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The future of figuresThe future of figures

funwarifunwari1 år sedanDiary
I frequently find myself thinking "Wow!" whenever I see pictures of a new figure's prototype. It never ceases to amaze me how this hobby never gets boring. The workmanship, sculpting, and paintwork of scale figurines has largely improved since circa 15 years ago (at the expense of nearly doubling in price). Obviously there are bigger production values now, and character designs have evolved.
But as figures get more extravagant, I wonder if there is an end in sight. Can anime scale figures really get any better than they are now? What are they going to look like in 2027?
One scary thought came to me after seeing Gatebox's holographic girl


She's essentially a digital figure that moves and talks. Since figures usually sit on a shelf anyway I don't see how they can't be digitalized and projected on a base of some sort in the future when the technology advances. The number of things we can touch and hold in this world only grows smaller.
Just a thought, though. There's no way lights and pixels can replace PVC.
Maybe we're in the fig golden age, maybe the best is yet to come.
1,938 visningar • 11 kommentarer


Holographic robots are not figures in any way. It's the same as printing a picture of your character and cutting edges to make him/her seem real. They are just programs like Siri, but with a picture added for every answer/action. Turning lights off and on was here even back in 2000s, so that's not something new.
While it would be great to have someone at home like in the promotional video, we're not there yet as a holographic image that sits in a cage doesn't represent a human well enough.
Robots are not here yet, maybe in 2050s-70s, if we don't get another war on us...
1 år sedan
Search hanson robotic and boston dynamics on youtube. And watch BBC documentary about robotic industry.

Holographic and robots with self learned AI will be in our daily life in the future.

Here comes the Terminator era lool.
1 år sedan
I think before companies look into any high tech things, they should at least try to make their end products reach the same quality as their prototypes. There are a whole lot of figures asking for 15k+ yen, with end products that do not live up to it at all. Even "high end" companies like Max Factory can improve their painting/colouring game.
1 år sedan
I think this market will evolve. As 1 poster suggested: as prices escalate up the collectors will either become more selective re what is desire versus what is really wanted or opt out. If you have more discretionary income you still have more choice; if you have a dwindling supply of excess funds you either abstain and cope or become exceptionally selective.

There will be niche markets created to take out the slack of pent up demand for those collectors of figures with limited means but the choices left will be mainly successful venues, as other posters have suggested. If wallet is a determinant freedom of choice re 1/8 scale (et al) will diminish proportionally in lockstep with an individual's discretionary income as prices rise.
1 år sedan
Have you heard of Magic Leap and Microsoft Hololens?

Basically glasses that see holograms. That will be amazing.
1 år sedan
I think the biggest change will come when high quality 3D Printer's start becoming the norm.
The figure market will probably be overun with crap quality figure's and fake/bootleg figure's but i think it will also give us the chance to finally get figure's of character's that otherwise would never get one.
I'm not sure how easy it would be to create these custom figure's,
but if it where easy i think i would have like atleast 8 different Aki Hinata's. :)
Creating small accessories would also be great for those who like to take extravagant picture's of there figure's.
I don't know anything about 3D printer's tbh but i still see this as 'inevitable'
1 år sedan
I'll try a more realistic approach.
Scale figure prices will skyrocket only to be available to the rich people. Hello there wonderful hobby life!
7000-15000 yen statues will completely disappear, and more prize figures will be produced to fill the gap left. It will lead to better quality but it'll never catch up to what we have now.

Since nendos are so successful, and figma started deviating from seasonal anime...
The figma line will be put on backburner, only produce miku more miku, fate, and kancolle for a while with ever decreasing accessory count and be forgotten after another 100-200 releases. They don't need precise sculpting and to figure out articulation when they can just sell chibis for the same price and put way less effort into it. More chibi style lines will be made akin to medicchu and cu-poche.
The 1/12 action figure market will be completely controlled by bandai, and with no competition they will continue to halfass releases. Everything interesting will remain a prototype as they focus on star wars repaints, they'd be crazy to let the cash cow die. Everything will be p-bandai in 2 years. Everything. Hope you're ready to kickstarter fund your SHF figs for some good old bait&switch.
Medicos will completely part with jojo, and their last releases will be the general release Gyro and Johnny, both with awful color choices and paintjob. After RWBY's failure, the line will cease to exist.
Revoltech will continue what they do now, focusing on reprints and comic licenses. No change in quality overall.

What I want to see is action figures get more affordable and go back to their roots, not costing 100 bucks/release. But why would anything nice happen?
1 år sedan
They say that there's no stopping progress. Who knows, maybe in the not too distant future, and if we dream a little, joints and seam lines will be invisible/non-existent.

The biggest thing would be 3D blueprints for a lot of characters so everyone can have their favorite characters in figure form. Yes, even the most obscure tertiary ones! How great would that be...
1 år sedan
I consider that Gatebox thing more of an interactive game, not a figure. It feels more in-line with romantic visual novels, and digital media featuring lovable characters like all the idol franchises.
Alarm clocks that wake you with a character voice, simple AI programs that let you ask questions, etc.

A figure has a completely different appeal for me. From being sculpted pieces of art, to action figures that are essentially toys (as I set them up and play with tiny furniture lol.)
1 år sedan
I can picture things like complex light setups on figures, and I don't mean simple LED lanterns, but cool things like fiber optic accents for figures whose characters are appropriate for. I also agree with Heavenly otaku on things like less or no seam lines and source accuracy. Probably even more amazing figures are still awaiting to be made, and I am also still amazed at figures pumped out by the likes of Alter, Native, Alphamax, and even a few new companies. A few of these new companies are Chinese and I am impressed by what they are doing.

On point 3, manufacturing defects or quality control, I am not holding my breath. In an average industry's lifespan, there is a sort of bell curve with regards to quality. At first, products look wonky, have manufacturing defects, manufacturing processes, and product "bugs" as companies figure out the ins and out of the industry and its products.

After a few years, companies start getting the hang of things and products look a lot better, there are more consumers so the industry expands giving more money for R&D as well as economies of scale. More budget allows for riskier moves, like increasing supply (bigger pre-order quotas, re-releases). More companies are entering the market, increasing output for the industry and giving more choice for the consumer. Competition drives prices down and quality up. This is the golden age of an industry.

The last part of the bell curve also takes years to happen but here the bubble pops. The amount of demand peaks because of saturation. Companies have matured and mastered their trade, making their processes as efficient as possible but also still seeking to increase profits. Companies start getting bought out or going bankrupt (or both). The dominant players start getting bigger and the smaller guys going down or merging with the big players, decreasing competition and raising prices. The worse part is one of the tenets of Business Management: profit = revenue - cost. After years of research making products better to fight their competition, companies start cutting costs any way they can. This to me is the decline and I'm sure you have seen it in a lot of different products and services. Products which were once known for reliability are now suddenly not lasting as long, sometimes because of cost cutting, or worse, because of planned obsolescente.

The decline is what I am not looking forward to. I think we are still in the golden age of figure collecting, as there are still new people coming in and new companies entering the market. I am stunned every day I see a new figure with a manufacturer I haven't heard of before, considering the niche of this market. Figures are still getting better, sans figure poses since there are just so many poses a human body can make.

In summary, I think things will still keep getting better as long as competition is maintained or increases, as long as new players and buyers keep entering the market, and as long as you guys keep voting (smart) with your wallets.
1 år sedan
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