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Figure Newcomer Guide #5: The Scourge Known as Exclusives

Figure Newcomer Guide #5: The Scourge Known as Exclusives
15 Aug 2010 20:40:46

So, suppose you're browsing the internet. You see a figure you really like, and try to find more info. But wait! Your eyes fall upon the dreaded word: exclusive.

So what now, you ask? Well, don't give up hope. It IS possible to obtain exclusive items. Join me, as we explore exactly how you can do so.

What does exclusive mean, anyway?

In the figure-collecting world, it basically means that you can only obtain the item at one or more stores. For example, Good Smile Company releases two Figmas and two-eight Nendoroids per year that can only be obtained at the Wonder Festival trade show. Bandai is fond of releasing Figuarts of movie-only Kamen Riders as exclusives to their Tamashii Web site. And due to ZUN's policies on the licensing of Touhou, all Touhou Project merchandise is exclusive to a select few stores.


Good luck finding me for retail price!

So how can I go about obtaining an exclusive figure?

Don't despair! There are three big ways to obtain exclusive figures.

Proxy Services

Proxy services are used quite a lot these days. How it works is you choose the item you want from a webshop that only ships to Japan, and send the item page to the proxy. They'll let you know of the cost, and if you pay them that cost, they'll order it, and ship it from their headquarters in Japan to your shipping address. However, they aren't cheap - it'll cost the price of the item + shipping to them + shipping from them to you + a small fee from the proxy (usually 700-1200 yen). Still, though, they're probably one of your best bets for finding items such as Touhou Figmas. Notable proxies include Yokattaweb, Tokyo Hunter, and Goody-Japan.

Otacute

No one quite knows how, but Otacute is somehow able to stock many exclusives like normal items (some joke that it's due to ties with the yakuza). This is probably the easiest and cheapest method for obtaining most exclusives, but they tend to sell out quickly.

Mandarake

Mandarake is a chain of stores in Japan that allows people to trade in used and new otaku-goods (figures, doujinshi, etc.). Their website ships internationally, and allows you to buy a variety of exclusives that people trade in. It ain't cheap, but it's pretty much the only place to find older exclusives.

Other Retailers

Sometimes, you'll get lucky and find an exclusive item on one of the more commonly-used webshops, such as Amiami (has some Touhou stuff) and Nihonju (has some exclusive Revoltechs and Kotobukiya statues). If this is the case, you can just order like any other item and consider yourself very, very lucky.

Overall, I hope this article has helped you find ways to track down that elusive exclusive. See you around!


Nazca... why did Bandai have to do this to you? *sniffle*
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mu597
mu597 (USA)
15 Aug 2010, 12:54:21
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Dont forget there's also Ebay!
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
15 Aug 2010, 13:17:47
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I decided not to mention eBay due to the high risk of bootlegs. eBay buying tips will be included in the bootleg article.
HONK HONK~
mu597
mu597 (USA)
15 Aug 2010, 18:39:04
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Ah! Makes sense good ol ebay! XD
Ahegyao
Ahegyao (USA)
15 Aug 2010, 15:51:04
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I liked how you made the Yakuza reference for Otacute. I preordered figma Sakuya from them. Oh, you might want to mention how they usually include some sort of trinket when you receive the package from them.
I love plastic crack
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
15 Aug 2010, 16:02:59
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I'll add that to the Otacute section in the other article.
HONK HONK~
Eld
Eld (Canada)
15 Aug 2010, 17:30:39
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Should probably add Hobby Fan and Nihonju as well. I've used Nihonju to secure myself this possibly overpriced piece of figure, and I've seen Hobby Fan carry exclusives fairly often.

Also, this is really questionable, but some exclusives have garage kit origins, and a completed figure can show up in garage kit painter stores. E-Bay has several of these, and E2046 is known for mass-producing completed figures of bootleg garage kits (of good quality, from what I've been reading).
Nessuno può emendarsi dal peccato che scorre nelle vene
No one can escape the sin that flows in their veins
Glory
Glory (Russia)
16 Aug 2010, 04:56:59
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Respect. The only thing - it would be possibly better to add shop links to the article.
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
Dawnpaw
Dawnpaw
12 Feb 2012, 22:48:57
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I think Mandrake is CLOSED PERMANENTLY....
If I don't reply its because I'm busy being Naraku's play thing
KururuSouchou
KururuSouchou (USA)
12 Feb 2012, 22:56:15
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That's silly. It's still up.

http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/
HONK HONK~
Dawnpaw
Dawnpaw
12 Feb 2012, 23:07:33
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oh .... somebody was closed....I need to check THANKS! ^^
If I don't reply its because I'm busy being Naraku's play thing
no photo
katie
09 Aug 2012, 23:42:02
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Im not sure if this constitutes a guide, at least here but I really want to know how to figure out how much yen is equal to 1 $, or vice versa.
mu597
mu597 (USA)
10 Aug 2012, 00:14:28
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Tipicly $1 is equal to 100 yen. However the exchange rate varys often so it's often different.

I use this site to tell what it currently is, http://www.xe.com/ucc/

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