One Year Collecting Figures

Posted by meronpan on March 30, 2009

Click for gelbooru source

Click for gelbooru source

I’ll preface this post by saying I’m no writer.  But I do get tired of my posts all written in the same conversational style.  So!!  On the (approximately) 1 year anniversary of my first figure purchase, here’s a little story of how things unfolded these past 12 months.

A normal day in akiba.  I was haphazardly making my rounds through the crowded stores, glad Japan’s humid summer was still months away.  Akiba was a home away from home but I was slightly out of my element.  With manga and game purchases already taken care of, I was determined to buy a figure.  “Just one,” I told myself.  “One can’t hurt.”


My research was woefully insufficient.  Who were all these different manufacturers?  Alter?  Was that related to Atelier-Sai?  Atelier-Sai was a longer name… maybe that meant it was better.  Max Factory?  Was that a good one?  I remembered nothing from Danny’s site.  Well, nothing except for the name “nendoroid”.  I knew they nendoroids were made by a reputable figure manufacturer and that the nagato nendoroid was kawaii.   Paralyzed by the fear of buying a low quality figure from a no-name company, I played it safe.  Mission: purchase nendoroid nagato.

After a couple hours of browsing different shops, I finally found her tucked away in a case at a store down a ways from the JR station.  Why was nagato so hard to find? Was 5000 yen a good price? Choices and time were limited so I went for it. In my euphoria I also picked up a pair of nendoroid puchi’s at kotobukiya… they also seemed fairly harmless at the time.


When I got home from Japan the horror struck.  No, not the nagato price.  I could live with that – it was Japan!  I was horrified to find that… I needed more figures!  “I should’ve bought that Max Factory nagato,” I told myself, “and after that, I’ll need the rest of the SOS-dan…” I had fallen.

Past the point of no return ^^;


In the following months preorder upon preorder piled up as I desperately tried to catch up with years of past releases.  Exelica, the Max Factory haruhi gang, kanu figures, limited figures, the shuraki set…  At the same time I was catching up with anime and with each series conquered came new pvc desires.  “I’m just working through a backlog.  I’ll settle down soon.”  Perhaps in a world where soon is equivalent to 10 months’ time, I suppose yes, soon.

Figures led to blogging, blogging led to photography… A tripod was purchased, my desk was cleared off for display space… a detolf was purchased, then another…


74 is the number of figures you’ll find on my tsuki-board profile.  74 signs that I’ve gone completely figure insane.

So then.  That’s how my year of figure collecting got started and snowballed into the current insanity.


365 days later and I’ve…

Took to posing 5 figmas
Been charmed by 7 nendoroids


Happily gave Alter money for 17 beauties
Took 2 1/4 bunnies under my care
Failed to resist kanu, saber, and haruhi on 3 occasions each
Broke 3 figma hands
Gave away 1 figure in a contest
Gathered the 5 shuraki girls… and failed to post all their reviews
Gathered 5 StrikerS gals… and successfully posted their reviews

I’ll leave the blog statistics for the blog 1 year anniversary… which I still haven’t decided whether to set at June 5 (blogger start) or June 17 (wordpress start) ^^;


Anyhow, thanks to everyone who has stopped by! Hopefully I will reach a sustainable rate of purchases this year so I can continue to contribute to the community ^_^ (as opposed to becoming homeless :P)

How was your first year of collecting? Bubble out of control? Have a more reasonable pace?

kore kara mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu

Next time, senhime!




78 Responses to “One Year Collecting Figures”

  1. Rin said

    Your not the only one.
    It’s been around a year since I started collecting figures seriously and look at where I ended up.
    When I first started collecting…I thought to myself, it’s not that much…then it increased to a point I have a lot…like over 125 times what I thought…
    In one year…my collection increase by more then 130 figures…I went out of control…

    • meronpan said

      130?! hahaha wholy crap that’s awesome. i knew you had a lot, but had no idea you were also at a runaway pace. uguuu just noticed i’m way behind on your blog too… so much to catch up on all the time…

  2. optic said

    So the 2nd year anniversary u will have 200? xD
    I think I have the same amount of figures as u. Well, I’m cheating cause I have a lot more nendo petites which came in a box of 12 and figmas which are poseable.

