My journey to becoming a collectorMy journey to becoming a collectorDiary

VegetoSFVegetoSFVor 2 Monaten
I always like reading your article's here. No idea if someone is interesting in reading my wall of text, but I will give it a try.

Some background

I just turned 32 and probably would consider myself as one of the "older" collectors here. I am giving you this context to let you know, that I am still from a time, where it was not so easy to get any Anime Merchandise at all.
My love for Anime started with Pokemon & Dragon Ball and specially for the latter one, I always wanted to have some nice looking figures of Goku, Piccolo etc., however back then the best thing I could get would be a poster and a manga. And it stayed this way, although Anime & Manga always were some part of my life, sometimes more, sometimes less.

How it all started

So you can guess from above, that I always felt like I missed out on having merchandise of my beloved characters etc. and I think the first time I realized, that I still kind of want to do it, was when Nintendo released Amiibos in 2015. It was fun buying them, collecting them, displaying them! The price was also attractive.

However, so far this was only about Videogame characters, but not about Anime. It all changed, when in 2017 I went to Japan for the first time and visited Akihabara. I have to be honest, Akihabara blew my mind, there were so many things I even didn't know that they existed. I mean come on all the merchandise, those figures, it was like a heaven, a place I always wanted to see when I was still a younger.

But hold on here, you need to know, that I am actually a very careful person when spending money. So what did I buy on my first day in Akihabara?

I bought a price figures from Asuka ITEM #288971 for 1400 Yen. Everything else seemed to be extremely expensive (oh boy).

On our last day it was raining like hell, however I wanted wanted to go to Akiba again, as I was interested in buying one of these "Nendoroid figures". So I finally found a good place, where they sold pre-owned ones. I was able to buy Marth ITEM #287727 from Fire Emblem for "2400 Yen". Everything above 3000 Yen seemed to be too expensive.

Was 2017 the kick-off for being a collector?

No it wasn't, because I did not buy any more new figures until I returned to Japan in 2018. And what did I buy here? You might have figured it out by now, I bought 1 Dragon Ball prize figure of Vegetto (favourite character) and 2 Banpresto figures from One Piece. At least I bought them in Nakano Broadway, nice prices there ;)

Of course I was back in Japan in 2019, but since 2018 no additional figures. I would consider this as kind of the trigger, because back then I already had a lot of fun buying figures. I think I bought around 7-10 figures, most of them prize figures and 2 Nendoroids. However, the most expensive one was still very cheap with 3300 Yen (ITEM #806074).


After 2019 I also started displaying them nicely etc. and I was even considering buying my first scale figure.

2020 my first year as a collector

At the beginning of 2020 I looked into buying my first scale figure, however many of the prices were still way to high for me. Therefore I decided I need to buy a pre-owned figures from AmiAmi, eBay and here. I was able to buy my first two scale figures, which were:

1.) Monohime from Muramasa ITEM #27637
2.) Alisa from Godeater Item ITEM #164557

Over the year I also pre-ordered a couple of Nendoroids and my collection was steadily growing. I added two more scale figures from Okami and Ane Naru Mono. However, I never really wanted to go above 100 Euro for a figure.

The final step, which was kind of breaking my resistance of buying expensive figures was, when I decided to buy this Megumin Kato figure. It is just so beautiful, I am still excited and personally decided that it can be worth spending 200 Euro for a figure. And since then my willingness to pay huge prices is there. And this is also how my year 2020 ended. So you can say it is quite the journey between 2017 and now, especially in terms of what I am willing to pay.


Looking at ahead

If I look at my current per-orders, that is roughly 1.500 Euro worth of "plastic", I am currently struggling a little bit with myself, but on the other hand those figures seem to be all worth every penny. I also think that covid-19 kind of had an influence on this, as we are sitting at home and you need some things like collecting to stay really positive.


As so far I have not really many and expensive scale figures, it might be that this year I will kind of get a lot of them, so that I can build up a nice collection and then just continue with 1-2 scales per year and then just Nendoroids.

I am sure there are even more great figures to come this year, so going to be tough to manage the budget.

10 lessons learned from my first year as a collector

So what did I learn in my first real year as a collector "last year"? I guess you want the honest truth right?

1.) I need an emotional connection to the character, this makes them even more beautiful.
For example I decided to sell my Alisa figure at one point, she looked nice, but I was not really deep into Godeater or the character. And I am trying to follow this from now on, as this also reduces the amount of potential figures you want to buy.

2.) Pre-ordering is tough! As someone in Europe, you have high shipping & taxes, it is sometimes a bit of a hassle to pick-up your figure. And of top of it, sometimes you can be never sure if you will still like this figure in 6 or 12 months. Things just change over time and I am really having problems with identifying, where I am just hyped for a couple of weeks or where I do really like the figure. So best is really to wait a couple of weeks or order in places where you can still pre-order at a pre-defined point in time.

