Saturday, October 27, 2012

No more plastic

There is science behind toys. After reading the various materials used for action figures and toys that I usually buy, I decided that I should not buy those made of plastic anymore. Other than space and monetary contrainsts, I am concerned about life span of plastic figures.

PVC is the most commonly used materials for action figures nowadays (and it also includes Storm Kotobukiya and Yu Yu Hakusho ArtFX J from Kotobukiya which I am interested in buying previously). The advantage of PVC is that figures won't break when they fall and the paint does not rub off/flake off easily. However, there are plenty of issues with PVC figures as they age, namely the stickiness, the oiliness, and the discolouration. Since I am away from home for most of the time, the temperature of my room can be quite high :( I think heat will cause the plastic to "melt" and become sticky. Oil and discolouration are likely to be due to chemical stability or separation of the plasticizier and other chemicals from the rest of the materials. Another issue is the leaning of figures. This is happening more to female figures thanks to their skinny legs but heavy boobs and hair. Thank goodness that I am more into guys (figures) :p Haha..

Among my collection so far, the ones which are nearest to all these problems are the Gundam Seed Destiny action figures. The clear plastic thingy which holds the feet are already sticky :( Lunamaria cannot even straight :( I think it starts to lean and the holderis unable to hold her in place (she will slide down). Emos :(

Photo taken in Singapore. Laguna is in Indonesia :(
Next is Vinyl, which is less commonly used. The only Vinyl figures I own are the Final Fantasy VIII Scale 1/6 by Kotobukiya (which I have yet to share on the blog). Vinyl figurines are somewhat similar to PVC (which stands to poly vinyl chloride) that they do not break easily if they fall. However, they are like "hollow" tubes and tend to be lighter. Although they do not break easily, breaking is still possible. Yes, they are more brittle than PVC. I had Selphie and Quistis who have a tip of their hair broken (presumably the previous owner dropped them) as well as Seifer's wrist gave away when I tried to force his Hyperion into his grip. Painting-wise, they are also less superior to PVC figures as the paint is more easily rubbed off.

ABS is a more solid plastic material. The most common example of something made of ABS is Lego blocks. Gundams are made of ABS too although I am sure Lego blocks are much stronger than the Gundams. Gundams will break if I accidentally stepped onto them but my toes will shout in pain if I accidentaly stepped onto Lego blocks :p ABS do not break when it falls. Its main advantage is its impossibility to be painted. Even the decals do not stick onto ABS properly. I only own Gundam Wing figures which dated about 10 (if not more) years ago and I can testify that they are in still very awesome condition. The imperfection came from the PVC-like materials for the joints. After so many years, the joints just give away to the weight of the rifles, swords, gattling guns etc. My Wing Gundam Zero Custom is never able to hold the Twin Buster Rifle, Epyon cannot even stand straight now and it has always difficulty holding its beam saber and heat rods, Heavyarms and Serpent are unable to support their gattling guns anymore. I want to cry :( Ok no picture for the Gundams.

After buying Final Fantasy VIII Transcendent Artist's Collection statues, I am falling in love with resin/polyresin/polystone statues. After 13 years, they are still in solid condition. That alone is a testimony of the durability. On the flip side, they are (freaking!) heavy, (freaking!) expensive, and extremely brittle. A drop and everything will break into pieces. The material is something akin to stone so it is very difficult to shape and paint them. That's why many of the resin figures are "limited edition" and each numbered edition may not 100% look alike. Basically, each figure is unique. 

I think now I will only buy resin figures. The price is one thing but at least they will last forever provided that I don't drop them. For now, I guess I will just wait for my PVC figures to slowly die one by one.. Emos.. I know it will feel that I have wasted TOO much money but if I don't buy these things,  I don't know if I have anything to make me happier in my stressful times.

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