In an ideal world creators would produce their work in such volume that everyone who wanted a copy could obtain one at a fair price, the proceeds then returning to the artist to support his or her future endeavors. Sadly this is not the case, with garage kit makers limiting production runs to the dozens and PVC figure manufacturers to the hundreds or low thousands, not to mention doujin artists who entirely neglect sales beyond their close circle of friends or eroge companies unwilling to sell outside Japan. (continues)

The fan desirous of such items is thus faced with an unpleasant choice: to pursue a reasonably priced (or free) black market alternative, on the theory that it’s the creator’s fault for not capitalizing on demand; to support the creator at all costs, even if this means exorbitant proxy buyer fees and obscene auction markups; or to do without. Not exactly a pretty picture.

Type-Moon's Tsukibako, one of the most highly saught-after games of the decade

Type-Moon’s Tsukibako, one of the most saught-after doujin items of the decade. It originally retailed for 2,500 yen, but now goes regularly for 30,000 – 40,000 at auction and in used game shops.

Thus, the question at hand: what, generally, is your approach to such items? Is it the creator’s fault for ignoring the international (or even the broader Japanese) market? Is it worth it to you to know that you have an original, quality item that the creator received money for (even if not from you)? Or do you prefer to pass over such items in favor of more easily obtained, ethically and fiscally sound purchases?

Bubba-sculpted Suzumiya Haruhi resin kit, the original only available at events and via mail order from Dengeki

Perhaps the most notorious rare item of 2006, this Bubba-sculpted Haruhi garage kit was only available legitimately at WHF Kobe 24 on July 30th ’06 and via mail order from an issue each of Dengeki Hobby and Figure Maniax last fall.

I don’t think one of these three choices is any better than the others, but I’m curious how the HD readership breaks down on this issue.

In other news, the results of last month’s poll are in and I found them mildly surprising:

Question: What would you like to see more of on HD?

  • Ero news and reviews -> 27% (65 Votes)
  • All of the above! -> 26% (61 Votes)
  • Japanese event coverage -> 11% (26 Votes)
  • Hobby news and reviews -> 11% (26 Votes)
  • Opinion / editorial columns -> 10% (23 Votes)
  • Media news and reviews -> 7% (17 Votes)
  • Daily news updates -> 4% (9 Votes)
  • Other Japan features -> 4% (9 Votes)
  • Added site interactivity / community features -> 0% (1 Votes)

I thought “all of the above” would come out the clear winner, but it seems we have a rather large segment of ero fans in our midst… :3

I and the other HD writers will take these results into account as we continue to develop the site, and all of this input is much appreciated. That said, the main motive force behind HD from the beginning was to provide a forum for the voice of one fan (now a few fans) who didn’t have a better outlet for blabbing on about what he personally thought was really fucking cool, and that fundamental core isn’t going to change (unless someone pays us enough that we can all quit our day jobs). Then again, my personal interests line up pretty closely with the results of the poll…