Collecting highs and lows. How do we navigate?Collecting highs and lows. How do we navigate?Misc

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Puntastic_ArtemiPuntastic_Artemi2 månader sedan

I guess this is a topic that has been spoken about over and over again but I really find it interesting to analyze just how much my personal approach to collecting has changed over the years.

As we enter a time where figure companies seemingly do not care about the affordability of their figures, whilst somehow increasing prices and decreasing quality, I find it more and more difficult to resist the temptation of pre-ordering despite being told unanimously by everyone around me not to.

It is incredibly frustrating, as only two years ago, I would happily pre-ordered figures without the worry of them binning to half price, looking awful, or even worrying about affordability. Since figure collecting became my main hobby, the money I spent on this hobby never seemed to be a waste.

However, it's almost impossible to pre-order things with a good conscious nowadays. If you love the figure, you're faced with the dilemma of the company either completely screwing it up (despite the outrageous price) or the figure being expensive at first and the FOMO of not getting a good deal on a figure you loved. As much as having figures makes me happy, there will always be a bit of salt associated if I find out I paid much more for a figure than necessary if I had just waited a few months.

On the other hand, if you decide NOT to pre-order, you run the risk of the figure being scalped even beyond the original outrageous price, and losing out on the chance to buy a figure you loved.

All of this is really to ask the question: How do you handle probably the worst time to be pre-ordering figures? Do you wait until release to see how the figure turned out? Or do you jump the gun and secure your spot no matter what? Please let me know your opinions so I know I might not be the only one who is very discouraged.
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I would definitely say I've become more strict with myself about ordering nowadays. Not only because of prices rising, but also when I first got really into the hobby I was in a bit of a manic 'impulse buy everything that interests me' state. After a while I realised that some of the stuff I thought I just "had to have" back then is still readily available now, and sometimes for a cheaper price. I beat myself up over it quite a bit and realised I had to be more disciplined.
As such, I've cut back tremendously on what I order.
My criteria now goes something like this:
-Is it a character I like enough to justify the price? > What are the chances of it being available/dropping in price after release? > Will I still want it after release? > Is it limited in quantity?
It's cut my orders by more then just half. Where I used to have maybe 5+ things on PO a month now I only have 2/3, at most.

As for secondhand stuff, if I see something pop up a fair bit -or know other sites are selling it for the same price- I'll leave it be. If it's something I barely ever see and it's being sold for a good price, I usually get it. I keep tabs on majority of the 'old' figs I'm interested in, so I know which ones appear frequently and which don't, and can tell if something is going for a 'good' price vs way too much.
Ex; Found ITEM #998272 going on mandarake for ¥14000 and knowing I haven't seen many if any listings and she usually sells for closer to $300 picked her up immediately.
2 månader sedan
My guidelines that I follow are roughly the same, just stricter on preordering (although I mostly only preorder goods and doujinshis these days):

1) Is this character important enough to me that I would buy merch for them?
(Most characters don't pass this mark, there's only so much space and money that I have. If I don't see me still liking it in a couple of years, I won't buy it.)

2) What's the current available merch?
(Even if there's a character I love, there's a good old chance that they won't have any merch I like. Oberon's nendoroid is cute, but the expressions are not nearly as cute and mischievious as his plush keychain. Not worth settling as that feeling lingers.)

3) How likely would I be able to find it in the aftermarket and would it cost significantly higher or lower compared to preordering it? Would it also be rerun?
(There's some merch that's difficult to find in the aftermarket compared to finding figures, here's a few examples (1,2). Some of the doujinshis I got secondhand were two times or for one case about five times less than the price they originally went for.)

With how things are binning, unfortunately the figures I would preorder have a good chance of not binning (like ITEM #1101143) as there's barely any other figure for the character. From my perspective, if I have doubts and unsure on the quality, I would wait for release, as there might be a chance that it'll bin soon after release like ITEM #1131773.
2 månader sedan
Honestly, my rules haven't changed much.

1. If it's not something i love: I guess if I think it'll go up or down.
If I'm not too interested in the item, and it might go down, I don't PO.
It didn't work out with
Didn't PO: ITEM #739414 (maintained and increased in price)
Did PO: ITEM #317826 (Mine has a common defect, and between defect and lack of interest she binned)

2. If I love it: If I have budget, I PO it
ITEM #549455
ITEM #490595
ITEM #543992
ITEM #591632
ITEM #548722

Idk I don't check the prices after sale much. If it went down, I'll feel bad. If it went up, I'll feel bad for everyone who still wants them. They're not investments to me, they're stuff in my room.
If I don't have budget, I might hope for rerelease haha . I guess I have a lot that worked out cause I joined before 2020 and I haven't ordered much since then.

3. Do I think the fandom is gonna move on in next 3-5 years?
I'm interested in idols and magical girls. They aren't really popular at the moment (compared to maybe 2010-2014 for mahou and 2014-2018 for idols). A lot of the fans are selling off their stuff to replace with new interests too. I don't mind waiting to add items to my LLSIF collection
So thankfully I don't have too many things I want to PO these days.. and what I do want, I'd buy either way? Paying 10-20% extra (if it bins) is okay to me if it means I don't have to hunt and all that.
2 månader sedan
I pre-order a lot.
I think I just like the security that I'm getting the figure no matter what (as long as the comapny doesn't mess up) and if it wasn't ridiculous expensive, I'm not that picky with quality, especially small issues. It's not like I'm sitting there and constantly stare at a figure, nitpicking every single thing. If it's a big issue, I would write the company anyway.

