Figure Culture Store


DELIVERING FUN AND HAPPINESS

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Introduction to Figure Culture



It all started after we discovered our very first original anime figure for the very first time, a figma Yui. It was unlike any of the figurines that we had up till now. How could a figurine this little be so well-made and detailed? It also has many articulation points, making it very poseable. It was awesome and at that moment, we felt like a kid again, just like the time when we walked in to the toy store as a kid. We were impressed by this little discovery and so after a while it would eventually lead to the creation of Figure Culture. Figure Culture actually started off as a side project during our college days with the aim of sharing anime figure contents with the local group of anime enthusiasts through Internet. While there are many anime fans out there, only a portion of them actually include collecting anime figure as part of their hobby. We were set to share our discovery with many local folks who are yet to come across an original anime figure.


The thing is, animes are not made to be watched for free on the Internet as they require money to produce. Anime figure is actually one of the many ways in which the producers are able to re-cooperate their production costs that can easily go to millions of dollars. When you compare the anime figures with the official Japanese anime Blu-ray sets, you'll know that anime figures are relatively more affordable.


While anime enthusiasts usually go to anime conventions, the purchase of event tickets are not enough to support the anime industry that produces some of our favourite anime titles and only good enough to cover the costs of the event itself. When you get an anime figure of your favourite characters every now and then, you are actually giving support indirectly to the producers, only if you buy the original ones of course. It would be useless if you ended up buying bootlegs because the money will never go to the original producers. Newbies often fall prey to these bootleg anime figures. After discovering the wonderful quality of the anime figures, it got us really interested in them and as we collect more and more over time, we realised they are unlike any toys we've had in the past. The quality of anime figures are really top-notch and detailed so much so that they don't seem like a toy anymore. It's more like a work of art, a piece of beautiful sculpture based on your favourite anime characters. We enjoy sharing them with the local folks and soon, folks from abroad like America, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, just to name a few, began to join us and together, we've created lots of anime figure-related contents all over the Internet mainly through blogs and forums. What began as one of our many side projects have began to gain more recognition than we expected and we've also managed to somehow, get more and more people that we've come into contact with to start collecting anime figures themselves and before you knew it, the childhood wonders that we had came back and we fell in love with figurines all over again but this time it's anime figurines!


What is Figure Culture Store?



Figure Culture Store was formed some time after we started the original Figure Culture brand.

Figure Culture Store is an indie Anime Figure store located in Malaysia, currently operating online only and is quite well-known among a small group of Anime figure collectors with a style of its own unlike any other stores in Malaysia. While Figure Culture Store operates in the Malaysian market only, surprisingly it is quite well-known around the world by the name of 'Figure Culture'. Figure Culture Store can be seen as a division or the online store part of its parent brand, 'Figure Culture'. Well initially, Figure Culture started off as an idea to promote Anime figure in Malaysia. Ever since then, Figure Culture has gained some followings overseas, with comrades from countries like USA, Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines. However, as mentioned earlier, shopping service is currently available in Malaysia only. (^o^)


Figure Culture's objective is to bring happiness to our customers and to promote Anime figure-collecting as a culture, not just a hobby. With this in mind, Figure Culture is committed in providing its customers an easy and joyful shopping experience in order to brighten up their day. Why spend money on drugs and alcohol, damaging your health when you can actually use it to own some moe Anime figures.


All Anime figures on sale by Figure Culture are 100% genuine. They are imported directly from Japan. With so many bootleg Anime figures circulating in Malaysia, choosing Figure Culture is definitely the right choice.

INSPIRED BY CHILDHOOD



How many of you grow up watching Dragon Ball and still loving it like we do? Or is there any other childhood animes that you're very fond of? When we were kids, Saturday morning meant Dragon Ball on TV. Though it was only aired for 30 minutes including some commercials in between, it was something we really looked forward to. When Monday comes, we'd talk about how the weekend episode was in school. There was no smartphones or online games to play with back then so naturally toys and action figures formed a big part of our past time and our weekend morning routines was pretty much the same as any other kids in the neighbourhood. It was simple but fun and that was just how things were and just because you 'grow-up' it doesn't mean you have to stop playing with your figures and toys like you used to. It's so easy to forget your favourite childhood pastimes and 'wild' dreams just because you 'grow up' If you look at it, a child have no trouble believing the unbelievable. They have 'big' dreams that many adults would see as silly or childish.


