As an Australian, I’m used to anime merch being rather expensive. It’s always in USD and AUD is always a lower dollar. Shipping prices to Australia are insane. It’s hard to find what you’re looking for. The list goes on.
I was looking at Demon Slayer figures, a bad habit I’ve developed since seeing these figures continuously showing up in the background of people’s YouTube and TikTok videos. Looking at the price points on many of these figures is fortunately enough to postpone an impromptu purchase though.
And anime figures being expensive does seem to be a universals experience across the board.
Apparently, the main reason for their high price point is…
The manufacture needs to make money. They need to pay staff for researching, planning, production, packaging, marketing, prototypes, reviewing, making resin molds, and more. They need to pay for a licensing fee. Some might be covering the shipping costs, which are especially high internationally. And they need to be making a profit.
Figures are also made mass-production but are usually made in small production runs. Generally, the smaller the production run the greater the product cost will be. The limited supply is what’s driving up demand. People are willing to pay higher since many figures too don’t get re-releases. Once they’re gone, they’re gone or you have to buy them second hand (and have to wait to see if the re-sell value is higher or lower – once again depending on supply and demand).
Quality is also a contributing factor. More well-made and polished figures will cost more than cheaply made ones. You could get a $40 figure with dodgy painting or a $200 pristine and intricate figure. It’s up to you.