When I first began collecting, I had no clue where to begin. I didn't know where to buy authentic anime figures in the U.S., let alone what sites I could trust. Since I figured there are people out there with the same questions I had when getting started, I decided to make a complete guide to buying anime figures.
To give you an idea of what I'm into, I mostly collect resin statues, Nendoroids, and WCF's as of late. I've collected different things over the years though, so I've bought items from a variety of sites.
Before I get started with the sites, I want to first mention that places like Ebay and Amazon are riddled with fakes of figures. Unless you are familiar with how to spot bootlegs and what kind of warning signs to look for, I would stay away from those sites unless you are buying from a reputable seller or Amazon.com themselves.
With that said, read up on the the online stores I personally have had a good experience buying anime figures from along with the positives and negatives that come with each regarding their selection, customer service, and shipping/preordering policies.
Where to Buy Anime Figures in the U.S.
BigBadToyStore has been a go to for me when it comes to buying anime figures. They have items that places less commonly sell, like World Collectable Figures (WCF's) and high-end anime statues, like those from Figurama and Prime 1 Studio.
Some positives about buying from them in comparison to other sites are that they only charge you when your item is in-stock and ready to ship, and you can bundle shipping in something called your "Pile of Loot". You can accumulate and keep orders in your "Pile of Loot" for 90 days, so you'll need to make sure you ship them before their cut-off shipping date to get your items.
Perhaps the biggest positive, however, is that it is easy to cancel if you decide you no longer want an item or made a hasty purchase. You can do so directly in your account with the click of a button instead of having to reach out to a customer service email, like you do when cancelling from sites like Crunchyroll. One caveat however, is that in-stock item cancellations will go onto your account as a BBTS credit, so keep that in mind when doing so.
Figurama Teases Upcoming Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra Statue
RightStuf has a large variety of figures and anime-related items. They also sell manga, so if you are wanting to stock up on those as well, it's a great place to do so.
When ordering from RightStuf, there are some things to consider. Firstly, if you place an order on the site that contains both in-stock and preorder items, everything in that order will not ship until all your preorder items become available. With that said, if you want certain items right away, that's something you need to consider.
As far as shipping policies go, they do offer free US economy shipping at $50 and free Canadian shipping at $250; However, preorders are not eligible for free shipping, only in-stock items, regardless of if you reach the threshold or not. Something that can be frustrating about ordering from RightStuf is that a lot of their items are excluded from free shipping even if you meet the price threshold. There have been many occasions that I went to checkout and decided to purchase a figure elsewhere, because they exclude a lot from free shipping.
If you don't meet the free shipping threshold, shipping varies depending on the region you are from in the U.S. as well as the amount/weight of the items you are shipping. For instance, I live in the Midwest and shipping for one manga volume would cost me $4.99, whereas something like the Izuku Midoriya King of Artist Ver My Hero Academia Prize Figure was going to cost me $9.03.
RightStuf runs promos and they also have a lot of good deals pop up over time. I like that they send out emails if you join their list, because they always alert you of these special sales. I've rarely seen places run deals as good as they have over the years.
As far as reward programs go, they also have something called Stuf Bucks, which according to their site, are earned during special promotions and can be used on future purchases after the promotion ends and during the pre-defined redemption period.
I first heard of Galactic Toys at a con in the Midwest, and was excited to discover their booth. I've since bought from them on many occasions online and have had a positive experience when dealing with their customer service, in addition to the quality of their shipping.
I will say that they do not have a free shipping threshold, so you will always have to pay for shipping when buying from them. It is also important to note that they sometimes sell figures at their marked up resell value, which may be a negative for some, but I find to be a positive in some aspects.
For instance, I bought the Jiraiya Nendoroid, which was a con exclusive, so it went for a higher price. I personally don't mind that, because it prevented me from having to buy off of Ebay and I knew it was coming from a reputable seller.
Two positives about buying from them is they run deals on occasion and have exclusive releases from companies like Funko. Many times those exclusives have been anime-related, so I always like to keep up on what they are coming out with next.
Some important things to note when buying preorders from them:
- You are charged immediately for all preorders.
- If you order multiple items in one order, they will not ship until all items in that order are in-stock.
