These “guide to so-and-so” posts are pretty fun, actually. I have one on how to cheaply obtain (in some cases, access to) anime and manga, but I don’t think I’ve done one on anything you can obtain firsthand before…
Information about Nendoroids is somewhat widely available in English, but there’s some things I wish I knew before I obtained my first Nendo…
like how much time they suck up when you try fiddling with them…
Note 1: I’m not trying to sell you this stuff – I’m writing about them from the stuff I’ve read over the past year or so and personal experience – although if you get one because I talked about it…I feel sorry for your wallet, but good on you. Read the rest of the post for more info on how to obtain one.
Note 2: There are various bootlegs around the ‘net, so be careful if you try obtaining one for yourself. See this page for more info.
What are Nendoroids?
Essentially, they’re small chibi handsculpted figures about 10 cm (about 4 inches for you non-metric people) tall with movable parts, handled by Good Smile Company. They’re immensely popular and, compared to some other kinds of figures, fairly easy to come by in merch terms, although apparently all Nendoroids come in limited-term runs. Normally one, when encountered around release date, costs about about 5500 JPY each, unless you find a partner shop, in which case they’d probably factor in shipping as well if necessary.
Their name is derived from nendo (clay) and android, although I ended up coining the term “Endoroid” for the…well, En (Boueibu) Nendoroid.
How do I spot one “out in the wild”?
Aside from trying to identify bootlegs (see note 2 above), you can generally identify a Nendo by their number or the standard look of their boxes, which are white with coloured details to match the character – using En as an example, he’s no. 607, or the 607th Nendo ever produced, and his box has blue and pink details on it, including his name in Japanese and English. To my knowledge, the interior of the larger boxes can also be used like a display – En’s has the Binan High staircase on the inside – but in the smaller boxes, they’re just a plain colour.
What’s the appeal?
There’s over 1000 individual figures in the series, including some from movies and comic books, but most of them hail from anime, manga and similar series. Some series are lucky to have an entire string of releases, but others have just one. Of course, with something like this, there are collectors of such things too.
Notably, the different parts mean that unlike stationary figures, you get to choose the pose you like and stick with it, although as alluded to earlier, they can suck up a bunch of your time while you’re figuring out how they work. I didn’t even realise some of the parts could be detached/attached until I closely observed where the plastic was attached, and I didn’t know the Nendo’s hands specifically could detach/reattach until I saw a post that mentioned it.
What’s the downsides to them?
- …Welp, they’re figures, so they don’t do much aside from sitting and decorating things, practicality-wise. Wall scrolls can cover things on walls or be used to wrap things up, in comparison.
- Some of the figures are poorly thought-out (or seem poorly thought-out because you can’t pose them easily) and if you’re not careful, you might even break something or cause it to unintentionally fall apart. Notably, some Nendos don’t work without their stands – they’re too heavy – and some small parts, such as hands, are potentially easily lost. Some pegs apparently need a coat of clear nail polish to even ensure they sit properly.
- Shipping is always going to be annoying if it applies.
… it seems you’ve caught me being reckless with my money again
(yes, I call myself a “cheapskate”, but then drop heaps of money on semi-rare items or items that match what I’m looking for…thank goodness I economise so much that I can allow myself to be a spendthrift every once in a while), so here’s the full story: I was kinda-sorta awake one morning and had a dream about obtaining a Nendoroid Jakurai at 80% off. Knowing it was too good to be true (since it seemed to be on an online bookstore), I woke up that time.
I didn’t get much of a discount and he cost a bit more than En, but I was stopping by a place with a Good Smile partner store and I did indeed encounter a Nendoroid Jakurai (also Gentaro and Hifumi, which weren’t part of my dream) at one point…and, noting the fact Nendoroids are limited-run, as stated above, I snapped him up anyway.
I also spotted a Suwarasetai Rei while I was around, but as soon as I spotted that was the last one, I dropped him like a hot potato. (Would’ve paid good money for a Jyushi, though.)
It’s always weird happenings like this that lead to posts, though.
So, do you own any Nendoroids? (Can I see pics…?) What’s your experience like with them?
As for helping with Nendoroid-related questions…I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t guarantee solid answers.