Lim Yew Keat/Aik (
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 14:33:27 +0800

Now now now, doesn't anyone here on the mailing list know that Mattel and
Bandai have reached an alliance to help distribute each others' product?
With Mattel and Bandai together, their products will be widely distributed
around the world. Not to mention the US, being such a big market.

> > Worse yet, I fear that HLJ and R10 will get a similar cease and desist
> > letter from Bandai of America once they are ready to roll out Bandai
> > in the U.S., because they'd be "competing unfairly" in a market Bandai
> > America claims to have developed. What is now technically grey market
> > imported goods will become black market infringers overnight. You as a
> > consumer will not have a choice but to buy the more expensive
> > kit.
> Well it likely won't develop that way (see my other post), HLJ and R10
> have always been above-ground legally and will always be. But the outcome
> is the same, they will both be prevented from doing e-export.
> A few months ago, there were a lot of rumours that Toys R Us will start to
> distribute and promote Gundam kits, I think I did predict that the model
> kits will go up in prices. The quality of Bandai kits are so far superior
> to the typical American kits (especially MPC/Ertl, makers of Star Wars
> kits) of comparable prices. Even if you factor in a doubling from the
> Japanese domestic suggested retail price (SRP), they are still underpriced
> for most American modellers who are used to paying US$40 for effectively
> sub-HG models.
> Now, another prediction if I may (predictions are cheap anyways). If the
> American edition of Bandai kits do come out at "rationalized" prices and
> HLJ and R10 do disappear from the scene, we will see a lot of small
> e-import companies to serve us hardcore Gundam fans. If nothing else,
> eBay will see a steady supply of Japanese kits. These companies can have
> their Asia contacts pick up kits at the Asian price and ship them to N
> America. Legally it's completely kosher, the only way Bandai can go after
> these little guys is to cut off their supply. But if worse comes to
> worst, these guys can buy the kits at retail prices from shops in Tokyo or
> Hong Kong, they can still undercut Toys R Us by a good chunk.
> The down-side is that these company won't invest in a fancy online
> catalogue, or have a comprehensive stock of selection of older kits. The
> up-side is that us knowledgable consumers will still be able to get new
> reasonably priced kits.
> With some luck, this may turn out to our (old-time fans) advantage.
> Gundam could become mainstream in US, and we will still be able to import
> kits at prices that we are used to. And if Bandai find enough customers
> who put down US$150 for a MG Dom, I guess I can't complain. Remember
> capitalism thrives on un-informed customers.
> CHIN, Chien Ting
> Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
> ... o O *
> Man is a bubble
> -
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