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Archive for the ‘Interesting’ Category

OtakunoAnime.com… Buyer Beware!

Posted by zerofigures on February 18, 2011

I titled this posting with a question mark because I’d like to be proven wrong.  I’d like to think that we anime fans and Otaku now have another ally in our quest as consumer for goods.  Somewhere to find that one item we’ve been searching for that sold out months ago.  But lack of information and actions lead me to think otherwise.

I was searching for a figure everywhere, every website (I trust) that I have purchased things in the past from were long sold out.  This lead me to do a long web search to hunt this figure down.  I searched and searched and came upon Otakunoanime.com who had 2 figures I was searching for well below the going prices.  I placed the items in the cart but my buyers instinct kicked in, as well as an old saying, “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is”.

So the research began.  The bottom of their website lists a blog, twitter and facebook.  The blog doesn’t link to a functioning site and the facebook doesn’t either.  The twitter does work but is full of links direct visitors to their main site.  I also found this blog they’ve created which is definitely complete BS.  I feel confident enough saying that due to the fact that a certain Mr. Peter Payne of Jlist.com who frequently updates his blog, wrote that story on Jan 21, 2011 (good eyes Cupcakez89).  I ‘d recommend subscribing to his blog, it’s full of great information on Japan through American eyes.  I did a BBB (Better Business Bureau) search and came up with nothing.  Continued searching and couldn’t find anything except another buyer thinking the same as me  (I hope they do another search and come up on this posting).

I then questioned the authenticity of OnA on MFC and someone  said they thought their cds were fake (I’m inquiring with them now).  So others agree that things don’t seem to be straight with OnA.  I’m hoping that we are wrong and they’re legit and providing our community with some awesomely discounted anime goods, but until then I won’t be providing them with any details of mine.   What’s your opinion on this?

UPDATE – I just got learned.  I know understand why the cd’s are being identified as fake and I agree.  Taking a product, slapping your own catalog number and logo on it , does not make it yours.  The quality of the item is sure to be lower than that of any official product. Thanks MFC.

UPDATE #2 – Peter Payne, jlist.com owner and blogger, has commented and confirmed that Otakunoanime.com is not a trustworthy site. Do not buy from Otakunoanime.com.

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Posted in Anime, Figures, Interesting, Japan, movies, Music, PVC | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

OMG! American Dollar Vs. Japanese Yen = WTF?!

Posted by zerofigures on September 14, 2009

Wow, I’ve not blogged anything in a long time but standing in the elevator this morning I am moved to express my disgust at the American Dollar aka USD.

As a figure collector and import of fine goods from Japan it literally hurt me (in my pockets) to see that the the exchange rate was 90.6120 Yen to One American Dollar. Absolutely horrible.  I can only speak from the consumer side.  I am not into politics and economics, all I know is that this sucks.

God only knows what the rate will be once some of my pre-orders are finally released in the weeks to come.  When I went to Japan in early July, I think the exchange rate was about 98 Yen to the dollar or something like that (and I wasn’t to excited about that).  That rate sure put a slight dent in my purchases while in Japan and it seems that Japans economic forces are trying to thrown a monkey wrench into  my figure collecting.

I’ve been wanting to do somethings but have held off due to money but yet I still keep collecting.  There are certain figures that I must have before I cease my buying.  Even when I’m done I know I simply can’t just quit, it will just mean limiting my purchases to specific artist or characters or manufacturers.  I will try to limit my purchases to items within those categories.  Right now, as a collector, have to really consider whether or not a figure is something to desire.  many factors come into play such as manufacturer (will the retail product be as good as the prototype), size of the figure vs it’s price ($85 and up + Shipping for a 1/8 figure, really?), and hype (I follow the scene but am sometimes thrown back by the response some items get when I have a vague idea of its origin).  Even with limits in place, I know it’s too much.  I feel a figure sale coming on.

But I digress, I don’t know what’s going on between the U.S. and Japan but shit needs to get reconciled fast, cause I doubt that I’m the only one who might stop importing good from Japan in the future.  I’ve seen a good figure importer go under a couple months back and I know times are hard but the exchange rate is getting a bit out of hand.