    At this rate, u can open up a shop? xD

  3. ELTboy said

    The first figure usually marks the point of no return, myself included. ^^” I started the hobby 1+ year back as well, in Dec 2007. Had wanted to reward myself for the hard work put in for the year, and ended up with a figure. After that, I could never resist to add more to my collection. Till now, I am still showing no signs of slowing down, even if I swear I am trying. My resistance is practically non existent in the face of my heart’s desire. ^^”

    Read somewhere that figure collectors go through a cycle where they will eventually drop the hobby, either due to lost of interest or lack of funds. One day, maybe … but as of now, I am well caught up in it and will never envisage that happening. At least, there are some figures I could never imagine myself parting company with.

    • T.I.P. said

      Lack of space is currently my #1 concern…screaming girlfriend is #2 on the list ^^;

    • meronpan said

      now that i think of it my figure collecting kinda feels like my wow addiction… while that sputtered out last year, i think as long as i maintain an interest in akiba-kei stuff the positive reinforcement will keep it strong

  4. I had the same ‘malaise’. Once I made my first order for my first figure, it was more more more. Even though I try to be more particular about the ones I buy, there’s no end to what you want to add to the collection!

    I’m also attached to nendoroids, and have been trying hard to pick up all those I’ve missed out on!

    • meronpan said

      they always make something to rope you in :P i think to truly be immune to new releases one would have to stop watching anime, playing games and reading manga… which will never happen :P

      i’m resisting nendoroids for now to try and save some cash, but it’s hard… nagi & zange-chan are so irresistible!

  5. curryninja said

    Very nice collection! Actually my first year of figure collecting was a very scrutinous process as I was always worried about buying a fig of lesser quality (didn’t have a lot of money in high school). After I bought my first fig it just went from there. Now that I’m in college I’m back to choosing carefully and keeping an eye on my budget.

    Nice cases by the way. Are those Ikea glass cases? I think I’ve seen them around before and I’m thinking about getting some.

    • meronpan said

      i’m lucky to have picked up the hobby after being employed… don’t know what i would’ve done during college ^^;;

      indeed, those cases are ikea detolfs. lots of people seem to like the detolf because it’s relatively cheap, though it’s kinda hard to fit a lot of stuff in them (without everything looking cramped)

  6. Yi said

    This is a great post.

    I can remember the early collecting days when I went through the same phase. Confusion about makers, prices, places… etc. and the thought that I would just get one.
    After the first one though, I was so addicted, and I did “bubble out of control.” Though not as hardcore as you.

    That is really an impressive collection, especially after only one year of figure collecting.

    • meronpan said

      you’re lucky you didn’t get as out of control as i did ^^;;; there are somedays when i just look around my room and think, “crap, what have i done” ^^;;; …though just i brush it off with a “ma, iikka” ^^

      • Yi said

        Lucky maybe.
        But I think I’m still at the stage where I always wish I had one more figure, and one more, and one more.

        I look forward to the day when I have around as many figures as you.

        By the way, how do you keep your figures so dustless? Mine attract so much dust in so little time, especially ones on my desk.

        • meronpan said

          ack, sorry for overlooking your response (seems like there’s been a lot more to respond to lately…)

          the figures in my detolf stay pretty dustless, so ignoring those… well, i dust ’em ^^; i try to do it at least once a month, but sometimes i get lazy (3-4 months orz) and it gets pretty bad. A few weeks back I had done a really thorough dusting of my entire room (i.e. not just figures), so things probably look a lot better in these pics than they would’ve 2 months ago ^^;

  7. I see that you have joined the Dark side! Nice story btw, although my story is a bit different… it all stem from my inability to properly build resin kits, I still have quite a few of them in a box. My regret of not having the necessary appetite to build resin has led me more interested in prepainted figures. That regret was so strong that it has manifest itself into the entire collection I own today.

