“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.”
Hey guys! It’s Balance again~ Sorry I’ve been gone for a while. Now I’m back with something new today!
As you all know, I’m not the only one who’s got an interest in figures! I got my first start by slowly being (kind of) in the toy community on Instagram. As I began to post more and receive more likes, I began to see how other people’s images were like. It’s quite refreshing to see how different people view their miniature friends. The great thing about a community within art is the ability of being able to share the same passion while being able to give other people ideas on how to explore their creativity.
With me today, I have a friend that I would like to introduce. Her name is Julie (also known as 85cmpersecond)! She was one of the few that I first started to follow during my first exploration through Instagram. She has been kind enough to indulge me and answer some questions that I’ve had for her. So without further ado, let’s get this interview started!
What got you into collecting figures?
It’s been a while, but I believe reading Genshiken (the first season) was the initial catalyst into my figure collecting habits. I found Yamato’s Kanako Ohno in a local shop and appreciated that I could have a quality 3D representation of a character I really liked (…my thoughts as a 14 year old were probably worded more along the lines of “i’ll buy anything genshiken i see in a local store because slow internet and lack of online shopping knowledge” though). The series within the series, Kujibiki Unbalance, was one of my first forays into blind box buying as well when I started picking up Yamato’s trading figures of the main girls. After that, I mostly bought random figures from convention vendors. There were a few figures I bought between the mid-late 2000’s whose series I wouldn’t watch/read until years later, like the Rin Natsume scale (from Cospa) I picked up randomly because I thought she was cute.
How long have you kept up with this hobby?
I casually collected figures back in the mid-2000’s, but I mostly focused on collecting manga and books. I started collecting figures more seriously after Puella Magi Madoka Magica came out though! (darn magical girls) I really connected with the series on an emotional level and thought the costumes were lovely, so I went about attempting to order figures from the series. I stumbled across Mikatan’s Blog and started following all of GSC’s figure updates as well, which plunged me further into the figure hobby. I think Good Smile’s initial releases of their Homura and Shinobu Oshino scales were some of my first orders through AmiAmi~
Is there a particular style of figures you prefer to purchase (nendoroid, scaled figure, figma, etc)?
Given infinite space and money I’d go with scale figures just because I love the detail and clarity that can go into a sculpt, but in the real world, I generally try to convince myself to mostly focus on nendoroids. I’m also kind of clumsy, so nendoroids are also my preference for their durability and lower likelihood of breakage and staining in transport as opposed to a scale figure. Figmas have a few too many visible joints for my personal preferences, but I do pick up a figma every once in a while if it’s of a character I really like.
Which figure company do you like the most?
Ah, tough question. Good Smile Company has most of my money because of their nendoroid line, but I think Max Factory is my personal favorite. Their Belldandy and Holy Bell set was my favorite figure for a while; there’s just such an ethereal feel to Belldandy’s dress and expression! I’m impressed at how well Chieri’s 1997 garage kit came out under MF’s production, really. The way her dress gently colors as it moves towards her is perfect, and I love the level of attention put into Holy Bell’s wings! Moving on after that rant, their Aoba Seragaki is definitely worth a mention for his spectacular base and how well Aoba himself is sculpted. Finally, I don’t own him (I wish I had the space!), but MF’s Benten is also gorgeous with those slightly translucent wings and flowing hair! I don’t have a ton of Max Factory scales, but their consistency and beautiful sculpting is really something I appreciate.
What website do you prefer to purchase your figures from?
I go with AmiAmi if possible, second choice being Hobby Search. I don’t favor AmiAmi over Hobby Search for any particular reason, I just like to keep all my orders in one place. I tried to constantly compare prices between AmiAmi and Hobby Search at first, and I ended up occasionally double ordering figures from both sites because I’d forgotten I’d already ordered it. (・_・ヾ
So I still don’t trust myself to use more than one ‘main’ store (lol)
Do you buy figures from shows you watched/games you’ve played or does it not matter?
I mainly go for stuff where I’m familiar with the source material, but I’m definitely not opposed to picking up figures from series I don’t follow. I generally do a quick Google search on the series before ordering, but a quick summary read is enough for me to justify ordering a figure I really like the look of! On the other hand, I don’t buy figures just because they’re from series I follow/like; I’ve gotten pretty good at separating my love for a series and my desire for a particular figure if I’m not really interested in that particular sculpt/pose/outfit. (I credit that to madoka magica because I love it but wow too many figures)
Which figure in your collection do you treasure the most?
Personally, Alter’s recent “renewal” version release of Takashi Natsume is my favorite. As for why, I think it’s his expression and the atmosphere the figure gives off. I feel like his expression is kind and wistful, and I love how Nyanko-sensei is in the background looking on. The base is beautiful as well; the water has a gentle ripple to it and I love how natural the tree looks! Someone also put a lot of effort into his box, so he’s the only figure I display in-box minus the blister pack~ Natsume falls into the “I would have wanted him anyways” and “I’ve known/adored the series he’s from for years” categories for me, so he really has a sentimental quality for me as well.
Are there any figures you are looking forward to?
GSC’S KISS SHOT ACEROLA ORION HEART UNDER BLADE 1/8 I almost broke my keyboard in my excitement at finally seeing her painted last WonFes, and I feel like I’ve been waiting a loooong time for her, even though it’s only been 3 years really. I kind of gave up on owning her at some point, so being able to put in a preorder is exciting somehow! GSC’s Re-Kyuu scale in August (delay expected tho) and Stronger’s Maiko Kyouko and Sayaka in December are also deserving of special mention from my preorder list.
When did you start taking pictures of your figures?
I took really awful pictures a few years ago, before I knew anything about Photoshop/cameras/photography. I gradually improved a bit by joining Instagram and getting tips and inspiration from other users! I also started paying more attention to the pictures on myfigurecollection (MFC) and figure review blogs.
Is there a plan before taking a picture of your figures?
I’d like to say there’s a great plan I have beyond “take a million shots and hope one doesn’t suck”, but that’s usually how it goes 〜(￣▽￣〜) Seriously though, I have learned to take better note of the lighting and scenery in order to not have weird shadows from the hair or strange background blobs (usually my cats/dogs). I also like to do a pre-picture inspection; things like last-minute dusting, and making sure on nendoroids especially that all the pieces are pushed tightly together and everything lines up. Not much is more disappointing to me than realizing I can see light through my nendo’s arm because I didn’t connect it firmly enough to the body, or that my pictures have the figure’s head at a weird angle that looks unnatural. I like to look for props/background pieces in my local craft stores for ideas as well!
Have you taken any classes for photography?
I haven’t, and beyond casual internet research, I doubt I will anytime soon. I’m happy to improve slowly and gradually, and I’ve gotten better at using Photoshop to fix small errors, so I don’t feel a pressing need to do so right now. I might take a class someday on outdoor night/dark photography though. My outdoor night photos are always a bit questionable in quality (」ﾟﾛﾟ)｣
Is there a story behind your (85cmpersecond) username?
The song “Double Lariat” by AgoanikiP and Luka Megurine means a lot to me, and the lyrics refer to a measurement of 85cm a few times. Also, I really like the movie/manga “5 Centimeters per Second” for its bittersweet story and lovely art. Putting them together, I got 85cmpersecond. (I hear that’s somewhere around a light walking pace? Not sure myself since that’s not really what I was concerned about, haha)
Thus concludes the small interview I had with 85cmpersecond! I would like to extend my gratitude for participating in this interview~ Be sure to check her instagram gallery and follow her!
Thank you as always for reading my article and I will definitely bring you another article soon! As always, my friends: Stay frosty and get lifted!