Reviews

iTaking Chances--Trading Figuresn/a

ORIGINAL: (ext link)

{Sorry for the gap in updates! A whole bunch of different stuff happened all at once and I didn't have any time for my blog. Expect normal update schedule to resume.}

Blind-box and gashapon (capsule) trading figures are a sometimes under-noticed category of figures, which while lacking in quality compared with the average scaled PVC, have their own merits. I own 11 trading figures and many represent characters or designs of which scaled PVC or other high end figures are not available.

In my opinion, the central appeal of trading figures lies in the ability to get something a little different than the usual. Because trading figures are small and much less expensive to produce, figure manufacturers can take larger risks.
A large reason for the apparent lack of variety in the scale PVC market (and the reason that even a popular series may be greatly lacking in these figures) is simple supply and demand. Figures are expensive to make and so manufacturers generally have to stick to characters and series that they can reliably sell (so for instance, recently, it's Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Black Rock Shooter, Fate/ series, and Bakemonogatari.)

On the other hand, trading figures are small (usually 4-5 inches tall at most) and quite inexpensive to make compared to their larger counterparts, since they contain less detail (requiring less painting) and less material. While I don't think anyone would argue that a small trading figure is of the same quality as a scale PVC, many trading figures have quite nice craftsmanship for their size and cost.

Trading figures and gashapon are commonly manufactured by Bandai, Movic, Banpresto, SEGA, Kaiyodo, Kotobukiya, and Good Smile Company; Square Enix produces their own figure lines for the most part. I'm not going to go into too much detail about which companies produce what; I only have trading figures from a few manufacturers anyway. Regardless, my purpose isn't that, but rather to discuss trading figures mostly on their own merits--and why I find them worth collecting.

I have one set of Neon Genesis Evangelion gashapon which is quite old, from 2003, manufactured by "K&M" (Kaiyodo and Movic.) Gainax's flagship franchise does, of course, have a great wealth of merchandise, but in general it follows the same themes; the female Eva pilots in various outfits, especially plugsuits, in varying seductive or cute poses. Kaiyodo and Bandai handle the Eva units themselves, either as poseable figures or model kits. There aren't a lot of deviations from this pattern despite the massive popularity of the series.

My K&M set is fairly atypical. It consists of Gendou, Unit 02 in the Magmadiver suit, Misato in a sort of hot springs diorama, Asuka in her original series bathing suit, and Unit 01 bursting from the "body" of Leliel, the 12th Angel. I've given the Asuka to a friend, but I retain all the others for their uniqueness.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335585995.jpeg
There are hardly any figures of Gendou, and this one has amazing hilarity potential. Look forward to the adventures of Disapproving Gendou in the future!

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335585919.jpeg
There is only one high-end figure of Misato, but this little diorama is charming, with a detailed bottle of what seems to be lotion or body wash (the kanji are tiny and difficult to read) and of course a can of beer. There's a surprising amount of detail for such a tiny figure.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335586084.jpeg
The Magmadiver suit has a huge wealth of detail, even if it takes a lot of fiddling and patience to assemble. It comes complete with some coolant cables, and the helmet has a viewport of clear plastic. The helmet is removable to reveal the detailed head of Unit 02. Sadly, it doesn't come with any sort of base, so it needs to lean up against something or it will fall over. I may make a base myself.

http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335586161.jpeg
In my opinion, the very best of the lot is the one of Unit 01 bursting from Leliel. An iconic and powerful scene in the series is recreated in startling detail on a very small scale. Unit 01 emerges violently, its purple and green colors washed over in a haze of red. The whole figure seems alive with vicious energy. I think a large scale figure of this would be magnificent. The subtleties of the colors and the fine sculpting are incredible for something so tiny.

I also picked up a set of DG File Eva figures (can you see a theme yet?) I sold off two of them, the Rei and the plugsuit Kaworu, but I kept the remaining three.