    • meronpan said

      aaa i sooo wish i could do resin kits. gundamjehutykai does some nice work… i’m insanely jealous. was it the painting that tripped you up? for me that seems like the biggest hurdle. regardless i still want to try one day…

      • Painting is indeed a big hurdle to overcome. Back in the late 80s I managed to complete one resin kit, it wasn’t painted very well but I have kept fragment of the kit around still to serve as a reminder. Then several years ago I managed to get my hands on this goddess

        Sailor Saturn Musical 1

        I was so overwhelmed by her presence that I finally understood that I should stick with what I am good at, which is engineering, not as an artist.

        • meronpan said

          very nice ^^ i should also stick to my engineering roots but nevertheless, just love the hobby too much, i gotta try someday

          i admit i’m not familiar with the figure you linked… that a sailor moon character? i’m so bad with lots of the classics ^^;;;; she does look lovely thou

          • ^^; Yes she is Sailor Saturn of the Sailor Moon series. She is also the first pre-painted resin I own. Back in the days, PVC figures weren’t as high quality as they are today, most of them back then were cold cast or polystone etc and the painting done on them weren’t as detail as we can have nowadays. Getting my hands on this Sailor Saturn was a huge shock to my system, what I believe to be impossible became possible that day; and it forever changed the industry standard in my mind and they made it affordable enough for me to seriously consider to become a collector.

            Oh there is no harm in trying and see how far you can take it. I reckon I might be able to do a better job than what I did 20 some odd years ago too? heheh

  8. Adun said

    Wait till you reach 5 years, then look around your room and think “WTF” or “I need more”. As for me, I more “meh”.

    • meronpan said

      hahahah indeed i wonder which reaction i’ll have. at the moment it feels like it’ll be “i need more” but then again, that’s kinda what i thought about wow back when i was raiding.

      i guess on the bright side if i do ever tire of the hobby, it will free up an immense about of cash ^^;;;

  9. daemonseed said

    I wonder how I’ll turn out…..well if I had more money, probably worse than that. Anyway, I bought my first figure around the end of January this year, and I’ve been incredibly ichy for my second purchase, I’ve just made my second purchase, and am about to go to work between term times at uni for more money.

    You see the pattern here huh… XD

    I think it’ll snowball. May the anime gods help me D:


    • meronpan said

      good luck! ^_^ you might want to set up a spreadsheet or other sort of list to track your spending… i think that’s what has helped keep me in check lately (some monthly totals were pretty painful orz)

  10. konadora said

    More hardcore than me! :P
    Me too, at first I bought a Konata figma. Then I was like, I need to collect the rest of the Lucky Star cast. Then, later on, I’m like, ‘Hey, there’s Haruhi too!’. And so it went… ;__;

    Must have spent hundreds of dollars on them, no regrets though :3

    • meronpan said

      ah the set completion disease ^^; if it weren’t for that perhaps i might not have gotten off to such an aggressive start. but when you have to order 4 or 5 figures to complete a set, all of a sudden you’re throwing around gobs of money and when it comes time to drop another $60 for some new releases, it doesn’t feel like a big purchase anymore ^^;;;;

  11. sonic_ver2 said

    “Figures led to blogging, blogging led to photography… ”

    It’s a waste to keep your collection for yourself. Showing off the collection is a part of blogging i guess. As for me, i started photography and figure collecting at the same time. Then, after taking some photos, i thought about blogging to show off my photos and collections. XD

    Anyway, congratulation on your 1 year collecting figures!

