Loading
Live better. Play more!
HemBloggarArtikel #38603

Current State of the Industry 2017

NegaNega4 dagar sedanMisc
I'm gonna go all out Goldman Sachs here. It's been no doubt an exciting yet frustrating year for us anime figure enthusiasts.

From Fate to Augmented Reality I will discuss the highlights, trends and the future of the Japanese figure industry.

Let's start with the obvious!

Fate/Grand Order

http://images.goodsmile.info/cgm/images/product/20160607/5721/39457/large/3e9084053fbd6e3941c34016a6d0e5cd.jpg

Objectively the Pokemon Go of 2017 in Japan. Sales and downloads have been HUGE and after releasing across the pond in the US back in June, Aniplex and Type Moon are rolling in dough. No explanation as to why the rest of the globe can't have it but that's for another thread.

No doubt about it, the figure industry has been taking a bloody big advantage of the mobile juggernaut, especially in the last couple of months. The last 3 weeks alone we saw over a dozen new announcements related to Fate GO.

I don't collect Fate myself, but its hard not to with all the beautiful figures announced every week.

But its not all unicorns and rainbows for us collectors, Especially the peeps who can't play it. Remember Wonder Festival 2017 Summer? There were only a handful of figures that WEREN'T Fate. I remember logging into MFC that Sunday morning and the drama around all the Fate stuff was hilarious.

The West

http://images.goodsmile.info/cgm/images/product/20171128/6905/48968/large/80f55592a6bac0e4bff46c51fb240ea5.jpg

I still remember the absolute joy of EB Games opening a pop culture merchandise store at my local mall here in Australia. And for the American folks here you probably have been seeing GameStop and Hot Topic hoarding the anime figures for their (overpriced) store.

The attention anime figures are getting in Western society like North America, Europe etc. is great. Especially as most of us here reside in the west.

Lets look at what's been happening this year for us Western fans.

Look at every month the flood of Tamashii figures come. There's always a dash of Star Wars, Marvel and other western properties getting SH Figuarts treatment. Hell there is a Millenium Falcon Perfect Grade kit. Good ol' Bandai.

Whats even more exciting? The colossal king of the industry, Good Smile Company have been churning out many Western IPs we wouldn't even think will ever exist in figure form. Uncharted, DOTA 2, LoL and of course, cashing in on the Overwatch craze!

Males

images.goodsmil...

Quite an obvious one here, I was a wee 14 year old when I bought my first ever Nendoroid back in '09. Its amazing to see how far we've come. We are seeing so much more male Nendoroids, scales and figmas from good guy GSC that guys are pretty much taking almost half of the current lineup.

I've always been a collector of females but its tempting to get some guys in my collection. With Genji, Hanzo, Zero and Kirby being the most tempting Nendos for me. >. <

Do we have to thank the Westerners for this? Or is Japan finally getting out of its kawaii anime gal phase? I remember so much pleas here in MFC about "MOAR MALES" throughout the years. Safe to say, like in a past blog, its not particularly a problem anymore.

2018 and Beyond

This is where I get excited and bring my tinfoil hat along. What does the future have for us?

Firstly lets look at short term...

What would the trends be next year?

Obviously Fate and the usual Miku is going to take the stage a little bit too much but there are some things that could change. For the worse or the better?

I'm expecting Overwatch to become a huge deal on GSC's front. We already have 7 figures from them available with a rumoured D.Va today. With 26 characters, 100s of skins to make what is Blizzard and GSC waiting for? The question stands, will it best Fate?

The real question however is when Nendoroid Ahri is actually releasing on Riot Store! Ugh.

Other companies? Medicom probably will shut down with the pitiful amount of Mafex licences.

How about long term now?

Have you heard of "Augmented Reality"? No? Well here is a primer:

You probably all know what Snapchat is, whether you like it or not, Snap Inc. is the primer of the future of augmented reality. With world and face filters, there's no doubt this will evolve.


Apple, Alphabet, Alibaba and Microsoft are investing billions in the tech. Still confused? Here is a little demo by a secretive startup called Magic Leap:

 youtu.be/GmdXJy...

