New site poll: your stance on hard-to-find items

The fan desirous of such items is thus faced with an unpleasant choice: to pursue a reasonably priced (or free) black market alternative, on the theory that it’s the creator’s fault for not capitalizing on demand; to support the creator at all costs, even if this means exorbitant proxy buyer fees and obscene auction markups; or to do without. Not exactly a pretty picture.

Type-Moon's Tsukibako, one of the most highly saught-after games of the decade
Type-Moon’s Tsukibako, one of the most saught-after doujin items of the decade. It originally retailed for 2,500 yen, but now goes regularly for 30,000 – 40,000 at auction and in used game shops.

Thus, the question at hand: what, generally, is your approach to such items? Is it the creator’s fault for ignoring the international (or even the broader Japanese) market? Is it worth it to you to know that you have an original, quality item that the creator received money for (even if not from you)? Or do you prefer to pass over such items in favor of more easily obtained, ethically and fiscally sound purchases?
Bubba-sculpted Suzumiya Haruhi resin kit, the original only available at events and via mail order from Dengeki
Perhaps the most notorious rare item of 2006, this Bubba-sculpted Haruhi garage kit was only available legitimately at WHF Kobe 24 on July 30th ’06 and via mail order from an issue each of Dengeki Hobby and Figure Maniax last fall.

I don’t think one of these three choices is any better than the others, but I’m curious how the HD readership breaks down on this issue.

In other news, the results of last month’s poll are in and I found them mildly surprising:
Question: What would you like to see more of on HD?

  • Ero news and reviews -> 27% (65 Votes)
  • All of the above! -> 26% (61 Votes)
  • Japanese event coverage -> 11% (26 Votes)
  • Hobby news and reviews -> 11% (26 Votes)
  • Opinion / editorial columns -> 10% (23 Votes)
  • Media news and reviews -> 7% (17 Votes)
  • Daily news updates -> 4% (9 Votes)
  • Other Japan features -> 4% (9 Votes)
  • Added site interactivity / community features -> 0% (1 Votes)

I thought “all of the above” would come out the clear winner, but it seems we have a rather large segment of ero fans in our midst… :3
I and the other HD writers will take these results into account as we continue to develop the site, and all of this input is much appreciated. That said, the main motive force behind HD from the beginning was to provide a forum for the voice of one fan (now a few fans) who didn’t have a better outlet for blabbing on about what he personally thought was really fucking cool, and that fundamental core isn’t going to change (unless someone pays us enough that we can all quit our day jobs). Then again, my personal interests line up pretty closely with the results of the poll…


0 Responses to New site poll: your stance on hard-to-find items

  1. DrmChsr0 April 28, 2007 at 11:33 pm #

    Shingo, I promote “Support where possible”. If I can buy it, so much the better. If not, well, it’s not too big a loss.
    Feck, I live in a country where people think “Why buy when you can download?”. It’s rather sickening, don’t you think?
    At least I talked my brother into buying C&C3 Kane Edition… … … I don’t care if it has EA all over the box, it’s a darned good game. It’s a crime to NOT buy it.

  2. Adun April 29, 2007 at 12:13 am #

    My usual method of getting hard to get items is through YJA but I haven’t bought anything from there in a while due to financial reasons. My other method is through some good friends from Tamarket as they know what my taste in merchandise is and they always find something for me to buy (like the Ayu backpack). I don’t see it as the creator’s fault as even then they do have their circumstances in being able to produce quality merchandise in large quantities.

  3. DiGiKerot April 29, 2007 at 12:29 am #

    If I can’t find something at retail, I’ll normally do without. Well, I might grab something from an auction if it’s selling at pretty much retail price, but if that’s the case then it isn’t really rare.
    Otherwise, grabbing something from an auction site isn’t really supporting the original creators – it’s supporting the speculators who in most cases will only be buying this stuff in the hope that the price escalates (really, they probably wouldn’t be selling the item otherwise). That just encourages them to continue doing so in the future, potentially keeping future releases out of the hands of people who actually want them. Thinking that I’d be propagating that kind of thing would really bug me ^^;

  4. Nemo_N April 29, 2007 at 12:57 am #

    I’m not much of a collector, so rare items pass over my head oh so frequently; not that I won’t buy one if I couold :). That being said, I think some artists should have the info and resources to meet demand, while others might see the success of their creations as rather unexpected.
    I like your coverage of pretty much everything, since you usually go a little bit further of the rumors and hear-say. Your coverage of ero news is great in this respect, since the background info you provide is quite interesting (and sometimes surprising to me).

  5. L.C April 29, 2007 at 1:37 pm #

    My vote on the poll is to “Pass it up and be a smart shopper”…
    If the exclusive or HTF item is readily available and the price is within my budget, then why not…But I wouldn’t go as far as placing an order for an “unlicensed” version or paying twice as much just to obtain the item…My motto “value for my money”… ^_^

  6. shinsengumi April 30, 2007 at 1:45 am #

    Perhaps this is so obvious that it need not be stated, but the greatest appeal of rare items is their rarity. For example, I have — inter alia signed copies of the form|code artbook and Spheres doujin by Range Murata and first editions of Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball 1973 novellas by Haruki Murakami, all of which are almost impossible to find at prices most people would consider reasonable. Due in no small part because of their rarity, knowing that I own the real thing — with all of the implied assurances of quality and support to the creator — gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that I would not have by buying a bootleg or a non-limited edition item.
    Certainly I paid more than others, but then again I was willing to pay the otaku tax. In the end, it’s all elementary economics. Every consumer has a reservation price price and if that reservation price is not at least as great as the market price, he will simply not buy the item. It isn’t a question of whether items ought to be rare (and expensive) or common (and less-so), but how much people care about those items and how much they are willing to spend for them.

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