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When did it all began?When did it all began?Ask MFC

Ruben77Ruben77Il y a 4 ans
Just a question I was asking myself this days.

I know toys and action figures (as well as fashion dolls) have been produced in Japan for many decades now. Even garage kits are an old hobby.

But when looking for the origins of static figures as we know them nowadays (scales and prize) it looks like they're a somewhow recent phenomenon no older than 30 years (even dollfies are less than 20 years old).

I wonder if there has been any attempt to make a "history of scale figures" (or something like that) and what could be considered the first Japanese figures to be released and marketed the way we cherish them now? (scales/prize/BJDs). So, how did all began, and when?

Edit: I know there has been collectible and specially manufactured dolls and figures since the 1800s - 1900s in Europe and USA, and even before in Asia. But I am more curious about the development of the hobby specifically in our medium (anime figures to be more specific) ;)


Regards,

Ruben M.
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Commentaires10

Ruben77Il y a 4 ans#4885505Thanks a lot for your comment. :D That gives me a more clear idea of the history and development of this hobby, which is what I wanted.
It would be fun to make a detailed history, and research the first figures and prize/scale models produced.. but I guess that's somehow like a bit of archaeology :)


Yeah, sorry I don't have much time to write it more extensive, but this is a good summary I guess?

I once tried to make a figure-history-overview for a Dutch anime magazine I write for, but it turned out for me that there are too much "gaps" in the history to have a nice, flowing, 100% accurate story and getting professional help from specialists in Japan was almost impossible. :( I wish you good luck!
Il y a 4 ans
MaakieIl y a 4 ans#4813809I went to a panel with ENCYCLOPEDIA #8199 a while ago and how he explained it (summarized):
- ('40's) During WWII Japan saw a lot of toys and action figures from the US and got interested in it.
- ('40/50's and on) They started making their own versions and quickly found out (older) people were willing to pay more for them with higher details and they weren't necessarily used as toys.
- ('70/80's and on ) Fast forward a bit to hobbyist, anime getting popular and the existence of garage kits.
And from that popularity we got prepainted figures. :) That was a rushed history lesson, pfew!



Thanks a lot for your comment. :D That gives me a more clear idea of the history and development of this hobby, which is what I wanted.

It would be fun to make a detailed history, and research the first figures and prize/scale models produced.. but I guess that's somehow like a bit of archaeology :)
Il y a 4 ans
I went to a panel with ENCYCLOPEDIA #8199 a while ago and how he explained it (summarized):

- ('40's) During WWII Japan saw a lot of toys and action figures from the US and got interested in it.
- ('40/50's and on) They started making their own versions and quickly found out (older) people were willing to pay more for them with higher details and they weren't necessarily used as toys.
- ('70/80's and on ) Fast forward a bit to hobbyist, anime getting popular and the existence of garage kits.

And from that popularity we got prepainted figures. :) That was a rushed history lesson, pfew!
Il y a 4 ans
I came across Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World but it's just a thin book, not specific to our side of the hobby (ah just noticed someone also suggested it). Kaiyodo has its own section, Sanrio mascots, urban vinyl...

the japanese wiki mentions bits on candy toy figures, prize figures... also not much. ja.wikipedia.or...
Il y a 4 ans
PaulichuIl y a 4 ans#4675322I donno. There's an awful lot of marble statues out of Greece and Rome lol. I kinda see this stuff as mass produced art. Just look at how many statues are made out of bronze, copper, or other metals? Pure rock, or petrified wood?
But when it comes to plastic figures purely for display I seen a Tinker Bell from the 50's or 70's a couple weeks ago? And a Mickey Mouse that was definitely from the 50's. So it's definitely more than 30 years. 30 years ago was only in the 80's. (and holy crap does that make me feel weirdly old).


Funny you point out collecting "figures" in Antiquity. It is well known many Greek, Roman and other prominent citizens collected statues for the sake of collection. An important industry doing official copies existed to support the collectors' demand. Many wealthy people had gardens specially design for the sake of displaying their collections.

Once again, nothing new under the sun.
Il y a 4 ans
I can't really answer your question, but you may want to check out this book: www.amazon.com/...

In any case, Japan has been making anime toys since at least the 50s. I see a lot of those types of vintage toys (tin from the 50s, and plastic from the 60s) in the showcases of the various Mandarake stores that I've visited.
Il y a 4 ans
MemyandiIl y a 4 ans#4675370Perhaps when anime itself was starting to become "prettier"? I guess this is in the eye of the viewer but I don't think really old anime put so much focus into making their characters attractive, or at least didn't (or couldn't, due to old technology) do such a good job on it as they do today. And since people started to like their characters more visually too, figures went from toys to something to look at, trying to be as beautiful and/or close to the character as possible.
Just my thoughts though. Interesting question!


Well, Comic and Anime have a history of influencing each other a LOT. Old anime had a lot of influence from American cartoons and comics, so the normal 'anime' look that we know didn't exist back then. You can see this when you look at Astro Boy, who has those round shapes that we know from Mickey Mouse and Co. Astro Boy is from the 50's.

If you look at our current animation films, you can see this influence in reverse. A lot of the recent movies have characters with biiig round eyes with body-head-ratios that would fit right into Anime.

We need to pinpoint the moment when Anime became a stand-alone thing, developing beyond the western influences into what we understand as 'modern' Anime today. And then we need to look at the moment when that style gained popularity. It's not easy to pick out a certain date for figures/modern anime style when we are talking about an art style with such a big history and back-and-forth-influences with a whole other culture.
Il y a 4 ans
Perhaps when anime itself was starting to become "prettier"? I guess this is in the eye of the viewer but I don't think really old anime put so much focus into making their characters attractive, or at least didn't (or couldn't, due to old technology) do such a good job on it as they do today. And since people started to like their characters more visually too, figures went from toys to something to look at, trying to be as beautiful and/or close to the character as possible.

Just my thoughts though. Interesting question!
Il y a 4 ans
PaulichuIl y a 4 ans#4675322I donno. There's an awful lot of marble statues out of Greece and Rome lol. I kinda see this stuff as mass produced art. Just look at how many statues are made out of bronze, copper, or other metals? Pure rock, or petrified wood?
But when it comes to plastic figures purely for display I seen a Tinker Bell from the 50's or 70's a couple weeks ago? And a Mickey Mouse that was definitely from the 50's. So it's definitely more than 30 years. 30 years ago was only in the 80's. (and holy crap does that make me feel weirdly old).


Thanks for your input. :)
I've also seen some European and Northamerican collectible figures dating way back to 1940s-1950s.

But I was more curious about the development of the hobby specifically in our medium (anime figures to be more specific) ;)
Il y a 4 ans
Paulichu Sailor Senshi of Wisdom
I donno. There's an awful lot of marble statues out of Greece and Rome lol. I kinda see this stuff as mass produced art. Just look at how many statues are made out of bronze, copper, or other metals? Pure rock, or petrified wood?

But when it comes to plastic figures purely for display I seen a Tinker Bell from the 50's or 70's a couple weeks ago? And a Mickey Mouse that was definitely from the 50's. So it's definitely more than 30 years. 30 years ago was only in the 80's. (and holy crap does that make me feel weirdly old).
Il y a 4 ans
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