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“A lesson without pain is meaningless. That’s because no one can gain without sacrificing something. But by enduring that pain and overcoming it, he shall obtain a powerful, unmatched heart. A Fullmetal heart.”
It is almost impossible to find an anime fan who is not a fanatic of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. This series was not only popular among manga fans but also made its place among amine lovers. This article will help to recall those who used to be a fan of this series and will also introduce new anime lovers to this masterpiece.
The anime veterans and new enthusiasts can keep their love alive for this series by simply purchasing a variety of products that this merchandise has to offer.
A Well Sewn Story Plot
For those who are new to this Fan club, let me take you on a short tour of this series so that it would be easy for you to know the backdrop of your purchase. The story behind this series takes place in Amestris, a fictional country where Alchemy is the most prevalent science.
The people who practice this art are called Alchemists, who possess the ability to manufacture and generate almost everything that they want. However, the normal course of Alchemy requires the performance of some specific patterns called Transmutation Circles.
The principle on which this science of Alchemy works is called Law of Equivalent Exchange; wherein the Alchemists are required to offer something of equal importance or value. Yes, because of this Alchemy principle, the Alchemists are limited from performing Alchemy on living beings, especially humans. The use of this Alchemy is regulated by Truth, a God-like entity who controls and maintains this science and punishes those who try to go against the tenants set by him.
Shinri, Japanese for Truth, is in direct contact with every person who practices Alchemy, be they State Alchemists, employed to serve the state as its force. Nevertheless, his appearance corresponds to the perception of the Alchemists.
Shinri mostly communicates with the persons who have tried bringing their loved ones back to life, and haunts them and taunts them after they come out of the Gate of Truth, a portal where these perpetrators are sent as a punishment. However, when they come out of the Gate of Truth, they do not require the transmutation of a circle to perform Alchemy.
The Fullmetal Brothers
This series revolves around the main protagonist Edward Elric, a short-tempered and caring brother. Edward lost his leg when he and his brother, Alphonse Elric, tried to bring their dead mother back to this world with the use of Alchemy.
Alphonse lost his human body during this unsuccessful attempt of reviving their mother. Edward when, once again, tried Alchemy to bring back the soul of Alphonse, had to sacrifice his arm. Unable to retrieve Alphonse’s body, Edward kept his brother’s soul in an armor suit.
Guilty of the unsuccessful alchemy procedure, that cost Alphonse’s body, Edward resolved to get his brother’s body back at all costs. Because of their inherent talent for controlling Alchemy, the Eric brothers were recruited into the State force.
During their journey, they came to know about the existence of “Philosopher’s Stone”, a stone that does not necessitate the Law of Equivalent Exchange and, thus, does not demand anything in return while performing Alchemy. However, this Philosopher’s Stone had been used in the past to create Homunculi, creatures possessing a human body but with artificial intelligence. These Homunculi remain the main antagonists throughout the series.
Every main character of the series carries a story of its own, making them popular and well accepted among their Fan club. Voluminous fan art is available on these characters, Edward and Alphonse being the most popular. Due to this big fan following, the merchandise of Fullmetal Alchemist is well established and remains in demand among the anime, as well as, manga fans.
The Worldwide Spread Of Fullmetal Alchemist
Since its inception in July 2001, Fullmetal Alchemist remained one of the most liked mangas in Japan. This manga was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine. The series was completed in June 2010, after which it was compiled into 27 volumes.
The manga series, for the first time, surfaced in the English language in North America. It was released by Viz Media group around the middle of 2005. My interaction with this captivating series began soon after its release in the English language. And it was not later than 2007 when its merchandise become well known among all of its fans.
The Fullmetal Alchemist franchise has some of the most well-developed merchandise. The series that started from manga had great cinematic exposure, and just after 2 years of its appearance as a manga, it was released as an anime series.
