A Rant on Mass-Released Exclusives

"Buy with all your might!!"

“Buy with all your might!!”

As a collector, much of the pride that I have for my collection stems from the time and effort that I take to amass each and every piece. The rarer the collectible, the more effort (and sometimes luck) necessary to obtain them and the more pride I have once it’s in my collection. (…and to be dreadfully honest, the bragging rights that come with owning a rare commodity don’t hurt either.)

This might be somewhat elitist, egotistical and entitled of me to say this, but I simply hate it when companies mass-release something that once was an exclusive.


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Take the case of the replica of Mikoto’s coin. Some of you might recognize it from a recent review I did. Originally an exclusive that was given away as a special bonus item to fans who pre-ordered the entire set of Railgun season 1 Blu-ray/DVDs from a particular store chain in Japan, the replica is exceedingly rare. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found a couple for sale after months of vigil on a certain auction site.

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Fast-forward about a year later, opening up my internet browser for my daily peruse of the various online purveyors of Japanese popular culture merchandise gave me the shock of my life. It would seem that Cospa, in a tie-in with the second season of Railgun, has decided to release replicas of Mikoto’s coin for the very reasonable price of 3 for 1000 yen.

Cospa is no stranger to cosplay goods and replicas and I simply love their merchandise. Don’t get me wrong. I’m ecstatic that a company has finally decided to actually make coins available to the mass market, but man, does it piss me off. All that time and effort wasted. The exclusive nature of the item has now gone down the drain.

This isn’t the first time this has happened and it isn’t the last time it will happen either. In a bid to capitalize on the popularity of an item that was once an exclusive, companies will make it a mass-release item, much to the chagrin of many a die-hard fan who took the additional time and effort to obtain said exclusive in the first place. But, to be fair, the flip side of the coin (Jesus) is that other fans without the means to obtain the original exclusive would be able to enjoy the item as well. In that regard, I’m more than happy for them.

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I remember the time when the Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! God Cards that I had gotten from purchasing the original Game Boy games from Japan were reprinted a billion times. If I’m not mistaken, several BotCon exclusive Transformers figures (the Coneheads I believe) also got a mass-release later on.

Can you guys think of similar examples or experiences? I’m just looking for some solace in solidarity…

In the end, what’s a fan to do but to suck it up and join in this blatant exploitation and unfair treatment?

I’ve already pre-ordered 10 sets.

9 Responses to A Rant on Mass-Released Exclusives

  1. Squiggsquasher says:

    I kinda get what you mean, but I must be honest, as a resident of the UK (where getting mass-released Japanese merchandise is hard enough as it is) I hate exclusives with the fury of a thousand Gundam fans watching Gundam AGE. Heck, it’s hard enough to get a figure/book/DVD as it is, don’t make it any harder! >.<

    Case in point, the Robot Damashii Unit 00. All the other RD Evas are quite easy to get hold of. And yet Unit 00, one of the main 3, and also my favourite Evangelion, is a web-shop exclusive and extremely rare. It took ages to track one down, and it cost a fortune. The amount of stress that figure gave me…ugh.

    An even worse case is the Figma Insane Black Rock Shooter, which was released exclusively with an extremely limited edition Blu-Ray/DVD boxset of the 2012 anime series. IBRS plays a pivotal role in the series, and the figure (to the best of my knowledge) is awesome. Unfortunately, the figure is so goddamn rare that I have yet to find one for a sensible price. There's never more than 1 on eBay (and you should always be cautious of eBay when buying Figmas anyway) and they aren't on Amazon at all. I've never actually seen the complete box set and the figure sold, only the figure on its own. As a BRS fan and a figure enthusiast, this pisses me off no end. Damnit Max Factory, I want to give you my money! Stop making everything so hard to buy!

  2. Actar says:

    @ Squiggsquasher: You raised a very salient point. Perhaps it’s the entire culture of exclusives in toy collecting that’s the problem to begin with. (^.^)

    But then again, how are companies going to profit off fans? Most of the time, exclusives are used as items to bait fans into buying something else – like Blu-rays or DVDs. In the case of Bandai, they want to avoid the middleman costs and assume that the figures aren’t popular enough to be worthy of mass-production.

    With regard to Insane Black Rock Shooter, have you tried Mandarake? This might help you out: http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/search.do?action=keyword&doujin=all&keyword=%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%82%BB%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%BB%E3%83%96%E3%83%A9%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E2%98%85%E3%83%AD%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BC%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BC&searchStrategy=keyword The figmas are all sold out now, but check back often and you might get lucky.

  3. @Actar: Ah hello! your blog is just about as great as your videos, keep up the work. PS, is the Mandarake site you mentioned above great for getting Figmas? I found one I like yet I fear I may get a bootleg

  4. Nova says:

    I could use some tips on finding items for good prices here in the states. Mainly looking for the Girls und Panzer model kits and really don’t know where to start.

  5. Actar says:

    @ Flutterlicious: Yup. Mandarake is a chain of Japanese stores that deal with only original merchandise. Much of their stuff is second-hand, but don’t let that scare you as the figures are almost always in pristine condition. I’ve been using them for years without issue. (^.^)

    @ Nova: Try AmiAmi/Hobby Search/HLJ.

  6. Squiggsquasher says:

    @Actar: I’ve heard of Mandarake, it does look pretty nifty, I shall check it out. As it happens I managed to snag an IBRS off of eBay from a reptuable seller in time for Christmas (Huzzah!) so all’s well that ends well I suppose.

    I wish we Brits had actual brick and mortar stores selling these things though. It would be nice to be able to pop down to a shop and pick up a Revoltech Skeleton, rather than having to track one down for a sensible price on Amazon…

  7. Nova says:

    @Actar Is there a way on those sites to use dollars instead of yen? I don’t want to go through exchange fees…

  8. Game Reviews says:

    Great post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more
    on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thanks!

  9. […] from that show that everyone seems to be going crazy for, a whole set of replica Misaka coins (rant about that here) and… Digimon figures? Yup. Just like Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Macross and Precure, […]

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