Inside A High-Quality Japanese Figurine Factory 

This is a rarity. These days, most anime figures are produced in China. Good Smile Company, however, has a factory in Tottori Prefecture, Japan, producing high-quality collectibles. Let's take a look inside.

Recently, Japanese TV show Gacchiri Monday visited the factory, which opened in late 2014.

[Image via Ryou_I_01 | Gacchiri Monday]

Besides shaping the figures, everything is done by hand at this factory.

[Image via MoeJP | Gacchiri Monday]

This Good Smile Company employee is explaining how until now, the vast majority of figures are entirely made in China.

[Image via MoeJP | Gacchiri Monday]

This is the company's first figure factory in Japan.

[Image via arakichi1969 | Gacchiri Monday]

The goal is to make high-quality made-in-Japan collectibles.

[Image via arakichi1969 | Gacchiri Monday]

The painting is, of course, also done by hand.

[Image via MoeJP | Gacchiri Monday]

There are so many small details to discover in the painting.

[Image via MoeJP | Gacchiri Monday]

Can you see the difference between before and after?

[Image via MoeJP | Gacchiri Monday]

The top part was painted navy, which you might think is unnoticeable, but diehard fans appreciate these small touches.

[Image via ParaRiorg01 | Gacchiri Monday]

So, for example, a hundred colours were used in painting this figure.

[Image via ParaRiorg01 | Gacchiri Monday]

Impressive work.

[Image via arakichi1969 | Gacchiri Monday]

Here, they are polishing each individual part to make the smooth and so that none of the plastic bits stick out.

[Image via arakichi1969 | Gacchiri Monday]

Then, the parts are checked and separated in quality control.

[Image via hiro19640615 | Gacchiri Monday]

[Image via hiro19640615 | Gacchiri Monday]

Small imperfections are noticed.

[Image via cupo_figua | Gacchiri Monday]

This face didn't pass the quality test.

[Image via hokuhokuson | Gacchiri Monday]

That teeny black dot makes this face unacceptable for release.

[Image via holy_area | Gacchiri Monday]

Some much work, care and attention goes into these little cute figurines.


    GSC set up the Tottori factory because the stuff they were getting out of China had a lot of quality control issues, apparently. Less so with the smaller Nendoroid stuff, but they had constant production delays on their larger scale figures that usually resulted in everything coming out months later than it should have.

    Also, just as an aside, details like the eyes in that photo are not hand-painted, they're stamp-printed by a machine.

    They actually posted a big thing a few years back on their blog where they went to one of their China facilities and showed all the steps that their figures go through in production. I imagine their Tottori factory is pretty much identical:

      I wonder if it is also to try to combat the knock off stuff that China produces. I got stung once with a knock-off Miku. Luckily got an Amazon refund but it was quite close to the real thing, just some joins and flashing where there shouldn't have been any, and a couple of minor paint issues.

    Imagine what the supply issues would be like for amiibo if they were rejected for those kinds of little blemishes.

    Holy shit that Bloomed in Japan Miku!

      It's largely a reissue of the original Sakura Miku (I have both)

        Sweet! I only have the Senbonzakura Miku and the original PDf Miku. I have my eye on many more (but so expensive!)

          I got in on Nendoroid really early (with number 9 in the series) and expanded the collection over time, so have a ton of Mikus. And Sabers, actually. Someone at GSC really likes those two characters.

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