This cinematic exposure gave more publicity to the series which further developed its merchandise. I still remember collecting its cards and playing its trading card game with my friends after school. Unfortunately, this card game was officially withdrawn in 2007, but we enjoyed it for many years to come.
Some Exciting Childhood Memories
Due to the lack of provision of online shopping, we as kids were mostly confined to the products that we found at retail shops. We were unable to get a customized product of our need.
We have to choose from the limited options that we had; however, we were more zealous back then. If some Fullmetal action figure was in a store, we would not stop spreading this news in our neighborhood and school until none was left.
If You Didn’t Know, It’s Extremely Popular!
Fullmetal remains one of the best animes of all time. It stayed at rank #1 on ‘MyAnimeList’, a top-rated anime list, for the past few years. It also won the vote for ‘Favourite Manga’ of 2010 and 2011 by ‘Eagles Awards’ in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it was ranked 3rd in 2017 on the annual Tsutaya Comic Awards ’All-Time Best’ section.
Hiromu Arakawa, one of the best Manga Writers:
Fullmetal Alchemist was the earliest manga and the biggest hit of the aspiring author, Hiromu Arakawa. She created this masterpiece within just 2 years of her employment in ‘Square Enix’. Due to her prolific writing style, this manga sold almost 80 million copies around the world and is still counted among one of the most celebrated series worldwide.
What Are The Core Emotions That Are Portrayed In This Merchandise?
The success of its merchandise lies in the core ideas and the emotions that its characters display. Its characters portray many intriguing and emotional elements such as family, politics, care, political envy, and brotherhood.
One of the most inspiring messages of its merchandise is that all actions have consequences; and to get something, you should be willing to make a sacrifice, which, in my view, is clearly evident from the hollow armor action figure of Alphonse Eric.
Why Makes Fullmetal Merchandise Better Than The Others?
Because of the emotions and sentiments that its characters display, this merchandise stands apart from the other merchandise. Its characters are not less than a symbol of various emotions and values for its fans. There are many die-hard fans of this series, who have aided in the development of its merchandise. It would not be wrong to say that after such a big exposure to the series, its merchandise is not only popular with its fans but also among others.
Common Products Offered By The Fullmetal Alchemist Merchandise
A well-developed Fan base has resulted in the widespread of Fullmetal Alchemist’s merchandise. The fans always want to get a hold of anything that can make their bond stronger with the character they are in love with. Following are the products that were introduced in the market to meet the ever-increasing demands of its fans.
FMA Clothing Merch
The clothing line of the Fullmetal Alchemist merchandise has a lot of articles to offer. Some of the most used clothing items are as follow:
One of the most famous products of the Fullmetal Alchemist’s clothing is the garments. The most common items of garments include hoodies, jackets, T-shirts, tank tops, sweaters, and hooded blankets. These products can easily be purchased online and can also be encountered at the convenience store at filling stations or in retail shops.
Another item of clothing that the merchandise offers is the hat. These Fullmetal Alchemist hats are famous and liked among children and teens. It would not get any better than having your favorite Alchemist blocking the scorching sun rays reaching your eyes.
Though not the most common clothing article of the merchandise, Fullmetal Alchemist sneakers are also loved by its die-hard fans. These sneakers are popular mostly among youngsters. Their prolific color combination makes them attractive to children. Nevertheless, even the adult fans who don’t wear them, want to keep them in their collection.
FMA Merch Toys
Fullmetal Alchemist’s toys are famous among both children and adults. The most common toys that this franchise offers include action figures and Funko pops.
FMA Action figures
You don’t need to be a kid to have an action figure of the character you love. It is a manifestation of his/her memories. The fan base of Fullmetal Alchemist has a strong bond with the characters in the series. There is no other option better than the action figures to keep the bond with one’s favorite hero alive.
The bond with these action figures can be assessed from the fact that the fans usually place these figures on their bedside tables, study table, or at their dressing table, where they can see them every day. I, myself, have two action figures right on my table beside my laptop, while I am writing this article.
FMA Funko Pops!
