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Can You Handlebar
Jun 20, 2016
The title of this drop is quite misleading - these are not miniatures in any sense of the word. They typically stand 10"+ tall (as accurately noted in the "Specs" section) and are much taller than the average Funko Pop. The Groot is even larger, standing 12".
Ravenwolfe has pointed out that Hikari Sofubi can be found cheaper on Amazon, often averaging around $35 shipped. That's a great price, and I've purchased most of mine via Amazon sellers.
The thing to keep in mind here is that the specific color variations of the figures in this drop are limited/exclusive and most will not ever see that low of a price point. The Massdrop price here is fair, and may save you a couple of bucks, especially over the secondary market/scalper price. You can see instances of these specific variations/colorways for double the Massdrop price (or even higher) all over the web.
If you're not familiar with the line, the Hikari Sofubi are an homage to classic Japanese soft vinyl toys. Often the designs are slightly "superdeformed" giving them a cute appearance that pairs well with Funko's Pop aesthetic. Classic sofubi are airbrushed with small details added via brush/screen. This results in a "loose" paint application which is much prized among collectors. Occasionally factories would produce small runs of wild bright color variations, including metallic or pearlescent paints, sometimes even changing the vinyl used from opaque to translucent and adding glitter for even stranger looks. This allowed them to use the exact same figure molds to issue a "new" version. While it may have been a flashy gimmick meant to temporarily drive up sales and capitalize off existing molds, it paid off and kids and collectors snatched them up. With the advent of more modern plastics and detailed factory paint applications able to reach a greater level of detail, a lot of sofubi production fell off in the 70's and 80's. It became an almost lost art, remembered primarily among collectors of vintage pieces until the art-toy boom brought sofubi back into production and into the spotlight. A lot of the modern toy lines you see playing with color variants (Pop in particular) are directly inspired by the history of sofubi and it's been great to see Funko roll out their own line of soft vinyl figures. While these are produced in much larger number than most collectible sofubi being made these days they are a solid product that fans of old-school sofubi can appreciate as can Funko fans in general. If you've not picked up a Hikari Sofubi yet, I can't recommend them enough. You may find your entire approach to collecting toys changed, and at the very least you'll find yourself with a unique take on one of your favorite characters.
Jun 20, 2016
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