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Limited Exclusives


Renato
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Sorry if this has been debated before (in its own topic), I did a search and the usual junk came up, but nothing really relevant.

For quite a while we have had web exclusive editions of collector toys for the even more hardcore fans, one particular long-runner which comes to mind is the "E-Hobby Special" variant for each new popular Transformer mold, through which we got some classic reissues in original Diaclone colours.

Recently we have seen a few more companies do web and magazine tie-up exclusive add-ons and variations of niche market toys. But the newest trend seems to be full-blown new molds based on unique designs becoming exclusives. Case in point: the Bandai VF-25 Fast Packs, their Sound Booster and set with fists, stand etc. (I guess technically these are add-ons, though it seems most of this stuff should have been included in the original toy), and Yamato's model-kit style offerings: the Fanracer, the Regult and Zentran soldier, etc.

I think we have reached a point where the market for these items no longer functions in the same way that it did ten years ago. The hardcore otaku population (that is, the generation brought up on real robot anime) is shrinking, and thus so is the consumer base for these companies specializing in niche items such as valkyries. The high price and low production run for most of these items already gave us an indication of how deeply embedded in the subculture we are when we "shop around" for these things, but now it looks like we won't even be able to do that. More and more things are becoming exclusive, limited, or even order-made (such as the 1/2000 SDF-1). It's almost as if we're back to the garage-kit days.

There has been a lot of discussions on this in the various threads, and I've noticed several patterns, but let's try to tackle the issue itself.

As I have stated before, I am of the opinion that this is an indication that we have certainly passed the peak of the real robot revival period, and we will slowly be re-entering the dark ages. Otaku are getting old. We had a good run, though. My lament is that Japan never attempted to appeal the wonder of its sci-fi anime to the mainstream. Generating interest outside of the original fandom rather than merely targeting those who were kids when the show was on the air may bring you sales in the now, but you kill your market and yourself in the long run. At least that's what I think -- I'm no analyst, but it certainly appears to be proving true right now.

Let's see if we can gather different perspectives on this. I'd be interested to hear everyone's opinions.

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Tip 'o the iceberg. The whole anime industry in general is going to have to find ways of generating more income. Mail-away extras and such aren't really new... they're just a whole lot more convenient now that we have the Interwebs and can do website exclusives. Macross fans just get the double-whammy of having to deal with licensing issues. If Yamato USA (or Bandai, whoever) could also put the same exclusives up for sale here, and we could order through their site and pay domestic shipping it might still be a bit of a rub but it wouldn't be nearly the pain we're going through now. It's also worth noting that as the number of website exclusives have multiplied so too has the amount of stuff available to us. Seriously, Hikaru's fanjet... there's only one way that thing ever gets made and it's as some wonky exclusive (same with the VF-19Kai's soundbooster). With add-ons being exclusives a lot of people should be grateful, if you don't care about Basara's sound booster then you're thrilled it's sold separately as an exclusive because you weren't forced to pay extra for the original toy and get that part.

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it used to be these exclusive items made you feel that your collection was somehow made more special... you were willing to pay extra for the "exclusivity"... and the hunt for it was the exciting part. these days, there are so many exclusives that the less popular ones don't sell out and their prices drop eventually... w/c is a good thing if you really want that particular figure, but it loses its so-called "exclusivity"/"rarity" status...

now, it just feels to me like a kick in the nuts whenever an exclusive item is announced that i really want to have. <_<

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Exclusives are not what I would call my preferred way of getting something, and I would never claim to "like" exclusives, but if it's a matter of getting something as an exclusive or not getting it at all...the exclusive route is the better option.

So far the only Macross exclusive I've had any burning need for is the VF-27 Grace, so I haven't felt much frustration yet.

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I am a confessed "Yammiehead". B)):lol:

And will still buy most of their products.

Don't get me wrong I'm thrilled that the team over there even toiled, tooled and designed these things.

But it feels like a sort of cop-out on the rest of us the fans/collectors when these companies do this.

I know, I know, its for profit and in a way it has to be done.

I also think like Jenius if we could get it all locally, it would hurt but it would be a more tolerable hurt.

I don't want them to stop making them just keep in mind us out of Japan collectors.

We too helped these products sell like gangbusters.

Sure we here at MW may represent a small fractiion of the overall fanbase, BUT.

There a lot of international fans who lurk and just peek in, but those who know the toys just want to be able to buy period.

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As Jenius said, it would be nice if these companies could market their exclusives to us directly.

