Are you looking to get into collecting anime figures? Are you sure you know what you’re getting into? There’s an inside joke in the anime figure-collecting community that once you get your first figure, you won’t be able to stop buying. It’s like digging yourself into a hole you cannot climb out of. The hobby is an actual money pit. And you’re probably here wondering if collecting anime figures is a waste of money. To answer the question, it is not a waste of money if you are happy with buying anime figures. Borrowing the words of a certain organizing consultant:
“Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.Marie Kondo
True enough, if collecting anime figures sparks joy, then carry on. If it does not spark joy, then this hobby is not for you.
It’s Just Like Any Collecting Hobby
Collecting anime figures is a lot like any other collecting hobby – it’s not a waste of money if you enjoy it and you are careful with your spending. Just like with any hobby, there are ways to waste money on collecting anime figures, but there are also ways to be smart about it. Don’t get yourself into a lifetime of debt buying anime figures.
Collecting is Good for Your Mental Health
Collecting anything is good for your mental health. Many studies have proven this. Your mental health is very important. So go and spend your money on things that bring you joy. As long as you’re not breaking the bank, the mental health benefit will be well worth it.
- How Hobbies Improve Mental Health
- The science behind why hobbies can improve our mental health
- Association of Enjoyable Leisure Activities With Psychological and Physical Well-Being
- The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief
Also, did you know that one session with a psychiatrist can cost as much as one scale figure?
How to Save Money Buying Anime Figures
If you’re worried about wasting money on your new hobby, here are a few tips to help you avoid overspending:
- Set a budget for yourself and stick to it.
- Shop around for the best prices, both online and offline. Consider shipping costs too.
- Avoid buying on impulse. Take some time to think about whether or not you really want a particular figure before you purchase it.
- Preorder figures to avoid expensive after-market prices.
- In some cases, figure prices tank in the pre-owned market. And sometimes, figures are cheaper in the pre-owned market.
- 4. Only buy what you can afford. If you can’t afford the latest and most remarkable figure, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of great figures out there that won’t break the bank. If you are on a tight budget, consider buying prize figures and Pop-Up Parades. Nendoroids and Figmas are also cheaper.
- Be patient. Good deals will come along if you’re willing to wait for them.
If You’re Happy Then It’s not a Waste of Money, To Hell with Naysayers
There are a lot of people out there who think that collecting anime figures is a waste of money. However, any collector knows that the value of the collecting hobby is the happiness factor. Understandably, someone that does not engage in the hobby will not know the joy of collecting anime figures.
If I tell someone buying Pokemon Cards, Magic Cards, or collecting stamps and coins is a waste of money, I’m pretty sure I will earn the ire of that collecting community. Belittling the things that give another person joy is a form of emotional manipulation and can be hurtful to that person. Whatever it is that you are collecting as long as it is not illegal and you’re happy with your collection, then it’s not a waste of money. It’s your hobby and you enjoy it. As long as you don’t spend beyond your means, then it should not be a problem.
If you think about it, buying anime figures is just like purchasing a sculpture. The only difference is that anime figures are prettier. Essentially, it’s not much different from purchasing a piece of art or home decor.
Why are Anime Figures so Expensive?
Anime figures are expensive for a number of reasons. Anime figures are created to a very high standard and this means each figure goes through stringent quality control to ensure a high level of quality. In addition, anime figures are produced in limited quantities. This results in limited supply which results in increased prices.
Even though anime figures can be expensive, many anime fans still enjoy collecting anime figures as a hobby. For some, it’s simply about acquiring their favorite characters. Others find the challenge of tracking down rare and elusive items to be part of the appeal. Whatever the reason, collecting anime figures can be an enjoyable and rewarding pastime.
It’s Not a Waste of Money if You Can Resell Anime Figures Usually for a Hefty Profit
It’s not really a waste of money if you can resell most figures for a massive profit if and when you get tired of the hobby. If you happened to buy a figure of a popular character that is high in demand, there is a very good chance that the price for that figure will skyrocket. Anime figures can be resold for a hefty profit, usually around 50% or even up to 300% of the purchase price. However, it is important to note that the resale value of an anime figure can vary greatly depending on the character, series, and condition of the figure.
Keep the Box to Maintain Resale Value
If you think you might resell some of your figures as you build your collection, it is important to keep the boxes. This is important mostly for those pricey scale figures. If you have prize figures, you can discard the boxes as they don’t really make a massive difference though it does help prove a figure is authentic.
The problem with keeping the boxes, however, is that they take up so much space they can quickly fill an entire room after just a few years of collecting. You can check out our guide on how to store figure boxes if this has become a problem for you.
How to Determine How Much to Sell Your Figure For?
I do not recommend overcharging for the preowned figures that you want to sell but it is only fair that you get a fair market value for the figures that you sell. That is generally frowned upon in the figure-collecting community. If you’re considering reselling your anime figures, do your research first. Check out stores that sell pre-owned figures such as Mandarake, Amiami, Jungle of Japan and Solaris Japan. Do note that sites like Amazon and Ebay are not reliable measures of a figure’s after-market value as many sellers overprice the figures sold on these platforms. You can also check the MyFigureCollection database for more information on figure prices.
Normally, you’d want to price your pre-owned figures just a tad lower than what pre-owned stores sell them for. If the figure you have does not have a box, has minor scuffs and damages, or has missing parts you will have to reduce the value more. For major damage, you’ll have to do a bigger price reduction which is why it is important to care for your figures.
How to Take Care of Anime Figures
Taking care of anime figures is pretty straightforward, you just have to follow some guidelines.
- Do not expose your figures to heat. Heat can cause your figures to become soft and lean. While leaning issues on figures can be fixed, it’s better if you wouldn’t need to.
- Keep your figures away from sunlight. Sunlight is a source of heat and you already know you aren’t supposed to expose anime figures to heat. Sunlight also has UV rays and this can cause the plastic to become brittle and crack. This can also cause the paint to fade.
- Keep your figures in a display away from dust, preferably in a dustproof display case. There is no evidence showing any prolonged exposure to dust can do irreversible damage, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Besides, they look better when they are dust-free.
- If you do not display your figures in a dust-proof environment, just dust them off every now and then.
- Unbox your figures. It is recommended to unbox your figures so you can check them for damage so you can have them replaced by the manufacturer. Also, it is rumored that keeping the figures boxed causes them to become sticky. Personally, I am not sure how true this is as I’ve had plenty of figures that became sticky even when unboxed.
Collecting anime figures can be a great way to express your love of the medium. For many collectors, it is a source of joy. It’s something you can show off to your friends. While it may seem like a waste of money in the short term, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways to save money on collectibles and make sure that your purchase is worth it. Moreover, if collecting these items brings joy into your life then there really is no wrong answer. Ultimately, whether or not collecting anime figures is worth it depends entirely on personal preference and budget.
I started the NekoFigs blog in January 2021, 5 years after I’ve started collecting anime figures. It all started with one humble prize figure of Saber Lily which was bought on a whim. Now, I face the big problem of how to deal with over 200 empty boxes.