Many creative adults like creators of your favourite animes or famous animation films from the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks are simply child who survived. They did not forget their 'big dreams' and staying young at heart like a child's helps you to create what others think are impossible at first. As many grow up, there is a tendency to start thinking and analysing too much as we gain more knowledge. Doubts and worries starts to creep in and keep you busy. That's when one starts to fear of 'failing' at something. 'Failing' is however simply a part of learning process and shall never be judged upon too seriously. Remember that a kid learns to walk by crawling and falling first. Before you knew it, they could even start running around.


When things get tough, it is the tough one that gets going. It is okay to take a break every now and then to re-charge yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are who you are. You are not living someone else's life. Do what you like and not what others like you to do because they are not you! Just take a step back and look into your childhood from time to time. Think about what makes you smile and laugh. Was it your favourite cartoons on weekend morning? Was it the time spent playing with siblings and parents? Was it the toys you get for birthdays and Christmas? Whatever it is, it is very important to keep your inner child up and running. Never forget them. No matter what, keep your child-like innocence because it is one of the most important thing you can have in life.


As adults are teaching children about life, children can teach adults what life is all about. Keep it simple, be happy and chase your dreams. Create things! Just like Mr. George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Keep the magic real! (^o^)

WHY NO SHOPPING CART SYSTEM HERE?



This is probably one of things you may ask us. We do get question like this every now and then. It's rather subjective actually but let us tell you why we scrapped off the shopping-cart system.


One of the main reasons is to create our site like a physical store with real-life human interactions and support. While an online shopping cart is the mainstream system to go for as it helps to automate your purchases, it somehow lacks a human-touch which cannot be easily reproduced through automation which is pretty much a human-less process. Just like an automated vending machine which is really convenient and cool, it does what it does best, to provide people with drinks when you insert your money in it. However, no matter how many times you buy from the vending machine, it will not talk to you, recognise you, say hello to you, say thank you, and share a joke or two with you when you sit down for a drink. While such vending machine makes life easier for us, it comes with a little cost too and that is it takes away the human interaction and relationship part of it. It's kind of 'lonely' and 'cold'.


While technologies are useful to make life a lot easier and more convenient, it shall not be used as an ultimate replacement for things that used to require human interactions. Technologies should instead be used with care and responsibility to help facilitate communication between people like you and us. It is different from replacing it. For instance, you could go to the same vending machine in your neighbourhood for more than 1000 times to get your favourite drink and still, that vending machine wouldn't react in a way like, "Hey, it's you again! I'm glad to see you buddy! Same drink again today? It sure is hot isn't it? Thanks for coming everytime. Here's a bonus for you." Nope, it won't! It'll just 'swallow' your money, release your drink, you collect it and scram because there are others waiting in the line'


In an alternate scenario, say if you frequented a little shop in your neighbourhood instead, and the sweet little old lady noticed that you come everyday to buy your favourite drink, you could then strike up a little conversation, exchange greetings, share some stories, make friends, and maybe even share a little joke or funny gossip. Sure that little store that she runs is no where near a giant shopping mall, nor is it as advanced and high-tech as the vending machine, however, she has something that couldn't be replicated and that is the relationship and bonds betwwen her and her visitors. That alone changes the experience of buying a small can of drink into something warm and friendly.


Also, for example, when you go for a bite, a fancy place could be a little bit fun and luxurious at times but things could be really 'formal' and somehow 'not-so-friendly'. Why? Considering that such fancy restaurant has many staff that includes an army of waiters and waitresses, each working on different shifts, on different time and day of the week, you'll more likely to see a different person serving you everytime. Say today a guy name Peter serve you your food and you saw his name tag and said "Thanks Peter". Tomorrow you come on a different time and anothe girl called Jane serves you instead. You might have been coming very frequently and everytime you would order your one and only favourite steak yet because different people attent to you most of the time, you'd still be prompted by questions like "What would you like to eat?"

However if the store is a little smaller and is runned by an elderly couple with two waitresses, things would be different. This is a true little story just like what we've experienced. There is this little eatery that we frequented and whenever we visit that place, we would order the same food everytime, a bowl of wantan noodle with soup. Of course they serve other varieties of meal as well but we simply love it's wantan noodle with soup. One day when we visit the place as usual, the Vietnamese waitress saw us and said "Same order? Wantan noodle with soup right?" Wow! That is awesome, Someone actually remembers our preferred meal there. It's kind of heartwarming, really.

