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Figure Scale Trends, Part 3: Cast Off [NSFW]Figure Scale Trends, Part 3: Cast Off [NSFW]

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ATTN: this is tagged as NSFW due to the subject matter.

Background
Previously, I posted some articles that examined trends in the scales of PVC figures. This is part 3 which explores the trends in scales specifically for cast off figures. Future part 4 will examine the scale trends for nopan figures.

Disclaimer

The data being used was collected between mid-October to early November. Any updates to the MFC database since then are not reflected in this analysis.

Although there are several other scales (1/20, 1/12, 1/3, etc), these articles are going to focus on 1/8 through 1/4 scales which comprise the majority of scale figures. There are also several entries in the MFC database that omit scale or release date, and as a result, those figures are not included.

Note: Figure photos in this article are from the MFC database. The chart image was created by me.

Overall cast off trends

Here's a look at the scale trends for cast off figures:
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2019/12/02/2341190.png

While this shares some similarities to the graph in part 2, there are some notable differences related to the scales and when the growth periods occurred.

Cast off figures trend toward larger scales

The data for cast off figures shows a significantly different ratio of scales compared to figures overall. In part 2, we saw that 1/8 scale was the most popular scale across all figures until 2018 at which point 1/7 scale became the most popular. However for cast off figures, the 1/8 scale had already fallen behind 1/7 and 1/6 scales by 2012. Since 2013, 1/6 scale has been the most popular scale for cast off figures by a wide margin. Looking at the 2019 releases, there are 84 1/6 scale cast off figures compared to only 23 in 1/7 scale and 19 in 1/8 scale. Although there have been some slight increases in 1/7 and 1/8 scale in 2016 and again in 2019, this is minor compared to the continuing growth in 1/6 scale.

Even more pronounced is the recent growth in larger scales like 1/5 and 1/4. Prior 2019, there were a maximum of 7 cast off figures released in 1/5 scale for any given year, but in 2019 there are a whopping 21 figures released using that scale. Meanwhile, the 1/4 scale is showing even faster recent growth as it jumped from only 3 figures last year to 17 this year. However, it is worth noting that 1/4 scale has had some previous spikes such as 13 figures in 2011 and 11 figures in 2016. It will be interesting to see if the the current growth in these larger scales will persist in upcoming years.

Why did cast off figures trend toward larger scales?

To help answer this, let's begin by examining a few cast off figures released in various scales during the mid-2000s:

Queen's Blade - Leina - Excellent Model - 1/8 (MegaHouse) ITEM #335
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2014/07/07/1040608.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2014/07/07/1040606.jpeg

During the early rise in cast off figures, MegaHouse released several Queen's Blade figures in 1/8 scale such as this Leina version. Although this was fairly typical detail and quality for a 1/8 scale figure released in 2006, compared to newer cast off figures, the quality and detail look poor. The studs on the brown arm wrap aren't painted. The color of her chest plate, gauntlet and boots look like plastic instead of metal. When she's fully cast off, her breasts look misshapen, and there is barely any coloration of her nipples. Also, the straps of her thong seem to be cutting unusually deep into her hip.

Ikki Tousen - Kan'u Unchou - 1/7 - Gothic Lolita (Orchid Seed) ITEM #1134
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2012/12/21/590990.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2012/12/21/590999.jpeg

Another series that spawned a lot of early cast off figures was Ikki Tousen. Kan'u Unchou was one of its most popular characters. The MFC database lists 266 figures for her, 83 of which are cast off. This Orchid Seed figure was one of her first cast off versions. Similar to the Leina figure, the detail seems to be lacking. Her outfit looks more like plastic instead of cloth. The hair also lacks much detail. With her top removed, her breasts look somewhat misaligned, but that might be due to how her arms are placed.

Tandem Twin Animal Girl - Yamaneko - 1/6 - Lynx Girl Ruby Ver. (Yamato) ITEM #4394
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2015/03/13/1243525.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2015/03/13/1243514.jpeg

In some ways, this Lynx Girl Ruby variation from Yamato's Tandem Twin Animal Girls series was ahead of it's time. While many of the other companies making cast off figures were using 1/8 or 1/7 scale, Yamato was already making 1/6 scale figures long before they had become very popular. Also, most figures released tended to be based on popular anime titles, and using original characters like this was not as common for figures released at that time. By comparison a significant number of modern cast off figures feature original characters. Furthermore, the detail on her armor looks considerably better than some of the other cast off figures released in 2006. With her top removed, the breasts are nicely shaped, though the nipples lack much coloration. One minor flaw is the skin tone. Ruby is rather pale, and in some lighting her skin looks unusually reflective. Meanwhile, another variant named Emerald has overly orange skin. Despite these problems, the Lynx girl figures still hold up pretty well considering their age.

