コメント • About price prediction/When to buy
But what about Broccoli figs?
GSC - toss up, depends on the popularity but most of them stay the same price, if its a niche genre expect it to tank. Alot of stuff gets rereleased so you don't really need to bother preordering.
alter - they've been controlling their production very tightly, hardly anything drops price nowadays, even if they do they climb back up again. You can wait till release date, for super popular chars you should preorder.
Altair - Always tanks, hardly anything has appreciated past retail. Should not preorder.
Orange rouge - so far everything has tanked, not enough love for male chars.
MF - always tanks at first haha i hate MF, if the chars are popular the prices will rise back to preorder prices. Limited edition stuff usually stays the same price or appreciates like crazy. They try weird stuff, their busts haven done so well.
Kotobukiya - There is alot of love for koto, if prices are low you should preorder. You can think about it if initial retail prices are high, sometimes they climb to such ridiculous prices its hard to fathom. Generally, i don't risk it unless the price doesn't make sense to me when i can get something else of alter's quality for pmuch the same price.
flare - most of their stuff has appreciated, hardly anything drops. I don't risk it.
aquamarine - toss up, really depends on the popularity of the character. If the char is popular you should preorder.
QuesQ - their stuff is so expensive in the first place, unless its a super popular awesome character you really should not preorder.
Freeing - Most of their 1/4 scale bunnies usually drop in price badly except for the really popular ones which either stay the same or have a 20% markup. I only have a few of their 1/8 scales but the popular ones hold their price quite well. You really should never preorder, best to hold out to release date.
Megahouse - If something is popular and limited ed, you should preorder. Everything else you can wait till release date.
Native - Hardly any native stuff drops in price, especially the popular ones. They're gold. In general, you can pmuch find most of their figures in the aftermarket for retail price.
Amakuni - The less popular chars tend to have excess stock so prices will drop at first, you can wait till release date to pick them up. But the popular ones can get quite hard to find since they are made to order, correct me if im wrong. Picking up on release date is generally a safe bet.
Orchidseed - Tossup, but generally quite safe to wait till release date. Some stuff can get quite hard to find though.
Thats everything off the top of my head.
A safe formula to use for scale figures is:
- If it's a recent GSC figure, most likely it will go down in price or stay the same because GSC tends to overstock. But the best GSC figures of popular characters may go up despite that, i.e. the famous Madoka
. Recently though, GSC has been doing quite a few re-releases, so if a new season/movie of an anime is coming out, hold out on buying the characters' figures in the aftermarket and watch out for re-release preorders!
- If it's Alter, most likely it will go up in price or stay the same post-release, because Alter figures are expensive to begin with and highly sought after. Alter figures of very popular characters, i.e. Love Live girls, are the ones in most danger. If you really like an Alter figure, just preorder to be safe.
- If it's Kotobukiya, it's rather random as Koto always has some sort of QC issue but likes to make less popular characters or unique poses. For example, Koto's Shiro figure
went up in price despite having some serious issues with her hair. Most likely it's because she's in a 'special' pose that other manufacturers don't usually go for and she's a beloved character with only 2 figures.
- If a figure only has a few or one manufacturer, it will mostly go up in price in the long term. This tends to happen with Megahouse' GEM figures even though their quality isn't the best. This is because Megahouse has the monopoly for a lot of Shounen anime. An example would be this Noragami Yato figure
- If a figure is made by an 'unknown' or small company, it would very much depend on the distributed item. It's hard to predict until the item is released and people can comment on the figure since they don't always meet the expectation of their prototypes.
- If a figure is exclusive / limited, logically speaking there's a very high chance the price will rise. I'm guessing this would happen with TOM's Wedding Holo figure
because she's made to order and also TOM's first figure as a manufacturer. There also aren't much high quality Holo figures as of now, although that may change with the anniversary celebrations.
TL;DR when a figure is overstocked or overproduced, it will most likely go down in price. Hestia, for example, used to be the Waifu of the Year but almost all her figures binned because so many companies were making her. There's a high chance the same will happen for Rem figures coming out this year and next year. On the other hand, figures that are very limited (either because they're exclusive or because only a few companies made them) tend to go up in price. But it's always best to judge with your own eyes. An AMAZING figure will always have high demand and go up in price despite all this.
There are 4 types of graph curves for figure prices - the "u", the "n", and the upward or downward slope. Popularity and market price of a figure is highly dictated by the Japanese market, and then there are a host of factors to consider, and you will be able to predict it right for every 8 out of 10 figures.
My general rule of thumb is to preorder those predicted to fall in the n and upward curve category, and wait after release for those in the u or downward curve category.
The U is where the figure's price drops within a few months after release, but about 2 years later it starts rising. The figure is popular, but overproduced. But due to sustained popularity in the long term (because the anime series or manga is a long running one over many years with many seasons, and highly popular) stocks start to deplete over time, gets rare, and it starts rising, above the MSRP pricing, despite at one point it was a bargain item. Examples are Max factory's 1/6 Momo Belia Deviluke and Mea Kurosaki. Momo was about 9000yen+ on preorder, the lowest point was about 7000yen, but it rose to about 16,000yen by now. Mea had a similar pattern and i believe Sairenji haruna will follow a similar pattern over the next year or two.
