Explained: How are anime characters made? (2023)

The reasons for collecting stickers are as big and special as the anime characters themselves, for many it's a way to surround their physical space with some of their favorite characters. For others, it's a competition to create a collection that rivals even the most seasoned homeowners. It's a popular question collectors ask and one that inspires them to keep collecting these figures.

But collectors also have questions to ask, and the most common ones we see are:Why are anime characters so expensive?!(・・?)

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It's a question that almost everyone asks.anime character collectorsheard, whether they asked themselves or heard from other collectors. It's a simple question, but it's hard to find a clear answer. In this article, an experienced 86fashion collector will guide you to the answer.
This nagging question often leads to a search for cheap anime figurines, and when you can't find cheap anime figurines it becomes even more frustrating as this question just rings louder in your head. (🇧🇷

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So we decided that we want to try to answer that question as best we can. We researched online, talked (we sell anime characters formore than a decadenow yes) and started writing exactly why anime characters cost so much.
And that's when we realized the answer wasnotas simple as the question asked.(一。一;;)

To better understand the cost of anime statues and figures, we must first establish the background. That said, it helps to understand the exact process behind creating a character and the production process to understand why it costs what it does.
So the first part of this answer is not an answer but an introduction to the world of figure making.

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Join us on this journey of exploring figure making as we set out to finally answer this burning question! (´∀`;)フ”

***Please note that the following production steps are mainly based onGRAMMDescription of Bom Sorrisoits production process. These processes and the order of steps may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer!***
Step 1: Who are you? Who who who WHO? To determine which characters to create, manufacturers must first determine their options.
Workers often start by researching different anime, manga, games, and more to find out which characters and series are good choices. You check which series are popular, which ones have their own fan base, which characters those fans want to watch the most, etc. 🇧🇷

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(Video) Professional Animator Explains How Anime is Made

Companies will also often run surveys or check customer feedback to see if there are any series or characters that are in high demand.
Once a character is decided on, a member of the planning team starts creating a character proposal. These suggestions should be as specific as possible, as suggestions may be rejected if they are too vague!_〆(。。)
Some things to include are the name of the figure, the type of figure (Nendoroid, scale figure, etc.) and how it fits into the series. These proposals are then submitted for consideration.

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Step 2: The name line. Meeting. Once the character idea is approved, the next step is to create a very basic timeline. The planning team has important deadlines to consider, including the prototype demo, opening for pre-orders, and the official release of the figure.

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The team also needs to consider how to promote the character, who ties into many of the above timelines. This encounter doesn't have much to do with the character itself, but with the logistics of her release. ( ̄ε ̄〃)b

Step 3: Laying out the Plan The next important meeting now deals with the character itself: Good Smile describes this meeting as laying out the plan or the"Revenue,"by the figure!
There are a number of things the planning team should review during this step: the character's expression, how the character will be posed, what props will be included, and much more.
As a final touch, they preview what the user experience will be like when posing or playing with the character, to ensure that all aspects of the character's design have been considered.╭( ・ㅂ・)و

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Once all the details are worked out, a basic character sketch is made along with a rough estimate of production costs to arrive at an MSRP.
Once that's done, he goes to the licensee (usually a publisher) with the "recipe" for the character. Licensees are incredibly important to manufacturers; Not only do they provide the necessary rights to recreate a character's image, but they also knowExactlyhow a character should be, because they want to make sure the character fits their vision of the character and their show.

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Once the licensee has approved the idea, producers can proceed to the next step!٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و

Step 4: You've reached the first checkpoint! After the character is approved by the licensee, but before a prototype is made, the planning team performs a quick review of character details to ensure everything is correct. (🇧🇷)
There are several points they would like to address and confirm before proceeding:

  • Does the character look as it should in 3D?(There's a fine balance between animated and lifelike appearance that creators need to maintain when creating 2D characters in 3D format.)
  • Does the overall appearance meet company standards?
  • If the figure is articulated, does the articulation add another layer of value or is it misleading?
  • Does the initial view (outline) match all planning meeting notes?
  • Do the figure's textures match the character's appearance?

Once these points are resolved, the team is ready to pass the "recipe" to the prototypes!o(≧∇≦o)

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Step 5: The Precious Prototype Prototypes can come in two different forms: The first is the more traditional handmade prototype. For these prototypes, the sculptors on the team spend months sculpting various materials to create the prototype. The early stages of prototyping are also amazing:testthe prototype of the "design" of the sculptor Hiroom! to get an idea of ​​the starting position of a prototype. ( Ä)ﻌﻌﻌﻌ⊙ ⊙

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Of course, the world of figure building has caught up with our modern times, which brings us to our second form of prototyping: digital! [🇧🇷]
Using CAD or other computer graphics software, prototype makers can digitally "sculpt" the prototype and then 3D print the finished model.

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(Video) When an Anime Character doesn’t Explain their Abilities

However, there are some drawbacks with digitally manufactured prototypes. A member of the Kotobukiya team explained that the technologies are not as good at capturing the shape of fabrics or reproducing body language, but are better suited for more symmetrical designs.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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And while there's no clear distinction as to which designs go to which prototyping department, it's becoming more common for manufacturers to have both departments available.

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It is also important to note here that the production process can take up to this pointmuch longer than you think- A Good Smile staff member said that it took her character more than a year and a half to reach this point!(!;"☉.̫☉)

Step 6: The second checkpoint! Now that the prototype is complete, the next step is... you guessed it! One more date!(^。^;)

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Good Smile calls this meeting an orientation check - to make sure the character's orientation is on track, there are a number of things they need to check, such as:

  • For human or animal figures, does the figure look anatomically correct? Does the bone structure look natural?
  • For fabrics and leather: Does the texture and pattern look realistic?
  • Can this figure be mass produced?(If a figure has a lot of detail or small, intricate parts, it can be very difficult to scale up production)
  • For Nendoroids: Does the overall look match the shape and cuteness of the Nendoroid line?
  • For figures drawn to scale, does the figure look properly balanced (aesthetically and physically)? Do the hair and clothes match the character's movements?

