You've finally found yourself interested in collecting anime statues! Maybe because you enjoy reading manga or watching anime. Or, perhaps you saw some cute, colorful, attractive toys in a store's window or on a Japanese website. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: you're ready to start collecting! It's a very fun and popular hobby, so you are not alone! Unfortunately, however, many people foreign to Japan find it difficult to find these statues, since they're primarily produced in Japan. Maybe you, yourself, have attempted to find out more information? For that purpose, I've complied a list of popular models of anime figures that exist, and how you can find more information on the newest released statues!
Because these statues are so popular, many manufacturers have designed different types of statues. The most popular type to date, and likely the first created, is known as a scaled PVC statue. They're named this because they're produced with a material called Polyvinyl Chloride, shortened as PVC. Typically, the parts of the statues are mass-produced by machines, and are put together by hand. They are designed to be scaled to a specific size, usually directly proportional to an actual size character. Most of these statues are scaled between 1/8th to 1/5th, but not all. I've seen statues scaled at 1/1 (full scale!), or more commonly 1/4th. I've also seen statues scaled at 1/10th. The detail to these statues are also typically high, depending on the manufacturer. The prices range based on the size and detail, anywhere from $70 up to $300. There are special occasions in which the prices may be higher or lower, however.
The second most popular style of statues is called a cast-off. As implied by the name, these figures have parts that are removable. They're typically made of the same PVC as regular scaled statues. Although, lately 'candy-resin', a material that is known to simulate the feeling of skin better than PVC, has been used. These statues are mostly designed as hentai (perverted) statues, where the clothing can be completely removed to reveal a naked statue. That being said, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes clothing can be removed just to reveal undergarments, or a character in a swimsuit. In both cases, cast-off figures give the owner a slightly varied way to display the character. These statues usually price about the same as the previous ones, depending on scale and detail, but may cost a little more due to extra parts.
A strange, yet popular, style of anime statues that has been becoming increasingly popular is known as a nendoroid. This statue line was created by Good Smile Company, a well-known and reliable figure distributor. These statues are very small in height, usually measuring in at 4 inches. They're made in a chibi style, with their heads about one-third the size of the entire statue. What's made them so popular lately is that they have many parts that are interchangeable. They come in sets, including items such as additional faces, body parts, clothing, props, etc. These pieces easily snap on and off to the statue. The parts included typically come from the anime series that the character is featured from, and usually tie into the storyline somehow. Also, they have movable joints, a feature not seen in regular PVC statues. This makes them movable, so that you may place them in any pose you like! These small toys are much cheaper than the previously mentioned statues, and usually cost as little as $25. It's rare to see a nendoroid go over $60.
Another popular type of statue that is being produced is known as a figma. Also created by a popular and well-known figure distributor known as Max Factory, figmas are similar to nendoroids in that they also have movable joints. However, these statues are much larger. They are similar in height to scaled PVC statues, about 6 inches tall. These toys also come with many parts featured from the statue's anime, making it easy to portray a scene as if it's actually happening! Many collectors find this enjoyable, since it adds to the collecting experience. Instead of just owning a character, you also own a scene from a show! Since these statues are a big bigger than nendoroids, they often cost more, but are less expensive than scaled PVC or cast-off statues. They usually cost between $35 and $70.
The last type of popular statues are model kits. These were always my favorite as a kid! The most popular type are Gundam models. These ones are made of plastic, and require assembly. Gundam kits are usually pretty easy to assemble, as the parts simply snap in. However, there are other, more collectible (and expensive) sets that require more labor. These may need you to glue and paint the pieces, which requires accuracy and talent. These sets are typically rare, harder to obtain, or are exclusive. The price may range greatly, depending on the kit. However, it's easier and cheaper to obtain the cheaper Gundam models, and can range anywhere from $10 to $50.