Though Funko pops came late to light, Funko Incorporation has become a multi-million dollars industry within a decade of its formation. The figures made by the company are Vinyl figurines, which are usually 3-5 inches in height. A smooth and simple shape makes them attractive to the person of every age. Fullmetal Funko pops were among the first Funko pops ever made by the company.
FMA Home Decoration Merch
The most common home decors offered by this franchise include posters and wall art.
Posters And Wall Art
A true anime lover can never live without his favorite anime poster or wall art in his room. Posters of the Fullmetal Alchemist series are easily available on online sources. What makes these posters so common and popular among the people is their price. Posters can also be categorized as the cheapest item the merchandise can offer. These posters are mostly noticed on the sidewalls of the bed. The Fullmetal Alchemist’s posters and wall art not only enlighten the fan but, because of their robust color scheme, also add a great look to the living space.
FMA Merch Accessories
Some other items that are also famous among the Fullmetal Alchemist’s fans include key chains, backpacks, and phone cases.
It would be impossible to not encounter a Fullmetal Alchemist backpack or school bag when you visit a good backpack shop. Due to its attractive characters, these backpacks can be noticed by people who don’t have any prior knowledge of the series.
Keychains are also really looked forward to by a Fullmetal Alchemist’s fan. Whenever a Fullmetal Alchemist fan stops at a convenience store, he subconsciously goes to the keychain rack and looks for his favorite character’s or symbol’s keychain.
What could be better than having a coffee or beer in your favorite mug! Fullmetal Alchemist’s merchandise offers a large variety of customized mugs. It would not be wrong to state that drinking in these customized mugs imparts the character’s energy to the fan.
FMA Phone Cases
Fullmetal Alchemist’s customized phone cases have also made their place in the merchandise. These customized phone cases became more popular with the spread of online shopping. In our childhood days, having a cell phone, and that in a Fullmetal Alchemist’s cover, was a swagger. These phone cases were the apparent witnesses to the person’s love for the series. These customized phone cases also played their role in developing new friendships by being the ice breaker of the conversation.
The popularity of these customized phone covers resurfaced with the spread of online business. There now are many small-scale businesses that are focused only on the creation of these customized phone covers.
Common FMA Merchandise Problems And Solutions
Now you know what wonderful and fascinating items the merchandise of Fullmetal Alchemist has to offer. All that is left now is making a purchase. But before we go down to the best possible options available and how they can be bought, let us first take a look at the common problems that should be kept in mind.
International Shipping May Take More Time
One of the most difficult things to do is to wait. The moment we place an order online, our eyes get fixed on the clock and every passing hour feels like a day.
When it comes to international shipping, it takes many days, even a week or two in some cases. Sometimes more time is consumed at the port during the clearance process. The only possible solution to this problem is to relax and wait! Worrying will never deliver your order on time. Be patient and keep a track of your order and contact customer care centers when you become sure that the delivery is taking more time than that stipulated in the order’s details.
Customs Officials May Not Clear Your Item
“The world has become a global village.”, this was what we used to write in most of the essays explaining the development in science. Little did we know what it actually meant back then. Now, when we notice things around us happening so fast, we can make out what that sentence meant.
When it comes to shopping these days, most of it is done online. We don’t have to leave our cozy bed while making a purchase. It just takes a few clicks and Voilà, your order is in the queue. However, when making a purchase that transcends borders one has to be aware of the customs regulations.
Sometimes in international shipping, the products, when they reach the port, are not cleared. Different countries have different customs regulations, so it would be better if you ask the customs agents, through a phone call or email, if the certain product from the merchandise would create any problem. One of my personal experiences about this problem includes ordering a play dough online that was not cleared at the customs when it arrived at the port.
The Print On Clothing Might Not Be Per The Advertisement
Another problem that a purchaser may face, while placing an order of the merchandise, corresponds to the print on the clothing items. As the pictures of these clothing articles are edited and processed before finally displayed on the website, the print displayed thereon may not be exactly like that of the hoodie. You may ask the vendor to send you its real-life unedited pictures before you finalize your purchase.