To Heart 2 - Kousaka Tamaki - 1/5 - Tsun Face (Daiki Kougyou AquaPlus) ITEM #6799
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2013/09/04/805355.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2013/09/04/805368.jpeg

Kousaka Tamaki is another figure that has spawned a large number of figure releases. Per the MFC database, there are 269 figure varations for Tamaki, giving her a slight edge over Kan'u Unchou, but only 65 of Tamaki's figures are cast off. This version is one of the few released in 1/5 scale (She's also somewhat unique as an early nopan figure in this scale which is something I'll discuss more in part 4.) For a 2007 release, the detail and quality is fair. The clothing looks ok, but the hair color is a bit too shiny making it look like plastic. The breasts are shapely, but they are placed so high on her chest that it makes her torso look abnormally long. Also, they opted not to give her any anatomical detail below the waist - she's just a barbie down there. Despite the flaws and somewhat simplistic style, it's still an attractive figure.

Sengoku Blade: Sengoku Ace Episode II - Koyori - 1/4 (Daiki Kougyou) ITEM #6890
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2014/10/03/1111954.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2014/10/03/1111951.jpeg

Many of the early 1/4 scale cast off figures were either garage kits or dolls. This figure is one of the first 1/4 scale PVC releases that supported cast off. However, the cast off ability is basically just removing stickers. The figure also included alternate arms for a different pose which was a relatively novel feature at that time. The detail and quality is quite good for a figure from this era. However, there are a few notable flaws. Her right foot doesn't seem to be aligned correctly with her leg. Also, the seams are rather obvious when the alternate parts are used. Finally, the transparent blue lizards seem a bit out of place, and their inclusion and placement seems to be intended to primarily help hide the leg seams.

Impact of early cast off figures
Based on just those 5 cast off figures, there appeared to be a direct relationship with larger scales featuring more detail and higher quality. Many collectors of that era likely noticed this as well, and it may be one of the main reasons why larger scales quickly became more popular among collectors of cast off figures. Also, since these adult figures were aimed at an older audience, those buyers probably had more disposable income. Thus, they could more easily afford larger scales, and they may have been willing to pay more for higher quality cast off figures.

This may also be a contributing reason for the eventual downfall of some of the early figure producers such as Taki Corporation or Griffon Enterprises. Both of them produced a large number of early cast off figures in 1/8 or 1/7 scale, but as the cast off figure market shifted more toward 1/6 or larger figures with improved detail and quality, they were unable to make the transition, and eventually they went out of business.

A look at modern cast off figures
Compared to the older cast off figures, the detail and quality has improved significantly. While 1/6 scale has the most cast off releases, there are still high quality figures being released in smaller scales too. Meanwhile, 1/5 and 1/4 scale figures command a growing share of the market. Many of the modern cast off figures feature removable top and bottom garments, allowing them to also be displayed nude or bottomless instead of merely topless. (Note fully cast off figures may still wear various clothing items such as stockings, belts, jackets or skirts, but the breasts and vagina are exposed.) Here are some example cast off figures released in 2019:

Original Character - Creator's Collection - Chris - 1/8 (BINDing, Native) ITEM #676105
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/12/12/2113854.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2019/08/31/2289918.jpeg


Original Character - Creator's Collection - Natsumi - 1/7 (Native) ITEM #464782
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/07/10/2015846.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2019/02/22/2160120.jpeg


Original Character - Skytube - Usada Yuu - 1/6 (Alphamax) ITEM #604109
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/11/13/2095018.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2019/05/16/2215108.jpeg


Reika wa Kareina Boku no Maid - Reika - 1/5 (Lechery) ITEM #605389
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/07/13/2017432.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/12/31/2125565.jpeg


NekoPara Vol.1 Soleil Kaiten Shimashita! - Chocola - Character's Selection - 1/4 (BINDing, Native) ITEM #604589
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/06/27/2008550.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2019/02/01/2143758.jpeg


The detail and quality of these newer releases is significantly improved compared to the ones released in the early days of cast off figures. While the older figures typically only allowed removal of a limited number of clothing parts, the newer figures allow multiple parts to be removed, adding to the variety of displayable poses. The coloring and detail on their garments is significantly improved as well, looking more like natural materials. Also, the body sculpting is much improved and often includes more anatomical detail.

