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Figure News: GSC stopping some international exports?

Figure News: GSC stopping some international exports?
29 Jan 2011 05:54:01

Well, there's been quite the cafuffle in the figure-collecting world over the past 48 hours, due to a mysterious newsletter sent out by figure retailer CDJapan. It merely read:

"IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, products manufactured by Good Smile Company, including Nendoroid and figma, are no longer available at CDJapan as they decided to discontinue exporting their products through online shops located in Japan. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and appreciate you for understanding."

This has lead many to believe that GSC has decided to stop international distribution of their products full-stop. While this isn't entirely impossible (Remember how they cracked down on Amiami selling clearanced GSC items to gaijin?), several other retailers have provided their two cents on the situation. Here's a summary:

-ToysLogic initially stated that this wouldn't be affecting them, but they later cancelled all preorders of GSC products due to "distributor issues."
-HobbyLink Japan has confirmed that this has zero impact on them, and they'll continue selling GSC products worldwide as they always have. Likewise with Hobby Search.
-Amiami is going to be fulfilling all preorders already made for GSC items, as well as continuing to sell any items listed on the site; but they don't know if they'll be able to list future GSC products (i.e., anything after Max Gokin Big O) for international sale.
-Otacute is yet to comment on the situation.

Anyway, many people, myself included, have contacted GSC about this, but there's been no response (presumably due to the large number of inquiries). The common theory is that they plan to increase international distribution themselves, either through a webshop or via foreign distribution companies (like what Kaiyodo's done with Diamond Comics and Kotobukiya with Entertainment Earth). This seems like a double-edged sword - on one hand, it may reduce the number of webshops from which GSC products can be purchased. On the other hand, if GSC were to make a consistent deal with a foreign distributor, this could mean that we'd be seeing Nendoroids and Figmas in international comic shops (kind of like how many comic shops in the eastern US carry Revoltechs due to Kaiyodo's deal with Entertainment Earth). And if they open their own international webshop, we may finally be able to get those elusive WF exclusives without the use of a proxy!

This is an ongoing issue, so this article will be updated as developments occur. In the meantime, how do you feel about this new trend? Sound off below!

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Jobibi (USA)
29 Jan 2011, 06:17:40
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Well, IF it's like everyone hopes and they end up distributing over here themselves, that's great. I think it would be neat to go to a local shop and pick up a Nendo of figma for myself. It might even make me get ones I normally wouldn't on a whim, and I might end up liking them (some of my favorite figures are ones I didn't think I'd care for as much).

If not, well that sucks, and is pretty stupid and senseless of them. I'm sure they realize just what an enormous wallet-liner the international buyers are. I myself have given them a couple thousand of my dollars by now. Cutting us out just doesn't seem like a good business move to me, or pretty much anyone else with half a brain.

I guess we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. If nothing else, all my money gets diverted to HLJ, so long as they don't end up getting cut out somewhere down the line too.
KururuSouchou (USA)
29 Jan 2011, 06:27:19
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Well, GSC has had a company called AAA Anime distribute some of their products, it's been a lukewarm success at best. Due to the sheer amount of middlemanning involved, a 2500Y Figma often ended up being sold for $50. What I'm hoping is that they'll either set up a contract with a more efficient distributor (as mentioned before, both Diamond Comics and Entertainment Earth have done pretty good jobs) or cut out the middleman and distribute products themselves.

And if memory serves me, didn't GSC recently state that about 30% of their 2010 sales were international, and that they were "thrilled to see the hobby expand?" I mean, they did things like including about 8 different languages on the Black*Rock Shooter DVDs and the English Mikatan blog, so I doubt they're just gonna block off the market.

As for HLJ, I'm completely cool with that. Their prices are slightly higher than the competition, but they make up for it with cheaper shipping.
Impending_Sky (Russia)
29 Jan 2011, 08:29:06
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Stupid GSC is always so complicated
Glory (Russia)
29 Jan 2011, 09:00:36
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Can't believe my eyes. What's that all about really?
The worst thing is that we Russians obviously don't have an efficient distributor... God, we most like won't have a distributor at all...
The rain beats hard at my window
While you so softly do sleep...
mu597 (USA)
29 Jan 2011, 16:20:50
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