Not only would it benefit us non-Japan collectors, but I'm sure Yamato wouldn't mind the extra profits they could make directly on us international sales.

Yeah, we'd more than likely be annoyed at the price ("more than likely"? :huh: . . . :lol: ). But at least, we'd have a more realistic option to get the exclusive; we'd have a fighting chance to "get in on the action."

That's what's so frustrating about these exclusives: we non-Japan collectors (primarily in the US) already have to deal with the grey market, just to get the regular normal Macross stuff. Trying to get these exclusives just ups that degree of difficulty even further.

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I don't really care about the Yamato web exclusives yet but Mattel is doing this too and it sets a bad precedent. I mean sure they can claim they are only selling them online because it's a small market but imagine how much more profit they make per unit since they are the producer, the distributor and the the retailer. Not to mention virtually no shrinkage to eat!

Bandai is the worst offender since they essentially sell you incomplete figures at already fairly high prices and then if you want to complete said figures you have to purchase the web exclusive accessory sets. These aren't even limited to older possibly less profitable franchises but to current hot commodities like Code Geass Gundam OO and Macross F. It hasn't effected me personally yet but it might someday and that's fairly annoying.

Magazine/event exclusives aren't really an issue because rarely are they really "new" just more repaints generally.

Lucky draw/prizes/etc Oh well I'm just a きちくべいへい so oh well.

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In defense of the devils, web-exclusive is not a sign of greed (for the most part) for them. It's more for lowering risks.

In Japan, the web exclusive items are generally of the same price as the MSRP as the regular counterparts. Although we know that the devils got a bigger share of the profit in this case, I suppose the traditional retail channel should yield more overall for "hotcake items". Otherwise the retail channel should have died by now.

My point is, web exclusive is not designated to make you pay more. These days you have dozens of new toys from Bandai alone every month, it becomes very difficult to pile up stocks for toys. It is difficult for small toy shops to manage, and when they can't survive, it is turn bad business to the large toy companies. And also, obviously for certain niche items, it's better to make to orders to avoid overproduction.

As someone not living in Japan, I suffer from web exclusivity too. However, I also admit this is a solution to the mentioned problems.

Exception: when certain items are considerably overpriced, or should have been included in the first place. e.g. The DX Folder set (overpriced); the upcoming missiles for armored parts (should have been included); the Fire valk fists and landing gears (both), etc. On the other hand, I can accept the speakers set.

The SDF and Regult resin kit is another story. They are resin kits, not toys....

Edited by ff95gj
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Exclusives are fine for variants that only appear for a spilt second. I like the Alaska Base VF-1A but it only appears for a second. Max dressed as Zentradi is a fun idea but it only was one scene. If the Toy is based off of something that appears in just about every episode then making it an exclusive is total BS.

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IMHO, Renato and ff95gj are correct. The market for anime related goods is shrinking. This is not a trend that is caused by economic hardship, as it's being going on for at least twice as long as the current economic woes. Nevertheless, the economic situation has probably exasperated it.

The main trend has seen not only a steady transition from more niche or limited market items (ie Macross) to more mainstream items (ie Gundam), but also a reduction in floor space devoted to selling the items.*

On the other hand, a lot of stores are diversifying the products they sell. The example that's coming to mind is an electronics shop, which used to have a large toy/model section, but has reduced that by more than half. On the other hand, the electronic shop is selling untraditional goods, such as household cleaning items, food and beverages.

The other factor that needs to be considered is the penetration of the internet. It's been adopted a lot slower than in places such as North America and South Korea. Nevertheless, in the past 5 years, the penetration (in this case meaning it's use as a shopping tool) has caught up (in some ways, surpassed), and the direct sale market via the internet has truly become a viable option for manufacturers.

So, there may be further change underway (economic recovery, shake out from over reliance on direct sales, etc.) and we may see even more direct sale exclusives, or even the disappearance of some manufacturers altogether, as the industry shifts back to a healthy medium between direct and retail sales.

* This is based on observations not of toys, but of magazine/book space and plastic model kits. So, the mileage may vary for toys, etc..

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interesting discussion guys.

I do have a question, don't you think the web exclusivity (and/or magazine tie-in) is not helpful at all to even try to expand customer base?

I do agree that the bad economy exasperated the shrinkage of the market for these collectibles, and that probably it wasn't going to grow on the base of a aging generation of otakus, but since I am not used to buying everything online, and have sometimes purchased something just because it appealed to me after I found it on the shelves of a shop, I thought maybe I am not alone.