If all these points are confirmed, the character is ready for the next round of approvals. For Good Smile, initial approval must come from the company's president. The president is particularly busy, so it can be difficult to find time in his schedule to check a number!⁽⁽◝(ˊʂ˴⁎)◞

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After the company president has given his approval, the next approval must come from the licensee. For this meeting with the licensee, the prototype itself or a photo of it can be brought.

Step 7: For the masses After approval, the next step for the manufacturer is to prepare for mass production. There are a number of concerns that must be addressed before a figure is ready for factory production. One of the biggest issues is production marks: how can manufacturers make seams and stains less noticeable? (.•🇧🇷)
The production of figures usually consists of a series of half pieces that are joined together, leaving a visible seam. Manufacturers need to figure out how to tone them down so they don't stand out as much.

(Video) How Anime is Made - Inside the Studio (Toei, Madhouse, Pierrot)

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Also, for certain parts, silicone is often poured into a mold through an opening. However, after casting, there is usually a spot where the silicone was cast. The manufacturer needs to figure out how to blend or hide this location.
Once these details are done, the manufacturer can start making a resin mold for the factory.

Step 8: Here comes the decor master! Perhaps one of the most anticipated steps is painting the figure! And with such an important step comes an equally important team member: the master decorator!
The decorating master uses the "recipe" from the planning phase to paint the prototype. And once this step is done, the figurine is ready for a photo shoot!

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Before taking the pictures, however, the team works out a few details. You need to set the background color for the photo shoot and the shooting angles.
Then, upon completion of the photo shoot, the images are reviewed to ensure that:

  • there are no flaws
  • everything connected correctly
  • The character's expression is rendered well.
  • The character's charm and pose are well captured.

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Once confirmed, it's time for another meeting with the licensee. If Licensee has comments, e.g. B. request

Completely change the effects or parts, then the prototype is modified to suit the feedback.

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Licensees usually provide a lot of feedback on the figure, before and after painting, so these meetings are extremely important for the manufacturer. Once the licensee has approved the painted prototype, it's time to do some marketing! )ノ

Step 9: Are you ready? With the prototype and its images complete, the team must prepare for the character's launch. (•́⌄•́๑)૭First, they need a captivating product description that will convince fans to buy the figure.
Following is a launch poster and some character announcements.
The last thing that needs to be updated is the website – for 86fashion that means updating both the English and Chinese versions of the website!

Step 10: Prepare for pre-orders

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Now manufacturers need to prepare for mass production. What exactly does this imply?
Well, first they need to create clear instructions for the factory so there are no mistakes on the production line. You must also determine the exact materials for the character: you will determine the specifications of the mixtures so that each product turns out exactly as expected.('ε')
Manufacturers also need to consider problems that may arise during production so that solutions can be planned in advance.
After completing the instructions in the illustration, the next step is to create the necessary tools for the factories.
First, every factory needs molds for every part. Manufacturers check that molds are properly formed and that all accessories are properly molded to fit exactly as they should. Then they need to prepare the tools for painting the parts. One of the most common tools used by factory workers is stencils. Much of the paint work is done with spray paint and stencils, so it's a must when setting up production.

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(Video) Dueling Anime Characters Over-Explaining Every Move

Many factories also use pad printing or pad printing to "varnish" some of their parts. To prepare for this, manufacturers must first organize the appropriate data and appropriate images for these machines. Once all of this is gathered, creators will be able to take pre-orders! (ノ≧∀≦)ノ

Step 11: How many? Once pre-orders are closed, manufacturers will be talking to factories about how many figures are needed. At this stage, manufacturers will also make a final estimate of the total cost of making the figure and place orders. with the factory.(๑´• .̫ •ू`๑)

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If you're curious to know what it's likenoFactories, check out this look from Good Smile'sfactory in China!

Step 12: Out of the Box, Out of the Box One of the final steps in figure creation is the first thing you'll notice when you receive your figure: the box!

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When all the details of the figure are worked out, the next step is to design your container. Some questions manufacturers should answer when considering a figure box are:

  • What is the general shape of the box? How wide?
  • What material should the box be made of?
  • How big should the window be?(If it's too big, it can collapse easily, but if it's too small, you can't see inside)
  • Does the design fit the overall look of the character?
  • What shape should the window have?
  • Will the box design make it stand out in a store?

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Once the box design is complete, the manufacturer will normally provide the licensee with a sample and obtain approval before proceeding. If the licensee agrees, go to the next step! ꜀(ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠)꜆

Step 13: It's the little things There are many minor technicalities that need to be ironed out before the figure is ready for release. Things like taxes for overseas shipments, how many numbers per box for wholesale, and more need to be decided before the release date. (🇧🇷)

Step 14: Finally! The last step! Now, after all that work, comes the release of the figure! Orders are shipped and further promotions are underway, but this usually ends the production process for the manufacturer!

The art of making figures is actually more complicated than it seems. Even the simplest character takes a lot of time and thought to finally come to life. Considering the effort and time it takes to create the numbers (think how much longer it must take for smaller companies!), it makes it a little easier to understand why the numbers that know what they do cost. (ᵒ̤̑ ₀̑ ᵒ̤̑) But wait, there's more!
This is just the first part of our detailed explanation of why numbers can be so expensive. Be sure to check out our second part coming soon where we delve even deeper into this topic and try to answer this ever-present question!
Thank you for reading our blog post and good collection! ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Did you expect the character creation process to be like this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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