Which Chibi Figure Deserves a Spot on Your Shelf?

Which Chibi Figure Deserves a Spot on Your Shelf?

Major anime chibi type figure manufacturer lines their key features and figure examples.

Last updated: 2024-01-22
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TL;DR
Currently, the clear leader is GSC Nendoroid with its wide variety and posability. Other lines with similar variety are both owned by Banpresto and are Q Posket and Chibi Kyun-Chara.
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165 min read

Chibi figures these small wonders have entered the anime realm quite a while ago and become desired collectibles for enthusiasts of various interests. With their lower price tags and limited space demands, chibi figures are often a sweet spot for both collectors and those looking for a one-time purchase/gift. In a market teeming with options and continually expanding, the question arises: Which chibi brand or figure should you choose? Let's explore the chibi universe for possibilities.

Good Smile Company - Nendoroid

Nendoroid, the juggernaut of the chibi figure world, has over 2000 models, standing at a compact 100mm (3.94in). With a primary focus on anime, but also extends its reach to games, non-anime series and movies. Beyond its petite size, Nendoroid's charm lies in its swappable parts and posable design, adding a bit more versatility compared to static figures. Apart from the classical series it also has subcategories: Doll, Swacchao, More, and Plus, Nendoroid offers a versatile and customizable chibi experience for collectors.

Nendoroid (Standard)

The standard/classic Nendoroid example Frieren figure from Frieren: Beyond Journey's End.

Key features
  • Posable stand
  • Swappable faceplates (allows limited different expressions)
  • Other swappable parts (most often arms/hair/held items)

Frieren - Nendoroid (#2367) - Good Smile Company

Frieren - Nendoroid (#2367) - Good Smile Company figure
© Good Smile Company / Shogakukan / Nendoron

Nendoroid Doll

Key features
  • Posable stand
  • Swappable clothes (real fabric)
  • Even more dynamic body
  • Some parts re-usable from classic Nendoroid figures (heads/hands)

Notice the real fabric clothing, a key feature of the Nendoroid Doll. The figure shares the same head as classic Nendoroid figures but features a more doll-like body, allowing for easier dress-up and additional pose options. Since it uses the same Nendoroid head, it can be swapped with existing standard Nendoroid figures.

Demon Slayer Nendoroid Doll - Zenitsu
Nendoroid Doll Demon Slayer Zenitsu
play-asia
Zenitsu can be found at Play-asia | cdJapan | Amazon (#ad).

Nendoroid Swacchao

Key features
  • Includes a chair
  • Only sitting position with minor adjustments (optionally turning head/legs/hands)
  • Uses the standard Nendoroid head

While Nendoroid figures are typically on the cheaper side, the Nendoroid Swacchao takes it a step further by sacrificing some of the dynamic abilities of the standard Nendoroid. These figures can only be seated, with some minor changes like turning the head or rotating the legs/hands.

Demon Slayer Nendoroid Swacchao - Tanjiro.
Demon Slayer Nendoroid Swacchao : Tanjiro
play-asia
Tanjiro can be found at Play-asia | Solaris japan | Entertainment Earth.

Nendoroid More

Key features
  • More customizability with your existing Nendoroids
  • Does not include the full figure

Nendoroid More is not a standalone subcategory most of the time; instead, it functions as expansion packs for your existing Nendoroid figures, containing various parts such as body parts, stands, decorations, etc. To use them, you'll need to already own some Nendoroid products.

Bocchi faceplate pack.
Nendoroid More: Face Swap Bocchi the Rock!
cdJapan
Bocchi faceplate expansion sources Solaris Japan | cdJapan.
Change Bocchi faceplate using the expansion.
Bocchi faceplate swap
© Good Smile Company
Bocchi Nendoroid sources Solaris Japan | cdJapan | Amazon JP (#ad).

Nendoroid Plus

Key features
  • Nendoroid chibi-themed merch

Nendoroid Plus consists of various random Nendoroid-themed goodies, such as keychains, pencil cases, and other items featuring Nendoroid chibi figure art.

Nendoroid Plus keychain featuring chibi Milim from TenSura.
Nendoroid Plus Milim Key Chain
cdJapan / Good Smile Company
Keychain source cdJapan.

Banpresto - Q Posket

Q Posket, crafted by Banpresto, offers an interesting chibi figurine line. What sets it apart is the distinctive eye design, large and beady, giving the figurines an even more expressive look. Beyond that, Q Posket aims more towards precision in detail and vibrant color schemes. And is probably the only other chibi figure line that comes at least half close the release variety of Nendoroids, around 1000 models released.

Chibi figures are available in two sizes—standard 140mm (~5.5in) height, and petit, a smaller 70mm (~2.7in) height. Materials used are very common among all figures - ABS and PVC plastic. Figures often feature different versions or variants of the same model showcasing different color schemes of the same design. And they are not posable.

Similar to Nendoroid, the Q Posket makes both anime and western media characters like Marvel, Disney, Stranger Things...

Q Posket Standard

Key features
  • Taller than average chibi (140mm/5.5in)
  • Not posable
  • More detailed with more exaggerated eyes

As mentioned, the figures stand at around 140mm, larger than an average Nendoroid. They have fixed positions and instead release multiple versions that differ in color scheme and/or pose.