As such, we decided to do away with the mainstream cart-checkout-pay system. Of course that comes with a price. Doing so means we would have a smaller customer base but hey, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just like the earlier stories that we've shared with you, being small allows a better interaction and a more personalised service towards our comrades. Just like tuition centers here. Tuition centers are usually referred to as cram-schools or extra classes elsewhere. You can either go for a fully-packed classroom and you can even sleep on the table and the lecturer wouldn't notice because there are tons of students in the room or hall, and you probably couldn't even get your questions answered because there is a ton of students and if the lecturer were to help you and everyone else on some math questions that you're stuck with, it'll probably hold back everyone else and the lesson would proceed slower than a snail in our neighbour's garden. However you couldn't blame the lecturer. This type of tuition centers only do what it is supposed to do that is to teach and you pay the tuition fees. It matters not if you understood the lesson of the day or not. There are no private consultation hours like what you have in universities.

LEARNINGS FROM RUNNING FIGURE CULTURE STORE



Over the course of running Figure Culture Store from day 0 which started off as a side project to the current one, we have learnt a lot through our hands-on experiences and here, we would like to share some of the key things we’ve learnt.


A better respond

Being a smaller store, we find out that it is easier to listen to your needs and questions and we provide you with the most appropriate answers. On top of that, personalised service catered specially just for you is also enabled thanks to a closer bond between our comrades and us. In contrast, our experience with bigger anime figure stores is such that most of the processes are automated and is rarely created to meet your particular needs. Due to their focus on the traffic, the services are pretty general and is designed to serve everyone the same. This means that special requests such as gift-wrapping your anime figures or even requesting for particular figure is very unlikely. Responds to your questions is often a standard of within 48 hours or more. Putting aside these formal ways of doing things, we are able to run things a little less business-like and more casual with a better responds rate beyond the standard working hours constrain.


Quality vs Quantity

While bigger hobby stores usually focused on large quantities and volume, ours is the other way round. Analogically speaking, it’s like a private math tutor, teaching you personally on a one-on-one basis, attending to your needs and progress and a closer level instead teaching a hall of students where some of them are sleeping or playing games behind their textbooks.


What we learnt from big stores when working with some of them is that they focus a lot on the numbers. They want to see big volumes and high traffic because huge numbers equals to huge money being made. There is a rule in business that if you would like to have a 100 active customers, then you would need to have 10,000 prospects or potential customers. This is because not every visitor is a buying customer but a buying customer is indeed one of the visitors. Just like when you go shopping for some new clothing, there would be many who walk in, try some clothing in the fitting rooms but not necessarily buy them. They may walk out of the store empty-handed. It matters not because out of the 1000 potential customers that went in to try out the clothing, a fraction of them would definitely become ‘real’ customers. So the more prospects equals to more chances of obtaining ‘real’ customers. However, because the main focus is on quantity, quality would not be as good. Remember how Alibaba has been accused by some folks, pointing out the fact that Alibaba carries many bootleg or fake products and brands despite the fact that they are one of the largest companies?


That is exactly the problem that many big organizations and businesses face, When you focus too much on growth and quantity, the quality of your products or services would eventually be affected. Here’s another thing for you to think about. If you’d ever had Sushi before, you’d probably notice the differences between those mass-produced ones and the hand-made ones by expert Sushi chefs. Mass-produced ones are comparatively cheaper. They are prepared in very large amount at one-go with the help of machines to cut and process the ingredients such as meat and veggies and are usually packed readily and placed on food shelves. When it’s time to eat, buyers just grab them and eat on-the-go. While this method is good at producing big volumes for large amount of people at a cheaper price, the quality will never be up to par against the freshly hand-made ones by real expert chefs, not some machines and people to package the Sushi. While the latter is comparatively more expensive indeed, you get to see the chef in action, preparing the Sushi right in front of you, with fresh slices of fishes being prepared live, and some hot and steamed rice being rolled with nice and fresh seaweed. Even though the expert chef couldn’t prepare as much Sushi as what the machines and a line of assembly men can do, when it comes to quality, there is no doubt that a real live expert chef does it better. As such, if you’d been to one of these places, you would probably notice that you’d to wait in line or reserve e ahead before you can dine in. The result is a lower quantity as there are only limited spaces available at each dining sessions but of a higher quality ones. So it’s pretty much quality versus quantity and we chose quality instead. This also means that we’ve chosen to focus on a smaller group instead as we value quality over quantity (^o^)


Personal connection

It is a known fact that bigger stores are constantly trying to give special offers to make their customers feel important which is more or less unreal. As a smaller store and business, we take pride in knowing you by name, preferences, and any other needs you may have. In fact, large company has many layers and departments along with many procedures that would prevent any personal or close contact with their customers. As a result, big businesses constantly spend a lot attempting to recreate the intimate personal connections that smaller businesses tend to have with their customers. They use more advanced systems like automated knowledge-based tools that has tons of answers to various questions collected from customers overtime, assuming that it may contain what you want to ask or look for which often may not contain what you might be particularly looking for as these are made generally, not specifically pointing to your unique needs.


