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  1. That is not what I'm saying. You missed my point...again. It's not sensationalist and minimizing the comments of others, and the larger price discrepancy situation, is not helpful. Please stop. As I suggested in my last post, I think it's a good idea to be able to point people to a resource that breaks down the cost considerations for each purchasing option, in specific terms, so they can make the best decision for themselves. I offered a table that does so, which could use some community feedback for improvement so it covers everything we care about (like possible future discounts, as @Radioguy pointed out). What do you think we can offer the community that will help? Those are great points. We've seen places like Amazon offer WWM items at discounts and both this community and the big FB groups are good about spreading the news when the discounts show up. The discounts absolutely help. It's a double-edged sword, though. The discounts often happen because stores have too much stock and they'd rather take a hit on a sale than let the toys continue to take up space in a warehouse. The more that happens with Macross items, the less stock the stores might order, which Bandai could interpret as low interest and reconsider their WWM initiative. It's a tough situation because to encourage Bandai to keep distributing globally, so it is less risky for collectors to gamble on something being available later at an affordable price, means that we should all be buying from our local stores, but that requires paying much higher prices and waiting a lot longer for items. If Bandai stops distributing globally, we're back to PO Madness, with limited stock and lots of unhappy collectors. If we did all switch to buying locally at the current prices and wait times, the discounts might become less common and affordability declines as a result. Makes your head hurt to think about it. I'm not sure what the happy medium here is, beyond sometimes, but not always, seeing discounts on items. Would love to hear from someone with an economics background (not my area of expertise).
  2. Agreed. Having more purchasing options beyond PO Madness is a good thing.
  3. It is a large markup, but its final size depends on the choices you make. Your key assumption is that most people are chasing the lowest possible price. That is not always true. I would rather pay a bit more to work with a very stable, very reputable store or proxy (in Japan or the US) than trust a small operation that might fold at any moment and take my money with them--just to save $25-50 on an item that may never be released again. But that's how I feel about the risk. Others might feel differently. You can keep shipping cost from Japan to a low number by utilizing slower options, consolidating shipments, etc. It also does not cost Bandai more than a few dollars per unit to put these toys in a cargo container and move them to the US, so there is a very large price discrepancy between what they sell for in Japan and what they sell for here that needs to be recognized. I know we joke about the "old collector tax," but it's real. The marked up prices in the US are about convenience and how much we're willing to pay for it. I point out the difference between Japan MSRP and US prices so that we, as a community, can have a conversational starting point about that convenience cost and make the best purchasing decisions for ourselves. Your comments, mine, and those from other MW members are all helpful in getting us where we want to go. At this point I think we need a pinned answer to the question of what costs to consider for all four options (Retail from Japan, TWE from Japan, Retail from Overseas, TWE from Overseas). It could be a small table, something like this: Retail from Japan generally doesn't include taxes, but it depends on the store. TWE from Japan does include taxes on top of proxy fees. Then there is shipping from Japan, with a range of prices and waiting times. US retail involves taxes (or should in almost all cases), shipping, and a long wait time--on top of an undisputable markup from Bandai for the convenience of not having to deal with PO Madness and overseas shipping. How you view that markup depends on where you shop and the choices you make.
  4. There are a lot of weird and confusing things about this release. For example, will BBTS really let you buy 24 copies if they are acting as a secondary proxy? Maybe they are only getting 24 and one person can purchase them all? When I looked at the TWE ordering page, individuals were limited to 2. For the Super Ostrich, they were limited to 6. I would love some clarity from BBTS or another stateside store. Worst case, we can keep an eye on Amazon US. If this doesn't show up, or does, we'll know for sure. They definitely aren't handling anything beyond regular Retail.
  5. Yes, this is a weird situation. Bandai could easily clear things up by adding a sentence to the item listing on the Tamashii site, but it's Bandai, so we're left to speculate on what they're planning.