I actually bought the set for the shirtless Kaworu figure, which is flawed (the paint on his face could certainly be better) but really rather nice. He even has nipples!
Asuka and Mari, since they are gashapon which needed to be assembled, had unexpected surprises--they can be displayed without their skirts!
http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335585698.jpeg
http://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/600/Moro1335585821.jpeg
Both of them have their skirts as a separate piece from their butt and legs, so you can remove it. While Mari looks a bit silly without her skirt since she's wearing a uniform, I think Asuka looks best without it. Also, to be honest I find the facial expression of this Asuka more appropriate than that of a great deal of the scale PVCs--I think they lose a lot of the proper tsundere attitude and make her look too sweet and innocent.

You have to watch out a bit for uneven quality control and of course there's no denying that no trading figure is up to the same quality as an average scale PVC. However, if you're looking for something that might be a little different from the norm, whether it's a more minor character or a unique "diorama," I think you'd do well to look into trading figures. But! I know that not everyone agrees, and some people feel that trading figures just aren't worth the money.
Do any of you, my readers, like to collect trading figures? Tell me in your comments what you like about them!

Do you enjoy collecting trading figures?

  • 47.37%
    I love them!
  • 38.6%
    They're okay.
  • 14.04%
    I don't like them.

57 votes

Twitter Facebook Pinterest

Comments (8)

02 years agobrandymallorybrandymallory
75% of my collection is trading figures. (over 100+ nendoroid petits) and I love them! A lot of my petits are characters that don't have any other figures...
02 years ago (2 years ago)Strife212Strife212 Original Blue
I personally can't handle trading figures any more.

I just don't have room for them, so I go with 'less is more' these days. I can see why you would though, they are fun to collect and reasonably priced.
02 years ago (2 years ago)RaditzFanRaditzFan Ultimate Raditz Fan
A large part of my collection is trading figures. I adore the detail in them, most of the time not too expensive, and also offer characters that hardly get a figure otherwise. :)
02 years ago (2 years ago)DvalinnDvalinn
I have a bunch of trading figures, because like you said, sometimes they really do offer something different. I've got a Haruhi Suzumiya set, a bunch of small One Piece wanted posters, a voice figure of C.C., a pretty well-made Lelouch and Kokonoe Rin and one of Accelerator from Index fame - one of the few figures that were ever made of him. The best ones are probably the Chrono Trigger ones I got for christmas, they look incredibly detailed.

In any case, especially characters that don't get much pvc love are easier to find in trading form, so while not the mainstay of my collection, I do keep my eye out for them.
02 years agoNeko_OrihimeNeko_Orihime
I recently sold almost all my trading figures because I wanted to save up for scale pvc but I've kept my Little Busters Trading figs because I love them and not all the characters have (good) scale pvc's.
Also my gashapon of Rin (my favorite little busters character of all <3) has a little tiny Lennon with her (the white kitty)
And the pose of my Kud and Haruka is just adorable ^__^
So yeah I'm quite fond of those.

Also, I love petit nendo's, just as much as their big family members, so I own some of those aswell :D
02 years agoshinhawkshinhawk
I bought mostly trading figures when I first committed to this hobby. The first set I bought was a Haruhi Suzumiya set which I absolutely adore. I followed up the Storyimage Love Hina swimsuit trading figures and I liked those a lot as well. The set of trading figures I bought were the Disgaea One Coin trading figures. I really like the One Coin line of trading figures because they comparatively have as much detail as scale figures.

However my favorite set of trading figures are definitely the Final Fantasy Tactics Trading Arts. While their faces leave for much to be desired, the detail and size of the figures are just great and fit nicely into my display case.
02 years agoWatchJessieGoWatchJessieGo Magical Girl
I love trading figures because I get to see some of my favorite characters in fits-in-the-palm-of-my-hand size. For instance, I love the Key Memorial trading figures that came out recently from Toys Works. Due to the aforementioned supply and demand, Key/Visual Arts characters get substantially overlooked in the world of figures even though they're very popular, but not as certain an investment as, say, Madoka. So, it's nice to be able to get them in any form possible, which includes trading figures.
02 years agoChibi_GohanChibi_Gohan
Most of my collection is made up of trading figures. I love to collect them, mainly because they look pretty cool, especially MegaHouse capsule figures, and they don't take up as much real estate as a full size figure.

User

Information

View moreRelated Items (7)

Related Clubs (0)