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Figma release and price analysisFigma release and price analysisMisc

thargletthargletIl y a 29 jours
With people complaining left and right about figma going up in price and pondering if the line is dead I decided to do some analysing of my own to see what the truth is and what trends there are.

The initial data gathering
To gather the data, I wrote what's effectively a basic crawler - it takes in a link to an MFC search and pages through it, scanning each item for the details I required. In this case, the first crawler grabbed the item ID, price, release date and if the item is marked as being bundled with anything.

The first data gathering didn't include the "bundled with" information, and my initial test graph looked... off. I then noticed that I had an issue where some figma came bundled with a game, artificially inflating its price. I have manually taken these out of the data set so each figma in my data set shouldn't come bundled with anything other than figma-related items.

I have also limited it to things that have been released prior to July 2020 so that I didn't have partial month data, and only data for things with a certain release date. The search itself was items with the classification "figma" and classed as "action figures" - there are some accessories and GKs with the figma classification, so those have been filtered out.

As not many figma are generally released in a given month, I have rolled the data up into quarters rather than months so that the data is less spiky and all over the place.

Release count
One of the famous cries I hear is "they don't release figma any more!" so my first graph is a basic count graph:
https://i.ibb.co/jMhWFQm/image.png
Whilst releases are not consistent, there is an upward trend. So the figma line isn't being phased out any time soon.

Here are the release counts by regular/EX/SP:
https://i.ibb.co/G5Vtgx7/image.png
In the last couple of years it looks like there has been a fair bit more releasing of EX and SP figma rather than bolstering the regular ranks. However, the regular figma are still being released at comparable or higher rates than in figma's early years.

Price analysis
First graph up is the average figma price per quarter for the eligible figma:
https://i.ibb.co/2c3SBnf/image.png
The average used is a mean calculation of the figma prices released in a given quarter.
For the red line, I used www.inflationto... to calculate the "current" value of each figma and then fed through the same mean calculation. As we can see, Japanese inflation hasn't really done anything exciting over this time period - the Japanese economy is fairly infamous for being pretty stagnant. But this shows we can't blame the high prices on Japanese inflation as this would only account for maybe ¥250 at most. So we've gone from a ¥2500 - 3000 average all the way up to ¥7500 - that's quite some price hike!

Next thing I graphed out was the minimum and maximum value for figma in each quarter:
https://i.ibb.co/mJJS1Bp/image.png
That big green spike is Void - ITEM #198494 who also came with a non-articulated Ubik. Q1 2014's dip is due to a figma being released as part of a prize lottery, which was a new thing to me - this Miku - ITEM #179198. The lowest-price figma don't seem to be climbing that hard, but there is definitely a growing ceiling of more "premium" figma - which is a trend I have noticed.

I then quickly cobbled together another crawler to grab if the releases were EX, SP or just regular. Splitting out the figma comes up with this averages plot:
https://i.ibb.co/DLqZFRC/image.png
With the non-connected dots we can see that SP and EX releases were initially pretty infrequent, but now they're becoming more of a regular thing and are much more "all over the place" in terms of price.
Let's pull out that blue line:
https://i.ibb.co/rsJWxmq/image.png
Looking at just the regular releases, we have a more "steady" graph, though there is a decent amount of fluctuation in it. 2014 seems to be the point where prices started to climb noticeably, with a decent level of price hiking since. And we're currently looking at shelling out an average of around ¥7,500 for a figma... ouch.

Conclusion
It's not just you... prices have been increasing and it hasn't been due to "local" inflation. figma prices have, on average, increased a bit over double since the inception of the line. Personally, I don't find ¥7,500 a very sustainable price for a 1/12 line, but there are other 1/12 lines out there at this price point. With the increasing EX and SP releases, my annoyance at GSC doing this more isn't going to go away any time soon given past trends - I ended up skipping a couple of figma I would have otherwise would've bought as it pushed the price too high for me to want to work them into my budget.
On the flip side, figma are being released in mildly greater numbers than previously, but I think the fact that because more of them are EX and SP releases it gives the impression there are less releases overall, when that isn't the case. The numbers can vary a decent amount per quarter which may also give the impression of release droughts.

