A Manly Man’s Guide to Buying Anime Figures
As I’ve gotten more and more into anime and otaku culture, I’ve started to build up a collection of figures. While they’re usually well sculpted, nicely painted, and accurately capture the spirit of the characters, one of the main problems I’ve had is getting them at a good price. However, after much searching, here are the sites I frequent most often for my anime goods.
This is where I’ve gone for most of my figure purchases recently. Based in California, they have reasonable prices, and shipping tends to be around $10 for FedEx if you order one or two figures. They also stock trading cards at good prices, although they’re not worth the shipping cost unless you order something heavier. They have plenty of non-figure goods such as t-shirts and dakimakura, so it’s worth checking them out if you’re into those. Their bargain bin is also worth sifting through as there are many nice figures at much more reasonable prices.
Excellent, almost overwhelming selection. Great if you want to purchase Gundams and other models as they also sell paint. My two problems with this site is that they don’t tell you the shipping cost and currency exchange. Because all their prices are in yen, how good of a deal you get varies with the price of the yen. For example, I made an order when the exchange rate was ~92 JPY/USD, but when the transaction was made, the value of the yen shot up to ~82 JPY/USD. I got screwed by about $10 because of this. Shipping can be a bitch, but if they have free shipping periods, take advantage of them. However, their stock is so good, and their bargain bin sometimes has ridiculously marked down products, so it’s good to check out.
While their figure selection is not particularly impressive, they sell other Japanese good such as snacks and magazines. They make some t-shirts themselves, including Nyoro~n, which is one of my favorite shirts in my closet. Shipping may take some time if the product you’re ordering is coming from Japan, but the shipping cost isn’t bad, and it arrives in good shape. Not the best place for figures, but second to none for other goods.
eBay is a dangerous place, but you’ll probably get the best deals here. As a rule, never buy anything shipped from any East Asian countries except Japan, as it’s most likely counterfeit. Also, avoid figures with unusually low prices. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A lot of websites have eBay stores, and sell their products for better prices there. One seller I really liked was etoyer who has a good selection, and provides simple shipping discounts for purchasing multiple products. If there’s a product you’re really looking for, be sure to save the search so that you get email notifications whenever someone puts it online.
You would be surprised as to how good of a figure selection Amazon has. They have mostly Figmas and Revoltechs, and while some sellers may be asking for too much, with some diligence, you will find a good price. The best part is that some qualify for Amazon’s free shipping, making it an even sweeter deal. The interface is familiar and shipping and processing speeds are good. I would check here first depending on what you’re looking for.
So this is where I go for my anime purchases. What about the rest of the internet? Share your favorite stores, so I can save some cash too. To all you newbies, I hope this helps with your first purchase. Have a good weekend.