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Comments How big is MFC? Is anime figure collecting community growing?

  • Subreddits I noticed are for more "normie" figure collectors. Don't post/discuss anything too lewd if it is loli lol

    I have been on this site for like 5 years now. Seems the same, though there have been some odd updates to the site.

    This year many people have had to make more responsible decisions with their money due to current events.
    10 days ago
    Sugar12311 days ago#89992307However I'd assume that the biggest community is in Japan and they don't mingle much with the Western community. There's probably a respective Chinese, and Korean community too, which probably just like the Japanese one, don't interact with the Western one.
    But if anything this hobby has only boomed in the last few years. Pre-orders for figures are much higher and I attribute the rise of figure prices to the increase of popularity and demand for anime related merchandise.


    Yeah I'd tend to agree. The Chinese market has been exploding in the last several years (similar to Chinese consumer demands for a lot of other goods of course), as is obvious from the Chinese figure collection site www.hpoi.net/ and the booming official + second-hand market. (Some Japanese companies are actually releasing purely Chinese figures e.g. ITEM #851418 I guess also largely due to demands from Chinese collectors.)

    I think the OP's anecdote of "preorder number" is not that illustrative. First, the majority of collectors who preordered probably never enter their preorder on MFC. Second, as somebody else also mentioned, exactly due to the proliferation of figures, collectors are now spoiled for choice.

    As for the decline in community activity on MFC, I have no idea of as I'm new here. Though regarding this topic itself ("is the figure collecting community growing") I would guess the answer would be a "yes". I'm not even sure if COVID is a real reason that would drag down the growth much (sure, there have been some manufacturing-related delays, but I think collectors, especially those in Japan and China, are not very much deterred by it when making their buying decisions). I don't get the impression that the community of western collectors is shrinking, either.
    10 days ago
    "With anime becoming mainstream, it should right?"

    Huh? Anime internationally isn't really growing in popularity, it's been pretty consistent over the past two decades (after it arguably peaked in late 90s with Pokemon/Sailor Moon). It will never be mainstream outside of Japan, but it is a popular genre.

    As another user here said, this site overall has shrunk over the past few years regardless of the pandemic. The one article I posted 8 years ago which was about... a missing figure peg got 4k+ views and didn't hit even hit reader's selection. Meanwhile this article hasn't reached 900.

    I think it's mostly due to increasing figure prices (10-8 years ago Nendos were like $25 and scale figures rarely broke $100 unless they were absolutely stellar and intricate). Then there are the choices of the figures being made, of which many tend to be based on mobile game characters like F/GO or Hypmic which are both extremely popular in Japan, but mobages tend to be less popular overseas.
    The site layout did impact a lot of the interaction as well, but I think that most people just can't afford to do the compulsive figure spending we did a decade ago.
    10 days ago
    victorviper11 days ago#89992458Really all you have to do is look at the number of hits on blog articles, particularly readers selection ones. 5-6 years ago, it would be rare for a readers selection blog to garner less than 1000 hits during its first couple days of life. These days, it's not uncommon to see a readers selection with 600-700 hits even after 2 days on the main MFC landing page.
    I've thought about trying to do some sort of statistical (regression) analysis to see if there was a clear point where there was a sharp decline in the number of hits the blogs were getting, but alas that is about item 297/300 on my list of things to do...
    Oh that's sad to hear that numbers have been dwindling. I've heard about how the site had some pretty drastic updates that discouraged users from visiting but as someone who came late to the party I find it easy enough to navigate around here. I guess it's because I didn't have to adapt to the changes. I remember in the early days of YouTube that whenever there was an update to the interface it would really turn me off from using the site so I can imagine it being frustrating enough for users to call it quits.

    That analysis sounds promising but no pressure if you don't have the time!
    10 days ago
    I haven't been a figure collector for years, but I will throw my 2 cents in as to why the top figures "only" get 200-300 pre-orders- It's probably because of the diversity of types of figures, the rising prices, and the diversity of "subgenres" of figure collectors out there- some people focus on collecting gunpla, some nendoroids, some only focusing only on their favorite show/character, some only focusing on bunnies etc. Many people are also probably only casual collectors, this is only one of their many hobbies and they don't have the money to search and collect tens of thousands of dollars worth of figures each year. I myself am fairly involved in figure collecting- I subscribe to several figure collecting youtubers- but I only have 7 pre-orders at the moment, and only one of those is in the top 100. My point is i think there are a lot of people still in, and involved in the figure collecting, but looking at the number of top pre-orders is probably not the best way to gauge the community because looking at a few people's profiles, I feel like people have a diverse awry of taste, and mostly buy not based on hype, but on what they like to collect personally.
    10 days ago
    Marshmallowpie11 days ago#89992370As someone who's been here 12 years (apparently) but no longer actively collects figures, partially I would blame this on the rise of other social media, and partially I think 2009 really was like a great peak in the time of figure collecting? Like when GSC was releasing items like this Saber ITEM #5769 or BRS ITEM #6588 These were super impressive figures back then and the prices hadn't gotten totally ridiculous either. The quality seemed amazing compared to early 2000s figures and for me it was impossible to imagine they could get any higher quality, haha. Figma were way cheaper and sometimes had more accessories, depending on the character. When I first started collecting, yeah there was already plenty of Fate figures (but not the amount there is now), but Miku was getting her first figures. So that was something exciting, as well as if wondering and waiting if some other Vocaloids or Utau would get figures. So there wasn't a feeling of "Ugh, another Miku" in 2009.That's a really interesting take on everything, thanks for the info! I did notice that there was a big boom in quality starting in the early 2010's. It must've been a good time to be a collector and witness the evolution in real time (even if with that evolution came steeper prices lol). And wow I can't even imagine going a few months without a Miku announcement these days haha. That must've been exciting to think about all the fresh new possibilities that were coming in the future.