What does this have to do with anime figures? Let's look at Gatebox

 gatebox.ai/

This time its a Japanese startup dedicated to making "holographic figures" that you can talk to. HOWEVER it is thousands of dollars and just like Fate GO, requires a proxy to buy outside the US and Japan.

What makes this exciting you ask? "Anime figures are PVC!" Of course they are but PVC can't move and talk! With the power of AR and artificial intelligence, figures will lift into a sustainable and tons more fun medium. That doesn't mean we won't have the traditional tangible stuff though!

Phew! That was a long article. Hope you all had some insight! Tell me your thoughts below!
868 visningar • 9 kommentarer

Kommentarer9 kommentarer

1pt
I think the holographic tech with will fill the gap as for now, before human perfecting robotic and AI.

After the gatebox im sure there will be newer tech like projector who can presenting the hologram in real size. the lack of holographic tech, that the character cant touch you :p

Search Hanson Robotic and Boston Dynamics on youtube. Those combine, is the futureeee of our beloved figurines :D

Medicom will survive. They also have bearbrick line, an art figure. At the Tokyo comic con there is instinct toys brand, producing art figures. I never heard them, but the waiting line is looong at the show.
3 dagar sedan
4pt
kinomoto (3 dagar sedan) #29492413Wonfes only had a couple of fate figures, there was a separate fate fes event on the same day.

I came to comment mostly to say this. What people are mistaking as "tons of Fate figures in Wonder Festival" is actually "tons of Fate figures in FGO Fest", which really shouldn't surprise anyone since FGO Fest was a Fate dedicated event. The catch? It was run the very same weekend as Wonder Festival, so there was an announcement overlap. Bad idea.

Also, the "I can't play it" excuse is kind of a joke if you're an Android user. I have, as a non JP/US/Europe player, a ridiculously tiny selection of games; probably only PoGo and that's it. But I can get around that easily.
Anyways, it hurts the developers themselves in the end, since it makes it harder to invest money in the game (not impossible though).
3 dagar sedan
5pt
sliusarek (3 dagar sedan) #29494693
Star Wars gets a lot of figures that are made by Western companies and they're not that bad, truly. Marvel does, too. There's also Mezco, which I believe is a Western company and they make literally everything and good quality. DC is not that good with cheaper figures (Mattel), but there are options.
I'd rather have Bandai pick up some popular anime license (there are many!) rather than present another Star Wars figure.


I believe there's also very expensive companies such as First for Figures (UK based but produced in China - I think UK anyway) and I believe hot toys usually makes very expensive items too.
On which note, high prices can still sell - provided the product is damn good. But these companies don't churn out as many items as GSC or alter. I'd still rather my 80-150euro anime figures.

On a lighter note - are you sure you want Bandai grabbing licenses? They have a nasty habit of hoarding IPs and only making mediocre figures for them (see: sailor moon) xD
(although yes, it's be nice if they picked up lesser known shows to give us more choice)
3 dagar sedan
3pt
nyugvo6 (3 dagar sedan) #29492798I see the japanese focus on western IPs as a huge loss and a tiny bit of win.
Sure there are western characters I'd love to see a proper figures of, since hasbro and the rest are simply garbage. But not when it costs me an anime figure release. Be honest, we're all here because of our love for some sort of japanese media.
I see a few reasons behind this happening but it's just my own guesswork.
1. a shift in overall interest, which would be sad when you consider they can't sell their local speciality in their own country.
2. since figure prices got way worse, local buyers don't produce good sales anymore, they try to force export more.
In either case I have little to no interest in video games, especially multiplayer ones. As much as I loved star wars as a kid, disneywars is awful compared. What really kills the franchise for me is the constant advertisement campaign, I can't take a step without someone trying to sell me something star wars. There's a line when it stops being fresh and new, and turns downright annoying. We crossed that line christmas, two years ago.
Overwatch of all things to overthrow FATE? lmao good joke.


Globalization and all.
I find it annoying, too. Japanese companies don't support their own brands and send money to the West, while West cares not about supporting Japan...
Star Wars gets a lot of figures that are made by Western companies and they're not that bad, truly. Marvel does, too. There's also Mezco, which I believe is a Western company and they make literally everything and good quality. DC is not that good with cheaper figures (Mattel), but there are options.

