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Nendoroid Figures - Types and Variations

Updated on December 21, 2012

Nendoroid is a Japanese line of figures which has become very popular in the last few years. While first invented by Good Smile Company in 2006 Nendoroid has become a standard of size and many other companies (such as Phat Company and Max Factory. Nendoroids are usually made in the form of popular anime characters, and the most popular characters can get rereleases and various versions. For example, by far the most popular characters in the Nendoroid line are the virtual singer Hatsune Miku and Saber from the anime (and game) series Fate/Stay. There have been more than 7 variations of Saber (with different clothes, different expressions or different weapons) and more than 20 different versions of Hatsune Miku. And it doesn't end there – there are several variations to the Nendoroid line itself. While resembling the Nendoroid line in several ways these figure lines have become successful in themselves. Let's examine the Nendoroid and Nendoroid-inspired lines available today on the Japanese figure market:

Nendoroid

These are fairly small figures with huge heads. In fact their heads are so big that they cannot stand without a designated clear plastic stand (which comes with every one of these figures). They are about 10cm big come with several accessories (such as different faceplates, different arms, weapons, hats, utensils and more). Nendoroid have some articulations but they are chubby and their range of movement is quite limited. Moreover all the Nendoroid parts are interchangeable. Like the expression of one Nendoroid? No problem, just yank the face out and place it on another Nendoroid! The Nendoroid figures are sold in all the big retailers in Japan and are easy to find. More than 20 unique Nendoroid are released every year.

A Nendoroid of Totori from the Atelier Totori video game. Her accessories include her tiara, her wand and a Nendoroid Petite Plus called Chim.
A Nendoroid of Totori from the Atelier Totori video game. Her accessories include her tiara, her wand and a Nendoroid Petite Plus called Chim.


Nendoroid Petite (Nendoroid Puchi)

As their name hints these are petite versions of the Nendoroid line. They are known as Nendoroid Puchi in Japan but are called Nendoroid Petite in the rest of the world. They are only 6cm big – almost half the size of the Nendoroid, but retain the articulations found in their bigger sisters. They have a smaller plastic stand and because they are lighter some of them can stand without it despite their large heads. Just like Nendoroids, Nendoroid Petite all have interchangeable parts. Nendoroid Petite are relatively rare and are not sold in stores. There are usually added as a bonus item in limited editions of games, anime or manga. 10 or less of these are released each year individually. However, sometimes the Nendoroid Petite figures are released in sets of five or ten, in which case they are sold together.

A set of five Nendoroid Petite figures from the Fate/Stay Night video game.
A set of five Nendoroid Petite figures from the Fate/Stay Night video game.


Nendoroid Petite Plus (Nendoroid Puchi Plus)

One of the tiniest and most elaborate figure you can find. They are known as Nendoroid Puchi Plus in Japan and Nendoroid Petite Plus in the rest of the world. Nendoroid Petite Plus are only 3cm tall! Since they are tiny they don’t need a plastic stand for support, but they have little to no articulation and their parts aren't interchangeable. Nonetheless they are amazingly detailed for their size. Nendoroid Petite Plus are only given away at special events (for example you can get them if you go to see specific anime movies in the theatres in Japan) or come bundled with other figures (notably the as an accessory for regular Nendoroids). Only about five of them are made every year. Suffice to say they are ultra-rare.

A "family" of Nendoroids. To the left we have a regular Nendoroid holding a Nendoroid Petit Plus. To the right we have a Nendoroid Petit holding a different Nendoroid Petit Plus. All of these figures are variations of the virtual singer Hatsune Miku.
A "family" of Nendoroids. To the left we have a regular Nendoroid holding a Nendoroid Petit Plus. To the right we have a Nendoroid Petit holding a different Nendoroid Petit Plus. All of these figures are variations of the virtual singer Hatsune Miku.


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