Today I visited the Xavier Amorós library in Reus. Not to borrow books, not to turn them in. I visited the library for an exposition on figures, dolls and merchandising from different manga and anime shows and games, called Japan Figure, organized by the local association Amakuni.
The first main event of the exposition today was obviously the display of figures, dolls and general merchandising. It was quite well organized, with the presence of such iconic characters as Arale (Dr. Slump), the Straw Hat Pirates (One Piece) or Rei and Asuka (Neon Genesis Evangelion).
But the classical well-known characters were not alone! I could also see two figures from Assassin’s Creed, namely Altaïr and Ezio, from Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2 respectively. And another element from Assassin’s Creed was present: Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance, a novelized version of the 2nd game in the series, written by Oliver Bowden. I was quite pleased to see there was a novelized version of the game, and I will definitely check the malls and shopping centres I know in search for more!
The second event: a conference. The main topic was the world of figures: the types of figures currently on the market, what materials they can be made of, and how to detect fakery in any product that we may wish to acquire. The process of creating a figure from scratch is not easy! First, the image search: we obviously need a model to follow an idea to move on to the second step. Then, comes sculpting: modelling the base to create the limbs and body parts of the figure. And finally, the plastic layering and coloring, then assemblage, to finally have a figure of our own!
There are many types of figures out there, many more than the ones I had imagined. Not only Gashapons, but also Candy Toys, trading figures, Nendoroids, and garage kits! I was quite surprised, but excited at the same time. I could give it a try and get one of them someday! (I will start with the Gashapons, though, I’m not ready to assemble a figure from scratch.)
In terms of what can be done to avoid fakery when purchasing dolls or merchandising, the details to consider are the following:
- Fakes are less detailed, with a bad fusion point between limbs or joint areas
- In some parts, the paint can be diluted
- The touch of fake figures can be rough or coarse
- No high definition
- In case of figures with a stand base, they can be unfitting
- Official boxes have distinctive holograms or logos
- The symbols of the box are present in good merchandising (extras, content DVD…)
- Watch out for the logotype! It may also have been forged
All in all, it was a great experience, and I definitely thank Amakuni for organizing this event. I hope they return next year! (Or even sooner, that would be great.) This sort of events really helps put anime and manga where they should be: on the first row of modern day trends.