Demon Slayer Q Posket - Tanjiro II ver.
Demon Slayer Q Posket Tanjiro figure
Solaris Japan
Tanjiro Q Posket sources Solaris Japan.

Q Posket Petit

Key features
  • Smaller than average chibi (70mm/2.7in)
  • Not posable
  • More detailed with more exaggerated eyes

Q Posket Pettit are smaller than a Nendoroid figure and are more closer to something between a gashapon and a prize figure.

Demon Slayer Q Posket Petit - Tanjiro Vol. 1.
Demon Slayer Q Posket Petit - Tanjiro
Solaris Japan
Tanjiro Q Posket Petit sources Solaris Japan.

Ichiban Kuji (Banpresto) - Chibi Kyun-Chara

Chibi Kyun-Chara is released by Ichiban Kuji which in turn is operated by Banpresto. It's a line of even smaller chibi figures with an average height of around 65mm (~2.56in). While they offer an ultimate budget-friendly option, they are sparsely sold worldwide and instead mainly focusing on eastern Asian regions. However, some re-sellers do make them available in small varieties. These figures are static and have a release count exceeding 1000.

Key features
  • Small (65mm/2.56in)
  • Not posable
  • Cheap
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Chibi Kyun-Chara figure - Madoka.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Chibi Kyun-Chara figure - Madoka
animota
Chibi Kyun-Chara figure sources Animota.

Bandai Spirits - Figuarts mini

Bandai Spirits introduced Figuarts mini relatively recently, with the first figures released in early 2019. Currently, there are around 180 models released and planned. The figures have an average height of 90mm (3.54 inches) and limited posability, featuring joints at neck, shoulder and hip levels for restricted positioning. Some figures may also include replaceable parts for added variation.

Key features
  • Average sized (90mm/3.54in)
  • Posable
  • Include swappable/addable parts (most commonly arms)
Demon Slayer Figuarts mini figure - Tanjiro.
Demon Slayer Figuarts Mini figure - Tanjiro
© Bandai Spirits / Shueisha
Figuarts mini figure sources Solaris Japan | Play-asia.

elCOCO - Dform+

elCOCO, a subsidiary of design Coco established on August 10, 2022, recently introduced a chibi line called Dform+ around late 2023. Currently, there are only around 10 models released but more are planned on the way. As the name suggests, these figures are highly dynamic, featuring joints in the hips, knees, shoulders, elbows and neck. Additionally, figures may include swappable hands/faceplates and holdable items, with an average height of 90mm (3.54in).

Key features
  • Average sized (90mm/3.54in)
  • Very posable
  • Include swappable/addable parts (hands/faceplates/holdable items)
KonoSuba Dform+ figure - Aqua.
KonoSuba Dform+ figure Aqua
Amazon
Dform+ figure sources Amazon (#ad).

Good Smile Company - Hello! Good Smile

Hello! Good Smile is a relatively recent line started by the same Good Smile Company. However, it's heavily stylized compared to regular chibi figures. The heavy stylization allows for a significant drop in price since the figure's particular style is abstract and allows for fewer details. The figures are at a similar height to Nendoroids, averaging at 100mm (3.94in). The figure line started just two years ago and, at the time of writing, has released 65 figures, mostly focusing on popular anime characters with a few exceptions like Marvel and Harry Potter characters.

Key features
  • Heavily stylized (hardly fits regular chibi description)
  • Cheap
  • Average size (100mm/3.94in)
  • Not posable - only limited head tilt ability
Jujutsu Kaisen Hello! Good Smile figure - Gojou.
Hello! Good Smile Jujutsu Kaisen - Gojou
Solaris Japan
Gojou figure sources Solaris Japan | Amazon (#ad).

So Which Chibi Figure Would You Choose?

Here is a quick recap comparison of all lines

Nendoroid - Tanjiro.
Nendoroid Demon Slayer - Tanjiro
© Good Smile Company / Ufotable
Nendoroid Doll - Tanjiro.
Nendoroid Doll Demon Slayer - Tanjiro
© Good Smile Company
Nendoroid Swacchao - Tanjiro.
Demon Slayer Nendoroid Swacchao : Tanjiro
play-asia
Q Posket- Tanjiro.
Demon Slayer Q Posket Tanjiro figure
Solaris Japan
Q Posket Petit - Tanjiro.
Q Posket Petit Demon Slayer - Tanjiro
© Banpresto
Chibi Kyun-Chara - Tanjiro.
Chibi Kyun-Chara - Tanjiro
© Ichiban Kuji / Banpresto
Figuarts mini - Tanjiro.
Figuarts mini - Tanjiro
© Bandai Spirits

Dform+ and Hello! Good Smile have not yet released a Tanjiro model of their lines, so here is Power from Chainsaw Man.

DForm+ - Power.
DForm+ Chainsaw Man - Power
© elCOCO / Chainsaw Man
Hello! Good Smile - Power.
Hello! Good Smile Chainsaw Man - Power
© Good Smile Company
Sum Up

There are many chibi lines we still haven't covered (and we wall add some later), as most of them have not released new figures in a year or more. So far, it seems challenging for other companies to reproduce the success of Nendoroids, as customer reviews most of the time opt for Nendoroids. Banpresto appears to be one of the only other major brands to follow alongside.

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