Making these toys less visible at street level seems to exasperate the shrinkage even more, I think.

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web exclusives allow the sale of specialized products that wouldn't be otherwise popular on the shelves. The advantage of doing them is getting a precise number of what you're going to produce based on paid pre-orders. It also helps advertise other products that they manufacture that you probably wouldn't know about and happen to catch by visiting their site.

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Just wish they would allow international orders without increased rapage from going through evil-bay or other intermediaries.

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interesting discussion guys.

I do have a question, don't you think the web exclusivity (and/or magazine tie-in) is not helpful at all to even try to expand customer base?

I do agree that the bad economy exasperated the shrinkage of the market for these collectibles, and that probably it wasn't going to grow on the base of a aging generation of otakus, but since I am not used to buying everything online, and have sometimes purchased something just because it appealed to me after I found it on the shelves of a shop, I thought maybe I am not alone.

Making these toys less visible at street level seems to exasperate the shrinkage even more, I think.

I don't work in the toy industry, so this is merely guessing: I don't regard the toy industry is shrinking - I still see a lot of new toys coming out every month, to a point that toy shops have difficulties in catching up: "How could I possibly stock up for every toy in terms of storage space and cash flow?" As a result, shops have to either give up certain models of toys, or only stock up a very small quantity. Either case, that means it becomes more difficult to see less-popular mechandizes in the shop: it may have been sold, or the shop hasn't chosen to carry it at all. So web exclusivity helps in this aspect.

Regult and I are not living in Japan (you haven't moved, right?)... So we do not purchase online for such items. We still go to the shops, and order the web-ex items through them. If we can order online ourselves, it could have been cheaper!

P.S. I used to wait for a toy to become cheaper before purchasing; but these days it's getting more likely that something would simply sold out after a while, not because it is really really popular, just that the stocks are really small.

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I don't work in the toy industry, so this is merely guessing: I don't regard the toy industry is shrinking - I still see a lot of new toys coming out every month, to a point that toy shops have difficulties in catching up: "How could I possibly stock up for every toy in terms of storage space and cash flow?" As a result, shops have to either give up certain models of toys, or only stock up a very small quantity. Either case, that means it becomes more difficult to see less-popular mechandizes in the shop: it may have been sold, or the shop hasn't chosen to carry it at all. So web exclusivity helps in this aspect.

Regult and I are not living in Japan (you haven't moved, right?)... So we do not purchase online for such items. We still go to the shops, and order the web-ex items through them. If we can order online ourselves, it could have been cheaper!

P.S. I used to wait for a toy to become cheaper before purchasing; but these days it's getting more likely that something would simply sold out after a while, not because it is really really popular, just that the stocks are really small.

I don't work for the toy industry either, and that was also my guess. I don't work in retail for that matter, but came to realize that toy shops in Hong Kong have a particular problem: flow is fast, prices are floating (supply and demand driven), stock is close to 0 and ideally 0. No shop keeps "last month's stuff" in stock. More than once I asked about availability of sth. a few months old and they just laughed at me, I've learned the hard way. The answer: yes, they don't have space for anything really. I don't know what's the case in Japan, but at least they have a few big retail stores with ample floor space.

New toys do come out but I guess our fellow mwer's in Japan are making an observation more specific to "Real Robots" otakus not expanding...therefore my thought about online vs. street retail.

I do agree with everyone that any manufacturer takes a safe road by going retail themselves and bypass distributors and retail shops: instant fatter profits, less risk, lower costs, etc. etc. etc. I can totally understand if they go online with the less popular stuff, but as pointed out, it is becoming obvious that some of the toys in the "most wanted list" (at least here in mw, and hence this is probably a shrinking aging demographic group even in Japan?) becomes available through those exclusive online channels. But if Bandai or Yamato could cater for the international market online, nobody would be so angry at "web exclusives" anymore. Sadly, I don't think they will, it increases cost and the extra profit would probably be dismissible anyway.

Oh, and I am moving next month, but within the same neighborhood!

Edited by regult
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instant fatter profits, less risk, lower costs, etc. etc. etc.

These are actual misnomers. Sure, the amount of money per item received by the manufacturer may be higher, but as the total number of items sold is lower, the total amount of money received is lower. The same is true for costs - less items produced means a higher per item cost, which actually drives down the amount of money made as profit. Therefore, the total profit is generally lower.