    • meronpan said

      indeed they compliment each other very nicely. especially when your friends don’t share your interests, blogging is a great way to connect with others.

      doumo~ ^^

  12. Leonia said

    You have a amazing collection, with beautiful figure like Erika Sendo (i wish her!!), Kanu Uncho Daiki, Konjiki no Yami, Hiyori Pixy, Takamori Haruka Alter, Exelica, Fate Testarossa, Louise Uniforme Alter, Asakura Ryoko bunny (i wish her too!!)and Yumil black version (i prefer blue, but she is limited and hard to find).

  13. T.I.P. said

    Hmm…speaking of one year, I was planning for something similar too ^^; Not sure if my one year began with my Saint Cloth Myth purchase(s) last May, my first Fraulein Asuka in May as well, or my first PVC figure last August. I just wanted to collect the 12 gold saints…12 gold saints turned to 12 GS + 8 poiseidon sea generals…then came the Asgard and Hades arc “orz

    First came across Yuki Nagato from a capsule machine in May, I saw Yuki in PJs and thought “WOW, CUTE!!!” put $5 HKD ($.75 USD) into the machine and got what I wanted. Had no idea who Yuki was (just began watching anime, the first ones were Minami-ke and Macross Frontier)…I’ll save the story for my own post ^^; Long story short, bought my first PVC figure in August…It was an Atelier-Sai Yuki Nagato Bunny, and I thought to myself “WOW!!! Really nice figure!!!” Too bad I don’t feel the same about that figure now :(

    It’s nice to see that you can rack up all those figures (some I really want) in a mere 365 days. And to answer your question about finances, I just deferred my LEGO buying fund to figures ^^; Was running out of space for additional LEGO sets. So I would say no change was needed. I’m still playing catch up with my figure buys “orz

    • meronpan said

      i’ve always wondered about this saint cloth myth thing… haven’t taken the time to check it out yet ^^;; all their stuff is so shiny, it’s a definite eye catcher ^^

      aaa legos! i love legos. alas, last time i had a big set was when i was… gads… in grade school maybe? video games because a much bigger priority, so while i enjoyed legos a lot… i loved gaming more ^^;

      • T.I.P. said

        I don’t think you’ll like them much if you’re not a fan of the Saint Seiya series. The anime brings back many childhood memories, and that’s why I’ve grown fond of the series and the figures.

        LEGOs are here to fulfill my childhood dreams…that’s all I have to say ^^;

  14. James said

    At least you understand that you are crazy , that’s a good start i think ! :p

    Happy Anniversary i guess :p

  15. Blowfish said

    74 Figures? Nice!
    My first anniversary was in early January and ive accumulated 42 figures so far.I guess id be much more if my Salary back then would have been higher ^_^
    It started for me with buying some figures of Characters I liked,thinking that it would be a one time experience.I didnt really care about manufacturers and such an just ordered what looked cool.
    Big Mistake :D

    Theres still a ton of already released figures I wanna get my hands on aswell as the last Shuraki Char I missed due to my retailers fault.

    Ill get my first real paycheck in about a month.Cant wait for that day to come :D
    Its gonna be Blowfish in Merchandise Wonderland ^^

    • meronpan said

      argh that really sucks that you missed char on account of the retailer… i’m very surprised they didn’t do a rerelease of her…

      grats on the upcoming pay ^^ looking forward to your aquisitions!

  16. Wow…compare to you, Me still “bo” any figure yet….cry

  17. fabian said

    Bought my first figure three or four years ago. My collection grew rather slowly, not counting pre-orders I currently have seven figures. I usually try to avoid making impulse buys by thinking about each pre-order/purchase for a day or two and decide afterwards whether I really want the figure or not. The lack of monies is another reason for not buying many figures but not the main one.

