A History of the Acclaimed Good Smile Company Nendoroids

Good Smile Company Logo

Maoyu nendoroid by Good Smile Company

If you have ever seen the super chubby like cute, adorable styled anime figures from a particular anime series chances are you have come across one of the renowned nendoroid figures by Good Smile Company. They are not merely limited to being characters from a favorite anime series but also video games, manga series, and even song projects: mostly Hatsune Miku.

It is important to note that Good Smile Company is not the only company headquartered in Japan that distributes short and adorable styled anime figures since FREEing has also done it and even Bandai with their Chibi Arts anime figures which have a similar appearance to the remarkable Good Smile Company Nendoroids. The difference is Good Smile Company truly has popularized these cute chibi-like (small and chubby) anime figures as part of the Pop Culture related to anime. Some of this can be attributed perhaps to a Nendoroid blog kept by the company called Kahotan Blog. The blog gives people a view of the figures for those unfamiliar with how the product may look in person. There is also another component to take seriously which is Good Smile Company really does release more various versions of the chibi-like anime figures from a vast array of anime series. Usually if you look hard enough chances are there is a character from a series you like that has been released or would be released in the future by Good Smile Company.

While the Nendoroid line is the primary line of anime figures that Good Smile specializes in standing at 10 cm. They also have the Nendoroid Petite line standing at 6.5 cm. The Nendoroid More series that is an experimental project. Then the Nendoroid Playsets and The Nendoroid Plus series that stop having any connection to actual nendoroid anime figures. The playsets are more like set stages for the figures and Nendoroid Plus being another name for merchandising branding by the company from shirts to rubber straps.

The nendoroid line became officially commonplace for the first time in 2006 with original creator of the series being Tsuyoshi Oda (Also known as Oda-P). Not anymore these days due to a lot of individuals working on any number of nendoroids crediting everyone is impossible so to simplify a collective name was decided on which is Nendoron.

One last major detail is that since Good Smile Company’s beginnings in 2001 they have had a close working business relationship with Max Factory the embodiment of the figma figures and thus they collaborate with each other a lot. Sometimes they even credit anime figures to each other or under one of companies even if it may be a collaborative effort. In general, these two companies, collaborate really well amongst each other.

Good Smile Company’s Corporate Profile

Established: May 2001.
Capital: 3,000,000 Japanese Yen
No. of Staff: 65
CEO: Takanori Aki
Primary Clients: Amazon.com International / Miyazawa Models / Sofmap / Nishino / Max Factory / ShenHua Japan / FREEing / Hobby Stock/ dwango

Good Smile Company Corporate History Timeline

Nendoroid Series

  • 2001/05: Good Smile Company Co., Ltd. is established in Shinmatsudo, Matsudo City.
    The business focuses on artist management, event planning and video production.
  • 2001/06: Formed a cooperative business agreement with Max Factory Co., Ltd.
  • 2002/01: Started planning and production of OEM toys.
  • 2003/11: The new accessory division, ‘dicokick’ starts operations.
  • 2003/12: Company moves to the Maynard Building in Matsudo.
  • 2004/08: First appearance at the Wonder Festival event run by Kaiyodo. Haven’t missed an event since!
  • 2004/09:The 1/8th scale Nemu Asakura goes on sale as the first ever Good Smile Company branded figure.
  • 2005/04: Good Smile Company products are distributed to hobby stores for the first time.
  • 2005/08: Event displays are now always met with the ‘WONDERFUL HOBBY LIFE FOR YOU!!’ slogan.
  • 2006/02: The start of the Nendoroid series. The very first Nendoroid ‘ Nendoroid Neko Arc : Convert! Grumbling Face Edition’ is sold at WonFes.
  • 2006/06: Company moves to the Tsuchiya Building in Matsudo Honcho.
  • 2007/02: The ‘Asa Made Live WonHobby TV’ begins. The live talks to people after WonFes and gets their opinions on the event.
  • 2007/03: First appearance at the Tokyo International Anime Fair.
  • 2007/03: The company blog, ‘Mikatan Blog’ (Kahotan’s Blog-English Version) is started. This causes a trend with various other hobby sites to start a blog run by a woman.
  • 2007/09: The ‘Shuraki’ products are developed as original content. Each contains a figure, drama CD and booklet to accompany the figure.
  • 2008/01:Max Factory begins the figma series. ‘Superhero Haruhi’ is included as a bonus to a game.
  • 2008/03: Nendoroid Miku Hatsune is a huge hit. (By the end of 2010, over a hundred thousand had been sold.)
  • 2008/02: The talent management division, ‘WHOOPEE’ starts operations.
  • 2009/04: Good Smile Racing is established as an associated company. The Miku Hatsune GT car takes part in the SUPER GT series.
  • 2010/03: The development of the ‘Black Rock Shooter’ universe begins. A figure is released, and a DVD of the anime series is distributed for free.
  • 2010/08: The Good Smile Cafe opens for business.
  • 2010/08: Official sponsorship for the F1 Racer, Kamui Kobayashi begins.
  • 2010/09: Company moves to the Matsudo Daiichi Seimei Building in Matsudo Honcho.
  • 2010/09: The L.A Secret Studio is established in Los Angeles.
  • 2011/03: ‘Nendoroid Miku Hatsune: Cheerful Ver.’ is released to raise funds to help those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
  • 2011/05: The company celebrates its 10th anniversary in Bellesalle Akihabara. JAM Project sings the official 10th year anniversary song.
  • 2011/05: The Cheerful JAPAN! Project is created to raise money for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami victims.
  • 2011/10: Good Smile Shanghai is established.
  • 2011/10: A business partnership is formed with ‘Tetsujin’, opening the Good Smile & Karaoke no Tetsujin Cafe in Akihabara.
  • 2011/10: The Miku Hatsune Good Smile BMW is the champion of the SUPER GT 300 series.
  • 2011/12: A Good Smile & Karaoke no Tetsujin Cafe branch opens in Taiwan.
  • 2012/05: Good Smile Company is changed into a stock company. (kabushiki gaisha)
  • 2012/07: Company moves to the Tokyo Skytree East Tower 17F
  • 2013/09: The Picktam! series of trading rubber straps begins.
  • 2014/01: A distributor aimed at the American market, ULTRA TOKYO CONNECTION, LLC is established.
  • 2014/03: The GOOD SMILE x animate Cafe is opened in Akihabara.
  • 2014/08: The figure series made up of only the highest quality figures, the WonHobby Selection is started.
  • 2014/12: The Good Smile Hatsune Miku Z4 is the champion of the 2014 SUPER GT GT300 Class Race.
  • 2014/12: ‘Lucky Factory’ is established in Tottori prefecture, Japan.
  • 2014/12: Nendoroid No. 500, Nendoroid Sakura Miku: Bloomed in Japan production is started at Lucky Factory.
  • 2014/12: The GOOD SMILE x animate Cafe is opened in Nipponbashi, Osaka.

Updated and Edited on April 4. 2015.