If you would like to see the raw data used for this blog, it can be found in this Google Sheet. Graphs are on the second tab.

Did you enjoy this analysis? What did I miss that you'd like to see? Any figure lines that you'd like to see some graphs for? I plan to do one of these mini-blogs on Nendoroids to see their release trends due to it being a popular and prolific line.
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Commentaires26

This was an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

I'm looking forward to your Nendoroid piece as well. I turned on notifications so I don't miss it. :)
Il y a 28 jours
r/dataisbeautiful?

This is a fabulous article. Thanks for doing such great research!
Il y a 28 jours
hey this is super cool. Thanks for all the work you put in
Il y a 28 jours
It's a very interesting article!

It seems that manufacturing costs increased through years. I've chcecked minimum monthly wages in China and they increased a lot - from 690 yuan in 2006 to 2480 this year (more than 4 times!), according to this website. The data may be off since minimum wages are different for each province.

It would be interesting to see how much it relates to figma prices.
Il y a 29 jours
BenkokoIl y a 29 jours#80327967Btw you put in the wrong link for the cheapest figma which was Miku, you put the beserk link instead. Great article, I haven't bought myself any figmas due to their high prices, but it's crazy to see the rise in price from when it started
galablueIl y a 29 jours#80327959Fascinating article, really enjoyed it. Would be interested to see how the price increase in figma stacks up against the price increase in nendos, prizes, and scales (respectively). By the way, when you link 2 of the figmas, you accidentally linked the same one twice. Lovely article though.

Oops, fixed the link now! Glad you enjoyed.
Il y a 29 jours
MobiletortoiseIl y a 29 jours#80327423Very good write up with a lot of useful information.
I don't think the line is going to die anytime soon, but I could def see them taking a big hit once they start pushing that 10K yen/$100 mark though.
I wonder what GSC themselves want to do with the line, do they want to increase production and get more out there? Because that seems like a risky assumption since I have seen an increasing concern over quality and content that the Figmas come with.


My personal feeling is they're partially throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, especially with the increase of "one off" SP/EX releases.

For GSC, they don't seem to mind if previously budget lines turn into premium lines. Then they just go ahead and launch something else to fill the space if they want to it seems.
Il y a 29 jours
plasticizerIl y a 29 jours#80327337Could be a number of reasons. What most people don't take into account aside from inflation in Japan is the countries where the stuff is produced. It could be that the price to design and make the figures (sculpting, die-making, licensing), the cost of the materials (PVC cost), regulations (QA costs, carbon tax), wages of laborers (painting, packaging), shipping/distribution, marketing costs have all increased, then, the company shifted the cost to the consumers.

Yes, I suspect that manufacturing costs has a good chunk to do with the increase, but don't have any metrics to back that up. There's always some people who want to see things adjusted for inflation, so I provided the line knowing that would probably produce little difference.
Il y a 29 jours
Btw you put in the wrong link for the cheapest figma which was Miku, you put the beserk link instead. Great article, I haven't bought myself any figmas due to their high prices, but it's crazy to see the rise in price from when it started
Il y a 29 jours
Fascinating article, really enjoyed it. Would be interested to see how the price increase in figma stacks up against the price increase in nendos, prizes, and scales (respectively). By the way, when you link 2 of the figmas, you accidentally linked the same one twice. Lovely article though.
Il y a 29 jours
Super obviously they have been coming out with higher prices and very frequently. Once they slipped in a few beyond-the-pale overpriced ones (but with enough extras to get away with it) then they released more of those while also scaling back on the extras. Now bare bones ones cost as much as previously “premium” ones. We’re staring down the barrel of a ~$20 increase across the board from say 2 years ago with very few exceptions.
Anything with a Western license like Overwatch and Disney tends to tack on a good $15 for that alone over effectively the same item from an anime. If that $75 Emilia was a Blizzard character, she’d be pushing $90 no question.
Il y a 29 jours
You can buy Japanese anime and manga merch!

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