    I read some comments on figures around this time and there were some complaints about them charging 9k-10k and all I could think was this:
    https://infostockpile.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/tumblr_nfghuinmk61s5n19go1_400.gif
    10 days ago
    Just to let you know, it is easy to find statistics on the growth of the anime industry and I think in a different article I posted a comment with the link to it. Prior to covid, the anime industry and it's merchandise sales were growing at a good rate. So, it is pretty clear to me that anime watching and figure collecting have grown in popularity over the 5 years prior to covid. I haven't seen any numbers for the covid period but the popularity probably did take a hit. Still, once covid becomes a non-factor, I think most people are expecting things to go back to growth rates before the pandemic.

    What we see here on MFC is just to tip of the iceberg so to speak regarding collectors. Lots of collectors aren't MFC members. I know some personally who are collectors and aren't MFC members. I think one thing that differentiates MFC members from other collectors is that the MFC members tend to be more serious about collecting. There are many collectors out there who I would call "casual collectors". These casual collectors may not have a lot of money to spend on the hobby, spend less time on the hobby, tend to buy cheaper figures, and don't have elaborate displays. Nothing wrong with being a casual collector as I have hobbies where I'm less serious about and spend much less time on than collecting.
    10 days ago
    billowsandsmoke10 days ago#90030515
    plus there's the sub search bar, plus you could, you know, Google it? Has pandemic anxiety made people completely incapable of looking things up on their own, or has it always been that way and pandemic anxiety is just making me crabby about it?


    This is just an issue with the current generation of those under 20, many expect everything in the world handed to them so actually putting effort aka looking something up to see if its legit is just WAY too much effort.
    10 days ago
    billowsandsmoke10 days ago#90030515
    Tbh, this morning I finally got a little snippy at someone asking if AmiAmi was a legit site--the sub's sidebar literally has a shop list and the link to the FAQ, plus there's a separate copy of the FAQ in the stickied general questions thread, plus there's the aforementioned general questions AND bootleg/scam sticky threads, plus there's the sub search bar, plus you could, you know, Google it? Has pandemic anxiety made people completely incapable of looking things up on their own, or has it always been that way and pandemic anxiety is just making me crabby about it?


    Lol, I lurk the animefigures subreddit. I don't have a reddit account. It's probably a good thing, because I often find myself wanting to type replies like that when the same question is asked literally a few posts earlier. Like, AmiAmi is literally the gold standard, most trusted site in all of anime figure collecting (besides the few people that do have legitimate issues, often that they themselves caused). Of course you shouldn't trust it. Go to that random site no one has ever heard of before! That's one thing MFC got right I think, banning shop questions from the blog section. Sure, the forums are harder to find and navigate, but it was horrible reading the same posts constantly.
    10 days ago
    Jenthehen11 days ago#90026866Odd ... to me, this site feels like it's been at the same level of activity the whole time I've been here, and if anything, feels bigger? Just with all the figures and items that are constantly being added. Popular figures still get tons of comments on their pages and people post blogs every day. Some groups are more active than others, but that's to be expected ... we still get lots of photos uploaded every day and I'd say this is still the #1 place to keep up with figure collecting overall.
    I don't feel like people have "moved" to reddit at all. Honestly, the anime figures subreddit mostly feels filled with noobs who don't know what they are doing - tons of questions about what figures are, where to find them, etc.
    Took the words right out of my mouth on both counts. I do think there's plenty of activity, but I feel like I've noticed a slowdown in reviews and longer articles and things like that. Maybe people aren't feeling like creating high-effort content because of pandemic? (I know I dont.) But I also wonder if people are discouraged from spending time on that stuff because it gets knocked off the front page so quickly, especially by lower effort content/general questions? Which is to say, posts like these start great discussions and I appreciate them! I'd just like for there to be a separate section for reviews/"articles" on the homepage, is all.

    And yeah, I have a love-hate relationship with r/animefigures. There's plenty of good content and I know I've found some really great sales on there. But if you sort by new, you can basically run around answering questions with "I'm here to tell you about this amazing site myfigurecollection!" like its the damn opening number of Book of Mormon. ("I'll just leave it here--it has a lot of information that you can really use!")

    Tbh, this morning I finally got a little snippy at someone asking if AmiAmi was a legit site--the sub's sidebar literally has a shop list and the link to the FAQ, plus there's a separate copy of the FAQ in the stickied general questions thread, plus there's the aforementioned general questions AND bootleg/scam sticky threads, plus there's the sub search bar, plus you could, you know, Google it? Has pandemic anxiety made people completely incapable of looking things up on their own, or has it always been that way and pandemic anxiety is just making me crabby about it?
    10 days ago
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