Economics of scale do not favour limited production runs, and tend to make for higher costing items. (I used to work in a company that purchased labels. The cost of 5,000 was the same as the cost for 50,000. It was only at numbers above 50,000 that the cost per label dropped. At runs less than 5,000? The per label cost was astronomical. I think I even heard the label supplier say that they actually ran through 3,000 to 10,000 just to get the colours right, and in the right place!)

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I agree! I really would like the big companies would handle the web exclusives themselves.

Say, for the Angelbird... The yen price is around 14400 (can't remember now! that is the total price include local S&H).

That should be around US$175 adjusted with international shipping. But I am now ordering for over US$200.

How difficult it is to ship things over to international addresses? I have no idea.

In fact I have no idea why most Japanese sites do not do international shipping. I know some merchandizes cannot be shipped overseas; but judging by AmiAmi and HLJ, most of the toys are alright?

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Japanese companies don't sell internationally because that demands a whole new shipping divisions to cater to individuals that don't communicate in the same language. It's all good when they're just ordering on the web sites but once a problem arises and they contact the seller then all kinds of complications start to appear. They're better off making deals with distributors like HLJ to handle that for them and concentrate on companies that buy by the bulk and native customers.

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These are actual misnomers. Sure, the amount of money per item received by the manufacturer may be higher, but as the total number of items sold is lower, the total amount of money received is lower. The same is true for costs - less items produced means a higher per item cost, which actually drives down the amount of money made as profit. Therefore, the total profit is generally lower.

Economics of scale do not favour limited production runs, and tend to make for higher costing items. (I used to work in a company that purchased labels. The cost of 5,000 was the same as the cost for 50,000. It was only at numbers above 50,000 that the cost per label dropped. At runs less than 5,000? The per label cost was astronomical. I think I even heard the label supplier say that they actually ran through 3,000 to 10,000 just to get the colours right, and in the right place!)

I understand and agree with your tape analogy. Of course, shorter production runs means less turnover, but not many Macross toys (save the V2 VF-1 in all different liveries) get production runs as large as those you mention. Besides, the SDF-1 and Regult kits are resin, the toolings were probably never meant for large runs, they saved money overall and I am sure their astronomic prices means they recovered every Yen they spent and even made a profit (percentage-wise possibly large compared to mass-produced items). Economics of scale require predictable, steady demand, but Yamato for instance is a relatively humble company compared to 3M or Matsushita, so maybe they are changing their business model, and as suggested, tap into the "garage-kit" market. With current technology, CAD to tooling, it's not hard to make detailed models at relatively short development schedules, but since these are anime to real-world designs, durability is easier neglected when it's a kit for display and not a toy for repeated transformation...less complaints and customer service! Bandai is a different story, they have their gunpla and then lesser-macross on the side.

If what you say is the case, then you somehow imply that going limited and retail online also damages the long term prospects of a company? add that to my worry about making these items fall into a ever less popular vicious circle, and we have a recipe for disaster. Soon we could be back into the dark ages of paying insane cash for old broken toys? (I am just pushing imagination a bit further for discussion)

EXO is so right about dealing with international shipping and customer care vs. Japanese home market. As I said, they probably consider the marginal benefits of shipping internationally NEGATIVE, so give up on it. What's more, I heard stories about internet retail in Japan and international shipping: you are not only asked to ship to a Japanese address, but also to a Japanese recipient or your order will not be processed IN JAPAN. I guess this is to PREVENT retailers outside Japan from selling "exclusives".

Edited by regult
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I understand and agree with your tape analogy.

Who said anything about tape? I was talking about labels.

but not many Macross toys (save the V2 VF-1 in all different liveries) get production runs as large as those you mention.

And this information is based off of what? I haven't seen any quotes of production runs. Which is odd, as many members of MW complain about prices, yet they don't know very much about the manufacturing side of the business.

the toolings were probably never meant for large runs

Speculation. Having worked for a company that purchased, directly or indirectly, products produced with molds/plates/what-have-you, I can say that the cost of those things never change. Therefore, limited runs means a higher percentage of the tooling cost per item, which means more money going to the factory, and not the manufacturer.

they saved money overall

Based on what information? If anything, direct sales costs more, as they now have to employ a larger sales division as well as an expanded shipping division to handle the individual orders. Not to mention the ancillaries, such as purchasing new, smaller-sized cartons and other shipping materials to package individual items in. If one is used to shipping in crates, shipping in individual cartons is a whole new ballgame.

and I am sure their astronomic prices means they recovered every Yen they spent and even made a profit (percentage-wise possibly large compared to mass-produced items).