I'd rather have Bandai pick up some popular anime license (there are many!) rather than present another Star Wars figure. I was blown away by the amount of toys they had on Tokyo Comic-Con. Some of the classic anime (studio Ghibli films, for example) literally have no figures, some modern animes and manga that sell like water in Summer are lucky to get one or two figs and Star Wars gets dozens... I truly don't understand this.

And that Gwen-Pool that I mentioned before. What is the cultural value of GP character? She has a comic that had just started not a long time ago and has about 30 issues. It's okay to have a figure for a rising character, but let's leave it for Marvel Legends, they do a decent job at their line, but nope. Mafex wants to produce that.
3 dagar sedan
5pt
I see the japanese focus on western IPs as a huge loss and a tiny bit of win.
Sure there are western characters I'd love to see a proper figures of, since hasbro and the rest are simply garbage. But not when it costs me an anime figure release. Be honest, we're all here because of our love for some sort of japanese media.
I see a few reasons behind this happening but it's just my own guesswork.
1. a shift in overall interest, which would be sad when you consider they can't sell their local speciality in their own country.
2. since figure prices got way worse, local buyers don't produce good sales anymore, they try to force export more.

In either case I have little to no interest in video games, especially multiplayer ones. As much as I loved star wars as a kid, disneywars is awful compared. What really kills the franchise for me is the constant advertisement campaign, I can't take a step without someone trying to sell me something star wars. There's a line when it stops being fresh and new, and turns downright annoying. We crossed that line christmas, two years ago.

Overwatch of all things to overthrow FATE? lmao good joke.
3 dagar sedan
9pt
Wonfes only had a couple of fate figures, there was a separate fate fes event on the same day.
3 dagar sedan
2pt
I see a promising future of figures. With each year certain companies try out new technologies, gimmicks, paint jobs and face-printing, details become better. Bandai seems to be the flagman of the process, but Medicom improves their 1/6 scale, too. Threezero improves their Western-oriented 1/6 line.

Overall, figures are getting better, more durable and... more expensive, unfortunately. So, other than the prices going up, I see no problems at the horizon of figure collecting. I only hope that toy makers will finally start listening and taking risks with properties. I'm getting sick of seeing Star Wars, Deadpool and Marvel getting a new announcement every single month, while some great animes and even popular Western TV shows/films are being left out.
3 dagar sedan
3pt
Why would Medicom close? They don't have many licenses for Mafex, but Real Action Heroes is the only source of good 1/6 anime figures. They have some poor management, that's it. People are asking them to make figures for properties that are left out, but nobody listens and nobody asks. GSC does their vote poll for Nendoroids and they explore the market, Medicom seems to sit on their own wave. Take the recently announced Gwen-Pool figure in Mafex line. I read the comic about GP and it's a fun read, but there's nothing more than the silly comic to it and it's not like she's getting a movie/cartoon any time soon. Are they releasing it thinking that everyone will get it because it has "Pool" in the name and panties as a costume?

I own a few figure from Medicom and one Mafex. They know how to develop great products, but they make some weird choices. I don't see them closing off because they are the only company that makes 1/6 anime figures as of today. Threezero can throw in some, at times, but they don't have a normal presence at Japanese market and their pre-order system of sales is just not good. They always delay, they don't give you a choice of a shipping method and they can't even establish a normal store of the figure they've released. So, RAH (Medicom) will definitely exist for a very long time. Mafex will live in a form of some occasional Marvel and Star Wars and a little bit of DC figs.
3 dagar sedan
3pt
I think Japanese companies are going through the same experience that a lot of the American companies have been in the last decade, since most of the male characters come from things with strong female followings - "Oh, shit, it turns out that women actually buy this stuff in large quantities if we make stuff that they like, we've been missing out on so many chances to make money!"


It sucks that there isn't a proper release of it, but it's not too bad playing FGO outside the US and Japan - I've got US and JP FGO accounts (and, to be honest, I'll be annoyed if they end up releasing one that's supposed to be played in the UK because I've got some nice characters on those, especially on my JP, and my current phone probably can't handle three FGOs.)
3 dagar sedan
Live better. Play more!

About this blog

 
Welcome to my blog!

More by NegaVisa allt

Relaterade Artiklar 0

Taggar0

Relaterade Klubbar 0