Christmas (or your winter gift-giving holiday of choice) is almost upon us! While it's fun to give and receive gifts, it can be quite stressful doing the actual planning and shopping. So what do you buy for that special figure collector in your life?
Not to worry! I've spent my years of experience buying things for myself to give you the ultimate guide to buying stuff for collectors! Learn from my own irresponsible spending to make this the best Christmas (or non-denominational holiday) ever!
If you really want someone to be poor for the rest of their life, get them into photography. Compared to camera gear, maintaining an anime figure collection costs a mere pittance. Indeed, you can set your loved one up for a lifetime of gear obsession and unnecessary spending by simply introducing them to this one hobby!
But what if you want to help that special someone take better photos of his figures without having to take out a loan? You can check out some accessories designed to improve smartphone photography, such as this Photojojo lens set (pictured above). Smartphone cameras these days are already pretty capable, but accessories like this can give them an extra bit of flexibility and creative freedom. Amp up your figure photography, and your collection will feel that much more special!
The art of photography goes hand in hand with the art of lighting. To really get those figure photos to the next level, you're going to need something better than the flash on your phone or camera.
Luckily, this also presents the opportunity for some great stocking stuffers! Lighting can be done simply with some $10 clamp lamps from Home Depot. If you want something you could actually incorporate into your photos, check out the Slickforce Softlight (pictured above). They're not super bright, and work best with a camera with manual controls. But they look cool and can help you learn the principles of lighting.
Leaving figures in their boxes is no good. A real collector will want a specially designated area to keep his figures in view. This is where that old standby of collectors everywhere comes in: Ikea's Detolf display case.
For good reason, these have been a go-to for figure collectors within range of an Ikea. They're reasonably priced and can blend into any kind of decor. The only drawback is that they weigh about as much as a small car, so make sure you have some buddies to help if you do buy one. Also, I guess these don't qualify as stocking stuffers... unless you're a frost giant and have enormous stockings.
You know what sucks? Leaving your figures out on display only to see them caked in dust a few months later. You know what your figures love? Being dust-free!
It's a small thing but for a collector, proper dusting can mean the difference between a janky looking display and a lovingly curated one. For starters I'd get some kind of air blower, like a can of compressed air or an electric blower. Microfiber cloths are always good to have around. For the really intricate or hard to clean areas, you can try using a set of makeup brushes (or specially made anti-static brushes). Your figures will thank you for it.
Figure collections inevitably outgrow the shelves that hold them. This law holds as true as the laws of thermodynamics. When that happens, any collector will be glad to have a set of acrylic risers on hand.
Full disclosure: I've never actually used these. But I wish I had, and my lack of foresight can turn into profit for you. Emotional profit, that is. With a good set of risers, you can make tiered displays that optimize your shelf space. They're especially good for smaller figures such as Nendoroids or Cu-Poches.
Backdrops and Sets
Want to take those figure displays to the next level? Why not add in some scenery? There are a host of options available, from 1/12-scale dollhouse furniture to purpose-built displays such as the figma PLUS line (pictured above). Max Factory has made a road set and a classroom set to help add a bit of flair to your figma collection. If Nendoroids are more your thing, Good Smile Company has recently put their Nendoroid-sized play sets up for order again.
Figure collecting can easily set someone on the path of financial ruin. Why not help them forget that fact with some good old liquid courage? Tomopop does not condone drinking as a response to life's problems. But a few sips here and there can't hurt, right?
Finally, if you can't actually get any of this in time for Christmas, you can always pre-order something. It's like a gift that's okay to give late! Make sure you stick to sites like Amiami or HobbyLink Japan, which both have great reputations and will make the whole buying process less scary.
From all of us at Tomopop, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!Photo Gallery: (7 images)
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