Collecting anime figures is a hobby that continues to rise in popularity. As a result, there are more and more stores selling them. This can make purchasing an anime figure a daunting process because you’re never sure if the store you’re buying from is the best place to buy the figure you want. Well, we’ve put together this buying guide to help demystify the best place to buy anime figures. We provide some of the tops stores online and around the world where you can buy your favorite characters anime figures. We hope you find it helpful.
There are so many online stores that claim to be the best site to buy anime figures, but it would be impossible for me to review them all. Below I list some of the most popular websites to buy anime figures that are well respected in the anime figure collecting community.
cdjapan has been selling anime figures online for 20 years and they are one of the best. They provide good discounts on new pre-orders and, much like AmiAmi, they carry most new releases and have a huge selection to choose from. They also have excellent packaging and ship most pre-orders before or on the release date, so you receive your figure as quick as possible.
cdjapan ships worldwide and you have the following shipping options to choose from — FedEx, EMS, Registered Air Mail, Air Mail, Registered SAL, SAL, and SAL Parcel Post. They accept 6 different payment methods including credit card, debit card, Paypal, International Postal Money Order, Alipay and Cash sent via registered mail.
ebay is an obvious choice for anime figures, but I’m not just telling you to go there and perform a general search for the figure you want because there are a lot of bootlegs you need to watch out for when buying anime figures on ebay. You need to buy from a reputable seller. In my case, I recommended buying from Kappa Hobby on ebay. They list all the latest pre-orders and have 100% rating on ebay. They guarantee all their products will be new and 100% authentic.
Entertainment Earth is based in Simi Valley, CA and was founded back in 1996, so they’ve been selling anime figures and collectibles for a long time. I can personally attest to how solid their customer service is. I’ve ordered from them on numerous occasions and all my orders arrived on time with no issues. I’ve also had to cancel orders with them and their customer service was more than accommodating. Entertainment Earth isn’t always my go to shop, however, because they tend to only stock the most popular anime figures, so if you’re looking for a very niche anime figure, it’s likely that it won’t be carried at Entertainment Earth.
They do ship to the majority of countries, but it is stated on their website that they are not shipping to Russia at this point in time. Also with shipping, they try to use all environmentally friendly packing materials when shipping their orders, so your order will be packed with AirSaver® pillows made of HDPE 2 plastic that’s eco-friendly, reusable, recyclable, and BPA free.
Some other pros of Entertainment Earth are their guarantees. They offer a Mint Condition Guarantee which states that you’ll receive a perfect item with the best packaging possible – at no extra charge. They also offer a 110% Low Price Guarantee which states that should you find a lower price for the same item sold elsewhere, they’ll give you 110% of the difference. Not only will they refund you 100% of the difference, but they’ll add a bonus 10% toward your next purchase. Finally, their 90 day hassle-free return policy is one of the best. If for any reason you are not delighted with the order you receive from them, you can return most unused/unopened or defective items within 90 days from the receipt of your shipment for a prompt refund or replacement.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that they offer FREE shipping on orders of $79 or more which, if you’re a serious collector of anime figures, is a price point you’ll easily hit.
AmiAmi is one of, if not the, most well-known site to buy anime figures. With the exception of figures that are exclusive to other stores, AmiAmi carries almost every anime figure that gets released. Collectors new and old pre-order through AmiAmi because they don’t charge you until they have the figure in hand and ready to ship to you. They accept five forms of payment — Paypal, Credit Card, Alipay, Unionpay, and COD. Cash on delivery can only be used on orders within Japan, however. AmiAmi also ships worldwide via the following methods — EMS, DHL, Air Small Packet, SAL Parcel, SAL Small Packet (registered, unregistered) and local courier for domestic delivery.
Japan, in particular Tokyo, is the mecca for anime figures, so it’s no wonder that serious collectors want to take a pilgrimage there to buy anime figures. When buying anime figures in Tokyo, the two most popular areas you are going to want to visit are Akihabara and Nakano Central.
In Akihabara, if you’re looking for figures that are new and/or popular, you’ll want to hit up the Kotobukiya store located at 1-8-8, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021. The Kotobukiya Akihabara store has 3 floors of figures to sort through. On the first floor, you’ll find figures and collectibles for the most popular movie, comic and video game franchises like Star Wars, Monster Hunter, Marvel and DC Comics. The second floor is where you’ll find figures for characters from popular anime and manga series like My Hero Academia, THE IDOLM@STER, Sword Art Online, LoveLive!, Azur Lane, Ensemble Stars! and more. Finally, the 3rd floor of the store is where you’ll find their Cu-Poche chibi figures, Frame Arms, Frame Arms Girl and plastic model kits.
Kotobukiya also operates stores in Tachikawa in Tokyo and Nipponbashi in Osaka.
If buying used anime figures is your thing, then you have to check out Mandarake’s Akihabara store located at 〒101-0021,
Sotokanda 3-11-12, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It is 8 floors filled to the brim with manga and anime goodness. But, since this guide is about where to buy anime figures, then you’ll be most interested in floors 7 and 8 which is where all their anime figures and toys are located. Since Mandarake specializes mostly in pre-owned figures, if you missed out on older figures, but now have the cash to spare, then this is the place you’ll want to look.
Gamers Akihabara store is located at Takarada Building, 1-14 – 7, Kotobuki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021 and also serves as their main office. They have 7 gigantic floors of anime, manga and video game merchandise. The third floor is where you’ll want to spend most of your time because that is where the anime figures and character goods are located. Much like Kotobukiya, Gamers really focuses on the latest and greatest, so you’ll usually only find the most recent and popular anime figures in their stores.
Akiba Culture Zone is “the go-to place for all things anime” and is located at 1 Chome-7-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021. It is setup more like a shopping mall with six floors of individual specialty shops. Within Akiba Culture Zone you’ll find four shops specializing in buying and selling anime figures.
Lashinbang is located on the first and second floors of Akiba Culture Zone. The first floor is where you’ll find all their anime figures for sale. Since they buy product as well, you might get lucky and find one of your grails in this shop.
ROBOTROBOT is located on the third floor and they, too, buy and sell older anime figures. They have a ton of inventory, so there’s plenty of anime figures to sort through.
ASTOP is located on the fourth floor and is the largest shop within Akiba Culture Zone. It operates more like a consignment shop where collectors can rent out shelf space to showcase their figures for sale.
Finally, located on the fourth floor, there’s GANKING that sells figures from various genres including JUMP characters and soft vinyl (“sofvi”) toys.