Skip to content

The Influence of Japanese Toys on Funko Collectibles

The collecting of manga, anime, and other characters is a favorite pastime that allows fans to build miniature worlds that are populated by their favourite characters. Figures aren’t limited only to popular culture. They also include famous architectural structures as well as famous foods and famous models of trains, aircrafts, and other types of transport. For many, these collectibles offer the chance to be 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 and also models that are not part that is pop-culture. The two- and three-dimensional replicas are a perfect blend of imagination and realism. According to Miyawaki Shuichi director of the company that makes figures Kaiyodo the ideal equilibrium between manga and reality is in what he calls “2.8 dimensions.”

Caramels and other sweets packaged were used to give figures secret prizes. Shokugan are the name given to these items were bought as much to experience the excitement of finding out the figure that was waiting inside for the sweets. Then, the tiny collectibles began to be utilized as promotional items for soft drink manufacturers and were also used as fillers for Furuta’s popular snack (chocolate eggs) series. According to the Yano Research Institute, in 2013, this was an industry worth Y=30 billion, which included various creations.

Figure makers generally focus on specific genres in a particular genre, with the most popular scenes from films, manga and anime characters, famous people famous architecture, various types of transport, and even food being among the most popular genres. The variety of characters available in Japan and across the world runs across a variety of categories and design. Smaller-sized models that are that are just a few centimeters high and standard sizes for desktops are readily available, as well as special-produced giant-sized replicas.

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

Figures are easily available on the internet directly from manufacturers’ websites as well as other sellers. But many collectors prefer to go to a store to inspect the items in person prior to purchasing them. Based on the shop, patrons can look at figures inside glass cabinets or take them home to examine them more closely, with this option being more suited to collectors who insist on examining a piece’s degree of fineness.

A favorite spot for those who are fans of subcultures and figures are Nakano Broadway, a four-story shopping mall located near the northern exit from Nakano Station in western Tokyo. Nakano Broadway houses a assortment of shops selling mangaand anime-related products. The establishment also houses Bar Zingaro, an art café created by the famous creator Murakami Takashi.

Another place to find figurines is the Japan’s Akihabara district, which has numerous specialty shops, including those at the Volks Akihabara Hobby Paradise, Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo, and the long-running Kotobukiya Akihabara.

Hooked on Gacha

Vending machines are another popular source of figures. From Y=100-Y=200, these machines, referred to as gacha due to the sounds they produce when they release their merchandise, will give out capsules with small figurines or models in scale. Since customers cannot pick which character they want to collect, acquiring a sought-after collectible might require several attempts. A common solution to this issue is to exchange unwanted items or multiple items with acquaintances or search for rare items through the Internet.

According to Miyawaki’s theory, animals are able to “tell the story of.” Although the art of collecting them isn’t for all, there’s an appeal for people who can listen to the stories that reproductions tell.

The influence Japan Toys’ influence on Funko Collectibles

Following World War II, Japan was one of the most important countries for the production of toys around the globe and the story continues to be told today.

The history that is the Japanese toys industry is having an significant impact in Pop Culture, with its packaging and designs for toys making up a significant part of it. Whatever we choose to collect there’s always space for those amazing items that we have in our collections.

Every now and then Funko offers in its catalog some fascinating products that are influenced by the Japanese toys of the past. Let’s take a look at these incredible items.

The first appearance of the Hikari series on the realm of Funko was in the year 2014. The Hikari series is based on Sofubi toys. Sofubi is a portmanteau for sofuto biniiru , which means the soft (sofuto) as well as vinyl (biniiru). The manufacturing of this type of toy started in Japan in the 1950s and was replaced by celluloid toys.

In the 60s, there is a lengthy list of characters like Kaiju, Mechas, Monsters and Superheroes as sofubi characters. Through the partnership of MindStyle, Funko released its Hikari figures in various sizes 4 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches, respectively. with a focus on Godzilla as the king of sofubi, Astro Boy, Frankenstein, Megazord, TMNT and characters from Star Wars, DC Comics, and Marvel and let’s not forget our beloved Freddy Funko too. Except for a few exceptions, the majority of them are only available in parts.

Between 2015 and 2016, the collaboration between Funko and Super7 resulted in Super Shogun. Super Shogun collection, which revives the look of these iconic figures that measure 24 inches in length, featuring three different versions that include Boba Fett as well as Shadowtrooper of the Star Wars franchise.

These large-sized Japanese toys had their beginnings in the 1970’s, in the early 70’s when Popy was a subordinate company of Bandai was the first to launch the initial Jumbo Machinder toys based on various animation and tokusatsu (live-action television shows) with 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 too.

In the last period, Mattel had the rights to some of the figures to the Shogun Warriors line that was sold across both the U.S. and Europe. The majority of Funko X Super7 toys are limited editions and Boba Fett Prototype being the most exclusive. Boba Fett Prototype being the most exclusive, featuring 400 pieces.

Similar to the shape however, with a different size, eleven inches in size, Funko launched in the year 2012 another amazing line known as Vinyl Invaders. These gorgeous toys have the same essence as the Shogun figures, however, they don’t come with the launcher guns that are spring loaded.

The selection is limited We only have The Kiss Demon Robot, common and chase, as well as Batman Robot in six variants. For those who are looking for treasure The three Technicolor Batman variants are loose however they are restricted to just six pieces and they are all signed and signed by Brian Mariotti.

The acclaim that the popular 1966 Batman TV show throughout America United States, brought us an abundance of Batman-related toys that were launched during the 60s and the 1970s. The series was popular in Japan in the same period too, releasing distinctive and colorful models of the Caped Crusader.

It is therefore not uncommon that Funko created items that were based on those Japanese Batman models. One of the most impressive, according to its catalogue, is the Batmobile in the form of a Wacky Wobbler Bobble Car, Pop! Rides, Ridez and Action Figure Set versions, which revive the look of Japanese Batman vintage toys of the 1960s and 1970s. Packaging of these Batmobile action figures shows the details of an old-fashioned style and the illustrations are stunning, and complete the tribute by using Japanese writing.

It’s hard to tell whether Funko will be able to surprise us with brand new figures inspired from The Land of the Rising Sun toy market however, we do have plenty of things to look through, essential sets of Funko collectibles that will bring the tradition of Japanese old-fashioned toys into our collection.