styles such as Nendoroids, themes, and outfits. Three ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Kizuna Ai is a popular character that brought the “Virtual YouTuber” trend into the limelight. As the character gained popularity among fans, many different collectible figures inspired by her design were made. Some of the most popular figures based on Kizuna Ai are from the Nend...

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The popular anime, light novel, and manga series Konosuba God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! has had numerous figures following its manga adaptation and anime airing. In addition to scale figures, Konosuba Nendoroid figures have great popularity due to the larger head an...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Aqua figures have high popularity with fans amongst the Konosuba figures, following its adaptation of the anime series which began airing back in January 2017. There are a variety of figures of Aqua in a variety of different costumes and poses that keep with the character’s recog...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

In 2006, Good Smile Company in Japan created a special brand of figurines called “Nendoroid”. They are marked by a characteristic disproportion of head to body ratio. The character is given an overly large head in relation to its small body. It was thought to be a new and cute ki...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

My Hero Academia is an extremely popular anime series that began airing in June 2016 and is currently still ongoing. Since its airing, many popular figures of the series’ characters have been released. Some of these include the characters Izuku Midoriya, Ochaco Uraraka, Shoto Tod...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Izuku Midoriya figures are very popular amongst the fans of My Hero Academia, an anime and manga series. The superhero anime series began airing in the summer of 2016 and is still ongoing as of 2019. It has also released two full-length movies; My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, and M...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Shoto Todoroki also goes by his hero name, Shoto. Todoroki figures are in high demand from fans of the anime series My Hero Academia. The series has done well to gain a massive audience since it first aired in the summer of 2016. The unique and detailed designs of the characters ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Himiko Toga is one of the main antagonists of the My Hero Academia anime series. Since it began airing in the summer of 2016, My Hero Academia has gained traction in attracting international audiences. The series features both heroes and villains who are born with unique ‘quirks’...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Katsuki Bakugo from the anime series My Hero Academia are very popular among fans. Katsuki Bakugo has an explosive personality to match his quirk and he embraces this thoroughly. Though he is stubborn and quick to anger, these traits only make him more endearing to fans. Bakugo w...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

During Spring 2014, the anime adaptation of No Game No Life aired and gained massive popularity as an isekai anime. Due to the massive popularity of the diverse characters, many figures based on the series were produced, which all show off their interesting sides that may have be...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

No Game No Life Label is a super popular isekai anime series that aired in Spring 2014. Of the many characters appearing in the series, one of the main characters, Shiro, is very popular and has many fans wishing for her to be their little sister. Many of the adorable figures of ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Figures of Monkey D. Luffy from the incredibly popular One Piece series are always in high demand. Since its original airing in Fall 1999, the One Piece anime series continued to gain popularity as it showed the many adventures of Luffy and his pirate crew. Due to it being such a...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

One Piece is a very famous series that began airing in Fall 1999 and became one of the most most popular series ever known. The One Piece franchise has many different figures available due to the popular demand and some of the most popular figures are of the 'cat burglar'...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Roronoa Zoro was the first character to join the Straw Hat Pirates in the hit anime One Piece, which began airing in Fall 1999. One Piece is a widely known series throughout the world and continues to air to this very day, resulting in all sorts of products being available. From ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

During Fall 1999, the incredibly popular manga series One Piece had its anime adaptation aired, which quickly gained the attention of many fans. The series is still running today and has over 20 seasons of content and characters that come and go, resulting in many different chara...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Overwatch Nendoroids are popular, cute figures that are based on the heroes from the game Overwatch, which debuted in 2016 and has had a number of different figures released since then. Compared to scale figures, many of these figures show characters in fun, battle-ready poses th...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Persona 5 is the latest installment of the popular Persona video game franchise. Owing to its popularity, many spin-offs have been made since its release and the main character, “Joker”, is featured in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Persona 5 reached an even higher level of popularit...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

The popular Pokemon video game, trading card game, and anime franchise has created a large community of fans, resulting in a rather large demand for merchandise based on the series. The Pokemon universe features many beloved human and Pokemon characters, leading to a variety of f...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Re: Zero Label is a worldwide light-novel and anime sensation that first aired on television in April 2016, has had many figures of the characters released. Many feature cool outfits and poses that relate to popular moments from the series. Some of these poses may come from iconi...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Rem figures are in very high demand among fans of the Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World anime series, which has become increasingly popular ever since 2016, when it first appeared on television. Rem is a particularly popular character that has many figures showing the chara...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Rem Nendoroid are some of the most popular figures of the Re: Zero series. These figures feature cute, small nendoroid sized versions of Rem in her signature maid uniform. While many of these products highlight the twin maid from the Roswaal mansion, there are also chibi figures ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Asuna is one of the most beloved characters by Sword Art Online fans. Her beauty and sweetness made her an iconic character within the anime industry. Her figures are highly demanded and fans enjoy their beauty and dynamism. The variety of figures based on Asuna is also quite lar...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

The popularity of the manga series “The Rising of the Shield” which is a dark fantasy genre adapted from the novels written by Aneko Yusagi has resulted in a growing number of merchandise and figurines reflecting the storyline. Arguably the most popular of these are the high-qual...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Originally an American comic book first published in 1984 by Mirage Studios, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles enjoyed a surge of popularity from the late 80s to the early 90s. This popularity manifested the production of several series of action figures and toys from 1988 to 1995. To...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Yu Yu Hakusho is a very popular classic anime series from the 90s with an extensive fanbase, selling more than 50 million copies in Japan upon release in 1990. Over the years with an anime adaptation the series grew in popularity which resulted in a variety of merchandise, includ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

Since the launch of its anime series in 2016, Yuri!! on Ice has received a large amount of positive comments and reviews. Its beautiful music, complicated and elaborate choreographies and the deep bond that the characters share in the story quickly left an impression on viewers. ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

The Legend of Zelda video games are centered around the elf-like main character, Link, and the princess of Hyrule, Zelda, who is often in need of rescuing. The game franchise was created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka and is developed by Nintendo. ...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020

The Legend of Zelda video game series was created in 1989 and is developed and produced largely by Nintendo. The games follow the elf-like protagonist, Link, as he explores his way through fantastical worlds, goes on quests, and saves the princess Zelda. The character has gone th...

Last updated at, 22 Jun 2020