That delicious Figuarts Zero Kotetsu T. Kaburagi I’ve been lusting for went up for preorder through Premium Bandai completely without warning. I think I’ve managed to secure myself one… Now I better get Barnaby, too, or I’ll be a very sad panda. I dunno if others suffer from the same problem, but when it comes to figures of Kotetsu and Barnaby, I just can’t think of having one without the other.
…meanwhile in a 20 mile radius of this event…
The funny thing with this figure release is that it’s made-to-order web shop exclusive. Now I’m not a figure collector and definitely not an expert, but one of the regulars on our chat channel is a collector and he told me some interesting stuff about the made-to-order figures. They’re usually ones that Bandai expects will not sell very well, so they don’t want to be left with extra stock collecting dust and taking up warehouse space. Usually these figures are available to preorder for about a month. The bonus to selling the figures like this is that there are no retailers taking their slice of the cake when Bandai is selling them directly.
(If their reasoning really was that this figure won’t sell, just ahahahaha oh wow…)
However, the general opinion on the chat channel was that this may have backfired on Bandai. The web shop actually crashed, and our figure collecting friend told me he’s never seen that happen with made-to-order items. (Note, the web shop only ships within Japan, so it was only the Japanese fans overloading the site with orders.) It seems they didn’t take into account how well Wild Tiger Figuarts has been selling, nor the case with the Katsura art book + original coloring Wild Tiger set which was also made-to-order. The book and figure set was intended to be available for preorders for a month, but they closed the preorders after two days because they got a “flood of orders”. There’s a limit to how many their factory can produce, so that has to be taken into consideration too. On the other hand… this’ll give actual data of how sought after these figures are. The tweet from Premium Bandai actually said that people don’t have to worry about first come, first serve because the figure is made-to-order, but keeping in mind that art book thing, it’s best to order sooner rather than later…
…Bandai making more exclusives…
Then there’s Darkness Edition Bunny, which will be an exclusive at Tamashii Nation 2011 event at first. It’ll probably be available at the web shop in a few months for those who couldn’t go to the event. It’s not perfect – at least not the prototype – director Satou himself noted how the “ears” on the helmet are in the wrong angle. Still, it’s one sleek piece of plastic.
I’ve seen both figures are already available for preordering at resellers, but the prices are pretty steep. Especially with Darkness Edition Bunny – and no guarantee if there’ll be enough to fill the preorders.
TL;DR. Do not underestimate the desire that T&B fans have for spending money on merchandise of the series.
It was fabulous. THE END.
Well not quite the end yet because there are some…
This is a teeny bit odd, but there’ll be a NEXT PROJECT SET of BD Limited Edition vol. 1 packaging and extras. This is also made to order, and it seems it’ll basically be all the stuff that came with the first LE BD – only without the BD itself. So if you got the regular edition you can upgrade it to limited with this.
The release dates for Hero TV Fan vol. 2 and Official Hero Book 2 have changed, and instead of the original 10/25 release they should be coming out 11/16. It gives a small breather for my credit card, since October has been really expensive for me.
Oh and ANN are having a contest where you must design an own, original super hero card. Looks like fun, and although they’ll only ship the prizes within USA & Canada, the fine print says that you can get a friend to act as your proxy so in other words, everyone can take part!
Update: I wrote a small primer some time ago, when we got some questions about buying merchandise from Japan. If you’re not sure how to go about this business, look here.