Figma

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figma Series
figma Series Logo
figma Series Logo
Originally Released January 2008
Produced by Max Factory
Distributed by Good Smile Company
Series Creator MAX Watanabe, Masaki Apsy
Specifications Painted ABS&PVC non-scale articulated figure with stand included. Varying heights.

The figma (フィグマ?) series is a Japanese action figure line produced by Max Factory and distributed by Good Smile Company. The product series is developed by the CEO of Max Factory, MAX Watanabe, as well as Masaki Apsy, and focuses on creating highly articulated hand-sized figures with a focus on popular anime characters.[1] Each figma is sold with various accessories such as exchangeable faces, hands and other optional parts.[2] Occasionally figma figures are based on other subjects such as characters from the Japanese voice synthesizing software, Vocaloid,[3] the well-known Touhou,[4] game series and other popular Nintendo game series such as The Legend of Zelda[5] and the Metroid series. There have also been a few figma figures based on real people, such as a figma of Michael Jackson from his "Thriller" music video.[6]

History[edit]

The first figma was a special edition Haruhi Suzumiya based on and bundled with the PS2 game, Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi. It was released on January 31, 2008 with the product code SP001. Later in 2008, the first mass-produced figma, Yuki Nagato from the series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was released.

The figma series has now reached its 200th release. It was announced on July 19, 2013 on Goodsmile Company's website.[7] It is one of the several figmas of the popular Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku. It has an expected release date of October 2013.

Specifications[edit]

figma #153: Link was released in late 2012.

The figma series is an articulated series of figures made from ABS and PVC. Each figure includes a special stand that is used to hold it up as well as create varying poses. The height of the figures are around 13 cm, but vary depending on the height of the base character. Prices also vary, however most figmas are between 3000 and 4000 Japanese yen.[8] Each figma usually comes with a number of different expressions and optional extras which can be switched out any number of times. Parts can also be traded between different figma figures, allowing collectors to swap parts and create unique combinations. A flexible plastic is used in areas likely to be hinder poses.

The figma motto is Yoku ugoku, kirei (よくうごく、キレイ?) which translates into 'Moves well, looks good', which sums up the main purpose of the figma series. According to the official site, the concept of the series is summarized by the following four points:[9]

  • Allows for both beauty and possibility: The figma series is designed to not only be highly articulated, but also well-sculpted and nice to look at.
  • Unique customization for every character: Each character is designed separately and in proportion with the original designs.
  • Hand-size figures: figmas are made about the size of a hand for ease-of-posing and display.
  • Use of the unique figma joints: The figma joints are highly precise and allow for great torque, allowing collectors to easily create the poses they desire.

figma Products[edit]

There have been a number of figma related products and product lines, as described below.

figma Series

The primary figma series has been split into three different variants:

  • Normal edition figmas with three-digit product codes, such as 001
  • Special edition figmas with three-digit product codes preceded by SP, such as SP001. These figmas are usually bundled with a video game, manga or DVD.
  • Limited edition figmas with three-digit product codes preceded by EX, such as EX001. These figmas are sold at events such as Wonder Festival, a semi-annual event hosted by Good Smile Company. They are also sometimes released via mail-order or through online orders., but never through standard store sales. A current listing of all figma products can be found on the figma website and the Good Smile Company website.[10][11]

di:stage

The di:stage is a display unit which was specially developed to display figma figures in more enjoyable ways. The base unit is a 10 cm x 10 cm stage with multiple joints to create different landscapes on which to display figma figures, this base unit can also be expanded with additional purchases.[12]

ex:ride

The ex:ride series is a set of vehicles that can be ridden by figma figures, including bicycles, motorbikes, water bikes and more. Each set of vehicles is assigned a number preceded by 'ride.', for example the first release was 'ride.001'. A special series of ex:ride figures that come from specific series was also created, which are instead preceded by the 'SPride.'. The special vehicles come from series such as Fate/Zero, GANTZ and Fireball Charming.

Reception[edit]

Rob Bricken, reviewing a Lelouch Figma figurine for Anime News Network, described it as "the perfect marriage of accuracy and posability".[13] He later described the figma line in general as "[one] of the most prolific (and reasonably priced) anime toy-lines around".[14] In 2008, three figmas were among the top ten 'toy and hobby' items sold on Amazon Japan.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "figma Concept Page" (in Japanese). 
  2. ^ "Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Lelouch Lamperouge by Figma". 2008-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Figma Hatsune Miku on the Good Smile Company Website". 
  4. ^ "Figma Reimu Hakurei on the Good Smile Company Website". 
  5. ^ "Figma Link on the Good Smile Company Website". 
  6. ^ "Figma Michael Jackson on the Good Smile Company Website". 
  7. ^ http://www.goodsmile.info/post/en/3733/figma+Hatsune+Miku+2+0+Preorder+Campaign.html
  8. ^ "Listing of recent figmas with prices.". 
  9. ^ "figma Concept Page" (in Japanese). 
  10. ^ "Figma listing on the figma Website" (in Japanese). 
  11. ^ "Figma listing on the Good Smile Company Website". 
  12. ^ "di:stage on the Official figma Website". 
  13. ^ "Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Lelouch Lamperouge by Figma". 2008-06-08. 
  14. ^ "Amazon Japan Posts 2008's Top-10 DVDs, CDs, Toys". 2008-12-03.