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Thoughts on prices drastically increasing?Thoughts on prices drastically increasing?Misc

marrieletsgomarrieletsgo3 days ago
I’ve been an active collector since 2018, and got my first figure in 2015 (ITEM #236159), I remember upon buying it I thought the price was insane,

“how could I spend over $130 dollars on a piece of anime plastic!” Or so I thought.

As time moved on, and obviously things changed, it ceases to amaze me how much prices have increased throughout the years of collecting, specially from 2018 to now, only 3 years and I’m seeing drastic changes as it is.

There’s always the argument that goes that, “inflation caused it” or “higher demand means higher prices” and so on, but I always feel like it’s because how companies have accepted the fact, that no matter the price, we’ll always eat it up, prime example is estream, I have no idea how they can get away with their atrocious pricing, but they do, I honestly can understand for the crystal dress figures, but for the neon set and so on, I find it ridiculous, I remember back in the day ALTER was higher end and even then the pricing was 16-20k max, and I thought that was ridiculous, and I feel like the relatively “affordable” companies out there, are only Kotobukiya, GSC and Myethos (their pricing is amazing).

The norm is 20k+ for any kind of slightly elaborate figure, and for standing figures we’re reaching the 16k mark norm, it’s kinda scary and also makes me wonder how high will prices reach until the general public can no longer afford prestigious pricing.

While There are some cheap alternatives such as Pop Up Parade and Prize figures, I personally prefer collecting and displaying scale figures, solely for their quality, and seeing how expensive it’s getting, it somewhat scares me, mainly because I feel like the quality isn’t increasing along with the pricing, they’re just raising the pricing to match demand and compete with other companies (in my opinion).

So after expressing my concerns and thoughts, what do you think?, does the price increase scare you?, or are you fine and understanding with it? I’d love to hear some opinions.
1,739 hits • 17 likes64 comments

Are you fine with drastic increases in pricing?

2%Yes, I don’t mind it
16%Yes, if the quality increases
26%It depends
56%No
340 votesVotes are public

Comments64

billowsandsmoke3 days ago#98568783Thiiiiiiiiiis, literally everything both of you just said, thank you. Particularly re: new collectors having money and not being discerning about quality--within the past week I was asking a new collector on Reddit if she thought her Crystal Dress Rem was noticeably better quality than her Emilia? And it was really lovely that she was so excited about how much sparklier Rem's dress was, and she seemed very nice, but she also had zero idea what I was talking about when I tried to explain the concept of like...actual quality/craftsmanship on a figure.
Anyway, my one addition is that I have another theory about why the influx of new collectors is causing prices to rise. Basically, companies can't keep up with the consequent influx of pre-orders (i.e. handmade things are not designed to be manufactured at mass-production level numbers), and so they're purposefully trying to price people out. Hypothetically, if they could raise prices high enough that they get pre-surge order numbers--but at this much higher profit margin--then they could put out releases at the same rate as before but make even more money.
I do have a question for both of you if you feel like answering? Recently I've been chatting with another veteran collector about this (and obviously nobody can say for sure), but what do you think about the possibility of this being a popularity/market bubble that bursts? Might we see a significant number of pandemic collectors fall off the bandwagon? And if so, would that lead to a hefty price drop in the figures that went to pre-order during this time? (Personally, I thought we'd have at least started to see a slowdown by now? But like two out of every three posts on the figure subreddit is someone asking for beginner advice or showing off their first figure, and I feel like it's only continuing to pick up speed. So now I don't know. /:)

I would honestly be surprised if prices became more reasonable anytime soon, especially since we were seeing them creep up even pre-Covid. There's lots of thoughts about why the prices are increasing from increased demand, to rising manufacturing costs, to companies simply testing limits. But whether they get their money mainly from new collectors, old ones, or a mix of both, I feel like the best we can hope for is reaching a point where sales drop off enough that companies don't raise their prices any higher for a little while.

As far as newer collectors dropping off, unless the prices continue spiking at the same rate they have, I actually think this topic's a good indicator that we'll be seeing more of the opposite. Several newer collectors basically said the prices don't bother them because that's all they've known, whereas those of us who have been collecting for at least a few years can't help but look back at what the prices were when we started and more often than not, feel the increase isn't warranted.
2 days ago
sarious Chino is My Life
Jessi08072 days ago#98652782I believe as the popularity of anime and Otaku culture has skyrocketed in recent years(snip)
The popularity increase was mostly outside of Japan, so I doubt it had much of an effect on the prices. Figures have become more mainstream within anime culture (and out) universally however.
2 days ago
sarious Chino is My Life
I'm just glad that event goods prices haven't gone up along with figure prices. The release and aftermarket prices have largely remained the same throughout the past few years.
2 days ago
I believe as the popularity of anime and Otaku culture has skyrocketed in recent years, companies feel the need to keep the exclusivity and awe of scale figures high, so they mark them up. As the hobby has become more popular, companies need to manufacture more and jump onto popular series to keep up with demand. Manufacturing costs and keep going up, getting the rights to an IP could be becoming more difficult for all we know, and companies want to squeeze whatever they can out of a series/character's popularity knowing fully that fans will pay mostly any price. Even Nendoroids have been getting more expensive as of recently. (They used to be averaging like $45 USD back in 2017 but now they're averaging $55 with some being as high as $75.) I think Companies are also seeing the selling aftermarket prices of items and feeling like they can now get away with raising prices beyond what they're worth. It's definitely sad to see something like this happen in such a short amount of time, especially as someone who's only been in the hobby for a few years.
2 days ago
I think what is really surprising me is how much figures tend to increase in price lately. Some popular figures going for as much as $900. And it seems like most are increasing a lot in after market lately, which puts more pressure on pre-ordering. I don't remember the aftermarket being that crazy back when I used to collect many years ago.