Less structured

Bigger businesses and stores are often compelled to keep their models the same to mainly keep their investors, board of directors, and pool of existing customers pleased. As a little store, we are more flexible and can do whatever you want without any traditional hierarchy constraint.


When there is no ‘hero’, why don’t you become one for others

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One of the reasons that spurred us to start Figure Culture Store was because we weren’t satisfied with the way how a store we frequented treated us. They’d us emailed them regarding a product we wanted to ask about but there were 0 replies. There weren’t any replies in our inbox nor was there any in our junk box as well. 1 week passed, and then 2 and so on. Another time we had placed our money to pre-order some stuff and after about half-year later when it’s time to collect our goods, the store staff told us we did not place any order even though we showed them the receipt. If the store staffs had told us that they couldn’t get enough stocks to supply us and so they had to base their orders on a first-come-first serve basis, then it would have been understandable and we would accept that without complain but this was clearly their mistake. So this is what we deserve for frequenting their stores for years? Eventually we decided to take things on our own. When we first started, things weren't as easy we expected. We'll talk more about this on the bottom section. Looking back, it sure was a pretty lonely journey and not to mention a tough one as well! However, when we finally received our very first thank you note from another figure collector who bought some figures from us, all of a sudden, all the things we did up until that point seems to be worthwhile. We may not have changed the world but at least we made someone’s day by delivering the anime figure they wanted directly to their doorstep the way we’d like to be treated by the store which we’d frequented some time ago. If only they’d treated us a little nicer…things would have been somehow a little different perhaps but it's all good now because we are still on good terms with them after all. Let bygones be bygones. Learning to forgive is also important.


Expectations vs Reality

With so many social media applications around, staying online at almost all the time seems to be the new ‘normal’ thing. People expect you to answer their calls 24/7 which can be pretty absurd. We get enquiries and orders from our comrades even during midnight! We would really like to answer all almost immediately but we are also human, just like you. We can’t really be working and attending to everyone in an instance at the speed of lightning. So it’s only normal to wait a few hours or a day to have your questions answered right? Wait…at this point we actually thought back on how we were treated by the store that we mentioned earlier. Mmm…maybe that store was super-duper busy and couldn’t reply our emails but that still doesn’t seem like a good reason to ignore us just like that. It would be acceptable if we’d receive a reply within 3 days but to receive nothing at all was just not good. Of course it doesn’t matter much to them even if we do not visit their store as frequently as we used to anymore because they have 10,000 other customers to serve, that is also not a good reason. This is one of the problems with bigger stores, Just because they’re big, and have tens of thousands of people to serve, they can afford ignore a few ones…again we have to keep on mentioning it…not good. As such when we decided to do things on our own, we made it a point to answer everyone 100% Of course we couldn’t provide immediate answers in less than a minute, waiting for replies still applies just like when you send an email however, we read what you asked and reply all of them even if it’ll take us up to 48 hours to do so. What we expect may not always go the way it should've been It's been rather challenging to run a store and it certainly is not as easy as we thought it would've been. Looking back before we started, we can now see that our ideals are a little different from the reality but the good thing is, with every new challenges and obstacles, there is always something useful and valueble to be learnt.



It's not always about the $$$$

Many people would say things like "If I have $$$$ then I could do this and that" It’s very easy to give excuses. Have you been to a hawker stall or do you know any food stall in your neighbourhood that is pretty well-known?


These folks don’t need a ‘real’ restaurant to serve people food. The reason could have been that it is too costly for them to rent or buy a ‘real’ place to run their food business. Now this is just an assumption and we do not want to speculate much but one thing for sure, we really respect what folks like these do. Even without a proper shop lot and a real ‘kitchen’, that doesn’t stop them from doing their food business.


