Mention collecting figurines and most people would not think of animefigures. This hobby is too new for most people to have heard of, yet just like Lladro or Hummel the figurines are modeled after popular characters.
Anime figures are very much like traditional collectible figurines but they have an additional element of being associated with Japanese pop culture. In my opinion, this is what makes the collecting anime figurines special by comparison. For example, that Lladro ballerina in your curio cabinet does not appear in a movie, graphic novel, or video game. In a way, collecting these figurines is an extension of the book to movie tradition.
Of course there is plenty of middle ground for collectors of anime figurines in the $100 to $150 price range. As you can see from these prices, they are not toys but true collectibles. Just as anime is related to animation, manga is related to graphic novels or what we would call comic books.
However, unlike the comics we know, manga is very stylized and can be sophisticated and even episodic. Both anime and manga are very rooted in Japanese culture so most Japanese are used to seeing both art forms in family entertainment.
In the US, an adult might take a child to an animated movie, but not sit through one with other adults; however, this is changing. Americans associate cartoons with children, but anime is more than a cartoon. The story lines can be very sophisticated. While kids may have an interest in it, popular figurines are aimed at adult buyers with the low end toy characters in the $5 price range for kids and more collectible items around $200 for adults.
Banish the thought that anime is childish. It is entertainment plain and simple. Nowadays, most of it comes with at least English subtitles if it hasn’t been dubbed in English altogether. Like all entertainment, it has genres that can be controversial but there is more than enough choice to find your comfort level.
If you’re not sure what anime figures to collect, start by watching internet videos, paying attention to what video games are popular, or even going to conventions. However, you don’t need to know the background of the character to enjoy the anime figurine. They are artistic works, and you can just appreciate the skill that went into creating it.
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