Anime, as defined by Wikipedia, is Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation. It has grown in popularity since the turn of the millennium; its rise in fame has generated an increase in the memorabilia that accompanies it. A large reason many fans adore anime as much as they do is for the live action cosplay or the numerous collectibles associated with their beloved characters from the anime. It is at Comic-Cons and Anime Expos that many popular anime collectibles are on display, bought, and sold, helping to define what are some of the rarest and most popular anime collectibles available.
One of the most popular forms of memorabilia is the figurine. Posturing our favorite characters or items into poses for all time is a common collectible among anime fans. The most popular anime figures according to ebay is Goku from the Dragonball series, but includes many robots, including the popular Gundams from their anime series. The Gundams, along with many other giant robot anime series, are typically produced in a line of model figurines so the collector has the ability to construct their figure themselves. A level of involvement and personal detail is required for these models which makes them less popular for the casual collector.
Though many avid fans of anime will dress up as their characters, known as cosplay, not all anime lovers take their passion to that extreme. They therefore turn to a more subtle form of admiration and collect many of the clothing associated with their beloved anime. The classic clothing that makes the characters popular including shirts, sweat shirts, hats, socks, underwear, etc. can all be purchases and worn.
For many anime fans, collecting the anime itself is the most popular anime collectible available. As the anime becomes older and technologies advance, first edition and first run movies and series become more valuable. Older VHS tapes can be sold for amounts well over initial purchase price. Special editions and editors cuts continue to generate interest among the fans wanting to have the best experience out of their anime. The demand for rare and special copies will continue to make the anime tapes, dvds, and blu-rays part of the most popular anime collectibles around.
Though there have been recreations of items like Inuyasha’s sword, Tessaiga, the most popular items remain the collectibles that most fans can afford. Figurines, clothing, and dvds will continue to be the most popular anime collectibles around; that is, unless someone has the ability to successfully produce a life-sized Gundam robot we can take to work. Until that day happens, most anime fans will just buy the regular collectibles.