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The History Of Japanese Collectable Toys

Collecting manga, anime and other figurines is a very popular pastime, allowing fans to build miniature worlds inhabited by their favorite characters. Figures aren’t limited just to the world of pop. They include famous architectural models popular foods, well-known structures, and the most popular models of trains aircrafts, and other types of transport. For many, these collectibles allow you to become lost in the universe of one’s own creation.

Spitting Images

Models and figures come in a variety of wires, including characters from anime, manga, and video games, as well as models that are not part of pop culture. These two- and three-dimensional replicas combine realism with imagination. According to Miyawaki Shuichi, president of the figure manufacturer Kaiyodo the perfect balance between manga and the real world is what he refers to as “2.8 dimensions.”

Caramels, along with other packaged sweets are used to provide figures with secret prizes. These goods were purchased just as because of the thrill of finding the figure that was waiting inside for the sweets. Later, these collectibles became tiny to be used as promotional tools by the makers of soft drinks and they were also a staple of fillers for Furuta’s popular choko eggs (chocolate egg) series. According to research from the Yano Research Institute, in 2013 the series had grown into an industry of Y=30 billion that included many different creations.

The majority of manufacturers specialize in figures on scenes from popular films, manga and anime characters, celebrities famous architecture, styles of transportation and food being among the most popular genres. But, the range of figures available in Japan as well as overseas covers across a variety of categories and style. The palm-sized figures are just barely a centimeter tall, as well as standard desktop sizes are available, as are specially produced giant-sized replicas.

Figurine makers like Good Smile Company, Kotobukiya and Volks offer finished models and kits for DIY.

Figures can be easily purchased on-line from the websites of manufacturers or other online retailers. However, many people prefer to go to a shop and see items up close prior to purchasing them. In the case of a store, buyers can view figures within glass displays or take them home to inspect them in greater detail, this option being more suited to collectors who place a premium on scrutinizing a piece’s level of detail.

A must-visit for fans of comics and other subcultures is Nakano Broadway, a four-story shopping center that is located just outside the north exit from Nakano Station in western Tokyo. The establishment houses a wide selection of shops selling mangaand anime related items. It also hosts Bar Zingaro. It is a pop art cafe created by the renowned painter Murakami Takashi.

Another place to find characters is Tokyo’s Akihabara district, which boasts various specialty shops like that of the Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise, Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo, and the long-running Kotobukiya Akihabara.

Hooked on Gacha

Vending machines are another popular source for figures. They are available from Y=100 up to Y=200. contraptions, known as gacha because of the noise they make while distributing their items, offer capsules containing small figures or models in scale. As customers are unable to select which figures they will receive to collect, acquiring a sought-after collectible might require several attempts. One way to get around this issue is to exchange undesirable or multiple items acquaintances or search for rare objects online. Internet.

According to Miyawaki, figures can “tell stories.” While the art of collecting them isn’t for all, there’s an appealing appeal to those who are able to pay attention to the stories that the reproductions tell.

The Influence of Japanese Toys on Funko Collectibles

After World War II, Japan became one of the important countries for the production of toys in the world . And the story continues on nowadays.

The history of the Japanese toy industry has an important influence to Pop Culture, with its packaging and toy designs making an integral part of it. Whatever we have in our collections it is possible to make room from those magnificent pieces that we have in our collections.

At times, Funko releases in its catalog some fascinating items that draw inspiration from the Japanese toy heritage. So, let’s review these incredible items.

The first appearance of the Hikari series within Funko’s world Funko was announced in 2014. The basis of the series was the sofubi toys. Sofubi is a portmanteau of sofuto biniiru meaning the soft (sofuto) as well as vinyl (biniiru). The manufacturing of this type of toy first began in Japan around the time of the 50s as a replacement for celluloid Japanese toys.

In the 60s, we can see a long list of characters such as Kaiju, Mechas, Monsters and Superheroes as well as Sofubi figures. Through the partnership of MindStyle, Funko released its Hikari figures in various sizes 4 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches, respectively. featuring Godzilla, the sofubi king par excellence, Astro Boy, Frankenstein, Megazord, TMNT and other characters that are associated with Star Wars, DC Comics and Marvel, and let’s not forget Freddy Funko too. There are a few exceptions to this, but the majority of them are limited to pieces.

In 2015 and 2016, the co-branding of Funko and Super7 led to Super7, the Super Shogun line, which resurrected the style from these legendary figures, which measure 24 inches with three variants each of Boba Fett, and Shadowtrooper that are from the Star Wars franchise.

These large-sized toys had their beginnings in the 70’s in the early 70’s when Popy was a subordinate of Bandai, launched the very first Jumbo Machinder toys based on various anime and tokusatsu (live-action television shows) featuring giant robots. The very the first Jumbo Machinder ever made was Mazinger Z. After the success of Popy’s Jumbo Machinder series, several other Japanese firms, such as Takatoku, Nakajima and Clover started making large-sized robot toys also.

By the end of the 10 years, Mattel had the rights for some of those figures for its Shogun Warriors line, which was distributed throughout Europe, the U.S. and Europe. The majority of Funko X Super7 toys are limited editions, with those of the Boba Fett Prototype being the most exclusive, boasting 400 pieces.

The same form but in a different scale 11 inches, Funko came out in 2012 with, another wonderful line, known as Vinyl Invaders. These beautiful toys are based on the essence of the Shogun figures; however, these versions don’t have the launcher guns that are spring loaded.

The collection is small We only have The Kiss Demon Robot, typical and chase, and Batman Robot in six variants. For the treasure hunters The three Technicolor Batman variants are loose however, they are limited to six pieces each and are signed and identified by Brian Mariotti.

The popularity that the popular 1966 Batman TV show across America United States, brought us an avalanche of Batman-related toys that were released through the late 1960s, and 1970s. It was popular in Japan at the time as well, producing distinct and vibrant variants of the Caped Crusader.

So, it’s not uncommon that Funko produced items based on Batman’s Japanese Batman models. One of the most impressive, according to its catalog, is the Batmobile as a Wacky Bobble Car Pop! Rides, Ridez and Action Figure Set versions, that bring back the classic style of Japanese Batman vintage toys of the ’60s and ’70s. Packaging of these Batmobile action figure sets gives the details of an old-fashioned style and the graphics are amazing, completing the tribute with Japanese typing.

It’s hard to tell if Funko will surprise us with new figures influenced from The Land of the Rising Sun toy industry, but at least we have a list of items to hunt, must-have sets of Funko collectibles that bring the legacy of the Japanese antique toys into our collection.