It’s 10 p.m., and I’m stumbling back to my apartment after a wild night out in New York City. On my way in, I nearly tripped over a massive cardboard box near my mailbox. It’s big enough to hold a PC monitor. I groan. I know exactly what it is: A $300 little anime figurine. [Freeze frame, record scratch] You may be wondering how I got here.
I’ve moved around the country for most of my life, so I’ve resisted buying anything bulky or impractical in the past. But then the pandemic started, and I suddenly felt unthinkable with my money. Instead of planning trips, I spend more time playing video games and buying knick-knacks that make me happy. When Good Smile Company revealed that they would be producing a figurine of the ball Fire Emblem‘S Edelgard von Hreslveg, I knew I had to have a model from my all-time favorite JRPG. She will cost $56.
This is the biggest problem with Fire symbol: Three houses Commodities: If you live in the US, there is rarely a commodity. I own the wall scroll, a handkerchief and a card holder because I bought them from Tokyo. So, right out of the gate, the enigmatic smile of Edelgard’s Mona Lisa took on a certain exclusive charm. In March 2020, I ordered online and then I waited a whole year.
You think pre-ordering video games is bad? Welcome to the world of purchasing figurines. Unlike Funko Pops, most figurines are made to order. Production and shipping usually take about a year. And just like video games, production can be delayed for any unknown reason. So the strategy behind buying figurines is to drop tens or hundreds of dollars, and then completely forget you ever ordered them. By the time the final purchase arrives, you may have completely lost interest in the series or character. This is not for the faint of heart.
So why put up with all this nonsense? Why not go to the secondary market? Oh, my sweet summer baby. The pre-order phase is when the figurines usually have the lowest amount. That’s why I ordered a $301 Shi Huang Di statue from Fate / Grand Order in December 2020. They’re the non-binary villains of one of the later chapters of the mobile gacha game, so I know they don’t have broad market appeal. I can buy this number for a few hundred dollars right now, or wait… 400 – 800 dollars now. Sorry.
It’s a pandemic, OK. I had money to burn, and I was captivated by their faint mercury smoke (in actual history, China’s first emperor died of mercury poisoning, and mercury moats protected the remains) his work before modern archaeologists to the present day). At that time, I couldn’t get Shi Huang Di in the gacha game even though I tried the biennial packs. The cheaper option was a few hundred dollars off a model, so I did. After many production delays and shipping issues, I finally received them this year. Now imagine my absolute heartbreak when a stainless steel water bottle fell and broke one of their mercury shards.
I bought some glue and “fixed it.” No, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
But it was too late for me. I have tasted the forbidden fruit of buying figurines, and I can never go back to the days when I mocked the expensive pleasures of other weevils. But I have grown up. I pre-ordered a $351 Ningguang statue because I love her, not because she can’t afford it. The Genshin effect. Just like the actual gacha, I realized it was a better decision than ordering the figurines from FOMO. So I forked Nero Claudius ($47) and Caster Artoria Nendoroid ($58). When Good Smile Company released the Lumine and Aether duo, I told them to shut up and take my money ($65 each). “But wait!” You can say. “That’s only $943!” And you’re right, if my unpaid Xiao statue order didn’t bring me $147. He’s coming next June, and I’m more excited for him than any summer game release.
This seems like a lot of figurines. But that’s not really the case. I could have purchased the Silverash Nendoroid or Surtr figurines from Arknights. I didn’t, but one of these days, I feel like I’m about to buckle up. One of the things that limits me is the limited square footage I have in my New York apartment. So as long as I live in a shoebox, I’ll be safe. I think.
Like many millennials, I don’t really intend to buy my parents’ old status symbols, like gold watches or crockery. Whoever inherits my belongings upon my death will also receive a bunch of anime figurines. And frankly, that makes more sense than being left with a certain collection of diamond jewelry.