AliExpress is probably the most popular marketplace to buy good quality toys and action figures from. Anime fans swear by AliExpress because the products are cheap and affordable, but are AliExpress anime figurines good?
Truth be told, yes, AliExpress anime figurines are good. In fact I’ve used AliExpress a number of times to pick up some cool anime figurines and I was happy with every order so far mainly because of the quality of these figurines and the fact that they’re so affordable.
With the anime market thriving and new manga, TV shows and movies coming out every other month, we’re only going to see an increase in the sales of anime figurines for collectors, hobbyists and fans.
Whether you’re in the market for some limited edition anime figurines or a bunch of figures to simply add to your collection, AliExpress has it all.
This article is going to talk about whether or not you should invest in anime figurines from AliExpress and if yes, how you should go about choosing the right figurines. I will also include a section detailing the kinds of anime figurines available on the site and will list out some pros and cons of shopping for anime figurines on AliExpress.
Check it out!
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What are Anime Figurines?
Anime figurines are toys based on Japanese anime and manga characters. They are pretty popular in the collecting game and you can find them as either moveable figurines or stationary.
There are different types of anime figurines available in the market today where some are available as hobby kits which means that you have to build your own figurine and others come pre-built or in the form of a statue.
Most of the popular anime figurines on AliExpress are Death Note, Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Duel Masters, Cardcaptors, Naruto, Gundam, Attack on Titans and more.
What materials are used to make anime figurines?
Anime figurines are available in a wide range of sizes and materials where most of the time the type of material determines whether the figurine is moveable or not. Here are some of the most popular materials used to make high quality anime figurines.
- Resin anime figurines make great collectors items as they are made from high quality caustic liquid and powder. So once the mold sets, the paint job brings the figurine to life, as long as the right colors are used.
- PVC anime figurines are some of the most popular figurines available in the market today. You can get your hands on a high quality PVC figurine for under $20-$30 and for as low as $1. But you need to make sure that the molding and paint job is done right otherwise the figurine will look warped and distorted. Some popular PVC anime figurines are bobble heads and some articulated figures.
- Metal figurines are premium and make perfect collectors items. They don’t break easily and are generally well detailed. Metal figurines can tend to cost more than others on this list as the overall manufacturing process is expensive and the figurines always look authentic.
- Clay anime figurines are handmade and are some of the most detailed figurines available on AliExpress. However, they are not popular and in demand as the others as clay figurines tend to break easily.
- Die-Cast anime figurines are normally made from an alloy of zinc or tin. They are lightweight and since they are made from a solid single piece of metal, they can’t be bent and will have to stand as a stationary figure.
- Plastic figurines, quite similar to PVC, are okay to buy, are cheap, but don’t always have good workmanship. Sometimes plastic figurines are susceptible to damage if they are kept out in the sun for too long.
Are AliExpress Anime Figurines Good
Yes, AliExpress anime figurines are good and the quality of the materials used to make the figures is awesome, so you do end up getting what you paid for. However, when shopping for anime figurines from AliExpress it’s important that you refrain from buying those anime figurines that are priced under $10-$20.
These low cost toys do not last and if you buy an anime figurine from an unknown Chinese manufacturer, then the chances of your figurine being warped, cheap and fragile increases.
That is why it’s important to stick to braided anime figurines from premium sellers. You can find a load of high quality anime figurines for under $100, which still is a steal when compared to paying upwards of $200 for a branded figurine from Banpresto, Bandai Namco or NECA.
How To Locate Good Quality Anime Figurines on AliExpress?
Since not every anime figurine you see on AliExpress is made from good quality materials, choosing the right make and brand of figurine is crucial in order for you to have the best.
Based on my personal experience buying from AliExpress, I’ve come to realize that with every figurine I buy, there are certain things that I have to carefully look at before completing any purchase.
Here’s what I look at when choosing my Anime figurines
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Appearance of the Figurine
AliExpress plays host to anime figurines made by big brands that are expensive and also to China made figurines that are much more affordable. These China made figurines tend to have distorted and warped bodies or faces and most of the time the images used to showcase the product would be a generic image taken off Google.
If you really want to check out the true appearance of the anime figurine on AliExpress, then it would be wise to go through the buyer reviews section for each figurine you’re interested in and see if any of the buyers have uploaded images of the orders they have received.
