How Are Anime Figures Made?

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Anime figures are a popular collectible, and many collectors are interested in how they are made.

We will explore the process of making anime figures, from design to production.

We will also discuss the different materials that are used and the steps involved in making them.

How Are Anime Figures Made?

Anime figures are made through a process that involves sculpting the figure out of clay, creating a mold, and then casting the final product in plastic.

How Are Anime Figures Made?
Anime figures creation process

Many collectors are drawn to anime figures because of their intricate detailing and accurate portrayal of the characters.

In Addition – The process of creating these figures is often very painstaking, which results in a level of quality that is not found in other types of collectibles.

This process begins with an idea for a figure, which is then turned into a three-dimensional sculpture by a sculptor.

Once the sculpture is finished, it is used to create a mold, which is then used to cast the final figure in plastic.

The entire process can take several months to complete, and the end result is a highly detailed and accurate replica of the original character.

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Idea

The first step is the conceptualization of the figure.

The designers come up with the idea for the figure and create sketches. These sketches are then used to create a 3D model of the figure.

Once the 3D model is complete, it is time to start working on the actual figure.

This is the initial step in the process, where the sculptor starts with an idea for a figure.

This can be anything from a character from an existing anime to a completely original design.

Design

The sculptor is responsible for creating a three-dimensional representation of the figure.

This is done by hand and can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Once the idea has been finalized, the sculptor begins to create the figure out of clay.

This step is extremely important, as it is the foundation for the rest of the process.

Material

The materials used in anime figure production can vary depending on the manufacturer.

Anime figures creating
Anime figures materials

However, most figures are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic.

These materials are lightweight, durable, and relatively easy to work with.

6 Common Materials Used:

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (Most Common)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (abbreviated as ABS)
  • Vinyl
  • Resin
  • Polystone – Most expensive Anime figures
  • Cold Cast

Timelines

The first step once a figure concept has been authorized is to develop a very basic timetable.

The planning team must schedule key dates, such as when to exhibit the prototype, when to start taking pre-orders, and when to formally release the figure.

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Prototype

The next step in creating an anime figure is to create the prototype.

This is a basic version of the figure that the manufacturer will use to create the final product.

The prototype is made using a 3D printer, which creates a physical model of the figure using a computer-generated design.

Molds

Once the prototype is approved, the next step is to create the mold.

This is a negative impression of the figure that will be used to create the actual figure.

The mold is created using a machine that cuts it out of a block of metal or plastic.

Expensive anime figures explained
Expensive anime figures

A mold is created by sculptors, often from clay, based on the design of the figure. The mold is then used to create a negative of the figure in plastic.

This negative is what is used to form the final product.

Creating the Figure

The final step is to create the figure itself.

This is done by pouring melted plastic into the mold and letting it cool.

Once the figure is cooled, it is removed from the mold and cleaned up. It is then ready for painting.

Paint

Now that the figure is made, it’s time for details like painting and hair styling.

This is done by people who are specifically trained in those areas.

Anime figures are usually painted by hand. This can be a very time-consuming process, but it results in a high level of detail and realism.

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Pre-orders

After an anime series becomes popular, or a new anime movie is released, fans will start clamoring for figures of their favorite characters.

In response to this demand, manufacturers will put up pre-orders for upcoming anime figures.

Advertising

The next step is to create an advertising campaign that will generate interest in the product.

This is done through a variety of means, such as print ads, commercials, and online promotions.

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Mass Production

The anime industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and a big part of that is the production of figures.

Figures are made by a process called mass production. This involves creating a mold of the figure, then using that mold to create many copies.

The copies are then painted and finished.

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Packaging

Anime figures are usually packaged in collector-friendly packagings, such as a window box.

This helps to protect the figure and keeps it looking nice on display.

Sales To The Public

The final stage of making an anime figure is when it goes on sale to the public.

After the manufacturing process is complete and the figures have been quality checked, they are packaged up and shipped out to stores.

Anime figures are usually released in waves, with different series or characters being released at different times.

This can be due to different production schedules or to stagger the release of figures so that fans have something new to look forward to on a regular basis.

Some anime figures are also released as exclusive items, which means they can only be bought from certain stores or at specific events.

These exclusives are often highly sought-after by collectors and can be quite valuable.

Conclusion

Anime figures are a beloved part of Japanese culture, and the process of making them is just as fascinating as the final product.

From start to finish, there is a lot of hard work that goes into creating these figures.

The sculpting process is especially important, as it is what gives the figure its overall look and appearance.

Once the figure is sculpted, it is then molded and cast in resin. This process is repeated until the desired number of figures is created.

Finally, the figures are painted and packaged for sale.

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