The key is not the amount of money you may have for the initial investment. The key is actually you. Your strong passion and desire decides whether you could actually make your dreams a reality or not. How far you’re willing to go is decided by you yourself.


Speaking from experience thus far, we know many folks out there who have the ‘I-can-do-it-if-I-have-more-money’ attitude. People with real passion will make use of what they have and can do instead of giving reasons why they can’t because they don’t have this or that or enough $$$$. If everyone thinks like that, there would probably be no hawker stalls and food trucks around because everyone needs a ‘real’ restaurant to serve food. Hawker stalls and food trucks exist because these people innovate and think out of the box. They do what they can and make use of what they have and still they can serve food for their customers. From here, we learnt that a ‘real’ fancy restaurant is just a luxury, not a necessity. The main purpose is to cook and serve food and these hawker stall folks have proven that it works.


Startups often look for funds before they start something. They want proper office with pricey Macbooks and chairs. You can see these in the so called rental or flash workplace. Instead of focusing on starting what they want to do, they’re thinking of how to decorate the place where they plan to do their work.


There are many stories of successful startup companies that run their businesses in a bootstrap mode. It could be in the form personal savings or salaries earned from previous jobs. Unlike a standard job, startups have no guarantee of success until they start it out and see for themselves if things work out or not. They are no one around to pay you a salary and you need to work really hard and also dedicate a lot of time and effort into kickstarting your startups. Many of the things we use daily from electronic items to household goods and more, most of them are made by established companies who owned well-known brands. If a new kid on the block were to join them all of a sudden, chances are you may not know who they are compared to the more mainstream and established brands.


A good thing about using your own money to bootstrap your business is that you’ll be willing to put the extra effort and be serious about making things happen as best as you could. You’ll learn a lot of things on how to innovate and be creative, making the most out of your scarce resources. These are some of the things that your school probably don’t teach you. Also, because it's your own money and effort, you'll be more likely to take things more seriously. In contrast, a company that has got lots and lots of financial backings and resources tend to be a little less innovative because most of them have these ‘money-can-solve-all-problems’ mentality. They pay millions for marketing, advertising, and other ‘unnecessary’ stuff most of which involved paying others to get their work done. As such, they innovate lesser and sit comfortably in their castle thinking that they are the king until they realised the new kid on the block has been working hard all the while and has come up with something more interesting. This is evident by many of the case studies of tech and electronics companies such as Kodak and Blackberry.


The human-nature is such that we do things out of necessity. Humans tend not to do things that are considered unnecessary simply because we are naturally designed to conserve energy and do things with minimal effort.


If you’ve been working all day and is feeling very sleepy and tired, you would want to lie down and have a good sleep. Sleeping is considered a necessity as it recharges you that and that is why we sleep.


So if you have a goal, you need to take it as a necessity in your life. You need to have the real desire just like when you’re really sleepy and you want to go to bed no matter what. Make it a commitment and do your best to achieve your goal. Don’t let it remain just an empty dream. You can make it happen. It’s never about the money. It is about you and your desire, backed by real passion that will serve to motivate you along your journey. Your passion is what helps you to keep on going. You don’t have to change the world. Change your attitude first and then seek out to make the life of someone else better with your business offerings and services. If you are doing things for money then money will control you. Remember, money alone is not the measure of success. Happiness matters too. You can have all the money in the world and still not be happy. Do things with love and passion and money will come to you naturally. Yes you can do it.



“My childhood may be over but that doesn't mean playtime is."

-Ron Olson

Packaging with lots of care and love (^o^)


Figures you ordered are placed in our storage area upon arrival.

We prepare your packages with extra packaging materials.

We seal your packages, nice and firmly in a simple, discreet manner.

Preparations for shipping are done and packages will arrive at your doorstep shortly.

How Figure Culture Store works?


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1.View Catalogue

Browse through our recent updates to find some figures you like.

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2.Request Info

When you've found one, tell us about it, you'll be catered personally.

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3.Seal Deal

When you've agreed to order, we'll have a deal upon receiving your payment.

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4.Import

We'll then include your order in our next import list

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5.Shipping

When your figures have arrived, it'll be packed and delivered to you.

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6.Ding dong!

When the delivery person rings your bell or climbed into your house, sign it and receive your figures (^o^).

Manufacturers

Let's Get In Touch!


PLAYING HOURS

MON-SAT 9am-11pm

SUN 1pm-10pm

CLOSE on PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

GENERAL QUERIES

store at figureculture dot com

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