Year In Review 2013: Toys for Naughty Kids


Let me start with this: I by no mean look down at people who publicly declare their hankering for some pankering in the form of PVC. But it’s a little bit distasteful when your lolipedo waifu is already stripped down to her skinny undies and now you complain that her raven locks are draped across her chest because it’s actually the tasteful sculpting decision? Instead of whining why don’t you do something about it, like hire someone to make a makaizou version?

What I want to say is that figure collection brings your desires to the fore. It is a purifying fire to be a serious figure collector. What drives people buying figures has a lot to do with how well (read: poorly) they control their desires and impulses. It’s not a cheap hobby to get into and once you go beyond casual there is a mountain of headaches to deal with. But as they say, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Meanwhile here’s a target if you’ve got tomatoes. With the power of MFC, after a few years of serious figure collecting I know, for instance:

  • My favorite anime character design in a figure probably has these 5-6 traits: long, blond hair in twintails, wears thigh-highs and has ribbons somewhere. Maybe blue eyes. I really can’t disagree with this assessment.
  • I have a thing for Type-Moon (you all know this right).
  • I like GSC, Alter, Kotobukiya and Max Factory (you might also know this). By “like” I mean own the most in that order.
  • While Saber sits atop my “most figures from a character” list (that one is easy), the next 4 are Rin Tohsaka, Miku Hatsune, Ciel (Tsukihime) and Rinko Kobayakawa. It’s not a surprise but man how did I end up with so many Ciel figures? And I probably could do better with Rinko, although what’s out there is slim picking. Pretty sure all but one of my Arcu figures are actually Phantasmoon…
  • I own more flat chests than large breasted figures. (Probably because Miku counts as flat, I don’t know, she’s squarely in between.)

And I looked, where’s the “cast_off” tag? I guess I just don’t own enough of them.

But as I mentioned earlier, naughty figures (as in, figures exposing naughty bits) is an explosive new area of growth in the PVC fixed-pose figure market. And maybe it’ll bleed into the action figure side (see: figma/nendo/etc). For the longest time the quality of the average adult-entertainment-type figure is pretty low; they would focus on actual ero titles and make figures that are outright, uh, exploitative. The build quality is terrible and they would be priced > 10k yen. That still happens today, but now there is a new group of figures with naughty bits slowly creeping towards the mainstream in the form of more artistically appealing limited runs (like Native’s special order figures) or just characters from popular fanservice titles (yhelo thar Tama-nee, Ikkitousen, Queen’s Blade, etc) in which depending on how explicit it gets, various parts of the figure can be removed or replaced to make them revealing. While they are likely still expensive (partly because they are also more complex), the workmanship has improved drastically.

And this is in a way the reflection of market realities. Sex sells, and this newer porn-on-a-stick market shouldn’t surprise anyone. Looking from a different angle, the proliferation of 3D printing tech and better VR could also usher things in this direction. Things may have gotten a start a couple years ago but we’re surely in second gear with this cast-off stuff, if not third. I mean the blatant eroge stuff is now not even terribad (nsfw) (ok it’s still kind of bad). It has definitely gotten to the point where I buy cast-offs because the figure concept and sculpt quality is driving the purchase decision, not because you can get naked with it. I suppose you can always get naked with it, no matter what it is…

Otaku dirty laundry may not be pretty, and when it comes to airing said dirty laundry there are options! Even the most kimoi otaku have choices.

Year in Review 2013 Index:

4 Responses to “Year In Review 2013: Toys for Naughty Kids”

  • NegativeZero

    I don’t know if you can really infer that much from a figure collection. If you looked at mine for example you’d infer I have a weird thing for people with enormous heads. You’d also see that I have a thing for Type-Moon (I don’t deny this completely, but this is mainly because of how many T-M figures there have been), buy mainly from GSC and Alter (because GSC releases huge amounts of stuff and Alter generally has the best quality) and Saber and Miku top my most characters list by a fair margin. Somehow my #3 is Kyuubey though and I’m not sure what to make of that. But really, this is again a case of volume – there’s tons and tons of Saber and Miku figures out there and a lot of them are good plus their designs are such that they’ve got fairly broad appeal, so most collectors have a few.

    I have two or three cast-off figures but didn’t buy them because they’re cast-off. Don’t really see the appeal much.

    • omo

      I know you don’t know, so I wrote this post as a way to get you to think about it.

      I tried to be more tongue-in-cheek about all this but it’s kind of hard.

      And hey, Kyubey is a popular guy! Maybe you like him/it/them/etc a lot more than you think.

      And yes, availability is an issue, as I implied as much with the whole Love Plus situation. Although given how “deep” you can get into this fandom, odds are you can find something for any character.

  • Basroil

    My figure collection is defined by big breasts, cleavage, and swimsuits. My wife is tolerant enough but getting certain figures would be pushing it too far.

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