This will be a good way to find out if the anime figurine actually looks like what is advertised and if the buyer received the figurine with the packaging and not in a clear plastic cover.
Features and Accessories
Anime figurines on AliExpress actually range in quality, features and accessories with some sellers selling complete scale models whereas others sell only particular components such as a torso or arms and legs.
I found that most of the time the seller that provides complete sets will also have spares in supply, so contacting them and buying from them is a good option as you can obtain parts of your figurine if you happened to misplace a piece or two.
I remember buying a death note Ryuk figurine some time back and I did not receive the base plate to hold the figurine. I had to place a second order from the same seller just to get the stand which was ridiculous, but since the material of the figurine was great and I didn’t spend much, the whole fiasco did not affect me at all.
But yes, others won’t be quite forgiving and would want everything to be present within the box and in a single order rather than multiple orders. Again, buyer reviews is a great place to check and see if the seller delivers everything that is required or if the seller sends half the order and you have to request or purchase the other half.
Complexity of the Anime Figurine
Details matter and it’s only smart to opt for an anime figurine from AliExpress only if it either comes pre-built or if the figurine is in the form of a hobby kit, then it should include the instruction manual, all the parts to complete the figurine and preferably a branded box.
Personally, I prefer opting for hobby kits because they are interesting and require some time and patience to build them the right way.
There are a lot of sellers on AliExpress that I came across with high quality figurines such as Gundam and even Dragonball. Some of the sellers even take the initiative of collecting all the components in case you have a requirement and will ship them to you at a custom cost.
What you need to understand is that when it comes to the level of detail and complexity of building the figurine, you will have to shell out a little more as the high quality ones don’t come cheap.
For example, I picked up a Gundam hobby kit from a Chinese seller and I received every component to complete the figurine. It cost me roughly $50 including shipping and I was ultimately happy with the overall quality and detailing on it.
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Are Limited Edition Anime Figurines Available on AliExpress?
AliExpress is a great place to pick up limited edition anime figurines for cheap. However, it’s difficult to find limited edition anime figures on AliExpress because these figurines are numbered and once they are sold out, they are gone for good.
If you’re lucky enough to find a limited edition figurine or two, make sure you immediately reach out to the seller or add it to your cart before it’s gone.
This is because of two reasons; firstly, the figurines are in limited supply and secondly, the prices of these limited editions on AliExpress are much cheaper than other sites, so collectors actually flock to AliExpress to get their hands on one that’s affordable.
Pros and Cons of Buying Anime Figurines from AliExpress
As with any product you buy from China or from AliExpress, there are certain pros and cons that you should consider.
- Anime figurines sold on AliExpress are made from high quality materials and are built to last.
- There are loads of well-made and detailed figurines on AliExpress for under $100
- Since the quality of the figurines are good, most of the products are great for children to play with as they are durable and won’t break easily.
- You can get great deals if you happen to buy anime figurines in bulk from AliExpress.
- Most of the collectables and toy sellers on AliExpress are reliable and you can drop them a message via the chat portal anytime and wait for a response.
- Some sellers tend to sell low quality goods, it might be hard to differentiate them from the genuine sellers
- There are rare occurrences where you might not receive some part of the figurine
- At times sellers also do not send the box as a part of the order
Does AliExpress sell bootleg anime figurines?
Yes, you can get both authentic as well as bootleg anime figurines on AliExpress. Some sellers even sell A-copy bootlegs that look identical to the original and have the same functions, only to be much cheaper and available in abundance.
Is it safe to buy Anime figurines from AliExpress?
Yes, it is safe to buy anime figurines from AliExpress as long as you choose the right product and the right seller. It’s important that you review each seller before making a purchase and check the buyer reviews to determine whether or not the seller is legitimate and reliable.
Are anime figurines made in China?
Most anime figurines are made in China and big brands like Bandai and even Takara Tomy have manufacturing plants in China. So if you see any anime figurine with a “Made in China”, don’t fret, because they can be high quality authentic items, just available at a lower price point.
Why are anime figurines on AliExpress so cheap?
Anime figurines available on AliExpress are cheap mainly because they are made in bulk and the overall cost to manufacture them reduces. If the seller has to manufacture a limited quantity of, say a limited edition figurine, then they will cost more as the manufacturer has to use lesser materials to produce a smaller quantity.