- You can cancel a preorder for a 20% cancellation fee
All in all, they are definitely a great option, especially if you are looking for anime figures, but they also have other items you can buy from different categories, like Marvel and Gunpla as well.
We are located in the Midwest, so we want to mention one of our favorites from the area, Nakama Toys. We visited their storefront in Chicago one year and really enjoyed the experience.
I love Nakama Toys particularly because they are anime fans themselves and they have great customer service. Their selection is also great. In addition to the many different types of anime figures they have available, they also have a selection of Gunpla.
One thing to consider when buying from Nakama Toys is that you are charged in full for preorders when you place them and once they are placed you cannot cancel regardless of the exception.
A positive is that they have a rewards program. According to their site, with 500 points you earn $5.00, 1000 points you earn $10.00, and 2500 points you earn $25.00. The points you gain are redeemable either online or at their storefront.
New Kimetsu no Yaiba World Collectable Figures Unveiled
Crunchyroll is a good place to buy from, particularly if you hold a Premium Plus Membership with them already. The perks it has include free domestic shipping on all orders, a 5% discount on most figures, and more. You can check out a full list of the perks here. In addition, if you aren't already familiar, you get access to their streaming service.
If you aren't part of their Premium Plus Membership, you can get free U.S. shipping if you spend $100+ dollars, which is a higher shipping threshold than most.
As far as their preorders go, they do charge you immediately for the product, unlike stores like BigBadToyStore. If you want to cancel your order, you do have to contact support via email; however, you can easily cancel, which can be difficult, if not possible, to do on other sites.
One positive is that, from my experience, they have some of the lowest prices available. They are constantly running sales and you can stay up to date on them easily if you sign-up for their email list. Their selection is also pretty vast with everything from PVC scale figures to Nendoroids, along with a variety of other anime-related products, merch, and manga.
One possible negative to buying on Crunchyroll is that they always seem to ship later than other sites. If you want something sooner than later, they may not be the site you want to preorder from as their in-stock times seem to statistically lag behind others mentioned on this list.
Good Smile US
Recently, Good Smile Company made a site dedicated to selling and shipping Nendoroids in the US. Since Good Smile makes figures, like Nendoroids and figmas, I find that they are the best place to purchase these.
Sometimes if you preorder figures on their site, you get something called a preorder bonus. For instance, if you preorder Tatsuya Shiba from The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc's Nendoroid, you get a special round base. It's usually a small addition, but this is an added bonus when buying from them directly.
Also, if you sign up for a free account with them, you get 50% off shipping on all preorders. If you buy in-stock figures, I've found their shipping, which usually comes in around $10 to be pricey, but since their prices are lower than most, you usually pay around the same as you would on a speciality shop's site without shipping added. With that said, if you buy from Good Smile, it's always best to preorder if you can.
Sometimes you'll also catch Good Smile exclusive figures on their site, like Nendoroid Izuku Midoriya: Costume γ or Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku: Fight Club-Spec Two-Star Goku Uniform Version. When conventions happen, they'll release special figures like these that you can purchase directly on their site.
I've purchased many figures, mainly Nendoroids, from Good Smile Company US, and I've had no issues with their shipping and customer service so far. I'd definitely check out the site if you haven't yet here!
A Comparison of Anime Figure Types
Other Places to Buy Anime Figures From
I also want to mention USA Gundam Store and Gundam Planet, who though predominately sell Gunpla, also sell figures. They both are highly reputable sites and if you are looking to buy both, they are great places to do so. You can also buy directly from the company in some instances, like seen above with Good Smile US.
Also important to note is that nationally-based stores, like Gamestop, ThinkGeek, BoxLunch, Hot Topic also sell anime figures. I've even seen Target selling items, like My Hero Academia Nendoroids and Banpresto figures.
Their selection can sometimes be more limited to what's popular at the time, like Dragon Ball, One Piece, My Hero Academia, etc, but they do have a selection you can shop from.
For those of you who are looking for a site that ships to the U.S. but is based in Japan, I personally recommend AmiAmi out of all the options available.
Nendoroids Releasing in July 2020
Hopefully those recommendations give you a good place to start if you are just getting started with collecting or are in search of trustworthy sites to buy anime figures from in the United States!
Also, keep an eye out for a post that will include some of my favorite trustworthy sites you can buy high-end anime statues from!