The n curve is where the figure had a temporary high demand leading to increased value, but either loses popularity in the long term or a re-release led to fall of value. Figures made by companies who love to re-release their popular items are at risk of this pattern. This is one of the most common scenarios with most figures. Many of Kotobukiya's figures, almost all of Alter's Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls figures (including the exclusive ones) and K-On figures, and Good Smile Company's Saber Lily Distant Avalon are best examples - the latest victim being Good Smile's Saber Triumphant excalibur, already anticipated due to the popularity of Fate Grand Order.
The upward slope is where the figure will only keep increasing in value, never to drop again due to its rarity - yet because they are not mainstream or highly popular characters, they are almost certain to never get a re-release. Often figures of characters originating from games that are quite niche or only popular in Japan, as well as figures based off certain artworks. Examples: Good Smile's Beatless Lacia, Max Factory's Sallya, Good Smile Company's Insane Black Rock Shooter, Gift's Kashiwazaki Sena. I actually made a lot of money from this category, i bought Gift Sena for USD$90 in a local store stocks clearance sale and sold it for USD$299. I also sold my Good Smile's Saber Alter Vortigern for $230 because i anticipated its re-release (and value fall) which happened a year after i sold her. I realised she will end up in the N curve category instead of this one after fate Grand Order started to become popular.
The downward slope is where the figure drops in value (the degree of drop varies depending on character) and might remain in bargain bin level pricing because of poor quality, poor demand + overproduction, or figures of seasonal waifus where they are popular maybe for 6 months due to the anime, and then forgotten in the long run - well known victims are Hestia from Danmachi and Infinite Stratos' Charlotte Dunoa. One next possible victim is Shidare Hotaru from Dagashi Kashi. Anime was popular, but everyone forgets about it later on with no season 2 in sight, but some of her figures are not even released yet and people lose interest, cancel their orders, stocks accumulate and the price binning begins. Figures of mascot characters (Miku, Sonico) are also prone to this category unless it is unexpectedly popular and stock depletes.
Figures are ultimately depreciating assets, and further 95% of all figures will see price drops on the secondhand market within just a few months of their release. However, I preorder my share of items and my take is that when I preorder, I'm paying a premium for some combination of convenience and immediate gratification.
Reliably predicting outliers (in this case the 5% of figures that will see price increases post-release) is of course a tricky/impossible business but there are a few heuristics I use.
I'll keep an eye on the MFC statistics for the item (ordered/wished numbers), and figures from the bigger manufacturers (Koto, GSC, ...) with low preorder numbers might be a signal that the figure will hit the bargain bin. Conversely, figures from more niche companies with low preorder numbers are better candidates for preorder since there's a higher probability that those items will be scarce on the secondary market. The way I see it, a company like Q-Six is going to be a lot more conservative with their production runs than a company like Good Smile.
Where things get really tricky is when the preorder numbers are high. Then the question is whether that's signaling a future glut of pre-owned supply or some truly exceptional item that's going to disappear into peoples' collections and be in short supply. Then, it's time to roll the dice, make a decision, and hope for the best...
If you see a figure and you instantly know you want it and will get it, definitely pre-order it. Had the tragic mistake of not pre-ordering
(granted I hadn't read or watched BSD until a few days after pre-orders closed, but I still loved his character design immediately) and then the price shot up to nothing below $90. Got lucky since GSD decided to re-release them for September, so I learned from my mistake and also pre-ordered Chuuya as well, just in case.
Basically, if you love a figure, it's usually not worth risking the chance of it having an insane after-market price. Like, I love Dazai and all, but I'm not paying $100+ for his nendoroid xP
It's usually on a character or series basis. Was the series a big hit? is it a generally well-liked character?
Price prediction has to do with understanding the demand. If it's a figure you KNOW people will buy in droves, it's usually better to PO. There will be low chances that any will be left by the time people post their own pictures, and the ones being re-sold will be more expensive (to make use of the demand). A figure with more questionable sales is fine to hold off on for the exact opposite reasons.
When it comes to figures around the middle, it's really more of an educated guess than anything else. I personally just say "screw it" and PO to be on the safe side.
I consider myself a semi-expert (a lot of shopping during the years and many mistakes too). Now I usually preorder 7-8 out of 10 figures from Japan, for the others 2-3 I wait for user pics and I buy them from a trusted local retailer (with good prices)
I usually PO and use Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) because they have most of who I want/need and I am a new collector as well- the numerous discounts, coupons, and free shipping for orders over $150 (which let's face it is usually equal to the price of one scale) make it a really cheap option. Their stock may be too limited for some, but hey, they hold a lot of the new releases I want, I ain't complaining. XD
Otherwise, since there are many previously released figures I want, I go to Mandarake and find them there. I've used Mandarake before and the goods are really good condition- the Japanese seem to be seriously anal about labeling stuff as 'severely' damaged, when it srrived to me there was like one scratch on the box and the figure was perfectly fine xD I suppose that's what comes from a perfectionist culture?
TL;DR PO all the way for new releases; Mandarake for old ones. PS: have yet to use AmiAmi. Now that I finally have my own debit card I'mma try it one of these days.
Personally I would PO all the time, for me I usually PO from amiami they give a nice discount if you po early but it decreases when it comes close to thier release date. One thing I usually keep in mind when it comes to getting figures is the conversion rate of the yen, it always sucks when the yen is high and have to dish out more than what you thought earlier but to each their own.