Product Quality May Not Be Up To Your Expectations
Sometimes the product is not what we anticipated. It breaks your heart when your favorite action figure is not up to the quality you were expecting. To save yourself from this trouble, check out the reviews of other purchasers. Also, watch the product’s unboxing or any other related videos to know exactly about the product.
Draw A Comparison Among Sellers
There are a lot of vendors that deal in Fullmetal Alchemist’s merchandise. Before making a purchase, you should go through the reviews available on the website. Comparing these vendors will place you in a better position while deciding where you are going to buy. This will also help in saving your money, as most of these very same products are offered at different rates.
Better To Purchase From A Retail Store Than Online
If you encounter your favorite product at a retail shop or convenience store, do not think twice to go for it. You don’t need to overthink about finding a better option online. Yes, this may be true in some cases, but you never know what quality of the product is offered online. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush!
Make Your First Purchase Small
If you are making your first purchase from an online seller, you do not need to purchase in bulk. At first, make a small purchase. If the item that you received meets your anticipated standard then you can place as many orders as you like.
A Quick FMA Merch Buying Guide
If you are going to make your first online purchase of this merchandise, the following points will help make your experience better.
Go Through Product Details
If you are making an online purchase, you have to be sure about what the product offers. There are many times when the listed item does not entail details of the product. It can get risky, and you could end up with a hoodie that is a better fit for your little brother or grandfather. It would be recommended to avoid postings with no specifications.
Look For Reviews
Reviews are the best way to know the truth about a product. If the seller has hidden the reviews or the reviews are not available at all, you might want to look for another available option.
Review Seller’s Profile
Similarly, if you are placing your order through big giants as Ali Express, eBay, or Amazon, you should also go through the seller’s rating and its delivery time. By going through the seller’s profile you would know what you can expect from that seller.
My Top 10 Most Recommended Products
The merchandise of Fullmetal Alchemist offers an array of items. It would be impossible to enlist every product in this article. If you are looking for a Fullmetal Alchemist product that is highly appreciated among fans, you might want to take a look at the recommendations below.
#1 3D Printed Scar Hoodie
You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.’ Scar, the main protagonist of the series, has a strong fan following. This 3D printed Scar hoodie is best for autumn or winter. Its polyester material gives it a good finish, making its print sharp and robust.
This hoodie is available in different sizes ranging from 2XS to 5XL.
#2 Roy Mustang Gloves Classic T-shirt
Who does not want to feel the power of the Fire Alchemist and the superior of Edward Elric? The Roy Mustang Gloves are admired by every fan. The T-shirt printed with these gloves is available for both sexes. It is a traditional T-shirt that can be worn everywhere. It is made up of 90% cotton. It also comes along with double-needle hems and neckbands offering a classic look and more durability.
Its size ranges from S to 5XL.
#3 Fullmetal Alchemist Blanket Hoodie
What makes this series so popular are the concepts and philosophies that it entails. Imagine how would you feel if your body is wrapped in the embodiments of 7 cardinal sins? Pretty exciting, right?
This hoodie blanket offers a very unique combination of the seven antagonists of the series. The characters about seven deadly sins in a hoodie blanket, make it a must-have item for every Fullmetal Alchemist lover. It is made up of 100% polyester, with a premium plush lining inside.
This hoodie blanket is available in many sizes ranging from XS to 6XL.
#4 King Bradley Sneakers
If you know a kid who is a Fullmetal Alchemist aficionado, there will be nothing making him happier than a pair of King Bradley sneakers.
These shoes are lightweight and comfortable and come with laces. They also feature a soft interior with a removable insole. These Reze sneakers are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and range from US size 6 to 15.
