Collectibles, almost everyone on planet Earth collects something in one way shape, or form. It’s a hobby and a gateway to happiness for some. It shows what you are interested in. and can display excitement whenever you get a new item to add to that collection. I collect a variety of poseable action figures, ranging from different brands and companies. It’s all just for my joy and entertainment. Specifically, I own most S.H.Figuarts out of my collection, and as time goes by you start to notice the changes in the product price and quality. While they aren’t all bad they aren’t good either.
Now what are S.H.Figuarts? These are a line of collectibles owned by Bandai, super-poseable 1/12th scale action figures. They join with other companies that create shows, movies, comic books, video games, and even music artists, basically every form of entertainment. They are known for their variety of products and good quality. However, I am here writing this because recently people have been complaining about the recent quality and pricing of these products, that the figures are coming with less, yet costing more and more. To take into example back in the day around 2016-2019 even you could pick up an S.H.Figuarts and it would come with a ton of extra accessories, for example, the tiger and bunny line. An older line that recently got some new releases, the older releases came with tons of extra pieces and accessories and even a flight stand. All for around 35-40 USD. And the newer releases being 60 dollars each, you’d think that they came with a lot more right? No. They come with even less, no flight stand, and not even any other accessories. Just hands and an unmasked head. Then when compared to separate companies selling their figures, for example, Medicom with their mafex’s, they have been going with the same formula of a good batch of add-ons and quality for years and for the most part being around the same price range. If they can do it so can Bandai
People ask if it’s even an issue, people will buy the product anyway and the massive quality and paint quality increase, while yes everything about them increases the overall molds and looks of the figures, but in my opinion, that isn’t enough to justify the crazy prices recently. People will also argue that you can find a bunch of S.H.Figuarts for just 35 dollars. How could that be bad? I also agree that those are really good prices for those select few figures. Usually, they come with no accessories except for some specifically. I think these are the best to buy early on if you wish to start collecting figures and want to be shown a higher quality for a lower price. But still, the remaining figures are smacked with a 50-80 dollar price tag varying from size and extra parts. To add, these things sell out fast especially if they are exclusive. And you are stuck with having to buy from a different shop with a knocked-up price. Which is the case for most purchases. People stick to the new releases because they don’t want to pay a big price for the older ones. But when those new releases eventually come out they are gone quickly and it’s just the same cycle, this is common for people buying any kind of imported collectible.
Even if people say the changes aren’t bad at all you still can’t argue against it, you can prove that these lines are just getting more and more expensive another example of this is how Bandai tends to re-release figures, these are figures with the same mold and nothing changed about them mostly just the paint being redone or a different material being used for like hair or something simple, most of these are exclusive and run for a lot of money, but the other re-releases are either for events, such as anniversaries. These figures are voted on by the community and they bring them back, reissues and re-releases are commonly used across all companies that release collectibles. Used for people who weren’t able to get them the first time, to be able to buy them at the same price. For example again, Medicom and their mafex. Always reissue and remake. Like with Spiderman, three basic versions of him are released with a simple paint change, they also reissue older figures so people can buy them again. But back to S.H.Figuarts and their re-releases, they always tend to be simple paint jobs, but they either add a simple effect or stand. Then this “green lights” them into spiking up the price a bunch and making their event exclusive. Meaning you’d have to physically go to an event such as an anime expo, comic con, etc. to purchase these and if you didn’t you’d have to suck up and pay the after-market price.
To wrap up, whether you care about these changes or not, it’s impossible to not acknowledge them. That S.H.Figuarts tends to be a bit more greedy sometimes when it comes to their products, with pricing. Quality and production. Compared to the other companies selling the same type of items, it’s clear that if Bandai truly wanted to do something they could. But it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with this information.