Growth and decline in cast off figures lags the overall figure market

As shown in part 2, the early growth phase for figures overall reached a peak in 2008 and then declined during the Great Recession. By comparison, cast off figures hit a peak in 2009 before their decline. Meanwhile, figures overall entered a new growth period beginning in 2017, but cast off figures didn't resume their most recent growth phase until 2018.

This could be explained by cast off figures requiring a longer development and manufacturing time to support the removable or interchangeable parts. Another possible reason could simply be due to the majority of cast off figures using larger scales, and those in turn might take longer to develop and manufacture. In either case, many of the figures that were reaching the market in 2009 may have been pre-ordered many months prior to the recession, and it wasn't until after that when the pipeline of castoff figures began to dry up. Similarly, the figures growth in 2018 may have been initially driven by growth in pre-orders back in 2017 as the overall figure market began to resume growth.

What happened in 2016?

Something unusual seems to have happened in 2016 as there were a high number of cast off figures released that year. I tried to identify what may account for this, but so far I have not come up with any singular effect that fully explains it. The growth was seen across multiple scales, and it appears that several manufacturers released a higher than usual number of new cast off figures that year, but it's unclear why this happened.

Collector considerations

While there are some 1/8 and 1/7 scale cast off figures still being released, the the trend for those scales remains downward overall. As the popularity of 1/6 and larger scales continues to increase, it's likely that the number of cast off figures in those smaller scales will continue to wane. If you're a collector that previously focused on 1/8 or 1/7 cast off figures or a newer collector just starting to build your cast off collection, the 1/6 scale is probably the best option to consider going forward. That has been the most popular scale for the past 6 years, and it shows no signs of giving up that lead. Collectors of 1/6 scale should be thrilled at this.

If 1/5 or 1/4 scales continue to increase at their present rate, they could potentially eclipse even the 1/6 scale releases at some point in the future, but due to the price and shipping costs associated with those larger scales, that seems somewhat unlikely. It's more likely that 1/6 scale will continue to dominate the cast off figure scene.

Coming next...

Part 4 will examine scale trends for nopan figures. Without spoiling too much, the scale trends for nopan figures look quite different than the data for cast off figures, and fans of nopan figures may be very pleased by some of the revelations.
753 hits • 6 likes11 comments

留言11

1pt
Thanks for another part to this, very informative an eye opening to see just how the market has changed over the years. I'm thinking that 2016's spike could have been due to the fact that borderline hentai was still popular, now if you look at the trends of each season since Sword Art Online became so huge the rise in Anime set in game worlds or in other worlds has spiraled and interestingly the borderline hentai series have almost vanished! Thus maybe leaving a gap in the market? In 2016 we had Hybrid Heart which was the closest to hentai at the time and I'm sure manufacturers were on board that train not knowing that it was about to be stopped, as in 2017 the decline began and now it's rare to see a borderline hentai series however as you mentioned due to the popularity of 1/6 I'm sure companies picked up on this despite the decline in borderline hentai, as hey we got to get our fix from somewhere right!? lol So that might explain why cast off figure sales increased, as each season from 2016 there have been less borderline hentai series as well as a small decline in ecchi series as well, in 2019 there was only one borderline hentai series which was a 6 ep web series compared to other years where there have been at least 4-5 along with ecchi series. In 2010 there were 21 ecchi series and in 2019 there aren't many that can be classed as ecchi, some may have ecchi scenes this includes series like Fire Force but there aren't many series aimed at being ecchi, from what I've found we had only 4 series in 2019 that were aimed at being ecchi which shows the ecchi trend is gradually disappearing. It is generally quite shocking that trapped in another world/videogame anime has had over 24 series since SAO and that number continues to rise each season!

I too prefer 1/6 because like many other collectors and again as you mentioned they're affordable and high in detail and have numerous display options which make them desirable, I do have some 1/8's and 1/7's that are cast off but 1/6 is just better as they don't take up too much space unless you're Daiki who have to do black disc bases which drive me insane, seriously Daiki stop with the crap bases already! Anyway I can see 1/6 becoming the future fav as 1/4 and 1/5 require a lot of space and despite them having higher quality prices are going to hurt, it's interesting to note that BINDing announced all these girls by Oda Non
View spoilerHide spoiler
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2017/07/30/1803410.jpeg

but have only made two so far, this whole set alone is going to put you back a couple of grand, so the bigger figures are a bigger investment which a lot of us just can't do. Anyway thanks once again for this article looking forward to reading the next part! :D
4天前
1pt
vgadict (4天前) #71229646Thanks! I have no idea why you missed the prior articles, but at times, the volume of new articles can quickly push recent articles off the links shown on the main page.
Links to the prior articles should be available in the panel to the right. In case they aren't showing up, here they are:
Part 1: BLOG #44130
Part 2: BLOG #44189
Whoa i guess that's the cause lol. Thanks for the links!! Heading there.
4天前
1pt
BHEITHIR (4天前) #71222519What an informative article!! How come i missed the previous parts?
Looking forward for the next to come. Keep up the great work!!

