I thought I would take a second to talk about flippers.
I recently got into buying Japanese Sofubi from creators like RealxHead, Goccodo, Skull Toys, Josh Wang Designs, Knave and Punk Drunkers. These sofubi figures are very limited release and usually you have to win a lottery to be able to purchase them.
Enter the current Punk Drunker's release of Samenchu (Sharkman) up for lottery the first week of May.
There is rarely something that I have seen that I have to have. Usually the clear vinyl is used to mimic classic Microman figures or to reveal the interior (guts) of a figure. This was the first time I seen a figure with another figure inside it. I felt that this toy represented PURE GENIUS and as I mentioned above I had to have it.
I had entered the lottery and waited to hear if I had been chosen. When the winners were announced, I did not receive a winning email. I was a little bummed but knew that the figure would be available on the secondary market from flipper. I assumed it would be later this year and I would have to wait a little while.
Over the second weekend of May, I began to see people posting pictures of their unboxings of this new figure. I thought, "That was quick!" I also always monitor online auctions in case a figure gets posted at a cheap 'Buy IT Now' price. I was shocked to see that one of these figures was already up with a 'Buy It Now' price just above triple it's original selling price. While this price was high, I mentioned that I had to have this figure, so I jumped at this chance and snagged it.
I was a little torn with this purchase. On on hand, I was getting the figure I wanted and paying a good secondary market price for it. On the other hand, I would much rather have give three times the price for the figure to the original creator over the flipper that I bought it from.
It the last couple of years I have sent many creators inquires about their figures, comics, etc. asking if they had one laying around (of whatever I was looking for), because I would rather give them the flipper price, than give the same price to the flipper. Sometimes this has been met with, "Sorry, I'm Sold Out" but to my surprise a few times it has been met with, "Yeah, let me look around" and the item I was looking for is available either at the original price or a couple dollars more.
This process over that last couple of years has lead me to wonder, Why the creators do not set aside a few maybe a handful of their creations to sell themselves online to the highest bidder? Would it be so wrong for these creators to make a couple extra dollars off of their hard work? Would their fans be upset about them essentially flipping their own products? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do know that many creators are struggling right now and perhaps selling a few of their items to the highest bidder might help.
Right now, me I'm happy that I got this figure, but I would rather have given the money to the original creator than some middle man.
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