I'm sure the increase in price has a lot to do with the pandemic and supply costs, etc. I do manufacturing and prices have increased a lot since the pandemic. The unfortunate thing is even if they can lower the price in the future because of stabilization, they won't because we are now used to this pricing structure.
2 days ago
ive been figure collecting for a decade now... started when i was in middle school. i remember thinking back then, "wow, i cant afford the average price of 7500-8000 yen for figures. hopefully when i get out of college i can!"

Me, 23 y/o, looking at the 12000-13000k average for figures nowadays:

But I guess it makes sense. Figures aren't really hand sculpted anymore, and are a lot more complex in general. And look much better than they did back then (usually.) It just sucks for me, lol. Sometimes I wish I was just a little bit older...
2 days ago
Anyways, the increase in price is not 100% related to the companies.
It is also due to the taxes; if the price of a figure is increased, you have to pay significant more taxes over it. And if a certain threshold is passed, additional fees are calculated.
E.g. ITEM #1198323
This figure is ~26000 yen on amiami, roughly €200, which is high but kinda Okay.
However, sinds the figure Costs more than 20000 yen, you need to pay an additional fee of 5% + the taxes (21%), and don’t forget the shipping costs. So, in the end you have to pay about €320 (y42000). This is a differente of about 16000 yen, and more than half of the original price. Anyways, in my opinion this is was too much for a pvc figure. The maximum I am willing to pay is €250. Another way too overpriced figure is: ITEM #1231709.
And yes we all know that alter, and GSC are increasing prices. But now other companies are doing it as well like furyu, which is not known for the best products; and I have never heard of alpha satellite before 0.o.
2 days ago
They're seeing the after market price, and are catching on the amount people will pay. lol
2 days ago
Someone correct me if I am wrong but I don't think it is about demand at all. Figures are mostly made to order, after all that's what pre orders are about right. We have to pre order them so companies know how much they should make. So it literally can't be about the demand because companies can make as much of them as needed. However, I do think that demand plays a huge role in the aftermarket price of a figure, but it shouldn't affect the retail price. I just think that companies know that we are willing to pay their prices no matter what they are.
2 days ago
Okeno2 days ago#98605840...
I wish I knew why. Is there a supply issue? Demand issue? Currency exchange rate? It's not like there's a particular OPEC crisis, right, like they talk about in the 70s?



No. IMHO the reason for prices rising is that companies have realized that is where the highest profit is!!!

Let's have a quick look at market theory:

Sales Revenue = Unit Demand x Unit Price

To calculate sales revenue, you pick a point on your demand curve and multiply the values for demand and price. The point on the curve that gives you your highest revenue figure tells you the optimum unit price.

Figure collecting ALWAYS was a luxury item niche market and always had a low demand (it is not a mass produced item like e.g. cheap toilet paper).
Over time companies raised the prices of the figures and realized, their sales numbers do not drop significantly.
Meaning, the existing few collectors are willing to pay even higher prices to get the figure.
In short: the company makes more money when prices are higher.

I think, companies observed the pricing of their expensive figure competitors and realized "Hey, we can ask for higher prices as well, people are still buying their stuff". (e.g. cheaper companies realized that ALTER was selling a high number of figures even though their prices were already the highest in the market...and then thought "we can do this, too").
And the whole market gradually, bit by bit, went higher and higher with each new release.

And honestly, for the collectors it is like the "Cooking the frog" metaphor: where a frog was put into a pot of cold water and the heat was raised gradually until cooking. But the frog stayed in the pot, because it did not realize right away because of the gradual raise.

And that's what the companies did. Bit by bit +1k Yen....until now we have prices of a static figure for 16k Yen (which was maybe 7k Yen four years ago)...and people got "used to it".
Just imagine four years ago if a company that normally sells figs for 7k yen raised it to 17k yen in one go. People would have been outraged and shocked. Nowadays customers are like "yeah, that's how it is. every comapny does that." and they accept it.

And I do not think prices will go back to how they were. Sadly.
2 days ago
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