July 6, 2009

Custom-made figures a hit in Japan

Japanese toy makers said custom-made figurines created to resemble those that purchase them are selling out rapidly.

Katsuhiro Izumi, research and development team manager of the collectors' toy department at Bandai Co., said the company sold all 1,000 of its custom figures in a half day June 26, the Daily Yomirui Shimbun reported Monday.

Izumi said the heads of the figures are custom made to resemble photographs sent in by the purchasers and are then attached to stock bodies from its Kamen Rider line of toys.

Hero transformation goods are popular not only among children but also adults who are interested in cosplay (costumed role-playing). In light of this, some people likely want figures that look like themselves, Izumi said.

Experts said smaller companies specializing in custom figurines target young couples preparing for weddings.

I think the figurines catch the attention of guests (at a wedding reception) and make the couple a topic of conversation, said Daisuke Hiraki, 34, editor in chief of bridal magazine Zexy.