Max Factory is one of the oldest and most respected figure manufacturers of all time. Before there was even an Alter or a Good Smile Company, Max Factory was already present making hobbyists happy, albeit with a variety of products at the time. Before their now iconic figma lineup and scale figures, Max Factory was one of the players in the then burgeoning garage kit industry (they even had kaiju and tokusatsu kits). While garage kits still play a big part in Japan hobby circles, its hayday was really way back in those years before PVC figures came into the picture. This post covers pricing and scale data for Max Factory only after 2005 as this is the time that they’ve dabbled into PVC figures full time and as always, comparative analysis will be provided with that of Alter and GSC data.
First off, we can see that in 2005 there are no figures listed there. This does not mean Max Factory did not make any figures during that year and before. But why the blank slate? Since I got these numbers from GSC’s site, 2006 might have been the year that the relationship between these 2 companies formed. As mentioned in my GSC post, GSC’s first and foremost a distributor and one of the companies that it lends its network to is Max Factory (Mikatan features figmas, right? That must mean something). Anyways, as with the two previous companies, in 2006, Max Factory’s “sweet spot” was also 4800 yen and in 2007, they also increased the average price of their figures. Most of their figure prices were now at 6800 yen. However, unlike Alter’s and GSC’s wherein price increases were much more drastic and are currently showing signs of even further increase, Max Factory’s price changes, if there are any, are much more stable and constant. In fact during their earlier years, the name Max Factory was synonymous with figures you’d have to pay a premium for and arguably, their sculpts were far superior to what Alter and GSC offered back then. Nowadays, that seems to have changed as Max Factory offers good bang for the buck figures without any noticeable drop in quality. One other thing to note is the consistent drop in scale figure output over the years. In 2006, they produced 22 scale figures. However, in 2010 it grounded to a surprisingly low 5. Even 2011 numbers don’t improve much with only 12. How’s that so? Like GSC and their Nendoroid line, Max Factory’s figma line has cannibalized the production of scale figures. Note: production is the one being cannibalized, not sales, as their figma line has continued to be a valuable asset to them. However, the resources used to make scale figures have now turned over to arguably their more profitable line, hence the dip in production numbers.
Here’s the scale data for Max Factory. As we can see here, Max Factory also used to make quite a lot of 1/8 scale figures. However, it’s been clear in their latest releases that they intend to cover more 1/7 figures than the already highly saturated 1/8 product line. This differentiates them from the competition as most manufacturers tend to focus on 1/8 figures more. Quite surprisingly, despite the fact that a normal 1/7 figure uses up more resources such as PVC plastic to produce, the prices of Max Factory’s figures are at par or are even lower than what the competition offers, further reinforcing the fact that they no longer charge premium prices are are more focused on offering more bang for the buck. Another reason that they might have for doing this is that they no longer need to increase margins on their scale figures since they already make quite a lot from their figma sales.