From Scale to Prize Figures: An Overview of Anime Figure Types

From Scale to Prize Figures: An Overview of Anime Figure Types

Explore a wide range of anime figure types, including scale, action, prize, trading, model, and Nendoroid figures. And find the perfect anime figure type for you.

Last updated: 2023-07-11
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©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee
TL;DR
Anime figures come in various types, including highly detailed scale figures, poseable action (Figma) figures, affordable prize figures, surprise-filled trading figures, customizable model and Garage Kit figures. From these core types stem a whole variety of other lines one of which is the cute chibi-style Nendoroid figures.
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475 min read

Anime figures have become a beloved collectible for enthusiasts and fans around the world. These meticulously crafted pieces bring our favorite characters to life and allow us to display our love for anime in a tangible form. With a wide variety of figure types available, it can be both exciting and overwhelming to navigate the world of anime figures. In this blog post, we will explore and unravel the different types of anime figures, their unique features, and what makes each type special. To help us in this exploration, we will use Rem from Re:Zero as a point of comparison, as she is a very popular character and has been released in various figure types, allowing us to see how each type captures her essence in its own distinct way.

Scale figures

Properties

  • Can be made of high quality materials
  • Exact or close to scale
  • Various sizes

Rem - Re:Zero (Kadokawa) 1/7 scale, height ~225mm (8.85in)

Rem Tea party scale figure
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee

Buying options can be found here.

Scale figures are highly detailed and strive to accurately represent the characters from anime, manga, and video games. They are typically produced in various scales, such as 1/8, 1/7, 1/6 being most popular but going to as high as 1/1 or 2/1, indicating their size relative to the actual character. These figures are crafted with meticulous attention to detail, capturing intricate facial expressions, costumes, and accessories. Scale figures are often considered the pinnacle of anime figure craftsmanship and are highly sought after by collectors.

Action (Figma) figures

Properties

  • Dynamic - poseable
  • Small to medium sized

Rem - Re:Zero (Max Factory) height ~130mm (5.1in)

Rem Figma
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee

Action figures are poseable figures that offer a wide range of articulation, allowing collectors to recreate dynamic and action-packed scenes. These figures feature multiple points of articulation, enabling them to be posed in various stances and actions. One good example is Figma figures by Max Factory with interchangeable hands, faceplates, and accessories, Figmas provide endless possibilities for creating unique displays and dioramas. They are ideal for those who enjoy interactive and poseable figures. But exactly what makes them unique, others may find unattractive, as Figma figures may be less preferred by some due to their visible joints.

Prize figures

Properties

  • Cheap
  • Medium sized

Rem - Re:Zero (Bandai Spirits) height ~150mm (5.9in)

Rem prize figure
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee

Prize figures, also known as crane game or UFO catcher figures, are typically obtained through arcade games or prize machines. These figures are more affordable compared to other types and are often produced in larger quantities. While they may not have the same level of detail as scale figures, prize figures still capture the core features of the characters and offer a great option for fans on a budget. Collecting prize figures can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Trading figures

Properties

  • Cheap
  • Usually in blind boxes (not knowing what you get)
  • Small sized

Rem - Re:Zero (Kadokawa) height ~55mm (2.16in)

Rem trading figure
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee

Trading figures are usually small ~50mm (2in) and may come in blind boxes or packages, adding an element of surprise and excitement to collecting. These figures are usually sold in sets, with each box containing a random figure from the series or collection. Trading figures are a popular choice for fans who enjoy the thrill of collecting and trading duplicates with fellow enthusiasts. They offer a fun way to expand your collection and discover new characters.

Because you can't be sure if you will get the product it plays a similar role as Prize figures as you are trying to win the product rather than buying it directly.

Model/Garage Kit figures

Properties

  • Needs assembly
  • Various sizes

Rem - Re:Zero (Sakaki Workshops) 1/8 scale, height ~195mm (7.67in)

Rem garage-kit figure
© Media Factory / Sakaki Workshops

Model or garage kits are do-it-yourself figures that require assembly and painting. These kits come in pieces that collectors can assemble to create a customized figure. Model kits offer a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to showcase their artistic skills by painting and detailing the figure according to their preferences. Garage kits are essentially Model kits, but they are often created by individual artists or small-scale manufacturers, resulting in limited edition and highly unique pieces. Collecting model and garage kits allows for a hands-on and creative approach to anime figure collecting.

After looking at the core types, lets look at some specific figure lines that implements one or is a mixture of more of the above mentioned types.

Nendoroid figures

Properties

  • Chibi-style*
  • Non-scale
  • Action figure
  • Versatile - interchangeable parts
  • Small sized

*Chibi is a Japanese caricature style prevalent in anime and manga, featuring exaggerated, small and chubby characters with oversized heads and minimal detail.

Rem - Re:Zero (Good Smile Company) height ~100mm (3.9in)

Rem Nendoroid
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee

Nendoroids are adorable chibi-style figures made by Good Smile Company known for their cute and deformed designs. These figures have a distinct charm, with their large heads, expressive faces, and interchangeable parts. What makes Nendoroids truly special is their versatility. They often come with multiple faceplates, accessories, and props that allow collectors to create different poses and expressions, bringing out the character's personality. Nendoroids are perfect for adding a touch of whimsy and fun to any collection. Also characters that don't get scale figure versions usually get at least nendoroid one so there's always variety.

Other than the original Nendoroid series there are also nendoroid based product lines, here is a quick rundown:
  • Nendoroid Petite - series is very similar to the primary series, but the figures are roughly half the size at approximately 6.5 cm each.
  • Nendoroid More - series includes clips and suction cup stands that can each hold a single Nendoroid figure, as well as decorative parts that can be attached to figures and stands.
  • Nendoroid Playsets - are small dioramic rooms that are designed as a display area for Nendoroids.
  • Nendoroid Plus - rubber straps, plushies and charms.
  • Nendoroid Doll - same Nendoroid heads, but an alternate doll-like body that is highly articulated and can easily be dressed-up into different outfits.

In conclusion, the world of anime figures offers a wide array of choices to suit every collector's preferences and budget. From highly detailed scale figures to dynamic action figures, affordable prize figures, thrilling trading figures, and hands-on model/garage kits, there is a figure type for everyone. The cheaper variants like prize, trading, and closer to medium range Nendoroids provide a vast selection and are perfect for collectors looking for variety without breaking the bank. There are more possible subcategories that we haven't mentioned, but these should provide a good bases.

When it comes to purchasing more expensive figures, it is essential to be cautious and ensure that they are from trusted sources. Unfortunately, the popularity of anime figures has led to the production of bootleg or counterfeit figures that may be of inferior quality. To avoid disappointment and potential scams, it is recommended to research reputable retailers, read reviews, and verify the authenticity of the figures before making a purchase.

Anime figure collecting is a thrilling and rewarding hobby that allows fans to bring their favorite characters to life. Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting, exploring the diverse world of anime figure types is an adventure filled with joy and excitement. So, dive into this captivating realm, find the figures that resonate with you, and create a collection that truly reflects your love for the captivating world of anime. Happy collecting!

Rem measuring
©Tappei Nagatsuki, published by KADOKAWA Co., Ltd./Re: Life in a Different World from Zero Production Committee
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