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.
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.
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.
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.