  6. MSRP = ¥33,000, roughly $210.00 right now BBTS Price = $350.00 350.00 - 210.00 = 140.00 140.00 / 210.00 = 0.66 Sadly, it really is a 66% markup over MSRP. A 33% markup would only be $280.00. If you plug $210 and 66% into any online price markup calculator, like this one, you'll get the same answer: https://www.omnicalculator.com/finance/markup As we've discussed many, many times before in this thread, I agree that full price comparisons should factor in shipping costs, etc., but these two numbers (MSRP in Japan vs. price in the US) are the only ones that are fixed and they represent the best place to start a conversation. From here we as collectors can start making individual choices about whether it's worth dealing with PO madness and paying $25-$50 to have it shipped from Japan (slow vs. fast). Even with expensive shipping, you're still looking at a roughly 35% markup to get it through a US store, plus the longer wait time. Unless you choose slow shipping from Japan, which makes that first option more affordable. The best option is the one that makes sense for you. I also see the same patterns you do with respect to pricing set by other companies like ThreeZero and Good Smile. It costs roughly as much to buy items no matter where you are. It's rare to see large markups for international customers. Bandai is making a consistent business decision to mark up items across multiple lines, not just Macross (but this is MW so we can focus on complaining about it ). Why are they doing this? I know we've speculated before. Small production runs that cost a lot? Old fashioned corporate greed? Part of me thinks they are charging what they think the market can bear and will adjust prices (or just stop making Macross stuff) if we stop buying. We've seen them cancel lines before....
  7. Same for me, about $100 markup over my proxy purchase. Compared to what I paid for the renewal valk and armor on the secondary market, even BBTS is a bargain!
  8. That's because Bandai has never done something like this for Macross valks (TWE domestic release, Retail international release) and there was no communication from Bandai about what they were going to do for this release apart from TWE in Japan. Odds were good that it was just a mistake on their website. Very glad to see that it will be more broadly available, but the 66% markup over Japan retail price is definitely high.
  9. And at $350 it's a 66% markup over Japan retail price. Yikes. Works out to $100 more than I spent at my proxy, but you're paying for convenience. If you click on the quantity dropdown you can order up to 24 copies. I wonder if that's a mistake. Otherwise someone is going to build a large squadron....
  10. This is now the second PO offering we've seen with a delivery date in January/February instead of November, and the prices are consistent with the usual 55% markup over Japan retail, so...hopefully? It's possible that the stores are just offering the TWE version and shipping it slowly to the US, but I hope it's going to be a normal release outside of Japan.
  11. What seems to be causing the most confusion on this is that all of the sales regions are highlighted in blue on the Tamashii site, which implies global distribution, but it also clearly states "Tamashii Web Shop" on the listing, there have been no official statements from Bandai about global distribution, and the PO was announced with about six hours of advance notice. Those last three things suggest to me that the first (all regions highlighted) is a mistake and that this is one of the usual limited releases. I would love to be wrong, especially since it was so hard to get the renewal version. It's like Bandai is doubling down on keeping the Armored VF-25S rare.... As @jenius said, there are some stores that operate like proxies for releases like this. When you purchase a TWE item from them, even though it looks like a regular item on their site, behind the scenes they do what proxies do to secure the order and they are not always successful. They issue refunds in those cases. If the order is confirmed and you don't receive a refund, then they were successful (but carefully read the terms and conditions of your purchase). It takes time and effort for stores to work around all of Bandai's systems, which is why the price is higher than what Bandai publishes. Some stores (and some proxies) take advantage of this situation and either way overcharge you on the purchase price or the shipping, but most charge roughly about the same for both. The total from my proxy was within $10 of what AE was charging. One of the advantages of working with a proxy is that you absolutely know if they were successful in purchasing the item because you get status updates throughout the process. When you go through a store, the process is a little more opaque. You first have to find a proxy willing to do this, though, and many are tired of dealing with Bandai's systems.
  12. Agreed. I've seen it across a lot of orders from a lot of companies, and all of those companies are much smaller than Bandai. The Sentinel RIOBOT Voltron Legendary Defender was supposed to ship last month, but now it's delayed until September due to "quality and production issues." Yeah, you would think with that small of a set of changes to the kit, and that Good Smile already has the production quality dialed in based on the previous release, it would be simple and relatively fast to do this one.
  13. This seems to be happening across a lot of Good Smile's product lines. A few years ago they made the decision to shift a lot of production from China back to Japan, and that caused a bunch of delays initially and maybe that has continued, but I also think they are dealing with some variable quality control issues at the factories in China that they still use. I've seen delays with Max Factory, Nendoroid, Moderoid, Figma, and Pop Up Parade orders. It's usually just an additional month, but a few times it's been several months.
  14. This would definitely be a first for Macross valks, but I definitely support more availability. This isn't a case, like with the DX Super Ostrich, where Bandai can't distribute it outside of Japan due to licensing restrictions. Frontier should be fair game for international distribution. The VF-25F Super release is a good example. I guess we'll know for sure in a week or two? If we start seeing it offered on sites like BBTS and Amazon US, we'll have our answer.
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