Zukan figures are some of the nicest figures you can ever buy. Zukan figures are sold in Gashapon machines in Japan. They are scaled to 1/40th size of the Pokemon they are based off of (though in some cases, 1/50th size because the figure would be too large to fit into the capsule). Every Pokemon has a zukan, minus Onix, Steelix, and about 95% of 5th generation so far.
With each generation/and or series, the base color changes. The original G/S/C series has a dark green base, the R/S/E series has brown bases, the R/S/E special release has black bases, the D/P series has dark blue bases, and finally, the B/W series has a bright purple color for the base. Occasionally they will also create diorama zukan, which is basically a nature scene created to look like a home or natural scene to fit a certain Pokemon. They’ve also released movie zukan. They’ve made one for every Pokemon movie, and each comes with a small clear Ash figure. Back in 2004, they created the very first lottery zukan, Wailord. It literally is whale size! Only 1000 were ever made, and is 14″ long, and weighs quite a lot. This is a very rare figure, sought after by nearly every zukan collector, and Wailord collectors. Recently, they have released Ho-Oh & Lugia lottery figures. Again, only 1000 were made. They are beautiful figures. They are painted with utmost care, and the details are fantastic. Each one comes with a clear plastic stand, so they are perfect for displaying!
Another breakthrough in the zukan world happened very recently, and that is that Entei, Raikou, and Suicune are the first to have a shiny version of them made into zukan! They are in the same pose as the original regular color releases, but the shiny versions have a bright red base. The base really makes the figures stand out. Well, that covers the basics of the different types of zukan. Hopefully you learned something by reading this, but be warned, finding older zukan (ex. Original eeveelution line, Pidgeot line, Dragonite line, Charizard line, etc.) is very, VERY hard, and you will have to dish out a large amount of money to get them. Don’t intimidated though! Start small. Buy one or two at a time, or perhaps one of the newer sets. If you are serious about collecting, then be on the lookout for ones from the older series, and maybe even look into buying the lottery figures. Good luck, and happy collecting!