Since having escalated in popularity worldwide, the Pokemon franchaise has been able to produce many different sorts of products. From games, to shows, to cards, and even toys, there are all different kinds of items that can be sought and collected as a hobby. Apart from one of the more obvious collectables (being Pokemon cards), Pokemon figurines are another easily collectable item, the majority of which are produced by a company called ‘Tomy’. However like any collectable there are always guidelines that should be followed, in order to make the process easy to follow.
First of all, devise a method for how you decide to go about purchasing the figurines. It’s one thing to decide that you want to collect them all, but with over 500 different Pokemon out there, it makes the entire collecting process a bit overwhelming. Try breaking the collection into chunks, such as collection according to region (perhaps start on the first 151 Pokemon first, then work on the Johto Pokemon next, then Hoenn, etc.). This will make it easier to track progress. Another key thing to do before getting started is to make a list of all the Pokemon you’re going to collect, and update it regularly. This will help to prevent picking up doubles of a Pokemon figurine by mistake. You also need to determine which ‘generation’ of figures you want to collect, as the original set of Pokemon produced by Tomy are of higher quality, yet are on the pricy side (online they can sometimes go for $4-6 a piece if still in packaging). The more recently produced figures are easily more affordable to a beginner, yet are not of the best quality. It’s up to the collector to decide which they want to go for.
Depending on where you end up buying the figurines from may affect how easy or hard the challenge of collecting can be. Some toy stores only carry the most recent figures from the fifth generation, making the Pokemon from earlier games a bit more difficult to find. If you’re lucky you may live near a store dedicated to everything anime and manga as I do, where individual figures can be purchased for fairly cheap (at $0.75 Canadian apiece for the new non-fifth-gen figures). When purchasing online however it is buyer beware, but because the new Tomy figures are produced in China, the red flag of buying in China and Hong Kong is not as big of a deal versus something like plushies, and is normally the more affordable way to go. If you do decide to purchase from somewhere like eBay, make sure to do this prior to buying in a store, as many sellers offer lots of multiple assorted figures. By buying these lots first to start your set, you can reduce the chances of obtaining doubles of any figures. Sometimes a quick browse on online local ads or yard sales can reveal some of the older, harder to find figurines.
To add to the fun, try collection Pokemon figures with a friend. This way you can work together with them to complete your sets, and both trade and discuss new figures and good finds.