# # Japanese Toy Dealer Blues

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

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Japanese Toy Dealer Blues


this blog began as a section on my site called “Infinite Diarrhea” which I took down very shortly after starting it because … people were reading it. This, in turn, was causing problems in my already failing marriage …

(this entry is excerpted, in part, from a post made on the TBDX OT forum but with fresh endcaps)


I’m a collector of Japanese toys (no! really?) and there are a few things that one has to deal with when one falls into such a hobby: middleman fees, language barriers, and flakey dealers.

I’ve rarely had to deal with the latter because entered into the hobby after the advent of the internet but, on occasion, there has been an item or two that I had no choice but to use someone with the kind of contacts I have as yet been unable to generate.

There’s a certain toy dealer – whom I won’t name out of respect for his longevity in the field and the friends I know he’s amassed in the community – who I have nothing but bad luck with.

The first time I tried to use his services, many years back, I waited for months after the initial transaction before e-mailing him only to find that he’d totally forgotten about me. Were it not for my diligence in keeping track of our e-mails and my payment receipts I don’t think he would have believed me. Even then, after my little reminder, it took him a few more months to get my items to me.

I probably shouldn’t have judged him on that one transaction but, due to it, I steered wide of him thereafter despite the number of folks I heard singing his praises.

As I got to know more folks in the community, I also began to hear stories of this dealer padding shipping fees – sometimes outrageously – yet the buyers in question just shrugged it off, singing the dealer’s praises outside the fact that he was gouging them with shipping.

Earlier this year I got stupid and decided to try the dealer again. He mentioned a toy that I wanted, a limited item, and, after many assurances on his part that he could get me one, I bit.

The festival the toy was released at occurs a few days later and I watch the toys from it begin appearing on Y!JP. After a couple of weeks of watching the toy in question go down in price in auctions, I contact the up-‘til-then silent dealer to see what the status of my order is.

“Don’t worry.” I am told. “My agent got you one. I’ll have it in the mail to you by the 27th of this month. Thank you for your patience.”

Cool! The 27th comes and goes. I contact the dealer again.

“My agent was unable to get you the toy. They were limited and sold out. He knows someone at the company, however, and will get you one through them. He will be back in two weeks. Thank you for your patience.”

Okay. Fine. Two weeks pass, I contact the dealer.

“It will be in the mail to you by the 27th of this month.”

Wow. Deja-vu. Alright. The 27th comes and goes. I contact the dealer again.

“My agent is having trouble getting the toy. He knows someone at the company, though, and I am confident we will have it for you in two weeks. Thank you for your patience.”

I allow more than two weeks to pass. To be honest, by now I’ve picked up a clear and glow version of the toy – I almost don’t even want the black glitter version anymore. What I want is service. Answers. Maybe a refund? Something. Anything!

I e-mail the dealer, mentioning that three months have passed since I sent him payment at his assurance he could get me the toy.

“My agent is still getting the toy for you. It was very limited, you know. He has a good friend at the company, and we should have it for you by the 27th of this next month. Thank you for your patience.”

Yeah. Right.


Me: “Is there any news regarding the Limited M_____ M______ I ordered? It has now been over four months since you received my payment.”

My “Agent” in Japan: “I’m terribly sorry for the delay. I have not received the doll yet. I’m sure I can get this doll for you. (In fact, my connection confirmed your doll was reserved by M_____ [the company]!) Could you possibly wait for a while? I’ll inform you as soon as I receive it! I can’t thank you enough for your patience and generosity.”


— — —

My mom is behind me as I type this. She is rattling on and on, fighting with putting file boxes together, muttering, asiding, thoroughly incapable of not running her mouth.

Meanwhile I’ve iTunes running and a daxophone tune by Hans Reichel is playing: “Skronk, squee, hey-oh-uh, beezort, shroop!”

My Mom asks: “How can you write with all that noise?”

“Oh, I haven’t been listening to you.” I reply.

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