This mornings Wall Street Journal has the headline “China Strikes Back on Trade”.  China is threatening to limit the intake of U.S. goods due to a “tax” the U.S. has imposed on tires manufactured in China.  Can’t we all just get along with each other?  We all need each other, so being  in each other good graces should pay off but what do I know I’m not some elderly person with any say in the government.  Perhaps it all seems easier than it actually is but I just know how I’d like it to be.  Imagine if we all got our way…..

These are just the words of a simple figure collector.

Posted in Educational, Figures, Interesting, Japan | Leave a Comment »

I wonder if you know, How they live in Tokyo

Posted by zerofigures on July 18, 2009

Any Tokyo drift fans will notice the reference.  I’m back from Japan and now I can die a happy man.  Had the time of my life, took nearly 4000 pictures (which in a week since I’ve been back, have yet to go through), and am suffering from some serious jet-lag.  I returned home on last Saturday to give myself sometime to get readjusted before work.  Well this proved to be pretty darn useless.  I’ve been waking up between 4 and 5 am in the morning when it should be 6am.  I’m ready to pass out at work around 4pm and by 10 pm you can put a fork in me.   Can’t remember the last time I was up at 6 am for no reason on a Saturday morning (and I was out drinking last night).   Japan I don’t know what you did to me but if you’re trying to make me a better man, thank you.

Well it’s been a week since I’ve been back and no pics yet (sorry, it’s not easy to go through 4000 pictures when you can barely keep your eyes open).  I had a lot of fun in Japan seeing Tokyo, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, (most importantly) Akihabara and more.  Everything was simply beautiful and I didn’t get to see everything I had hoped to but that just gives me a reason to go back!  Saw a lot of city, but no country.  Saw a lot of new, but not as much old as I was hoping to see.  Spent a lot of money, got a lot of toys, ate a lot of great food.  Rode a lot of fast and efficient trains. Explored a lot of back streets.  Spoke to/with many Japanese (in English mostly, my Japanese is limited).  Burned a lot of rubber (from my sneakers that is, soooo much walking hurt my feet every night).

Taking in Japanese lifestyle is a task in itself.  It’s quite different from American culture, and truthfully I prefer it.  It’s a change and a much welcomed one.  Just taking in how things are done and trying to harmonize with the people enough not to stand out is an experience.  I didn’t have a problems with the money but when you’re trying to figure out what a cashier is saying to you when you gave him more than enough money, and the line is getting longer behind you, the pressure starts to build.

I could try to write up my experience in Japan, here, all in one go but reliving it day after day is so much fun, you’ll just have to wait.

Posted in Interesting, Japan, Simply Elegant | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Japan – Here I Come!

Posted by zerofigures on July 2, 2009

Will be off to Japan today.  I expect big things, hope it’s all fun.  I can’t think of anything I’m forgetting but I’m sure I’ll remember once I get to Japan.

Big write up once I get back.

Posted in Interesting, Japan | 2 Comments »

Jones BigASS Truck Rental & Storage

Posted by zerofigures on December 16, 2008

You know, with all of these figures I have laying around, I really feel like it’s time to put some in storage and I think I may have just found the perfect location.

It may seem a bit shady at first but you definitely can’t beat his rates, and things with ASS in the title can’t be that bad, right?

After seeing this commercial, I over-ordered on furniture and may have it store it at at Jones Place.

I couldn’t resist, it’s just like a mini-mall!

Posted in commercial, Funny, humor, Interesting, storage, youtube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Figure Exclusives

Posted by zerofigures on October 20, 2008

With the recently announced Queen’s Gate Mai Shiranui being exclusive to Hobby Japan as a mail in, I cannot help but feel somewhat burned.  Obviously Japan is the center of the market, but a vast majority of collectors do not live in Japan (I for one).  Having a figure be exclusive to retailer is unfair, especially having a figure exclusive to a retailer which will not ship outside of Japan.  It causes many people to miss out on items that they want.  Some may know of other routes to go to obtain their “precious”, but not all do. 