Thanks! I have no idea why you missed the prior articles, but at times, the volume of new articles can quickly push recent articles off the links shown on the main page.

Links to the prior articles should be available in the panel to the right. In case they aren't showing up, here they are:
Part 1: BLOG #44130
Part 2: BLOG #44189
4天前
0pt
victorviper (5天前) #71195698My gut feeling was that the data would show explosive growth in 1/4 scales in the last year or so (with all the offerings from BINDing), and it's interesting to see that confirmed. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues; the aftermarket prices for a lot of the 1/4 BINDing figures seems to suggest that the demand is there, but it will be interesting to see if the 18+ collectors are willing to keep shelling out upwards of 25000 yen per item for these huge scales and if the secondhand prices will stay high.
I'm very curious to see if the growth in 1/4 and 1/5 scales will endure. Collectors have been complaining about the rising costs of figures for at least a decade, yet it hasn't stopped the producers from continuing to raise the price of figures.

I also keep reading posts about how many pre-ordered figures some collectors have which means there are still a lot of collectors continuing to buy figures despite the climbing prices. In economics this would be known as inelastic demand - regardless of the price, people still buy the item. Usually only items like food or fuel tend to follow that behavior while collectibles and art usually follow an elastic demand where higher prices causes fewer people to buy the item. It's concerning to me as a collector that there could be a huge number of people out there that are willing to buy figures at any price since that may just encourage the companies to raise their prices higher and higher since they know they'll still be able to sell the figures.
4天前
1pt
What an informative article!! How come i missed the previous parts?
Looking forward for the next to come. Keep up the great work!!
4天前
1pt
My gut feeling was that the data would show explosive growth in 1/4 scales in the last year or so (with all the offerings from BINDing), and it's interesting to see that confirmed. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues; the aftermarket prices for a lot of the 1/4 BINDing figures seems to suggest that the demand is there, but it will be interesting to see if the 18+ collectors are willing to keep shelling out upwards of 25000 yen per item for these huge scales and if the secondhand prices will stay high.
5天前
0pt
Maybe the 2016 dip has to do with the large back-up of figures being delayed by companies in that era. I remember a period where figures were delayed up to 12 months.
Other explanation might be the fact that there was a period where 18+ figure weren't put up for PO on the english site for foreign customers, only on the japanese site for Japanese. (Luckily that is no longer the case)

Just spitballing anyway. Regardlessly, these articles give some great insight and provide a great read. Keep the good work up ;3
5天前
0pt
galablue (5天前) #71180701thank you for all the time and effort you put into these very informative articles! you always teach me so much :)
Thanks! I'm glad you find them helpful.
5天前
1pt
thank you for all the time and effort you put into these very informative articles! you always teach me so much :)
5天前
0pt
Cloudberry (5天前) #71153261Again, this is a great read. Thanks for gathering the data! It must be a lot of work to make these articles.
The only thing I can think of what happened in 2016 was when the UN tried to ban hentai and when that didn't pass, maybe companies rejoiced by releasing a wave of cast-off figures? I'm just spitballing an idea.

Doing the database searches is relatively easy, though a bit tedious to punch all of the data into a spreadsheet. After that, tracking down example figures is relatively easy, and the articles aren't too hard to put together. Plus I usually uncover some interesting figure info in the process.

I doubt the 2016 spike had anything to do with the political climate. I originally wondered if one of the prominent figure festivals may have celebrated a special anniversary that year, in which case many of the figure companies could have decided to add extra releases as part of celebration, but I couldn't find any info to support that. Furthermore, the spike seems strongly linked to castoff figures rather than figures overall, and if it was some kind of a tie-in with a festival anniversary event, I would expect the spike to be more pronounced for general figures as well.

It's almost like there was some sort of secret contest between the figure companies to see who could make the most cast off figures that year.
5天前
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