Friday, March 21, 2008

Update I Didn't Want to Do

This is another of those updates you'd rather not see.

In a perfectly Sonic world, it wouldn't happen. But here we go again, with another round of bootlegs and mutants!

This time, the mutant section is nearly 100% fueled by ToyNetwork dumbness. Horible holidays infest every season with their dumb looking plushes in lame themes. However, something unexpected has begun to happen with some of them. If you notice, they're not 100% bad. Or at least some of them aren't.

Using 'quality' and 'toy network' in the same sentance may break the internet, so I'll refrain, but some of the heads (lame costumes aside) are not awful. And it IS noted on gear. Yes, they could be putting their resources to better use in making things people actually want, but if they're not churning out a closet full of horrores every day, it is the least to do to notice a speck of progress.

The whole "Bootlegging" thing ties into this unfortunetely well.
While ToyNetwork is spamming out endless junk, the bootleggers are really stepping up their quality. This week has a warning in it about Zerotoys on ebay. They're making bogus Fangs, Creams, Cheeses and Chaos. The problem is, they're almost spot-on accurate (no tag, of course) and some of the details that are small (Fang is excessively happy and may be mis-colored on his nose) but this is good enough to trick most people just looking at a little photo wanting to snap up a bargain on Ebay.

If these things were going for a couple bucks whereas the real ones sold for over wouldn't be such a problem as it is, but they're going around $40 USD and up. As you can imagine, if you shell out that kind of cash, you're going to be upset when you wind up with a fake that has errors on it.

Which brings up the main point of the entire post:

"When a company fails to deliver...bootleggers will step in"

In this case, there's a horrible shortage of good Sonic plush. So who steps in? The bootleggers, to "Save the day" for frusterated parents and gift givers...even fans! You've been dying for this Chao for would look perfect in your room...but no, Sega won't let you have a real one. The opportunity to be bad here is just too good to pass up if you can clone plushes well.

The solution is to:
Make a different "Series" of plush so you don't devalue the collector's items, but give everyone a fair and square chance to get the plush they want without paying horrible amounts of money. What is the reason they dont? We may never know...

But the example is all over the place. Look at Nartuo.
That thing got out of hand so fast. At the start, the company in charge of him/it didn't really seem to realize how popular it was. As a result, the USA is well behind Japan in terms of "Released eps and books". But by nature it is a continuous and suspenseful story that people want to crave the next episode of. So because everyone would otherwise be forced to wait months while they play "Catch up", and plaster out re-runs or see the same books on the shelf....instead everyone reaches for the fansubs and fanscans.

Would they do this if the company was on top of it, and we were getting releases the same week, or even 2 weeks off?
Totally NO.
If you give people what they want legitamately, without a big hassle and at a FAIR price, you'll never have to fight bootlegers and fakers. There won't be any competition from stuff like that because there is no gap for them to fill.

Does this mean you won't get fanaitcs who just have to have 'jp voices'? No. You'll always get that, and people who need 'first run' plushes, and thats fine because they're a smaller portion of the fandom, and they can still be pleased as well.

A rather simple update spawns a rather complex post.