#5 Fullmetal Alchemist Beer Mug
Fullmetal Alchemist’s fans are not only kids, but its fan base is also quite popular among adults. If you think of giving some gift to an adult Fullmetal Alchemist fan, what else can cheer him up than a wooden beer mug with the Flamel Symbol printed on it.
This beer mug is made up of natural wood oak. It is also printed with high-grade colors, making it easy to wash without worrying about fading its print. With a capacity of 22 ounces, this beer mug is not less than any other mug.
#6 Human Transmutation Phone Cover
A true Fullmetal Alchemist fan will recognize a human transmutation symbol in just a glimpse. This human transmutation phone cover depicts a mixed feeling of love and loss; a failed attempt by the Elric brothers to bring back their mother.
This phone cover is silicone-based offering greater elasticity and shock protection. With a thickness of 1.6mm, this cover is available for different phone models.
#7 Flamel Symbol Keychain
The symbol of the Fullmetal Alchemist series is a snake with wings, Flamel. This snake symbol keychain is made up of good-quality bronze material. It is available in two different colors, i.e., antique gold and black zinc, which give it an antique and a classic look.
The keychain is only 10 cm in length. That may feel small. But its high-class finishing makes it one of the most liked products of the merchandise
#8 Philosopher’s Stone Poster
What can be more captivating than having a poster of the most powerful stone? The souls that make up the Philosopher’s Stone lures every fan towards it.
The picture of Philosopher’s Stone is printed on a 185gsm semi-gloss poster paper. This poster is available in small and medium sizes, which can be further cut to make it according to your need. The quality offered in this poster is really good which prevents it from falling off the wall.
#9 Edward Funko Pop
It would be wrong to talk about the Fullmetal Alchemist merchandise without mentioning the Edward Elric Funko pop. The collection of a Fullmetal Alchemist enthusiast remains incomplete unless he has this Funko pop.
The Edward Funko pop is almost 4 inches in height, making it a handy collectible. Funko pop, being the 2017 toy of the year and people’s choice award winner, is suitable for children aged 3 and above. This item is among those few items of merchandise that are equally wanted by children and adults.
#10 Alphonse Action Figure
A boy who lost his body trying to bring back his mother can never be forgotten! Alphonse Elric, the younger brother of Edward Elric is one of the most favorite characters of the young fans.
This action figure of Al, the Armoured Alchemist, is made up of a mix of PVC and steel. Being 17cm in height, this action figure is almost double the size of Edward Funko pop, making it an eye-catcher wherever it is placed.
Question: Can I gift a Fullmetal product to an anime lover whom I am not sure is a fan of this series?
Answer: Obviously, Fullmetal Alchemist is a prodigy among the overall animeverses. You don’t even need to think twice when gifting a Fullmetal Alchemist product to an anime or manga fan.
Question: Should I avoid buying these products from a retail shop?
Answer: Well, there is no harm in buying your favorite product of merchandise from a retail shop or a convenience store. Their rates may, sometimes, be more than those you would get online, but you can never be surer of the product’s quality that you have right in front of you.
Question: Is any character of Fullmetal Alchemist offensive?
Answer: No, there is not any character of the series that is labeled offensive. Though there are antagonists in the series, they are not offensive to the general public. You can safely wear your product in the public. Don’t worry.
If you are giving some anime fan a gift, you don’t have to think twice when choosing from Fullmetal Alchemist merchandise. If you are a fan of the series yourself, ask friends or people around about the purchase that you are about to make. You never know if they had also made a purchase and, therefore, can guide you better.
It would be better to purchase the product by paying a few cents more than waiting for the online order, as you can never be sure of the quality or the exact size of the product. Fullmetal merchandise has a lot of applications. The clothing products are useful for casual wearing; the wall art can add to the aesthetics of the house; the beer mug can increase the taste of your drink.
If you are a young die-hard fan and can buy these products, especially Funko pops or accessories, buying them would never be a waste of money, as unless you have these products, you would have a void in your heart and would feel unsatisfied due to the existence of these products around you but not with you.