    • meronpan said

      back in the earlier months i was plagued by impulse buys -_- every time i ordered something it 1 or 2 additional figures somehow made their way into my shopping cart… i admire your discipline ^^

  18. arcium said

    That is how it all starts, with one figure!
    I have been buying figures for three years now, and I think I have 150 figures now, and I think I will continue collecting them, but the only difference is now I buy only ones I like.I also got into takeing pictures, buying a tripod and two digital cameras. Anyway nice collection! I also like the alter nanoha strikers figures =)

    • meronpan said

      looks like you are/were on quite a fast pace also ^^; i’m looking forward to getting another camera, but first i need to save some money ^^;;

      doumo desu~

  19. super rats said

    “Just one” is, I’m sure, a familiar thought/memory to way too many of us.^^

  20. Q said

    Hahahaha “Just one”. I told myself the same thing when I first got a 1/144 tank 5 or 6 years ago. And now I’ve ended up not being able to count the number of tanks and military miniatures I have anymore.

    Nevertheless I am still very picky on figures. If I were to get Fate then she’ll be my third ever scaled PVC figure. o_o

  21. Oh, how your collection has grown! ^o^ “Figure addiction” should be a topic in one of those self-help pamphlets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say “Just one” and stick with it. ^^;

    I started collecting 1 1/2 years ago but at the time I stuck to blind box figures, thinking that people who would spend $30+ on a figure were crazy. (And now I’m one of them! orz) Took me a solid 6 months to convince myself to buy 1/8 Pastel Ink.
    This is my “one year” photo btw: http://www.dannychoo.com/detail/mac/eng/image/14251/One+year+ago.html

    • meronpan said

      looks like you have a lot more self control ^^;

      i also used to think the prices were insane… now i’m a total slave to alter… $60 is cheap, $80 is regular… ^^;;;

  22. phossil said

    “One can’t hurt” .. And thus, the adventure begins… Lol..

    “Figures led to blogging, blogging led to photography” I think I had fallen in here too. I wasnt a photographer hobbiest until I started with figures..

    • meronpan said

      i think super rats talked about that in one of his posts…i think it went something like… you start a collection… unless you’re in a truly unique situation, chances are that your regular friends don’t share your interest… what better place to turn for camaraderie but the internet! but then to share on the internet… you need pics!

      it’s a shame all the nice cameras and lenses are so expensive… otherwise i’d already be in over my head in that hobby too ^^;

      • You hit the nail right on the head for this one, none of my friends back from college share the same interest as I do. It’s not until much later did I learn the term Otaku, oh they are talking about me lol.

  23. Persocom said

    I’d have to do some hunting to figure out the exact date I started collecting, I’d say officially in June but I did pick that one resin statue figure thing earlier. Soon I’ll be around my one year mark, wonder where the number will be by then. I know what I got coming for the next three months is going to hurt the bank account XD My story is a lot different but the reason for getting more is basically the same. Figma Yuki got lonely and Haruhi joined her, then Mikuru, then…. this is one addictive hobby! XD

    • meronpan said

      hahah i wonder what haruhi’s total economic impact has been on the otaku economy ^^

      lotsa good stuff coming out in the coming months… i just noticed that extravaganza haruhi is ready to ship at hobby search (though mine will be delayed until… i forget what else i bundled with her…)

  24. gordon said

    have been collecting for close to 3 years now. mine aren’t a big collection. i have cut down on figure purchase lately and only go for ones that i really like since right now my capital is mainly devoted to star wars costuming and photography.

    • meronpan said

      ah, another old vet ^^ i can see how it would extremely tough to support an extensive figure collection along with those other two hobbies… unless TK8316 turns to the dark side and seizes funds from helpless citizens :P

  25. lovelyduckie said

    Ah…I remember telling my boyfriend I just wanted a couple figures…ya…that snowballed hard and fast. I actually did about the same thing as you. I bought the MF Figures of Yuki and Ryoko and was like “this will be it I don’t need the rest of the cast”…I know own every MF Melancholy of Haruhi figure…it’s something to be proud of and a little sad about since I clearly have no self control. I’m at 2 years collecting figures, but I have only seriously been collecting for about 1.

