With the holidays still in full swing and a lack of new figures arriving at my door, Subdued Figures is taking a slight break from its review schedule to talk a little bit about a problem that most figure collectors face at some point: leaning.
I’d heard of it before I saw it happening to pieces in my own collection; figures with bad stands, weird connecting peg angles, made of subpar plastic, or all of the above would eventually develop a lean in one direction. The figures pictured in this post are my collection of Shugo Chara trading figures which I got as Christmas gifts a few years back. They were purchased from a secondhand seller on Amazon, so I’ve always been a little concerned about their legitimacy (according to pictures online, one of my Amu figures has a head from one version and a body from another in the line she’s supposed to be from) and for some of them, the bases they came with don’t fit them correctly. I’ve tried trading the bases around, thinking that they might have just been paired incorrectly, but it didn’t change much. The figures still developed a lean.
The first figure to start drifting to the side was Nadeshiko, partially because of her bad base but also because of the pose that she was in. The original pose has one leg bent a little bit behind her, which looks nice but thanks to balance issues, one leg apparently can’t hold all of her upright and now she has a tilt. This is a general concern with figures that stand on one leg but aren’t properly balanced.
The others just seem to have bad bases. Utau, who seemed balanced enough, is now leaning forward slightly; one of her transformations (in the top picture) is leaning way back. Alt. Sweater Amu is also starting to tip forward on her base despite literally being a leaning figure. She even gets in the way of the lights for her picture! Other figures in this set also fall down constantly because of crappy balance, but I haven’t included pictures of them since that seems to be their only problem.
However, two from the set are still unscathed, and that seems to be because they are well balanced despite being prize figures. Amu is literally leaning to the side with one foot up, but she is extremely stable on her base. Rima’s simple pose also seems to be working out well for her, since a more dynamic pose would probably make it to hard to balance her hair.
While the leaning figures in this set are certainly not the worst that I’ve seen, it still makes me sad to see them give in to gravity since I’m pretty attached to them, as they were some of the first figures in my collection. I’ve heard the hair dryer trick to get the plastic soft again to bend them back in place, but I’m paranoid about damaging them further or messing up the paint.
Does anyone out there have a better solution that you think I should try? Do you have some horror stories about your figures starting to lean? Share it in the comments below!