Many times I've wanted to write articles about something I really love, but don't normally get to talk about in my event reports or Lolita articles. Some topics have been favourite anime series, physical activities, cosmetics or quirky hobbies.
Today, I want to talk about why I really love: Figure collecting.
|Kaito Nendoroid, Vocaloid. Goodsmile Co.|
Figures are sort of like action figures, only with much more detail, and for display purposes only. Some can be very rare and cost hundreds of dollars. Others can be "Garage Kits", or plain PVC pieces you can mix, match, and paint yourself. Others include the cheaper "blind box" and "gachapon" figures, which are left up to chance for which character or figure you get.
Some even hook up as a series, so you need to buy all the parts to complete the display! I have two sets like this. One is an Evangelion volleyball scene I haven't finished, and the other is a set from the new Evangelion movie (3.0: You can [not] Redo). Each segment of this set included a piece of Asuka's helmet. After you collected all three characters the helmet was complete, and the Asuka figure can wear it!
The interesting thing about figures is that they don't seem to follow traditional copyright "sense". They are well-known and beloved characters, but are redesigned, reimagined by artists and recreated time and time again, by several manufacturers, all with their own expertise. For example, Goodsmile company is known for their adorable chibi "Nendoroids", with all their interchangeable parts. "Figma" company also features interchangeable parts, but the figures also have ball joints for pose ability.
I started figure collecting in Japan, when my friend first introduced me to it. My first figures were little Asuka chibis, which I bought from a second-hand shop in Ohsu, and it all kind of grew from there.
It became so exciting raiding a bin of figures, or trying Gachapon over and over, hoping for the character I wanted. If I didn't like the figure, I would sell it back to a second hand shop, and go back to the capsule machines, or the arcades to try and win rarer figures.
I remember in Ohsu, some of the arcades would have special locked cases with really rare figures inside. In some special games, you could win a key inside your prize. The key would unlock one of the special cases, and you could choose a figure from inside! I used to admire the rare or discontinued figures in the case, but never won any.
My collection has really grown over the past year...
Many were gifts from friends, who know which characters I like. I've had pretty good luck so far, with the blind boxes. I wish there were a place to sell or trade back the characters you don't want though, like in Japan.
Probably the nicest one I have is this Kotetsu figure, which my boyfriend got me for my birthday. This may sound a little strange but he has several detachable heads! He's also really tall, and the detail is amazing.
Figures may not be the most useful things in the world, but I really enjoy collecting them and setting up displays. Once my other figures are sent over from the mainland, I think I'll have enough to get a nice case or shelf to display them in.
They're kind of tacky, and definitely the stamp of an otaku, but I think that's what I love about it! I actually find super nerdy things really endearing. ;3 Living in Japan changed my perspective on whether or not you should hide your nerdiness. It is a delicate balance between enjoyment and appropriateness, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying it on your own time.
A girl's home is her castle... and mine is a castle of heroes!
xoxo, Dorky Darling Cherie.