    • lovelyduckie said

      *now own

    • meronpan said

      dang, 2 years! i had thought you had been collecting for much longer (especially if you say you’ve only been seriously collecting for 1 ^^;)

      i think mf yuki set up some quickly dashed expectations for ease of castoffability… quickly realized what a pain it was when the shuraki girls started to arrive… ^^;

  26. Smithy said

    I don’t have a whole lot of figures, I try and get only those I really adore and try to prune my collection every now and then.

    Used to have tons more, including Star Wars figures/statues, but sold those. For me, moderation works best, that way I appreciate the figures I have more. ^^

    But they’re making so many good ones lately… ^^;;

    • meronpan said

      i’m not sure when i’ll be able to part with anyone in my collection ^^; though if i did, i’d certainly be able to sustain a much higher volume… ^^;;;

      really has been good lately, always something nagging my wallet…

  27. xJAYMANx said

    @Meronpan: Haha, so you’ve survived your first year already! Yeah, mine started with one little “Gothic Black Saber”, lol. And in 2 1/2 years, it exploded to 92 figures! Maybe u remember all of my crazy monthly-order stats? Pretty insane. All I can say is: Good luck, man! >_<;

    • meronpan said

      hahah thanx ^^ it’s always terrible how you’re ordering ordering, the month is ticking away… and somehow… over the course of 30 days… it doesn’t register how much of dent the orders put in your wallet… at least, that’s how i’ve been ^^;

  28. Hangmen said

    Once you’re on plastic crack, you know you can’t stop. SPICE MUST FLOW!

  29. oneandonlyjem said

    I really like this post. It was a good and clever read where I completely understand the plummet into this crazy world. Well, looking back on my year [late March/early April], it has spiraled into over 400+ figures that I haven’t updated over on my tsukiboard. If you’re crazy then I am definitely in a straitjacket.

  30. YuKi-To said

    Haha interesting, quite similar to the way I started figure collecting, a trip to Japan in July and bought LS nendo puchi set 1 XD

    I am still a young vet and collecting figures that I like, seems like I wont be as figure insane as u in a year :3

    • meronpan said

      i soooo wish i got the complete lucky star nendoroid puchi set… i still want a kagamin puchi orz stupidly thought i would be lucky enough to get her buying random singles… figures i got 3 miyuki (all the cheerleader one, no less!!)

      though it’s been fun i could never recommend the pace i’ve been purchasing at ^^;; very stressful on the finances ^^;

  31. gundamjehutykai said


    Well, you’ve beaten my collection and I’ve been collecting for a lot longer than 1 year… Now I feel bad.

    • meronpan said

      no need to feel bad ^^;;; i just happened to have much more reckless spending habits as i started out ^^;; not to mention all the awesome stuff you have/have built ^^

  32. andra said

    lol! I was the same as you with the “Alter? Was that related to Atelier-Sai?” part when I first started ^^; But I only have one figure in mind and thats MF Shana so I just happily get her from HLJ.

    I only wanted just that MF Shana but wonder why she gets so many friends now ^^;

    Come to think of it, many of us goes from blogging to figures to photography and vice versa =D

    • meronpan said

      hahaha seriously? i thought it was just me for the alter/atelier thing ^^;; looking back on it now, i have no idea how i ever associated the two (it must’ve just been because both names started with an ‘a’ ^^;;)

      since no one likes to read on the internet, ya gotta have pics to grab people’s attention ^^; not that i mind, photography’s been lotsa fun ^^

  33. Vixion said

    lol that was really funny :D 1 nendro to change them all

  34. Kimi said

    Hahaa… Ok, I love figures as well, but i wouldnt be willing to drop that much money on so many.. 60+$.. e_e expensive
    so instead, I papercraft… currently I only have 35 papercraft figures (11 are different mikus) and like 10 regular figures…
    And since the papercrafts take longer to make and are cheap, theyre a good alternative to me rather than spending a lot a lot of money on beautiful figures ;_;

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