Why do we love figures?

I’ve got no idea why the idea of owning many plastic women makes me happy… What makes us want to own so many chunks of inanimate plastic? It’s something we did when we were younger, want toys of stuff like power rangers, pokemon and other similar things. But this is different… They’re not posable, yet they’re more…alive in a way. They have more character, more charm, definately better craftmanship than any toys we had when we were little. Then again, theres surely arn’t toys, are they? Figures like Figma are yes, but I’m not talking about Figma’s and Revoltech’s. I’m talking about the static PVC figures. Ones from companies like Kotobukiya, Good Smile, Max Factory and Alter. What about these beauties makes us want to spend SOOOOOOOOOO much money on them?

Rational thought must not be involved when purchasing figures. To spend so much, an average of £30 per figure(usually more), is an insane prospect to most people. Or rather, to the people who don’t collect figures that is. I could have, with all the money I’ve spent on figures in the last 3 months, bought a PS3, or a XBOX 360 and games to go with it. But figures just seem more…. tempting… more needed… it’s strange. I’ve been through phases of wasting money on stuff like Pokemon cards, Pokemon toys, Ty Beanie Babies and other childish infactuations(Pokemon is still going strong, more for the games than anything, but sometimes I lapse and buy new cards…) but figures are something different.

Over the past year and a bit, I’ve managed to aqquire over 40 figures. I’m not sure of the exact number because a number of my figures are at home. I was only allowed to bring 4 larger figures with me to University at first. At this moment, 5 from my collection before I came to Uni are with me, but I’ve got 14 new big pvc figures, 1 revoltech, 2 Figma and some mini figures. But its the big pvc ones which are important right now. 40 figures over 13 months(ish) is more than 3 a month, I know thats not right, because I have got the majority of my collection in bulk-buys at conventions. Which is even crazier…. considering the amount I’ve spent at conventions… scary amounts…. It truly is a tad worrying, and now I’m in Uni I should be cutting back. I mean, I have done, apart from the London expo which I saved money towards, and I had my busary for the Midlands Expo… and other than those times, I’ve only got 2 pvc figures(one I preordered months earlier, and one I gave into buying, glad I did, because she’s not available through the site I got her at anymore) and 3 posable figures(Kagami, Gurren Lagann Full Drillized and Tsuruya-san(also preordered) while at Uni. My self control has been pretty darn good I must say. If I was working I could spend more. But I’d prefer to just hang with friends and have a good time, with all the work we’re lumped with…

So! (Went a bit off track there…) Back to the original question, why do we love figures so much? Is it because of the series they’re from? The attractiveness of the figure itself? The prospect of increasing your otaku-dom? I think…for me… Genshiken was a large part of why I started collecting… I began with mini figures because it was all I could afford, but once I got a job and a debit card, I was able to get big PVC figures, which after fawning over them on DannyChoo.com, I was very glad to finally be able to buy.


So. I’m going home today. For the holidays. 3 weeks. It’ll be weird not being here for 3 weeks. And it’s my birthday in now… 5 days… And Christmas in 7. It’s Christmas in a week!! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!

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9 Responses to “Why do we love figures?”

  1. suki Says:

    ^^; I think if I knew why Iliked figures, I might be able to cut back on them XD

    Seriously speaking, I have no clue… I just value the effort and time put into them and the thought that they can be ‘real’ seems to make me happy.
    Not a good answer but, yeah… It’s a hard thing to explain.

    It’s a real shame that there aren’t many people who can step back and actually admire us for collecting figures TTvTT

  2. optic Says:

    Even though we don’t play with them, seeing a sculpt version of my favourite characters is as close as it gets in seeing them in RL. This is one of the reasons why I love them so much. Also, I love and appreciate artwork and when I see a 2D version of quality art, I just appreciate it even more because it really comes to life in my eyes. ^^

  3. Panther Says:

    It is a hobby. I actually planned to write up something on this too but I grew lazy heh. In short, figures, just like any other hobby, represent what we want in life. For static PVC figures, they represent the ideal people or the ideals that we strive to have or want in life that we are not seeing in our lives around us, which makes it part of the reason why these figures seem more alive to us and why we want to keep them around. They are a constant reminder to us of what we loved, liked, or idealize.

  4. xJAYMANx Says:

    @M132: Haha, didn’t u already ask this on DC back in July? Here’s my huge comment back then, lol. Even now, I still believe this… But if I had to add anything, otaku comraderie and peer pressure play a big part too. The emotional bonding of likes and dislikes. The shared joy of what you can afford, and the shared envy of what you can’t afford, haha. >_<;

  5. gordon Says:

    figures are truly a work of art. how can we not like them. hey in that case does that makes us art collectors? cool. ^^;

  6. xJAYMANx Says:

    @M132: Hehe, no duplicates? LOL, keep your blog around long enough, and pretty soon, everything will be a duplicate! Hence, I just linked to my old DC reply. Plus, extra mentions aren’t too shabby either, lol. Actually, I use GoDaddy.com for my domains. Pretty cheap~ about 7 quid/year. And u can redirect the URL to your blog. Then when u can afford the GoDaddy web hosting (maybe 5 quid/month for 150 GB space and 1500 GB transfer) behind that domain, it just takes a few clicks. Plus a few more clicks to auto-install the hosted WordPress.ORG too! Definitely a dream within reach. ^_^

  7. aquilla Says:

    I think of my figure collection as the same as someone’s doll collection, or royal doulton collection, or model train collection. They’re just pretty inanimate things that I like. For one reason or another, they just make me tick.

    Lot’s of people collect things, so I just see myself as a collector just like everyone else.

  8. Uzumakiworld Says:

    I like this post very much!

    I think it’s because we like to see a real 3D object instead of an anime. It’s awesome just to see your favorite friends & characters here in real life, and in 3D- so awesome that you’re willing to pay half a hundred dollars just for one.

    That, and it’s foreign-ness too. I mean, how many people do you know collect anime figures? It’s a special thing too. Very beautiful & very unique.

  9. Little Miracles ~ Chiisai Kiseki ~ 小さい奇跡 « Meimi132 no Itonami Says:

    […] just… rang true. I did a post a while ago on my blog titled ‘Why do we love figures?’ and I don’t think I came […]

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