Tabby (
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 03:29:09 -0700

>> Anyway, even if Gundam kits were distributed in the USA with english
>> istructions, why should Bandai stop HLJ or R10? I think that the
percentage of
>> people buying them direcly in Japan through e-commerce would be very small
>> compared to the rest and probably not worth a legal action against HLJ or
>> R10.
>Well there's no legal basis to go after HLJ and R10, the contract is
>between Bandai Japan, Bandai USA and the US distributors. But there's
>a non-legal way to go after HLJ and R10, stop selling kits to HLJ and R10
>until they stop e-export. Unless HLJ and R10 are giants in the domestic
>retail business, Bandai will win hands down. These kind of tricks have
>been in practice for hundreds if not a thousand years, but I think Coca
>Cola perfected it.

I'm not sure US Distribution of English kits is as ominous as it seems.
First, Bandai may decide that the e-commerce for Japanese kits won't be in
competition with English kits in the U.S. We Americans are a lazy bunch, a
major reason why it took animated features in a foreign language so long to
become popular in the U.S. English kits are simply likely to sell better in
America than Japanese kits.

Second, the U.S. is not the only market HLJ or R-10 reach. Sure there are a
enough American Gundam fans to market to them, but the number of
non-Japanese fans *not* in the U.S. might match or exceed the number of
American fans. By not selling Japanese kits to HLJ & R-10, Bandai could be
neglecting a lot more than just American fans.

My humble prediction, merely a guess, is that Bandai won't see e-commerce
of Japanese as a threat to the American distribution of English Gundam
kits. There will be people who walk into stores knowing nothing about
Gundam, but still be fascinated by the kits(that's how many of *us*
started, after all), and there will still be a mail-order/e-commerce market
for hard-core fans like us. Besides, e-commerce sales of Japanese kits will
probably be only a fraction compared to the English kits distributed in the
U.S. I think it's very likely Bandai will see e-commerce Japanese and
store-shelf English kits as two discrete, unrelated markets, not as
overlapping and counter-productive.

I'll leave everybody to fight the rest of this out amongs yourselves.


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