Greetings and salutations, my figure collectors and otakus! The Good Smile Company, one of Japan’s largest anime toy manufactures known worldwide- with offerings like scale figures, mecha model kits, their popular 1/12 scale figma action figures and cute chibified Nenderoids. Products caring the name Good Smile have a level of quality associated to them assuring customer satisfaction. As of late, the company has ventured into making more affordable figures like SEGA or Bandai, but still retaining the same level of quality that company is known for. These figures are called Pop Up Parades!
The initial concept for the Pop Up Parade figures began in 2019, the idea was to make figurines at a more affordable prices, a more uniformed size and scale, and more frequent releases. With just a few months of the announcement, their first figure was released to the public and it was of Hatsune Miku. With a retail price of just ¥3900 or $30 (USD), and production quality closely to that of high-end scale figures, Good Smile found success in their new brand.
While the main selling point for the figure is affordability, Good Smile had another ace up their sleeves. With keeping cost of production relatively low, they were still able to produce figures of less popular characters. This (in theory) gives the customer more choices and less popular characters some love. This has to be one the rare times where quantity doesn’t have to sacrifice quality. Safe to say, this Pop Up Parade figures can be considered as mid-range and for the price conscious.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how can GSC keep the cost of the Pop-Up figures low? Well this comes in the form of its size. A majority of scaled figures range from 1/8th to 1/4th scales, Pop Up on the other hand are kept at around the 1/10th scale. Again, this is to keep the line more uniformed for those to who wish to collect them. Another purpose for this is to maintain a steady production speed. Very clever, honestly.
Despite this creative venture, many collectors have made their displeasures known. Criticizing the rather small size like we’ve mentioned above, or the fact most of the figures are just rather simple visually. Another that many have pointed out that the line lacks variety, and that characters only receive a single costume appearance. Quite the far cry of the likes of prize figures, but this is just a minor gripe, really.
Thankfully, the people at Good Smile are aware of this and slowly trying to resolve the this by branching out to more than just anime characters. Yep, they’re branching out with characters from video games too like Chun Li from the popular Street Fighter series or the Dragonborn from Skyrim! If that’s not enough, movie characters are coming as well like Bugs Bunny and Labron James from Space Jam (why…?).
Additionally, they’re going to introduce two new scales into the Pop Up line of figures dubbed Large and XtraLarge (L and XL for short, respectively). The first character to receive this upscaled treatment is none other than the one that started it in the first place, Hatsune Miku with a height of 24cm. For the XL figure on the other hand, that honor goes Fairy Tail’s Lucy Heartfilia with a height of 40cm, close to a 1/4th scale figure.
Regardless of how you feel about these figures, you have to give credit to Good Smile for find creative and innovative ways to bring our favorite characters to life in plastic form. Whether you’re a long-time collector or just starting out, give these figures a chance- who knows they just might surprise you. If you like to know more about Pop Up Parades just click on here, and discover for yourself.