3.) Just because I am watching an anime right now, it does not need I need a figure. It is similar as above, but when you are watching a show and you then see a figure, you could be wrong about it. So ideally wait a couple of weeks until you are not watching it anymore and then search your feelings ;)

4.) Prize figures can be great, especially Taito. But on the other hand, too many figures does not feel great, also because you value them less. So I have identified for myself now, that I want more expensive figures, but less figures instead.

5.) Decorating and displaying is fun! Combined with photography, this can be really something else.

6.) It is fun being part of a community, reading other people thoughts on figures etc. So thank you MFC, you kind of made it more fun for me.

7.) It is fine for figures to be sexy. Probably never will buy cast-off figures etc.But I have to be fair, sexy figures have a certain attraction and it is fine to buy them. For some of you that is of course natural, but to be honest for some time I felt that this would be a bit awkward.

8.) Figures are expensive and I am always fighting that internal battle about the costs. But in the end, you only live once and if you have a clear budget and your life is not negatively affected by it, absolutely fine to spend money on figures. Other people also spend money on stuff, where you can debate if this is making sense or not ;)

9.) I like creating themed "corners". Collecting figures from the same anime, combining it with manga or other merch, just feels great! E.g. you can see the Saekano corner I built. I tried the same with Ane Naru Mono.


For 2021 I am mainly focusing of extended my Persona corner and building one for Konosuba.

10.) If you don't like your figures anymore, just sell them, probably someone else is going to have more fun with it. I did that with some of my first prize figures, it feels good to make some space.

If you managed to get to the end: Thank you!
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I feel like I am on lesson 3-4 at the moment and want to jump to lesson 10, after my first prize figure I started getting more of them and coming to terms with costs/worth of certain figures. I have a better bearing on the direction towards collecting more and I want to primarily get scales, Pop up's, and the exception of a few prize figures. How should I go about selling old prize figures that I wouldn't want anymore ? In the very beginning I never thought about keeping the boxes to sell and now I am not too sure how to viably sell them.
Vor 1 Monat
Congrats on the first scales added to your collection! Momohime was one of my first ever and I still own her. ^_^
Vor 2 Monaten
I'm almost your age and yes, anime was not as mainstream as it is today. I'm still amazed to see anime merch in physical stores around here lol. Back in the day Pokemon and Yugioh cards/games were the only anime related things I'd see around. And man it's so much easier to buy figures now. When I started collecting not as many figures were accessible online outside of Japan so you pretty much had to use proxies especially for store exclusives. Now there's so many retailers and you have the international GS and Koto shops. It's definitely easier to buy figures but at the same time figures are triple the price I used to pay. I got Alter scales for $90 if you can believe that and many other scales were $50-$80. $120 was a limited/exclusive figure, and the figure was actually limited not "limited" like today, and that was considered super expensive. Nowadays there're $400 MSRP figures out there, and $150 is on the lower end of price. Honestly if I were a newer collector I don't think I'd have gotten into figures. I only keep going because I'm already in too deep and love them.

I really agree with your 3rd point. I was guilty of this when I first started collecting and now still have figures of series I no longer care for. You get caught in the hype train especially if it's a current season series, so you're blinded by the novelty of the show and everybody around you hyping it up. That's part of the reason I make it a point to not watch seasonals as they come out.
Vor 2 Monaten
Great article; I've always wanted to go to Japan to go shopping for anime figures. I'd be so shocked too to see all those figures in one place. I love spending money, so I'd have a hard time keeping any kind of budget!

I buy characters I don't really know quite often, but my figures are like a little family to me, so the more time I spend with them, the more attached I become to them. I love Nendoroids, but I paid for my first scale figure last year. Due to COVID delays, I'm still waiting for them to come in. I ordered these figures: ITEM #644120 ITEM #644121

If I didn't know them, I couldn't justify paying so much for them. I'd do it for a Nendoroid because I'm really devoted to that figure line, but scales don't really appeal to me very much.

Happy collecting, my dude :-)

Vor 2 Monaten
mm that utaha nendo :D
Vor 2 Monaten
setokaibaswife ♡ Seto Kaiba's Wife ♡
Although I'm not quite your age, I got into and started collecting anime very young, so I can still very much relate to your statement of "I am giving you this context to let you know, that I am still from a time, where it was not so easy to get any Anime Merchandise at all."
Things were such a rarity when I started collecting. I would have to go to book stores with the ISBN, then wait for them to order it, to buy a volume of manga.

I feel like kids these days are kinda spoiled, looking at how easily accessible things are... but good for them, really. I kinda wish I had the same opportunities myself at the time but also I do look back fondly on the way that the community used to be. It was probably a more wholesome community back then, just nerds supporting nerds, right now I see it's hitting mainstream so it's 'trendy' to like anime and fandoms are rife with drama (which of course always existed but it was different) and witch hunts over the smallest things.
Vor 2 Monaten
I just turned 36, so I hear you on many levels. I started collecting back in the 90s of what little I could get my hands on (poster here, t-shirt there), and it built up from there. I actually just started a new show on my Twitch channel and the first episode was literally about how times have changed and what we could get back in the day versus what you can get now, and showed some of the more 'ancient' or 'vintage' pieces I own and compared them with some more modern versions.
Vor 2 Monaten
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