Not disagreeing. Just agreeing that you've stated the reason why they cost so much: astronomic production costs + small profit (+ exchange rate, middle men, etc.) = expensive.

Economics of scale require predictable, steady demand,

No. You are misunderstanding. Economy of scale means the cost of an individual item being effected by the total production number. Economy of scale applies if Yamato makes 5 or 5 million. The smaller a production run, the higher one item costs. The larger a production run, the lower one item costs.

If you are referring to gaining the benefits of economy of scale, then yes, Yamato cannot take as much advantage of it as 3M or Panasonic (BTW: Matsushita, as well as National has been retired by the company to consolidate advertising expenditures). Nevertheless, those big companies are still affected. It all depends on the size of their production run.

With current technology, CAD to tooling, it's not hard to make detailed models at relatively short development schedules

And those cost money. The software to do it. The computers to run the software. The wages of people trained to do it. Factories also have to upgrade to computers and software that can accept the format that the new CAD software saves in. This is all passed along to the end purchaser.

If what you say is the case, then you somehow imply that going limited and retail online also damages the long term prospects of a company?

It can. Case in point are the two posters in this thread who would rather pick up and examine an item before purchasing it. Of course, it's not just the manufacturer that suffers, but also the retailer, as they are shooting themselves in the foot by reducing shelf space and diversity.

Edited by sketchley
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The hardcore otaku population (that is, the generation brought up on real robot anime) is shrinking, and thus so is the consumer base for these companies specializing in niche items such as valkyries. The high price and low production run for most of these items already gave us an indication of how deeply embedded in the subculture we are when we "shop around" for these things, but now it looks like we won't even be able to do that. More and more things are becoming exclusive, limited, or even order-made (such as the 1/2000 SDF-1). It's almost as if we're back to the garage-kit days.

Renato makes an interesting observation here. I don't think that anime is in decline (other then suffering in the short term from the recession), in fact 2005 and 2006 were pretty much the top years in the history of the industry.

Mecha anime is another story. I get the impression that the younger part of the fanbase on the whole is not very interested in giant robots (and technology/sci-fi to a lesser extent), the result has been a steady decrease of mecha in the share in anime being made. The current popular genres are mostly school life drama/romance and the supernatural. The generation that grew up on robot shows is now mostly in their 30s and 40s. A small demanding audience with a lot of disposable income. I guess this reflects in the merchandising for mecha: exclusive and expensive.

Edited by Bri
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Renato makes an interesting observation here. I don't think that anime is in decline (other then suffering in the short term from the recession), in fact 2005 and 2006 were pretty much the top years in the history of the industry.

Mecha anime is another story. I get the impression that the younger part of the fanbase on the whole is not very interested in giant robots (and technology/sci-fi to a lesser extent), the result has been a steady decrease of mecha in the share in anime being made. The current popular genres are mostly school life drama/romance and the supernatural. The generation that grew up on robot shows is now mostly in their 30s and 40s. A small demanding audience with a lot of disposable income. I guess this reflects in the merchandising for mecha: exclusive and expensive.

Perhaps it is not the quantity or popularity of robot anime that is the issue. But rather, the quality of recent robot anime.

I also think that there has been a decline in the interest by the younger fanbase to simply buy merchandise - ie. toys and model kits. Heck, some won't even buy the anime itself.

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Perhaps it is not the quantity or popularity of robot anime that is the issue. But rather, the quality of recent robot anime.

It is quantity and popularity as well as quality. Most of us forget that the 1980's, the so called Golden Age of Mecha, while stuffed to the brim with new shows the reason for this was that companies were always trying to continue last season's success. For a decade thought to be so successful, it also say the death of two of the companies that contributed the bulk of mecha merchandise for Macross. Takatoku died quickly after Dorvack and Imai lost a lot of steam after Mospeada, Galvion, etc didn't live up to the success of Macross. After that, mecha shows started to thin out and the big companies settled into their current ways. Bandai bought Sunrise and now mostly focuses on Gundam shows with maybe one or two different things to fill the gaps. Takara tried revitalizing Votoms but stopped after Pailsen Files (there is literally no new Votoms merchandise as of this time) and now focuses on making more Transformers.

Also the rise of Video Games have created a new medium for mecha. Think of Kotobukiya, which is cranking out near Bandai level plamo kits based entirely on Video Game mecha. Not to mention the fact that many kids would rather play with the mecha in a video game than play pretend with a toy.