Though looking through my current pre-orders, they are really just figures that I really love.
(though if there is an issue with ITEM #1315943, theres gonna be a hefty complaint from me. They are expensive.)

My main concerns are ITEM #1449123 and ITEM #1781658. I heard some things about these companies that weren't that great... I just hope that they turn out fine. Miku is gonna be especially expensive af with taxes,,,
2 månader sedan

1) preorder if it is limited / special edition / or I really, REALLY want it.

2) do NOT preorder - if you just like the figure or it is a normal edition.
This can really save you in regards to:

Issues - I actually liked e.g. ITEM #1049502 or ITEM #1253507
It turned out that both figures have SEVERE drooping issue, are thus badly designed and not worth the full price in my opinion. If there is a great bargain, I migt still be tempted.

Price - like you said, many figures bin heavily nowadays

FOMO - If I wait a bit longer it gives me time to realize if I have FOMO or if I actually really want the figure.

Yen - since the Yen decreased this made figures bought / paid later cheaper. Figures prepaid last year were more expensive. If you pay now it's cheaper. (of course this can be reversed in the future)

The wait and see tactic has way too many benefits at the moment
2 månader sedan
MiLingpao My Collection Diary
(⁠✿⁠^⁠‿⁠^⁠) since the beginning of this year i only Preorder if it's a limited Shop exclusive collectors Edition, like Item

ITEM #1991905

Shop exklusive Made to Order Merch like
ITEM #1829331

Or Prize Figurine, if i really love the character and want to have them ASAP (⁠≧⁠▽⁠≦⁠) like

ITEM #1920930


ITEM #1944759

And i only Preorder in Shops that allows to cancel Preorder anytime, like Figuya & SE EU Store (⁠*⁠´⁠ω⁠`⁠*⁠)

Everything else, especially if it's expensive, I prefer to wait and see (⁠.⁠ ⁠❛⁠ ⁠ᴗ⁠ ⁠❛⁠.⁠). I don't need to have everything IMMEDIATELY. For me, collecting is also a never-ending journey (⁠≧⁠▽⁠≦⁠)
2 månader sedan
I collect mostly nendoroids so I guess this doesn't really apply to me. How I decide to preorder is twofold:

1.) Is it of a favorite, important character that I cannot miss?
2.) Does it have all the necessary accessories/faceplates that are not locked behind a paywall (i.e. having to order from GSC Direct to get an extra part that is absolutely crucial?)

If the nendoroid fits BOTH of these criteria, then I preorder them. I recently had to cancel my preorder of Genjyo Sanzo because I can't, in good conscience as you mentioned, pay that much for such a lackluster figure. Yes he is important to me (Saiyuki was a huge part of my childhood), but if he doesn't look like what I want him to look like, then I feel like I'd just resent owning him.

This was a different case for the Ash and Eiji (Banana Fish) nendoroids. They didn't fit criteria #2, but I was ok with it because I was primarily going to display them in a different outfit anyway (traditional Japanese wedding outfits), and in those alternate outfits they have stayed ever since I first got them. But with Sanzo, I'm not planning on putting him in anything else, so with a heavy heart I had to cancel.

With scales, on the other hand... well, I'm not really planning to collect any more because I'm out of space, so I don't have to worry about it. And with prize figurs, well, they're like $5-20, maybe even 30 max. I don't really worry about the quality with something that cheap, and they're not really something I can preorder anyway.
2 månader sedan
Only pre-order a figure or anything if it is limited. Though the limit is usually artificial these days from the companies I check.

But most figure companies I've seen don't make a really big mess up. So there are no real lows to me. Except for these situations:

1. A prototype is shown and never released (ITEM #549580).

2. A Garage Kit isn't picked up for a pre-painted release (ITEM #1917737).

3. Or the wait to hope that a company will release favorites in a line (ENTRY #105896).
2 månader sedan
bye_myAlone Local Sleepy Girl™
I love preordering. Almost every figure I own has been a preorder and I only regret getting one of them. And that was more because I wasn't into the series anymore by the time it came out, and AmiAmi wasn't as lenient back then w/ cancellations. And speaking of cancellations, with places being nicer about them in general these days, I see no reason not to preorder, unless there's a non-refundable down payment.

Before I preorder, I research a lot about the manufacturer, look at actual irl photos where I can, spend a lot of time debating, and carefully planning my budget. So if I ever really truly regret a preorder, it doesn't feel as bad as if it was an impulsive move. But once again, I only have ever regretted it once.

Also, seeing how almost all my Nendoroids are selling for $100+ now, I really can't say I regret preordering at all. Not that I would sell them, but if most your interests are more niche like me, just about any investment you put in has a good chance of coming back. Pour one out if you're missing a dream figure though, I am never getting ITEM #520675 at this rate

Edit: That being all said though, I feel I should add that my tastes have gotten a lot pickier over time to the point I only have like one or two preorders a year. My collection is super small compared to the rest of MFC, lol.
2 månader sedan
I don’t pre-order anymore unless it’s something I really want or extremely limited. One of the reasons is that I don’t like to cancel pre-orders if I change my mind, it’s too much hassle and might damage my credibility. And usually prices don’t skyrocket immediately if the figure is not extremely limited in quantity or popular so I can still snag it on auctions shortly after release. Unfortunately, paying more than necessary for a figure happens often and is not completely avoidable, I was salty at first too but learned to quickly move on to the next item on my wishlist.
2 månader sedan

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