One route is the dreaded eBay.  Hopefully this figure is not bootlegged and people won’t end up buying fake figures.  The other method is a proxy service, where someone in Japan orders the item for you, and when they receive it, they in turn ship it to you.  I have done this once and have had pleasant results.  I was a bit afraid at first because I had just given some dude in Japan my hard earned greenbacks but everything worked it.  This service is not for the paranoid as you’ll be constantly wondering if your precious will ever arrive.  With no one to really have your back when dealing with proxies, I feel like its a risk, but I’d do it again for a HTF PVC.  And oh yeah, they do charge a fee, which can differ depending upon who you go to. 

Apparently some companies feel this is a good idea and maybe in a few ways it is.  But only in a few ways, which benefit the retailer selling the item and not the end user/consumer.  Since it’s a Hobby Japan mail in exclusive, people will have to buy the magazine which will drive up print sales.  By Megahouse giving such a sought after figure to Hobby Japan, HJ more than likely agreed to give Megahouse’s figures a large amount of placement in there magazine of something of the sort.  Basically a “one hand washes the other” kind of deal.  While I do not know the specifics of the two companies and how they maybe related, it just doesn’t do anything positive for the collectors.

Coincidentally, while reading Billboard Magazine this morning, HMV Canada is starting a “say no to retail exclusives” campaign.  In their full one page ad, they show how popular artists such as AC/DC, Christina Aguilera, and John Mellencamp have already said no to retail exclusives on Canada.  Apparently through online surveys taken by thousands of people, consumers have expressed that “they don’t like these retail exclusives” and “they don’t like being told where to shop for their music”. 

It’s not just consumers that don’t like exclusives; other retailers missing out don’t like them either.  I worked in the music business for nearly 5 years and a number of exclusive tracks have crossed my path.  Whether it be a remix to a #1 single or an exclusive backstage footage clip, the bonus that retailer “X” does not receive while retailer “Y” does, hurts retailer “X”.  It means lower sales for retailer “X”.  Consider a mom and pop shop or an internet startup who can’t afford to get a bonus exclusive, while a retail giant like Best Buy does, they obviously won’t be able to stay in business very long.  That reminds me of an old Martin Paint shop and ACE true Value Hardware that used to be in my area.  Once the Home Depot came to town they just couldn’t compete with their prices and deals and had to close up shop.

Exclusives do not support the industry, IMO they cripple it.  Those who are able to get their hands on an exclusive item are able to charge a markup and may be buying primarily for resale purposes and not to enjoy the item as normal consumers might.

I for one call for an end to PVC figure exclusives.  While this entire page is in regard to music exclusives, the idea is the same.  I don’t like retail exclusives and i don’t like being told where to buy my PVC from.

 

Posted in Beautiful, Boobs, eBay, Educational, Figures, Interesting, Japan, Mega House, Video Games, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Japanese Coach has finally arrived!

Posted by zerofigures on October 17, 2008

Thank you Nintendo!  We’ve seen, My Word Coach, My French Coach, My Chinese Coach, and My Spanish Coach and finally My Japanese Coach has arrived.

My” blank” Coach is a popular learning series on The Nintendo DS.   The games are intended to give you a basic understanding of various languages.  For those in america who are somewhat infatuated with Japanese life, music, art, etc. this is a great way to learn more on the go.

It comes off as a game of course but it’s intention is to teach and it does a great job.  Imagine playing a game getting to the boss and memorizing a pattern to defeat the game.  This game does that but what you’re actually learning is Katakana, Hiragana, numbers, colors, days of the wee, etc.

This is a great tool for kids and grown ups alike.  I’m in my late 20’s and have take about 6 months of Japanese classes here in New York at quite a high cost.  This game/learning tool is just a fraction of the cost and provides great entertainment while at the same time increasing your knowledge.

This is a must have for anyone with a Nintendo DS.

It is also available at Amazon.com:
My Japanese Coach
My Chinese Coach
My French Coach
My Spanish Coach
My Word Coach

Posted in Educational, Interesting, Japan, Nintendo, Video Games | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

These Glutes Are Made For Walkin’

Posted by zerofigures on September 25, 2008

Oh Me Oh My!

What a gem of a video AOTS has shown us today.  Fabulous, simply fabulous.

Apparently it’s from a belly dancing video. My interest in belly dancing has just increased 100%.  I must imagine that it takes quite a lot of talent to perform such a feat.

Enjoy!

Posted in Beautiful, Flexible, Interesting, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »