It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed with the amount of offering out there. In this post we’ll try to provide a clear overview of most common figures, their different types and respective manufacturers. Hold on to your Nendoroids, this is going to be a big one!
The terms gashapon or gachapon refer to a variety of vending machine-dispensed capsule toys popular in Japan and elsewhere. “Gashapon” is a Japanese onomatopoeia composed of two sounds: “gasha” (or “gacha”) for the sound of a crank on a toy vending machine, and “pon” for the sound of the toy capsule dropping into the receptacle.
Japanese gashapon can cost anywhere from ¥100–500 (£0.50–£3) and are normally a much higher-quality product when compared with the lower quality American version.
Gashapon toys are often licensed from popular characters in Japanese manga, video games or anime, or from the American entertainment industry.
There are 2 types of gashapon:
- Blind-boxes: In recent years, the term gashapon has also come to refer to blind-box trading figures, which are essentially the same product sold randomly out of sealed packages instead of a machine.
- Bottle cap figures: No, this is not a reference to Fallout. These are mounted atop a plastic bottle cap. They can both be sold from vending machines or blind boxes and they are not actual functional bottle caps.
Almost every manufacturer has their own variation of trading figures. These are normally bought in sets (commonly sets of 6) and contain a secret special figure. They are of higher quality than the gashapons and are sold through the blind pick system, in other others, when you purchase them you don’t know if you’ll get repeated figures or just colour variations.
These are also highly collectible for the trading aspect (thus the name) as this is normally the easiest way for you to complete the set.
Here are a couple of examples:
Idolmaster Cinderella Girls
Prize figures are becoming a lot more popular and are in most cases linked to their close sibling scales figures, which we will cover further down in this article.
They are associated with the lottery system in Japan. You can visit specific manufacturer booths (Sega, Banpresto, Taito, among others) and purchase a voucher or coupon, which is associated with a letter and a given value. A letter is randomly picked and a prize is associated with that pick.
Higher value coupons will reward you with higher quality items.
They produce most of Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, One Piece and some Attack on Titan prize figures.
Dragon Ball Z
You can find the expected Sega products, like Sonic, but also Sword Art Online, Evangelion among others
Taito is less known in the prize figures world, but definitely worth a mention. Themes like Fate/Stay and Persona 4 are probably the most well known.
Here are some examples:
An obvious upgrade from the prize figures. These are more faithful scaled reproductions to the original characters and visually known for the ability to place the figure in different positions, a lot of the times with accessories and different faces.
Articulated Figures available in the shop
They are by far my favourite figures and quite honestly one of the main reasons I got interested in collecting figures. It’s not surprising that we currently have more than 100 Nendoroids available in the shop!
Nendoroids available on the shop
Good Smile Company
Good Smile Company (also known as GSC or Good Smile) is a Japanese manufacturer of hobby products such as the Nendoroids and Figma product lines, as well as scale figures. In addition to production and manufacturing, its business includes design, marketing and distribution. Its products are usually based on anime, manga or games that are currently popular in Japan, although the company has also produced products based on other media properties such as the voice synthesizer software Vocaloid and the Touhou Project game series.
GSC available on the shop
Square-Enix merchandise can be recognized by their size, the hard material that they are made from that makes them highly resistant and the attention to details and painting is just stunning. As we know Square-Enix is also famous for several number of products we love, such as final fantasy kingdom hearts etc…
Square Enix has created merchandise for virtually all of their video game franchises, though many items are Japan exclusive. Mascots from game franchises are a popular focus for merchandise, such as the Chocobo from Final Fantasy which has been seen as a rubber duck.
Square-Enix available on the shop
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High End Collectibles
As the name indicates they are high end figures, where all elements unite to create total perfection. They are somewhat expensive but the value is easily explained by simply looking at the beauty and art of the figure.
Among the manufacturers of High end products we have Hot Toys, Medicom Toys, Sentinel and Sideshow Collectibles.
Here are some examples:
Superman Live Size
High End products available on the shop
Statues are on a category of their own. Their level of sculpture , detailed painting and finish… Its eye candy for as long as you look at them.
Between the manufacturers are Alter, Good Smile Company, MegaHouse, Kotobukiya etc…
Here are some examples