You guys are lamenting the slow death of real robot, but what was so special about it anyway? It's just a trend whose time has passed.

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Just to add to the discussion on the idea that selling direct to consumers = more profit.

I've worked in the IT department at a major company that employed thousands of employees whose technology most of you are using right now at a helpdesk level. And I have also worked for a small e-retailer that employed around 50 people total (most of whom worked in the warehouse)that did on average 5000 unique orders per day running their customer support call center. Guess which company had more customer support people and handled a greater volume of calls?

business to business is always cheaper to run and operate.

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You have to keep in mind that retailers can really put the Squeeze on the companies. Retailers like Walmart are so big that you have to essentially give them whatever they want because if they don't buy your product you will go out of business. This can drive up costs substantially as well which is probably why we see these web exclusives even domestically.

Examples of assorted demands by retailers

-their own price point

-own case assortments

-store exclusives

-amount of RTVs

-they will buy an amount of x if you sell them the amount of y that they want (works both ways really)

As an example Bandai America's domestic MSiA line was killed by the battle scarred line but that was what the retailers demanded. When stock of these items did not move as anticipated they ignored further solicitations. Stock was liquidated/RTVed somewhat at Bandai's expense. Companies used to go to retailers/chains for the safety net that having large preorders used to provide them. Thanks to the predominance and growing faith in ecommerce web exclusives are at least showing enough promise that the waters are being tested since technically it would be even lower risk.

I just find this annoying because someday I'm going to have to buy the web exclusive extra hands and weapons sets for my RD RX-78 that I already paid ~$35 for.

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I just find this annoying because someday I'm going to have to buy the web exclusive extra hands and weapons sets for my RD RX-78 that I already paid ~$35 for.

It has already happened to me... I preordered the landing gears and fists for my Bye-Metal VF-19.

I hate myself for a while after placing the order.

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Also the rise of Video Games have created a new medium for mecha. Think of Kotobukiya, which is cranking out near Bandai level plamo kits based entirely on Video Game mecha. Not to mention the fact that many kids would rather play with the mecha in a video game than play pretend with a toy.

That's an extremely interesting observation.

I've had a similar thought regarding mecha games and their relationship to mecha toys while playing MAF/MUF.

It struck me one day while playing MUF, that games like MAF/MUF are not just mecha games, but in effect give us virtual toys of our favorite mecha, but at a far lower cost in terms of both money and storage space.

In MUF for example, we can have nearly every single VF from every Macross anime, that we can fly, fight with, view from different angles, customize the color schemes etc., in a far more realistic manner than simply holding the physical toy in our hand and zooming it around.

At 196 hours on MAF and currently 224 hours on MUF, I'm spending far more time with these virtual Valks than I have been with my physical toys and I have noticed my desire to buy new toys does seem to be reduced, (although to be fair there may be other contributing factors to this as well).

Something to think about though.

Graham

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That's an extremely interesting observation.

I've had a similar thought regarding mecha games and their relationship to mecha toys while playing MAF/MUF.

It struck me one day while playing MUF, that games like MAF/MUF are not just mecha games, but in effect give us virtual toys of our favorite mecha, but at a far lower cost in terms of both money and storage space.

In MUF for example, we can have nearly every single VF from every Macross anime, that we can fly, fight with, view from different angles, customize the color schemes etc., in a far more realistic manner than simply holding the physical toy in our hand and zooming it around.

At 196 hours on MAF and currently 224 hours on MUF, I'm spending far more time with these virtual Valks than I have been with my physical toys and I have noticed my desire to buy new toys does seem to be reduced, (although to be fair there may be other contributing factors to this as well).

Something to think about though.

Graham

I agree totally. My hobby buying habits changed significantly since I have my first PC (IBM-XT clone). In the 80s, I used to buy lots of plastic kits (Air-fix, Tamiya, Hasegawa) and D&D pen and pencil modules and rulebooks. All that changed when I have my first PC. The moment F-16/X-wing/Tie fighter/racing simulators, PC-RPGs games are available on the PC, I saved hundreds of dollars a year on my hobbies.

Besides, it's more "realistic" and fun seeing things get blown up on screen vs pretending to zoom 2 model planes pass each other physically or on board games with tokens. :)

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Besides, it's more "realistic" and fun seeing things get blown up on screen vs pretending to zoom 2 model planes pass each other physically or on board games with tokens. :)

That's entirely debatable, as some of us have better imagination than others, and actually find the limitations of (video) game play and special effects, well, too limited.

Edited by sketchley
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